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trayrope

trayrope
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Member since: 24.03.2010

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      13.08.2014 16:23
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      • "Smells good"
      • "Adds volume"
      • "Light wieght"

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      • "The whole family use it!"

      Does what it says on the bottle.

      After my last visit to the hairdresser who told me that my hair was starting to go thin I decided it was time to try and add some volume back into my rather thin hair.

      Not wanting to spend to much money I had a look in Boots to see what was on offer, happily for me Herbal Essences Shampoo and Conditioners were on half price offer again. So with very little hesitation I brought a 400ml bottle of Herbal Essences Volume Shampoo and a matching Conditioner.

      The Shampoo is in a clear plastic bottle with a push up lid. The shampoo itself is clear with an orange tint and smells mildly of oranges. As advised by the instructions on the back of the bottle I lathered, rinsed and repeated for the best effect.

      The shampoo lathers up really easily and well as with all Herbal Essence products. The shampoo was easy to rinse from my hair and left my hair smelling wonderful. I followed up with the matching conditioner despite my hair already feeling clean and soft.

      Once out the shower I towel dried my hair and combed it. It was very smooth and knot free. I then blow dried my hair as I wanted the best effect possible.

      Once my hair was dry I was very pleased with the results. My hair was incredibly soft and looked really shiny, so shiny I had difficulty seeing my white hairs. My hair also had extra volume, it genuinely seemed as if there was more life and bounce to my hair. Even my Husband noticed.

      My hair stayed clean and continued to smell good and have extra volume for a full twenty four hours. I really do recommend Herbal Essences uplifting volume shampoo.

      Usually £3.99 for 400ml but currently half price in Boots.

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      • Cadbury's Mini Eggs / Chocolate / 37 Readings / 31 Ratings
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        25.03.2014 13:06
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        • "Great for sharing."
        • Chocolate.
        • Crunchy.
        • Sweet.
        • Moreish.

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        • None.

        Mini Eggs maximum treat.

        One of the things I like about Easter is the reappearance of Cadburys Mini Eggs. I picked a 100g bag up while shopping at the weekend costing a pocket friendly pound from my local supermarket.

        The bag is easy to open just by tearing the corner off to reveal a bag full of cute pastel coloured little eggs. Each lovely powdery pastel coloured egg has a smattering of speckles on it making it look authentically egg like.

        The crisp sugar shell is just the right thickness to be crunched through easily to reveal a chunk of creamy Cadbury milk chocolate. The combination of crispy sugar shell and dreamy creamy sweet chocolate is just right.

        A recommended serving of mini eggs is a quarter of the packet, roughly ten mini eggs. I can easily eat a full packet over the course of the day as they are very moreish. A proper serving size will give you 120 kcal, 5.2g fat, 17g sugar and 0.05g salt.

        Not only do I enjoy munching mini eggs straight from the packet, they are also great for decorating seasonal Easter cakes and buns. the eggs can be piled together on the top of a large cake, which looks quite effective or used on cup cakes which is quite effective.

        I personally think mini eggs are good value as they will last me much longer than a 100g bar of Dairy Milk. The crisp shell stops the chocolate melting till it is in your mouth. some people may not feel mini eggs are suitable for younger children due to the hard nature of the sugar shell but I think they are ok as long as they are eaten under supervision.

        Thank you for reading.

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        • Bakers Complete / Dog Food / 29 Readings / 26 Ratings
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          12.03.2014 17:31
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          Jess's favourite food.

          Jess does have a lot of treats and I have reviewed a few so I thought it was time to review her actual day to day food. I do chop and change her foods to prevent her from becoming fussy and one of the foods she really enjoys is Bakers Complete.

          Bakers Complete is a complete food suitable for dogs. There are quite a few varieties including duck and veg, chicken and country veg and beef and country veg. Jess favourite is, well Jess likes all of the varieties.

          Bakers Complete is an attractive looking food with a great variety of colours, shapes and textures to interest a dog. There a tiny brown bone shapes, green and yellow disks and chunky soft cubes of meat. A bowl of Bakers looks quite appetising and smells pretty good too. I know Jess gets very excited when she spots me filling her bowl and she finishes a bowl full in one sitting.

          I give Jess a cup full of Bakers in her medium size bowl each day and I make sure she has plenty of water available to complement her dry food. The crunchy biscuits are good for Jess's teeth and the food contains fibre and iron for healthy digestion.

          Bakers complete is Jess's favourite food, she would quite happily eat this all day every day. As Jess weighs 6kg I give her a cup of food each morning and I feel that is enough as she has other bits of food and treats through the day. There is a feeding chart on the side of the box which advises how much to food to body weight ratio for your dog.

          When eating Bakers Jess's coat is soft and glossy and her eyes have plenty of sparkle. She is full of energy and ready to face the day. Bakers Complete is gentle on Jess's tummy and the parcels she produces are firm and easy to dispose of.

          The price of Bakers varies from just under £2 for a 1kg box up to £22 for a 14kg sack. If you have storage it makes sense to buy in bulk as it works out cheaper per kilo.

          Bakers Complete is Jess's favourite food and she gives it five tail wags of approval.

          Thank you for reading xx

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            11.03.2014 17:31
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            Jess gives these treats five woofs of approval.

            One of Jess's favourite treats is a Pedigree Jumbone. She is too small for the large variety and she gets through the small Jumbones in a matter of minutes so the happy medium for Jess and I is to buy these Medium sized Pedigree Jumbones.

            The variety I am discussing today is the Chicken and Rice. Jess loves all things Chicken so Chicken and Rice seemed the obvious choice.

            I pay just under £2 for a pack with 2 medium sized Jumbones in. Each Jumbone is about 5 inches long and is chunkier than your average dog chew treat. The out side of the Jumbone is similar to a Dentastick and the inside is a slightly softer meaty style filling.

            It takes Jess a good ten minutes to chew up and enjoy her Jumbone, I think the outer is good for her teeth as she spends a good amount of time gnawing on it. The Jumbone makes a minimal amount of mess and is gentle on Jess's stomache. This is an important thing for me to consider as some treats can upset her.

            I find the smell of the Jumbones quite offensive but Jess obviously finds them very tempting as she gets very excited when I get one out of the pack for her.

            The Jumbones contain Omega 3, Calcium and Vitamins and are less than 2% fat, just in case your doggy is watching her waistline. The Jumbones are free from artificial colours and flavours.

            I like all Pedigree treats and so does Jess and I think they are good quality and worth the slightly expensive price tag.

            Thank you for reading x

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          • Pedigree Schmackos / Dog Food / 32 Readings / 32 Ratings
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            10.03.2014 12:32
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            A good value healthy treat.

            It is important to me that my dog Jess has plenty of treats as she is such a good girl and I like to have plenty of choice of what to give her.

            I usually buy Pedigree Schmackos when they are on offer in my local Tesco at a pound. A bag of twenty meaty strips usually costs £1.58 which in my opinion is still very good value at less than ten pence a strip.

            I like to buy the bag with four flavour varieties. The flavours are Lamb, Beef, Chicken and Duck. Each strip is roughly an inch wide and about 4 inches long and is quite soft and bendy, the strips are coloured to match there flavour variety but in all honesty they all smell the same to me and Jess shows no preference.

            The strips can be torn easily into bite size chunks or fed whole. Jess likes her strips whole as this means she can lie down and have a chew for a while. Each Schmacko does not last long, a minute at the most. When Jess has eaten one she is always eager for another but I only let her have one a day as she is quite a small dog.

            Jess has no trouble with these treats, they are gentle on her tummy.

            Schmackos contain Omega 3, Vitamins, Minerals and Calcium and contain no artificial colours or flavours. In choosing Schmackos I feel I am making a healthy choice for my dog and I am improving the quality of her diet.

            Unlike some treats Schmackos do not help maintain healthy teeth and gums so I treat Jess with these as well as other treats that will help her teeth.

            Thank you for reading xx

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          • Pedigree Chum Markies / Dog Food / 31 Readings / 29 Ratings
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            06.03.2014 14:58
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            Another of Jess's favourit treats.

            I love to buy treats for my dog Jess. She is only a small terrier as she weighs around 6kg so I like to buy her good quality treats as she can only have a few each day.

            Pedigree Markies are meaty rolls of Marrowbone surrounded by crunchy biscuit. To me they look a little like fig rolls but obviously for dogs. I give Jess a couple each day as a tasty treat alongside her regular food.

            Markies contain Omega 3, Calcium, Vitamins and minerals so are a good choice of treat as they promote good health in dogs.

            Jess really likes Markies and she gets very excited when I lift the box down from the shelf. As Jess is only small it takes her a while to crunch through each Markie. She seems to especially like the soft (ish) Marrowbone as she goes for this first.

            Markies contain cereals, meat and animal and vegetable derivatives. A 500g box of Pedigree Markies costs around £1.59 from most supermarkets and will last Jess a couple of months when fed alongside her regular food and other treats. I consider the treats good value as they are form a reputable company.

            Jess gives Pedigree Markies 5 out of 5 woofs.

            Thank you for reading x

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            • Bonio Original / Dog Food / 28 Readings / 27 Ratings
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              04.03.2014 14:22
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              One of Jess's favourite treats, a doggy shelf essential,

              I treat my dog Jess like one of the kids, I think she thinks she is one of the kids, and as such I like to buy her treats so I can treat her when she is good.

              One of the first treats I ever got her was a 375g box of Bonio Original. The eye catching red box caught my attention and the picture of the sad looking Basset Hound swung it for me. The biscuits were also on offer at a £1 a box while I was shopping so I saw no harm in throwing a box in my trolly.

              Bonio dog biscuits are a complementary dog food, this means they are to be used along side your usual feeding routine. There is a feeding guide on the box which tells you how many biscuits your dog can have in a day. Jess weighs 6kg so can only have one biscuit a day.

              The whole-wheat biscuits are made with animal and vegetable derivatives and are fortified with some essential doggy vitamins. The crunchy Bonio biscuits are great for keeping dogs gums and teeth healthy.

              When I opened the box I was surprised at the size of the biscuits they were much bigger than I envisioned at about three inches long and are quite a chunky bone shape. The baked brown biscuits look quite appetising and do not have that horrible funky smell some dog treats have.

              Jess really loves her Bonio dog treats and sits nicely for me to give her one. Once she has it clamped in her mouth she will happily potter off to bed and chomp the biscuit up. From the noise she makes while crunching it is safe to assume that the biscuits are very crunchy and moreish as she is soon back asking for another one.

              Bonios sit well with Jess and cause her no tummy problems at all. All dog owners know that some dog treats just don't settle well and can cause problems in the poop department.

              A box of Bonios will last Jess months and I keep them stored in the original box up on the shelf well away from Jess and her sniffing nose. The biscuits keep well and the last one appears as crunchy as the first one was.

              Jess gives Bonios five woofs of approval and so do I.

              Thank you for reading xx

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              03.03.2014 18:16
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              Worth a try.

              As a Bzzagent I am given products to try out for free. Sometimes these products are cool, other times not so much. This is one of the not so much times. I am not saying that Always Dailies are not a good product, far from it they are excellent, but they are not one of the more exciting items I have had to try out and spread my opinion on.

              Always Dailies come packaged up in a nice recyclable cardboard box. The box has all the usual information on regarding absorption capacity and size. The ones I am trying out are the normal light which are the mid range size that Always make with a thickness of only 1.7mm, which is important as no one wants a rug in there undies. On the box I am told that the Always Discreet Liner will adapt to the movements of my body, that they are flexible and have optimal hold. I am also told that the panty liners are dermatologically tested and that they are breathable and have an absorption zone.

              I have never tried panty liners before, I have looked at them in the shops and thought hmm, do I really need that and the majority of the time my answer has been no. But as I get to try this product out for free I thought what the heck.

              There are 24 panty liners in the box, which makes sense as for the other days of the month you will most likely be using some other for of sanitary protection. The panty liners are packaged loose which makes them pretty useless for transporting around individually in your bag but I think Always make an individually wrapped product for that purpose. The box opens up envelope style and reveals the tightly packed panty liners .At first I did have a little trouble pulling out one at a time but now a few have been removed from the pack it is easier to access them.

              Using the panty liners is pretty self explanatory, you just peel off the sticky back panel and stick the panty liner sticky side down to the gusset of your pants and then pull your pants up and you are away.

              So how do they perform? For a product I was never really that bothered about to start with they have there good and bad attributes. The good is that they stick easily to my pants the bad is that they stick a little to well and I nearly punched myself in the head unsticking one from my undies. Another good point is that they are really thin, but for me not thin enough, I am aware of the panty liner in my underwear for the majority of the day and I am sure that is not the meaning of discreet. I do find the panty liner to be very soft and have suffered no irritation but the shape of the liner means that they are not suitable for all shapes of underwear. The panty liners do not make me sweat which is good as that would be defeating the object of it being there and as for absorbency I think they are ok. My downstairs area remains fresh all day, I do shower everyday though. In all honesty I have never noticed an over moistness in that department before.

              Right, I am getting a bit wary of being over descriptive so will sum up.

              Always Dailies panty liners are soft, flexible and absorbent and stick very well, but for me they are not discreet enough, I am constantly aware of the presence of the panty liner, which makes them uncomfortable for me to wear. Always do do a more discreet size with a depth of less than a millimetre so I will probably give them a try just to make sure I am being fair.

              In conclusion 3 out of 5 stars as I just don't feel comfortable wearing Always Dailies every day.

              Thank you for reading xx

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              24.02.2014 17:43
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              Not my favourite scent in the range.

              I had been given various scent Febreze Clip on Car Fresheners to try as part of a product trial quite a while ago. The first Clip on Car Freshener I tried out was the New Zealand scent which I really loved. I then tried the Blossom & Breeze scent.

              The front of the packaging contains a small dot that invites me to scratch, upon scratching this dot I am presented with a whiff of the product contained within. The scratch and sniff dot is a true representation of what is in the pink packet. Again the packaging is uninspiring as are all the packs across the range. If it was down to the uninspiring packaging I would not of tried this product but as I got it on a trial I have nothing to lose by trying it.

              The packaging tells me that Febreze Car will eliminate odours for up to 30 days (on low and under ambient conditions) and that people with perfume sensitivity should be cautious when using this product. The packaging also contains the easy to follow fitting instructions, contact details for Proctor & Gamble, ingredients and the usual health and safety warnings should you accidentally eat this or rub it in your eyes.

              The Febreze Car Clip on lasts much longer than the estimated 30 days when on low and I actually swopped over after 2 months of using the New Zealand scent as I had got bored of it.

              Following the instructions on the packaging I flipped up the grip on the back of the air freshener which then pierced the foil packaging, I did not hear a click but I could immediately smell the scent. I then pushed the air freshener into one of the interior vents in my car and twiddled the dial on top to select the strength of the freshness.

              The air freshener gradually releases scent. The scent is sweet and floral with a hint of citrus, in all honesty it smells a little like a floral toilet cleaner. The bonus of the Febreze Car Freshener is that it eliminates odours, not that my car is particularly smelly but during the winter the car can start to smell a little damp.

              So in conclusion the Blossom & Breeze Clip on Car Freshener smells a little like floral toilet cleaner and is not one of my favourite car fresheners. The scent is to sharp and on occasion causes me to wrinkle my nose as I don't particularly like the scent but it does stop my car smelling a little niffy during the damp winter months.

              The Clip on Car Fresheners are available from most retailers and I have spotted them discounted in Tesco for £2.00 each. I think the uninspiring packaging has sunk this product a little.

              Thank you for reading.

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            • HTC Wildfire / Smartphone / 35 Readings / 35 Ratings
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              23.02.2014 12:21
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              At the time of release it was good but now it is a little lacking.

              The HTC Wildfire is quite an old phone now but as is the way of being a parent I pay for the latest contracts and then have my childs old phone if it has survived two years of teenage abuse.

              When the Wildfire was brand new I insisted that my daughter use screen protectors and a gel case which has resulted in the phone still looking in good condition after two years of use. The only sign of wear is where the charger plugs into the phone; some of the colour on the phone case has been chipped/scratched off.

              The HTC Wildfire is a smart looking phone with a 3.2 inch capacitive screen and a thin 12mm profile. It is also quite light to hold as it weighs 118g. The Wildfire is packed full of apps but still runs fairly fast with its 512MHZ processor. I personally don't use any of the apps on the phone but I know my daughter used a few of them and she also downloaded more from the Google app store.

              The original running system was Android 2.1 (éclair) but it did update to version 2.2 (froyo) quite a while ago and has not updated since. As the latest version of Android is 4.4 (kitkat) it is quite safe to assume the running system is a little dated. Not that I can tell as the system still looks quite similar to the one on my daughters Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

              Once you have removed the back and inserted your sim card and memory card (micro sd) and powered up the phone you are ready to go. I would estimate the power up time to be around 90 seconds which is incredibly long when you want to make a call or text. The phone charges from empty to full in a couple of hours using the mains adaptor but does take a little longer when plugged into a USB port. I charged the phone to full last night and when I checked it this morning twelve hours later it had dropped down to 40%. I had only used the phone for a few texts and then left it on standby till the morning. I do have to bear in mind that the phone battery is over two years old but at this rate it will not see out 24 hours with minimal use. When new the battery held charge for around 24 hours with regular use before it needed charging. New batteries are easily sourced online and I can also tweak the battery time by using an app killer to stop background apps running and consuming battery power when on standby.

              As I use this phone mainly for calls and texts I find the contacts easy to scroll through, add to and delete from. Making a call is easy as all I need to do is find the person I want on the contacts or dial the number using the keypad on the screen. Texting is also a simple affair as I am sure every one is familiar with the concept now. I do find the keyboard a little small on the screen but when spelling mistakes are made the auto correct sorts it out by suggesting the most likely word. I personally miss phones with real keypads as I have never truly got the hang of texting quickly on touch screen phones.

              The Wildfire can be personalised in lots of little ways by changing the wallpaper, personalising the home screens and changing ring tones and message alerts. I think it is nice to do this with your phone as it makes it feel more personal.

              The 5mp camera is ok for impromptu snaps when you don't have your camera but for using as a camera replacement I would say this is fairly lacking as the resulting pictures are quite grainy and dark despite the flash. 5mp on a camera phone is never up to the standards of a 5mp camera.

              The 3.2 inch screen is nice and bright and the colours are good but the display seems a little grainy and lacking in a certain something. The touch screen in nice and responsive to the lightest touch.

              The ring tone volume is fairly low despite being set to high but luckily vibrate is more attention grabbing. The in call volume is good and can be adjusted using the volume buttons on the left side of the phone. When used to play mp3's the quality through the headphones is good but when played through the speakers it is lacking.

              At the end of the day the HTC Wildfire is quite a dated phone now and can only be found second hand or as a hand me down. If I purchase a new battery I think there is plenty of use left in the phone but the chances are I will use this a while then it will be relegated to a spare and destined to lurk in the junk draw in the kitchen.

              Thank you for reading x

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                22.02.2014 14:57
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                Just the right water for my car battery.

                Quite a while ago my Husband was having trouble with the car battery. With funds being tight at the time we could not afford to buy a new battery so my Husband decided to do a little battery maintenance himself in the form of topping the battery cells up with de-ionised water and then putting the battery on charge.

                De-ionised water is tap water that has had the majority of Ions removed. The Ions in water come from soil and the pipes. I am not sure if you can de-ionise your own water I think it is something to do with distilling the water. Commercially brought de-ionised water has been made using a de-ionising chemical so I would not advise drinking the water or using it for any other purpose than what the bottle recommends it is for.

                I picked a 1 litre bottle of Carplan De-ionised water up from Wilkinsons for around a £1.00. Which is a lot cheaper than a new battery.

                The De-ionised water can also be used in Irons to prevent lime scale build up but this not something I would waste my money on as I iron a couple of times a week and it would prove far to expensive.

                Once my Husband had removed the battery from the car he set about opening the individual battery cells, tutorials for this can be found online. Once the cells were open it was obvious to my Husband and me why the battery was not holding a charge as we could not see any liquid in the battery cells.

                My Husband carefully topped each cell up to the maximum marker and then fastened the cells up. A lot of care needs to be taken when topping the cells up. Although the de-ionised water is not harmful any splashes from the battery will be acidic. Once the cells were topped up the battery was put on to charge.

                After a good charge my Husband reconnected the battery to the car and it worked as good as new for a further 6-8 months but we decided to purchase a new battery before hitting the colder months again as we felt the old battery had become unreliable.

                All things considered I found Carplan de-ionised water to be good value. For the sake of a pound, a bit of internet research and a good charge my Husband and I were able to extend the life of our car battery until we could afford a new one.

                Thank you for reading x

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                22.02.2014 14:27
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                I brought this as screen wash and saw the de-icer as a bonus.

                When my Husband mentioned that his screen wash had ran out I though it necessary to buy him a couple of bottles straight away as I did not want him to fill his screen wash reservoir up with plain water as he his a make do and mend kind of chap.
                While water will do in a pinch it is much better to have some screen wash mixed in as this helps to remove dirt and bug splatters and leaves the screen clean. Also at this time of year it is great to have a screen wash with de-icer as it helps clear the screen of ice and frost in the mornings and will stop the screen freezing up when driving on particularly cold days.

                My 500ml bottle of screen wash cost me a couple of pounds off the market in town and I have seen it for sale on ebay uk for around £4.00 with free delivery.

                As is usual with all screen wash the liquid contained within is blue and can be seen through the opaque plastic bottle. On the front of the bottle I am told that this is screen wash and de-icer and will make up to 25 litres of screen wash.

                I am not sure how much water the screen wash reservoir hold on our car so I poured half a bottle of screen wash in and then topped the reservoir up with roughly 6 litres of water. I know this is more than the recommended amount but I thought seeing as we have had some pretty cold and icy mornings it made sense to use plenty so as to help clear the screen.

                The screen wash has been in action for a couple of weeks now and so far so good. A couple of squirts on the window while driving soon cleans the windscreen of dirt and leaves the glass shiny and smear free. As for helping with the car defrosting it seems to be holding its own when used in conjunction with a little de-icer and a scraper on the very cold mornings it does seem a little quicker than regular screen wash.

                The bottle also claims that he screen wash can be squirted directly on to the windscreen when de-icing the car but to me this seems a little wasteful as we already have a de-icer product for this.

                In conclusion I would probably not buy this again as a combined de-icer and screen wash but as a screen wash it does a pretty good job, the screen cleans up quickly and smear free but in all honesty this product is not much better than a bottle of concentrated screen wash from the pound shop.

                I give Decosal screen wash de-icer 3/5 stars as it cleans well enough but is not worth paying extra for its de-icer capabilities.

                Thank you for reading x

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                20.02.2014 16:23
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                I did not think chocolate could get any better till Cadbury added bubbles.

                What could be better than a bar of chocolate? I hear you ask.

                I will answer that question with this, a chocolate bar with bubbles in.

                The chocolate bar in question is the Cadburys Dairy Milk Bubbly, 100 grams of purple plastic wrapped chocolaty heaven. Many moons ago Cadbury did away with foil and paper wrapped bars and left the consumer with the easily accessible and resealable plastic wrapped bars. In my opinion not as attractive as the foil and paper wrapped bars but probably a tad more hygienic and cheaper to make.

                Once the Bubbly bar is unwrapped I am presented with block of chocolate shaped like bubbles, obviously the under side is flat but the top side is bubble shaped and the edges are now rounded and on the whole a lot more attractive to look at. The chocolate easily snaps into chunks (bubbles) to make it easier to eat or share.

                The new rounded shape of the chocolate is a lot more comfortable in the mouth, not that I suffered with pointy chocolate before. Within seconds the bubble of chocolate begins to melt and I am transported into chocolate heaven, the chocolate is rich and creamy and incredibly moreish. The addition of bubbles in the chocolate causes the chocolate to melt faster and in my opinion have a more intense chocolaty taste.

                The bubbles in the Bubbly bar are nicer than the bubbles in a Wispa as they are larger and more spaced out compared to the tiny compact bubbles of a Wispa and in all honesty I prefer Cadburys Bubbly bar over Nestle Aero as the bubbles in a Aero seem a little to structured and crunchy and do not have the softness of the bubbles in a Bubbly bar.

                I take my hat off to you Mr Cadbury and your research and design team for making such a delightful chocolate bar.

                Happily the Bubbly bars seem to be on a permanent offer of a £1.00 in virtually every shop.

                Thank you for reading.

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                • Stork Margarine / Spread / 15 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                  20.02.2014 15:06
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                  One of my baking essentials.

                  I do a lot of baking at home so I like to keep my cupboards stocked with enough products to make a simple cake or a pie at a moments notice. One of the mainstays of my home baking is Stork margarine. I use the tub version for cakes and the block version for biscuits and pastry.

                  As far as I know the tub version comes in two sizes 500g and 1kg. The branding for Stork is quite distinctive as it is bright yellow and fairly easy to spot in the refrigerator at the supermarket. My only gripe with the plastic tubs is that they seem to be made of much thinner plastic than they used to be and quite often it is a struggle to find a 500g tub that is not broken or cracked around the top where the lid seals. Currently a 500g tub costs £1.10 and a 1kg tub costs £2.00 so thee is a small saving to be made by buying the larger tubs if you do a lot of baking.

                  The block version of Stork comes in one size only 250g and is sealed in foil coated paper similar to a block of butter. The wrapping paper is marked out in 50g increments to make it easier for measuring for recipes. I prefer to weigh the Stork out myself just to make sure my measurements are exact.

                  I use Stork in a tub for baking cakes, the bright yellow 70% vegetable spread is very soft and easy to remove from the tub. I find Stork very easy to bake with it creams nicely into sugar and makes for a light and fluffy cake. I do think there is a slight difference between using butter and Stork in that cakes made with butter have more depth of flavour to the sponge and are a little bit richer but not as light. Everyone who has ever eaten a cake I have made can not tell the difference between when I use Stork or butter. So for ease of working with and as it is a little cheaper to use Stork I will pick Stork every time unless specifically requested for a sponge made with butter.

                  Block Stork is great for making pastry or a biscuit dough as it is harder than the tub Stork which means it makes firmer dough which is easier to handle when rolling out and using pastry cutters. Biscuit dough and pastry dough made with block Stork does take that little extra effort to rub in to the flour so I usually leave the Stork out to reach room temperature before I begin baking. I find the pastry I make with block Stork is excellent as it is easy to handle cooks well without cracking or shrinking and tastes really good. The biscuits are also good as they are crumbly and melt in the mouth.

                  All things considered I do recommend Stork for baking as I get consistently great results every time.

                  Thank you for reading.

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                  • More +
                    19.02.2014 15:23
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                    A store cupboard essential.

                    A regular on my shopping list is shop branded value noodles. The brand I purchase depends on what supermarket I am in when I remember I need noodles. The noodles currently residing in the pantry are these Tesco Everday Value Chicken Noodles. The 65g pack costs a budget friendly 20p compared to Morrisons value noodles which come in at 28p a pack for what is essentially the same product.

                    Inside the pack is a dried noodle block and a silver flavour sachet containing the chicken flavouring. I find these small sachets a little difficult to open so rather than spray chicken powder all over the kitchen I will open the sachet with scissors.

                    As well as the ingredients and nutritional breakdown on the back of the pack there are the cooking instructions for hob and microwave. I have cooked these noodles in the microwave and on the hob with equally satisfying results.

                    When I cook these noodles I like to add extra ingredients such as a few splashes of Hendersons Relish, half a chicken oxo cube, diced onion, chopped ham, bacon and or chicken and then liberally cover in cheese. With these extra ingredients the noodles taste amazing, when cooked without a few extra touches I find the noodles a little bland.

                    The noodles are quite filling as a snack or when combined with sausages or a chicken breast they make a more substantial meal. I always have value noodles in my pantry as they are a great fallback item when I can't think of anything to cook or can't be bothered to cook properly.

                    Thank you for reading.

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