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When it comes to shampoo I tend to stick to one or two particular brands as I've found that some can irritate my scalp. However when I bought Timotei Pure it was on offer for £1 and the word "pure" jumped out at me from the label so I thought I would try it.
It states that it is suitable for normal to greasy hair and is infused with organic green tea leaf, it also says it contains 0% Silicones, Parabens & Colourants. The latter is obvious as through the clear plastic of the bottle you can see that the shampoo is colourless.
The shampoo itself is quite runny, where as I prefer a more gloppy consistency as it is easier to control the amount used. It has a slight scent but it doesn't smell of anything in particular to me - it's not lovely but it isn't offensive either.
When used it lathers quite well, but not so much that it was difficult to rinse my hair.
However after use I found that my scalp felt quite itchy, I tried the shampoo a couple more times to see if it was a coincidence but the itchiness continued so I had to stop using it.
Other than the itchiness I was disappointed when I checked the ingredients list of the shampoo which included Sodium Laureth Sulfate this is produced synthetically and is a foaming agent.
I think by calling a product "pure" it implies that the ingredients are natural so to find chemicals in it is a little bit misleading.
Now that winter is just around the corner I like to keep a lipsalve handy, this means keeping one in each of my handbags that I use regularly and usually one in the glovebox of my car. I don't have a favourite brand although Chapstick is one brand that I do have a couple of, this is because my local Co-Op store sells them for £1, so I usually buy them in there.
The strawberry chapstick comes in a red tube with a pull off cap, which before use is sealed as part of the packaging. The first time you use the chapstick you have to break the seal between the main "tube" and the cap, the cap then pulls off easily.
To use it you twist the bottom of the tube to push the chapstick up, when you have used it twist it in the other direction so that you can put the cap back on without damaging it.
The chapstick it's self is a red/pink colour . When applied to the lips it is colourless although it does leave a very slight hint of gloss, but I do think that men could use this without it being really noticeable if they wanted to.
When you sniff the chapstick it does smell of strawberries although it isn't an overbearing fragrance, it is a slightly artificial scent though. Sadly I can't really taste the strawberry when I have used it, but this is probably a good thing as I would just lick my lips all the time if it did.
Applying the chapstick several times a day helps to keep my lips smooth and prevents them from getting chapped in the winter months.
As you may have guessed I paid £1 for this which I think is a reasonable price.
Definitely one to keep in your handbag!
I have been taking the Wellwoman capsules since the beginning of May this year so coming up for almost 5 months now. I first purchased them as I wanted to make sure I was getting vitamins into my system as in all honesty my diet isn't the best, I also do shift work and I felt like I had very little energy.
I chose the Vitabiotics Wellwoman Original as also contain Evening Primrose and Starflower Oils in them.
The vitamins come packaged inside a cardboard box, which tells you that there are 30 capsules of Vitabiotics Wellwoman Original inside. I am told that they help maintain health, vitality and wellbeing. They include vitamins B6, B12 and iron which contribute to normal energy release and immune function. And that they also contain Micronutrients, Evening Primrose and Starflower Oils. The box has a photo of a woman on it and it looks like she is letting the warmth of the sun hit her face.
According to the box "Wellwoman has been designed for the demands of modern life. With a wide range of nutrients and trace elements, Wellwoman gives nutritional support to the areas of health which are of most relevance to women."
There is also a full list of the nutritional information and the RDA % (where applicable).
Inside the box are two purple blister packs which contain 15 vitamin tablets in each pack. The back of these are clear so you can see the tablets without having to take them out of the blister pack.
The tablets are brown in colour and are quite large in size - they are about 2 cm in length.
When I first saw the tablets I was a little bit worried as I don't find taking tablets very easy, but they are a caplet rather than round which is a bit easier for me.
The instructions tell me to take one capsule each day and with my main meal, to be taken with water or a cold drink. I usually take mine after my evening meal.
I actually don't find taking them too bad, they are coated in a shiny film so they go down fairly easily, although if you don't swallow them immediately you notice the taste quite quickly and it isn't very pleasant!
As I said I have been taking these for almost five months now and I have definitely felt the benefits of them, within a few months I noticed that I wasn't feeling lethargic as I had done previously and when I get home from work after a 12 hour shift most of the time I can stay awake longer than I was doing before (around 9pm some nights!). The biggest difference I have noticed though is whereas before it felt like I was always getting colds and sniffles but now I've barely had one at all. On the occasions that I thought I was going to get a cold I've had a bit of bunged up nose for a day or two but it's not materialised into a full blown cold - hooray.
It is worth noting that it does recommend that you take these regularly as the benefits are thought to build up over time, with this in mind if you just take them for one month you might not notice any difference. I feel that they have worked very well for me, so I will continue to take them on a daily basis.
Wellwoman Original is available in boxes of 30 and 90 tablets.
A box of 30 tablets will set you back between £3.53 and £6.30 depending on where you purchase them from.
I order mine through the Amazon Subscribe and Save service which is the lowest price I have found them and also means that I don't have to worry about remembering to by them (although they are currently not in stock :( ) .
I have seen them in Asda and they always seem to be on a 3 for £10 offer or in the 3 for 2 offer at Boots.
Dooyoo have placed this product under screen wash, but it isn't actually a screen wash. So what is it?
Angelwax H2Go Superior Rain Repellent - is pretty much what it says on the label. It is a rain repellent, unfortunately it doesn't work on the great British weather and keep the rain away. What it does do is repel rain from the windscreen of your car.
It comes in a small spray bottle and contains 100 ml of the rain repellent. The bottle is clear so you can see how much you have used, which is always a plus for me as there is nothing worse than trying to guess if something is running out or worse not realising that a bottle is almost empty and running out completely.
To use the rain repellent you need to first make sure that your windscreen is clean, I use Angelwax's glass cleaner - just because this is what I was already using, so any brand of glass cleaner will work. You then apply the H2Go to the windscreen by spraying it onto a microfibre cloth and then applying to the windscreen in small circular motions until the screen has been covered. After around 10 - 15 minutes the product will begin to haze, once it has hazed you can buff it off with a second clean microfibre cloth. I find that a waffle type glass cloth works best to avoid smearing so this is what I use.
Although the instructions don't say so, I always repeat the process a second time to ensure that the whole screen has been treated as you may miss a few areas on one application.
So does it work? Yes! And very well too. When driving in the rain the water starts to roll up and off of the windscreen from around 20 mph, but when you get to 30 or 40 mph it comes into it's own and you barely need to use the windscreen wipers at all. Even in a torrential downpour I only needed to use them on intermittent when everyone else seemed to have theirs on constant.
Can it be used on the other windows? There's no reason why you couldn't, although I think it would be a waste of product. I did put some on my rear screen but it's not really got any slope to it, so it didn't really achieve anything.
How long does it last? I've found on average it needs to be re-applied every couple of months or so to remain effective.
Despite this the bottle I have still has about half left in it and this has been used on my car, my partner's car, my parents' cars and his parents' car on several occasions. Very little is actually used on application even doing two coats.
Are there any negatives? The only downside I've found that when I tried using it on my Dad's car it was in the middle of that lovely hot weather we had, and I found it very difficult to buff off without smearing. This could of course be solved by waiting until the evening instead of doing it mid-afternoon like I was doing.
Where can I buy H2Go?
It's available from http://www.angelwax.co.uk/ and http://www.bearswaxfactory.co.uk/ £4.95 plus p&p
For more information get in touch with Angelwax on 0141 886 6732 (they are very helpful!)
Cleaning my car is something that I really enjoy, especially when it comes to trying out different polishes, shampoos and waxes - I have a kitchen cupboard dedicated to my car cleaning stuff, luckily I also have an understanding boyfriend who makes good use of what I've been buying.
However when you look beyond the shelves of Halfords the amount of products available is a bit of a minefield - there are so many to choose from all with different promises not to mention prices. This is where Waxybox is a mini lifesaver for me.
Waxybox is a relatively new concept and will shortly be celebrating it's first birthday - so what is it?
The best way I can describe it is like a "Graze Box" but for car cleaning enthusiasts.
For £15 (plus postage) each month you get a box of car cleaning goodies delivered to your door. Each box contains five different 50ml samples of a car cleaning product plus some other bits and pieces for example my last Waxybox contained a glass cleaner, wheel wash, paint glaze, all purpose cleaner, a quick detailer, an air freshener, a 15ml wax sample, a microfibre cloth and two different applicator pads.
For me this means that I get to try out new things without having to pay full price for full sized products - something I'm not keen on doing if I haven't heard too much about that particular product in case I'm not happy with what I get. Since getting the Waxybox (I think I'm on my 8th or 9th now) I've got to try many different brands, some that I've heard plenty about and some that were new to me.
It also means I've saved money because I haven't felt the need to buy things because they're the "next big thing" being talked about on the forum I use - yes there are forums for car cleaning!
There have of course been some products which have wowed me and I've since bought the full sized version of after my sample has run out.
Of course there have been a couple of things that I haven't been particularly keen on but without the Waxybox I might have wasted money on them.
I have to say when I first heard about them - it must have been around the launch date I was quite sceptical, people were talking about it but there was no real feedback. After a few months though I began to hear more and more, and I decided to take the plunge. I decided to buy a one off box, in case I wasn't impressed. That "one-off" has led to me buying one every month since...
It doesn't matter at what point in the month you purchase the Waxybox you have to wait until the end of the month to receive it, as no-one apart from the company know what products are going to be included this keeps the element of surprise for subscribers. It's one of the thing I really look forward as it's a bit like Christmas each month, and I won't go on their Facebook page until I've got mine in case someone has posted a photo, or is discussing what they have got.
If you don't know much about different car cleaning products past Autoglym or Turtlewax (no disrespect to these brands - they are just examples) then the price of £15 may seem expensive but a couple of months ago one of the products included has an RRP of £30 for 100ml meaning that the 50ml in the Waxybox was worth £15 - this in effect meant that the other product included were free.
There are three different subscription levels available - 1 month, 3 month or 6 month. Whichever you choose there are no contracts, this means that once your chosen length of subscription has ended if you wish to purchase another you have to remember to do this yourself as it will not auto-renew.
As Waxybox approaches it's first birthday it's popularity is growing and boxes are now selling out towards the end of the month, however I believe some are kept in reserve should yours go missing in the post.
If you are into cleaning your car or know someone who is then I would definitely recommend trying at least one Waxybox or buying one as a gift.
Of course if you're not a little bit OCD about keeping your car clean then Waxybox will probably not be of interest to you - but if you're anything like myself then you'll be in your element!
For more information take a look at their website:
or find them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/waxyboxmonthly
My car is my pride and joy, so I do my best to keep it as clean as I can. It helps that I enjoy cleaning it and my friends and family often joke that I'm a bit OCD as I usually wash it once a week - as you can imagine this means that I get through plenty of shampoo!
Last November my boyfriend and I were visiting the Classic Car show at the NEC in Birmingham when we came across the Angelwax stand. My eyes lit up and my boyfriend grasped his wallet a bit more tightly. The guys on the stall were very friendly and I ended up buying a few bits and pieces. One of which was the Superior Automotive Shampoo.
As I already had some car shampoo I was using it was only earlier this year that I got round to using the Angelwax Shampoo.
The instructions on the bottle's label say to add two capfuls to a bucket and top up with warm water. The shampoo is nice and gloopy in consistency so you don't worry that you will waste any when it's being poured. It bubbles up well giving lots of suds, I always top up my bucket with a blast of water from the hose or pressure washer and this gives even more frothy suds. The bucket always looks inviting and if it was bigger I'd be tempted to get in for a bubble bath!
The biggest positive for me about the shampoo is that it is PH neutral - this means that it won't diminish any of the wax that I've put on my car previously so I don't have to worry about putting another layer of it on after it's been washed... unless I'm feeling that way inclined on the day - I am a bit odd and do really enjoy waxing my car! It also means that it won't dry out my hands when I'm using it!
When washing the car my wash mitt glides effortlessly over the bodywork and the shampoo feels very slick.
Some car shampoos have wax added to them but I've noticed that these can leave cars looking quite streaky especially the windows if they are left to dry naturally, which in this hot weather we've been having recently can happen before I've had chance to dry the car off. This isn't the case with the Angelwax shampoo as it doesn't have anything added to it, although living in a hard water area I do get water spotting. Something that the shampoo cannot be blamed for.
As it is concentrated you only need to use a little and in about 6 months I've only used just over half of my 500ml bottle, when you take into consideration my boyfriend also uses it for his car and it gets used if we're washing our parents cars for them too then I think this is very good going.
Another thing I really like about the shampoo and adds to my experience using it, is the delicious scent. It smells of foam banana sweeties, which I know not everyone will like but for me it's wonderful as they were a childhood favourite of mine. Of course it does nothing to help with the washing abilities of the shampoo either, but it does make washing the car a little more fun!
A 500ml bottle can be bought directly from Angelwax for what I think is a very reasonable £4.69 (plus p&p).
I bought this moisturising body whip as there was an offer on at the time where you could buy 2 items from the Naturals range for £3. As I was already buying the Cherry Blossom shower gel I thought they would complement each other well.
The body whip comes in an opaque plastic pot which is white in colour, the label tells you that it is Avon Naturals Body Cherry Blossom Moisturising Body Whip and it contains 200ml of product.
Opening and closing the pot is done by twisting the lid, and even with the product on my hands this is easy to do.
The body whip is white in colour and not as in the picture on the Avon website or here on Dooyoo. The consistency reminds me blancmange and almost wobbles in the pot.
To me this has a stronger fragrance and is definitely more floral than fruity in comparison to the shower gel and according to Avon this contains real cherry blossom extract, not something I've seen mentioned about the shower gel so this is perhaps why.
Using the whip is a very nice experience and it seems to sink into the skin with little effort. The instructions say to apply generously, but when I have used I have found that you don't need to apply lots of it. It leaves my skin feeling nice & soft and hydrated. The scent seems to linger for longer than the shower gel, so it is definitely worth using alongside if you like the fragrance.
If you prefer a more subtle scent from a moisturiser then I would probably avoid using this, it certainly isn't overpowering but it is noticeable.
The RRP for this is £3 which I think is quite reasonable, and can often be found on offer too.
I bought the Avon Naturals Cherry Blossom shower gel as it was on offer in the Avon book at the time and I was running low on the shower gel I had. I chose this particular one as I thought it sounded like it would be have a nice feminine scent.
The shower gel comes in 200 ml bottle which is clear so that you can see the product inside, I always prefer clear bottles as it means you can see how much of the product you have left. The gel is pale pink in colour and translucent.
The fragrance of the shower gel is quite delicate, it is fruity with a hint of cherry but at the same time there is a subtle floral perfume too. It doesn't really leave any scent on your skin after you have dried so it won't interfere with any perfume you might wish to wear afterwards.
The bottle has a flip top lid which I find to be quite stiff to open, especially once your hands have got wet from the shower so I tend to leave it slightly open.
I use a dollop of gel about the size of a 50 pence piece on a shower puff, it doesn't create much of a lather so it doesn't feel particularly luxurious to use but it does it's job well so for every day use it's fine.
This is usually priced at £2.60 for 200ml which I think is overpriced when compared to other brands, however it is regularly on offer such as buy 2 Naturals products for £3.
I recently bought some Yankee Candle jar candles, when they were fairly new lighting them with regular sized matches wasn't a problem, but as the candles burned it was getting more difficult to light them without almost scorching my finger tips.
When I run out of matches I decided I would buy some Bryant & May Extra Long Matches as I remember my parents used to use them when they had open fires as it was easier to get to the back of the fire due to the length of the match.
The matches come in a wipe clean box containing an average of 45 matches. Each match is about 10 centimeters in length. Apart from being longer they look just like other matches. They are manufactured by Swedish Match.
As they are safety matches they will not spontaneously combust and will only light when you strike them against the brown surface on the side of the box. As with all matches they should be kept away from children.
Lighting the matches is easy, and I can't recall a time when I have struggled to get one to light.
I now find lighting my large jar candles much easier and I don't have to worry about burning my fingers.
One of my candles has two wicks, with other matches I would have had to use two matches but with these I can use one and there would still be plenty of burn time if needed.
In my opinion these matches are the ones to have unless you only have things like tealights to light or perhaps cigarettes. They would make lighting things like barbecues or chimneas much easier or even gas hobs if the ignition has stopped working.
Even though they cost more than others I think they are worth the premium.
My favourite hand cream in recent years has been Soap & Glory's Hand Food, that is until I tried one from Lidl.
I had popped into Lidl a few weeks ago and while I was queuing at the check out I noticed they had a selection of hand creams all for around £1.30 a tube. I'd never seen these before and as I was getting low I decided for that price I would put one in my basket to try, at that price if I didn't like it then it was a big loss.
The one I chose is the "Moisturising Hand Cream with Almond Oil & Shea Butter" it comes in a predominately white tube with blue writing and a dark blue flip cap, There is a picture of almonds and a shea nut. It tells me that it is intensely hydrating and "Vitamin Complex", although reading the ingredients list I cannot see any vitamins listed. The tube contains 125ml of the hand cream. On the back it tells me "This nourishing, vitamin-enriched formula helps to protect your skin from drying out" and that "Quickly absorbed to leave your hands feeling soft".
It was this blurb that made me buy this cream over the others available as my hands do tend to get dry.
The flip cap is easy to open and the cream is squeezed out of the tube easily. The cream itself is white in colour and whilst not being particularly thick in texture it isn't really runny either. I can't quite place the scent, it is fairly subtle but not almondy as I would have expected - perhaps it is the shea butter I can smell?
I find that the cream is absorbed very quickly and isn't at all greasy which makes it pleasant to use. Immediately after my hands feel very soft and silky.
At £1.30 for a tube, I don't feel like I should hold back from using it so I find I keep reapplying even when I maybe don't need to. When my tube runs out I will definitely buy another one.
I seem to suffer from quite a few headaches and unless they're unbearable I prefer not to take painkillers for them. This meant I was on the hunt for something I could use which would help ease the pain for me without the need to take medication.
I can't quite remember how I found out about Badger Headache Soother as it was a few years ago now when I bought it - I would guess that some Googling led me to it, however I'm very pleased that I did.
The Badger Headache Soother comes in a small tin measuring almost 7cm in diameter and 2cm in height. It reminds me of a "Vaseline" lip salve tin only slightly larger. The lid has two shades of blue on it, and tells you that it is Badger Headache Soother, there is also a cute drawing of a badger wearing an eye mask, relaxing by a waterfall.
When you open the lid by twisting anti-clockwise the contents inside also remind me of Vaseline albeit slightly more yellow in colour, but take a sniff and the smell is very different - it has a lovely aroma of peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus. Just smelling it has a calming effect on me.
Instructions for use are on the bottom of the tin, and you are told to massage onto your temples, neck, forehead, hands or anywhere that you are feeling tense.
I find that it works best when I massage it on my temples, or at the base of my skull on the back of my neck. I do think that it helps soothe the pain of the headache and the scent is very relaxing. It does make me feel like I could drift off to sleep when I'm using it.
As it is made from beeswax and olive oil, I did wonder if I would find it greasy to use but unless I am applying it lots over a short period of time it doesn't seem to be. It does make your skin feel very soft though, especially if you rub some on the backs of your hands.
As the tin is very light and not too big, I like to keep it in my handbag so that I can use it whenever I feel the need.
Even though the contents of the tin only weigh in at 1 ounce or 28 grams, it seems to go a very long way and my tin barely looks used.
Badger advise that an open tin is good for 12 months, but if it looks good and smells good then it is good to use. My tin has been open for much longer than that (I misplaced it and found it recently) and it still seems fine to me.
They say that there is no need to refrigerate the balms, but it will prolong the life of them.
This product is USDA Certified Organic and complies to the Leaping Bunny Standard (products and ingredients are never tested on animals.)
The balm isn't some sort of wonder remedy which will make your headache disappear but it does offer relief if it isn't severe enough to make you reach for the paracetamol or until you can take some painkillers if you don't have any on you.
Unfortunately it doesn't seem like many places in the UK stock the Headache Soother, although it is available on Amazon & Ebay as well as a website called nombox (this appears to be the cheapest although I have not bought from them so don't want to recommend them!).
If you would like more information or to view the full ingredients they are available here http://www.badgerbalm.com/p-436-headache-soother.aspx
From the first time I saw the Kenwood kMix Coffee machine I knew that one day I would own one, I just loved the retro design and in my opinion looks far nicer than many of the other machines available.
One day I was in the reductions area of our local Makro store for a great price of around £40 so I didn't hesitate in buying it as it was at least £15 cheaper than I had seen it elsewhere.
My machine is the lovely bright blue colour (CM023) which really stands out compared to the stainless steel or black coffee machines available.
The machine is also nice and compact with a footprint of 25cm x 16cm and standing at 27cm tall. This was important when I originally purchased it as we didn't have much work top space in our kitchen.
The machine came with two filter papers when I bought it, although it does have a permanent filter with it so can be used without although I prefer to use it with filter papers - I use Melitta Classic Two Cup Coffee Filter Papers which are available from Tesco for around £1.20. By using filter papers it means I can just dispose of them when done rather then having to faff about cleaning the permanent filter.
Using the machine is very straightforward - fill up the water reservoir with enough water for your desired amount of coffee (I use the carafe), place your coffee into the filter, close the lid and switch on. For a one mug brew it takes less than two minutes. Obviously if you are making more it will take longer, but I'm trying to stick to one mug a day :-)
Due to the simplicity of the machine there is no timer function, however I have plugged it into a digital timer and successfully come downstairs to a pot of fresh coffee first thing in the morning.
Keeping it clean is fairly easy too, I just give it a wipe down with a damp cloth when it needs it. Giving the carafe and filter holder a wash in with the washing up - please note these aren't dishwasher safe so hand-wash them only.
Whilst it does have a cup warmer on the top of the machine, which does get hot it doesn't seem to make my mugs feel any warmer. Although it's not really a function I use so it isn't an issue for me.
I have noticed that occasionally the anti-drip valve, well drips but this seems to be remedied with a good clean so perhaps it suffers from a slight blockage.
There are 8 different colours available in this design from black to bright orange or magenta, so bound to be one that fits your decor.
When we booked our holiday in February, I had intended to do what I normally do when I go away and borrow my Mum's travel hair dryer. It wasn't until a couple of weeks before we were due to go away I remembered that my Mum & Dad were going on holiday two days before us so I wouldn't be able to use Mum's.
So I logged onto trusty old Amazon and had a browse through the various travel hair dryers they have for sale, after looking at several and reading reviews I settled on on the catchily named BaByliss 5344U (just rolls off the tongue doesn't it) it just fell into my budget of up to £15 being priced at well £15, so I went for Amazon's super saver delivery option and waited.
A couple of days later just as I was getting dressed after a shower, there was a knock at the door and on the otherside was the posty with my parcel - excellent timing!! I decided to use it straight away to dry my hair.
Looks wise the black BaByliss is nothing special, however the little flower design underneath the branding brighten it up a little and the coral coloured power switch co-ordinates with the design. It comes with a concentrator nozzle too. You can adjust the voltage from 240v to 125v if needed. The power lead is over 150cm in length so great if there isn't a plug socket next to the mirror. The plug is of the UK 3 pin variety so you will need an adaptor if going abroad.
It's not the smallest travel hair dryer I have seen, but the handle folds up when not in use to save space and it only weighs around 400grams so it is nice and lightweight. It comes with it's own little pouch to store it in as well which is very handy, the pouch has the BaByliss branding and matching flower design, so that you know what it is for I presume. It is slightly larger than the hair dryer when folded and you can fit a small hairbrush and travel sized styling product in there too.
20cm x 25cm (handle unfolded)
20cm x 15cm (handle folded)
26cm x 16cm (in pouch)
I was impressed with how powerful the hair dryer is for something which is fairly small, packing 2000w (when set to 240v) it matches my "everyday" hair dryer for power, and it dried my shortish hair pretty quickly. It actually seemed to dry it faster than my usual hair dryer does. It has two settings I & II these don't seem to alter the heat just the powerfulness of it.
With it having a folding handle I was a bit worried it might collapse while I was moving it around when drying my hair, but it seems to be quite secure and only folds when shaken really violently (for test purposes).
I have since been on holiday and I'm really glad I bought this hair dryer, it took up hardly any room in my suitcase and worked really well.
I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a new travel hair dryer.
I love gadgets and particularly kitchen gadgets, so when the weekly Lidl leaflet came through the door a few weeks ago saying there would be waffle irons available in store the following week I knew it was something I was going to buy.
Thursday (the day they come into store) came and I took a walk to our local Lidl and headed towards the area where the weekly specials are and came across two different types of waffle iron - one for making cinnamon waffles and one for traditional Belgian style waffles. I chose the Belgian style one as I knew it would be more versatile.
Taking the iron out of the box, it looks similar to a toasted sandwich maker, the main body is brushed steel and the other parts are black plastic. There is a slider to control the temperature and two indicator lights - red to show it is switched on and green to show it has reached temperature. It's not the most sexy gadget I've ever seen but I wouldn't say it is ugly either. There are two plates so that you can make up to two waffles at a time.
The first thing I did was read the instructions, and it all seemed very simple to use. The first thing I had to do was give it a quick wipe down with a damp cloth, then coat the plates with some oil or melted butter. Once this was done, I had to turn on the iron on the lowest heat, and once it got to temperature turn it to the highest heat. After this turn the waffle iron off and leave to cool, then give another wipe down with a damp cloth. The waffle iron is then ready to use.
The instruction leaflet also comes with a few recipes: plain waffles, apple waffles and savoury ham waffles. However after seeing Lidl also had "Just add milk" waffle mixes for sale, and buy one get one free at that I stocked up on a few... okay six bottles of this so I haven't used any of the recipes given, although they do look fairly easy to follow.
To use the iron, first heat it up to the required temperature - I normally set it to 3, with the lid closed. When it has got to temperature pour the waffle mixture onto the middle of the plate and let it spread towards the edges of the plate leaving around 2cm. Don't put too much mixture in, when it starts to rise it forces the clasp on the handle undone and will spill out of the iron. Not that I have done this, you understand.
Close the lid and clip the handle into place so it is securely shut. The waffles should be ready after 3 or 4 minutes, you can open it while they are cooking to check on their progress, if they aren't quite ready just close the lid again until they are.
Remove the waffles add your topping of choice - maple syrup and squirty cream for me and enjoy!!
If you're making a batch of waffles, don't stack them on top of each other as they can go soggy. You can place them under a grill on a low heat to keep them warm until you want to eat them. The waffles are also suitable for home freezing once they have a cooled down.
When the iron has cooled down (leave the lid open to help with this) it can be wiped down. I've found it easy to clean after use, and the non-stick plates definitely help with this.
I keep mine in the box when it's not in use, as I find it makes storage a bit easier due to shape of it when it's not boxed. Weighing around 2kgs it's not too heavy which means that it's not a hassle to keep it in a cupboard when you aren't using it and get it out when you want some tasty waffles.
I can't see any reason why you couldn't use this to make potato waffles either, although I would probably put the mash in before turning on so that you could spread it out over the plates without the risking of burning yourself. I'm thinking of trying a bubble n squeak waffle - yum!!
The waffle iron cost £14.99 which I thought was a fantastic price, I'd looked for one previously and they all seemed to be twice as much if not more.
They were in store a couple of weeks ago but I've found in my local one at least, they keep them for sale until all the stock has been bought. They also seem to sell them a few times throughout the year.
Almost two years ago I wrote a review on the Philips Senseo, at the time I was using it every day but the cost of the coffee pods and the lack of variety available to me locally meant that I stopped using it so often. Every now and then I would buy the pods from Lidl but there were only three different types and I would get bored of them.
What I wanted was a proper coffee machine, so that I could use whichever ground coffee I fancied, but as I'm the only coffee drinker in the house and space is at a premium in the kitchen I couldn't see my other half agreeing to me buying one.
I decided that I would have a browse on Amazon for Senseo pods, and it was while I was doing this I came across the Melitta permanent padfilters.
The padfilter allows you to use whichever brand of ground coffee you prefer in your Senseo machine.
The padfilters are about 7cm in diameter and made from plastic and a material similar to reusable coffee filters. They open up and you place 7-8 grams of ground filter into them. Once filled clip the hinged lid back into place, and wipe off any excess coffee before placing the the pad into the double pod holder.
Press the 1 cup button on your Senseo and voila... you have a cup of coffee of your preference.
When it comes to cleaning the padfilter you need to empty the grounds and rinse it out, it is then ready to use again. If you have a dishwasher the padfilter can also be cleaned in it.
Since using the padfilter my only criticism would be that the plastic hinge on them is a little bit weak and I could see it snapping if I was a little bit rough with it.
Also since the pad is only for 1 cup of coffee unless you like weaker coffee if you wanted a mug you would have to use two of the pads separately to get one mug of coffee. I prefer my coffee not too strong so I just press the two cup/mug button using one pad so it's not too much of a problem for me.
Using the padfilters, you still get the crema foam on the coffee which the Senseo is known for.
I find the easiest way to clean the pads is to place them on a piece of kitchen towel, and once the pads have dried out I empty them out. Then I give them a quick rinse under the tap and leave to dry. If I wanted to make another cup of coffee I could dry them using kitchen towel, but as there are two in a pack I usually have a clean dry one ready to use.
I paid £3.49 plus £1.99 p&p for my padfilters, which I think is excellent value for money, considering a pack of 18 coffee pods is usually priced around £2.99.
Recently I've been buying packets of filter coffee from Home Bargains for £1 per bag, so I think the initial purchase costs of the padfilters will soon be absorbed compared to the cost of buying one use pods.
On the packaging of the padfilter it advises that you get best results using finely ground coffee, I would agree with this as I used a coffee which had a mix of coarseness and the coffee didn't have the crema layer on it.
I bought my padfilters from Amazon for the price mentioned above, and looking on ebay this seems to be the best price available as sellers currently have them for between £5 and £6 on there which I would say is a little overpriced.
I would definitely recommend these for anyone using a Senseo who would like a wider choice of coffee.