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theshoefairy

theshoefairy
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Member since: 24.02.2010

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    • Post-It Notes / Homeware / 43 Readings / 42 Ratings
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      19.04.2011 01:20
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      Simply amazing!

      There aways comes a time when you need to jot something down quickly and go hunting for any little scrap piece of paper that you can find. For me, this usually involves a small corner of an envelope that may be lying around which I know isn't going to be quite big enough but still, I try to fit as much as I can on it in my very own version of short hand. This is one of the very reasons why post it notes are a great way record any snippet of information you might need. Unlike a note pad, these are ready to write on immediately, if you can find a pen that is, which always seems to be pretty impossible when you need one there and then, usually when you are on taking an important phone call.

      So what is a Post-it note? Well, the easiest way to describe it would be a small pad of paper, usually available in a variety of colours and shapes. It all began with Dr. Silver who designed and invented a repositional adhesive. Six years later, the 3M brand developed the Post-it note, using the adhesive designed by Silver which first made it's way onto the market in America in the 1980's and the rest as they say, is history!
      The pad, can be square or as I have mentioned previously, it can be various different shapes and sizes, including novelty shapes such as hearts, arrows and speech bubbles. I have only had experience with the standard square pad which had a strip of the adhesive running along the top of each leaf.

      I would say that the soul purpose of a Post-it note is to take notes and to leave notes and they can be used in many different ways. They stick to virtually any surface without causing damage, and tend to stay there until the time comes when you decide to remove them. They are great for sticking notes to research papers and assignments whilst studying, leaving notes around the home for others and also reminders for yourself and because they come in a variety of bright and vibrant colours, they are pretty hard to miss!
      When I first started writing this review, I was reminded of an episode of Sex and The City where Carrie's current love interest broke up with her by leaving her a note writted on a Post-it so that's another way of putting these to use, although I'm sure breaking up with someone via text or email is the preferred method these days.

      It's a surely simple idea for a product but what I find the most remarkable is the fact that they are very sticky, without actually being very sticky at all. Each leaf can be peeled away incredibly easily, and even though the adhesive strip doesn't actually feel that sticky, to the touch, it clings to any object you decide to place it on with dear life. In fact, a Post-it note made it's way safely from Las Vegas to Minneapolis when it was stuck to the nose of an aeroplane, even speeds of 500 miles per hour couldn't prise it off. I was absolutely amazed by this so the chances of it falling off your refridgerator or computer screen are pretty minute.
      Another plus point for this product is the fact that the paper is very good quality and doesn't tear easily. The paper is easy to write on with most pens but when using a biro, it can sometimes leave breaks in the ink when writing where the adhesive is placed on the underside.

      Post-it notes are also recyclable which is good to know and there is now also a "Super Sticky" version on the market, although judging by the plane incident, this variation is fairly pointless in my opinion.
      Post-it notes are widely available from a variety of online retailers and shops, and by going to the Post-it website, you can enter your postcode to find online and offline stockists. There are many many varieties available and they are also sold in packs of various numbers. The price for a standard pad is around £4 which is little pricey but well worth it considering their ease of use and versatilty.

      **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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        15.04.2011 01:42
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        Recommended!

        If you are a horror fan and are familiar with the horror genre you will probably know that I Spit on you Grave, released in 2010 is a remake of the 1978 version of the same name. The original shocked viewers due to it's very graphic nature and vile scenes of rape and torture and was soon banned in many countries. Film critics were far from impressed by this movie and in 2010 it made it into the top ten of most ridiculously violent movies in Time Magazine.

        I Spit on Your Grave follows the story of writer Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) who decides it would be a good idea to rent a log cabin in the woods to work on her second novel. During her journey to the cabin she stops at a gas station for fuel and runs into a few men there who at first seem fairly harmless, a little strange, but at this point, seem to be nothing to worry about.

        At the cabin, Jennifer quite clearly enjoys the peace and quiet and the beauty of her surroundings, but this is soon to change as strange things start to happen that leave her a little shaken up. Unaware she has become the object of an unhealthy interest to a group of men in the area, three of which she ran into at the gas station, her relaxing stay in the woods soon turns into a living hell as she is raped repeatedly by the group and left for dead. A short while later it is the men who are made to feel uneasy as it seems someone or something is playing with them, whoever it is definitely wants revenge.

        It is some time ago now that I saw the original and I remember the way it made me feel. Naturally, I find scenes of violence and rape in particular very disturbing and being a woman myself, I can't even begin to imagine the horror and pain of being a victim of rape. Even so, I was still interested to see the remake, and it did remind me a lot of the 1978 original.

        The story moves at a steady pace, but slower to begin with, building tension for the viewer as the men close in from different directions which I found rather suspenseful. Even though I knew what the film was about and what was going to happen before I even watched it, I was still left wondering if Jennifer Hills would actually be able to escape the vulgarity and torture that lay ahead for her.

        Comparing it to the original, I found that the rape and torture scenes were played down a little and less drawn out but they were still very disturbing and rather horrific. It may not be fun to watch, but definitely necessary to warrant the revenge she takes on her attackers later in the film, which were fantastically imaginative and very creative.
        Her attackers played their roles well, and were very believable and I imagine there would be difficult and rather disturbing roles to play for each of them due to the nature of the horrific crimes they commit. The ringleader is Johnny (Jeff Branson), he instigates the attack to a degree and is disgusting and seemingly merciless as he begins the attack by playing with and taunting Hills as the vicious attack starts. The others watch on, enjoying the show and waiting for "their turn".

        Butler's performance is outstanding throughout, especially during the scenes where she is tortured and assaulted. The sheer terror of what is happening to her seeps from her character is so believable and had me clutching at my face as I watched on in horror, unable to comprehend how I would react or feel if it were me in that position. Later in the film her character is transformed from the helpless young girl at the mercy of her attackers to a woman possessed. Her character upon her returns seems to portray that of someone who has come to terms with what has happened to her as best as she can, she now seems somewhat dead inside, someone who has nothing left to lose and who's only purpose left in life is to make the people who did this to her pay.

        The revenge scenes were well thought out and so horrific that I almost felt sorry for the men themselves, I had to keep reminding myself of what they had did to deserve this. It was good to see the shoe on the other foot as they themselves became helpless and pathetic.

        Overall I did really enjoy this film but it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The rape scenes are quite frankly brutal and are amongst some of the worst I have seen, they are very disturbing and can leave a lasting impression after viewing this movie. The acting is great throughout and the movie moves along at a good pace, if a little slow to start with. I would definitely have to recommend this to fans of the horror genre and would also recommend checking out the original, which in my opinion has to be done where any remake is concerned. As a rule I have usually found that the original is always better, even with the lack of effects that are at our finger tips these days, but with this one I am not quite sure. I think this compares well to the original and retells the story well. It doesn't focus purely on the more violent scenes just for the shock factor as a lot of remakes tend to do these days. The story is balanced and well thought out.



        **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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          09.04.2011 14:27
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          Going on holiday is probably the most exciting time of year for me as I am sure it is for a lot of people, however planning the perfect holiday can often be quite a daunting task, especially if you are going for the first time or are a picky person like myself. I would love to be one of those people who just see something they like the look of and just book it and hope for the best but I'm just not. A holiday for me requires a lot of planning and research, some would say to a fanatical degree.
          As I am in the middle of planning a holiday right now, that I am going to day in early May I thought it would be a good idea to write this review as the steps and obstacles that I seem to have to overcome are fresh in my mind.

          ---Where to go---

          Obviously the first thing that needs to be decided upon is the destination. Travel operators offer a huge choice of destinations, and choosing where to go can often be quite confusing. This is where a little research comes in handy. Most people who are about to book a holiday usually have a fairly good idea of what various places are like, but to find out more, there are thousands of websites available on the net which give pretty detailed information on the different destinations.

          ---Resorts---

          When a country has been chosen, you then need to choose a resort that is best suited to your needs. I have always found that within any destination, there are busy parts/resorts and quiter parts if it is a relaxing holiday that you are looking for. Again, this will require some research. There are lots of websites available on the internet giving information about the various resorts.

          ---The Hotel---

          This part of the holiday is probably one of the most important to me. Being a picky person, I like to know that the hotel is going to be decent and of a fairly high standard so this part of the planning can prove very difficult. Hotels are usually given a star rating, but depending on where you choose to go, the basis upon which the star rating was given can change quite drastically. For example, a 4 star hotel in Turkey, may not be the equivallent to a 4 star hotel in Spain. Genereally, I opt for either a 4 star or 5 star hotel, depending upon the price. When I have chosen a resort, a whole new round of research begins whereby I read about the various hotels in the area, taking into account the location of the hotel, quality of the rooms and pools. As I like to stay in the busier resorts, making sure that the hotel is in walking distance from the centre and other local amenitites is important and can easily be done using the internet. When I have a short list of hotels that I am considering, I read reviews on each hotel from people who have actually stayed there. To do this I recommend sites such as Trip Advisor or Holiday Check. These sites give a rating out of five and there is all kinds of information from past customers about the hotel, resort, staff and location.


          ---Board Basis---

          All Inclusive (AI)

          I have noticed that there is an increasing number of hotels now which offer all inclusive. This is now my first choice when booking a holiday. All inclusive means that all meals, drinks incuding alcoholic drinks, snacks, entertainment are included in the overall price of the holiday. Of course, this is usually the more expensive option, but I always find that it works out cheaper in the long run when you take into consideration what you would be spending on meals and drinks for the duration of the holiday. It is a good idea to check what the all inclusive plan includes before booking as it can vary between different hotels.

          Self Catering (SC)

          Self catering is usually one of the cheaper option when booking a holiday and means that there will be cooking facilities in the room. My first ever holiday was a self catering holiday but instead of cooking meals we ate out in the evenings which did end up being quite expensive. This might be a good idea for families to keep costs down but I really don't go away on holiday to stand over a cooker.

          Room Only (RO)

          Room only means exactly what it says. Th price of the accomodation is for just a room and all meals and drinks are charged at an extra cost. Again this is a cheaper option when booking a holiday but there is still the problem of eating out and buying drinks and snacks throughout the day.

          Bed and Breakfast (B&B)

          This option means that breakfast is included in the price of the holiday. This is usually slightly more expensive that the RO and SC options.

          Half Board (HB)

          This option means that breakfast and the evening meal is included in the price. Depending on where you are travelling this can be a good option, especially if you are travelling to a country where the cost of living is cheap.

          Full Board (FB)

          Full Board means that breakfast, lunch, and evening meal is included in the price of the accomodation. This is one of the more expensive options and is usually just slightly cheaper than booking an all inclusive holiday.

          Booking the Holiday

          So you have done your research, you know where you want to go and what to expect and now it's time to book. There are many travel agents and tour operators to choose from, but it's always best to obtain a couple of quotes before booking to ensure that you get the best possible price. Amongst the more well known names are Thomas Cook, First Choice and Thomson. These companies offer a wide range of holiday destinations usually in the form of a package holiday. A package holiday is probably the easiest way to book a holiday, especially if you are not too experienced in this area. When searching for a package holiday, the price you see includes flights, accomodation, travel insurance and transfers to and from the resort.

          Unfortunately, I find these sites a little on the expensive side so I very rarely book with them now. Two good alternatives are Travel Republic and Low Cost holidays. The search process for these sites is a little different allowing you to tailor make your holiday by first selecting a flight and then choosing accomodation. You then get the opportunity to add extras onto your holiday. Caution is needed when booking with these sites as you need to add your baggage allowance yourself and also transfers and usually travel insurance but I find that doing it this way works out considerably cheaper and it is relatively easy to do. You may also be able to bring the overall price down further by booking different elements of your holiday with different companies. Travel insurance usually always works out cheaper when you book directly with an insurance company. Sometimes flights can also be cheaper too when you book them separately, but I would recommend booking it altogether if you are not going to be saving a considerable amount and the difference is only a few pounds.
          And that is how I book my holidays. It is quite a lengthy process but it does ensure that I am am able to get the best price for where I want to go and everything is planned properly and taken care of.
          Have fun if you are travelling abroad this year!

          **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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          • Mr Kipling Manor House Cake / Snacks / 53 Readings / 53 Ratings
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            29.03.2011 16:14
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            Delightful!

            Mr Kipling is a well-known brand producing a wide range of confectionary including cakes, tarts and various pies and slices. The brand has been with us now since 1976 and is in my opinion one of the highest quality.

            I'm not really a big fan of cakes and deserts, especially not fruit cake, but Manor House cake has been a firm favourite of mine since childhood and one I have always found very palletable. Although this is essentially a fruit cake, it isn't what you might typically expect. I usually find fruit cake quite dense and rich with a strong flavour from the dried fruit within the cake.

            Manor House cake is in a league of it's own. The 400g cake is round in shape and is sold sealed in a transparent plastic wrapping within a cardboard box. The packaging is typical of the Mr. Kipling brand with the use of reds and creams and a traditional font, giving the impression that this is a well-established tradition brand of good quality.

            Baked to absolute perfection, the round cake is golden brown on top and quite crispy to the touch due to the fact that it has been sprinkled with demerara sugar giving a sweet, caramelised surface.

            The body of the cake is much lighter in appearance, and is packed with sultanas. I think it is the balance of the sultanas and spong which makes this cake extra special. A lot of the time with cakes of this nature, there a minimal amount of fruit or too much, making the cake either too dry or too heavy. The texture of the sponge is quite light and quite crumbly, but still moist thanks to the sultanas which seem to do a good job also of holding the cake together. The sultanas are succulent quite sweet but not overly sweet, giving this cake a lovely, natural sweetness and taste.

            Unfortunately as is usually the case, things that taste this good aren't the best for you. The cake has a massive sugar content and 1/6th of the cake contains 267 calories and over 13 grams of fat. It isn't the biggest cake, so dividing the cake into six would make for quite small portions. However, given how tasty and scruptious this cake is, I am willing to overlook the nutritional information and indulge in a piece on occasion.


            ===You may also want to know..===

            --Nutritional Information--

            per 100g per 1/6th

            Cal 400k Cal 267kCal
            Fat 19.7g 13.1g
            Sat Fat 6.4g 4.3g
            Sugar 35.7g 23.8g
            Salt 0.3g 0.2g


            --Ingredients--

            Sultanas, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Pork Fat, Reconstituted Egg, Vegetable Oil, Soya Flour, Reconstituted Egg White, Whey Powder, Demerara Sugar, Raising Agents (Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Thickener (Xanthan Gum), Milk Protein, Emulsifiers (Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids)

            Overall, this is a lovely tasting cake which I would be happy to recommend and is absolutely lovely with a nice cup of tea. It can be purchased from most supermarkets for the cost of £1.30.

            **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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            23.03.2011 15:46
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            Nice in moderation.

            McDonald's is a massive name in the fast food industry and is the world's biggest chain of fast food restaurants.There is quite a wide variety of food available at McDonalds and most things on the menu are extremely tasty.


            Breakfast

            The breakfast menu at McDonalds has a wide range of food products and is one of my favourite things about McDonalds.
            Items on this menu include a choice of bagels, pancakes with syrup/sausage, toasted bagels, porridge, bacon roll, and of course the McMuffin's with a choice of bacon and egg or sausage and egg. There are also drinks available such as coffee, tea and orange juice. What I find a little odd about this menu is the presence of a chocolate muffin, blueberry muffin and a sugar coated donut, these certainly wouldn't appeal to me first thing in the morning. As you might expect, most of the things on this menu again are not very healthy. The Sausage and Egg McMuffin for example contains a whopping 420 calories, and having eaten these numerous times in the past, although they are very tasty I can say that they are on the small side and are really not that satisfying. A healthier option here would be the porridge, containing 195 calories or there is also a fruit bag consisting of 80g of sliced apple and grapes. Each bag contains just 42 calories but in my opinion, this is hardly enough for a breakfast meal.

            The Saver Menu

            The double cheeseburger is usually what I go for when I fancy a little snack and not a full meal but with a calorie content of 440 it's really not the lightest or healthiest option. The double cheeseburger contains two burgers which McDonald's claim to be 100% beef. On top of each burger there is a slice of cheese and jut underneath the top of the bun, there are pickles, onions, mustard and Heinz Ketchup. Overall this is a very tasty burger from the menu and one that I eat way too often. Originally these were 99p but one of these will now set you back £1.39 which I think is a fairly reasonable price.

            If you are feeling a bit peckish a slightly better option would be the cheeseburger, exactly the same as the double cheeseburger but only containing one beef burger. This burger is a lot better on the calorie front and contains 295 calories. Even so, the content is still high for a snack considering this doesn't do much to fill you up. It is also high in carbohydrates containing 31 grams, 7 grams of which are sugars. Fat content is also quite high with 12 grams per portion, 6 of which are saturates. The price of a cheeseburger is currently 99p which unfortunately makes it too easy to consume often.
            The third burger on the saver menu is the chicken mayo. Described as "crispy coated chicken with lettuce and cool mayo in a toasted bun", this really is a tasty little burger. The downside yet again is the calorie content of 310 which is outrageous for a burger of this size. There is also 37 grams of carbohydrate and 13 grams of fat with the one redeeming quality being that only 1 of these grams is saturates. Overall, this is a nice tasting burger but it is on the small side which won't leave you feeling satisfied for long.

            One of my favourite things on the menu at McDonalds are the fries. Thin and crispy, these fries are absolutely scrumptious. They are available in various sizes and the medium size is available on the saver menu for just 99p. Again these pack in the calories, containing 330. Carbohydrate content is also high at 42 grams per portion and there is a whopping 16 grams of fat.
            Thankfully, there is a healthier option on the saver menu. The Garden Salad is a mixed salad with cherry tomatoes in a balsamic dressing. With only 10 calories per portion, this is definitely a good option for calorie counters. The bad news is that this is only a side salad so portions will be very small and probably unsatisfying if hungry.

            Thirsty? Well there's good news! Medium soft drinks are also available on the saver menu. Choose from Coca-Cola, Fanta, Diet Coke, Coke Zero or Sprite.
            There are three deserts to choose from on the saver menu. The McFlurry, Toffee Sundae and Strawberry Sundae. A McFlurry will set you back around 330-340 calories with carbohydrate content of 60 (54 grams of which are sugars). Although tasty and lovely for a sunny day, these are very unhealthy, especially when consumed in conjunction with other McDonalds foods. The Sundaes consist of dairy ice cream that is swirled with either toffee or strawberry sauce. Again not the healthiest option with a calorie content of 300-330 and a huge amount of sugar, similar to that of the McFlurry.

            Healthier Options

            If you are a healthy eater or are following a low calorie diet, it's pretty unlikely that you will be considering McDonalds as a place to eat. However, there are a few healthy options available in the form of salads. There is the choice of a grilled or crispy chicken salad or the grilled chicken and bacon salad, both come with a choice of balsamic or Caesar dressing. Calorie, sugar and fat content decrease quite drastically with these options.


            Something for Children

            For children there is the Happy Meal which consists of a choice of chicken nuggets, fish fingers, a cheeseburger or hamburger. Each of these options is accompanied by a small portion of fries and a drink. There is also the option of a fruit bag and healthier drink options such as water or juice. Very occasionally, this is a great treat for children and each meal comes with a toy which follows the current theme, usually cartoon characters from new movies.

            Value Meals

            There are a number of standard meals available on the menu with a choice of various burgers, chicken nuggets, fish or chicken.
            The Big Mac meal is one I usually tend to go for when eating at McDonalds. The Big Mac itself consists of two beef patties which McDonalds claim are 100% beef. These are accompanied by lettuce, pickles, onion and cheese with Big Mac sauce and is sandwiched between a sesame seed bun. The Big Mac packs in a massive 490 calories with 24 grams of fat (10 of which are saturates). Nice for a treat, but after researching the nutritional information, I will be trying my best to stay away from these.

            Other options include the Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal, the Big Tasty meal, McChicken Sandwhich and the Fillet-O-Fish. All meals are served with fries and a choice of drinks.

            Hopefully so far, this review will have given you a good idea of the food available at McDonalds restaurants. There is of course much more on the menu, but I have focussed mainly on what I have tried and what I feel are the best parts of the menu.

            Overall the food is extremely tasty and the products are acceptable in terms of value for money. The downside is that although the meals do seem rather large, they don't really leave you satisfied for very long, and overindulgence can leave you feeling bloated, sluggish and not too well.

            The Restaurants

            Food at McDonald's is available to take away or you can opt to eat in. Restaurants are typical of fast food joints, with chairs and tables, all of which seem of an acceptable standard in cleanliness, most of the time anyway. Service is generally very fast both within the restaurants and at the drive thru and I usually find the staff helpful and efficient. Opening hours can vary between places but an increasing number are now open 24 hours.

            I would recommend McDonald's as a quick fix if you're hungry out and about or as a very rare treat for the family. I don't class McDonald's as a place which offers nutritional healthy meals by any means and would definitely not recommend it as part of a healthy diet.

            **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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            • Oust 3 in 1 / Homeware / 49 Readings / 48 Ratings
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              16.03.2011 21:56
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              Highly recommended!

              Oust 3 in 1 is as it states, a 3 in 1 product which is suitable to use as a hard hard surface disinfectant, an antibacterial spray for soft surfaces and an odour eliminator when used as an air freshener. Being a bit of a clean freak, what attracted me to this was the claim that it kills 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces, coupling this with the fact that it comes with the option of two scents, there was no way I was leaving this on the shelf.

              The scent I opted for was Garden Fresh, but it is also available in Outdoor Scent, which I have yet to try. The Garden Fresh scent is, as you might expect, quite floral, and to me smells quite sweet which is the main reason I chose this fragrance. When first sprayed, it does smell rather strong and is quite overpowering, but it soon settles into a more subtle, very pleasing aroma.
              The product is sold in a hefty 400ml aerosol can which is recyclable. On the front of the can is the name of the product, the scent and a brief description of what it does. The bright pink lid isn't removable but instead has an area in the middle of it and when pressed, released the product through a hole in the side. Personally I prefer this type of design as I always seem to misplace the lids of cleaning products.

              Using the product is very easy. It does state on the back of the can that this is not a cleaning product and that any area being treated should be cleaned first.
              To use the product as an air freshener, the can needs to be pointed towards the centre of the room and the product should be sprayed for 5-10 seconds. This method of use is said to eliminate the smell of smoke, pets, food and bathroom odours. I was very happy with the results when using the product in this way as it left the treated rooms smelling fresh and clean. There were no underlying odours that could be detected as is sometimes the case with other air fresheners on the market so I can say here that this product is great for eliminating odours and not just masking them. Personally, I don't spray for the time recommended. I find that a quick squirt usually does the trick and you really don't need to use much at all.

              Oust can also be used on a number of hard surfaces including kitchen worktops,doorknobs, toilet areas, telephone handsets, dustbins and pet areas. I also use this on the inside of my car on the dashboard and steering wheel after cleaning, not only to kill any germs that might be lurking, but also because it leaves my car smelling fresh. When using on areas where food is prepared, the surface should be rinsed with water
              Thirdly, it can be used on soft furfaces such as carpets, curtains and upholstery. I also use it on car seats and the inside of to keep things smelling clean and fresh. I also find it very useful to spray on matresses inbetween bed changes. The uses for this product are almost limitless.

              I use Oust in all three ways and am always happy with results. I have yet to find a fault with this product and I would highly recommend it to fit in with any cleaning routine.
              Widely available from supermarkets, a 400ml can will cost around £3.27 but prices do vary from store to store. This might seem somewhat pricey, but for a product with as many uses as this one, it is worth it in my opinion.

              For more information and to view a range of other products: www.scjohnson.co.uk

              **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                15.03.2011 14:34
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                A nice refreshing shower gel.

                I've used Original Source products sporadically in the past, mainly due to the vast array of bath and body products that are on the market today. I always like to try new products when they are released and seemed to have overlooked this range for quite some time.

                What attracted me back to this brand recently was simply the colour of the product. It's a vibrant bright green colour, almost flourecsent. It certainly looks fresh and revitalising which was exactly what I was looking for.

                The packaging is quite different to what is shown in the picture. It seems to have taken on a more simplistic design which I personally prefer. The frosted transparent plastic bottle tapers down from the narrow top to a much wider vessel. The flip-top black plastic "lid" of the product is actually at the bottom of the bottle which makes dispensing the product much easier, especially when the product is starting to run out. On the front of the bottle is the Origial Source logo with the flavour of the product. It claims to be packed with essential oils and is described as "mouthwateringly zingy".

                The directions for use are pretty vague, but by now I have a fairly good idea of how to use a shower gel. I either apply the product to a sponge or a shower puff and work into a lather on the skin. The shower gel itself is a bright green transparent gel which is rather thick in consistency. I would say that it is quite gloopy which isn't really a bad thing and smells absolutely devine. As described, it certainly smells mouth watering. There is a very strong fruity lime smell which is very refreshing and sharp. I find that the product lathers up very well and feels clean and fresh on the skin, almost giving a tingling sensation. The product is easily rinsed away and leaves skin feeling very clean and fresh. This product isn't particularly moisturising which might make it unsuitable for dryer skin types but there is always moisturiser to solve that problem.

                My overall experience of using this product was a very pleasant one and I will certainly be repurchasing this. It doesn't irritate my skin and is a pleasure to use. I also like the fact that Original Source do not test their products on animals. The only thing I am disappointed with is the fact that when this product is rinsed away and the skin is dried, you can hardly smell the lime fragrance on the skin at all.

                I purchased a 250ml bottle of this for £2.00 at Asda which is the cheapest price I have found unless the product is on offer. For this price, it is definitely worth a try if you like fruity fragranced products.

                **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                • More +
                  09.03.2011 23:06
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                  Very nice!

                  As a child I used to love pancake day and I have very fond memories of helping my grandmother cook them, it was always an exciting time of year for me. As I have grown older, pancake day had lost it's significance somewhat and this year, I completely forgot about it. Not having the time to make my own, I tried these today. Being a frozen product, they are very convenient and easy to prepare. It avoids the effort of having to mix the batter and fry the pancakes.

                  The pancakes are sold in a blue plastic packaging with the Aunt Bessie's logo, the name of the product and a picture of the pankcakes. The packaging is fairly typical for the Aunt Bessie brand with their other products following a very similiar format and design.

                  In each pack, there are six round pancakes which I would say are 5/6 inches in diameter. They are quite thin, but not too thin. In my opinion they are just the right thickness, any thicker and I think they would become a little sickly. When frozen, the pancakes don't really look too appetising at all and before trying these, I really wasn't expecting a great deal from them. Thankfully the pancakes were easy to separate, and once cooked, took on a very different look, certainly a much more appealing one.

                  There are two ways to cook these, either by placing one or more in the microwave, or using a pan. I opted for the microwave method for convenience. Depending on the wattage of the microwave, the cooking time needs to be adjusted accordingly. I was able to cook one pancake in just under a minute, and the result was a very decent looking pancake. As always, I sprinkled with sugar and splashed on a little lemon juice, and really enjoyed it. For a frozen pancake, the taste was very nice. The only problem I found was that it was a little soggy. I prefer a crispier pancake, but I have a feeling this was down to using the microwave. I think using a pan would harvest more desirable results.

                  Available at Tesco for £1.49.

                  --Nutritional Information (per pancake)--

                  Energy - 90kCal

                  Protein - 3.7g
                  Carbohydrate - 14.8g
                  of which sugars - 2.1g
                  Fat - 1.9g
                  of which saturates - 0.7g

                  With 90 calories per pancake, I don't think this is abad treat at all and the calorie contect is quite acceptable. There is also little fat in each pancake making this not a healthy, but not a too unhealthy treat at all.

                  Overall I would recommend these pancakes. They are very tasty for a frozen product of this nature and very convenient to keep in the freezer for a treat. I would suggest cooking them in a pan as opposed to using a microwave. Of course they're not going to taste as nice as home made panakes or even pancakes made from a batter mix but they are very tasty and in my opinion worth trying.

                  **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                  • More +
                    07.03.2011 22:40
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                    Great value product.

                    Having natually long nails which I have to say I am rather proud of, I like to keep them looking nice by painting them on a regular basis in an array of colours and finishes. I prefer to use good quality nail polishes such as OPI and Nails Inc but it had always seemed quite pointless to me to pay extra for nail polish remover in the same brand. As long as it does a good job at removing the nail polish, that's really all I ask for.

                    The packaging is very simple and fairly typical of such products. The nail polish liquid is very thin in consistency with a purple/lilac tinge. It is sold in a tall rounded frosted bottle with a purple plastic screw cap lid. The label on the front of the bottle is purple in colour and extremely simple in design giving the name of the product and the brand. There is a rather crudely designed image underneath this information which resembles a nail.

                    To use this product is very easy. I simply apply this to a piece of cotton wool or a cotton wool pad and wipe over the nail towards the tip to prevent speading the nail polish onto my skin which can stain. Depending on the colour of the nail polish being removed and how many coats were applied, the ease of removal varies. I find that it is easier to remove lighter colours without any colour residue being left behind, but for darker colours, I like to use a clean pad to go over the nails for a second time to remove the last traces. Reds in particular are more difficult to remove so a little extra effort is required. Maybe a more expensive brand such as OPI like I have mentioned before would work better, but for the price of this I would prefer to work that little bit harder.

                    This nail polish is said to contain an added moisturiser to condition the nails. After using this I am actually happy with the results. It doesn't dry the nails like some removers that I have used in the past and it doesn't leave the skin around the nail feeling dry or tight.

                    The remover does smell rather strong but this is the case with all other removers that I have used. The acetone is clearly detectable but isn't greatly overpowering. Care is needed when using this as it is extremely flammable and may damaged certain surfaces if exposed to contact.

                    I purchased this obviously at Tesco at £1.00 for a 250ml bottle which in my opinion is very good value for money. I am very happy with this product and would not hesitate to repurchase.

                    **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                    07.03.2011 12:22
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                    New Freddy gets the thumbs up!

                    Being a hard core horror fan for most of my life, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for this to be released and first saw it in the cinema. Amongst other horror classics such as Halloween and Friday the 13th A Nightmare on Elm Street has always been way up there near the top of my list, and Freddy Krueger makes up my trio of horror heroes along with Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees.

                    Before watching this, I was a little apprehensive. I really am against the great horror classics being remade and tampered with, and when Rob Zombie gave us his take on John Carpenter's Halloween, to say I wasn't best pleased would be an understatement. However, as the remakes fall into the horror genre I can't ignore their existence and I was interested to see Bayer's take on the 1984 classic.

                    A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 was Samuel Bayer's first attempt at directing a horror movie. After graduating in 1987 his main area of work focussed around directing music videos, but for someone who had no experience in the world of horror movie-making, he did a fine job in my opinion.

                    The original, directed by Wes Craven in 1984 portrays Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) as a child killer, stalking the children of those who burned him alive in their dreams. Bayer retells the story in the 2010 remake but it does differ quite a bit from Craven's version in a lot of ways.

                    Similar to the original, Fred Krueger is on the loose again, wreaking havoc in the dreams of the now teenagers whose parents took revenge upon him by setting him alight to burn to death.

                    The story opens on a dark, rainy night at the Springwood Diner. Dean Russel (Kellan Lutz) is the first to fall victim to Freddy when he falls asleep at the table and appears to slit his own throat as his girlfriend Kris Fowles (Katie Cassidy) looks on in horror. And here is where the nightmare begins. Freddy gathers strength when the children he abused and tormented begin to remember what happened to them all those years ago at preschool where Fred Krueger worked as a gardener who took an inappropriate interest in the children there.

                    When the parents of the children discover what has been going on, they chase Krueger down where he locks himself in a derelict building. Ignoring demands to come out by the parents, a petrol bomb is thrown through the window and Krueger meets his end when he becomes engulfed in flames.

                    The story unravels further as Nancy (Rooney Mara) and Quentin (Kyle Gallner) piece together clues from their past, all the while trying to stay awake to escape the wrath of Kruger. Everything finally becomes clear when Nancy and Quentin revisit the pre school to have their worst fears confirmed. Here, they find the Cave, Freddy's special place within the basement of the school, the secret place where he took the children. The walls are covered in Nancy's drawings and a box is uncovered full of photographs of her as a child, Fred's "favourite".

                    Nancy realised that the only way to stop Freddy is to bring him out of her dream to kill him, just as Nancy does in the original after pulling out a piece of his red and green sweater. But the plan goes horribly wrong, when Quentin, who is meant to be keeping watch, falls asleep too. It's a race against time to stop the demonic killer as long as they can stay awake.

                    As I have previously mentioned, the remake differs quite significantly from the original but many of the key elements remain. Being a massive fan of the original, when I first saw this I was largely disappointed. I wasn't happy with what they had done to Freddy at all as he looked nothing like before. But I have to say, after watching this a few times, it had really started to grow on me. Robert Englund, was indeed a tough act to follow and I don't think anyone could ever replace him, to me he will always be Freddy Krueger but Jackie Earl Haley brought something new and fresh to the role. Looking more realistic as a true burn victim, his whole image was much darker and chilling. The humour Englund brought to the role was squashed, and Krueger was reinvented as a more sinister finger-knife wielding monster. In the original Krueger was a child killer as opposed to a paedophile in the remake. This on its own makes the whole movie darker and rather more serious.

                    Overall I would recommend this to horror fans. It certainly isn't the scariest horror, but it's definitely an interesting take on the original and definitely worth watching. Originally I was disappointed, but rather than looking at this as a remake, I prefer to view this as a completely separate entity, and I think by doing this, the movie becomes more acceptable and doesn't impinge on the original too much, especially if like me, you don't like having your beloved classics fiddled with.

                    **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                    • Fox's Ginger Crunch Creams / Snacks / 33 Readings / 32 Ratings
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                      07.03.2011 11:14
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                      Yummy!

                      I think ginger biscuits are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. I actually really like ginger biscuts. I have always found the texture and slightly unusual taste very appealing.

                      Fox's are a really well known brand when it comes to biscuits and confectionery and was established way back in 1853. The quality of products has always been of a very high standard and there is a wide range of products available under the Fox's name.
                      Having always been a fan of ginger biscuits, I decided to try Fox's Crunch Ginger Creams. I have tried varieties of cream biscuits in the past and find that they offer something a little different in terms of taste compared to standard biscuits and it makes for a nice change.

                      The packaging is pretty typical of other Fox's products. The wrapping is brightly coloured using greens an bright yellow, a little different from what can be seen in the picture above. In each packet there is 200g of product and there are aound 13 biscuits in a packet.

                      Each biscuit consists of two ginger biscuits with a thick layer of ginger flavoured cream. The biscuits themselves are golden brown in colour and are quite hard and crunchy and can be quite crumbly when bitten into. The cream is very thick in consistency and the ginger can easily be detected but the flavour isn't too strong that it makes the biscuits off putting. I do find however that due to the cream in the biscuit these can become quite sickly very quickly if too many are eaten. They can be eaten as they are or dipped into a nice cup of tea which is what I prefer to do. When doing this, the biscuits become much softer but they tend to hold their shape and don't break off into the cup. Trying to fish a soggy piece of biscuit out with a spoon can be rather annoying.

                      As you might expect, eating too many of these will result in piling on the pounds as there are 78 calories in just one biscuit. Thankfully, the fact that these are rather rich might prevent such a thing from happening. There is also 10.2g of Carbohydrate, 6.3g of which are sugars and 3.8g of fat, just two more reasons to consume with extreme caution.

                      Overall these biscuits are very tasty if you are partial to a ginger nut like myself. If you fancy trying them. they are widely available in supermarkets at 50 pence per pack which I would say is a very reasonable price.

                      **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                      • More +
                        22.02.2011 12:05
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                        A great way to colour your hair at a very affordable price.

                        Schwarzkopf is a huge name in the hair care industry producing hair colourants, shampoo conditioners and styling products.

                        I have light brown hair naturally which I have always found to be somewhat bland and rather boring. I much prefer an unusual vibrant colour and have mainly alternated between, pink, purple and red over the past years. Live color is a brand that I have been using for a good few years now, mainly due to the range of shades and colours available but also because of the quality of the product. I have always found them very easy to use and I am always happy with the results and colour that I am able to achieve. Within this range there are various shades of reds, purples, and also more natural colours such as blondes, browns and black.

                        I am rather daring when it comes to colouring my hair and I have always found that the Live range offers brighter, more vibrant colours than other dyes that are currently on the market. When I first began using this product, Cyber Purple was a favourite of mine. I would describe this is a rich pink/purple colour but for some odd reason, the formulation seemed to change when the range was updated and the results just weren't the same. After this, Ultra Violet became a firm favourite and one that I still use today. This is a very similar colour to what Cyber Purple used to be in my opinion. Recently I have also used Mystic Violet which is a very dark purple colour.

                        In the box there is a developer bottle, color cream tube, an instruction leaflet with gloves and a tube of Live Color conditioner. I find the instruction leaflet very easy to follow with each step explained along the way. It is strongly recommended that a skin sensitivity test is carried out prior to application to avoid allergic reactions which can become quite serious. I myself have never done this as I have been dying my hair for years but if you are using this product for the first time I would recommend that you do this.

                        To mix the product, the colour cream needs to be added to the developer bottle and shook well to ensure the product is mixed properly. Using the gloves, the product should then be applied to dry, unwashed hair. There is a nozzle on the developer bottle which makes it easy to get the product onto the roots of the hair. I always start at the roots and work my way down the ends. The smell isn't too overpowering with this particular product as it can be with some hair dyes, but I do find that it can sting a little if I get it close to my eyes. I would recommend trying to get as little on the skin as possible as it does stain quite badly and can be quite difficult to remove. I would also strongly recommend wearing old clothing and using an old towel. The formula is quite thick in consistency whch can make it quite difficult at first to work into the hair, especially as it is being applied to dry hair, but once the roots are covered there is plenty of product for the rest of the hair.

                        The formula needs to be rinsed off after 30 minutes and the instructions advise to massage the Live conditioner into damp hair. Before doing this, I prefer to shampoo my hair once or twice to remove the product from the scalp and around my hairline and then apply the conditioner. The conditioner is to be left on the hair for 2 minutes and rinsed well.

                        When the hair is dry, I can usually still smell the hair dye until I wash my hair again, but it isn't really an unpleasant smell and the smell of the conditioner does a good job of covering the smell. The conditioner in my opinion does a really great job of nourishing the hair, and leaves it soft, manageable and very shiny.

                        With some colours, especially Mystic Violet, the colour result can at first appear quite dark, but after a few washes, seems to fade into a brighter, lighter colour. What I love about this product is the fact that the colour results are very close to what can be seen on the box which isn't the case a lot of the time. For this reason, this is a brand I really trust as I can be fairly sure of what I am going to get.

                        I find the colour really lasts well and the only reason I need to dye it again is when the roots are starting to show. It doesn't leave my hair feeling damaged or processed and it actually feels in better condition after using this.

                        This is a widely available product that it available in supermarkets, chemists and Boots for £4.50.

                        **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                      • More +
                        18.02.2011 16:26
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                        Excellent!

                        Asda Smart Price is a value range of products that are available at Asda stores and online. The products are generally of an acceptable quality and are very affordable in price. Usually I prefer to purchase brand name products but occasionally I will try out the cheaper supermarket own brands mainly out of curiosity. One of these products was the Asda smart price dark chocolate as I am a fan of chocolate in general and dark chocolate makes a nice change from milk and white chocolate.

                        This chocolate is sold in 100g bars and has the standard smart price packaging consisting of a very simple design which is white and green in colour. There is basic information about the product and also a picture of the chocolate itself. The chocolate is a solid bar which can easily be broken into squares. Each square has a rather nice star shape embossed into the centre and the whole bar is wrapped in foil and paper.

                        The chocolate looks like you would expect dark chocolate to look. It is much darker in colour compared to milk chocolate. It also smells quite rich and chocolately. My preferred brand of dark chocolate is usually Bournville but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste of the Asda Smart Price version. It does have quite a strong taste which is typical of dark chocolate and the consistency is very good. I do find that it is harder than milk chocolate but is easily bitten into and melts in the mouth. Sometimes cheaper chocolate can taste quite plastic but this certainly isnt the case with this. The only problem is knowing when to stop.


                        --Ingredients--

                        Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Lactose (Milk), Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins), Natural Flavouring.


                        --Nutritional information--

                        Energy kCal 496kCal
                        Energy kJ 2,070kJ
                        Protein 6.5g
                        Carbohydrate 52.6g
                        of which sugars 46.8g
                        Fat 28.8g
                        of which saturates 16.8g
                        Fibre 9.9g
                        Sodium Trace
                        Salt Equivalent Trace

                        If you are a fan of dark chocolate I would have no problem recommeding this product. At 30 pence for a 100g bar it is exceptional valur for money and definitely worth trying.

                        **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                        • More +
                          03.02.2011 17:35
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                          AMAZING!

                          Estee Lauder is one of those make up brands that I would put near the top of the list in terms of quality. The range offers an extremely wide range of cosmetics and skin care products in a variety of shades and formulations to suit every type of skin.

                          I have used Estee Lauder products for many years and have always been pleased with the results. The company was founded by Estee Lauder herself in 1946, and over 60 years later, this remains to be one of the best brands that money can buy in my opinion.
                          The double wear foundation from Estee Lauder in particular has always been one of my favourite make up products and one that I usually alternate with the MAC studio fix foundation but recently I purchased this product and was astonished at the results.

                          No longer called Maximum Cover Lightweight make up, the product has now been re-branded as Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body. It is a full coverage foundation designed to conceal flaws and scars including surgical and acne scars, birthmarks, sun spots and varicose veins and promises to give a long-wearing, natural looking finish.

                          I don't have bad skin but I do suffer with the odd spot here and there on occasion which I sometimes found was difficult to cover up with my usual foundation and concealer. What attracted me most to this product is the fact that it is long-lasting and also waterproof which I thought would be particularly useful for nights out as it would save the hassle of having to check that the make up was still in place or applying more throughout the night.

                          The packaging is typical of Estee Lauder products. The tube is dark blue in colour and is offset with a gold screw-on lid. In gold, the Estee Lauder logo adorns the front of the tube along with the name of the product. On the reverse is the shade of the foundation, and other information about the product. The foundation then comes housed in a cardboard box which follows the same design.

                          I actually like the fact that this foundation comes in a tube as opposed to a glass or plastic bottle. It makes it easy to dispense just the right amount of product and makes it easy to carry around in your hand bag without running the risk of having the bottle smash. I also find that with glass bottles, it is sometimes difficult to get to the product when it is running out and I usually end up standing the bottle upside down waiting for it to run down to the top.

                          There are four shades to choose from. Light, Light/Medium, Medium and Medium/Deep. I chose the Light shade as I have quite pale skin and have found it to be a very good match. If you are familiar with the Double Wear foundation or MAC studio fix, I would say this shade is equivalent to the shade Shell in Estee Lauder and the NC15 shade in Studio Fix.

                          When I actually got around to using the product, I can honestly say that I was blown away with the results. The consistency is quite thick, but despite this, I found it very easy to apply. There are numerous ways to apply foundation to the skin, but my preferred method is with a foundation brush or a soft sponge. The MAC sponge discs are particularly good for getting an even coverage. You can also apply it with your finger tips but this is a method I never use to avoid transferring oils from my fingers onto my face. Using a sponge, I applied a very small amount and found that the product went a very long way and was very easy to blend. Never before had it been so easy to cover an imperfection with just one sweep. The coverage is that good that I no longer need to use a separate concealer which saves time and also money.

                          What concerned me at first was that this is a product for face and body, which worried me as I thought that it would look quite cakey on the skin. Thankfully, this wasn't the case at all. The foundation glides on very easily and actually feels quite silky to the touch after application. When wearing the foundation, it doesn't make my skin feel tight at all, and it's actually hard to notice it at all. It did an absolutely superb job of covering up every little blemish, providing me with an absolutely flawless complexion.

                          At £25.50 for 30ml, this isn't a cheap product but in my opinion, with cosmetic brands, you really do get what you pay for. More expensive products tend to last longer and go a long way. A foundation of this size will usually last me around 6 months as there is no need to constantly be reapplying the product. It can be purchased at Estee Lauder counters in department stores and larger Boots stores and also online.

                          Overall I am very happy with this product and will definitely be purchasing it again. It provides great coverage and feels comfortable on the skin. As promised, it is very long-wearing and stays in place. As with every product, unfortunately there is a slight downside to this. If not blended properly, greyish patches can appear so if you are going to purchase this, pay attention to blending the product well. Other than that, this is an absolutely amazing product that I would highly recommend.

                          For more information: http://www.esteelauder.co.uk

                          **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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                          • Nestle Matchmakers / Chocolate / 70 Readings / 68 Ratings
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                            20.01.2011 00:59
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                            Yummy!

                            Matchmakers were launched in 1968 and are manufactured by Nestlé which is a huge name in the world of confectionary and a whole range of other products.

                            Originally Matchmakers were available in mint, orange and coffee flavour but have also been available in blackcurrant and strawberry flavour, both of which have since been discontinued.

                            The packaging has always been fairly eye catching as far as I can remember with bright colours being used and a rather unconventional font which gives the product a funky, youthful look. The square box of the product is a simple design. The sleeve slides off to reveal a plastic tray which contains the Matchmakers. On top of these there is usually a textured piece consisting of three layers stuck together which helps to hold the product in place.

                            The Matchmakers are long thin sticks of chocolate which are quite rough in texture. The bits which make the sticks nobbly is where the flavour comes from and run along the sides of each stick and also through the middle. The "bits" are actually boiled pieces of sugar which are quite strong and give off a lot of flavour whether it be mint or orange flavour. The chocolate is quite smooth but a nice crunch is present courtesy of the boiled sugar. Currently, Matchmakers are now only available in the orange and mint flavours and have recently been rebranded as Quality Street Matchmakers which is another brand under the Nestlé umbrella.

                            ---Ingredients---

                            Plain Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Vegetable Fat, Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Flavouring), Skimmed Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Skimmed Milk Powder, Cocoa Mass, Whey Powder, Vegetable Fat, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Flavouring), Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Flavourings, Citric Acid, Antioxidant (E320).

                            ---Nutritional Information---

                            per 100g per 4 sticks

                            Energy kCal............ 480 kCal 81 kCal
                            Protein.....................4.0g 0.7 g
                            Carbohydrate......... 69.3g 11.7g
                            of which sugars...... 62.6g 10.5g
                            Fat.......................... 20.8g 3.5g
                            of which saturates. 13.4g 2.2g
                            Fibre...................... 0.9g 0.1g
                            Sodium....................Trace Trace
                            Salt Equivalent....... 0.1g Trace

                            Overall these are a lovely tasting treat which always reminds me of Christmas and the festive period. The are quite expensive at £2.24 for a 151g box but they are currently on offer at Asda for £1.00 which is a great price for a good quality chocolatey treat.

                            **Also on Ciao under the same username**

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