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We purchased the Russell Hobbs Express iron about 6 months ago after my husband broke the last one. I can't remember where we got it from, it will most likely have been a supermarket or Argos, I just had a quick Google and it's available now from Homebase for £20.
One of the reasons I bought this iron was the colour, as sad as that is! Anything pink wins in my book. I'm not particularly knowledgeable or fussy when it comes to irons, I would usually go for a brand I've heard of and therefore trust as opposed one I haven't, I've used various Russell Hobbs products over the years and found them to be good value and reliable. Brand isn't the most important thing to me though; I would say price is so this was a good combination of all those things.
This iron is pink and white with black parts and a dark grey plate, which is non-stick. The top of the handle is soft grip which means you've got good control of the iron when using it. It has variable temperature between 1 and 3. It has vertical and horizontal steam, which is handy for steaming curtains or dresses. It has a self-clean option and a non-drip feature but I haven't found that to work very well and I do get drips of water on things. It has two buttons on top, one for steam and one to spray water.
The cord is 2m long which is quite handy as I like to use the iron in my right hand and my husband using his left, but because the cord is a decent length, it's not an issue and we don't need to mess about moving the ironing board around.
The iron weighs 1.2kg which to a little weakling like me does seem a bit heavy, especially when you've just refilled the water but I guess it just means it's putting a decent amount of pressure on the clothes and I don't struggle handling it.
My husband and I tend to iron a lot of our things on high unless very delicate and I'm surprised to see there is no marking on the base, our last iron had a silver plate and was all but burnt black by the time we had to get rid of it.
Overall, I'm very happy with this product, it was really good value and is a good quality iron that I'm hoping will last us for many years to come (if I'm husband doesn't break it again) and let's face it, it's pretty 
My nephew bought me a Radox gift set for Christmas which included this product, a bottle of shower gel and two candles. I think he probably bought it because it was pink and he knows how much I love pink. I'm not really a bath kind of person and I don't use any other shower gel apart from Soap & Glory Clean On Me so I thought this was going to end up in the cupboard to be pulled out at Christmas as a gift for somebody else....
But then it got a bit cold and somebody told me a bath would really help to warm me up, we live in a house with no central heating so it can get a bit nippy, especially in the bathroom and I have come to loathe showers, brrr!
So I decided to try this bath soak, I was quite surprised when I went back to the bath and it was full to the brim with huge bubbles. I thought bath soak meant it just made the water smell nice or something; can you tell I don't have baths very often or ever? I must say it did smell divine, very fruity with a hint of something floral, on the front of the bottle it says "Fig & caring natural Neroli Oil" which I promptly Googled and Neroli Oil is produced from the blossom of the Bitter Orange Tree, hence the fruity smell.
What I noticed about this is how lovely and soft my skin felt in the bath, I even managed to shave my legs with no shaving gel. The bubbles didn't disappear by the end of the bath, despite me using shaving gel (for more sensitive parts) and shower gel and staying in there for a full episode of Buffy, in fact it was a bit of a pain hosing the bath down afterwards trying to get rid of them all! I probably did put a bit too much in though.
I have now become a bath person and I think a lot of that is down to this delicious smelling bubble bath (yes it's a bubble bath, bath soak is just misleading). My skin feels so soft for the rest of the night and the smell really lingers.
The bottle I've got is 500ml, the liquid is thick and gloopy and baby pink colour. It comes in a clear bottle with a clear lid. The front has a pink floral design and the Radox logo plus the product name. The sides of the bottle have RADOX imprinted on them. The back of the box has the blurb..."Run the bath, light some candles and step into your very own spa retreat. Lie back and enjoy the comforting scent of our Soothing spa inspired bath soak. Let the warm water gently lap over your body and feel the blend of natural neroli oil, fig and milk soothe and moisturise your skin." Plus ingredients, warnings etc. You can buy this product from Boots, Tesco (currently on offer at £1.09 instead of £2.19 as of 03/04/13).
I've had I think three baths with this bubble bath and I've used nearly half a bottle but I did put way, way too much in the first time, I got a bit giddy. If you're sensible, this will probably last you about 10 baths, maybe more.
Ingredients: Aqua,Sodium Laureth Sulfate ,Cocamidopropyl Betaine ,Sodium Chloride ,Sine Adipe Lac ,Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil ,Ficus Carica Fruit Extract ,Rosa Damascena Flower Oil ,Parfum ,Citric Acid ,Limonene ,Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer ,Sodium Lactate ,Polyquarenium-7 ,Glycerin ,Tetrasodium EDTA ,Linalool ,Benzyl Salicylate ,Sodium Benzoate ,CI 16255
Would I recommend this? Most definitely.
I can't remember when or where I bought this book, I think maybe WH Smiths but I honestly couldn't say for sure, it was about three years ago though. It was one of the first baking books I bought and is still my favourite; I use it all the time, as you can tell by how greasy and creased some of the pages are!
** About the book **
The book was published in 2008 by Love Food, which is part of Parragon Books Ltd. It's a large hard back book (27.2cm x 22cm x 3 cm) with a greyscale image on the front of somebody rolling bread or pastry or something, the book title is written in large pink writing. The back of the book has a blurb about the book and a few images to tempt you. There are 320 pages in the book including a five page index.
The layout of the book is great, very clear and in a decent size font with lots of colourful images.
The first part of the book is an introduction, information about baking, a glossary of baking terms, equipment needed, how to grease and line a baking tin, top tips on getting the best results. This information was so helpful to me, I didn't really know much about baking when I first bought this book, it might be as in depth as some of my other books but it's straight forward and easy to follow.
Now we come to the recipes, firstly it's Everyday Cakes, such as Victoria Sponge, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Coffee & Walnut Cake, Madeira Cake and my favourite cake ever, the Cherry Cake. I've adapted this recipe over the years but the original is still delicious and I get asked to make this all the time. There are 24 recipes in this section; I've made maybe half of them so far. Another good one from this section is the Banana Loaf, I could eat this every day!
Next up is Celebration Cakes, there are 23 recipes in this section and I've only made one recipe from this part which was the Dotty Chocolate Chip Cake. These recipes are a bit more "exotic" but I'm sure I'll get around to trying them soon. Some of the recipes in this section are: Halloween Spiders Web Cake, Golden Christmas Cake, Panforte Di Siena and the Sachertorte (if you're fan of Great British Bake Off, you'll have seen them make this).
We've then got Small Cakes & Bars, there are 25 recipes in this part and I've made maybe 10 of them so far, definitely wanting to make more of them very soon, including Lamingtons and Bakewell Slices. My favourite is the Lemon Drizzle Bars, I sell these at fairs and markets and they're hugely popular, amazingly moist and tasty. The only downside to this section was a lot of the cupcake recipes are included in another book I have but I guess that happens when you've got several baking books. Another yummy recipe is Rock Cakes, I love these and even got my husband eating them, after him pulling his face when I told him what was in them (he's not a fan of sultanas, raisins etc.)
Next up is Pies and Pastries, this section I haven't used much, I've made the Pear Tart with Chocolate Sauce, it was a bit too bitter this and I wasn't very keen. I really want to try the Cinnamon Rolls, I love these so it'd be great to be able to make them myself. The Strawberry Tartlets look delicious and quite straight forward too. There are 24 recipes in this part. All the recipes are sweet, although I'm sure a Sweet Potato Pie must be considered savoury!
Biscuits is next with 24 recipes, I made the Mega Chip Cookies only the other day for my nephew, he didn't want a cake so I made a stack of these to look like a cake, they were a huge hit with everybody. My cheeky Dad liked them so much; he wouldn't believe I'd made them, pfft! The Shortbread recipe is extremely easy and very tasty; I would definitely recommend this recipe for those new to baking. Other recipes include Citrus Crescents, Jam Rings and Iced Cherry Rings.
The final section is Bread & Savoury, again with 24 recipes. I've only made one recipe from this section - cheese straws and it was a bit of a disaster! I think I'm too sweet for savoury baking haha! Some of the recipes including are the traditional white loaf, Irish Soda Bread, Coriander and Garlic Naan and Basic Pizza Dough.
Last is the index, four pages listing every recipe by each of the main ingredients used.
** My opinion **
It's without a doubt my favourite and most used recipe book, the recipes and instructions are clearly laid out, each page is laid out with the method taking up most of the page and the ingredients listed in order down the side on a coloured strip, each recipe has a full page colour image with it. This is a big plus for me, I need to see what a bake should look like at the end, it makes it easier to use my instincts as sometimes the method isn't necessarily right (In my humble opinion!) For example the Lemon Drizzle cake tells you to cream the butter, sugar and eggs at the same time but for me you should definitely cream the butter and sugar first until very pale and fluffy before adding eggs. It will help your cake rise and be light and fluffy.
I also think it's good that the ingredients are listed in the order used, this helps you keep organised and are less likely to miss something out by mistake. I get all ingredients out before I start and then put them away as I've used them, I'm a bit anal for that actually!
Nearly every recipe I've made from this book has turned out perfectly and I've gone on to make them time and time again. I had trouble with the cheese straw ones, I'm not sure where I went wrong with them but I know it was one of the first things I ever baked so maybe now I'm a bit more "skilled" I'll be able to pull them off.
** Summary **
I highly recommend this book, with 120 recipes to choose from, I'm sure you'll find a lot that you enjoy baking (and eating!) It is for sale on Amazon for £19 but it's temporarily out of stock, it's available on the marketplace, used starting at £1.12 or new starting at £16 but I'm unsure of the postage.
We recently stayed at the Ribby Hall Spa Hotel to celebrate four us turning 30, thought we should treat ourselves seeing as we're getting on a bit now! The Spa hotel is set within Ribby Hall Village, a holiday camp with chalets, cottages, log cabins and caravans, we didn't leave the hotel at all during our stay so I can't comment much on the grounds except we did see a lake and what looked like stables. We paid for an overnight spa package which was £109 each and included overnight accommodation, breakfast, two course evening meal, two hour Aqua Thermal Journey plus slippers, a robe and towels for in the spa.
This review is a bit long, I've literally only just come back and it's very fresh in my mind.
The Hotel is an 4* adults only Spa Hotel set in 100 acres of Lancashire Countryside, not too far from Blackpool, the hotel has 42 rooms including two penthouses and 12 suites. They also have a Spa, Champagne Bar, Brasserie and state of the art Gym (although we didn't even see the gym, because we were there to relax, not exercise haha!)
On entering the foyer, my first reaction was wow this is lovely, plush comfy seating with lots of plants and natural lighting. The bar is just across from the seating area and then The Brasserie is through the bar, this where we had all our meals. My friend and I had a couple of hours to kill whilst our other two friends had treatments and we waited to check in. We were a bit peckish so ordered a Tandoori Chicken sandwich to share, it was around £7 and was pretty small but it was on ciabbata and came with a handful of chips, coleslaw and some salad. It was very tasty but I don't think I'd have paid £7 to have it just for me. We also had a hot chocolate each with had the most delicious cream on top but the actual hot chocolate was very bitter for me and again wasn't cheap at around £3.
Whilst sat around waiting, a man came in with two children to collect his wife and they sat down at the seating area, straight away somebody from reception came over and explained it was adults only. She was really nice about it, asked the children if they'd missed their mum etc. My friends thought this was a bit OTT but I was glad, I specifically liked that this was a child free zone so I'm glad they are strict about it.
The public toilets were very clean, only two cubicles and I did find I had to queue up a couple of times to use them. They had really nice Elmis hand soap and Molten Brown hand lotion which was lovely. The paper towels they had for you to dry your hands on were very thick and were much nicer than thin paper towels I'm used to! They did also have two air dryers but I didn't use them.
I found the staff to be very professional and helpful, they called us madam, and nothing seemed like too much trouble for them. On arrival, the porter helped us take our bags upstairs, usually I don't take advantage of this service as I'm more than capable of taking my own bag especially when it's only a little one but as two of our friends were having treatments, we couldn't really lug it all up. The checking in process was very fast, they took a credit card to put against each room so after that we could just charge everything to our room which saved us carrying cash around with us.
On checkout, we had to faff about because we'd ended up in the wrong rooms so had charged things on to each other's credit cards, even though we were causing hold up, the reception staff didn't make us feel like we were a nuisance, they helped us sort it out and off we went.
The Hotel had one (that we could see) small lift in the reception area, I don't go in lifts so didn't use it but my friends did and it seemed to be quite quick, although I think of the size of the hotel it was too small. I used the stairs, either the ones that went through the Spa or some towards the back of the hotel, sometimes the stairs in hotels can feel a bit isolated but these were okay and as we were only on the first floor, it didn't take me long to get up and down them.
The hotel offers free WiFi which I found to be very reliable and had a strong connection whenever I used it.
We arrived at the Hotel at about 12 noon and couldn't check in until 2pm, we were really hoping they'd be ready earlier so we didn't have to sit around in the lounge area for too long but they must've been busy as we didn't get our keys until 1.50pm. You can't use the Spa until you've checked into your room. Check out was 11am, which I think is quite good as some places it can be around 10am and I'm not one for getting up too early.
The rooms were very comfortable with two single beds, there also a large double wardrobe, a smaller wardrobe with shelves, a desk area and a chair and small table, plus two bedside cabinets.
I found the bed and pillows to be quite comfortable although the bed was a bit too soft for my liking.
We had a safe, fridge which was stocked with complimentary still and sparkling water and milk. There was tea and coffee making facilities, an iron and ironing board, an iPod dock (although we couldn't get this to work, I don't know if this was us just being stupid but we didn't bother ringing reception about it as we weren't that bothered but we did mention it on the feedback card). The television was affixed to the wall and the TV contained information and room service menus. We didn't watch TV so I'm not exactly sure what channels they have but on the website it does mention Sky Sports (I will be using this fact to get my husband to take me back here one day!).
My friend didn't programme the safe correctly and locked our possession inside it (she's a bit ditzy like that!) so we had to call reception for them to come and fix it, it took them a bit too long to actually answer the phone but they did come up very quickly to sort it out and were really nice about it.
Each room had heater/air conditioning and the rooms, to me, were very warm. I turned the heating down to 16 C which was as far as I could get it to go and I was really very hot so ended up opening a window during the night.
I think the lighting in the room could be better, there were about 5 or 6 different lights/lamps but even with them all switched on, I wouldn't have been able to read a book in there, my friends said it wasn't too dark for them but I have really bad eyes so I think maybe they should offer brighter lighting with the option to have it dimmer.
The bathroom however was very brightly lit, very clean and a decent size. There was a separate bath and shower, sink and a toilet. There was also a shower head over the bath which was handy as I just wanted to wash my hair after getting it all yucky in the spa. The shower was very powerful and easy to control.
The complimentary toiletries, although very nice Elmis ones, were far too small for two people to use, they were enough for one person for one use only. There a box of tissues plus two toilet rolls in the bathroom also.
There were little cards dotted around the room offering different types of pillows such as lavender, V shaped or Feather pillows. You could also order breakfast to be delivered to your room, as long as you handed in the card before 2am. The tray charge for this was only £3 so not too unreasonable. I really wanted to do this but I was outvoted so we ate our breakfast in the Brasserie.
The room service was, as you'd expect, quite pricey but we did order an 11" pizza at about 2am which was around £11 plus the £3 tray charge, yes that to me is quite expensive but you could pay that at somewhere like Dominos anyway. Again, it took them too long to answer the phone and we actually nearly hung up but it only took them maybe 10 minutes to bring the food up which we were happy with.
The room had four mirrors in if I remember correctly, including a full length one and a shaving mirror.
The Spa is just lovely, plants dotted around and huge windows to let in lots of natural light, there were so many nice smells floating around, it felt very luxurious. We were given a set of guidelines to read and sign before we could go into the Spa, then they gave us a towel and explained how the Aqua Thermal Journey works. We already had our robe and slippers as these were waiting for us in our rooms. There are basically 11 different experiences which were: aroma room, aroma steam room, saunarium, Balinese salt inhalation room, herbal sauna, outdoor rustic sauna, Roman pedidarium, tepidarium, outdoor spa pool, hydrotherapy pool and monsoon showers. You move around them in order and they gradually raise your temperature. They say you should leave feeling refreshed and invigorated, I left feeling very sleepy! My favourite room was probably the aroma steam room (I think that's what it was called) it was one of the hottest and had a lovely small of menthol which helped clear my nose up, as I had a cold. The outdoor sauna was really nice too. The outdoor hot tub could've been hotter for me, it was freezing outside and having used outdoor hot tubs before, I was expecting it to be much hotter than what it was.
They had some heated beds that you lie on looking out over to the countryside, sadly we didn't get chance to use these although they looked really nice and comfortable. We did use the regular beds that were along the same window and although the beds were very comfortable, it was far too noisy to be able to relax here. Upstairs they have two more relaxation rooms, one is looking out to the countryside and is very bright and smelt lovely, it had seven beds, four in front of the window and three behind it. The other was a dark relaxation room, I honestly think I would've just gone to sleep for hours in there; we only had a look at it before going back to our room. It had four comfy looking beds with pillows. Heaven!
They had an outdoor seating area with loungers but as we went the end of March and there was still snow in some places, we didn't fancy sitting outside much!
There were several water coolers dotted around the Spa which I liked as I do drink a lot of water generally and obviously sweating so much dehydrates you anyway. The only problem was there weren't any cups at most of the water coolers, which was a bit pointless.
We booked on to the Rasul Mud Chamber at £60 for the four of us, the website says: "A unique experience to share with a partner or friends. Enter a private heated temple with several different types of mineral rich mud which you apply to different parts of your body. The chamber then fills with steam whilst you relax on heated thrones to activate the mud. Finally, rain drops fall from the ceiling to wash away the mud leaving your skin detoxified and exfoliated" - in reality, you go into a room which has four stone seats, definitely not thrones! Two on the left, two on the right with a tap on each side. The room was very small and very uncomfortable; I couldn't have got comfy on these stone seats if my life had depended on it. You are given four blobs of different clay like muds which the therapist explains which to use where. We are then left to cover ourselves in the mud, then "relax" in the "thrones" whilst we wait for the steam and then the rain. It did get very steamy (not like that!) in the room and we hadn't been warned that the mud is likely to drip down into your eyes once the steam comes, I guess it's quite obvious now you think about it but none of us did and two of us ended up with very sore eyes after that. So after sitting in the steam for a while, the "rain" came - which was actually more like a hose pipe squirting you for about 30 seconds. We all had to shower properly afterwards as most of the mud was still there. We were all very disappointed with this treatment; it didn't live up to our expectations at all. The seats need to be more comfy and ones you can lie back and relax in and the rain needs to be like actual rain and needs to last a lot longer. I also think they should warn people not to put too much mud on your forehead or around your eyes as it will drip down.
Two of my friends had treatments done whilst we were there, one friend loved hers, which was a type of wrap treatment which also included a face and scalp massage. The other friend didn't really enjoy hers which she'd paid over £100 for because the treatment room was directly above The Brasserie and there was no relaxing music playing so she could hear people laughing and plates clattering etc. Not very relaxing I'm sure you'll agree. She did complain and was given a complimentary candle by way of an apology, which she wasn't really satisfied with.
** The Brasserie**
We had booked in Afternoon Tea which we ate whilst in our robes which I wasn't keen on and if I was every booking again, I would have the Afternoon Tea before we went into the Spa. We each received four finger sandwiches; Cheese and Cucumber (nice), Ham and Mustard (ham was far too fatty, I couldn't eat it), Egg and Cress (very nice) and Salmon (delicious) , a tiny scone (amazing, crunchy on the outside but soft and fluffy inside, it just a bit too small) and three cakes; Chocolate Orange fudge cake (delicious), Lemon Drizzle (very dry) and Carrot Cake (very nice). We also had a bottle of Champagne between us which cost £48 if I remember correctly. I'm not a fan of champagne but this was very nice. We then ordered a bottle of Presseco....hic! This was £25 I think and again was very nice, quite sweet which is what I like. We didn't actually get around to having our tea with the Afternoon Tea because we'd had too much champers and wine and didn't fancy a brew after that. I kind of wish they'd served the tea first, with the sandwiches and cakes and then served the champagne. They said we could have our Tea later in the day but we never got around to it.
For our evening meal, we could have two courses each or pay a bit extra and have three, we chose just to have two courses. Three of us chose to have a main and a dessert and one a starter and a main. The food is very much "gourmet" style and you will not get huge portions. They gave us complimentary water and bread on the table plus a waitress brought out a tiny little plate of Artichoke crisps with a white truffle mayonnaise, you literally only had a tiny bit each but they were quite tasty and a nice touch I thought.
I don't eat in these types of places very often and the menus are somewhat difficult to decipher but I decided on a Butternut Squash risotto which was really very tasty, it came with a sheep curd which I wasn't keen on and chestnuts which I loved. I can't eat a huge amount in one go so this was the perfect portion size for me, but my friend who had the same thing, said she would've liked more. My other friends said the same about the portion sizes but overall they enjoyed the food. For dessert I had a chocolate fondant, which I thought was supposed to be soft and gooey inside but it wasn't at all and neither was my friends (we all had the same dessert) it came with banana ice cream which was delicious, hazelnuts and other random bits and bobs that I didn't really see the point of but do understand that's what this kind of food is like. The banana ice cream was amazing and I could've just eaten a full bowl of that, the rest of the dessert wasn't anything special and I left a bit of the chocolate fondant.
I would eat here again definitely, the chef is obviously quite skilled and if you accept before you go that you're not going to get huge portions and that the food is a little pretentious, you'll probably enjoy it a lot more.
For breakfast, there is a buffet style continental breakfast which included pastries, cold meats, fruit, yoghurts, juices and cereals. You could then order a cooked breakfast; there was a choice of a cooked breakfast, pancakes or salmon and cream cheese bagel. There were other options but I can't think what they were, sorry! I went for the salmon bagel, which was nice but I would've preferred a thicker layer of cream cheese and a little less smoked salmon. We had tea and coffee and toast as well. Breakfast was served between 8am to 10am I believe.
I would definitely stay at this hotel again; my husband and I are hoping to visit sometime in the future. It was very relaxing, I liked how professional and smart the staff were and they didn't make you feel like that they were looking down their nose at your or anything like that which I've experienced at nice hotels/restaurants before. The rooms were plush, the Spa was amazing and the food was (mostly) delicious.
I've suffered from Sciatica for about 10 years now, when it first kicked in, it was quite unbearable and I tried different things to ease it such as Physio, Acupuncture (not good if you're scared of needles!), TENS machines (was too scared to actually turn it on!), yoga, heat packs etc. Some things worked better than others. I found physio and yoga to be the most helpful long term but in the short term, when it's really very bad, I take painkillers.
I have in the past taken the stronger Codeine/ Paracetamol tablets from the doctor, the 30/500 ones but I became addicted to these, only mildly I'd say as I did get myself off them without any help. I used to take one every night before bed without fail but I started suffering badly from a constant upset tummy. Eventually I stopped getting more from the doctor (I sort of think now, he shouldn't have been giving me so many for so long) and downgraded to these ones instead. I find these are easier to handle as the codeine isn't as strong but they still offer some pain relief.
** The Product **
The tablets that I'm reviewing now are Boots own brand Paracetamol with Codeine, 8/500 - this means for every 500mg of Paracetamol, there is 8gm of Codeine Phosphate Hemihydrate. These are in caplet form and come in a box of 32 for £2.49.
Now as I've had these tablets for ages, I don't have the box anymore but I am fairly certain it's not silver, I think it used to be but now it's red. However on the Boots website and on here it shows it as silver. Hmmm. Next time I'm in Boots, I will double check this and update the review to confirm. These tablets end up in my handbag, bedside cabinet etc. so I don't actually keep the box for very long.
Anyway the box has Paracetamol & Codeine Caplets written on plus a little image of two caplet tablets, health warnings about addiction, on the back is information and dosage etc. You can buy these tablets over the counter, no prescription is required however you do have to buy them from the Pharmacy section.
Inside the box are 4 blister packets with 8 tablets in each. Although these are caplets and therefore easier to swallow, they are quite big. My mum won't even try to take these unless they've been broken up. The blister packet has the Boots logo and address on and also what the tablets are.
These tablets are available in a round tablet too but I can't swallow them unless I break them in half so I prefer just to buy these ones. They do have a bit of a chalky taste if you keep them in your mouth too long, yuck.
** How they work for me **
If I take two of these tablets, I tend to feel slightly woozy for a while. If I only take one, which I do usually, I don't feel any kind of wooziness. My mum can take two of these and they literally knock her out for hours. If I take these tablets on an empty stomach, they make me feel sick so I try to always take them when I've just eaten.
I start to feel a bit of relief after maybe 20 minutes and it does last for a couple of hours. I tend to take them at bedtime to help ease the pain enough so I can sleep or if I'm going on a long walk with the dogs.
** Dosage Info **
Adult and children over 12 years old take two of these every four to six hours but no more than eight caplets in 24 hours.
Children 6 to 11 years old can take half to one tablet every four to six hours but no more than 4 caplets in 24 hours.
Must not be given to children under 6 years old.
** Summary **
I would recommend these as a short term pain relief; they are good value for money when you compare them to the branded alternatives.
I bought the Kenwood Prospero KM265 about two and a half years ago from Argos for £164.99. It seemed like a huge amount of money to me at the time, I was used to little handheld mixers that cost a tenner, but I had just started a home based bakery business and needed something reliable to mix my cakes in. Kenwood do a lot of mixers but most were out of my price range, the Prospero is a great little mixer, it has all the same attachments and uses as a bigger machine, just at a much more affordable price. (I have recently upgraded to the Kenwood Major, please see my other review, which I'm very pleased to say received a crown, eek!)
** What's in the box **
You will find inside the box, the mixer itself, complete with a silver bowl, splash guard, K beater, dough hook, balloon whisk, food processor which includes a chopping blade and three separate discs for grating and slicing and a citrus juicer. There is also a blender.
** What can you use it for **
These machines are very versatile, you can use it to mix up cakes, make pastry, make bread, chop vegetables, mash up potatoes, plus a lot more. You receive a handy little manual which has recipes and instructions for each attachment. There was also a disc included with recipes.
** What are the bits for **
The machine - this a silver free standing mixer with a lid that pops up, you place the mixer bowl under the lid and put it back down. The food processor and blender sit on the top of the machine when the lid is down. It has variable speeds and has a handy guide on top outlining which speeds you should use for which attachment.
There is a small hole at the bottom of the machine where the bowl sits; this little hole lets spills through so you have to remember to move the machine after each use to clean this up.
The power cord can be stored in the back of the machine which is very handy if you need to put it away or move it around. The power cord itself isn't that long though, just over 1 metre.
Mixer Bowl - this is to be used on the main part of the machine and is used with the K Beater (used for creaming cake mixture, mashing potatoes), the dough hook (used for making bread dough or biscuit dough) or the balloon whisk (used for meringues or royal icing). This bowl is so easy to clean so even after a lot of use for over two years; it's still in perfect condition. The K Beater attachment however does show signs of usage now; the coating has been scratched badly. I was a bit disappointed about this because I don't quite know what could have scratched it all off. I don't use anything abrasive on it and it's only ever hand washed.
The splash guard that you use with the mixer is ok but there's definitely room for improvement. It just slides on when you put the lid down which is good as I have to faff about a bit with my new mixer. It does have a gap at the back which is a bit of a pain and I have had flour or whatever fall out at the back. It has a hole at the front for you to add food through; again this isn't great because when you're mixing something like buttercream, the icing sugar can fly up everywhere.
The food processor - this sits at the front, on the top of the machine and comes with the chopping blade, slicing/grating blades and the citrus juicer. The food processor is great for making pastry, chopping vegetables and of course using the citrus juicer you can squeeze delicious orange juice very quickly. The discs are very fiddly to clean as bits of food get stuck in the holes but if you let them soak for a while in hot water, it does make it a bit easier.
The blender - this sits at the back, on the top of the machine and is used for liquidising soups, making smoothies etc. The blades comes off at the bottom to make this easier to clean, I was always a bit wary when putting it back on that I wouldn't have done it properly as it doesn't click or anything but I never had any problems with it. This is a really noisy blender and my dog used to go mad when I used it (even though he was in the living room!)
You can buy additional attachments for this machine which are the meat grinder and continuous juicer, I didn't ever buy these so I can't comment on what they're like. I wouldn't have minded the juicer though as the citrus juicer is of course limited to just citrus fruits.
** Specs **
The body of the machine is made out of plastic and is silver in colour; it weighs 5kg and has wattage of 650W. It has a safety lock so you cannot start any part of the machine unless the top covers are on, the lid is clicked down, the bowl is in place etc. This is a great feature as when you're rushing around, you can maybe forget to put the lid on properly and then you might have a little accident, this will prevent that from happening.
The mixing bowl holds 4.3litres, the capacity for cake is 1.6kg (I could mix up a 10" cake without a problem, any bigger than this and I had to mix it in two parts), the capacity for dough is 500g. It can whisk up to 8 egg whites and can hold up to 450g of flour for pastry.
The dimensions are H28.5 x W24 x D31.5cm.
** My opinion **
I loved this mixer, the only reason I upgraded was because I needed a bigger mixing bowl. Kenwood make very good, reliable machines and this is no different. I used it nearly every day for over two years and never had a single problem with it. I'm sure it would last for decades.
I recently used it again at the same time as my new mixer and I was surprised at how it made a sort of rattling noise, I hadn't ever noticed this and I think it's just because my new one is so smooth. It is noisy but it's not deafening or uncomfortable.
This Kenwood is classed a compact machine and it doesn't take up a massive amount of space on your work top, it's quite lightweight too so easy to move around if you need to.
The Kenwood website has information about the different mixers available and also has manuals, recipes etc. It is a very slow website though.
I would definitely recommend this Kenwood mixer to anybody who is looking for an affordable, reliable mixer that has a lot of different uses.
I have quite thick, usually long hair (it's a bit shorter at the moment after I had a drastic hair cut that I promptly regretted). My hair does tend to be quite greasy, probably because I faff about with it a lot. Ideally I try to wash it every other day but I HATE washing my hair, I HATE drying it and I'm not mad keen on straightening it. So over the years I've been trying to find ways to extend the gap between washes.
Batiste is a starch based dry shampoo manufactured by Church & Dwight Co. Inc. and is made in the UK (yay for that). They now have 14 different kinds of dry shampoo, different scents and for different hair colours and types.
I first used Batiste dry shampoo years ago and I really wasn't keen on the smell but since they've brought out all these new "flavours" I can cope with it more. I'm still not a massive fan of the smell as I find it quite powdery, if that makes sense. I'm going to try the Cherry flavour next as I think I might prefer that to this which is very flowery.
I've got the Blush one at the moment; it's a 400ml can which cost around £5 I believe from Boots. The can is pink with darker pink flowers on and the batiste logo across in green and white with "floral & flirty Blush" on in a dark pink circle. The lid is plain white. The back of the can has information about what it's for, how to use it, a warning about how to store the can and the ingredients.
I use this product maybe once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. Holding the nozzle approx. 30cm from your head, you spray in on to the roots, rub in gently with your fingertips and then brush and style your hair as normal. There's sort of a cut-off point with my hair, if it has gone past this point, this dry shampoo will have very little effect and I'll just have to stop being lazy and wash it properly. If I use it before that point, it really is quite effective. It stops my roots looking so oily and flat and makes my hair smell much fresher. It can make my hair feel quite fly away and frizzy though but I would prefer that to oily and flat.
This comes out as like a mist but once it's on your hair, you can feel it's really a powder and it does leave your hands feeling a bit yucky afterwards but a quick wash and that's gone so that's not a major issue to me. Another downside is if you spray too much, the smell can be a bit overwhelming so I only use it now in a well ventilated room and it short bursts.
I would recommend this to anybody who wants to give their hair a bit of life in between washes.
If you're easily offended, do not watch the Inbetweeners. If you're up for a laugh then watch away!
The Inbetweeners is a Channel 4 programme based on four young lads at Sixth Form; Will has moved from a posh private school and is befriended, reluctantly by Simon, Jay and Neil. We follow their lives and see the ridiculously funny situations they find themselves in.
The show first aired in 2008 and ran for three series', they also did a movie but quite frankly, I'm trying to forget about that. I could waffle on about the show til the cows come home but I don't want to give anything away so I'll just tell you a bit more about the main characters:
Will - He's posh, very posh, he's not happy at all to be slumming it at a comprehensive school when he'd been enjoying the luxury of a private school. He carries a briefcase and is what is classically known as a nerd.
Simon - Simon is probably the most normal of the four. He's in love with a girl he's known for years but she doesn't seem very interested in him. We see him make a fool of himself again and again in an attempt to impress her.
Jay - without a doubt the most crude and disgusting one of the lot. Everything he says is perverted haha! He's also a compulsive liar, which the other lads know and do tease him for. You do now and then see a softer side to Jay which makes him a bit more likeable.
Neil - the dopiest one, he really so dim but he's really loveable. He's probably the least interesting character though, there's not really must to say about him. Funnily enough though, he does seem get the most action with the girls!
Phil Gilbert - the teacher at the sixth form they attend, he's great but not if he's your teacher. He doesn't care about helping the lads or teaching them, he's basically a bit of a bully but you know in a funny way.
Even though the show does touch on some serious subjects, bullying, drinking, drugs etc. it's done in a light hearted humorous way.
Throughout the show you will learn some new and interesting words for things. I better not say any of them though; you'll have to watch it! Like I said at the start, if you are at all easily offended by crude, disgusting humour, this show is not for you. And you might not want to watch it with your parents either....
The Inbetweeners was a massive hit when it came out and won several British Comedy awards, as well as others. In 2011 they won Outstanding Achievement award at the British Comedy awards, very well deserved.
The show is well written, not afraid to be daring with the tone and humour and makes you really feel for the characters.
You can buy the Inbetweeners boxset for £18 on Amazon or if you have Netflix, it's on there.
** The Product **
Beechams All In One is a medicine used when suffering from a cough or cold. It is also available in tablet form but I prefer to take the medicine, despite its disgusting taste. A 160ml bottle, which is 8 doses will cost £4.83 in Boots.
The bottle comes in a blue and orange box with information about the product, active ingredients and dosage information.
The active ingredients are paracetamol, guaifenesin and phenylephrine hydrochloride. Paracetamol is for pain relief, guaifenesin is used to treat a chesty or productive cough and phenylephrine is a decongestant.
For adults and children over 12 years old, the dosage is 20ml every four hours. There is a little plastic cup that comes with the medicine with measurements on the side so it's very easy to measure out the correct amount. I advise washing this out thoroughly after every use or it does get very sticky.
It states not to use this product for more than five days in a row and not to exceed the daily dosage amount.
** What I think **
I have been taken Beechams All In One for years now but lately it seems to upset my stomach so I only take it if I'm feeling really bad and can't sleep. The liquid is an orangey colour and it tastes absolutely vile, I advise drinking it all in one go to get it over with, as sipping it will just prolong the torture. It makes my stomach feel very warm which is quite a nice feeling but sometimes it makes me feel very nauseous, that may be down to me as opposed to the product though as my tummy is a bit awkward these days. The box says "non-drowsy" but this always makes me very sleepy, the tablets, which I assume is the exact same product, don't make me drowsy though. So perhaps I'm just a bit odd. The sleepiness is one of the reasons I take it though, I really struggle getting to sleep when I've got a cold and this does help a lot.
At nearly £5 a bottle for only 8 doses, it isn't cheap but I only take it at bedtime when my cold is at it's worst so I do find one bottle will usually last me at least two colds.
The effects never last long enough for me, you can only take it every four hours but you don't get four hours relief however this is typical of most medications, in my experience.
I would definitely recommend this is you're suffering from a cold; it will relieve some of the symptoms for you and hopefully make you feel a bit better.
I'm currently suffering from another annoying cold, my nose is still very stuffy and my throat dry and scratchy. I really am quite a baby when I'm ill so I do usually try different things to help get rid of it. When I get a dry throat when suffering from a cold, I'm quite often sick which makes my throat feel worse but if I suck on a Halls Soother, this usually prevents that from happening. As soon as I feel a cold coming on, this is probably the first thing I will go out and buy.
Halls Soothers are imported by Kraft Limited and come in a variety of flavours including cherry, strawberry, peach and blackcurrant. Cherry is my favourite and the only one I ever have now. They cost around 50p for a pack which includes 10 sweets. Each sweet is individually wrapped. I've found that if these sit in your bag for too long they can get very sticky and I've had a right faff trying to get all the mess out of my bags. But I suppose this is my fault for leaving them in my bag too long. The packaging is a thick paper type material which for the cherry flavour is a deep red colour with Halls Soothers in white and a picture of a cherry on. The back of the packet has ingredients information and what to do if you're not satisfied etc. The sweet wrapper is a thin paper with Halls Soothers wrote on it in yellow.
They are not classed as a medicine therefore you can buy them in a lot of places, corner shops, supermarkets and chemists and there is no specific dosage limit. They are currently (31/03/13) on offer in Tesco's at 2 for 80p.
They are made using real fruit juice and are suitable for vegetarians. Looking at the ingredients list, they also contain a lot of sugar and E numbers and actually only contain 1.7% fruit juice. For me, this isn't a big deal. They work and help me feel better so that all I'm really worried about. But if you are concerned about E numbers, you might want to take a proper look at the ingredients list and make sure you're happy before you buy them.
Although Menthol isn't listed as an ingredient, it does have that kind of taste to it and it does help to clear your nose and is usually found with other cough/cold type products in supermarkets and chemists.
I would recommend these to anybody who is suffering from a cold, they will give you some relief and they taste much nicer than other similar products that I've tried.
I'm currently suffering from a nasty cold so thought I would review some of the products I am using to try and shift it.
I first tried the Vicks Sinex spray about 6 months ago, when I had yet another cold. My nose was ridiculously bunged up; I couldn't sleep at all because I just couldn't breathe. My husband picked up a bottle from a local Boots chemist, no prescription is required, you can buy it straight over the counter.
The bottle is quite a simple white bottle with a green lid, which has the Vicks logo on top, the bottle has a label on the front with the product name and what is it and the back has usage information and ingredients. The bottle contains 20ml and has the active ingredient Oxymetazoline hydrochloride 0.05% w/v. The bottle I have has a use by date of May 2015 so it has quite a long shelf life and you only use a very small amount so I would say it's quite good value for money, at around £3.85 a bottle (Boots).
To use the spray, you simply insert it into your nostril, hold the other one closed and give the bottle a sharp squeeze, then inhale deeply. It says to have 1-2 sprays in each nostril every 6 - 8 hours.
I was a bit wary of using it at first as I don't like the thought of spraying something up my nose but when I did eventually try it, you can't really feel anything going up apart from a strong menthol smell. The first time I did notice it had helped a bit, it's a shame you can only use it every 6 - 8 hours because it definitely doesn't last that long. I think maybe the effects last for around an hour and after that, I'm blocked up again.
Another time I used this, I think I must've squeezed the bottle too hard as it caused quite a bit of pain in my nostrils and they were sore for quite a while after, either that or my nostrils were just very sore anyway but I didn't use it again with that cold (I get colds a lot if you hadn't noticed)
I've been using this for the last couple of days with the latest cold and it helped the first night, cleared my nose up so I could get to sleep but woke up maybe an hour later and my nose was just as bad as before. Since then I haven't noticed it helping massively.
You can only use it for around three days, after that I believe it makes the blocked up nose worse.
The information leaflet (which I don't have now but did read when I first got it) mentioned possible side effects so I would definitely recommend reading it before using this for the first time.
I would recommend it as it does offer some relief but not as much as I'd like.
Pets At Home is a nationwide pet shop chain; they sell a range of pet food, accessories and some animals. Our local Pets At Home has recently relocated to the other end of the retail park and now has a new grooming parlour which we haven't used as we found it quite expensive, it was around £35 for one dog, we usually only pay around £25 so a big difference, especially when you have two dogs. It also has a vets, we haven't used this either as we're with a local independent surgery.
The store itself is large and brightly lit; the tills are at the front of the shop with the grooming parlour and vets at the back. The shop always seems clean and tidy; you don't often see things lying around that shouldn't be. Pets are obviously allowed in the store, so sometimes it can be a bit noisy with dogs barking and such.
They sell some animals such as rabbits, mice, hamsters and guinea pigs. They also sell a wide range of fish and some reptiles. Although I always think the fish look overcrowded in places like this, I actually know naff all about fish, so they might be quite happy. The tanks are always clean and have decorative items in with the fish so they have things to "play" with (see what I mean, I know NOTHING about fish!) The other animals generally look well looked after and happy enough. We bought a hamster from here a couple of years ago and I recall the staff being very helpful, they gave us advice on how to handle and care for her and handled the hamster with care when popping her in the travel box, which was only made out of thin cardboard, which she nearly escaped out of. But then that hamster could escape out of anything, she was like a magician or something!
We shop at Pets At Home occasionally, usually for birthday and Christmas gifts for our two dogs. We do find them a bit expensive but they have the best range available in our area and my husband loves looking at the animals (I do not, it is boring)
They always have a bowl of water for the dogs near the door and a bowl of dog treats on the counter, which I think is a nice touch.
The staff always seem quite pleasant but aside from when buying our hamster, I haven't had much interaction with them except for when paying for our purchases.
Personally if I can, I would choose to buy pet food and accessories from our local market and support local businesses but I can't always get there, so Pets At Home would be my next choice.
Their website is very good, full of useful information about different animals and you can of course purchase things online.
**updated to add link to Pets at Home website, which lists all Pets at Home stores with a vet clinic, please remove the space -
Over the last few years I've been struggling with an upset tummy, it puts me off eating when we are out and about because 9 times out of 10, I will need to use the toilet after I've eaten and I find extremely embarrassing having to go in a public toilet.
Recently, due to changes in my diet and the medication I take, it has settled down quite a bit but I still always have a packet of these in my bag whenever I leave the house. As the box and the tablets themselves are pretty small, I can easily carry them around in my bag without them bulking it out or getting in the way. The tablets are very easy to swallow and I have in the past swallowed them without water although I prefer not to do this.
In the past I have used branded diarrhoea tablets such as Imodium, being under the impression they were better than the own brand alternatives. It's only when I read an article somewhere explaining that as long as the active ingredient was there, it would do the job just as well. The active ingredient in diarrhoea tablets is Loperamide Hydrochloride, as long as the product you are buying contains this, they should work regardless of the brand.
Tesco's own branded tablets cost 80p for 6 capsules (as ove 26/03/13) each tablet contains 2mg of Loperamide Hydrochloride. In comparison Imodium Original tablets can cost from £2 for 6. (In Boots they cost £3.19!). The tablets come in a Tesco branded box with the active ingredient stated on the front and how many is in the packet. Inside you will find a blister packet with the tablets and a leaflet, if you haven't taken this kind of tablets before; I advise reading it before taking them. You can buy these tablets over the counter, no prescription is required although you do need to be 16 years old to purchase them and they aren't suitable for children under 12 years old.
Initially you take two tablets and take further tablets if you have to go to the toilet again within a 24 hour period, taking no more than 6 tablets in that 24 hour period. I usually find two works fine but sometimes I have taken more. There are no immediate side effects to taking these tablets; however, they can leave you unable to use the toilet for a day or two after taking them.
I personally don't take these tablets when I have a bug or virus etc. instead I go with the "better out than in" school of thought. But if you just suffer randomly from an upset tummy and you are out and about, I definitely recommend them and for the price, they are very good value for money.
We use these bags primarly as a pooh bag when out with the dogs but I have also used them for nappies so will mention both uses in my review.
We have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, they pooh a lot (TMI, sorry!), we've used various bags over the years; initially we used "proper" poop scoops bags and have worked our way to the cheapest we can possibly find! This brings us to the product in question - Sainsbury's Basics Nappy Bags.
They cost a massive 12p a pack, each pack has 100 bags. The packaging itself is a very basic white bag with the familiar Sainsbury's "Basics" writing on the front and a bit of information on the back about how to use, safety information and how to contact them if you're not happy.
The bags are a very pale green colour; they have quite a strong, very sickly scent, I'm not the best at picking up on scents so I couldn't tell you what it is and it doesn't say on the bag. This scent seems to be the common smell for nappy bags so I won't hold it against Sainsbury's for theirs stinking too.
The bags are a decent size, about 27cm x 15cm. They do feel very thin and when we first started using them, I was worried about the quality but I've used these 100's of times now to pick up my dogs poop and they don't ever rip (thank god, ick), the smell, as sickly as it is, does go some way to masking the smell of the dogs mess. The handle of the bags is very useful when you have to carry it before you come across a bin. I have before now put a filled bag in my handbag and it didn't rip (again, thank god!) or leave any lasting smell in my bag.
They hold a very wet nappy plus wet wipes without it being too full to fasten and they don't tear so very good quality for the price. I've only ever used them a couple of times for nappies (don't have children so luckily nappy changing is a rare thing for me!).
I highly recommend these to anybody who needs either a nappy bag or a pooh bag. I honestly wouldn't dream of buying any other kind now, I'm that pleased with them and of course they are an absolutely bargain!
Thanks for reading; I hope you found this review helpful.
We went to Nandos (Ashton Moss, Greater Manchester) today as a little treat for mine & my nephew's birthdays. We actually wanted to go to Red Hot World Buffet but that's another story...
Anyway, my nephew hadn't ever been to Nandos and we do really like it so we were quite happy going here.
We went in, it was pretty busy but as it was a Sunday afternoon, to be expected really. We had to wait around 10 minutes for a table but we had somewhere to sit and had a menu to look at it so it didn't feel like we were waiting ages.
Once seated, I noticed straight away the table hadn't been cleaned properly, I just wiped up a little wet patch with a napkin and I was okay with that, it wasn't dirty; there was just that one little spill. We decided what we wanted and I went up to order it, this kind of reminds you that you're in a fast food place as opposed to a proper restaurant but I don't really mind that. I ordered a chicken fillet burger with spicy rice and chips, a tub of Perinaise sauce (mayonnaise with a hint of peri peri sauce) and a bottomless soft drink. For three of us it came to around £42.
Once I was back at my seat, I was very aware of how draughty it was, we were sat really close to the door and with people coming in and out all the time, it really did get very cold towards the end of our meal. I'd definitely ask to be seated elsewhere next time.
The food arrived pretty quickly and was warm enough although I wouldn't say it was red hot. The spicy rice is delicious, though it is pretty firey, I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to spicy foods so somebody else might think it's not spicy at all. The chips and Perinaise sauce was yummy but I can't understand why they have some sauces free and some you have to pay for, the Perinaise was 50p for a small tub. The burger itself was okay, I don't recall them toasting the bun before, maybe they just toasted it a lot this time, it was quite crunchy. The chicken was a bit fatty I thought but the other two people I was with thought it was okay. The medium spice is quite tolerable even for me. We had a bottle of Garlic sauce on the table which was absolutely red hot, my poor nephew didn't realise it would be hot and put loads on his burger without trying it first...eeek!
My nephew and I had a dessert, I had a strawberry and cream gelado which I'm not sure was worth £2.95, it was very tasty, especially the cream part but it was really small. My nephew had the Choc-A-Lot cake and shockingly didn't eat it all; he said it was nice but really sickly.
To me Nandos is half way between MacDonald's and a proper restaurant, it's informal but quite cosy and if you're not sat near the door, quite warm I expect!
The staff were nice but we didn't really have much interaction with them aside from taking our orders and clearing our plates but they were friendly and polite.
My nephew enjoyed his first trip to Nandos (he also spotted Ricky Hatton so he was quite pleased with that) and will definitely be returning, as will we.