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Chicco CT0.2 Duo Travel My husband and I were fortunate that his father offered to pay for our daughter's first pushchair. We looked at many, in several different shops. I even used a filled backpack as an imitation bay to get a feel for what pushing a baby around might feel like. Ultimately our decision came down to this Chicco, and another one that - four years on - I have forgotten. We had several criteria that we believed to be important when choosing a pushchair. These related to comfort, safety and practicalities. We wanted a pushchair that we could use from birth until aged four, one that would lay flat, one that would collapse easily enough and fit into the boot of our two door Yaris. Ideally it would be able to transport the car seat or have an adapter to do so. The pushchair also needed to be robust enough for travelling along bumpy footpaths as well as on city pavements. This Chicco CTO met all these criteria and more. All of our test-driving was conducted indoors. Luckily a Mum-friend noticed that not all pushchairs have a multi-position sun-hood. Thankfully this one did. This hood has a little plastic window to check on the baby from the top. It is easy to change chair's angle, from completely upright to flat. From memory, the car seat was very easy to click in and out of the stroller. (We haven't done this for over three years.) There is a five point safety harness. I always ensured that our daughter had this on, even when she was lying down sleeping, as I had an unfounded fear that we'd all be hit by a car and the pushchair is what would save her. Thankfully we never got to try out my theory. We still use this pushchair four years after the birth of our daughter, although rarely in the last year or so. We have found it to be extremely easy to use and very robust. It folds down easily enough, although not single-handedly. The folded dimensions are 110cm x 54cm x 41cm; we have had no problems getting into our small boot. I guess that I should also mention cleaning. I usually give this pushchair a decent wipe over with a wet cloth when I think that it's needed. Other than the wheels - which seem to be some kind of modern, coated foam!! - this item looks almost new. The only downside to this pushchair is that it is not suitable for jogging so we had to purchase a separate jogging pushchair. This is a good quality item that I am happy to recommend. One word of caution though, is that there are many beautiful and stylish baby transporters available nowadays. Therefore, be very clear about just what you wish for your pram to do and to be.
~+~ When and why I bought this product ~+~ I first bought this Aapri Exfoliating Scrub cream in the mid 1980s, when I was around 14 or 15 years old. This was at a time in my life when every single item I purchased was analysed and all the positives and negatives about the item were assessed, as I was fully aware of the way in which opportunity cost affected my world. That is, I could buy the scrub - which may or may not work - but in doing so I would not have the money for a new top or lipstick. I recall that I ultimately decided to buy it for the first time after seeing an advertisement in Dolly magazine or Seventeen magazine. I recall that the advertisement told a good story about the product and explained exactly why it would be the perfect exfoliator for my skin. I don't recall their being many other options for my skin - there had been an expensive one that I'd previously purchased from our local pharmacist and which was for acne problems so only supposed to be used in problem areas. The Aapri product however was and is suitable for all areas of the face and neck, hence my ultimate decision to first purchase it all those years ago. I have since bought this item at least five times in the intervening almost 30 years. The product The scrub comes in a flip-top lidded 150ml tube that is similar to a large, squat tube of toothpaste. The cream itself is grayish-light beige colour with lots of flecks and chips of apricot seeds. It looks and feels a bit like sand. The website explains that the product is made from natural apricot exfoliants as well as "aloe vera, vitamin E and apricot kernel oil to deep cleanse and remove dirt, grease and dead skin cells". The product is designed to provide deep exfoliation that in turn assists aids dead skin cell removal and helps "resurface the fresh and radiant skin". ~+~ In use and my opinion~+~ This exfoliating scrub cream is very easy to use. The lid opens easily enough. A small amount of the cream is dispensed into the palm or fingertips of one hand, and the product is then applied to an already dampened face. Sometimes I add a small amount of water to the cream when it is in my palm, but I find this to be less successful and more uncomfortable to use than the "normal" method. This scrub is a scrub that feels like one, and I love it. It really does give my skin a good work out and does leave it with a tingle and a glow for several hours. I've heard people say that its effects last years if the product has been used regularly. I certainly couldn't and wouldn't vouch for that, but I am definitely happy with this product. ~+~ Final thoughts and availability ~+~ This product used to be very easy to find in the 1980s and 1990s. Nowadays the facial exfoliator market is saturated, and it is less easy to find. It is currently (early 2014) available from Amazon.co.uk for £5.75, although I understand from several friends that it occasionally makes an appearance in the Pound Shop and similar places. ~+~ Recommended? ~+~ This is an excellent product at a good price. Highly recommended.
Ikea Kalas Bowls My husband bought these bowls along with a set of matching plastic tumblers, in the summer of 2013. Being an Ikea product, these Kalas bowls are only available at this wonderful purveyor of all things you didn't realize you needed until you saw it. Yes reader, these bowls were an impulse buy, but at an inexpensive price equivalent to 90 pence. (That's also the current price as at Feb 2014.) The bowls come in a set of six. Each is a different bright colour: orange, green, blue, purple, pink and yellow. When I first wrote this review I was convinced that we have two lime green bowls and no yellow. However I was completely wrong - perhaps I should get my eyes checked! The bowls are made from polypropylene plastic, they are approximately 12cm in diameter. They have a pretty floral imprint at the bottom of the bowl, giving our daughter something to look for as she finishes her food. We have been using the bowls for close to eight months now. We find them to be a great size, very durable and easy to use and to clean. They are reportedly microwave (up to 100C) and dishwasher safe (up to 70C), although we only wash these by hand in warm-hot soapy water. We do only use them for comestibles, but I could see that these may make cute storage containers for small arts and crafts items. There is a note on the Ikea website that this product can be recycled, so that is something to be aware of when the time comes. Recommended? Definitely! We love these bowls and use them all the time. Highly recommended. Note: This review may appear on other sites under this or other usenames.
I have been using Quinoderm 10 acne cream for more than a decade. I was introduced to it by my now husband, who swears by it. He once gave me a scientific explanation of this product's mechanism of action. Unfortunately I have completely forgotten his wonderful description. What I do know is that Quinoderm works well for both of us. In fact it works so well, that I have been transporting tubes of it for ten years, buying it in England and bringing many months' supply to California for my husband. Product information In the past Quinoderm cream has been available in several different sized preparations, namely 25mg and 50mg tubes. There are two different strengths: "5" and "10". There is also a face wash version. Currently (early 2014) it seems to be only available in 25mg tubes. The Quinoderm 10 preparation is the one with which I am most familiar. The "5" preparation is for people with sensitive skin. These two numbers reflect the proportion in percentage terms of the active ingredient benzyl peroxide. This is known to have a good effect on acne. In use and results The tube has a twist-top cap which is easy to open. The product is initially easy to dispense. The cream white with an almost yellow tinge, this yellow becomes more noticeable as the opened tube ages and the remnants around the end of the tube harden. Over time, the cream at the opened end of the tube becomes hard and forms a plug which must be expelled and disposed of. This then enables you to get at the smooth cream that you will use on your face. Obviously this is very wasteful. The cream is easy to apply. I do so with a single finger tip. I usually apply it after washing and drying my face or neck. The product is applied directly to the acne blemish; any unaffected skin will quickly dry out and start to peel within a day or more. If I have a particularly recalcitrant blemish - which is usually located somewhere near my hairline or jawline - I simply apply the cream several times throughout the day. I find that this cream induces a marked improvement in my acne blemishes within 12-18 hours, and a remarkable change within 48 hours. Such a wonder item does not come without a downfall. The active ingredient in Quinoderm is also one that bleaches any fabric with which it comes into contact. You therefore must be very mindful of this when using and storing this cream. Availability Quinaderm is easily obtained from pharmacies, including those located within supermarkets. It is an over the counter product so no prescription is required. The 25mg tube is currently available at Boots: a 25mg tube is £2.65 Recommended? I definitely recommend this product. It works brilliantly. That said, I have removed one star for its inherent ability to irreversibly stain any fabric with which it comes into contact.
I've used this product on and off for years. I was introduced to this blackhead eliminating scrub by my sister; she works in a pharmacy. Now in my mid 40s, I have had combination skin for a number of years and this in turn was preceded by many years of oily skin which naturally attracted blackheads. The medical name for "blackhead" is comedone. The free online dictionary gives further information about comedones: "a plug of keratin and sebum within a hair follicle that is blackened at the surface". No matter what you call it, this phenomenon is one that all of my friends and I have done our best to avoid and remove. Over the years (and decades!) I have tried many products. This one is at least as good as the others. Product details I am fairly familiar with the brand having previously used the Neutrogena face wash soap bar in my teenage years. This face scrub is sold in a flip-top plastic tube that holds 150ml. The product is viscous, meaning that I am less likely to dispense more than I need. The product has a light floral scent and is white in colour with a few orange and dark specs throughout. In use This product is easy to dispense and to use. When I use this scrub - every six months or so - I apply it once a day I in a typical manner: I dampen my face with a face cloth or by splashing water, place some scrub into the palm of my hand and then apply it to several places on my face with the fingers from my other hand. I then use a circular motion to buff away the blackheads, grime and dead skin. Or at least that's what I hope is happening at the time. It is then easy to rinse off with a small amount of tepid to warm tap water. My overall opinion In my opinion this is a gentle exfoliator that leaves my skin feeling cleaner than when I only use water, and also less dry than when I use soap products. My skin does feel soft and not dried out. I'm not a huge fan of the scent, but I am also not put off buying this product because of its smell. But does it improve my blackheads? Well, I do believe that they are less prominent and that there are less of them. This is not a perfect face scrub, but it is one which gives my skin noticeable improvement and a gentle tingle. Recommended? Yes.
~+~ Tesco cucumber cleansing wipes ~+~ Apart from a two-year time frame when I was in my early 20s, have never been particularly interested in wearing a lot of make-up during my adult years. Nowadays I'm most often found with a dash of lipstick (MAC, if you're wondering) and a splash of cover-up for my blotches. Several times a month I'll endeavour to wear foundation; I wear eyeliner and mascara even less often. My Mum clearly recalled a conversation we had when we discussed make-up, my dislike of old style "cold cream" make-up removers and my preference for simple soap and water, as she gave this to me as one of my stocking-filler Christmas presents just over a year ago. ~+~ This product ~+~ This resealable pack of 25 facial cleaning wipes reminds me of the baby wipes I used on my daughter. The writing and information on the packet is clearly communicated in a simple style. There is a fair amount of detail on the back, providing information about ingredients, testing and disposal. There are a lot of ingredients, including cucumber and vitamin E. The plastic packet is easy enough to open by peeling off a small cellophane-like plastic part of the top of the pack. This material should be kept as it is effectively a sealing lid for the packet. I should emphasis at this time that the long the packet is left unsealed, the drier the contents will become. The wipes are folded in a manner that means they can be removed one by one; that is, there is no fear that on taking one wipe out the remainder will follow. Once opened, there is a noticeable scent.....what I describe as "the smell of gentle cleanliness". ie I don't really have a clue what it is or how to describe it, only that it is a pleasant aroma. I prefer this scent to one that is powerful or off-putting. These white wipes themselves are approximately 12cm in size. They do not have any discernable pattern, and although very soft to touch they actually feel quite thin in my opinion. ~+~ In use? ~+~ These wipes feel very soft, cool and moist on my face. I do get the impression that they could dry out very quickly. I am pleased that the wipes are not manufactured in a way that means they are dripping with some kind of removing solution, however at the other extreme I feel they are almost too dry for my needs. I use these wipes in several situations: after a night out when I need more than simple water to clean my face, after a long day at work or many hours in the garden, and finally as a pick-me-up when I'm flying across the Atlantic. These cucumber wipes do feel refreshing so certainly serve the purpose for two of my uses. However when it comes to removing a full face of make-up after a night out, I do still need to use other products. ~+~ Recommended? ~+~ I am undecided about this product. At less than one pound in price, it is a useful item to have. That said, I can certainly live without it.
~+~ How I came to own this product ~+~ I received this Vacu Vin wine cooler as a thank-you present over two years ago, from friends who came to stay with us for 10 days. Despite the fact that nowadays my husband and I rarely drink at home, it was a much-wanted and happily accepted gift! I see that it is currently available via Amazon.co.uk for £12 and upwards. Vacu Vin is based in the Netherlands and has been around since 1986 when the founder developed a wine saving device. I'd had a housemate who had such a gadget, so I was vaguely familiar with the brand. ~+~ Cool cooler~+~ Available in black or silver - we have the latter - this cooler is 20cm x 14.5cm x 14.5cm. Outwardly it has the appearance of a modern, sleek vase. Inside the vessel itself is a removable cone-shaped hollow ice pack sleeve that is slightly smaller than the holder - approximately 17cm x 14cm. For this cooler to function properly, the ice pack needs to have been in the freezer for at least three hours. I'd advise storing the pack in the freezer, and then you are always ready to cool your wine. The sleeve is a snug fit around most bottles of wine, indeed I cannot recall having any problems with it. In my opinion the sleeve needs to be around the wine for at least five to eight minutes; I don't like my wine to be too cold. My mother, on the other hand, loves her white wine to be very cold so the sleeve is always left on for at least 15 minutes when she comes over. In fact what I do is pour my wine first a few minutes earlier than her, a little before I actually want it. This cooler does feel quite heavy - I suppose that is to ensure that the bottle is well supported. Therefore, it may not be a suitable item for people with arthritis in their hands or those who have difficulties with their wrists. Apart from this minor annoyance, this is a great product. However, would I actually buy it? Probably not. Why buy the entire contraption when you can obtain perfectly good ice pack sleeves at a cheaper price and without the hassle of storage. ~+~ Recommended? ~+~ This works fine. If it suits your style then it may be right for you. Our friends probably bought this item for us in the sound knowledge that we wouldn't get it for ourselves.
Comment This review provides a user's opinion about ranitidine from two viewpoints: as a consumer and as a prescriber. Ranitidine Ranitidine, often known by the brand name Zantac, is a manufactured medicine that can be used orally or intravenously to reduce the acid secretion by the stomach. This in turn helps prevent and treat reflux, oesophagitis and ulcers (of the stomach rather than the mouth or elsewhere). Ranitidine is a histamine H2-receptor antagonist (blocker) that inhibits stomach acid production. I used ranitidine during the latter part of my pregnancy as part of a multi-pronged approach to reduce - and eliminate - reflux. I had never previously had any personal experience with it, but knew that it was considered to be successful more many women in pregnancy so I was happy enough to try it for myself. Pregnant ladies are prone to gastric reflux for several reasons, particularly towards the end of pregnancy. Of course the obvious reason is a large, fetus-filled uterus. However there are also biochemical reasons that slow gastric emptying and gastric motility. Therefore food remains in the stomach longer than usual, subjecting the already squished upper gastro-enteral system and increasing the chances of reflux (aka "waterbrash"). The usual adult oral dose is 150mg twice a day, ie twelve hours apart. The tablet is small, white and coated. It is very easy to swallow, in my opinion. My experiences This always seemed to work quite quickly and appropriately for me. When I was approximately 34 weeks pregnant, I went out for a girly Thai dinner four or five days after I had started taking ranitidine. I'd been reflux-free for nearly a week, was so excited to be dolling myself up that I completely forgot to take my ranitidine. Unfortunately my reflux returned, deeming me to a fairly uncomfortable few hours until the ranitidine started to take effect about an hour after I returned home. I continued oral ranitidine for the remainder of my pregnancy, which was thankfully without further episodes of gastric reflux. The other experiences I have had with ranitidine are as a prescriber. I most commonly prescribe this for ladies who are having a caesarean section procedure. In some hospitals the preference is to prescribe this orally no matter what the circumstances surrounding this procedure, and in hospitals ranitidine 50mg is administered via an intravenous line if the caesarean section is being done as an emergency. Either way, the aim is to reduce the chance of the patient having gastric reflux while they are lying done, and therefore reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia. Although I have not looked closely at the published evidence, it is certainly standard practice to do this and in my opinion has face validity. In summary On reflection, I realise that I had completely underestimated the discomfort that gastric reflux can cause until I myself required medication for this condition. Thank goodness for ranitidine - it works so well!
======== Dioralyte ======== Dioralyte. Two (di) types of salts (electrolytes) via your mouth (oral). A simple explanation and one that many people understand in the context of "travellers' diarrhoea". Here in the Western world we don't tend to think too much about dying from diarrhoea. This is probably because nearly everyone we come into contact with has experienced this malady at some time in their life, probably due to food poisoning or some kind of virus. However few of us know people whose lives have forever changed because of having had very loose, watery stools. With this in mind, it really is easy to underestimate the importance of a salt replenishing product such as Dioralyte, even in the Western world. Overwhelming diarrhoea causes a marked decrease in the amount of fluid a person has, leading to decreased blood pressures and a raised pulse. "O good - lower blood pressure" I hear you say. Unfortunately, acutely low blood pressures (that is, a sudden drop in blood pressure in someone who usually has high blood pressure) can lead to the kidneys not receiving their usual blood supply that in turn can cause an acute kidney injury. That is, the kidneys (either in total or in part) can stop working. This is a Bad Thing to happen, and is more likely to be seen in people who are frail or elderly and those already taking medications such as pain killers (diclofenac, naproxen etc). ========= Why take this ========= Dioralyte aims to replace lost salts, provide some water-attracting glucose and in turn help with rehydration. Electrolytes are extremely important to the human body, which is designed to operate within specific salt levels. The most abundant are potassium (K+) and sodium (Na). Nearly all of the human body's potassium is inside cells; conversely sodium is found outside the cells. These two electrolytes work together in a finely tuned balance to regulate cell membrane activity (and in turn muscle actions), blood pressure, the blood's pH and osmolarity. ============ My experiences (1) ============ I have used this product on several occasions. I wont cover all of the situations - just the pertinent ones. My first, much-needed experience with Dioralyte was when we were travelling in Madagascar over 10 years ago. We were staying in a small, family-owned hotel that was completely off the beaten track. I cannot remember what I ate - I recall there wasn't much choice and I don't recall eating fish. I was the only one of the four adults to become unwell with firstly overwhelming abdominal cramps and then secondly the end result in the toilet bowl on multiple occasions over 36 hours. The Dioralyte first made an appearance after about 18 hours, when I remembered that my (now) husband has some stashed in his bag. We were due to undertake a 12 hour road trip to our next destination, and had to determine if I was well enough to travel. At 8am I'd had a restless night without any bottom-related activity and was till passing small amounts of very concentrated urine. I felt incredible weak, but realised that being in the back of beyond was not particularly helpful. It was definitely time for another sachet of Dioralyte. =========== Product specifics =========== Marketed by Sanofi Aventis, one packet of Dioralyte contains six sachets of powder. It's available in different flavours - I currently stock blackcurrent at home. The box is quite non-descript, and the labeling information has Braille imprinted on it. I'm not a reader of Braille, so I have no idea what it says. Each sachet contains sodium chloride (NaCl), potassium chloride (KCl), glucose and disodium hydrogen citrate. There are also a few non-active ingredients such as flavouring. This oral rehydration therapy is available in natural, lemon and blackcurrant flavours. Suitable for people over two years of age, it is very easy to make up with 200mls of clean drinking water per sachet. You should only ever make up one dose (sachet) at a time, which should be consumed within one hour of it being made. The company instructs that you can take one dose after each loose bowel movement. The packaging also provides information on dosing for children aged less than two years of age; I have not tried this on my child and would probably prefer Pediolyte if it were necessary. ============ My experiences (2) ============ I found the made up solution to be ok tasting. The blackcurrant is fairly true to taste and not overpowering. The powder is well dissolved, although it does leave a bit of a coating on the container from which I drink. I am please to report that the Malagasy road journey proceeded without incident. Well, other than one 30 minute nap which I obviously needed. We arrived at our destination, a quick shower and we were off to dinner. Of course the Dioralyte may not have had any baring on my well being in the above situation. However on reflection I do believe that it did, and it certainly helped me return to my usual activities and energy levels. Closer to home, I am a little embarrassed to disclose that in the past occasionally used Dioralyte to help me recover from alcohol-induced hangovers. Thankfully those days are well behind me now. ======== Summary ======== A fantastic medical product that should be in all homes, safely out of reach of young children of course.
~+~ Constipation 101 - an introduction ~+~ The human digestive system is designed to absorb nutrients from the substrates that pass within. In my experience, a digestive system that works well and without problem is rarely given too much thought or consideration by adults who are trouble-free in this area. However a digestive system that seems to be "underactive" is the bane of many peoples' lives. Constipation can be due to several reasons. Firstly, fibrous food helps retain water in the bowel. If a person's diet is depleted of fibre or water, then they are more likely to be constipated. Secondly, some medical conditions and medications are known to "slow down the bowels". In reality what this means is that it takes food longer than usual to travel from the entrance to the tube-like gastrointestinal system (ie the mouth) to its exit. This increased transit time gives the bowels more chance to reabsorb nutrients and water. As the watery product becomes mushy and ultimately a formed stool, so too the product can become dry and potentially similar to dry rabbit droppings if the intended biological balance is thrown out of kilter. ~+~ Treating constipation ~+~ Knowing this information means that it much easier to select the best treatment for constipation. Of course the very best treatment are prevention and that which does not require a doctor's intervention. That is, ensuring a balanced diet is eaten along with the consumption of enough water or other liquid as well as exercise - even a simple stroll really does help "get things going". When it comes to medical treatment for constipation, there are several different possibilities, some of which may be used in combination. 1. Remove the offending drug. Opiate-based analgesia is the worst offender. 2. Decide on the appropriate medication. Examples include * oral stool softener (eg Fybogel) * oral motility agent * rectal glycerine suppository * rectal enema ~+~ Baby blues (aka post-baby poos) ~+~ At the time I gave birth to my daughter by caesarean section in the USA nearly four years ago, it was common practice to ensure that all such Mums (or rather Moms) went home with at least 10 days worth of pain relief and stool softeners. Fybogel is what I was prescribed by my obstetrician. It is usually provided in sachets or a box of sachets. Each sachet (equal to two level 5 ml spoonfuls) contains 3.5 g ispaghula husk which is a bulk-forming agent. It is available in orange and lemon flavours. The husk is very absorbent and basically acts similar to a sponge, creating bulk in the bowels and moving things along. Apparently it is capable of absorbing up to 40 times its own weight in water! Fybogel should be consumed after a meal and can only be taken after being mixed with water. Simply pour the contents of one sachet into a glass containing at least 100ml water, and preferably more. The product is fizzy at first so requires being left for a minute or so until the drink appears to be nongaseous. The product recommendation is to take one sachet in the morning and one in the evening, but I have had patients who take two in the morning and one in the evening, and others prefer to simply take one in the morning only. Either way, one needs to be aware that this product should not be consumed immediately to bedtime. Now this is all very well and good, but what is it really like in my experience? As a consumer of orange-flavoured fybogel, I am happy to confirm the following: Firstly, the sachets are very easy to open, to manipulate and to add into a pre-prepared glass of cold or room temperature water. The ingredients mix into the water well, however they are not soluble. That is, many small granular particles remain in this laxative drink and on the glass afterwards. These granules do feel a little strange, but nothing I cannot put up with for the minute or so it takes me to drink the solution. The orange flavour is very synthetic; it reminds me very much of sour Fanta. It is not a particularly hideous taste, just a synthetic one. Nonetheless, I prefer to consume this drink as quickly as possible rather than eek out the experience. ~+~ But(t) what about the end result? (sorry!) ~+~ While I was fortunate to have an intact perineum following the birth of my daughter, her aforementioned abdominal arrival meant that had to avoid increasing my intra-abdominal pressure for at least ten days. In other words, no straining on the loo! I started taking this the day after my daughter's birth and was able to experience the effects within a day or so. I am pleased to confirm that Fybogel was very effective and really did the job (sorry!). Unlike motility agents I have previously experienced, I always felt that I was in control of my bowel motions. I never experienced a sudden onset, immediate urge to empty my rectum, nor did I have any abdominal cramping. The product information leaflet states that some people experience an increase in flatus (wind), but I didn't notice any difference with this aspect. ~+~ Recommended?~+~ The product works well so is easy for me to recommend.
Some people have an alcohol or gambling addiction, others are obsessed about shoes. The first addictive behaviour I ever recognised in myself was when I attended my first Tupperware party. I was 17 years old and had no idea of the absolute delights and purpose-specific kitchen gadgets that existed. I spent all my month's pocket and part-job money in a flash. This was 25 years ago. Time has moved on but my interest in culinary resources has persisted. I learned about this item from one of the university students on placement at work, and immediately decided I just HAD to get one. A uni student's unique Uni-tool This "uni-tool" is a single item designed to replace five "essential" kitchen utensils. Made from tough nylon and silicon, this 30cm long item is described by Joseph Joseph as "the ultimate in space-saving design". This groovy gadget can be used as a slotted spoon, turner, cutting tool, solid spoon and spatula. The company market's this as being a space-saving item and it certainly is that when it comes to drawer space. However for me, the biggest advantage of this item is that I can have a single item sitting out next to me on the kitchen worktop while I am cooking. Another advantage is that the Uni-Tool is suitable for use with non-stick cookware items. What's it really like to use? As this item is marketed as having five different uses, I thought that it would be worthwhile to assess each of these functions individually. 1. Slotted spoon - this is fairly small. I normally use this to rescue my daughter's pasta once cooked. The size is large enough to accommodate a child's portion, but not an adults. 2. Solid spoon - again quite small however it does do the job satisfactorily 3. Serrated edge/knife - to be honest, I rarely use this on anything than the occasional lettuce....ie as my lettuce knife. It works well for slicing lettuce heads. 4. Spatula/spreader - this implement works well as a standalone item as a spatula and a spreader. I use it as a spatula when preparing cake mixtures. I use it as a butter (or jam) spreader if I am making several rounds of sandwiches. 5. Slider/Turner - who actually uses one of these? I rarely use such an item, but when I have done so, this uni-tool generally does the job. My personal preference is for this part of the implement to be wider. Overall, in use this item somewhat does what is asked from it and without any obvious problems. Additional information Finally, this lightweight uni-tool is dishwasher safe, although I do prefer to wash it by hand in hot or warm soapy water and left to air dry. On that note, there are no obvious marks on my grey version of this. Availability This item is available in tow colour combinations: red (with a hint of yellow on the handle) and grey, with a splash of green again on the handle. It's currently available directly from Joseph Joseph via their internet shop for £9, which is similar to what I paid two years ago. Recommended? Ultimately, this Uni-tool is somewhat useful. While I particularly like that I can have just a single item on the kitchen bench, my ultimate opinion is that this is a nice-to-have item that is certainly a non-essential household item.
Despite being in my 40s and having many years' experience of household cleaning, I am yet to find the perfect dishcloth. My personal preference is for the style that is quite thick - like a pad, and one that has a scourer on one side. While this Tesco item is called a "dishcloth", I tend to keep it away from the dishes and use it to clean my furniture in my room within my hospital accommodation, and to clean (ie wipe) the communal kitchen benches and dining table. None of these areas require rigorous cleaning. These cloths are sold in packets of five and are currently priced at just 75p. They are white and made from some kind of synthetic material. These cloths are rather small, and a surprisingly thin, even with the low purchase price. That stated, this item does enable me to clean to the standard I wish. In use While these cloths really can be used for whatever purpose you wish, for me I find they are most suitable for simply dunking in warm or hot water that has had minimal kitchen detergent added. I then simply squeeze out the excess moisture, gently loosen the cloth and then wipe clean the intended area. As these Tesco cloths are only used gently and for light cleaning, I do find that they last several days. One of the other residents here prefers to throw away his dishcloths on a daily basis; I prefer to microwave them on a high setting for 30 minutes. Being white, they do stain rather easily. Similar to most dish cloths, these Tesco cloths have acquired a "savoury" aroma that is non-specific and not offensive. All in all, these cloths have not let me down in the six months that I have been using them. However one should remember that they are only used for light duties, so may not reach other peoples' expectations. Recommended? All in all, I give this item three Dooyoo stars. This is one item that I can take or leave.
Toilet tissue, toilet roll, loo paper, toilet paper, bum paper, bog roll...no matter what it's called around the world**, one thing is for sure and that is that most homes in the western world go through this product like there is no tomorrow. Yes, there is the alternative of reusable toilet wipes. A Google search will give lots of suggestions. The nearest to "normal" suggests using flannels or small pieces of fabric for wiping after urinating and then throwing them in the shower stall to be rinsed while you shower prior to washing said items in a regular clothes wash. However for most of us we are not that committed to the environment or saving money so will happily pay for the privilege of wiping our nether regions with disposable tissue. Over the last two years and a half I have been spending the majority of my home-life in hospital accommodation, the first two years I stayed in places where toilet paper was supplied for free. This has not been the case for the past six months so I have had to resort to trying out different brands. My personal preference is for soft and luxurious at a low price. This pack of nine 2-ply toilet tissue rolls from Springforce is the latest that I have tried. It was offer on Tesco for around £2. The plastic packaging wrap is covered with printed large, brightly coloured flowers. This combined with the price persuaded me to try it. There is a small amount of detail printed on the packet: the product is apparently sourced from responsible sources, there is an average of 210 sheets per roll and the average roll length is 23.1m. That said, who actually measures this and what does it really mean to me? Well, the paper itself seems to be a loose weave that is wrapped lightly around the central cardboard cone. Looking at this cone just now, I note that it seems to be a broader diameter than usual. That is, from the outside the rolls appear to be bigger than usual, giving the perception that there is a lot of loo paper on each roll. I certainly am using us these rolls faster than the last two bands I tried. The paper itself is described as being white; to my eyes it is either a dirty white or has a grey undertone. In use, this paper does what it's intended to do and without falling apart in my hands or my nether regions. If there were a softness scale from 1 to 10 with "1" being like sandpaper or cardboard and "10" being similar to the comfort of cotton wool, this paper would sit firmly in the middle at "5". In summary, I am undecided if I would go so far as to actually recommend this product. Ultimately it depends what you are used to and what sacrifices you might be prepared to make within your life. On balance this provides reasonable performance and comfort at a fair price. I would probably buy it again, but it would probably not be my first choice. ** Edit: MALU has kindly advised that in German it is Klopapier
My life is split between England and sunny southern California where we have our own solar heated swimming pool. I spend a lot of my time in lightweight, summer-style open-toed shoes. While I am not at all into fashion or maintaining a wonderful appearance (or even attaining such a look!), I do like to have regular pedicures. Unfortunately my foot spa attendances are often few and far between. This means that I am responsible for removing the nail polish from my toe nails before they start to look too tatty. ~+~ Cien acetone free nail polish remover ~+~ This product is part of Lidl's bodycare range and therefore usually only available from that store. While being acetone free, this product is still considered a solvent. It comes in a 200ml plastic bottle. This can be recycled, however the pump and cap cannot usually be. The product is the same consistency as water, has a faint pink tone, and smells similar to regular "old style" polish removers. The "pump" I referred to is a fantastic mechanism that I'd not seen before in any similar product. The bottle cap has three parts: a base, a push-pump and a flip lid. ~+~ In use: my thoughts ~+~ This item is very easy to use. Simply open the flip cap, place a piece of cotton wool, make up pad, tissue or fabric on top of the pump dispenser and then push down gently and carefully. Your chosen material absorbs the removing solution easily. Next clean your nails in the usual manner. I usually use one make up pad per foot, and find that I do not need to "top up" my make up pad with any more of this product between toe nails. The directions do suggest that you should clean the dispenser in order to avoid build up, but I don't do this and haven't had any problems. In my opinion, this dispensing style works well. The product's odour isn't too strong and quickly it dissipates. When it comes to removing nail polish, this product is similar to most others in that it works. My toe nails do seem a little dry for a couple of days after using this nail polish remover, but this isn't a huge problem for me as I simply apply my (somewhat irregularly used) foot cream more broadly. ~+~ Other comments ~+~ At less than a pound, this is a good product with a nifty applicator. The solution does what I'd expect it to. Overall it exceeds my expectations. I love the fact that even when I lay the bottle on its side with the flip lid off, it doesn't leak, and that the chemical odour is very well contained in the bottle. ~+~ Recommended? ~+~ I am happy to recommend this Cien acetone free nail polish remover.
I first came across this item at a friend's house approximately 18 months ago. Sat between her toaster and her radio, I first thought that these were some kind of lunch bag. My friend told me all about them - indeed she gave these Toasta Bags a glowing report. She particularly liked the fact that she could have a toasted sandwich without having to clean a messy sandwich maker, and could also easily reheat single pizza slices. Having made a mental note, I forgot all about them until a year ago when I was having one of my quarterly shops in my local independent kitchen and cook shop. I recall that I paid around £3.50 for a pack of two. ~+~ JML Toasta Bags ~+~ These bags are sold in packs of two. They are designed to fit a single round of sandwich. ie two slices of bread with a filling in the middle. Each bag is 15cm x 20cm. I'm not sure what the the bags are made from - it feels like a heavy-duty paper, but that can't be right due to the heat exposure. At first glance these bags appear to be disposable. Well made, but disposable. However they are clearly reusable as the product packaging states that they are safe for the dishwasher, freezer and microwave oven. ~+~ In use ~+~ The bags are very easy to use. I simply make a sandwich, leave it uncut, put it into the toasta bag with the opened side facing upwards, and cook as though I were cooking regular toast. I found that I needed to play around with the cooking time, and that my toasties needed heating for a slightly longer period of time than my regular toast. I can tell that the food is ready as there is a noticeable colour change in the bags: they seem to become more transparent. At this point in time, the bags are very hot to touch so I have to be careful as I lift the bags out of the toaster. Once toasted, the sandwiches do slide out from the bags fairly easily. Additionally - and quite obviously - there is no mess in the toaster, which has to be a good thing! The bags are easy to hand wash. I cannot comment on their use in the microwave oven as I have not tried this method, nor have I placed them in the freezer. ~+~ My Thoughts ~+~ In my opinion, nothing beats a toasted sandwich that has been cooked in a purpose-built appliance such as a sandwich toaster. The concept of toasta bags is an interesting one. These bags facilitate having access to a homemade toasted sandwich in the workplace (that is, if the workplace has a toaster). Obviously this is particularly tempting in winter. These bags are sturdy and are definitely reusable at least several times. I used these bags around a dozen times in total, and always at work. The end result for my ham and cheese toasties, and my cheese and vegemite ones as well, was a hot sandwich that was edible and better than nothing. However it simply was not the same as my regular toasted sandwich. The bags do wash easily enough when hand washed, and they air dry without any problems. ~+ Recommended? ~+~ I'm not really sure if I can recommend this item. It does do what you'd expect. I think the packets of two are overpriced. Ultimately I think that this is not a product for me or my family currently, but it may well suit others' lifestyle.