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The keyboard is quite basic in its appearance; it is a glossy black finish with matt black keys. Just over 19inches in length and just under 9inches wide, I would say it’s quite slim too, probably less than 2inches deep (when the feet aren’t being used). It is the standard QWERTY style with a separate number pad which I like, I have a company laptop which does have one of these and I find it really hard to use the numbers at the top of keyboard rather than on the pad.
According to Microsoft, this has a reliable connection of up to 15ft, I have tested that this is true but I have put m keyboard onto another desk before and it worked perfectly.
To the bottom right hand corner of the keyboard there is an indicator light which illuminated green when the batteries are starting to run low. The keyboard requires 2 x AA batteries, I have been using the keyboard for well over a year now and I haven’t had to replace the batteries once which I think is excellent as I am using non-branded batteries which sometimes don’t tend to last as long. Microsoft does claim that because this has a sort of sleep mode, the batteries will last up to 15months.
Another function of this is apparently if you press the Windows button, you can launch the start button if using Windows Vista or newer, I have never had to use this and not sure I would need to at work.
I am quite impressed with the keyboard, it is quite lightweight so should I need to take to another desk or bring home with me, it wouldn't weigh my bag down. Although it is lightweight, it does feel quite durable and sturdy. The feet underneath the keyboard keep it in place and it doesn't move whilst I am typing which is good.
The thing that has most impressed me (and our health and safety officer) is that only one letter has worn away and that is the letter A, previous keyboards I have used have had letter start to come away after just a couple of weeks.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this keyboard and it gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.
No matter what, during the winter months my daughter always comes home from nursery with a runny nose and always passes the germs on to me.
At work we always seem to have that cheap really rough toilet role so you can guarantee, within half a day of me constantly blowing my nose, it starts to become red and dry. A friend gave me a packet of these and I have never looked back.
Kleenex state that these are dermatologically tested tissues that leave behind a micro-fine layer of protective balm on the skin. This unique balm containing calendula soothes your nose and helps prevent it from becoming red or drying out.
The tissues are 3 ply so I find that they are quite durable and you can use them a few times before you need another one.
I personally prefer to by the pocket sized packs (contains 9 tissues) as I can just pop them in my handbag or pocket and they take up very little space
The price for the pocket sized packs is around 56p, however you can buy them in multi packs of 12 for less than £3 so as I seem to constantly need them, I always but these.
Kleenex also sell this brand in man sized boxes.
Most shops seem to sell these tissues in some format, Boots, Superdrug and the supermarkets always seem to have all sizes available.
Overall, I would really recommend these to anybody suffering with a cold and wanting to steer away from the red clown nose effect.
Thanks for reading.
This is provided by work, I am not sure of the exact cost however I have just had a look online and can see that these cost around £20 and it is available from PC and electrical stores and placed such as Amazon & eBay.
To be honest, I didn’t set up the mouse to work with my, our IT team did it (that’s the rules, I didn’t not do it because I am lazy), the mouse comes with the tiny little USB device which is about a third of the size of a normal USB stick. All you need to do is simply plug the USB into one of the ports on the pc tower, this instantly connects to the mouse straight away and you are ready to go.
The mouse does require 1 x AA battery which was included, since using the mouse, I have only needed to change the battery twice which is think is excellent considering it is in use from 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday and I never turn it off when I am not in (and we only use a cheap non-branded too).
My mouse is black in colour, it is glossy around the edges and the centre piece is a matt black, where the palm of my hand would sit there is a Microsoft name and is has quite a simple look to it. The roller ball is a pale grey colour and rolls smoothly, the left and right click are very easy to operate too. I think the mouse feels really comfortable in my hand, the roller ball makes a slight noise when turned and the left and right button also make a click when depressed, I would say this can be a bit annoying, most of our systems are web based so do entail a lot of clicking. To the top of the mouse situated just behind the roller ball, this is normally illuminated green however when the battery is running low, this does turn to red.
As I mentioned earlier, you can turn the mouse off when not in use to try to preserve the lifetime of the battery, there is a little sliding switch on the underside of the mouse. This is also where the battery compartment is.
The mouse is designed to work on any surface, mine is used on a wooden desk and it works fine, you don’t need a mouse mat with this which I really like as my desk isn't the biggest so I don’t want to clutter it with anything else.
Apparently, the mouse has a 2.4Ghz signal which means that it gives a reliable wireless connection for up to 15ft range, I must admit, I have never tested this.
Over the years, I have purchased several memory cards however they seem go missing when I need one so we end up purchasing new ones. This was the last one we purchased.
===Price & availability===
We realised late at night that we needed one of these to looked on Amazon and picked it up from there, at the time we paid around £25 and it had free delivery (before Amazon introduced the minimum threshold for free delivery). It is also available from pc specialists and electronics stores. It normally retails for around the £45 and it is available in 5 different sizes; 8gb, 16gb, 32gb 64gb and 128gb. This is the 128gb version.
To be honest, I hadn't really heard of the brand before but we had another one which we had purchased previously and hadn't experienced any problems, it was also quite competitively priced in comparison to other brands on the market.
The disk is standard in size and rather slim; it easily fits into my laptop, camera and camcorder. It is black in colour, with a red and grey label on which displays the product name and memory size (which I find quite handy as I have been know to load up an 8gb disk into our camera before and then wonder why it filled up almost immediately). At the bottom of the label is a little white space where you can write what the disk contains, to be honest, I have never used this as I always use mine for photos but I can see this could be useful if the disk was storing other things.
It is worth noting that the disk is waterproof, temperature proof, shock proof, magnet proof, x-ray proof and finally, it comes with e 10year warranty which gives me the extra piece of mind should anything happen.
I am really quite impressed with this card, as I mentioned earlier, its the perfect size for all my electrical items and I can easily move back up my photos (and lots of them), they transfer quickly over to my pc too, SanDisk state that it has a write speed of 40mb per second which is quite quick and when transferring my files, I haven't experienced any glitches, neither had it caused my pc to crash. Because this is a 128gb disk, it has the capacity to store HD videos and holds loads and loads of photos.
I would definitely recommend this disk, we have had this for a few years now and it still does its job therefore this gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
When it comes to my skincare regime one are that I tended to 'forget' is my eyes but in the last couple of years, I have noticed that the crows feet have started to appear so I have started to try and use an eye cream, I really like the Garnier Ultra-lift range and recently I have been using this one.
This is available from most supermarkets and high street chemists and retails for around £9 for a 15ml tube. Quite often, Boots have a promotion running where you can pick up two products from the Ultra-lift range for £12 making it quite a good saving.
The product is designed to be used after cleaning, toning and moisturising, just add a few blobs around the contours of my eyes and then dab in (this is rather than rubbing in as the skin around you eyes can get damaged easily). For this reason it is also recommended that you use your 4th finger as you won't apply as much as pressure.
The eye cream comes in a thin white and dark red tube and measures just a bit longer than my phone; it doesn't take up too much room in my toiletries bag which is deal for when I go away. At the top of the tube is a little screw top lid which when removed shows a long thin nozzle, I do find that the nozzle is a little difficult to remove, especially is I have just applied my face cream and my hands are a little greasy so I find I have to twist the lid off using my teeth which is not ideal.
It has a really nice consistency to its quite thick yet upon application, this absorbs really easily into my skin and I am able to put my makeup on more or less straight away. It has a nice fragrance to it, quite fresh and it has a cooling effect on my eyes which I really like as I do tend to suffer from heavy and tired eyes.
Having used the cream for a while now, I can say that I have definitely noticed the difference, whilst it hasn't work miracles, my crow's feet have certainly reduced some what, although they were that deep, they are less noticeable and only really there when I smile now. Garnier state that within 8days, you should notice the difference and this was the case with me. The skin around my eyes has also started to feel a lot smoother and fuller.
Whilst 15ml doesn't seem to be a lot of cream, it is quite long lasting, a tube will last me around 6months before I need to replace so it makes this quite good value for money.
This gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Whenever Lauren moves up a level at swimming, we have fell into the trap of giving her a reward and this is what she picked when she moved up last week.
I picked these up a couple of years back in the Boots Christmas sale where they were £4, normally these retail for around £6-£8. The otter family is not as widely available as it used to be but you can still pick them up from larger toy stores and online from placed such as Amazon and eBay.
We already had the otter family to which these are an extension to, the family for four is normally priced at around £15 and there is also a single baby available priced at £4. Sylvanians have been around for quite a while now, with new sets coming out all the time.
What Lauren likes about the Sylvanian range is that they all have their own name and a role to play in the land of Sylvania. These are Eddy and Becky Van-Dyke, the Van-Dykes are a family who live on the canal boat and run the waterways in Sylvania. I like that they all have their own names as Lauren tries to memorise them (we have that many different families that she does forget them) and I find it help her with her spellings as she does like to write their names out.
Each of babies is covered in brown two toned fur, with pointing little black noses, white whiskers and black eyes. They look really cute and it is easy to identify what animals they are meant to be and who they are related to. Eddy is positioned as if he is crawling and comes dressed in a little blue nappy and Becky is sitting up and she has a little pink pinafore on. It is worth noting that unlike the larger Sylvanians, only the head moves on these animals and not the limbs which can limit play somewhat however it has never phased Lauren and she loved them just the same and still manages to come up with some fantastic stories and scenarios when playing with them.
Both the outfits can be removed which Lauren loved to do and can be changed with the other Sylvanians, when she was younger, she used to struggle to do this as the clothes are quite small, especially on the babies.
I would definitely recommend these and they get 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
The toner retails for just under £5 for a 200ml bottle and is available in Superdrug, Amazon and Asda.
The toner comes in a pale pink see-through bottle which I like as I can see exactly how much I have left in and it is topped with a flip top lid. L'Oreal state that for the best results, you should apply a generous amount of toner to cotton wool and wipe over your face and neck in an upward movement, twice a day which is what I do, first thing after a shower in the morning and secondly just before bed. They also recommend that you use this alongside their cleanser and moisturiser for best results, I do use the day cream however I am using a different brand of night cream and it seems to be fine.
The toner has quite a runny consistency to it and I do have to be mindful of this when tipping the bottle up, I tend to hold the cotton wool pad against the hole on the top of the bottle and tip it upside down. It has a slight floral fragrance to it which smells quite fresh.
L'Oreal claim that this invigorates the skin and visibly smoothes which removes the signs of tiredness and that it is also enriched with vitamin C, I was quite excited to try this as my skin does look a little dull and tired. Upon first using this toner, I was quite impressed with how smooth my skin felt afterwards and after a few days of use, I started to notice a difference in how my skin felt, my under skin spots seemed to shrink in size, my face looked and felt a lot 'fresher'.
The only downside of this is product, an with most toners that I use is that it seems to last too long, its a bit like the shampoo and conditioner scenario where they never run out at the same time, I find this with cleanser and toner. The gift set I had contained a pack of 25wipes which have nearly all gone yet I still have over half a bottle of this toner left.
I think the toner performs well but it is a little expensive for my liking, there are cheaper brands out there that perform just as well and for that reason, this only gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
I really like Comfort fabric softener and tend to stock up when its on offer, the last time I shopped at Tesco, I spotted this one and decided to give it a go.
The fabric softener is available in two different sizes, a 38 wash (570ml) and a 64 wash (970ml), they retail at around £3.50 for the smaller and £5 for the larger.
As with most fabric conditioners, there are several different fragrances available such as Passion, Sky, Pearl and Sunburst; I chose the Passion one which comes in a compact bottle with a purple and pink pattern to the front.
The conditioner is white in colour and has quite a runny consistency, very similar to that of milk. Comfort advertise this as Ultra concentrated and state that you should use 15ml for a 4-5kg load and 32ml for a 6-7kg load, Ill be honest, I have no idea how heavy my regular load is but the washing machine is normally full so I always opt for the bigger amount. Upon removing the screw top lid from the conditioner, this bottle actually has a little pouring spout which I know some of the other Comfort conditioner don't have so I find it quite easy t pour the right amount (which for a larger load is a full cap full).
Comfort describes the fragrance as a mix of juicy fruits, blossom petals and vanilla; it does smells quite sweet however I can't really smell the vanilla elements. As soon as I take the washing from the machine, I am greeted with the same smell as when I remove the lid from the bottle which I was quite impressed with as I have used other brands in the past where I can't smell the conditioner at all.
The true test came when I had dried my clothes, for me, my clothes felt lovely and soft and where easy to iron too, the creases seemed to just fall out (which is always a bonus as I hate ironing). The only downside for me is that while my clothes smelt fresh for a couple of days, I noticed that after a couple of days, the fragrance did seem to disappear.
One thing the hubby did struggle with was using a less amount, he tends to pour the conditioner straight into the compartment in the washer and puts the same amount in every time, I did have to shout as him a few times when I noticed that the conditioner seemed to disappearing quite quickly.
I quite like the fragrance but it doesn't seem to be as long lasting as the other Comfort ones I have chosen so for that reason, this gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
Having a little one means that we always have to have a variety of different batteries stored away in the house for when one of Laurens toys needs its batteries needs replacing. I have tried lots of different brands in the past but Duracell always proves to be our favourite.
These particular batteries are available in a variety of different pack sizes, 4, 8, 12 and 24 and priced ate between £4 - £15. They are widely available from most shops; even my local Tesco Express sells them which are where I picked these up from last. I always try to get a bigger pack size as a lot of Laurens toys take at least 4 of these so I know I have always got some in as all the batteries seem to go in things within a few days of each other.
The pack of 8 we purchased come in a small black and orange cardboard box which has a perforated side which means the batteries will slide easily out of the pack, as you can see from our photo though, we decided to bypass this function.
It is worth noting that as with all batteries, these do have a best before date which is displayed on the back of the pack, I find that Duracell tend to offer one of the longest shelf lives, these had 5years on them which I think is excellent as before children, we didn't have many appliances with AAA batteries so I ended up buying them and then leaving them in a drawer for years.
Each battery measures just a couple of inches in length and is circular in shape; they are black and gold in colour which the plus and negative sign clearly displayed at each end. The Plus Power range doesn't have the power strip indicator down the side which some other Duracell batteries do however I'll be honest, I have never used this function because once they are in a product, I only tend to take them out when they have ran out.
I have used cheaper, non-branded batteries in the past and they never seem to last very long, some don't even have enough power to make the product work straight away. I find that these are really long lasting, Lauren has a Barbie Tawny Walking Horse which takes 4 of these and it is one of her favourite toys. We have had this for about 4years and only had to change them once which I think is excellent.
I would definitely recommend these batteries and they get 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
This retails for £9 for a 150ml tube and is mainly available from Boots it comes in a white tube which is slightly see though, the scrub stands on a flip top lid.
When you first open the scrub, you do have to remove the lid (by unscrewing it) and remove a silver foil lid (a bit like a bottle of milk). The scrub is white with a pearlescent effect and is full of lots of little grains, a little bit like grains of sand but they are too, white in colour. It has a slight mint scent to it, a bit like a medicated smell but it is very slight and doesn't linger on my skin after rinsing.
Soap and Glory recommend that you dampen your skin slightly before using, then apply a pea sized amount to my face, rubbing in a circular motion over my face for around 30seconds, then simply remove with warm water. I do find that I tend to use double this amount when using to ensure that my whole face gets a good exfoliation, having said that, because I only use this a couple of times a week, the tube does last quite a long time and I still have over half a tub left.
Before applying, I do recommend giving the tub a good shake before using as it does tend to separate slightly. It rubs across my skin easily, as I rub; I can tell that this is giving my skin a good cleanse as it does feel a little rough. I tend to apply mine just before I get in the shower, and then rinse off when I get in, I do find that this takes a little longer to remove than other scrubs I have used and I do have to rub my skin slightly to ensure the entire product is removed.
After rinsing, Soap and Glory recommend you use their moisturisers however I just use whatever I have in the drawer. I can definitely tell that I have used the product; my skin feels lovely and soft and has a healthier glow to it. I find that applying my makeup was a lot easier and my foundation looked a lot more natural too as it didn't clump or cause any dry patches that I normally suffer from.
The results aren't that long lasting, just a couple of days, but then this is what I would expect. It is recommended that you use this product 2-4 times a week.
I would definitely recommend this product.
When I started my daughter on finger food, I decided to buy some little plastic plates for her and I found that most places sell these but you can be looking at least £1 for these.
On one of my regular visits to Ikea, I spotted these packs of plates and thought what a bargain they were. A lot of the mother and baby groups and play centres I went to used these so I was familiar with the product.
This is a pack of six brightly coloured oval shaped plates which measure approximately 16 x 19 cm. Each pack has 6 plastic plates in, pink, red, orange, blue, yellow and green.
The set of 6 plates costs just 90p (I think I paid around the 80p mark nearly 4 years ago so they are still a bargain). I have just checked and they cannot be ordered online however they are available in store and you can also check stock availability on line.
I think these are still an absolute bargain and have never seen any other places sell these so reasonably priced. You would normally pay more than 90p for one plate, never mind six.
The plates are dishwasher and microwave safe which I found really handy.
They were ideal when My daughter was eating finger foods but didn't want to sit in her high chair, we use them loads in the summer when she likes to have a sandwich on the back garden and even still use them in the house at snack times. We have had these for nearly 4 years now and they are still like new (I would say we use them at least once every week), none of them have cracked or faded.
Sometimes Lauren likes to get these out the cupboard and play picnics with her dolls, she also like to use them when she has her Playdoh out and lay her different shapes and figures on them.
In the summer, I have also used these when we have had a BBQ, I think they are a lot better than paper plates yet you don't have to worry about breakages.
I would recommend these to everyone, 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading
When it comes to shower gel, I very rarely choose the same brand and normally pick up what is on offer and this is what I picked up recently.
===Price & availability===
This normally retails for around £1.99 for a 250ml bottle and it is available from most Supermarkets and places such as Boots and Superdrug. I picked mine up from Boots where they had it reduced to £1 a bottle.
===The Shower gel===
The gel comes in a purple see through bottle which has the product name in white writing and the Nivea logo to the top, it is topped with a white flip top lid. I must admit, I normally prefer a bottle which has lid to the base of the bottle as I find it easily to use with wet hands however flipping the lid was really easy and with a gentle squeeze, the gel comes out of the bottle.
I would say this has a nice consistency to it, thin enough to come out of the bottle easily but thick enough to give it a nice feel. I lathers up really easily on my shower puff and by using about a 50p sized amount, I can give my whole body a good clean. The shower gel has a fruity fragrance to it which I really like, it is meant to be scented like acai berries, to be honest, I am not sure if the scent does smell like this as I have no idea what acai berries smell like.
After drying my skin, it felt nice and soft, apparently, Nivea say that it contains Hydra IQ® Moisture Technology which will leave your skin feeling moisturised, whilst my skin did feel soft, I still felt like I needed to moisturise afterwards. The smell stays on my skin for several hours after washing and it leaves my bathroom smelling lovely and clean too.
I really like the shower gel but at £2 a bottle, this is a little more than I would like to pay so for that reason, this only gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
When the sun arrives, everywhere except my face seems to tan easily and I think this is due to the fact that the face cream contains SPF, to try and give myself my an even colour, I always like to wear a bronzer. This is one product I have used in the past.
This retails for around £14 for a 16g pot and is available from most high street chemists, I used to pick mine up from Superdrug when they had a 3 for 2 promotion running. There are two colour choices available, 101 Blonde and 102 Brunette, I chose the Brunette version which is slightly darker as I have slightly darker features.
This is really easy to use, simply rub your brush over the pearls a couple of times and then apply where desired. I put mine on the areas where you would naturally catch the sun first so give me a more realistic look (i.e. forehead, cheeks and nose) however when I am off on a night out, I would put all over my face as I normally wear fake tan on my body. In the past, other brands I have used have left my face either just looked streaky, dirty or orange however I found this was not the case here.
The only downside I found with this product is when you take the brush off, some of the bronzer is underneath so when you apply to your face, some of the product does end up dropping on your clothes. I tend to shake some into the lid and then add to the brush that way as this eliminates this problem. Having said this, I think that the fact the brush it attached is ideal, it means when I go away or go out, I haven't got to worry about taking a separate brush out with me.
Overall, I really like this product however there are cheaper versions available and for that reason, this only gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
Back in my younger years, I always used to wear a lip liner (the fashion, or so I thought was always a shade darker than my lipstick), however I haven’t worn any in for years up until recently. The look of the pencil itself is no different from any other eye liner I have tried, the different with this one it that the lid of the pencil contains a pencil sharpener which I find really handy as my daughter has a habit of stealing mine when she cant find her own.
There are 6 different shades available, Caramel Nougart, clear, Brooding Plum, Pink Me Up, Softly Lined and Red Drama, I chose Pink Me Up as this was the most similar to the Soap & Glory lipstick that I wear. What I like about the MUA range is that the prices are excellent, this retails for just £1, they can be picked up from Superdrug or from MUA direct on their website, I actually picked this up from Superdrug when they had a 3 for 2 promotion running.
Applying the liner is really easy, I found the colour transfers onto my lips really easily, without having to press on too hard and leaves a solid line to I don't have to go over the same area a few times. Once I have applied, the liner lasts me for several hours, even longer than my lipstick, if at the end of the day I have any left on my face, it comes away really easily with my makeup remover.
As I mentioned earlier, I love that there is a pencil sharpener in the lid, this is really easy to use and give the pencil a nice point. Overall, I would definitely recommend this pencil, the colour is fab, long lasting and the price is excellent therefore this gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
For most toiletries, I am not really loyal to any brand, except when it comes to deodorant; I have a huge fear of smelling so when I find a brand that works, I stick to it. For around 7years now, this is the brand I have been using on a daily basis.
The deodorant can be found in most supermarkets and places such as Superdrug and Wilkos, surprisingly though, this isn’t stocked online at Boots which I think is quite strange. There are two different sizes available, a 100ml canister which retails for around £2 and a 250ml canister for around £3, I do think this is expensive when compared to similar brands on the market however it is one brand that is frequently on offer. I normally go for the bigger bottles and pick them up from Superdrug when they are ‘better than half price’.
The deodorant comes in a tall white bottle which is topped with a pale green spray; it doesn’t have a lid as such however the spray does have a little slider switch on the back so you can lock this when not in use. The front of the bottle is the Garnier logo in black lettering, beneath which is a pale green pattern.
In all the time I have been using this, I have only ever ones experienced an issue with the deodorant not coming out the bottle and that was last week, it seems to have blocked completely and just wouldn’t come out the canister. Luckily, there wasn’t much left and I had a few stashed away on the bathroom so I just started a new one.
The deodorant has a really nice fresh clean smell to it and I would say it is quite summery, when I give myself a top up at work, several people have commented on how nice I smell. Garnier claim that this will give you 48hour protection, to be honest, I have never tried this out as I shower daily however the next morning, and I still smell lovely and clean.
When applying, the deodorant doesn’t sting like others have in the past; it comes out the canister easily, in a nice fine mist and doesn’t leave that ‘wet’ feeling that other deodorants have in the past. It dries almost instantly, my morning routine is that I get dressed immediately after applying and I have never suffered with any marks on my clothes.
After applying, the skin under my arms looks and feels really soft so I think the moisturising elements on the deodorant are excellent.
I would recommend this deodorant; it keeps me fresh and dry all day long which means I only have to reapply in extreme circumstances so it lasts me ages. This gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.