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Member since: 07.10.2005

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      16.11.2007 16:02
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      A stain remover that actually works!

      When I get tired, I get clumsy, very clumsy. I drop things, knock things and walk into things as I misjudge how close they are. Sorting out some things that required floor space, I used our study/office for ease of use. Having made my cup of tea I had placed it on the desk but being lazy picked it up and placed it on the floor next to me. 2 minutes later and not realising it was as close as it was, the tea was all over the floor! Now we don't cups….we have MUGS…BIG MUGS. Needless to say there was lots of running to and fro with paper towel and damp cloths, trying to clean up as much as possible…you get the picture. The result was that I was left with a nice brown tea stain on a beige/mushroom coloured carpet. Having tried 1001's Carpet Cleaner over the next couple of days it didn't shift it at all, just sort of moved the stain round a bit and the mix of damp carpet and the small amount of milk in the tea also started to make it rather whiffy. So 4 days later, the earliest chance I had, I headed to our local ironmongers to see what was on offer (they tend to have a bigger selection that the supermarket). 15 minutes later, with some help from the staff and £5.25 lighter I walked out with 1001 Spot Shot for Carpets. Now initially, I was reluctant to buy another 1001 product when the one I had hadn't worked so I looked at all the different variants of Vanish along with other makes. However, Spot Shot claims "..with it's fresh scent formula it provides immediate help in removing even the toughest stains without scrubbing. Just a quick blast and stains disappear before your eyes. Odours disappear too, eliminated by specially formulated neutralisers. Even old stains from greasy foods, coffee, cola, wine, make-up, blood, oily dirt and pets (including urine) are no match for 1001 Spot Shot's outstanding cleaning power"…With NO other product actually stating what it could treat and the fact that this mentioned coffee (even though mine was tea), and was made by the WD40 Company, I was swayed to make the decision. This Spot Shot comes in an aerosol can and looks just like the picture above so no need for a description. However the spray nozzle has a extra piece jutting out from it allow you to have a concentrated jet of Stain Remover. As with all stain removers it advises you to test a small area first. I didn't simply because I was impatient and wanted to try it out but then our study carpet was only a cheap one with a very short pile and nothing could be worse than a smelly tea stain! Basically after shaking the can, you point and spray the liquid onto the carpet, without saturating it. Blot with a clean white absorbent cloth. Repeat these steps until the treatment is finished then blot with cold clean water with and against the pile and leave to dry…no need for any scrubbing. Don't walk on it either whilst it's drying obviously. You can use Spot Shot on old stains too according to the can, just keep spraying, leave for 60 seconds and then blot and repeat until the stain is gone then use the water etc. So that's what THEY say, what was it like to use? Having shaken the can I aim and fire, it certainly comes out like a strong jet and made me jump the first time! Being such a small jet if you were treating a small stain spot you'd just have to give a quick blast to see where the liquid ended up and adjust your position accordingly. This is surprisingly easy to do despite me thinking I would waste loads trying to hit the target area if it was a small stain. No where on the can does it say 'hold at arms length' or 'x amount of inches away' so I just held it about 6" away and although it comes out very fast, you don't saturate the carpet as it's an automatic reaction to either stop or move the spray to another area. Once the liquid Spot Shot hits the carpet, for a millisecond it turns white and bubbles up and then sinks in. As my stain hadn't actually dried out fully and had been there for a few days I was undecided how to treat it so opted for the 'leave for 60 seconds '. I started to blot but this seemed pointless as with such a short pile I wasn't really making any difference so ended up gently rubbing the carpet in small circular motions with an old tea towel to ensure I attacked the stain from all angles. A couple of minutes later when I was satisfied I'd done to whole area, I stood back to see. No one was more surprised than me to see that the stain had completely vanished!! To say I was astounded would be an understatement, so many times have I read the claims of a product only to find it's no where near as good as they say and for once Spot Shot actually did all it claimed. Even though the carpet was a darker colour being damp, the brown had definitely gone. I finished off by using another tea towel to blot with water although the blotting turned into the small circular motions again! I couldn't see the point of this and can only assume it's to neutralise the chemicals in the product as the blotting didn't seem to 'lift' the tea into the tea towel.. Which brings me to the point that whilst the can is good in telling me what it does do, there is no list of what Spot Shot contains, not even just one of the ingredients which I find rather odd. I must point out it contains the usual safety instructions, keep away from naked flame, use in a ventilated area, keep away from children etc. It does not mention pets apart from do not use near birds (the feathered variety!) We have a dog and I think the smell got up her nose as she sneezed a lot but that was all. Please always read the can fully before use anyway to check it's suitability. I would also agree with the 'fresh scent'. Whilst this does have a chemically smell, it's not as bad as others and as my PC is in the same room, I've smelt this for a few hours (it was just too chilly to open a window) and it's not set off a migraine or made me feel ill like some similar stain removers. The closest I can get to describing the smell is it's like that of a spray window cleaner. I used this 2 days ago and the chemically smell has gone and the whiffy one has not returned…thank goodness. So all in all I was over the moon that for a tad over a fiver I had got rid of the stain completely, the nasty whiff had gone and the carpet was back to it's normal colour, something I didn't expect to happen. I used about half a can on the stain which was about 12" x 10" by the time I'd made it worse with the carpet cleaner. I will certainly make sure I always have a can indoors as I know I will have another 'accident', it's just a case of when! I would thoroughly recommend 1001 Spot Shot, it is easy to use and provides excellent results, and I am usually very sceptical of products like this. The 'no scrubbing' claim is also true as I gently rubbed and it worked just fine, neither did it leave the carpet feeling 'stiff'. The 'fresh scent' isn't too overpowering and doesn't take too long to disperse either. The carpet took just over 24 hours to dry out completely during which time I kept waiting for the stain to re-appear but it didn't. I'd say it's good value for money (though I could have happily spent the fiver in the Lush shop!) as I still have half a can left and it actually did what it claimed. I also tried Spot Shot on a small oil stain (that was left by the swivel chair) and even though this mark was months old it managed to remove that too after about 4 treatments, still without any scrubbing. The only problem I can see is availability as I know it's not stocked in my Tesco which is huge so check out the local ironmongers, you may stand more of a chance of finding it. Info : www.wd40.co.uk. Tele 0800 027 3340. WD40 Company Ltd, P.O. Box 440, Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes, MK11 3LF Thanks for making it to the end! HotBabes © Nov 2007

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        19.10.2007 15:52
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        An indulgent Finest cookie with 3 varieties of choccie!

        Intro On occasions, whilst wandering the biscuit aisle of Tesco's, I'm on the lookout for something different to the normal run-of-the-mill custard creams, digestives etc. So when I saw these Tesco Finest Half Coated Triple Chocolate Cookies (and that's a mouthful in itself) with the description of "half-coated in Belgian milk chocolate, made with plain, white and milk chocolate", I thought a threesome would make a nice change! (I'm talking about the 3 different types of chocolate!!). As they sounded rather scrummy it didn't take long before they ended up in my trolley. Packaging & Info As there's a picture of this above (though I have to say mine were in a box rather than a foil packet) there's no need for me to describe it should you wish to purchase some for yourself. These cookies do contain milk, wheat, gluten, eggs and milk so please avoid if you have an allergy to any of those. They are suitable for vegetarians and there's the usual 'cannot guarantee nut free' disclaimer on the box even though the recipe is nut free. For those that are interested or on a diet, each cookie contains 10.2g of sugar (just a 'tad' then!) and is 135 calories. Look and Texture At first glance these look the same as any other cookie (think Maryland) only darker due to the milk chocolate, but they are probably twice as thick, but have huge chunks of different chocolate chips. They still have the uneven texture and look to them though I wouldn't say they were 'half-coated' more like the base has been dipped in the chocolate however, they still look very appealing. Taste Taking a bite these do not have that 'hard' crunch like a Maryland cookie, these are more of a soft cookie/brownie moment where your teeth sink slowly in. The cookie is quite sweet with a gentle chocolate flavour and has that crumbly melt in the mouth feeling to it (though it's not dry in any way). It's complimented by a smoother, richer chocolate taste from the base. Taking a bite that includes the chocolate chips gives you an even stronger burst of creamy, rich chocolate, even more so should you get a white chocolate chip in your bite.This, together, with the texture of the actual cookie makes it one of those 'mmmm' moments! Overall, it's sweet, chocolately but very smooth and not too rich that it becomes sickly. There is no bitter aftertaste, just one of sweet chocolate which I can still taste and is still making my mouth water! My Opinion I have to say that when it comes to chocolate I can take it or leave it. A lot of Belgian chocolate is too rich and sweet for me and therefore I only eat the odd one. However, despite these cookies being very chocolate indulgent I actually quite like them though wouldn't be able to manage more than one. The wonderful aftertaste leads me into thinking I could eat another but I know it will be too much for my tastes but goes to prove how enticing these are. There are a decent amount of large chocolate chips and with the cookie being quite thick it's more than enough to satisfy and chocolate or sweet craving you may have and a 'posh' accompaniment with your mid-morning tea or coffee. There's just 8 cookies in a box but being so indulgent and rich you wouldn't eat the whole box in one sitting (well, maybe someone will prove otherwise!) and they are definitely a nice treat to cheer yourself up with. At 85p a box they are not that expensive as it works out at approx 10 and a half p per cookie. That's very cheap in comparison to, say, the cost of a Millies cookie, which is nowhere near as luxurious as these. With the high sugar and calorie content this is not the sort of cookie you'd want to be eating too often but it's certainly one treat you can have every now and then (or even share with your friends when they pop round) without feeling too guilty. Tesco's seem to have got the balance just right with these and they've not gone over the edge into being that sickly you don't enjoy them. Despite having so much chocolate in them, I have to say it's not cloying at all nor does it leave your mouth feeling rather dry. Although some Finest products do not live up to their name, this is one that does and one that I would buy again in the future especially at 85p. So if you fancy an indulgent threesome as a treat, buy a box of these, you could do a lot worse! Other Info Obviously only available from Tescos Stores. Tesco's Stores Ltd, Cheshunt, EN8 9SL www.tesco.com Thank you for reading. © HotBabes 2007

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          14.09.2007 10:10
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          If you like raisins - stick to them!

          INTRO If you’re like me, when you hear the name Ocean Spray, I immediately think of Cranberry Juice. There’s now an addition to this in the form of Ocean Spray Dried Cranberries, so I thought these would make a nice change from the norm. PACKAGING & NUTRIONAL INFO These foil packets come in 2 sizes - 170g and the 40g snack-sized packet that is the subject of this review . The packets have a small heart shaped window on the front allowing you to see the dried fruit inside. According to the packet these are 100% natural, low in fat, a source of fibre and contain no artificial ingredients. In fact the only 3 ingredients are cranberries, sunflower oil and sugar. I was rather surprised to see though that only 61% is actual cranberries and the remaining 30% is split between the oil and sugar! With only 319 calories for a 100g serving these have for to be better for you than that bar of chocolate you were thinking of having! APPEARANCE First off I have to say that these are not completely dried as some fruits are (apricots for example) they are soft , squidgy and chewy therefore making them a ready to eat snack. To be honest I have never tried fresh cranberries (having only drank the cartons of juice) and was somewhat put off by the unappealing appearance of these, but then the goodness is in actually eating them, not what they look like! TASTE On opening the packet (just an easy tear across the top job) there is no discerning smell. In fact the only ‘aroma’ I get is an oily one! Surprisingly these aren’t at all sticky or oily to the touch and they have the look and texture of red raisins. That’s all there is to them! So popping a few into the ol’ north ‘n’ south (mouth) it feels and tastes exactly like you were eating raisins. The only difference is a slight cranberry that comes through whilst chewing and even then I would say it’s more of a general fruit taste rather than being able to pinpoint it as cranberry. There is no tartness or tang to these in comparison to the juice and despite the amount of sugar they contain, they are not overly sweet. These aren’t very juicy either, even though they are dried you’d expect them to have a little but they taste quite dry. There is no lingering aftertaste and I would go so far as to say they were quite bland. It really was like eating a raisin with a touch of a fruit flavour and one handful was enough for me. CONCLUSION Whilst ready to eat dried fruit is a good idea, in this instance it was a big let down. Maybe I expected too much in the taste department having drunk the Cranberry Juice but I really did think these could have had a bit more actual flavour to them. What flavour they did have was very mild and light and soon disappeared. Maybe someone who had had fresh cranberries can tell me they taste so much better than these dried ones! They are handy for lunch boxes or if you’re on the go and you could even throw a handful into any cakes or muffins you may bake. Ideal as a way to get youngsters to eat some fruit though if they like raisins, I’d stick to buying them! Ocean Spray in juice form is very tangy and refreshing but unfortunately, these dried fruits were a let down. There is no indication on the packet as to whether these are suitable for vegetarians nor how much a packet would contribute towards your 5-a-day. At 49p for a small packet it won’t break the bank but I think I’d rather spend that on fresh fruit that has so much more taste so I’ll bypass these next time I’m in the supermarket. So just two out of five starts from me, but try them for yourself, you may end up liking them! OTHER INFO Distributed in the UK by Humdinger Ltd, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, Hull HU7 0YG. More info at www.oceanspray.co.uk and available in Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco. Thanks for reading HotBabes © 2007

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          • Lush Skin Sin / Skin Care / 135 Readings / 123 Ratings
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            19.05.2007 09:23
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            A light, cherry smelling hand and body lotion that really works.

            Despite being a fan of Lush Bath Slices it is nice, occasionally, to try something different. On a recent trip to my Lush store and after chatting to the always helpful assistant I came away with this - Skin Sin Hand and Body Lotion. As much as it’s nice to pamper ourselves with product X for our feet, Y for our hands and Z for our bodies, there are times when I am feeling downright lazy and can’t be bothered to kerfaff around with loads of different products but don’t want to go without using something so this Hand & Body Lotion appealed to the lazy side of me, plus I liked the smell. It’s nothing special to look at in the standard plastic Lush bottle, a plain white lotion with a fairly runny consistency. However, flip the lid and you are met with a gorgeous, very light scent of cherries. This must be the first ever Lush product I’ve used that’s so lightly fragranced! Although the Skin Sin lotion is fluid enough to run off your hand, you need to give the bottle a good shake to get the lotion out. I often forget and end up really squeezing the bottle only for it to blow raspberries at me cause I can’t get it out! Once out though, this lotion glides easily over the skin, isn’t greasy and is absorbed in a instant. You don’t need much either, just a couple of blobs a bit bigger than a 5p will do my lower legs, the same for my arms. Obviously it all depends if you have a dry skin or not but a little goes a long way in the case of this lotion. Sometimes the skin on my shins is quite dry and this feels itchy. After using this lotion the skin feels soft and smooth and the itchiness stops immediately. As it’s suitable for hands too, it doesn’t leave them feeling greasy, sticky or feeling as though you need to wash them, unlike some hand creams. I’ve not used anything that has left my skin feeling so silky and smooth afterwards, and the next morning too ( I use it after a bath in the evening) so it has got staying power. You really can feel the difference. Not only that, you don’t get that ‘shine’ on your skin after using this ,mainly because it’s absorbed so easily. You could use this lotion anytime and your clothes don’t feel as though they are sticking to you. But what about the fragrance, I hear you cry?! After all this is one of the most important things as you wouldn’t want to go round smelling of something disgusting! It really is a very light and airy cherry smell. I couldn’t put my finger on what it reminded me of but then it clicked……and you may think this sound strange BUT it’s exactly like the smell you get when you open a packet of liquorice allsorts!! Not the liquorice side of it but that sweet, fondant smell from the fillings. I’m not a lover of things that are too sweet but as this is so light in fragrance it appeals. Usually, I use it after a bath and the fragrance is not hugely noticeable. My son gets a waft of it as I walk past but it’s certainly not an in your face Lush scent. I can still smell it faintly in the morning but then I really do have to put my arm under my nose to notice. Even after 4 weeks of use this constantly leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth and silky so I wondered what exactly was in it (yes I know, I should have looked at the ingredients in the shop but I was hooked anyway!) So digging out my Lush Times this is what Lush say “How would you like a body lotion which is made with almond oil and cocoa butter to soften your skin, plus glycerine to make it feel fabulous, which is scented with lavender essential oil to balance the skin’s sebum production and keep it calm, with a drop or two of toning tangerine and soothing chamomile plus a twist of cherry scent”……no wonder it works and works so well. Despite all the oils and fragrances in this, I admit it’s the cherries I can smell and not a lot else. However, knowing how my skin feels I can definitely say this is one great lotion and the lavender does calm my skin. As for the toning tangerine, I can't say I've noticed that either. All I know is that it works, smells lovely, and isn't that expensive. For anyone that has lazy moments like me or wants a good general ‘all-rounder’ then don’t hesitate to try this. With the summer and holidays coming up (one hopes) this is ideal to apply anytime and would be great just to sling in a suitcase whilst you’re away. It comes in 3 sizes, 100g (which is what I bought) 250g and 500g with prices being £3.25, £6.25 and £10.50 respectively. In the month I’ve been using this (on and off) I still have just over half a bottle left. All Lush products are not tested on animals and this one is suitable for Vegans too. So if you get the chance to try the tester, please do but check the ingredients IN the shop just in case you have any allergies. It is definitely one good Sin for naked bodies! More info at www.lush.com Thanks for reading. © HotBabes 2007

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              21.03.2007 19:17
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              A quick and easy way to make mini ring doughnuts.

              My teenage son is a fan of The Simpsons TV show, plus he has a sweet tooth. Therefore a Simpsons Doughnut maker made an ideal choice for a recent present. The Simpsons Doughnut Maker comes in a ‘lovely’ garish yellow colour complete with a bright blue power cable and plug! Not exactly colour co-ordinated for the majority of kitchens. Not much bigger than a sandwich maker it works on exactly the same principle but instead of having the square toasting plates you have six ring doughnut compartments. Once out of its cardboard box and plastic bag you notice it’s emblazoned with a picture of Homer Simpson with the phrase “What you see is what you get”. The bright blue lid release catch matches the power cable and although the cable is less than a metre in length, it doesn’t cause any problems as this is not a permanent fixture in our kitchen. So, lets make some doughnuts! Firstly, as with any product of this type you need to switch the Doughnut Maker on and let it heat up for 10 mins or so to burn off any dust. We never noticed any distinctive smell whilst this was happening though sometimes there is. The red indicator light advises that the Doughnut Maker is heating up and switches to blue (to match the power cord and catch!) once it’s reached it’s optimum temperature. This takes about 5 mins so you’re not waiting around for ever. It comes with an instruction/recipe leaflet and we made the doughnut batter while we waited for it to heat up. As it had reached the required temperature before we were ready, we just opened the lid to let some heat out. You can then close it again so it will re heat. Just remember that the non stick plates are extremely HOT so place it far enough away to minimise the risk of burns. Each doughnut compartment is approx 2” in diameter so you’re really getting mini doughnuts. The idea being you fill the bottom doughnut compartment with batter, close the lid and as they cook they rise up into the other ‘half’ of the compartments in the lid. These little doughnuts take between 2 & 3 minutes to cook and they do come out a lovely golden brown colour. Obviously if you want them darker leave them a few seconds more but don’t overcook them. Don’t use any metal objects to remove them with as you could scratch the non stick surface. I used a plastic spatula and they just popped out without any effort. Once you’ve cooked (and consumed!) your doughnuts the maker should be cool enough to clean. A quick wipe over the non stick surface cleans away any residue. If you don’t overfill the compartments then the minimal amount of cleaning is required. Even if you do, any excess just wipes away. Unlike some sandwich toasters, this doesn’t have loads of nooks and crannies for the batter mix to disappear into. Wrap the power cord around it’s storage base unit and it can be kept upright or laid flat in a cupboard until the next time. The first time we used the Doughnut Maker we used the basic recipe from the leaflet (there are variations included such as chocolate, cinnamon or apple doughnuts). The batter was thick but easy to pour and the doughnuts tasted yummy! My only gripe (besides the colour scheme) is that the recipe doesn’t tell you how many doughnuts the batter mix will make, so make sure you’re all slightly peckish as in total it made 28 doughnuts!! Even at 2” that’s a lot of doughnuts to eat and very filling! This is a fun but useful maker to have for anyone to have, be they young or just a ’big kid’ . It makes cooking fun for younger children and as you have the basic recipe you can use your imagination once they’re cooked. Dip them in melted chocolate, ice them, add 100’s and 1000’s or just toss them in sugar. It makes a change from the ‘norm’ to have doughnuts that you’ve cooked yourself and it really is a quick and simple process to make them. Also with little cleaning, what more could you ask for! At a cost of £19.99 from Argos it won’t break the bank either and at least you can hide it in a cupboard if, like me, you find the colours a bit too much! Imported and Distributed by : Martin Yaffe International Ltd, Arrow Mill, Queensway, Rochdale. Helpline Number 01706 346500 Comes with the standard one year guarantee. Thanks for reading and in the words of Homer himself….Mmmmm…Donuts! © HotBabes 2007

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              • Campino / Sweets / 134 Readings / 120 Ratings
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                02.02.2007 15:50
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                A refreshing, juicy sweet.

                There always seem to be a bag of these in our house just lately that gets dipped into quite often. Campino's are a hard boiled sweet that come in three different flavours, Oranges and Cream, Summerfruits and, for the purpose of this review, Strawberries and Cream. Even if you've never had the pleasure of one you will recognise the red sweets with cream swirls that give these sweets their unique look. We tend to have the 140g bags though they do come in smaller tubes of about 10 sweets ( I think). You really can't miss the red/pink packaging. Our current bag has a best before date of Oct 07 so even if you only had one occasionally you'd still eat them all in time! The ingredients contain, amongst others, Real Cream (6.2%), Butterfat and Lactic Acid so allergy sufferers please check the list first. There is no mention of whether these are suitable for vegetarians either although pursuing the ingredients list might give you some idea if you are vegetarian yourself. Neither does it state how much sugar or how many calories these little sweets contain but it's probably best that I don't know that info! Each Campino is individually wrapped in it's own mini wrapper. Not good in terms of excess packaging but better than having them all stick together as hard boiled sweets have a tendency to do (usually at the bottom of my coat pocket when I was a kid!) The easy to tear wrapper gives way to a red and cream swirled sweet a bit smaller than a 10p coin. They have a very creamy and sweet smell, almost reminds me of the smell given off by the candy floss machine at a fairground (strange, I know!) As soon as you pop one into your mouth the flavour immediately bursts through. The strawberry flavour is juicy and refreshing and no where near as articial as some but them Campino do contain concentrated strawberry juice. Blended with the cream it creates a very smooth, tasty and refreshing experience. The cream itself does not have a strong taste, it just compliments the juicy strawberry taste and gives it an extra smoothness. The strawberry is not a sharp taste just fruity enough to make you want to suck harder! The initial burst of strawberry gives way slightly the further into the Campino you get and it becomes an overall, juicy, refreshing, creamy and 'clean' taste and is almost thirst-quenching. There is no nasty aftertaste, just enough of the delicious flavour of strawberries and cream to keep your mouth salivating for several minutes afterwards! I'd definitely recommend these. Taste wise they are one of the few sweets that can wake-up your taste buds and leave your mouth feeling as though you've had a fruity drink. Sugar and calorie-wise, I'm not so sure but then that depends on whether you wish to pig out on a whole bag in a short space of time! For roughly £1.30 a bag they are handy to keep in the car for journeys or indoors when you fancy something non-chocolately. I've not tried either of the other 2 flavours, I can't get fed up with these to try another! Apparently Storck, the makers of these, have created Campino Minis, Sugar Free in the Strawberries and Cream variety but I have never seen these in the shops. So overall, a very tasty and delicious sweet that are not too expensive and suitable for most of the family that have the most, juicy light taste. As a footnote, did you know that Campino's also contain Paprika Extract…thank goodness I can't taste THAT! Distributed in the UK by Storck, Moorside Road, Winchester, Hampshire. So, go on then, do tell……………do you bite or suck ?! Thanks for reading, HotBabes © 2007

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                  07.01.2007 14:57
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                  A good mascara that's worth every penny!

                  Chanel launched a new mascara recently called Inimitable and having been offered the chance to try it for free, who was I to say no! Chanel state that they use "an original and innovative technology : an innovative technical process that makes it possible to produce a brush with soft elastomer bristles". This innovation is supposed to help you get your required look as the brushes, according to Chanel are ‘ aligned in perfect symmetry’, that they are ‘lined up with perfect accuracy and the ‘bristle delicacy and suppleness offer complete precision’. Hmmm, never being one that takes much notice of any hype or marketing I thought it would just be ‘another’ mascara. Packaging & Colours Not a lot to say, just your normal size mascara tube. The gold band around the middle gives it a classy look with the Chanel logo on the end of the lid. It’s squarer than most tubes which I think gives it a sleek look. It currently comes in two colours - Black Black and Black Brown. I chose the Black Black and my review is based on that. The Brush After the statements Chanel made I wanted to see if I could actually notice any difference between theirs and my normal Rimmel one. I have to admit that the Chanel bristles are shorter in length, there are more of them and they start to taper in about 2 thirds of the way down the wand. In comparison, the Rimmel brush didn’t taper until nearly the end and was a lot longer - maybe that’s why when I apply my Rimmel (starting at the top outside lashes) I always seem to end up coating the middle ones as well! Applying I found this went on evenly and effortlessly. It coated my lashes evenly from the root to the tip without any clumping. I don’t need to keep going over the same lashes to get an even coverage and each lash is defined individually. This mascara seems to apply a thinner coat than I am used to but it certainly makes for a more natural look. There were no lashes that looked like ‘spider-legs’ nor any clumps that I’d spend the morning trying to sort out. Even on the lower lashes it glides on so easily I wondered if I was actually applying any! When a second coat is applied this makes the lashes look even darker but because each layer is so thin it still defines and enhances your lashes. It doesn’t claim to give you more volume and it doesn’t. Having quite long eyelashes I want something to enhance them and this certainly fits the bill. However, it does make my lashes feel slightly stiffer or harder than the Rimmel but that’s more a case of what I’m used to and doesn’t cause any problems. My Opinion If you like a natural look where your mascara enhances your eyes, this is for you. If you want a more dramatic or bold look then I’m afraid you might be disappointed. The fact that even after a month’s usage it’s never clumped my lashes is a bonus and I think that’s down to the thinness of each coat. As it accentuates the lashes you have individually it makes it seem as though you have more of them (always a plus point for us women) and they do look slightly longer, even though Chanel don’t claim it will lengthen lashes. I personally use 2 coats, not because one isn’t enough but just out of habit and find that the only difference is that they look darker. Still no clumping and still even. The black is a black although it doesn’t seem as black as my Rimmel. My mascara has to do a 12 hour plus day and whilst I’ve been using this, it’s not once irritated my eyes in any way. However, I wouldn’t class my eyes as ‘sensitive’ so there is a possibility it may not suit you. It’s not waterproof but even after 12 hours and being caught in all the rain we’ve had just lately, I’ve not had the dreaded ‘panda eyes’ even if the rest of me looks a bit dishevelled! So I was impressed by this. Removing it was very easy. It came off using my usual make up remover and, compared to my Rimmel, didn’t take as long to remove. Being thinner coats I assume this is why as there is not so much on there in the first place. Overall, I am very impressed with Chanel’s new offering. I always thought mascara’s were much of a muchness but it seems they’re not! Maybe the brush does does make all that difference, maybe it’s Chanel ‘recipe’ for the actual mascara, all I know is……it works and brilliantly! A tube will set you back approx £16.50. I would never normally contemplate paying this much for a mascara but for the first time, I think it’s worth paying for. Even if you used your regular one during the day and this when you were out, it’s nice to have a different look. This will last for ages, even though it’s recommended we replace old mascara after 3 months, this will go on long past then! Availability & Other Info Available from any large department store or chemists that has a Chanel counter ( I collected mine from John Lewis). www.chanel.com Overall this gets full marks from me, as it does do what it says, for once! Thanks for reading, © HotBabes Dec 06.

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                    28.11.2006 14:31
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                    A very good shredder at a great price.

                    Introduction Every home and office should have shredder, not just for shredding details about your workplace but with identity theft on the apparent increase, a shredder is almost a necessity these days. Having wanted and needed one for a while, we had browsed around the different shops and prices and various features that they all had to offer. Being on a budget and not wanting to spend £10’s of pounds of one (let’s face it, there are more exciting things to spend money on!) the Tesco Value Paper Shredder fitted all my needs. Packaging As this is a value product, it has the value packaging, red and blue. There’s a picture of the shredder on the front and apart from stating the features that’s all there is to it. What‘s in the Box? The shredder unit, the shredder bin and the instruction leaflet. Nothing more, nothing less. Assembly and Size As with all shredders, simply place the unit on top of the bin, plug in, slide the switch to On/Auto and away you go! Size wise this comes in at about 30cm/12” tall, 27cm/11” in width and approx15cm/6” in depth. This makes it a nice size to sit unobtrusively in a corner or against a wall. One thing I do like about the unit is that the power cable does not need to sit in the notch on the bin as most do, this means that after emptying the bin, I do not need to get the lead in place before the unit sits securely back in place. The cable length is a decent metre and a half so it’s not going to have to sit right next to the power socket every time you want to use it. So what does this Model do? Besides the obvious of shredding your documents, how it shreds is more important when it comes to buying one. This one strip cuts your documents, meaning you end up with long thin strips of paper rather than one that cross cuts which are more securely shredded. As each strip is only 7mm, I still think this is adequate enough as it would not be that easy to sort them out and stick them back together again! It takes 6 sheets of paper at a time so this would be a disadvantage for a busy office. However, for the average home use it’s ideal as after you’ve had the initial ‘clear-out’ batch of documents the amount of time it takes to shred a few papers is minimal. Be aware, this does NOT take staples or paper clips so make sure you remove them first. The maximum size of paper you can shred is A4. The bin has a capacity of 10.5 litres which fills quite quickly but just a quick push down of the already shredded paper provides more room. To give you an idea, we shredded a pile of papers about 2” thick in total. We emptied the bin three times but as this is emptied straight into the recycling bin it does not cause a problem. Once you’ve finished, the motor automatically turns off. Any Features? Being a basic shredder there aren’t many! Forward, Reverse, On/Auto and that’s all. But then do you need any more?! All the functions are operated by a slider switch on the top left of the unit. Another thing I like about this shredder is that the front of the bin has a curved lip to it and it stands proud of the actual unit. This means I can see at a glance just how full the bin is without having to remove the unit. One of the most important features it has is a safety cut out, which I think every appliance should have. The leaflet states this shredder can be used continuously for 2 and a half minutes, after this time the motor may overheat. Despite the amount of shredding we do, this has yet to happen as there is always a pause between feeding in the sheets and it only takes seconds to do 6 sheets. The safety warnings are printed in picture form on the unit just to remind you not to put your fingers, paper clips or dangly earrings in!! My Opinion All in all, this is an excellent little shredder. It’s compact, simple to operate and does the job required which is all I wanted. Having the reverse function is good as if you do accidentally put more than the recommended amount of sheets in, you can easily remove them should the shredder get stuck. The cable is a good length considering it’s a value product. It also means this does not have to be right on top of your power socket to be used. As with most shredders, it’s quite noisy but as you’re unlikely to be using it all day, the noise is not bothersome. The safety cut out is a ‘must’ feature that you shouldn’t have to pay extra for and Tesco’s have proved this with this shredder. It comes with a standard one year guarantee ( remember to keep the shopping receipt) and purely from a fun point of view, it keeps most kids amused as so many of them like ‘doing the shredding’! The plastic bin can be wiped over with a damp cloth for cleaning but PLEASE make sure it’s completely dry before operating it again. I have deliberately left the price till last as I wonder how much you would expect to pay for a basic shredder. This one has a price tag of £8.96 which I find incredible. For under £9, no-one has an excuse not to have one. It really is a bargain buy. Other Info Made in China for Tesco’s Delamare Road Cheshunt Herts, EN8 9SL Available in larger Tesco stores and online. Model No. VSHB05. Thanks for reading. © HotBabes 2006

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                      14.11.2006 09:43
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                      A small way towards memory stimulation for Dementia Sufferers.

                      Alzheimer’s disease is, sadly, only one form of Dementia albeit the most well-known. Other forms are vascular dementia and dementia with Lewys bodies. It is a degenerative illness with progressive memory loss and, as yet, there is no cure. This review is written about dementia as a whole and not about facts, figures, explanations or medical treatment, it is about how you, as a person, can help your loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia. Most of us know, or will know, someone who has been diagnosed with dementia at some point in our lives. Knowing your loved one is going to 'disappear' and eventually be a 'shell' of their former self is heartbreaking. Dementia is sometimes still a bit of a 'taboo' subject and for those concerned it can be a highly emotional, frustrating and isolating time. Whilst there are GP's, hospitals and health care professionals, they cannot tell you what will happen for definite as dementia affects people in many different ways. Some become violent, some seem to drift off to a world of their own and some just refuse to accept what is happening to them. The short term memory suffers first, the forgetfulness, the confusion as to where they are or where they are going. One could never describe with any accuracy the immense range of emotions a family go through. We as 'outsiders' can only hazard a guess. For the past few years the Mental Health professionals have taken a different approach to dementia known as Person Centred Care. i.e. the care is centred around the individual, not the individual around the care as everybody’s needs are different. Reminiscence techniques are becoming more popular within the Health service as 'add-ons' to existing care. These techniques are used to help give mental stimulation, encourage communication and to try and encourage input from all the family to keep them as a 'unit' and not become 'divorced' through the illness. The following are two Reminiscence ideas that may be helpful for your loved one : LIFE STORY BOOK Most of us will remember This Is Your Life on the T.V, well a life story book is exactly the same with pictures! As previously stated the long term memory remains intact whilst the short term deteriorates. Therefore arrange to spend an hour or so a week to put together their life story. A scrapbook or folder, some photos and a few pages of writing is all you need. Start with where and when they were born, maybe they have a photo of the house they spent their childhood in. They might remember the garden or a particular type of flower. Where did they go to school? Names of mates? or their very first job. Maybe their wedding day. Place the photos onto some card with maybe a few lines of what/where it is. (If you don't want to use the originals then make photocopies) PLEASE REMEMBER that it is what THEY can remember, if they seem to struggle move on to something else, you can always come back to it another time. Not only will this promote mental stimulation through the reminiscence process it is also a way of 'finding' your loved one again. For them it will be an exciting thing to do and they have something to look forward to each week. Common sense will tell you that maybe one week they might be too tired or not in the mood. Imagine how nice it will be to see their life story transformed in a 'book' ! You might discover things you didn't know about them. They could have played a musical instrument or discover how much their first wage was! A life story book is fun to create at a time when laughter and pleasure may be at a minimum. Just remember to go at their pace. MEMORY BOX Find a box! A plastic storage box, a shoebox, even a box from the supermarket. Any old box! Spend some time decorating the outside. Fill it with items that hold special memories. A little note or description could accompany each item as a 'remembering' tool. It could be a piece of wedding cake, your first pair of proper shoes, medals, anything really. Once a Life Story book or Memory box has been completed, that doesn't mean the end of anything. You'd be surprised at how often they can be looked at, even if you hear the same stories time and time again, it is encouraging the person with dementia and aiding communication. Also music is a good reminiscence aid. Sometimes loved ones may forget names, places, their address but they will probably remember all the words to a favourite song. Try it sometime! These ideas may not work for everyone, nor be suitable. Nor have I personally lost someone to dementia. However I have worked for a dementia charity that uses these techniques with our clients. To have something different to do, to encourage them, to be patient and listen, to provide emotional support to the carer and family is invaluable in this busy world of today where people no longer seem to have time for one another. An hour or so a week to provide mental stimulation for them, fun for you both does not sound a lot but you will discover things you never knew and give your loved one the chance to use that long term memory and reminisce. Above all, your loved one is a PERSON with dementia, not a person with DEMENTIA. Reminiscence courses and information varies depending on your health authority but using 'reminiscence' in a search engine will bring you results if you are interested in further info. Even if this information only helps one person, then one is better than none. Thank you for reading HotBabes 2006

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                        28.10.2006 09:51
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                        A mild and gentle shampoo that works a treat.

                        Firstly, I suggested this product and Dooyoo have the right picture of this Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo but they've put it in the category for the medicated shampoo, so please don't hold me responsible! There are times when being a cat or dog owner is not as much fun as it could be…..there are times as a responsible owner when you have to roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath, and get ready to bath your animal! Firstly, let me say that whilst this shampoo is suitable for cats as well as dogs, we have a 3 and a half year old Patterdale Terrier so it’s only been tested on a dog. Being a Terrier, she loves to go place she shouldn’t, roll in the dirt (and other unmentionable things!) and I need a good but gentle shampoo. Having looked along the supermarket aisles I couldn’t see anything that I would have been that happy with, so I decided to pop into the Vet’s to see what they had. I came away with a bottle of Coatex Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo. What’s it Look Like? A standard plastic bottle with a flip lid, pretty basic really! It contains 473 ml of shampoo. I’m not listing all the ingredients but suffice to say this is a soap-free shampoo, contains Aloe & Oatmeal for gentleness and moisturising properties. It is suitable for cats and dogs with Normal, Dry or Sensitive skin. Usage. Well, I’m not telling you how to bathe your pet as we all have different methods but after wetting the animals coat “massage small amounts of shampoo into the coat” , obvious really. The shampoo is a clear, quite thick liquid and is not likely to run off your hand to quick if you have a animal that tries to wriggle away! It has no particular fragrance to it, it just smells light and clean. I tend to either drizzle a small amount down her back or my son and I have a ‘blob’ each (about the size of a 10p), one for each the front end and one for the back. Obviously the bigger the dog the more shampoo you’ll need. Ours comes in at ‘medium sized’. Initially, it doesn’t seem to lather that much but as you work it into the coat it lathers more and a small amount really does go a long way. Its not an overly thick lather and therefore won’t take an age to rinse out, great if you’ve got a dog or cat that’s just itching to get out the bath! I find that 7 or 8 plastic jugfuls and its completely rinsed out. A WARNING though, as with any shampoo avoid contact with eyes and ears. After Use After drying, I find her coats feels lovely and soft and looks very clean. She also smells so much nicer too!! As she is black in colour her coat stays just as shiny and doesn't feel dry or wiry. My Opinion There are many reasons I like this particular shampoo. Being soap-free was the first. I found the ones in the supermarkets did not appear to be as gentle as this. As it contains Aloe & Oatmeal it means not only will this always be gentle on her skin the Aloe helps to moisturise too. With some dogs/cars the coat is lovely but the skin can be dry and this shampoo does not dry it further nor irritate in any way. We all know (or should know) that animals shouldn’t be bathed that often but this shampoo is gentle enough that can be used weekly if needed, especially handy when ours has been through muddy puddles, rolled in them and heavens knows what else! The flip lid means it’s easy to dispense, I find it better to flip the lid before I start and then I can just flip it closed before I shampoo her. It is mild enough that it doesn’t irritate her skin or ours for that matter and as its been specially formulated for dogs/cats I know that I can use it more often if needed without worry. We’ve been using it on her for the last 18 months and had no problems/reactions whatsoever. The other plus, though you may think it not that important, is this shampoo does not have an expiry date so you’re not going to end up throwing it away if you’ve only used a small amount on a small dog. Price & Availability The only downside is this is only available through Veterinary Surgeons so you’ll have to take a trip there if you want to get hold of this. I have seen it online from various different companies, ranging in price from £11.50-£16.50 (plus P & P). I paid £19.00 from the vets which worked out cheaper. Initially, I though this was very expensive but as we’ve only needed such a small amount each time this bottle will last for ages. Not only that the gentle formulation and the fact that its suitable for all skin types makes it worth the cost. Distributed exclusively by : VetPlus Ltd. ‘Docklands’ Dock Road, Lytham, UK FY8 5AQ Tel 01253 667422 or there is a free phone helpline of 0800 867283. Thanks for reading. © HotBabes 2006

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                        • Oidz Magnets / Novelty Toy / 96 Readings / 89 Ratings
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                          02.10.2006 11:50
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                          A fun gadget for people of all ages.

                          Well I asked for this product to be added as I think Oidz are fun, not just for youngsters but for all those grown ups who like gadgets that basically they don't need! According to many reports I've read, these were supposed to be the new craze. There are popular but I don’t think you could call it a ‘craze’. I hear you ask what the hell are Oidz? In simple terms they are two magnets, but magnets like no other! From the picture you can see their shape and they are about 5-6 cm in length and are quite weighty. They are made from a naturally occurring metal called hematite, are highly polished and highly magnetised. They are so highly magnetised that if you put one on the back of your hand and the other on the palm they will pull together right through your hand (or through a table!) Not only can you try tricks with these a couple of which I will mention below, but they also make a noise! I cannot describe this sound as its unique and can't find anything close enough to describe it against. According to the Oidz website they make a ‘Ttzzzang’ noise and for anyone who has a set, or has seen them, you will appreciate they have a unique sound all of their own. If you hold them about a centimetre apart in the palm of your hand, then gently throw them into the air not only will they pull and join together they also make a sort of 'clacking' sound. Another thing to try is to and balance one on its end whilst trying to keep it upright with the other, in a sort of 'T' shape. If you place them on a table about 4 inches apart and them let them go, they will pull together and again make a Ttzzzang’ noise. Try and keep them apart! Its not that easy!! Oidz have been out about a year or so now and although they are not recommended for children under 3 'due to small parts' (the Oidz being the only parts) I personally think that they're probably better suited from age 8 and upwards. They will also suit the techo gadget person, someone that likes 'Big Boys Toys' or the person whose has everything but wants something different to the usual socks and undies for Xmas.!! I also think that they would be ideal as 'stress relief' in that busy office though the noise they make may wind other people up. The possibilities are endless really. We find that just by picking them up, you absent-mindedly start throwing them or turning them round in your fingers. There are endless possibilities of new things to try and they are kind of relaxing to play with. They are very durable but will break if you drop them on a hard surface, which is understandable. We have a concrete kitchen floor covered by carpet tiles and they have survived being dropped on there. You should clean them every so often with a soft dry cloth, to shine them up and keep the full magnetism. On a more serious note, because they are magnets, they do come with a warning to keep at least 50cm away from electrical equipment and objects that may be sensitive to magnets like PC's, TV's, etc. PLEASE take note that these can also interfere with a pacemaker so if anyone in your family has one, please be careful around them. Also keep Oidz away from that magnetic strip on your credit cards!! The official Oidz site is Oidz.co.uk (no www) and you can purchase a set from there, though many toy and gadget shops stock them now. They seem to retail at anywhere from £9 - £10.00, plus postage if you buy online. Amazon currently have them for £7.99. The set I bought was a stocking filler for my son last Christmas and they were definitely worth the money. They are the sort of thing you’ll pick up and put down all year always trying to find new tricks and always wanting to make that Ttzzzang! noise. So If you do buy them for a stocking filler or just for fun please let me know what you think of them and thanks for reading. © HotBabes 2006

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                          • Top Ten Sweets / Discussion / 128 Readings / 114 Ratings
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                            04.09.2006 19:40
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                            Fun sweets that bring back those childhood memories.

                            Can you remember how long you stood there for in front of all those sweeties, trying to decide exactly what you could get for your money?! I know I can. Now if I got 2 of those then I can have one of them, but I want two of each! Oh bugger! Another 10 mins in the shop! Heres my top ten fav sweets: In at No.10 is: LOVE HEARTS Not just for the fact that they are a bit sharp but more cause I like reading the messages! Even when I share them I have to see the message! Ahh 'Best Friends', 'Cute'. Hehe! No 9 is : TRAFFIC LIGHTS Remember these? They were round sweets obviously containing the clours of traffic lights. You can get them in lollypops now but they used to be loose (ewww am I showing my age here?!). My mates and I used to keep taking them out of our mouths to see what colour we had then. How gross!! but hey when you're a kid these things are important! No 8 is : JELLY BABIES What can be said about these apart from who DOESN'T bite the head off first!! Black ones are my fav of all, but I still think twice about the green ones and used to put them back in the bag! No 7 is : FRIED EGGS These little imitation chewy fried eggs used to cause us great amusement. We used to get two and hold them up at a certain place on our chests!! I was only 6 at the time but thinking about it I could probably do a good comparison with them now! But really these used to last for ages cause they were so chewy. No 6 is : BLACK JACKS Eww how they make your teeth go black! but they taste scrummy so I don't care. Get so frustrated though when its warm and the paper gets stuck to your sweet! No 5 is : DRUMSTICKS These come is several flavours now but I like the pink and white ones, Theres lots of 'chewy factor' for this and how many times did it come off the stick in one go!!! No 4 is : FRUIT SALADS Always partnered with the Black Jack but I preferred these if I had the choice. Hands up those of you who had competitions to see whos would last the longest or be the smallest! No 3 is : SHRIMPS Yes those little pink things that taste nothing like real shrimps. Some kids are gonna have a shock when they discover what they REALLY taste like! They seem to have got smaller these days or perhaps they seemed bigger then cause I was smaller? Oh who knows! No 2 is : SHERBET FOUNTAINS The tube of sherbet with the string of liquorice to dip it in! My only complaint is that the liquorice disappears before the sherbet, then you have tip up the tube and in my case (being blond then and I still am now!) it goes all down you! AND THE WINNER IS : FLYING SAUCERS!!! More sherbet and rice paper. Oh how I love these. I used to bite a bit off then stick my tongue in it and walk around with this flying saucer sticking out!! Just to add that I still eat all these and still stop off at the shop near my sons school to buy us a bag of sweets, although half have probably been eaten by the time he comes out of school! Well you have to have something to do before the bell goes!! Thanks for reading and I hope some of you can remember these! :-) HotBabes 2006

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                              01.08.2006 08:58
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                              If you love cheesecake, you'll like these.

                              Intro I was recently invited to do a product test via a survey site and quite happily accepted when I discovered it was for the new Walls Magnum Chilled Desserts. These brand new decadent desserts come in 4 flavours - Raspberry Tease, Chocolate Desire, Strawberry Secret and Caramel Encounter. I opted for the Raspberry Tease. Packaging Found in the chilled section of Tesco’s, the reddy brown box looks very luxurious and classy. Its approx. 6" x 3" with a tiny swirl for a see through window. This might as well be non existent as you cannot see the product through this! One thing I did like was that each end of the box had been sealed with small transparent sticky tabs so you know that no one has opened the box trying to have a look inside. Plus point for Walls on this from me. You cannot freeze these desserts and they have a very short shelf life of a couple of days. Allergy and Nutritional Info Unfortunately, as with many products these contain milk, egg, wheat, and soya so if you are an allergy sufferer please check the box. It states its suitable for vegetarians but anyone with a nut allergy will be left wondering as it states "may contain traces of nuts". The ingredients or notes give no indication as to why. Each dessert, there are two in each box, contains 309 calories and 19g of fat. Definitely a ‘spoil yourself’ dessert! What Walls Say "Two white chocolate desserts with a fruity raspberry sauce centre on a chocolate brownie base covered in milk chocolate" Needless to say I was drooling and ready to break open the box! Appearance On sliding out the plastic tray that these are housed in, I was greeted by what I can only describe as 2 of those marshmallow teacakes but a lot bigger! Each dessert is approx. 2.5" in diameter and approx. 1.5" deep, so a reasonable size. The milk chocolate coating looked the same as any other. The Taste Experience As I slowly lowered my spoon to the dessert the chocolate gave a loud crunch and some of it shattered into large pieces (much like a teacake again!) having split the dessert in half I was pleasantly surprised to see that it looked exactly the same as the picture on the box. I decided to try each ‘section’ on its own and then as an overall taste. The Milk Chocolate covering gave a good crunch in my mouth. A standard smooth milk chocolate taste, not too creamy and it didn’t stick to the inside of mouth, probably due to it being a thin layer which was quite pleasant. No more rich or creamy than your standard Dairy Milk. So, nothing exceptional there then. The White Chocolate filling I expected, maybe stupidly, to be that of white chocolate as stated on the box, possibly even mousse like in look and texture or at the very least a Milky Bar type taste. What I got was something completely different. It was more of a dense, wobbly, jelly-like appearance and creamy coloured. Maybe it would taste better! Placing a spoonful in my mouth and ewwwwww! It had an extremely creamy taste which was also quite sour. I could taste a hint of something akin to cream cheese and as I do not like ANY cream cheeses it was certainly noticeable to me. The very smooth texture contained no sweetness at all. After managing to swallow this I checked the ingredients list to find the ‘culprits’ - soft cheese and soured cream. It then dawned on me that this white filling tastes just like the ‘wobbly’ layer in a cheesecake, not white chocolate at all! It also left a rather sour aftertaste which was not pleasant. I decided it was time to move on to the Chocolate Brownie Base in the hope it would taste nicer. This was nice and light and quite moist. It broke up nicely in my mouth but there was only a hint of the chocolate taste. It was more like a sliver of lightly flavoured chocolate cake as the usual syrupy sweetness of most brownies was no where to be found! With the initial taste being very faint, there was no aftertaste at all but I was not left with bits stuck to the sides of my mouth. Overall it was quite non descript. So, onto the Fruity Raspberry Sauce and for the first time I could say yummy! This sits in the middle and is a fair sized portion. It reminded me of Muller Fruit Corners for the thickness of the consistency. It was a very smooth sauce but had a lovely sharp tang to it, I guess this is to offset the sourness of the main filling. The tang was very refreshing in the mouth and with the aftertaste being the same it was very nice. I noticed there were no actual fruit pieces but it did state ‘sauce’. What it did contain though was lots of little raspberry pips so if you like a completely smooth texture this is not for you. A few pips got stuck in my teeth as well. Overall, eating it all together was an experience!. The softness of the brownie against the smooth, definite crunch of the milk chocolate made a nice contrast. The sourness of the cheesecake like filling was offset by the kick of the sauce. For me, the predominant aftertaste was that of the soft cheese. However, as I do not like cheesecake AT ALL, I could not stomach the sickly soft cheese and sour taste of the ‘white chocolate’ My Opinion Well, as you’ve probably gathered these are not for me! If you like cheesecake, you’ll probably love them, if not be very cautious of trying them. At £2.49 a box I think they are quite expensive and am so glad I did not have to pay for them. I was very disappointed with the ‘white chocolate’ description as if I had seen any reference to the cheesecake type look and taste I would not have tried them and think they should be marketed along these lines, especially as this makes up nearly 60% of the total dessert. I must state that, having not tried any other flavour, I don’t know if those taste the same. Whilst the packaging makes these look very decadent and up market, in my opinion I can not say that the overall taste is any better or heavenly than other dessert. So at the end of the day, they get 2 out of 5 from me. You’ll either love them or hate them! Other Information Made by Magnum Desserts, Unilever UK Freepost ADM3939 London, SW1A 1YS Tel 0800 678 1031 www.mymagnum.co.uk The website is a new one and shows the full range of desserts. Many thanks for reading as ever. x x © HotBabes 2006

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                              • Hotpoint FF93 / Fridge / 105 Readings / 93 Ratings
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                                11.07.2006 14:34
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                                Well worth the money and lots of space.

                                I purchased my Fridge/Freezer approx 4 years ago. I chose it for several reasons, these being it was a well known make, it came in silver (as well as white) and it was half fridge, half freezer. When I was looking around at the time it seemed that a lot of fr/fr were 2/3rds fridge, 1/3rd freezer or the other way around, only came in white and to be perfectly honest some looked absolutely awful design wise. So when I stumbled across this one I was so pleased to find it was silver, half and half as well as frost free!! The first thing that then crossed my mind was oh I bet it doesn’t have a well designed interior or there are gonna be loads of compartments that I just wont need. How wrong I was! Firstly, looking at it, it has a small digital display above the fridge door with 4 buttons next to it - zone, set temp ,save and fast freeze. Press zone and it will tell you the temperature of the fridge and freezer. Set temp allows you to set the temperature for the fridge (the freezer is automatically temp controlled) which should be between 2c and 6c, then press save. Fast freeze obviously does what it says! The good thing about this display is that it warns you if the freezer compartment temperature is affected by high temperature by way of an arrow in the display. I have never had any problems with this and I thought that I would never notice the display or look at it but I do. It also has adjustable front feet. It comes with a special spanner to adjust them. I thought this was a bit tricky but as you can adjust it whilst the fr/fr is in place it makes it easier. Tip : The easiest way to tell that its level is that when you open the door it stays in that position and doesn't swing shut on its own). Both doors are fully reversible as standard. Now to the inside - 2 glass shelves, which I like as I can see what’s at the back by looking through the shelf above rather than moving everything, lazy I know! Underneath the shelves are the 2 see-through salad bins. Each bin has an individual sliding vent to control the humidity. Underneath this is a chiller tray. This chiller tray maintains cold temperatures and is ideal for storing meat, fish chicken etc. I like this feature because if your fridge door is opened quite often the food in the chiller tray is not affected by the warmer air. The door contains 4 moveable compartments at various heights, one of which is the usual egg holder. I store bottles of salad cream, mayo etc in one of mine, cheeses in another and chocolate in the top one on the rare occasion we have some!! The bottle rack is the best feature of all on this simply because its wide and you can store a 2L bottle of milk depthways, not something a lot of fridges do. I can get 2x 2L of milk, 1 x 1L and a 1.5L bottle of water in the door. The freezer has 4 compartments, 3 with see through drop down doors and 1 tray at the bottom. Nice and deep and things and even though things often 'disappear' to the back the see through drawers allow you spot the box/carton that you are looking for. They plastic doors themselves have had a fair amount of handling and abuse over the last few years but I have had no problems such as them cracking or the catches breaking etc. The freezer temp runs between -18c to -22c. It is easy to clean, just wipe the inside and outside down with a damp cloth.The interior light is placed on the left hand side at the front and therefore its not easy to block any light with items. Tech spec is as follows : Gross capacity Fridge is 225 litrs (8 cu.ft.) Net capacity fridge is 221L (7.8 cu.ft) Goss capacity freezer is 108 L (3.8cu.ft) Net capacity freezer is 88L (3.1 cu.ft) Frozen food storage Capacity is 28kg Freezing capacity in 24hrs is 12kg Max conservation time from failure is 14hrs. The lovliest thing is its frost free, and for all us ladies, thats a dream. Gone are the days of the tea towel along the bottom, scraper in a hand that was frozen itself!, trying to defrost the freezer as quick as poss so the frozen food you stored in the fridge doesn't start to defrost! The only 'con' about this is that when it defrosts itself, which is regularly, it can be quite noisy. The frost free cooling surfaces are hidden from view and the cold air is circulated by a fan to ensure that a even temperature and rapid cooling systemm is maintained. Sometimes the appliance makes a 'popping' sound similar to the noise an icecube makes when it first goes in liquid. At first I noticed it a lot but, like most things, you get used to it and now I don't notice it at all. Another point to make is that the front of the cabinet sometimes feels warm but this is part of the 'refridgerant circulating system' which prevents condensation on the door seal and its perfectly normal. I paid £279.00 for mine which I thought was reasonable considering anything that comes in anything apart from white normally has the price hiked up. Hotpoint have the usual 12 month parts and labour guaranteee but the parts are guaranteed for 5 years. The only snag is that should a part need replacing that you can't do yourself you have to have them fitted by one of their Service Engineers and you still pay a labour charge. Overall this is a great Fridge Freezer and touch wood has never let me down. So there'll be no snow in my house! Thanks for reading and I hope my opinion might help someone. © HotBabes 2006

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                                  24.05.2006 11:50
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                                  Yum, Yum and more Yum!

                                  Intro Summer has arrived (sort of!), the shorts and T Shirts come out of hiding and many an hour has been spent tidying the garden. The warm days make our enjoyment of an ice cream even more of a pleasurable experience, but there was one usual item missing from the cupboard. A trip to Tesco's soon had a bottle of Askeys 'Treat' in our trolley! The Bottle Firstly, whilst this has the brand name 'Askeys' it is actually made by Silver Spoon. The plastic bottle has an 'hour glass' shape and stands just under 8" high. The blue and brown design states this is a 'Milk Chocolate Flavour Dessert Sauce' which 'creates a little magic'! The curves of this bottle allow it to fit snugly in your hand and contains 325g. It should be stored in a cool place but not refrigerated. The nice thing about this bottle is that it has a foil covering so you need to unscrew the cap, remove the foil to allow the sauce to be squeezed out. The only downside to this is if the little tab were to snap off. The best before date is 2008 and it won't even last till the end of 2006 in our house! First Impressions Having put a couple of scoopfuls of ice cream in my bowl, I tipped the bottle and squeezed. You need a firm squeeze to get this sauce to ooze slowly and it drizzles nicely over the ice cream allowing me to create pretty patterns ( I never said I was grown up with these things!) which settles into a nice pool in your bowl. The colour is exactly that of a milk chocolate bar and it's thick! On tipping the bowl it takes ages for the sauce to slide gently down the side. The Taste Mmm definitely chocolately! This sauce is very smooth, just sweet enough but not too rich. Its very similar to the sauce from the ice cream vans! It melts away on my tongue leaving the delicious milky chocolate taste behind. Considering this is only a chocolate flavoured sauce (containing cocoa) it doesn't taste any different to letting a piece of chocolate melt in your mouth. The taste lingers in your mouth and leaves you wanting more as it is not too overpowering or sickly. I am not a huge lover of chocolate bars but chocolate flavoured things are another matter and I can eat loads of this! There is no bitter aftertaste, just a pleasant sweetness. Is it good for me? Whilst this is heaven for my taste buds, its not ideal for the waistline. The nutritional info is measured in 100g, I find this rather odd as a bottle is 325g! So roughly a third of a bottle is 375 calories and contains 11.5g of fat. So 'Treat' is an apt name for this sauce! Is it good for others? I never list the full list of ingredients but sadly, this is NOT suitable for all as it contains MILK. The bottle does not state if its suitable for vegetarians either and I would not like to hazard a guess. There is no reference to nuts at all, so PLEASE check the ingredients list before you buy, just in case and obviously different flavours contain different ingredients. My Opinion Yummy!! This sauce is smooth, tasty and does create a 'little magic' to what could be a bland dessert. Its nice for the kids too as it is a treat for them. It's also very versatile and doesn't cost a fortune. A bottle will last us almost till the end of the summer but obviously depends on how often its used. The cap stays very clean and does not get messy like a brown sauce bottle either. Costing approx 1.20p from all major supermarkets it won't break the bank, leaving you with enough pennies left over to buy some more ice cream! This is so nice you will want to lick the bowl clean but as it's quite thick you may end up using your finger to get the last remaining amounts out! Not that I would do such a thing!! This is a very versatile dessert sauce too so don't think you're limited in its use. Besides ice cream, it can be used to make milkshakes. It's great on pancakes, rice pudding and with fruit. It's also nice to dip Sponge Fingers in. Its also a cheaper alternative to Chocolate Body Paint should you be interested! Other Info This sauce is also available in the following flavours :- Dark Chocolate, Maple, Toffee and Strawberry. You can also get the Monster Crackin Chocolate Flavour which hardens, if you prefer that. Made by The Silver Spoon Company Oundle Road Peterborough PE2 9QU www.silverspoon.co.uk www.askeys.co.uk As ever thanks for reading and I hope you create a little magic this summer! HotBabes x x © 2006

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