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vichar68

vichar68
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Member since: 15.05.2007

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      12.06.2008 17:26
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      Activia yogurts

      am a member of Buzz. This is a website that gives their Buzz Agents the chance to try different items and then tell people about them, so you create what they call a buzz via word of mouth. My latest thing to try is Activia yogurts. I had never tried them before but as I received a coupon to get free packs I decided to give it a go.
      Off to Asda I went and straight to the yogurt section. I picked up a 4 pack if Activia Fibre, Kiwi Cereals flavour.

      **********A BREIF HISTORY**********
      Danone are the makers of Activia. In 1966 two French glass companies, decided they wanted to merge. The company became known as BSN. BSN decided to move into the beverage market by taking over Evian and then some European Breweries. They ten launched to the market of Baby food. In 1973 BSN and Gervais Danone merged, creating the largest French food group. In 1994 they decided to drop the BSN and the company became DANONE. Today, Group DANONE employs 89,449 people in more than 120 countries. In 2004, Group DANONE recorded sales of 13,700 million euros.
      **********THE COMPANIES PROMISE**********
      Activia claims that Including Activia in your daily diet can help regulate your digestive system. The yogurts contain a unique culture called Bifidus ActiRegularis. If like me that leaves you confused, Danone claim it helps to keep your digestive system ticking away nicely in the background, so you can get on with life. The fibre yogurts, 120g contain 3.6g of fibre. That is the same as 15% of your recommended daily allowance.

      **********THE PACKAGING**********
      The packaging was fairly attractive. It was mainly in a darkish green with the Activia and Danone logo on the front. There is also a picture of a sliced kiwi fruit with some wheat behind it in the left hand corner. All the different types have a very attractive picture of the friut or cereals on the packaging. The pots them selves were exactly the same kind of packaging.
      **********THE PRODUCT**********
      The pots were fairly large. There is a 120g serving in each pot. The yogurt smelt very nice and looked very creamy. I was surprised at the taste. I had expected it to be bitty tasting. In fact it was nothing of the sort. It was fairly smooth, thick and creamy. I could really taste the kiwi fruit. I have to admit that it was not the best tasting yogurt I had ever had but it was nice. The yogurt had a small after taste of the cereals but it was hardly noticeable. For something that is supposed to be healthy, and is alive, strangly enough I loved it.

      **********IS IT TRUE**********
      Well I am not sure that the yogurt does exactly what it claims to but I have to admit that I have started to feel a lot better. I don't feel so bloated and the fibre does seem to be working, if you know what I mean. Each new day that I eat a yogurt I feel a bit better. I am not sure if this is down to power of the mind or the yogurts themselves. You are told to try them for 14 days and you will see the difference. I have to admit I am hooked and will be buying them again.
      **********WHAT ELSE DO THEY DO IN THIS RANGE**********
      Danone Activia comes in several different types including, Fat free, Fruit layers, Natural, and fruit. The different flavours include, Strawberry, peach, cherry and forest fruits.

      ********** WHERE CAN I BUY THEM**********
      Danone can be bought in any major supermarket, e.g., Asda, Tesco, and Sainsbury. They can also be found in a fair few smaller shops.
      **********HOW MUCH DO THEY COST**********
      4-pack yogurts - £1.48
      8-pack yogurts - £2.58
      Single 500g pot - £0.97

      **********INFO**********
      Anyone wanting to down load a coupon at www.danone.buzzagent.co.uk. Or if you want further information contact www.danone .com.

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      • Pringles Rice Infusions / Snacks / 22 Readings / 20 Ratings
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        10.06.2008 19:35
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        A healthier crips

        Some time ago I signed up for a company on the internet called First2taste.co.uk. I received an email back asking if I wanted to be part of a launch of a new Pringles snack called Pringles Rice Infusions. Well anything for a freebie, so I decided to say yes. I go a few emails saying that a pack would be sent to me soon and could I invite some friends around to give the new product a try. True to their word a few days later the postman delivered a large round box with 4 tubes of Pringle Rice Infusions, a book of coupons, invitations and a very nice t-shirt. It was a lot more than I expected.

        PACKAGING
        -----------------
        The new Pringles looked very much like the old ones. The tubes were exactly the same shape and the artwork was similar. The logo with the Pringle man was at the top and in large lettering there was the words RICE INFUSIONS. There were 3 flavours in the box cheese and onion, salt and vinegar and sour cream and onion. There is also a sweet BBQ spare rib flavour but they did not include this. I thought this was very strange as they had given me 4 tubes but instead of the BBQ they had given me 3 sour cream and onion. At the bottom of each tube there is a picture of a Pringles crisp and a picture of the main flavour ingredients (e.g. a piece of cheese and onion rings for the cheese and onion.). At the very bottom is the wording Naturally Lower in Fat.

        MARKETING
        -----------------
        Pringles claim on these new snacks are as follows: Rice infusions are created by mixing great tasting ingredients with ground rice, which is cooked to a perfect crunch and then seasoned to create a chip bursting with flavour both inside and out. The reason for this is that rice has a natural ability to absorb less fat during the cooking process (about 30%)

        TASTE
        ---------
        The day of the party arrived and I had invited about 15 people over and some kids. I opened the tubes and put out the crisps. They looked exactly like the original crisps and smelt very much like them too. They had a very nice crunch to them and tasted very nice. The flavour was fairly intense but in a good way. The only exception to this was the Salt and vinegar. These were far too strong and the kids hated them straight away. I found some of the adults really liked them but most of us could only eat a couple before our mouths felt like they were burning. The overall favourite seemed to be the cheese and onion (I personally like the sour cream and onion). Although they were very alike the original Pringles there was something different about them. This is very hard to put into words. There was a slight dry after taste to them, compared to the originals. This however would not be enough to put me off buying them.

        NUTRITIONAL INFO
        ---------------------------
        My main interest was the claim that they were naturally lower in fat. I am going to use the cheese and onion as an example. In the original Pringles there are 528 kcals per 100g and in the Rice infusions there are 487 Kcals per 100 grams. That is a difference of 41 kcals per 100g. To me that does not seem to be a lot. According to the tube information one portion is about 25g; this makes it about 10 kcals difference per portion. If you are a big crisp eater then I suppose this would make a difference to you but if you like the odd crisp now and then, 10 kcals is not going to change your life. The fat content was 10g per 100g for the originals and 7g per 100g for the new infusions.

        INGREDIENTS
        -------------------
        There seemed to be a lot of ingredients as well in the new infusions. If you are going to read this lot then I suggest you sit down. Rice flour (29%), vegetable oil, dehydrated potatoes, corn flour, modified rice starch, cheese and onion flavour (onion powder, maltodextrin, dextrose, flavour enhancers, monosodium glutamate, disodium 5'ribonucleotide, yeast extract, citric acid, lactic acid, cheddar cheese powder, acidity regulator, calcium lactate, flavouring), corn syrup powder, emulsifier: E471, wheat starch (gluten free), salt, and stabilizer: hydroxypropyl cellulose. I could not even pronounce half of them let alone know what they are.

        There are 170g per tube in the original and 160g per tube in the new Rice Infusions. They are suitable for vegetarians but not vegans.

        CONCLUSION
        -------------------
        Well I don't know if they would make me change from the originals but I have to admit they were very tasty. The amount of the ingredients would slightly put me off but the originals have a lot in them as well. As far as price as concerned, I have seen lots of different prices like 2 for £2 so keep a look out. You can also get mini lunchbox bags now for a very good price

        For further information contact:
        www.pringles.com
        0800 0281048
        Thanks for reading my review

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      • More +
        09.06.2008 18:42
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        A razor made for the shower

        A few months ago I was lucky enough to receive a parcel in the post from a website called Buzz. I am a Buzz agent. This means that I get to try certain products for free and then tell people about them. This time I had a ladies Intuition Plus razor from Wilkinson Sword.
        I opened the parcel and had a good look at the razor. My first impression was that it was rather bulky and a very odd shape. The packaging was plastic and transparent around the razor and an Aqua cardboard around the rest. The front of the packaging has the wording Wilkinson Swords and Intuition Plus in large letters. Just underneath the name there a smaller box telling you that it was the sensitive version.

        I decided that evening while sitting in the bath that I wanted to try my new razor. This was a mistake as I could not open the tough plastic packaging. I had to shout to my eldest daughter to bring me up the scissors (as anyone with a teenager knows, asking them to anything is like pulling teeth). After cutting open the packaging, I took out the razor. To be really honest the razor felt very plastic, bulky but very light. It had a smallish handle with a rubber grip that went into a large head. My youngest described as spade shaped. There were three blades on the razor and this was surrounded by a white block of what I can only describe looking like soap. This is called a 'skin conditioning block is the reason why this razor is different to other ones, but more about that in a minute. The razor came with a spare blade, shower holder and a plastic travel cap.
        Well despite the strange look of the razor I decide to try it. The reason that this razor is so different is that the block around the razor it self means that you don't have to use soap, foam or shaving gel. The block contains skin softening agents, shea butter and moisturising agents. All you need to do with this razor is add water and shave. On my first attempt the pivoting head did not feel like it went on my skin hard enough to shave properly, however I was really surprised to find that it gave me a very clean shave. The Intuition Plus glided over my leg with total ease and my legs felt very smooth. After the shave I was really pleased to find that my legs were not irritated at all. My legs did not feel any softer that usual but I was very happy in all with the shave. It is very easy to tell when the razor head needs changing as the white block goes

        These razors have been around for a good few years and I had seen these in the past but never gave them much thought. I now don't think that I could do without one. I am a very busy working single mum. I really don't have a lot of time and it is great when I pop into the shower just to grab the razor and run it quickly over my legs and under my arms. I have never cut myself with it and find it really safe. I really do think that this is one of the best and easiest women's razors around.
        The Intuition Plus can be found in most major supermarkets and chemists. The razor comes in two different types, the aqua/blue colour for sensitive skin and pink for dry skin. The price is approximately £6.25 for and razor and spare head. The refills are also about £6.25 and there are 3 in a pack. I know this sounds a little pricey but one razor head lasts me about 3 weeks before the block wears down (that's if my 16 year old keeps away from it.). I have seen these on special in a few places and it is well worth grabbing them when you can.

        To conclude my review, I have to say that I am really impressed with the Intuition Plus. It is really easy to use and it makes my life easier. I cant say I like the design and I do wish that the skin conditioning block would last a little bit longer but in all I would recommend this product to all my friends and family.
        For further information here are contact details:

        Wilkinson Sword Ltd
        Sword House
        High Wycombe
        Bucks HP13 6DG
        Tel: +44 (0) 1494 533300.

        http://www.wilkinson-sword.co.uk
        Thank you for reading my review.

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      • All About Our Children / Discussion / 37 Readings / 33 Ratings
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        09.06.2008 10:17
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        Breast feeding

        The reason that I am writing this piece is because I feel that even in this day and age breastfeeding is not really accepted and I cant understand why.

        My partner, my 2 of my daughters and myself went to Asda at the Metrocentre ( Gateshead ) for a bit of shopping. As per normal my youngest suddenly had the need for a drink so we headed for the café in the store. After a bit a woman and her very young baby came and sat at the table next to us. The baby started to cry and the woman took a shawl draped it over her shoulder and started to breastfeed the baby. I was really surprised to hear a group of men of about 25 to 35 starting to make fun of the woman. They were not very quiet and the comments were very crude. The poor woman was very embarrassed and looked like she wanted to run away. If that was not enough an older couple started tutting and remarking that it was disgusting in a public place. I was so shocked about the attitude of these people. First they could not see the woman's breast as she had the shawl over herself and most important this is a very natural thing to do and is better for the baby. I am not the kind of person to cause trouble but sat there I could not resist saying loudly that there were some small minded people in the world and if they had been breast fed then they might be a little bit brighter. The poor woman looked at me and smiled but by then the damage had already been done.

        The reason for my little outburst is that I am 5 months pregnant with my fourth child and I intend to breastfeed. I breastfed all my other children and it is an amazing bonding experience. My last child I breastfed for 11 months and found it hard to give it up. However just like the lady in Asda I have had a very bad experience. When my first child was born I made the decision to breastfeed after a lot of advice from the midwife. I found it easy and very enjoyable. Normally I fed my daughter in doors but one day I decided to go to Bishop Auckland for the afternoon. About 3pm I went with my mother into McDonalds. My daughter started screaming and I decided to feed her. I put her underneath my large T-Shirt and started to feed her. I could hear some people tuttting and also kids laughing. Even though I was very embarrassed I continued. Suddenly a manger from McDonalds came over and asked me to stop feeding or go to the toilets to carry on as there had been a complaint from a customer. I was really shocked. There was no way was I going into a dirty toilet to feed my baby. I got up really red faced and nearly in tears with a screaming baby and went across the street to Mothercare to their baby room to continue feeding my baby. That was nearly 17 years ago and I thought that attitudes had changed but watching the poor lady today it would not seem so.

        Here are some very important facts about breastfeeding direct from the NHS breastfeeding website:

        Breastmilk gives babies all the nutrients they need for the first six months of life and helps protect them from infection and diseases. It also reduces mothers' chances of getting certain diseases later in life.

        Breastfeeding helps protect your baby against:
        ear infections
        gastro-intestinal infections
        chest infections
        urine infections
        childhood diabetes
        eczema
        obesity
        asthma.


        Breastfeeding helps protect mothers against:
        ovarian cancer
        breast cancer
        weak bones later in life.

        Women who breastfeed return to their pre-pregnancy figure faster

        I don't feel that any mother should be forced into breastfeeding but if someone makes that choice then people should respect that it is a very natural thing to do and leave them alone to get on with it. If a mother has respect for the general public but making it discrete then she should be giving the same in return.

        Websites to refer to for help

        www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk

        www.laleche.org.uk

        www.abm.me.uk (Association of Breastfeeding Mothers).

        Thank you for reading this

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        • More +
          09.06.2008 09:58
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          A helpful mag

          Finding out that I was expecting again was a big shock for me. I am already the mother to 3 girls and in a few weeks I will be the 40. Anyone would think that I would know exactly what to do and how to do it but I don't think you ever get used to it and every pregnancy is different. My latest bundle of joy is due in October and will be born but caesarean. Like all expectant mothers I rushed out and bought baby magazines. I was surprised by the lack of choice but did find a monthly magazine that is very helpful and full of tips.
          The magazine is called Prima Baby and Pregnancy; it is just over 140 pages long. The first few pages have the index and what special features there are inside. They then introduce you to the experts that give advice throughout the issue. I found this to be very helpful as at least I know that they are professionals and most of them are parents too. The experts range from midwives, doctors, child psychologists and even a breast feeding counsellor.

          In every issue there is a free gift. The current June issue contained a book called the Complete Sleep Guide for Contented Babies by Gina Ford and a copy of the John Lewis Baby catalogue. I have had various other gifts from them as well like baby spoons and car sun shades. The magazines always contain money off vouchers that can come in very handy. The June issue has a voucher for free MAM soothers worth £3.99 a voucher for Bed time songs CD and 20% off Keycamp holidays for all readers. If you buy Fairy Non Bio you can also claim a free Kipper the dog book.
          The magazine really does live up to its name of both baby and pregnancy. The articles are for both and cover a wide range of subjects, for example there is in the latest issue articles on Beating morning sickness, Getting the birth you want, enjoying a safe summer pregnancy, then you have Baby love: summer loving for small kids, New mums know how and Encourage your toddler to make friends. These are just a few of the special article that you can find.

          One of the articles that I found very useful was how to get all your babies buys for under £500. I think that in most cases people find affording a baby a little difficult and a write up on something like this is very informative.
          There is a very good week by week guide to your unborn baby and is very reassuring that things like forgetfulness is normal (I thought I was going mad so this reassured me a lot).

          There is even a very good health and nutrition section that gives you advice and some great recipes for your toddler and yourself.
          They have some regular sections like Editors letter, mums on line, your stars and a problems page

          Even dads are not forgotten. There is a lot about dads and even a dad's page which my partner had a good look at and found very interesting.
          At first the thing that annoyed me most about the magazine was the amount of advertising in it. As time has gone on I do find that I am looking at it more and more and as everything is baby related I find it useful. At the back of the magazine they have a Baby plus section that is smaller classified adverts. There are a lot of unusual and helpful things in it like a Maternity Bear that you can put all your keep sakes in and even where to go for circumcision.

          Prima baby and Pregnancy is a monthly magazine and is normally available the last week in every month. It costs £2.50 per issue which I found to be very reasonable. You can get it on subscription which is £21.50 for 12 issues and they give you a free gift of a Vertbaudet nappy holder that is worth £25. I got my copy from Asda but it can be found in any major supermarket or newsagent.
          I would also recommend having a look at their very helpful website called Babyexpert.com which you can join and is full of very helpful information and interesting ideas.

          My opinion of this magazine is that it is very good value and a very good read. I would not hesitate to recommend it to expectant and new mums.

          Thank you for reading my review

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        • Nestle Cheerios / Breakfast / 37 Readings / 32 Ratings
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          13.08.2007 11:27
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          Cheerios that go soogy when added with milk

          Every morning when I wake up the first thing I have on my mind is breakfast. Recently I have found that my 2 youngest daughters are the same. At about 7 o clock every morning there is a mad rush in to the kitchen to find what there is to eat. I am normally a toast kind of person but all my girls love their cereals. Normally we have Corn Flakes or Rice Crispies. However on a recent shopping trip my attention was drawn to the fact that Asda had a special on for Cheerios of 2 for £2 (a 375g box is normally £1.55). At first I refused to buy them as I did not think that the kids would eat them, but after half an hour of begging and pleading I gave in.

          The Cheerios are in a very distinctive box. I bought a 375g box (they also have 500g boxes). The box is mainly white with the Cheerios Logo on the front written in purple. The O of the word is in red and the i is dotted with a cheerio. The box itself is full of information. The main bit of information that Nestle seem to want to get across is that the cereals are made of whole grains. This is sprawled across the top and the bottom of the box just to make sure that we get the message clearly.

          The next morning I decided that as I had been pushed to buy them, that everyone would get a bowl full. I opened the packet and was very surprised to find that the smell was not very pleasant. It is hard to describe it was not a strong smell but it did not leave me feeling hungry at all. The cereals themselves were in four different shades of brown. This was supposed to be the four different whole grains. They were all a similar shape of little Os.

          The box says that there are four whole grains but I found out that after reading the box that there seemed to be five. The ingredients are as follows:
          Whole Grain Cereal Grains (74.3%)(Whole Grain Maize, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Rice), Sugar, Partially Inverted Brown Sugar Syrup, Wheat Starch, Rice Flour, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate, Vegetable Oil, Colours: Caramel and Annatto, Antioxidant: Tocopherols. Here are the added Vitamins and minerals : Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamin C, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid (Folacin), Vitamin B12, Calcium Carbonate and Iron

          I put some Cheerios into a bowl and put some cold semi-skimmed milk on top. I tried them at first without sugar and found that they did not need any. The first mouthful was ok and so was the second. I can’t say I was thrilled with the taste; there were very crunchy and quite sweet with a small oaty taste. The third mouthful was awful. The milk had made the Cheerios go soggy. It was like eating baby food to me. Even my kids said that they did not want any more after about four spoonfuls. Well I thought that is another cereal that has been tried and can be thrown away. However I was wrong.

          Later that evening my oldest daughter decided that she was very hungry. After a visit to the kitchen she came back with the box of Cheerios. She started eating them from the box. She offered me a few and I have to admit that they were very tasty on their own without the milk. I could taste the sugar in them and the taste of the oats was a lot stronger. The next day when my little ones woke up, my oldest daughter offered them some Cheerios from the packet. They loved them. The packet lasted the weekend before the next one was being opened.

          I am not so sure about my children eating these. Although there is only 110 calories in a 30g portion, there is also 6.5g of sugar. I feel this is a little high for youngsters. The box boasts that it has been approved by the Good Housekeeping Institute. This normally means that the product is of high quality. This cereal to me seems to be aimed at children from the age of about 7 to 18.Although I am not questioning the quality, I do feel that kids should take it a little easy on these. I do think that I will buy them again for the kids (not for myself, I am going back to cornflakes), but only about once a moth if that.

          Cheerios also come in a Honey Nut and Oat variety.

          For further information on Cheerios or Nestle here are the contact details:

          Consumer Relations,
          Cereal Partners UK
          Freepost BBT218
          Welwyn Garden City
          AL7 1BR

          Telephone: 0845 6017158

          Website: ww.nestlecereals.co.uk

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          • Tampax Compak Super / Sexual Health / 44 Readings / 41 Ratings
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            21.06.2007 23:51
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            Tampax - The easiest thing to use at a bad time

            Well this has to be one of the scariest review I have ever done. During a slightly drunken conversation my friend commented that there is not enough said or written about women’s Menstrual products. Being an idiot I made a very off the cuff remark that it would not bother me to do a review on this. Well then, came back the comment put your money where your mouth is. So here goes.

            Going back a very very long time ago, on my 12th birthday, the presents I got were a new top, money, shoes, earrings and my first period. The first time I saw it I felt like I was going to die. Although my parents had been very open with me, nothing ever prepares you for your first time. To make things worse my mum had gone out and my dad was the only one in the house. Being the only daughter, this was also hard on my poor old dad. I told him in graphic detail, between sobs what had happened and he went racing off to the chemist. He came back with a large carrier bag full of period related items. Included in this was Tampax. I was horrified at the thought of them and put them straight in the bin. It took me another 3 years to start using them. I was on Holiday in a hotel room in Kenya with no other option than to use them and have never looked back since.

            For a young girl the thought of inserting anything that looks like a lump of hard cotton wool is not an easy thing to do. These day Tampax are a lot more user friendly. You still get the large very obvious looking ones. My earliest memory of these are moving into a very posh neighbourhood and my 2 year old brother opening a box of mums Tampax. He then came in to the garden. My mum and dad were talking to our new neighbours. Give me a light Dad he shouted while holding the Tampax in his fingers like a cigarette. I have never seen my father move so fast.

            Today we have the Tampax compak. These are a lot smaller , about 4-5 inches and look like an unopened sachets of sugar. They are made of an absorbent natural cotton and/or rayon.

            Tampax are owned by Proctor and Gamble. They bought the company in 1997 from a company in American called Tambrands Inc. Tampax has been around for over 50 years and is known as the biggest name in women’s menstrual products.

            They come in four different sizes:

            Lites: These are in a purple and blue box. They are for a light flow of less than 6g. Mainly recommended for young girls or at the end of your period. 16 per pack.

            Regular: These are in a Yellow and blue box. They are for a normal flow of 6-9g and can be used throughout your period. 16 per pack

            Super: A green and blue box this time. For 9-12g flow. Most people I know tend to use these ones. 16 per pack.

            Super-plus: An orange and blue box. These are for a very heavy flow of 12-15g. 16 per pack.

            The other products Tampax do are: A Tampax multipack (Lites, regular and super in one box for different times of your period). 24 per pack, The Tampax normal range with the old style applicators and Tampax compak fresh, tampons that are slightly scented

            Tampax Compak are small light and easy to use. A smooth plastic applicator that is pulled out and ready to use makes them easy to insert. Relaxing before putting them in makes it a lot easier. They then expand in side the female as they absorbe the liquid (I am trying not to upset anyone here). Tampax make it easier for a women or girl to go about her daily routine without worrying about a pad showing or (sorry lads) leaking. I like to go swimming and I could not do this with a pad. The new Compak now comes with a protective skirt at the bottom. All tampons should be changed every 4-8 hours. Each pack contains a very good instructional leaflet, that tells you exactly how to use them and answers a few embarrassing questions in a very easy to understand way.

            One thing not to forget. All tampons can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This is rare but can be fatal. It is caused by bacteria that occur in the vagina. It mainly affects teenage girls and young women under 30. The symptoms are:

            Muscle aches
            Vomiting
            Diarrhoea
            Rash
            Sore throat
            Dizziness
            Fainting &
            High fever

            If this does happen remove the tampon immediately and seek medical attention.

            Tampax can be bought in any major supermarket, chemist and sometimes corner shops. The prices do vary but I get mine from Asda at £1.95 for 16. All sizes are the same. I would use a whole pack (sometimes more) per period.

            In conclusion, I could never go back to using pads I have now heard about a product that is called the mooncup, that is also for periods but I know very little about it.). These tampons are discrete, easy to use and once in you do not know they are there (no smart comments on that one please). I would recommend all women to try them as they make one of the most difficult things about being a woman just a bit easier.
            Thank you for being brave enough to read this.

            Vicki

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          • Tampax Regular / Sexual Health / 9 Readings / 5 Ratings
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            21.06.2007 17:58
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            ERROR

            ERROR
            Going back a very very long time ago, on my 12th birthday, the presents I got were a new top, money, shoes, earrings and my first period. The first time I saw it I felt like I was going to die. Although my parents had been very open with me, nothing ever prepares you for your first time. To make things worse my mum had gone out and my dad was the only one in the house. Being the only daughter, this was also hard on my poor old dad. I told him in graphic detail, between sobs what had happened and he went racing off to the chemist. He came back with a large carrier bag full of period related items. Included in this was Tampax. I was horrified at the thought of them and put them straight in the bin. It took me another 3 years to start using them. I was on Holiday in a hotel room in Kenya with no other option than to use them and have never looked back since.

            For a young girl the thought of inserting anything that looks like a lump of hard cotton wool is not an easy thing to do. These day Tampax are a lot more user friendly. You still get the large very obvious looking ones. My earliest memory of these are moving into a very posh neighbourhood and my 2 year old brother opening a box of mums Tampax. He then came in to the garden. My mum and dad were talking to our new neighbours. Give me a light Dad he shouted while holding the Tampax in his fingers like a cigarette. I have never seen my father move so fast.

            Today we have the Tampax compak. These are a lot smaller , about 4-5 inches and look like an unopened sachets of sugar. They are made of an absorbent natural cotton and/or rayon.

            Tampax are owned by Proctor and Gamble. They bought the company in 1997 from a company in American called Tambrands Inc. Tampax has been around for over 50 years and is known as the biggest name in women’s menstrual products.

            They come in four different sizes:

            Lites: These are in a purple and blue box. They are for a light flow of less than 6g. Mainly recommended for young girls or at the end of your period. 16 per pack.

            Regular: These are in a Yellow and blue box. They are for a normal flow of 6-9g and can be used throughout your period. 16 per pack

            Super: A green and blue box this time. For 9-12g flow. Most people I know tend to use these ones. 16 per pack.

            Super-plus: An orange and blue box. These are for a very heavy flow of 12-15g. 16 per pack.

            The other products Tampax do are: A Tampax multipack (Lites, regular and super in one box for different times of your period). 24 per pack, The Tampax normal range with the old style applicators and Tampax compak fresh, tampons that are slightly scented

            Tampax Compak are small light and easy to use. A smooth plastic applicator that is pulled out and ready to use makes them easy to insert. Relaxing before putting them in makes it a lot easier. They then expand in side the female as they absorbe the liquid (I am trying not to upset anyone here). Tampax make it easier for a women or girl to go about her daily routine without worrying about a pad showing or (sorry lads) leaking. I like to go swimming and I could not do this with a pad. The new Compak now comes with a protective skirt at the bottom. All tampons should be changed every 4-8 hours. Each pack contains a very good instructional leaflet, that tells you exactly how to use them and answers a few embarrassing questions in a very easy to understand way.

            One thing not to forget. All tampons can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This is rare but can be fatal. It is caused by bacteria that occur in the vagina. It mainly affects teenage girls and young women under 30. The symptoms are:

            Muscle aches
            Vomiting
            Diarrhoea
            Rash
            Sore throat
            Dizziness
            Fainting
            High fever

            If this does happen remove the tampon immediately and seek medical attention.

            Tampax can be bought in any major supermarket, chemist and sometimes corner shops. The prices do vary but I get mine from Asda at £1.95 for 16. All sizes are the same. I would use a whole pack (sometimes more) per period.

            In conclusion, I could never go back to using pads I have now heard about a product that is called the mooncup, that is also for periods but I know very little about it.). These tampons are discrete, easy to use and once in you do not know they are there (no smart comments on that one please). I would recommend all women to try them as they make one of the most difficult things about being a woman just a bit easier.
            Thank you for being brave enough to read this.

            Vicki

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            • Natwest Bank / Bank / 35 Readings / 33 Ratings
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              19.06.2007 20:41
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              Natwest a good bank for me

              I left the UK in 2000 to go to Ireland to get married then I moved to Spain for a few years. I did not return until Late 2005 after my marriage had broken up. I needed to open a bank account as soon as I got back. Previously I had been with Barclays. I had no problems with Barclays but no real help either. My parents had been with Natwest for over 15 years and had been very happy with the service. They lived in Portugal at the moment but still keep an account with Natwest. Even though they live abroad they have never had any problems with them.

              I decided to open my account in Gateshead, High street. The assistant manageress took me into a small office and started to process my application. She was not at all phased at the fact of my previous address was Spanish. I explained my situation to her and she set to work processing my application. She pointed out to me that due to the fact that I had not been in the country for just over 5 years there was no credit history on me (so much for the EU). She said that they could not offer me a current account but they could offer me a Step Account. I will explain more about the accounts later on.

              I had to produce 2 forms of Identification. I was then taken thru all the various legal bits and forms. I signed the forms and left. The whole thing took about 40 minutes. The lady was very professional and pleasant. Two weeks later I received confirmation of my account being opened and a few days after that my solo debit card arrived.

              Since then they have been very professional and very helpful with me. I now also have an internet savings account (its nearly empty) and my youngest has her childrens bonds with them.

              Natwest was previously called National Westminster Bank. In March 2000 the Royal Bank of Scotland bought them for £21 billion. Together the banks are now the 2nd largest in the UK and the 5th largest in the World. Natwest alone has over 1650 branches in the UK alone.

              The company offers various accounts. Here are some of the basic ones :

              Step Acount
              ---------------
              This account is a very basic account without any overdraft facilities. It comes with a Solo card, which is a cash point card and a debit card.

              Current Plus Account
              --------------------------
              A current account with an overdraft id needed. A Service or debit card provided as well.

              Advantage Private Account
              --------------------------------
              This account is for people who earn over £75,000 p.a. Or Couples who earn over £100,000 between them p.a

              Advantage Gold Account
              -------------------------------
              You can upgrade to this account by paying £12 per month. This account offers various insurances such as mobile phone, car, travel and Home.

              There are various other accounts such as the Natwest Welcome Account with Polish Language support, Student Account, Graduate Account and On-line savings Account.

              One of the best things about Natwest I think, is its On-Line and telephone banking. I have used it for over a year and find it very straight forward and easy to use. The website seems to be very secure, but I have heard in the press that there have been some security breeches. I have to say that I have never had any problems. I find it a big advantage to be able to check my account at any time and from anywhere in the world. If you can not get onto the website then the 24 hour telephone banking staff will assist you. I have always found them eager to please. I also like the fact that my branch has a direct number and it is a local rate number.

              The biggest disadvantage is the charges. I have never changed from the step account (this stops me getting into debt) and on one occasion I did not have enough money in the account to cover a direct debit that came out early from my account. I was short by £9 and over £200 was put into my account the following day. The bank took £38 standard charges from my account. After speaking to the manager at Natwest Metrocenter Branch. He offered to waiver the charge as I had a good history with them and he wanted to offer me a sign of goodwill. I very gratefully accepted his offer.

              CONCLUSION
              -------------------
              I am very impressed with Natwest. I find the staff helpful and always ready to go that extra mile to solve a problem. This could be just down to the branch I am with as not everyone seems to feel this way. The charges are high but I think you will find that in any high street bank. To finish up I would highly recommend Natwest to anyone.


              Contact Details
              ------------------
              www. Natwest.com
              Telephone 0800 200 400 for any general product info

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              • Asda Crisps in General / Snacks / 30 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                16.06.2007 01:04
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                Asda basic crisps

                This review is for Asda 6 pack of ready salted crisps. I normally buy Walkers ready salted or pom teddy bear crisps as these are the only ones that my kids can agree on liking. However I decided to try and save money so I tried Asda's own.

                Asda has introduced a new 'healthier' version of their ready salted crisps. They now contain 70% less saturates than before. This made me feel like I was a better mother for giving my kids something not as unhealthy as before. (I know it makes very little difference but I can always live in hope). As other mothers will know you try to feed you kids with nutritional snacks but it never works. If I give my kids apple crisps again they will call childline.

                Well here goes.

                The Packaging

                It crisps come in a big read bag. It has a big six on the packet and Ready salted crisps underneath. On the left hand side there is a blue circle with a sunflower on it and the wording made with sunflower oil. Attached to that is a yellow arrow with the wording 70% less saturates* (the * is to tell us that this is 70% less than before). The back of the packet has the Ingredients. A short message about Asda, Nutritional information, Storage info and a refund promise if you are not happy. The crisps are also suitable for vegetarians.

                The Product

                There are 6 x 25g bags in the packet. The first thing that I noticed is that the bags felt very light. When I opened them, they had a nice fresh smell but my 5 year old complained that someone had eaten some of her crisps as the bag was only half full. No wonder they have less fat in them. The crisps felt like they were very thin compared to Walkers or any other major brand. They tasted very salty but they did have a good crunch on them. They were a good size and not many broken bits. Not as bad as I first thought they would be.

                Ingredients

                Potatoes, sunflower oil (32%) and salt.

                Nutrition per bag

                132kcals, Carbs 13.2g, fat 8.2g, fibre 1.0g and sodium 0.15g.

                It tells us on the packet that each bag contains 0.4g of salt that is 7% of your guideline daily amount.

                Price

                79p or 3 packs of 6 for £2 compared to Walkers at 98p or 3 packs of 6 bags for £2.50 at Asda.

                Conclusion

                They are good value for money but you do feel like you are eating a lower quality of crisp. If you were really worried about nutrition then you would not be eating crisps in the first place but it does help that they have lowered the saturates. I think that I would buy these again as the kids did not really notice the taste difference (despite the complaints of how full the bags were.)

                For further information contact:
                Asda Stores LTD
                Leeds
                LS11 5AD

                www.asda.co.uk

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                • More +
                  15.06.2007 12:56
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                  Quick and easy Birds Eye Chicken

                  I love to make a very quick and easy dinner and I thought I might write a review on it. One of my favorite quick dinners is Birds Eye cracked pepper chicken.

                  I know I might write reviews concerning my little monsters, this however might give the false impression that I am domesticated. Oh how wrong can you be! If I manage to find something in the supermarket that is quick and easy to make I am willing to knock over old ladies just to get it. Birds Eye Cracked Pepper Chicken fit the bill perfectly for me.

                  I spotted them about 4 months ago in the frozen section of Asda. The brightly coloured yellow/orange box had the birds Eye logo on and a very appetising picture of two chicken breasts with a nice looking coating on. I decided for once in my life I was not going to buy something just because it looked pretty and I was going to read the box.

                  The front of the box had a large square on it with the writing ‘Made with 100% chicken breast’ normally that would have been enough for me but I decided to read on. It might have had chicken breast in it but there were a lot of other ingredients added as well.

                  The list of the ingredients are as follows:
                  Chicken (73%, water, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, wheat flour, maltodextrin (contains wheat), salt, spices, wheat starch, maize starch, dried red and green peppers, rice flour, skimmed milk powder, sugar, pork gelatine, natural flavourings, yeast extract, tomato powder, onion powder, emulsifier (Soya lecithin), potato starch, herbs, and finally white wine vinegar.

                  Well what a mouthful and that is even before you have taken a bite. Despite having enough different ingredients added to stock a small shop I decided to still buy it. I thought the price was fairly good at £1.48 for a pack. When I had taken the out of the box they looked nothing like the front of the packet. I put this down to the fact that they were frozen and the appearance would improve on cooking. The instructions are to cook the chicken from frozen for 25 minutes in a pre-heated oven glazed side up at 190C, 375F or gas mark 5. It states fairly clearly on the pack that these are not suitable for the microwave. I had mine in the oven for 30 minutes before I felt it was ready. I would in no way try to under cook this as the box does advise that the chicken does contain raw meats.

                  After taking my chicken out of the oven, I have to say that the appearance had improved. The bits of red and green pepper flakes were fairly noticeable on the top of the chicken. There was a very pleasant smell of peppers and spices to the chicken and I found myself looking forward to it. Upon cutting it open I noticed that it was very processed looking, unlike the picture on the front of the box. The I have to say the taste was quite pleasant. The peppers on the top were not too strong but still fairly spicy. If you have a smallish appetite then one will do you fine but I would think a man would have to have two. I had mine with a salad and I have to admit I did eat the two of them ( I was hungry, that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it).

                  At first glance I thought these were good for slimmers as there is only 160kcal per portion, but the fat content seems quite high at 8.9g which is 12% of an adult’s guideline daily amount. People who are slimming are normally advised to have products under 5%. What was more worrying was the amount of salt in the chicken,. 1.17g, (20% of an adults GDA).

                  My overall conclusion of this product is that it is quick, easy and tasty but you could never mistake it for a proper chicken breast. It is alright to have now and then but due to the high fat and salt content not too often. S it looks like my poor children will have to put up with me cooking from scratch.

                  Birds Eye also do Thai flavoured chicken in this range.

                  If you wanted any more information on these Birds Eye have a website at www.birdseye.co.uk or a customer service free phone number 0800 33 22 77.

                  Thanks for reading my review.

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                  • Oral B Stages Toothpaste / Oral Care / 31 Readings / 29 Ratings
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                    12.06.2007 20:57
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                    Toothpaste fit for a princess

                    I have 3 demanding daughters aged 15, 5 and 3. My youngest two love brushing their teeth but have become very fussy on what toothpaste they like to use. Like most kids of their age they don’t like the minty flavour that most adult toothpaste has.

                    On a recent shopping trip to Tesco with my little ones, they both noticed the Oral-B Stages toothpaste with the 3 Disney princesses on it. Since all they seem to like these days is the Disney Princesses, I knew what I was in for. After 5 minutes of nagging (I have no stamina) I gave in and even though we did not need toothpaste decided to buy it for them.

                    PACKAGING
                    It comes in a very pretty pink and blue tube with the faces of Cinderella, Belle and Jasmine on the front. The cap is also a very pretty pink colour. At the top of the tube there is the lettering Oral-B Stages. It has very little other writing on the front other than to tell you that it is fluoride toothpaste and that it is a squeeze fun shaped. The tube is small and very good for little fingers so that the kids feel grown up doing it themselves. The main thing that you notice about the packaging is that it is there to attract kids and vulnerable parents like me.

                    INSTRUCTIONS
                    It does not have instruction as such on the tube it only tells you that children under 7 should use a pea-sized amount and should be under adult supervision to minimise swallowing (as if I am going to let a 3 and 4 year old loose in my bathroom with a full tube of anything).

                    PRODUCT
                    The toothpaste itself comes in pink (what else) and is a very strange tutti frutti flavour. My Kids loved the taste and the colour. Personally I thought is had a very strong bubble gum smell to it and I thought the taste was very sweet (Yuck). Luckily according to the tube it does not contain sugar.

                    INGREDIENTS
                    Sorbitol, Aqua, Hydrated Silica, Glycerine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Aroma, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer Sodium Saccharin, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Fluoride. The toothpaste contains 0.248% of Sodium Fluoride. Fluoride is very important for children as it can help to prevent cavities. However if children have too much fluoride then this can cause mottling on their permanent teeth. The fluoride in this product is just enough for children to give them that little extra that they might need.

                    PRICE
                    I paid £1.44 for a 75ml tube. I have also seen a Winnie the Pooh stages toothpaste for the same price.

                    CONCLUSION
                    My little ones love the toothpaste in fact is was a fight to see who could get in to the bathroom first. I think this is a good idea if you have kids that do not like to brush their teeth, but I do feel that it is a little bit expensive. It had very clever marketing and is very noticeable among the other brands. The one thing I found strange with this toothpaste is that nowhere on the tube does it give you the ages of the children it is recommended for. I would assume that it would be for 3 to 9 but I would have preferred that they told me this.

                    If you require any further information there is a website at www.oral-bkids.com.

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                  • More +
                    20.05.2007 22:10
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                    Do you believe in Smacking?

                    This is a very difficult topic for most people and I am no different. I am the mother to 3 girls. My kids are 15, 4 and 3 years old. Having kids at such different ages gives me very different ways of disciplining them. I hardly can treat a 15 year old the same as a 3 year old.

                    Now to the big question, do I believe in smacking my kids? Well the short answer would be yes. I know that this could make me very unpopular but I feel that there are times when a little tap on the hand does no harm and gets their attention. This I feel is only need up to a certain age, I would and could never smack my daughter at 15 she is too old for that. She needs another form of discipline. I will take her ipod away or stop her using the computer. To be honest this upsets her far more than a smacked hand ever would.

                    My two little girls are very well behaved for their age. I am very proud when I take them out and people comment on their manners and how sweet they are. Oh don’t get me wrong they don’t have halos over their heads, they can be little devils like any other kids, but due to the fact that I am not scared of disciplining them, they are not little terrors. There are times when I have told them not to do something and they don’t listen. I give them three warnings then I will tap their hand. When I say tap I mean a tap. I could not hurt my kids for anything in this world. For me, my kids need to know that I mean business. When they do something naughty then they need to know what they have done. There will be people who say that there are other ways but I have tried them. I have tried the naughty step but they sit there singing and once even my little one fell asleep. Smacking their hands should be a last resort. This does not stop me from threatening it every now and then just to get their attention.

                    I think that any one who has had kids knows that it is very difficult to bring up your kids in the right way. Do you push your kids to do something or do you let them find their own way? Unfortunately kids don’t come with a user manual and every man and his dog will give you advice on how to look after them. I have come to the conclusion that there is no right way to bring up or discipline kids but there is a wrong way.

                    Kids need love food, water, warmth and guidance. How you do this has to be up to you. If you give them those 5 things then you won’t go far wrong as a parent. You can not hurt your kids if you love them. I feel most parents should trust their feelings on how to discipline their kids. Don’t get me wrong I have seen that mother who’s kid has been screaming in the supermarket and she has really smacked him hard. This has made me feel sick and I one case I told the mother so.

                    I grew up with a very strict father and when I was two we moved to Africa for most of my young life. Both home and school life was very strict. My father would (very rarely) give us the belt and smack us on the legs. In school the cane was the means of punishment for boys and the ruler for girls. This to me was way over the top and I feared both my father and my teachers for a very long time. To me this was not the right way to treat children, but how do you feel about the way that kids are being disciplined in school today. There is no deterrent in school at all at the moment. I know of kids that have told the teacher to F**K off before getting up and leaving the class. The have got a little speech from the headmaster and back in class the next day.

                    You have to know the difference between hurting a child and discipline them. If you love your kids you won’t be able to do more than discipline them. This is a very personal opinion and I don’t claim to have all the answers. I am always interested in other people’s views. So let me know what you think.

                    Thanks

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                    • More +
                      18.05.2007 14:21
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                      A caffine free healthy drink that does not taste like dishwater

                      Here is my review for Twinings Wellbeing Blends, Lemon and Ginger Tea. It is supposed to be a healthier alternative to tea and coffee.

                      Twinnings is a very well known name that we associate with tea and is available throughout the country. Twinnings had been going since 1706 and were one of the first companies to start selling tea in England. Although the cornerstone of Twinnings business is Earl Grey they have branched out, supplying green teas, fruit & herbal teas, flavoured black teas and selected origin teas.

                      Getting back to my Lemon and Ginger tea. The box comes in a very bright orange colour with a very nice picture of an orange segment and ginger root on a white square plate. The Twinnings logo is on the front with the Queens Crest and approval stamp. The box is 100% recyclable and made from renewable resources. I feel in this is important at this current time. The tea is made under the Wellbeing Blends. For sad and easy led people like me these looks like the ideal replacement to coffee. On the back of the box it tells us the Ginger has been traditionally used to aid digestion. All Twinings wellbeing infusions are also caffeine free and thankfully contain no added sugar.

                      I decided to make my first cup the next morning instead of my daily pickup of coffee. I boiled the kettle and decide to use my posh new clear glass cup. The teabags like nearly all Twinings Infusions came in pairs and have to be parted carefully in case you tear the bag itself. This is not any easy task as the perforations are not very good. The teabag itself smelt strongly of ginger with a hint (and I mean a small hint)of lemon. I popped a bag in my cup and added the boiling water. The instruction state that you should use 1 teabag per person and leave to infuses for 2-3 minutes according to taste. And you can add honey to sweeten if preferred. The instructions also say that it could be drank hot or cold and always drink without milk.

                      The first thing I noticed was the smell of the lemon and the ginger together. It was a really warm welcoming smell. But I was not fooled by this. I have tried so many herbal teas that smelt divine and tasted like dishwater. I was a little put off at the fact that even after leaving the teabag in the water for over 4 minutes, it did not change colour and stay an off white with little bits floating in it. I waited a while for the tea to cool a bit and took my first sip. I was a lot weaker that I had expected (as I said before, I had left the bag in for just over 4 minutes) but it was quite pleasant, despite the colour. The lemon hits you first followed by the ginger that feels warm at the back of your throat. I did not add any honey as I felt it would spoil it.

                      After finishing the cup I felt really refreshed and knew that I would use the teabags again.

                      Ingredients – Ginger root (39%), lemon grass (18%), lemon peel, linden, blackberry leaves, lemon flavouring, ginger flavouring and citric acid.

                      Nutritional Information – 100ml gives you, 2 cal, 0.3g carbohydrates and a trace of fat.

                      The box comes with 20 teabags. They are very widely available. I bought mine in Asda for 91p per box.

                      Well in my opinion this has to be my favourite infusion to date. I am just about half way thru another diet and I think they will come in handy. But they still don’t taste as good as my morning cup of coffee. This will not stop me from trying more types of infusions to find the perfect one that one day could replace my unhealthy cup of coffee

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                      • asda.co.uk / Online Shop / 40 Readings / 37 Ratings
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                        15.05.2007 20:49
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                        Asda home shopping makes life easier

                        I have been using Asda home shopping for over a year and I think it is great. I have a 3 and 4 year old who hate going to the shops. I work full time, so to get my shopping delivered is fantastic.

                        I love shopping this way even if it does make me lazy. I find the website easy to use and the products well explained. I just log on in the evening enter my pin number, pick when I want my shopping to be delivered (this can be Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 9.00pm, Sunday 10.00am to 6.00pm) and start shopping.

                        The main page of the site gives you a list, there is a list of what they call aisles for example Bakery, Dairy, Frozen Food and Meat. You can click on to the aisle you wish to visit. You then are given another menu e.g. in Meat the sub menu would be Beef, Pork, Lamb and Poultry. Then choose which of those you need and a list of items in that section appears in Alphabetical brand order (normally always starting with Asdas own products) with the prices next to them. There is also a tab at the top of the website with the special offers like the multi savings and the rollback prices. These tend to save a lot of money. Everything that you add to your trolley is displayed on the right hand side of the screen and what your total is so far

                        Within the grocery section you can not order anything other than groceries. Electrical and other items need another account setting up in that section.

                        I have had very little trouble with any of the orders I have made. If there is an item missing or a wrong item delivered, I just call the help line and they deduct it off my bill straight away. There is a minimum £25 order value and the delivery costs is Monday £4.25, Tuesday £3.75, Wednesday £3.75, Thursday £4.25, Friday £4.75, Saturday £4.75 and Sunday £4.75. You can book up to 3 weeks in advance. It is a bit of a distance from the car to my back door so to have someone else carry all those bags to my door is a big advantage.

                        I find I spend a lot less money shopping online as I tend to stick to my lists. This would be impossible if I was in the shop with the kids. If I go to the supermarket I would spend about £90 and still need more shopping in the week. When I shop online I spend on average £70.

                        When you go to the checkout you only need to enter your details once as they are stored for your next visit. The only thing you would have to enter again is your security code on the back of your card. The checkout is easy and there is a list of what you have ordered and then amount you have saved with the special offers. The delivery cost is then added and you pay with your registered card. They then send you a confirmation email and you wait for the delivery. It is possible to change your order after you have been to the checkout, up 5pm the day before delivery. Payment methods accepted are all major debit and credit cards. Cash is not accepted and you can not pay the driver for your shopping

                        Although delivery is done in 2 hour time slots, mine normally gets delivered within the first hour and they have never been late.

                        Sometimes they do not have all the items you require so they offer you substitute. Sometimes this can be a more expensive item but they price match it to the one you have ordered. If you do not want the item just return it to the driver who marks off his list and it is credited off your card within the next few days.

                        On the whole for a busy mother this is a great way to shop and you save money.

                        Asda website www.asda.co.uk

                        Helpline number: 0845 300 7771(lines are open 8am-10pm, 7 days a week, local call rate

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