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I am a big fan of the soap and Glory range and have tried most of the products in the range with positive results. My family and friends know how much I love the range and so it is no surprised that I receive soap and glory products as gifts. Last Christmas I was very happy to be given a beautifully gift wrapped selection of soap and glory products from a close friend. One of the items was a bottle of wash by the name of *peaches and clean*.
Peaches and clean.
The face wash comes in a plastic, pump action bottle. I really like this kind of dispenser and it is easy to use and dispenses the correct amount of face wash without any waste. The information on the bottle claims that this cleansing milk has a special * clogged pore formula with peach and gojuice extracts and oxyginseng technology*. I have no idea what any of this actually means! However the promise of clean skin that is also invigorated sounds good to me!
Soap and Glory say that this cleansing milk will not only melt away make up and grime, but will also remove water proof mascara. I have sensitive skin and am always very careful of any product I use around my eye area. However I did give it a try and was less than impressed at how well (badly) it dealt with mascara. On the positive side it didn’t cause any irritation.
Soap and Glory recommend you use this cleansing milk twice a day; first thing in the morning and before bed. It is suggested you use two pumps and then massage the cleaning milk over your face and neck. As with most soap and glory products the scent is gorgeous. The milk itself has a silky feel and it does feel very pleasant on my face. It is easy to rinse away, but this is where the positives end for me.
I used this product for a couple of weeks both in the morning and again before bed to remove my make up. At first I was pleased with the results and thought my skin felt clean and soft. However after a few weeks of use I started to notice that6 my skin was becoming very dry with flaky patches at the bridge of my nose. I always use a good moisturiser after cleansing and in the past my skin had not suffered in this way. Unfortunately I have had to stop using this cleansing and my skin has now improved.
I suspect that although soap and glory claim that this products is suitable for all skin types, it is really best suited for oily skin that is prone to blackheads. If you fancy trying it for yourself then it is available from Boots at £8 for a 250ml bottle. At present it is part of a 3 for 2 promotion.
I only buy 100% cotton bedding as I think it is so much nicer than man made fibres. Last year I replaced several of my sheets as they had become thin and worn. In the past I have bought most of my sheets from Marks and Spencer’s but felt there prices were too high. I decided to check out what was on offer in my local Tesco and was pleased to find some cotton, fitted single sheets for just £8.
To be honest I wasn’t expecting much for the low price I paid and so was pleasantly surprised by the quality. The sheets have a thread count of 180-300 and although they are not as thick as my previous ones, they are of reasonably thickness. I use a mattress protector on my beds and this helps to pad the mattress.
I like using fitted sheets, especially on my son’s bed as he is a restless sleeper and unfitted sheets always come away from the mattress. The fit of the sheet is perfect for his single bed and it stays put. I have washed the sheets numerous times and they really do wash well and show no signs of wear.
I see from the Tesco web site that this single sheet is available in several colour choices including black, white, silver and cream. When I bought mine I seem to remember there was only cream and white on offer in store. I opted for white to coordinate with my duvet covers.
Overall I would definitely recommend these sheets. They are excellent value for money, wash well and are comfortable to sleep on.
I have recently been using Clinique products to cleanse my face and have been impressed by the results. However I recently had a girly weekend away with a friend and as I was travelling by train I wanted to keep my luggage to an absolute minimum. With this in mind I replaced my Clinique with a pack of Nivea facial wipes, as not only did they take up very little space but they are advertised as being suitable for removing eye make up.
The wipes come in a plastic pack containing 25 wipes. I can’t remember how much I paid for the wipes but see that my local Boots have the wipes on a half price offer at just £1.62. The wipes are available in several variants and I opted for the dry/sensitive skin version. The wipes contain natural almond oil and are alcohol free. Products with alcohol tend to dry my skin so I always avoid anything containing alcohol. Nivea claim that these wipes are gentle enough to use around the sensitive eye area .
The first thing to say is that I find most plastic packs difficult to reseal effectively, especially after a few uses when the sticky tabs start to loose their sticking ability! This pack is no different and after a few uses I struggled to keep the pack securely closed after use. This means that the remaining wipes will dry out and be useless.
However on the positive side I found the wipes a decent size and am also pleased to report that they didn’t tear during use. The wipes are really moist and easy to use. I found that 1 wipe was enough to remove all traces of make up and daily grime from my face and neck. However I did use a separate wipe to remove my eye make up and was pleased that it coped with my waterproof mascara, removing all traces easily.
I have quite dry sensitive skin and the wipes didn’t cause any irritation or redness as can happen with other brands I have used. The wipes left my skin feeling clean and soft with no tightness.
Overall I really like these wipes are will be taking a pack on holiday with me in the summer.
I have dry, sensitive skin and have to be careful what products I use on my face. When cleansing my face I do prefer to use something that washes my face as opposed to a cream as I feel that creams can block pores. I have been using Clinique mild facial soap with good results. I recently received a £10 voucher to use in Debenhams and decided to treat myself to a bottle of liquid facial soap as my bar was nearly finished.
Clinique liquid facial soap comes in a mint green plastic pump action bottle. The addition of a silver collar around the top gives the bottle quite a classy look. The soap comes in several variants including dry/combination skin, oily skin and extra mild. I opted for the extra mild formula. I paid £16 for a 200ml bottle, but as I had a £10 voucher it bought the price down to a more affordable level!
Clinique claim that using this soap will cleanse skin without stripping it of essential lipids. They also claim that the formula will help to loosen flakes leaving skin smooth without any drying effects.
The first thing to say is that I really like pump action dispensers and this one works well and I find that just one pump gives me enough soap to cleanse my face and neck. I can’t detect any particular scent from this soap although it does have a slightly citrus note. Clinique recommend you use the soap with warm water, lathering between your palms before massaging your face and neck. I have to say that despite rubbing my palms together the soap doesn’t produce lather, unlike the soap bar.
However despite the lack of any lather the soap does feel pleasant as I massage it over my face and neck. It does a good job of removing make up and general grime and leaves my face feeling fresh and clean. Best of all it doesn’t dry my skin or leave me with that horrible tight feeling you get after using some cleansing products.
Clinique recommend you use this soap as part of a 3 step cleansing regime; cleanse tone and moisturise. However I am lazy and most of the time I just cleanse and moisturise.
I don’t often wear eye make up but when I do I use an eye make up remover lotion to remove it as I don’t fancy using soap ( however mild) near my eyes.
I have been using this soap for several weeks now and am pleased with the results. On balance I think I prefer the soap bar but only because it lathers!
A few years ago I treated my 2 boys to a new Bravia 3D TV from Sony. I did ,my research before buying and finally decided to buy direct from Sony as they not only matched the best price I could find but also * threw in* some great extras for free. Part of the deal included 2 pairs of 3D glasses to enable us to watch 3D movies.
The model number of the glasses I have is TDG- BR250. These have now been superseded by a later model. The glasses are made from plastic and are a wrap around design. They are available in both adult and child sizes and I opted for adult sized glasses so they would last.
The glasses need to be fully charged before use and this is done via the supplied USB cable. The cable simply attaches to the TV . The glasses have a small LED light at the side which flashes green when the glasses are in use and charged. When the charge is getting low the flashes increase in frequency until the light turns red and the glasses cease to function. According to Sony each charge should last for around 100 viewing hours. I have not timed how long a charge lasts but it is a long time! On the other hand the glasses charge very quickly.
The glasses have what Sony refers to as specialist active shutter technology and they are designed to work with all Bravia 3D TVs giving excellent 3D picture quality with no flicker.
The glasses feel very robust and despite several years of use are still in good condition. They are supplied with a draw string cloth bag for storage and although I would have preferred a hard case the bag does help to keep them from getting scratched.
I am not normally a fan of 3D glasses in the cinema as I find them uncomfortable and light to wear. However I have been pleasantly surprised at how comfortable these Sony glasses are. I like the wrap around style as it helps block out surrounding light.
The picture quality is excellent, although I still prefer to watch most of my movies in 2D!
Sony say that these glasses can be worn over prescription glasses although as I don’t wear glasses I can’t comment on how well they work.
I seem to remember that when I first bought these glasses they were retailing for around £70. I see that Amazon has this model on sale for just £17.95! At that price I think they are an excellent buy.
I have suffered with back pain for many years and when I needed a new mattress I wanted one that would help ease the pain. My local furniture store recommended a Sealy mattress and as they had a promotion at the time on all beds and mattresses I decided to take their advice. The mattress I opted for was a Sealy pure tranquillity. So did it live up to its Name? I have now had this mattress for well over a year so feel able to give a considered review.
Sealy pure tranquillity mattresses come in all bed sizes including super king size to fit my bed. Sealy promise that this mattress will help to ensure your spine is correctly aligned as you sleep helping to reduce pain. This is achieved by the 1400 enclosed pocket springs. The springs are all separately enclosed in their own fabric pocket so they can react as you move. The springs are covered with a 40 mm layer of latex that helps to cushion you as you sleep.
The mattress has something Sealy call * airlay cushioning* to help keep you cool and prevent moisture from getting into the mattress helping to prolong its life.
The mattress is suitable for use on all types of bed frames including divans and slatted bed bases. The mattress is 30 cm deep and does not need to be turned- a relief for me as my bed is huge!
The mattress has a quilted cover and looks like a high quality item. It comes with a manufactures 5 year warranty.
At just over £700 this was an expensive purchase! The top of the mattress is covered in quite thick quilting and looks like it has a separate cover. Despite this I still decided to use a mattress cover to add softness and to help protect my investment.
The mattress is described as being of medium firmness and I would agree with this. It feels very supportive when I lay down and has kept its shape well with no sign of any sagging.
I do find it gives me a decent night’s sleep. During the summer the mattress helps to keep me cool and comfortable.
Overall this is a very comfortable mattress for me and I think it has been well wroth its high price tag. It is really important that you try a mattress before you buy to ensure you get something that suits you. Having decent nights sleep is important for good health and you really can’t put a price on that!
I am no DIY expert, but can perform basic tasks around my home. I have a fairly basic tool box with everything I need for my level of skill. One of the items is a Draper 450 gram claw hammer.
Draper has been in the business of making tools since 1919. Today they are still a family owned business and operate from Hampshire. I have several Draper tools are all are well made and last well. The hammer I own is no exception.
The hammer is made from fine grain high carbon steel that has been hardened and tempered and then polished and lacquered. It is made in one piece so there is no chance of the shaft separating from the head of the hammer. The claw end the head has two prongs that are slightly curved and is used for pulling out nails.
The hammer has a soft grip black cover with * anti shock* printed on it. This means that when you use the hammer to strike any vibrations should be minimised protecting your wrist.
Hammers have been used by humans for thousands of years. Early types would typically consist of a stone held onto a piece of wood with leather. The early hammer would be used for activities such as braking stone, wood or bone.
Back to the present! I find this hammer comfortable to hold and at 450 grams it is not too heavy. I have used it recently to drive a nail into the wall to hang a picture. I have also used it to mend a fence panel. This wasn’t too difficult as I had the original panel and only needed to replace it using new nails and my hammer. I used the claw end to remove the old, damaged. Recently my sitting room door refused to close properly. The problem was that the metal work that formed part of the door mechanism had become bent. I have no idea how this happened! However I use the hammer to very gently tap the metal plate back into the correct position.
I have owned this hammer for some considerable time and really have no idea how much I originally paid for it. The RRP is £30. However it can be purchased for much less from several retailers including Amazon where it is currently on sale for £18.70.
Overall I would definitely recommend this hammer as it feels really robust and will hopefully last for many years.
I have been using tea tree oil for as long as I can remember. I recently bought a bottle from the Body shop as I needed to spend a certain amount to secure free delivery and a discount on my on line order. The 10 ml bottle cost me £7; very expensive for tea tree oil!
The oil comes in a cute little 10ml green bottle with screw safety top. The top needs to be pressed down firmly before it can be opened, making it less likely a young child could open the open unobserved. The oil is designed to be used topically and is dangerous if swallowed. Tea tree oil is made from the leaves of a plant that is native to North Queensland and has been used by Aborigines for centuries as an antiseptic and anti fungal treatment.
The body shop recommends the oil for use on blemishes and claim that the oil will not dry skin. However tea tree oil can cause irritation in some people. I find that the oil does help to clear up spots and doesn't irritate my very sensitive skin. It has camphor scent and is not something I would use during the day on my skin. If I do have a spot then a dab a little of the oil on with cotton wool just before going to bed.
Tea tree oil is also excellent for treating head lice. I add a few drops into some conditioner before combing the hair through. Thankfully my son has not had an outbreak for many months!
Overall I would definitely recommend this oil although there are cheaper versions available!
During my time attending slimming world there was a raffle that you could enter providing you had lost 1lb or more. One week I actually won; something that rarely happens to me! There was a selection of *gifts* one of which being a bottle of Avon naturals cranberry and cinnamon body and hand lotion. As this was a prize I have no idea how much it costs and as its not available from Avon at present I cant find a price.
The lotion comes in a 200 ml plastic bottle with flip top lid. The tall bottle design makes it difficult to get the lotion out especially when the bottle is nearly empty. The bottle is quite attractively decorated with red cranberries and cinnamon sticks. The lotion itself is creamy and has subtle a spicy/ fruity scent. I use the lotion after a bath or shower and apply whilst my skin is still damp. I find it absorbs well and is not greasy or sticky.
After use my skin does feel quite moisturised but nothing special. The scent doesn’t last for long and overall I would say this is a pretty average body and hand lotion. Although it is also designed for use on your hands I have another brand that I much prefer to use on my dry hands as this lotion just isn’t moisturising enough for me.
I thionk this is more of a winter product given the spicy scent, although it is quite light and could be used at any time of the year. Would I buy this? Probably not as I think there are much better body lotions on the market with more appealing fragrances.
I love vanilla and so when I spotted a range of spiced vanilla products in the Body shop I decided to buy a few. One of my purchases was a small tin of lip balm. I cant remember how much I paid as this was some time ago and the Body shop now no longer has this on sale; which is a real shame!
Spiced vanilla lip balm comes in a small 15ml tin with twist off lid. I find the lid really difficult to get off and would have preferred it to be a screw top. That aside this is a first class lip balm! The information on the pretty tin informs me that the lip balm contains vanilla extract, cocoa butter and beeswax. It also contains a long list of other ingredients that don’t sound so desirable!
The lip balm is white and quite thick. You can apply as often as needed . I apply with a clean finger and find it glides easily over my lips. It is not sticky or greasy as I have found some lip balms to be. A word of warning; this lip balm does leave lips with a white look! However I find it an excellent base for lipstick and unless you like the white lip look then you will need to add colour to your lips.
I love the vanilla scent of this lip balm and not only does it smell lovely, but it tastes great too! After use my lips feel soft and smooth. It is great to use in both the colder winter months and also in summer when my lips can get very dry.
Overall I would definitely recommend this lip balm and just hope the body shop will bring it back to the shelves soon!
I like to keep a check on my weight as I know only too well how extra pounds can creep on. Having attended slimming world and achieved my goal weight I now intend to keep to it! I am not obsessive about weight but do weigh myself once a week. I have owned a set of weight watchers scales for several years and find them really accurate.
The scales I own are model number 8965u and are designed not only to record your weight, but will also keep a record and calculate your BMI . I bought these scales several years ago and really can’t remember how much I paid but I know they came from Argos. They are no longer widely available although can be purchased from eBay for around £20.
The scales are made from tough white plastic and are slightly curved on the surface. They display your weight in bold black numbers in the LCD display window.
The scales came with a set of * carpet feet* and an instruction booklet. The carpet feet are obviously designed to fit onto the bottom on the scales for use on a carpeted surface, but as I use mine on a solid floor I had no need of them.
The instruction booklet was quite difficult to follow and I remember it took me some time to figure out how to set the scales to record BMI .
The scales have a lithium battery and have a lifetime warranty for manufacturing faults.
As I have said I found setting these scales to record more than just my weight a difficult experience. First the simple bit. The scales can be set to either record your weight in stones and pounds, KG or pounds. I opted for stones and pounds. To select your preferred option simply use the switch located at the back of the scales. If you later change your mind you can easily slide the switch to a different option.
The scales can also record up to 5 weights for 4 separate users. There are 2 buttons on the front on the foot bed labelled user and memory. First press the front on the foot bed until the numbers appear as zero. Then select p1, p2.p3 or p4 and set your choice. Press the memory button and set your height and set it. You are now ready to weight yourself.
How good are these scales?
I rarely use the memory option as my weight is pretty stable. However if you are on a weight loss plan then it can be useful to view your last 5 weights. The same is true of the BMI function; it is not something I am really bothered about! However again it can be a good incentive to carry on losing weight as your BMI will also decrease.
As I am the only person in my family who uses these scales the individual user function is not much use either!
I find these scales to be really accurate as they weighted the same as the high tech scales at my slimming world meetings. I have now been using them every week for several years and the battery is still fine. It is important that the scales are placed on a flat surface and you stand it the middle of the foot bed when weighing yourself. It is also important to weigh yourself at the same time of day each week wearing similar cloths. I weigh myself naked first thing in the morning.
The numbers are clearly displayed making them easy to read. Once you step off the scales the display remains active for several seconds before switching itself off.
On the negative side the instruction booklet was pretty useless as I have indicated. The display window is a real dust trap and it is difficult to clear as it is recessed.
Overall I would recommend these scales as they are really accurate and do have added features that could help with a weight loss plan.
As the weather starts to become more spring like I will be spending more time in my garden. Last year I added lots of new plants one of which was a Buddleja.
The Buddleja is also commonly known as a butterfly bush due to the fact that it attracts butterflies. There are over 100 species of Buddleja and I bought one called Dartmoor; a large deciduous variety with light purple cone shaped flowers. This variety will grow to around 300 cm in height and spread to around 150 cm.
There are so many choices when it comes to choosing a Buddleja from Dwarf plants that are suitable for growing in a container on the patio to large trees. The best time to plant a Buddleja is either in the spring or autumn when the soil is still moist. Buddleja are really easy to grow and require little maintenance. They do benefit from being pruned and this should be done in early spring once there is less risk of a frost.
Buddleja prefer to be planted in either full sun or part shade, although I have one that thrives in the shade. They prefer well drained soil and will grow well in sandy clay or chalky soil.
Buddleja will give a display of flowers for about 6 weeks from about the beginning of May during which time they will attract butterflies into the garden; a real bonus as far as I am concerned. A similar plant should cost you around £10, but prices will vary a lot depending on the size of the plant.
Overall I think a Buddleja is a great addition to any garden as it not only gives a lovely bright display, but will also attract butterflies into the garden.
I have a weakness when it comes to buying kitchen gadgets I particularly love the Joseph Joseph range of kitchen ware that is both stylish and functional. I now have quite a collection including the multi use uni-tool.
Joseph Joseph was founded in 2003 by brothers Richard and Antony Joseph. The company produces a range of contempory kitchen ware that is colourful and well made.
What is a uni- tool?
The uni- tool is 5 in 1 spoon made from tough nylon. The spoon is 30 CM in length and has a curved shape and is designed for use at both ends. The idea is that using a utensil that has multiple uses will cut down on the number of utensils needed in the kitchen. The spoons multiple functions include-
Use as a slotted spoon. The holes in the centre of the spoon allow excess water to be drained from food.
The spoon has a cerated edge on one side allowing it to be used to cut food. I sometimes find that meat I thought had been cut into small chunks still has a few chunks that are too large. It is really useful to be able to cut meat once it has started to cook. It is also useful to cut into chicken to check its cooked without having to remove it from the pan.
Use as a food turner .
The spoon can be used as a solid spoon and is heatproof to 240 degrees Celsius so can be used to stir food.
The spoon can also be used as a spatula for smoothing icing over a cake for example.
The spoon is available in 2 colour choices either red and yellow or grey and lime green. I opted for the grey and lime green colours. I bought my spoon from John Lewis and paid £8.55.
I really like the design of this spoon and think the idea of a utensil that has multiple uses is great. I find the spoon functions well as both a slotted spoon and a solid spoon. The cerated edge is also sharp and cuts food effectively whilst it’s cooking. I have used the spatula function several times to smooth icing over a cake and it works really well. For butter icing I rinse the spoon in hot water first to help it spread evenly.
The spoon is dishwasher safe although I prefer to wash it my hand. It is easy to clean and does not stain.
On the negative side I do find the curved shape of the handle makes it uncomfortable to hold. I also find the food turner awkward as the spoon’s shape forces you to turn food at a certain angle and it sometimes slips back onto its original side.
Overall I like the design of this spoon but on balance feel its expensive for what it is, especially considering that I find it awkward to hold .
I have been using EVO stick wood glue ever since I can remember and find it to be an excellent product. It is widely available and does exactly what it promises. It is suitable for interior use and can be used on all types of wood.
Evo stick wood glue comes in a green plastic bottle with a twist nozzle dispenser. The nozzle is designed not to clogg and I find this works well. The glue is really easy to use; simply turn the bottle upside down, twist open the nozzle and gently squeeze. The glue comes out in * beads* and is milky white in colour. The glue dries to a clear finish. The drying time can vary to anything from 12 to 24 hours. I usually leave the item I have glued overnight.
Once you have glued the item I find it best to give support until it is dry. I recently mended a cupboard drawer front that had fallen off in my utilty room. I removed the complete drawer and glued the front panel back . I then pushed the drawer against a wall and used a chair to hold everything in place. It worked well and my drawer front is now firmly in place!
I have also recently used the glue to mend an oak picture frame. The frame had come apart at one of the corners and the glue repaired it perfectly. Once it has dried the glued area can be sanded and painted. The information on the bottle claims that the glue is * stronger than the wood itself*. I am not sure this is true but it certainly does a first class job of repairing wood!
It is recommended that the glue is kept away from frosts, so probably best not to store it in the garage. I paid £3.29 for a 125ml bottle from Homebase,.however there are larger sizes available . Overall I would highly recommend this glue for gluing any type of wood. It is easy to use, sticks very firmly and dries to a clear finish.
Although I don’t wear a lot of make up I do always wear perfume and have several to choose from in my collection. One of my favourites is Eau so fresh by Marc Jacobs. The perfume was received as a surprise gift last year and one I will be buying myself in the future.
Marc Jacobs is an American fashion designer and is also responsible for a range of beauty products with the same name. The Eau so fresh eau de toilette was first launched in 2011 and is available in several sizes including a 20ml handbag sized bottle. Prices do vary and its worth shopping around, but to give you an idea of price a 75 ml bottle will set you back £55.50 from Boots. It is not a cheap perfume, but I think it is well worth its price tag!
The clear glass bottle is topped with oversized coloured daisies in pink, yellow and white, making it very distinctive. Personally I find the bottle a bit fussy, preferring the cleaner lines of my Issey Miyake perfume bottle. However I know the distinctive bottle is loved my many and it’s what’s inside that counts! It is worth saying that however pretty a perfume bottle is, it is best to store perfume away from sunlight.
This is a light fragrance that I think suits all ages and is best as a daytime perfume. The top notes are natural raspberry, grapefruit and pear. Mid notes are violets, wild rose and apple blossom and the base notes are musk’s, Cedarwood and plum. The mix of fruity and floral works well to produce a fragrance that develops into a light, fresh scent about 15 minutes after spraying. To be honest I can’t really detect any of the notes but the combined effect is gorgeous!
On the negative side this is another of my perfumes that doesn’t have as much staying power as I would like. I find that after a few hours I need to reapply which given the high price tag is a little disappointing.
However overall I would highly recommend this perfume, although it is always best to test before you buy as perfumes do react differently on different people.