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I take a shower every morning when time is limited but do enjoy a nice long soak in the bath especially during the cold winter months. I also find that having a warm bath before bedtime helps me to sleep. I have a range of bath products and always like to add a good dose to ensure lots of lovely soft bubbles.
The Radox range has been around for as long as I can remember with new additions being added to the range frequently. I often shop in Boots and as Radox is currently on offer at just £1 for a large 500 ml bottle so I picked up a couple the last time I was in the shop. One of my choices was the sleep easy bath therapy which contains lavender, camomile and Jasmine; all ingredients I love.
Radox sleep therapy comes in a plain clear plastic bottle with screw top lid. The clear plastic allows the navy blue liquid to show through. I really don’t think the Radox packaging would win any beauty prizes!
I find the most effective way to ensure plenty of lovely bubbles is to pour a little of the liquid under fast running water. I find a few cap falls is enough to produce plenty of bubbles. The scent of the bath foam is ok, however it isn’t very strong and I was hoping that the lavender scent would be more prominent. It did produce lots of bubbles that remained for the duration of my bath so a better score here!
After my bath my skin felt soft and moisturised. However the lack of scent was a disappointed for me. I am not sure that this particular bath foam helped me to sleep any better than other bath foams I have in m y collection. Would I buy it again? Probably when it’s on offer the answer would be yes. However there are bath foams on the market that smell a lot better than this one although not for that price!
My hair is dry and difficult to manage. In the damp weather my curls become a frizzy mess! I like to colour and highlight my hair and this can cause further damage. My hairdresser recently recommended I try a leave in conditioner from the Aussie range and so I took her advice.
Aussie miracle hair insurance is a lightweight spray conditioner designed to be left on the hair. It comes in a 250ml opaque white plastic bottle with mauve spray pump action nozzle. The nozzle has a small plastic cover to keep it clean. The bottle has embossed kangaroos around it implying that this is an Australian product. In fact a little research uncovers that Aussie is owned by the multi- national American company, proctor and Gambol. The Australian reference is from the ingredients used such as Australian jojoba oil seed. Just to confuse things further the bottle I have states it was made in France! That aside, it’s how well it delivers on its promises that count!
Aussie miracle insurance is advertised as a saviour for weak distressed hair. It promises to protect and detangle. I find I need to wash my hair every day to enable me to tame it as it is impossible to get a comb through the morning tangles without doing so. This is not great for my hair and strips it of moisture. This spray contains jojoba seed oil something that has been used for centuries as a moisturiser.
The first time I used the spray I decided to give the morning wash a miss. I sprayed a few bursts and massaged through my hair with my fingers. The smell is gorgeous, sweet but not overpowering. The spray is very fine and I found it really easy to use. Best of all I was able to comb through my locks easily with no breakage as often happens. After use my hair feels soft and has a good shine.
The spray can be used on either wet or dry hair and works well either way. I bought my bottle from Boots were the range is on offer at 3 products from the Aussie range for £10. Bought alone the 250ml bottle costs around £4.49. Overall I can highly recommend this spray and will definitely be buying it again!
My setter loves toys that squeak and also enjoys chasing after balls. when I spotted the Kong air squeaker spinner in my local pet shop I knew it would be a winner as far as my pooch was concerned! I have bought several toys made by Kong in the past and they have always been of good quality and lasted well. I can't remember exactly how much I paid but is was around £5.
The toy is basically a boomerang with tennis ball middle. The toy is covered in yellow tennis ball material and so is soft and non abrasive. There is a squeaker embedded inside the toy to add to the fun. There is a violet Kong logo on one of the arms of the toy. The toy is available in 2 sizes; medium and large. I opted for the medium size recommended for dogs from 13-35 pounds in weight.
As I had hoped my dog received his new toy with great excitement. Not only did it squeak when chewed but it could be thrown for a game of catch too. The toy's shape means it has an irregular bounce and my dog loved trying to catch it only to find it would bounce in another direction! The shape of the toy makes it easy for a dog to carry and the soft material won't hurt their mouth.
Unfortunately this toy didn't last long as my dog managed to tear it apart removing most of the yellow tennis ball material. It is important that dogs are supervised with any toy and luckily I was on hand to remove the material from my dogs mouth before it was swallowed .
Overall this is a fun toy and great design idea. However the material is easy for a dog to tear apart and can then become a choking hazard. Unfortunately ,for this reason I cannot recommend this toy.
In a bid to save money I am buying more so called value products. I usually use L'Oreal shampoo but have also tried several other brands with mixed results. However during a recent shopping trip to Tesco I noticed that the Alberto balsam shampoo's were just £1 for a 400ml bottle. At this price I decided it had to be worth trying. There are several variants in this range and I opted for the Mandarin and papaya as I love fruity scents and this one is especially designed for normal to dry hair. My hair is dry and fine.
The shampoo comes in a long plastic bottle with the pale orange shampoo showing through. It has a handy flip top lid and is easy to dispense. I really liked the fruity scent of this shampoo,nothing too overpowering,just a subtle sweet scent. The shampoo has a good consistency,not too runny or thick and lathers well. After washing my hair I always use a conditioner as my hair is dry and would be impossible without!
After using this shampoo I noticed straight away that my hair felt brittle and was difficult to comb through. The manufactures promise that this shampoo will infuse moisture and shine. However in my case it did the opposite! My hair was left looking limp and dull.
Both my boys have now used this shampoo and their verdict was that is was * OK*.At least it won't be wasted! I guess in my case you really do get what you pay for!
I have pale skin that burns easily. This year I had planned a holiday in the sun and didn’t want to bare my white legs on the beach. A friend recommended I try St Tropez bronzing mousse as she promised it would give me a golden tan with no hint of orange! As I have never used a fake before I was a bit nervous, but decided to give it a try.
St Tropez bronzing mousse is widely available and I bought my bottle from Tesco. It is available in several sizes from a small 50ml bottle to the largest 500ml bottle. The smallest bottle costs around £8 and the largest around £30, making it one of the most expensive fake tans products on the shelf.
The pump action plastic bottle comes with full instructions for use. It is strongly recommended that you buy an application mitt at the same time to ensure you get an even, result. St Tropez also makes a mitt costing around £5, but you can get other brands that will do the job for less.
Getting that golden tan
Before using the product you should do is a skin test to ensure you are not going to have an adverse reaction to the mousse. This should be done 24 hours before you plan to use the mousse. Once I had ascertained that I wasn’t going to have any unwanted reaction I was ready to begin.
The first thing you will need to do is shower and exfoliate. It is recommended that you moisturise any dry areas and for me this meant elbows, hands and feet. Once dome it was time to apply!
Using the mitt I pumped about 3 squirts into my hand and began with long even sweeps to cover my legs and feet. I continued upwards until all my body was covered. There is little mess and hardly any scent from this mousse. The mousse is tinted so it easy to see where you have been.
I was really pleased with how quickly it dried and was soon able to put on my pyjamas. The mousse will take about 6 hours to *take* so applying before bedtime seemed the least inconvenient time.
By morning I was far more aware of that tell tale fake tan aroma and couldn’t wait to shower it off to see the results. Once I had showered I was really surprised at just how natural the results looked! There was no hint of orange but I did have a lovely, golden natural looking tan! I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Overall I would have no hesitation in recommending this fake tan. It lasted for about a week before I needed to reapply and again the results were brilliant. It isn’t something I would use all year as I am happy to be pale during the winter. However it did give me confidence to be able to get out my tanned legs on holiday!
I usually buy whatever shower gels are on offer for everyday use. I do like to have a few special gels that I use, but these are kept away from my boys! During a recent trip to Boots I noticed the Nivea range of shower gels were on a less that half price offer at just 99p. As I also had a money off voucher for a shower gel this made them a real bargain!
I nhave always liked Nivea as the smell reminds me of my childhood. My mum always used Nivea cream as a moisturiser and still swears by it today. Now days the range has increased from the original in the blue bottle. I opted for Nivea happy time shower cream as I love anything with a citrus scent and this fitted the bill.
Nivea happy time shower cream comes in a white plastic bottle with flip up navy blue lid. The bottle is attractively decorated with a sliced orange. The information on the bottle informs me that this shower cream contains bamboo milk and orange blossom. I have to admit I had not heard of bamboo milk before but was willing to try it!
The shower cream is a lovely pale orange colour and is fairly thick and silky in consistency. I use a shower puff as I then need fewer products to create a good lather. I find I need very little of this shower cream to get a decent lather so full marks here! The citrus scent is gorgeous and smells like a far more expensive shower cream in my opinion. It also lasts well and I can still detect it on my skin several hours later. I find this is a refreshing shower cream and it really does help to wake me up in the morning. The scent is not too feminine and is accepted by my boys.
Nivea claim that this is an uplifting shower cream and I certainly would not disagree! Not only does it help to wake me up and smell gorgeous, but it also leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised. I think at 99p for a 250ml bottle I bagged a bargain!
I have a gorgeous setter who has attended several training classes in his time and has the certificates to prove it! Setters, although loving and loyal, can be difficult to train. My dog is usually pretty good at coming back to me when called. However if he spots a game bird that is a different matter and everything seems to go out of his head expect giving chase! It is very important that any dog is always in the owners control and so I have worked hard with him getting him to master the recall in all situations.
The most common way to recall your dog is to whistle. The high pitched sound should attract his attention and get an immediate effect. However I can't whistle! No matter how hard I try the only sound that I can make is a rather pathetic one and certainly not a sound that would attract my dogs attention! The solution was to buy a specially made dog whistle.
The whistle I selected is made by a company called company of animals. The whistle comes on a cardboard backing covered in clear tough plastic. The whistle is made of durable steel and gives a clear,loud whistle when blown. There is a handy ring at the end allowing the whistle to be attached to a key ring.
The whistle is about 17 cm in length so is small enough to fit into my pocket when I am out walking with my dog. Although he is not perfect at coming back when called, using this whistle does get my dogs attention, He quickly learnt to recognise the sound of this whistle and I rewarded him every time he came back to me with a treat.
I bought my whistle from pets at home at a cost of £5. It is well made and easy to use. Overall I think this is an excellent dog whistle.
I enjoy my garden and work hard to keep it looking good. However with two boys plus lively setter that can be hard to achieve! Although I like the garden to look good I also want it to be a place where we can all have fun. A few years I bought a trampoline and although it gets moved around the grass underneath still suffers. Games of football also take their toll on my lawn leaving brown patches where the grass gets worn away around the goal area.
Shopping in Tesco I noticed that gardening products were on promotion including patch magic by miracle gro. I had used miracle gro products in the past and been happy with the results so decided to give patch magic a try.
Patch magic, as the name implies, is designed to treat damaged areas of a lawn, giving new healthy grass. It contains a mixture of grass seed, plant food and coir. Coir is added as it expands when water is added surrounding and protecting the grass seed. Coir is also used in potting composts. The manufactures promise that patch magic will produce grass that is 50% thicker than that produced from using grass seed alone.
Patch magic comes in several sizes including the 1 kg size gold plastic bottle I bought. As a guide 1 kg is enough to treat 13 patches. There are instructions on the bottle that recommend you first remove any dead grass from the area to be treated and then loosen the soil. Shake about 3mm of patch magic over the area and water well. The coir will start to expand, turning brown The colour change shows you that the process is working.
It is important you do not use patch magic if there is any risk of a frost. It is best used in spring until late summer. Patch magic is safe to use around children and pets.
Once you have covered the area you need to protect it. I used bamboo canes to surround the area and then tied string across. Unlike other grass seed this stuff did not seem to appeal to the local bird population!
It is important that you water regularly. The grass seed should start to germinate after about 5-14 days. Don’t be tempted to cut the new grass until it is well established.
Would I recommend?
I would definitely recommend patch magic. I found it really easy to use with no mess; simply unscrew the plastic top and shake the required amount over the area to be treated. It is more expensive than grass seed, but the results are a lot more consistent. The areas I have treated now have thick, lush grass. Patch magic contains no agricultural *rough* grass unlike some grass seeds.
Patch magic is widely available and I paid around £5 for a 1 kg container. The usual RRP would be £8.
I am always very careful to protect my children s skin from the sun. During the warmer months I always made sure my children applied suncream before leaving home in the morning. However one application is simply not enough to ensure they are protected all day long. With this in mind I bought a few bottles of Nivea pocket sized sun protection cream from my local Boots.
The 50ml blue plastic bottle is the perfect size to fit into a school bag without taking up too much room. I also carry a bottle of this in my hand bag as again the small size means it takes up little room and is light to carry. The children s cream has a high factor 50 SPF and the adult variant has a factor 30 SPF. I always buy a high factor to ensure good protection.
The bottle has a twist off yellow plastic lid that can be a bit awkward to remove. However the cream is easy to apply and doesn't feel sticky or greasy on my skin.The cream is water resistant although it will need to be reapplied after swimming. Both my children are happy to apply this cream and are pretty good at doing so without being reminded!
I also like to have a bottle of this sun cream in my pocket when we go hiking. I don't like to have to carry much weight and so this little bottle is perfect. I have used this cream on both my body and face and have suffered no adverse reaction.
Overall this sun cream is easily absorbed,non sticky and a very convenient size to pop into a bag or pocket. Obviously it is no substitute for a full sized bottle and will only give last for a limited time. I seem to remember I paid around £3 when it was on offer in Boots.
Last year during a cold snap my boiler decided to die. I decided it was time to invest in a portable heater. As I needed a heater in a hurry I ventured to my local electrical store and after taking advice opted for a Dimplex Cadiz eco radiator.
The technical stuff.
Initially I had thought that an oil filled radiator was what I needed . However after talking to the salesperson I was persuaded that the Dimplex oil free radiator was not only around 30% more efficient but would also heat up much more quickly and be lighter to move around.
The radiator has a 2 KW heating output capacity, enough to heat a small to medium sized room.
The radiator is made of white metal and weights 8.4 KG . It is measurES 605mm in height x 614 mm in width and 250mm in depth. The size makes it easy to store during warmer months. The castors allow you to move the radiator around .
At each side it has integrated plastic carry handles. The plastic material means the handles (indents really) don’t get hot allowing the radiator to be moved when it’s on.
This model has a dual heating element. This means that you can choose to just heat one side of the radiator saving money. I find this useful if the radiator is against a wall or when I am working at my desk and want to direct heat only to this area.
The digital LCD 24 hour timer allows you to set the time for the radiator to turn on and off. This setting can be cancelled and the temperature set manually to come on immediately via the dial. All the controls are situated neatly at the side including the on/off button.
The 57 inch long cable can be neatly stored away in the integral cable tidy compartment when not in use.
There is safety cut off control that will activate should the radiator overheat. The model comes with a manufactures 5 year warranty.
The radiator heats up within about 10 minutes. I find it excellent to have next to my desk when I am working and usually choose to have just one side of the radiator on.
The castors make the radiator easy to move around and the design and neat size makes it look acceptable in any room.
I paid £101 for this radiator. It is available from both currys and Amazon for £99. Although this is more pricy than an oiled filled model I think its lighter weight and lower running costs make it a good investment.
I tend to buy whichever hand wash is on offer, although do like to buy pretty bottles if I can! I am a fan of the Dove range and this includes their cream hand wash products.
The Dove brand is owned by the multi national Unilever Company and it sold world wide. Dove has been cleverly marketed as a caring brand with beauty and health products that are safe, gentle and luxurious to use. Although I am a cynic when it comes to advertising I do happen to really like this brand.
The Dove cream wash comes in several variants of the original including silk wash and a citrus option, fresh touch. Having tried all I still prefer the original cream wash that comes in a white plastic bottle. The packaging implies this is a creamy, high end product and has the iconic gold dove logo on the front. The bottle has a blue pump action dispenser that works well and doesn’t drip after use as I have found with some brands I have tried.
The information on the bottle claims that this wash will protect your skins natural moisture levels as it is PH neutral. The wash contains ¼ active moisturising cream and so should keep skin soft. The manufactures claim that this wash is mild enough to use on your face although I have never done so and therefore can’t comment.
The best thing about Dove products is the lovely sweet scent! I find I need very little of this hand wash to produce a good, creamy lather. After rinsing my hands feel soft and clean with no sticky residue. The scent remains on my hands for some time too. I suffer from dry skin especially during the winter months and Dove hand wash does seem to keep my hands feeling moisturised.
I recently paid £1.10 for a 250ml bottle of this hand wash from Tesco. The normal RRP is £2.20. It is also available in Asda for just £1 at present. Overall I think this is a good everyday hand wash and when it’s on offer, a decent price. It is one of several I would recommend.
My setter has always suffered with ear problems ( common in the breed). It is really important that I keep his ears as clean as possible to prevent bacteria from entering and causing painful infections.For several years I had always used the expensive product my vet prescribed. However a few months ago a a friend recommended I try cleanaural ear cleaner than is both widely available without prescription, cheaper and effective.
I am always keen to save money and so set about finding the cheapest price for this cleaner. I opted to buy from vet.uk as they were the not only the cheapest but I had bought from them in the past and had been happy with the service.
The cleaner is available in several size bottles from the smallest 50 ml bottle ( ££.36) to the largest 250 ml bottle at £12.86. I always buy the largest as it is something I use on a regular basis. The cleaner comes in an opaque plastic bottle and includes full instructions for use. It is suitable for all breeds of dog including puppies. It is a mild. PH balanced formula that also helps to moisturise the ears.
I use this cleaner twice a week and although my dog hates the process it is really effective! To clean the ears you need to gently push the tip of the nozzle into the ear canal.Unlike humans digs ear canals are straight. Once inserted squeeze the bottle to dispense a few drops of the liquid cleaner into the ear. Next massage the outside of the dogs ear- makes a squelching sound! Let the dog shake his ears and then use cotton wool to gently wipe out any dirt and wax. Repeat for both ears. I sometimes clean my dogs ears a few times if they are really dirty.
Since using this product my dog has been free of ear infections. He really hates having his ears cleaned and it usually takes 2 to mange it! The cleaner is not the nicest smelling product but it is better than smelly ears!
Overall I would highly recommend using this product to keep your dogs ears in a healthy condition. The manufacturers also state that the cleaner can be used for infected ears. However I would always prefer to check with my vet if I suspect an infection as antibiotics may be more effective.
My dog has a range of toys, some more popular than others! He has allergies and so is unable to have any chews that are flavoured (other than with duck). I like to try and keep his teeth and gums in good condition and know that chewing can help with this. Whilst shopping in pets at home I decided to buy him a triple pack of naturally flavoured Nylabone dura chews costing £6.
The bones are made of tough nylon and designed so that as the dog chews rough ridges are formed on the bone giving edges that will help to clean teeth and remove plaque. The bone is also designed to help stop destructive chewing. The pack I bought states that the bones are suitable for dogs up to 16 Kgs. Nylabone do have a range of bones in this material suitable for all sizes of dog including puppies. They also make Nylabone is flavoured variants but as I have said, these are not suitable for my setter.
Each bone is about 10 inches long and quite thick with no detectable scent. The first time I gave my dog his new toy he showed no interest at all! He simply gave the bone a sniff, looked at me as much as to say * why?* and walked off! I decided to use one of the bones to play catch with him. He then showed more interest and had a bit of a chew. However his interest was short lived!
I suspect that if he was able to have a flavoured bone he would be more interested! These bones may suit younger dogs or dogs who do a lot of chewing. Like any dog toy the dog should be supervised to prevent any accidents such as choking. Overall this was not a good investment!
I have dry hair that is prone to be frizzy . I like to colour my hair and sometimes have highlights added for extra interest. Although colouring initially looks great it can also leave my hair feeling dry and brittle. A few months ago whilst shopping in my local Superdrug I noticed that the Organix range of shampoos and conditioners were on offer and so decided to buy. I can’t remember exactly how much I paid but I know it was not the current asking price of £6.99!
Organix makes a range of shampoos and conditioners including Moroccan Argan oil to renew hair. After reading the information on the bottle I decided to buy.
The shampoo comes in a pretty blue plastic bottle with gold flip up lid. The colours used do make this shampoo look expensive and give the feeling that it will be something special. The information on the bottle claims that- and I quote- This shampoo contains a blend of Moroccan Argan oil to instantly penetrate the hair shaft restoring shine and softness, helping to create soft, seductive silky perfection! The shampoo is paraben free, another plus in my book as I do try to avoid parabens wherever possible due to the possible link with cancer.
Before I tell you about my experience of using this shampoo let me explain a bit about Moroccan Argan oil. Argan is extracted from nut kernels of trees that grow in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The oil is used for both culinary and beauty products. The oil contains Vitamin E widely proclaimed to have anti aging properties. The oil is a good moisturiser and is believed to have healing and restorative properties. So back to the shampoo!
My first impressions of this shampoo were good. It has a pleasant floral scent that is not too overpowering and has a good creamy consistency. I usually wash my hair in the shower most mornings and was happy with the way the shampoo lathered. It was easy to rinse out and I also used the corresponding Organix conditioner.
The first time I used the shampoo I was really disappointed with the results. After washing my hair felt dry and brittle. I also noticed it felt and looked limp with little body. I had been looking forward to that seductive silky perfection I was promised but the results were the opposite; dull and limp with little hope of any seductions!
Not to be defeated I decided to give this shampoo another chance to show me what it could do. This time I used a different conditioner to see if that would help. Although the results were slightly better my hair was still left looking less than silky and also feeling strangely brittle in an alarming way.
Overall as you can guess I will not be buying this shampoo again and if anyone is tempted to try it I do have a nearly full bottle to give away!
I am lucky in that I don’t sweat too much even in the summer. However there really is nothing worse than the smell of body odour and I would be mortified if I had even a hint of any unpleasant odour! I have always used Mitchum anti perspireants as they work well and I like the scent.
There are several variants in the Mitchum deodorant range including a range for men, perfume free options and my favourite powder fresh. The deodorants are available in stick, spray or roll on types. I always go for the roll on option as I find it easy to apply. The powder fresh variant comes in a pale green plastic 100 ml bottle with screw off top. Mitchum products are widely available and the cheapest place to buy seems to be Superdrug at £1.89 for the roll on. I always wait until these are on offer and then stock up.
Mitchum claim that their deodorants will last for 48 hours without the need to be reapplied. I have never actually tried to only apply this deodorant once every 48 hours so can’t comment on this claim. However what I can say is that this deodorant works in even the hottest temperatures as far as I am concerned. It won’t stop you sweating but what it does stop is the horrible odour you get when natural moisture under your arms mixes with bacteria. Mitchum claims that this deodorant contains oxygen, a powerful odour fighter that helps to stop odours caused by bacteria.
I have been using Mitchum for many years now and have no intension of changing. The powder fresh option has a lovely fresh powder scent that doesn’t overpower like some deodorants can. It lasts well and doesn’t leave white marks on my clothes. Highly recommended!