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I love candles, and have quite a few of the scented variety in my house.
Over the years I've bought many different kinds, and while the Yankee type will always be my favourites, I'm always willing to try other brands, especially when I see them on special offer.
Which is how I bought this Air Wick colour changing candle back in January. Shopping in Asda I checked out the reduced shelves and saw they were selling off the Christmas range of air freshners for a bargain price of £2 for the colour changing candles. A quick rummage later and I had a few of the mulled wine and cinnamon scented ones in my trolley.
Despite my scented candle love I only burn one at a time, so the newly bought candles were added to the stash under the stairs, and it was only recently that I opened one for the first time.
The candle itself is held inside a sleeve of cardboard that's relatively easy to tear open. revealing the instructions and warnings printed inside. Most of the warnings are the standard ones for candles, don't burn in an unattended room, near curtains or an open window, keep the wick trimmed to 1cm etc, and of course my all time favourite, air freshners do not replace good hygiene practices.
The candle itself is inside a frosted glass, which while plain, looks stylish enough to be placed anywhere in the home without drawing too much attention while unlit. Personally I keep mine on the fireplace, where it's easy to be seen and away from curious cats -- I have four, you'd think they'd keep away from a flame, but I've found that's not always the case.
But of course I buy candles to be lit, so as soon as it was out of the cardboard sleeve and in place, I lit the flame, and was immediately intrigued by the changing colour, as the formerly frosted glass turned a variety of different colours, merging one into the next quite quickly.
Sure, it says colour changing on the box, heck, that's the whole gimmick, but reading it and seeing are two different things. I'm not saying the colour changing will rock your world, but it is soothing to watch and I spent some time talking to my other half as we wondered just how the colour changing was achieved.
The packaging says this candle has a burn time of 30 hours, and I'd say that's about right. Over a few nights the colour changing did get less apparent, only changing where there was wax left in the glass. But that wasn't a big issue at all, as you still got the changing colours, just not as much. Also, the scent never faded which is sometimes the case.
Personally, I love Christmas'ey scents, so this suited me beautifully. Even though the tree and decorations were long down, I enjoyed the scent of mulled wine and cinnamon, a combination that made the whole house smell good without being over powering.
The instructions state there will be about 2.5 cm of wax remaining when this candle is finished, and again, that was the case. At that point I waited for the wax to harden overnight, and then gently tapped it out so I could check out the mysterious colour changing apparatus, which in the end turned out to be some kind of battery operated gizmo encased in plastic.
Because of this battery recycling this candle isn't as simple as just throwing the glass in the recycling bin. The battery needs to be recycled separately, and then you can either recycle the glass, too. Or else keep it for use in the house, though I'd suggest as a container and not as something to drink out of.
While this particular scent of colour changing candle isn't on sale now, you can buy others. Right now -- 17/03/13 -- Asda has three different scents for £4, and I have to admit, I'm always tempted to buy one even though I have other candles ready to be burned first.
Would I recommend this product? Yes I would. Watching the colours changing is soothing and the scent is lovely.
Thank you for reading.
We eat a lot of chicken in our household, but often it's a struggle to think of something new to make, especially when, like me, you're not exactly an amazing cook.
That's why I was attracted to the Maggi So Juicy range when I saw it in Asda. At the time they were on special offer of 50p, and that low price, plus the promise of an easy cooking experience leading to delicious food sold me almost instantly.
Since then I've tried many products in the range and but for today I'm going to talk about So Juicy Mexican Chicken.
My initial thoughts on packaging are always, wow that's bright. All the packets are a really bright yellow on the top, with a picture of the food you're aiming to make underneath, while the Maggi brand stands out in a red bubble. It makes the text easy to read, and the packets themselves easy to see on the shelves.
Actually using the product is easy. The packet comes in two connected sections, the top containing a bag and tie, the bottom the powdered seasoning that you add to the meat.
I've always found ripping open the packets easy -- almost too easy if I'm honest, as on one occasion I ripped too eagerly and lost a lot of powder when the bag tore too much. Of course that was totally my fault, and I'm sure most people do the sensible thing and use scissors.
Once you've opened the top section you'll find a bag and small plastic seal. After opening the bag, drop in the meat and any veggies if needed, add the powder from the bottom section, fasten the bag with the included seal and then shake and put in the oven. It's that simple.
At least it should be. While I have no problem using the seal, my other half has hand issues that make it almost impossible for him to steady the bag while threading the seal into itself. Also, you have to make sure you shake the bag really well to evenly coat the meat, or else you'll end up with unseasoned chicken and clumps of seasoning at the bottom of the bag at the end of cooking.
The Maggi website says Mexican Chicken So Juicy has a 'delicious mix of spices -- coriander, cumin, chilli, garlic and paprika' and I agree with this. You can taste the different spices, and while it's never going to be as layered as a slaved over meal made with a variety of spices, it still hits the spot very well.
Plus, and this is a great bonus for me, the chicken always comes out moist, hot and delicious -- unless you forget about it and get something that could be used for shoe leather. Not that I've ever done that ....
The Maggi Website says you should cook either four chicken breast for 45-50 minutes or 8 chicken drumsticks for 50-60 minutes. I've done both, and both times the timing were perfect. It's also suggested that you add chopped onion and red and yellow peppers, which really do taste great with the spiced seasoning.
But most times I use diced chicken, which I can buy cheap, and throw in any veggies I have at hand. Onion, mushrooms, sweetcorn, they all taste great.
Right now -- 14/3/2013 -- you can buy the Mexican Chicken So Juicy for 99p at Tesco and 70p at Asda, but it often goes on offer, so keep an eye out.
In conclusion, I really like the So Juicy range and especially Mexican chicken. It's got a lovely taste and best of all, makes making meals easy. Open the packet, open the cooking bag, put your meat and veggies inside, add the seasoning, seal the bag, shake the bag, bung in the oven. It's that simple.
Just don't forget that good shake, because without it you will end up with unseasoned food and clumps.
I have to start this off by saying: I love Lush products. What I don't love is their prices.
Because of that, for the longest time, I stuck to buying things like bath bombs and bubble bath bars only, because yeah, they were expensive, but not as expensive as the shampoos, creams etc I could buy elsewhere for much cheaper and that would do just as good of a job -- and, I know you can buy bath bombs elsewhere too, but I've never found any I like as much.
Then, somehow, I started to branch out, some perfume here, a shampoo bar there, until the day I bought a tub of Dream Cream, that cost more than I ever thought I'd pay for moisturising cream, and never went back.
As of now Dream Cream costs £10:95 for 240g. The cream itself comes in a sturdy screw top black coloured tub, with all writing in white, meaning any info can be easily read. ( Addition info, if you save five of these black tubs, from any Lush product, you can exchange them for a free fresh face mask )
The tub has a label on the back showing ingredients, the main one of which is oat milk. Which, as Lush states on the label, is made by simmering oatmeal in water to produce a rich oat milk which is effective at calming and soothing the skin.
The cream itself is thick and easily adsorbed into the skin. While there is a scent, I don't find it overpowering at all, though it would be probably best to use at night, or else well before going out. While the front of the Dream Cream tub says it's a hand and body lotion, to me, it's too thick to be called a lotion, plus, I use it as a moisturiser for my face, too.
So, does it work? For me the answer is a resounding yes. I have sensitive skin on my face, and while it's not supposed to be a facial moisturiser, Dream Cream keeps my skin feeling soft, and best of all, keeps down any redness. It's also fantastic for use on the body. Full disclosure, I'm too cheap to use Dream Cream on my whole body, but I do use it on my lower legs, which are very dry, and my arms.
A little of this goes a long way, which soothes my cost conscious side as well as my skin. I've had my tub of Dream Cream since Christmas, and there's still well over half the tub left.
Lush says this is their number one product, and that doesn't surprise me. I recommend for sure.
I bought this balm when The Body Shop were having an online sale. Seeing the tins only cost £1, I bought two, despite never using the range before.
When the parcels from The Body Shop arrived, the first thing I did was put aside the gift sets intended for presents -- thank you The Body Shop for cheap Mother's Day gifts -- and then checked out the hemp tins.
First impression. The tin was small, cute, and worth £1. The tin itself is a screw opening type, and has a picture of a hemp leaf printed on the lid. The tin was easily opened, even by my other half who has hand issues that make gripping an issue.
The back of the tin has a peel off label that revealed the ingredients list, which on my tin were in a language I couldn't read. However, on The Body Shop site it lists them as:
Glycine Soja Oil, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Cera Alba, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii, Parfum, Glyceryl Oleate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citric Acid, Limonene.
The site also says this is a product perfect for elbows and knees, and I'm sure it is, but what I wanted to use it for was my badly cracked heels.
Unable to wait, I decided to try the balm, and found that the top of the product has a waxy film that you need to get through to use the actual product beneath. Once under that film, I scooped up some of the balm, and quickly found out you really don't need to use a lot.
Seriously, just a little is the way to go with this balm. It's thick and while it does sink in nicely, it will leave you skin slightly greasy. So be aware if you're applying it before bed or going out. However, it works beautifully. After a few days my heels did feel softer, the cracks weren't magically fixed, but really, I never expected them to be so.
A word of warning. The balm has a smell that can be really unpleasant. My other half has really dry skin, especially around his eyebrows, so I massaged in some balm, and he spent the next ten minutes complaining about the smell. I would have thought he was exaggerating, but after having a bad cold that left my nose sore and the skin over my lip rough and dried out, I tried some balm there, too. And it worked, soothing instantly, but man, the smell made my eyes water for a few moments.
Obviously, smell is subjective, and I know some people who have used this product and quite liked the smell, but, just something to keep in mind.
Still, despite that issue. I would recommend this balm. It does what it says and is excellent on dry skin, so, a thumbs up from me.
As a household we enjoy ketchup -- or red sauce to give it the name we all use. The problem is, it gets expensive buying named brands week after week. I mean, sure, paying in the £1-£2 range depending on bottle size isn't that expensive, but it adds up, especially if you use a lot of sauce.
I've always been a fan of trying the cheaper, value supermarket brands, so when I was in my local Tesco and saw they were selling their value ketchup for a bargain 22p I decided to give it a try. I mean, I had nothing to lose but 22p if nobody liked it.
Except, everyone did like it. It's obviously not one of the branded ketchups, the sauce isn't as thick and the taste different, but that's fine because the taste is still good, especially when you eat it with chips or on a quorn sausage sandwich.
This ketchup has a lovely tomato'ey taste, it pours easily and at that price I can stock up and always have ketchup available. I like that it also comes in a plastic squeezy bottle, no more batting the bottom of a glass bottle to get your sauce onto food. Now it's one squeeze and you're done.
If you're watching your calories each 100g contains 140kcals and it does state to use within 6 weeks of opening. Though I have to admit, in my house its lucky to last one week after opening never mind six.
If you're counting the pennies or trying to be savvy while shopping, I'd say give this a try.
For a long time we used to order takeaway pizza on a Friday night. It was the perfect end to the week, no cooking along with tasty food.
Then the cost started to creep up and the pizzas themselves seemed to come along with a layer of grease.
The two things combined put me off buying, and next time I was Adsa I decided to buy one of their create your own pizzas, and have never ordered from our local pizza takeaway since.
You can get the create your own in a variety of sizes (10 and 12 inch ) and base types ( thin crust, stuffed crust -- this will cost extra, and stone baked ) and while our local shop has a selection of pre-made pizzas displayed in front of the pizza counter, in my opinion it's worth waiting to create the exact one that you want.
After selecting your base and size you'll be asked if you want a tomato or bbq sauce base. We always get tomato and once that sauce is spread on the base it's covered by a layer of grated cheese. Then it's time to pick toppings. We usually get the four topping 12 inch pizza which costs £3.50.
A while back Asda introduced a variety of new toppings such as hot dogs etc, but I guess they didn't sell well as they've gone back to a smaller selection. Off the top of my head they have chicken, spicy chicken, pepperoni, chilli beef, jalepenos, tomato, spicy cheese, cheese mozzarella discs, sweetcorn, mushroom, red onion.
It's also possible to get a half and half pizza. For example, my son isn't keen on chicken so our usual order is a 12 inch with spicy chicken on one half, pepperoni on the other, and then the whole thing covered in mozzarella discs and red onion.
Finally, after topping are added more cheese will be sprinkled on top then if wanted, either a garlic or chilli oil as a final touch.
An extra here. Right now our local Asda has a deal where you can get a 12 inch four topping pizza and a 1.5l bottle of coke/diet coke for £4. Or, if you want a 10 inch you can get two of that size for £4. Not bad deals in my opinion.
The pizzas themselves cook well. On occasions we've had ones that were slightly greasy but I suspect that's due to the addition of too much oil.
I can't fault these pizzas. They're good value for money, taste great and really, you can't get better than that.
I love Snow Fairy. I first tried the shower gel a few years ago and instantly fell in love with the gorgeous sweet scent and the sparkly gel. Sadly when I went back after Christmas I found out it was a seasonal item.
Impatiently, I waited for the Christmas range to arrive in shops again, and when I did I stocked up, and have continued to do so each subsequent year. In fact, last Christmas I stocked up enough Snow Fairy that I still have an unopened bottle now. Not enough to last until Christmas, but close enough.
For anyone worried about the sparkles, once you've used the shower gel they're not really apparent on the body, or left behind in the bath. While that's not something I have a problem with, my other half gets annoyed with some other Lush products that have left him looking like a reject from Twilight. Apparently he doesn't want to sparkle when he goes to work.
You can use the product to wash both your body and hair, though I have to admit, I never use it for hair washing. I have tried once, but while I loved the scent left behind, it wasn't good for my hair type. So now I stick to using it for body washing only.
You can also get other products with the Snow Fairy scent. I have the lip tint and my new favourite from last year, a solid bubble bath bar shaped like a magic wand. I was so charmed by that, star shaped with a little bell tied around the join of stick to bar I enjoyed waving the wand under the tap when I was filling my bath. You can get at least three baths with each wand, depending of course on how long you dunk the wand under water. Just don't do what I did and leave your wand to dry in a shower caddy, so next time you shower you look down and realise that ooops, your wand is half gone due to water hitting it.
I love Lush in general, how I'm always sure no animals have been harmed testing their products, and that they'll try their best for the environment always. Sure, compared to similar items out there their products can be pricey, but to me they're worth it. Which is why Snow Fairy will always be my shower gel of choice. As long as I haven't ran out, of course.
I've always loved books, but also love technolgy. It's why back in the day I had a Pocket PC. I used it just to read e books, but actually getting them on there was always a hassle, so much so that I eventually lost interest and went back to actual books, only.
It's why I was a little hesitent about buying a kindle. But when I did I realised just what I'd been missing.
I love my kindle. It goes everywhere with me and I love that I'm able to take it out and read whenever and whereever I want. No more boring waiting, with a kindle you've got a choice of books at hand always.
I love that it's so easy to get new books onto your kindle. But them at Amazon and as long as your kindle is registered they'll be sent right to the device. I also use Calibre to organise and add on any books I don't buy from Amazon. It means I can easily keep track of what books I actually have on my device, which is great as at this point I have a lot.
That's one of the best things for me. That I can have so many different genres of books at hand always. What I want to read changes daily, one day chick lit, another day sci-fi/fantasy. With the kindle I can pick and choose according to mood. And of course, if you're someone who doesn't want people to know what you're reading, well the kindle is perfect for you.
I like that there's no back light. While it can be a disadvantage in a low light it also means reading for extended periods is easy on the eyes and that reading in direct sunlight in possible.
Battery life is great, lasting for weeks, and that's with a lot of reading. When I do notice the battery is running down I simply charge it again via my computer, something simple and easy to do.
Other pluses. I love that you can read the kindle one-handed, with a page turn button being on each side. If you delete books after you've finished reading them that's very easy to do, and it's also easy to group books into collections. For example, on my kindle I have collections for authors as well as genres.
The only slight negative I have is using the keyboard is slightly time consuming, but as I don't have an actual keyboard model that's understandable.
While I still buy actual books, the kindle is a great choice for people who love to read, especially on the go.
If you want an e reader that's easy to use and has a long battery life. The kindle is the e reader for you.
I bought this on impulse after the bottle caught my eye.
I have to admit that at first I thought the scrublet was there to stick the bottle onto the wall of a shower, so when I discovered it was actually there to be used with the product I was even more impressed.
Of course, you can still stick the scrublet to the shower wall if you want, but what I tend to do is leave it in the bottle, so it's always at hand when I need it.
I'm very impressed with this product. It states it's a new way to cleanse, and I agree with that. The scrub itself feels great on my skin, the bits are perfect for deep cleansing while not being too harsh, and I love the addition of the scrublet. It really is a great combination, and I find it really easy to squeeze a little of the scrub onto the scrublet, then gently cleanse my face in small, circular movements.
I love that after exfoliating you can actually see the dirt on the scrublet, which I know, sounds gross, but I like to know that the product is actually doing its job. The scrublet itself is very easily cleaned, before popped back onto the bottle for next time.
The scent of the product is great, and each time that I've used it I've been left feeling fresh-faced and my skin tingly clean. A bonus is the fact that very little of the product needs to be used with each cleanse. It means the bottle will last for a long time, which is great in terms of cost effectiveness.
A thumbs up from me for sure.
I first read this book when I was much younger. In the mood for some light reading, I bought it for my Kindle and settled in to read.
A few hours later I'd finished the whole book, and had been reminded how laugh-out-loud Adrian could be.
The book is written in a diary format, and documents a year in the life of Adrian Mole, a typical self-centred teenager. With worries including such things as spots, the size of his 'thing', family issues and a constant desire for his love, Pandora, you can't help rooting for Adrian.
Sure, he's annoying at times, but that's part of his charm. Adrian really has no idea how he comes across to those around him, and yet, despite his complaints, often ends up doing the right thing -- especially in terms of Bert, the old man who he loves to hate, and yet still goes to walk his dog and clean Bert's house.
If you want a quick, easy read this would be a good choice. While I read in one go it would be easy to dip into due to the diary format, and it's impossible to go more than a few pages without having a laugh, usually at Adrian's expense.
It's also good to revisit the social issues of the time. Sue Townsend doing a great job integrating them within Adrian's diary entries.