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10 things I couldn’t live without
I enjoy completing these revealing opinions for Ciao Café, as it makes me think deeply about myself, and allows me to realise that I have a good life, I’m happy and I have a brilliant family. What more can a person want?
Completing this review has really made me appreciate what I have.
So in order of preference, here is a list of ten products, people, items or things that I cannot do without!
10. Avon Shea Butter lip balm – if any of you have read any of my previous reviews you will realise that I enjoy a bit of chocolate and this product makes me think of chocolate. It bombards my senses, well my sense of smell anyway, because despite the wicked aroma this product is definitely not edible. It has a rich, aromatic balm that covers the lips with protection for long periods. I carry it everywhere with me and would be loathe to replace it with another brand. I love it!
9.Loreal Elvive Shampoo and Conditioner – I have tried many products for my hair, which is very thick and can get quite dry, and this is the only one I have stayed faithful to for long periods. My hair is highlighted and this product is ideal for coloured and highlighted hair. It comes in an attractive red bottle and has a thick consistency. It makes my hair shine and easy to style.
8. Lie ins – I really appreciate my lie ins at the weekend. They are very precious to me and allow me an opportunity to catch up on valuable sleep that I have missed during the working week. I love snuggling up under my king-size duvet, even during the summer! I usually read in bed too, a luxury I don’t always get during the week as there is always too much to do, and any spare time I have is taken up by Ciao, well for the past few weeks anyway, as I am relatively new to this reviewing lark! I don’t know what I did before Ciao –housework perhaps! Oh dear, what a decision, Ciao or dusting? Mmm, any other offers?
7. Books – I have always loved reading. Before I could read myself, my mum used to read me bedtime stories such as Rupert the Bear and fairy tales. I then went on to Richard Scarry books, Enid Blyton, C S Lewis, Roahl Dahl, and Willard Price who wrote brilliant adventure stories about two boys. I was a librarian at secondary school, which I absolutely loved, unfortunately we didn’t get much time to peruse the books, but just the feel and smell of the library was enough.
I enjoy all sorts of books now, and
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will try anything once. I’ve read many of the classics and I’m now enjoying a more contemporary taste. I devour the Harry Potter books, not only out of enjoyment for myself, but also to share stories with my son and the children that I work with. However, my time is precious, and I don’t always have enough time to read anymore. This is why I love reading in bed on a Sunday morning, the kids (my son and my stepsons) are downstairs making lots of noise, and I am alone in bed, in my own little fantasy world!
6. Showers – I cannot live without showers. I am definitely not a bath person, and while I do take the odd bath, complete with bubble bath, candles, wine and a good book, I much prefer a shower. It wakes me up in the morning and winds me down before I go to bed. I take all manner of lotions and potions in the shower with me, and spend hours shopping for shower gels and cremes. I love exfoliators and facial scrubs, which make me feel refreshed and invigorated. I would give up the bath completely if I had the choice; showers would win hands down every time!
5. Popcorn – I cannot get enough of the stuff. I have always enjoyed popcorn, but it’s only been the last two years or so that I have become slightly addicted to it! I go to our local Cineworld and start chomping my way through a jumbo bag! My partner nearly gets his hand slapped if he goes anywhere near it! I always persuade him to get himself an ice cream or a bag of sweets, then I can justify my lack of sharing, as he has already had his treat! I always go for the sweet popcorn though, as I cannot abide the salty stuff.
I also like Butterkist popcorn, but I can only eat so much of that as it is really sweet. My mum bought my son a popcorn machine for his last birthday, so now I make loads of this, cover it in a mixture of sugar, butter and golden syrup and slam it in the oven for twenty minutes. It goes crispy and sticky just like the Butterkist version but a lot cheaper. Just don’t think about the calories!
4. Shopping – no, not food shopping, how boring is that? I’m trying to persuade my partner we can do it online, but he’s not having any of it! It’s actually clothes shopping I love. I usually go on my own, but occasionally a friend joins me and we take a trip to Southampton, living on a small island can be very restrictive at times, and although we do have many of the main retailers, we do not have a shopping centre. So we make a day of it, have some lunch and plenty of coffee stops to refuel, then spend all day browsing for clothes. I may not buy anything, it’s just the adrenaline rush you get from trying on clothes and maybe taking them home (after paying of course!). My partner Rich, despairs, he cannot understand how I can spend 7 hours shopping for clothes and only come back with a cold cappuccino and a box of fudge from Thorntons!
3.The Internet – how did I survive without it? What did I do on cold winter nights, without surfing, emailing, filling out surveys, entering competitions/online lotto’s and reviewing products for Ciao? My life must have been extremely boring before I discovered the World Wide Web. I first went online in 1998 and have not looked back since!
I enjoy emailing my friends from around the world which is an amazing opportunity. Chatting online to my friend in Australia is a concept I never would have thought possible a few years back, except having to pay an enormous sum to BT for the privilege!
I have made contact with old school friends via friends reunited, and as a result of this, I am being a bridesmaid for a long lost friend in August.
I love entering competitions, and while not always successful, have won a few small prizes. I just enjoy the thrill of ‘What if…?’. I also play regularly on the free lotto sites such as Bananalotto and The Daily Draw. Another hobby is filling out surveys, I have actually earned quite a lot of money, samples, coupons and vouchers as a result of this, and it’s always exciting waiting for the post to arrive and seeing what free samples I have received.
Most of all, I enjoy my Ciao time. I am a relatively new user to Ciao, despite signing up in August 2001. It’s only recently that I have started doing reviews and it is instantly addictive. I was naïve enough not to realise about the community points or that we are paid to review certain products. My first review was dire, as I just did it to kill a bit of time. I never realised I would receive comments from people about it (all pretty bad I can tell you). I did my first review on 20/3/04 and have now completed 12, this will be number 13, it’s going to be lucky 13 though! I was hooked from the first comment I received – thank you Debbie (sirg0508). Now I am a lovely shade of green and only two thousand points away from another colour change – not bad for only a few weeks.
I really feel like part of a community, and some of the members of my circle of trust have made me feel really welcome. I hope the addiction is a long term one!
2. Chocolate – if some of you have read my reviews, you will realise that I am a happy chocoholic! I do not feel guilty for eating it, I love the stuff, and I deserve to eat it! I treat myself unreservedly at the weekend, and usually partake in a weekday too! Easter is my favourite time of the year; I love the chocolate egg and can eat a huge amount in one sitting.
I love Cadbury’s and this is definitely my favourite, I’ve tried other brands but always stay faithful to good ole Cadbury’s. There is one exception though, and that is Revels. They are to die for. I love the coffee one best, but overall I think it’s the fact that you don’t know what’s coming next, it’s that surprise element which makes the experience so exciting.
Other favourites include: fruit and nut, flake, dairy milk, wildlife bars, dime bars, galaxy, minstrels, mini eggs, crème eggs, Turkish delight, snow flake, caramel and bounty.
Chocolate goes so well with a cup of tea, and that is absolute heaven, sitting, relaxing after a hard day at work, with a cuppa and a king-size dairy milk! My partner is also an avid fan (except when he is on the Atkins) and usually joins me on the sofa. He can get through one of those family size bars in one sitting (who’s the chocoholic now then?) whereas that would just make me ill. I love those five words he utters every now and again: (no, not “will you marry me darling”- as if!)
“Fancy anything from the shop?”
1. Family – so, that connects me to this one, my number one ‘item’, that I cannot do without. I know it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s very important to me. I thought about adding family to the little bit at the top and then adding something else which I could not do without, but that would be a cop out. Without family, all the showers and chocolates of this world would be meaningless. My life would be empty without my son and my partner. I love them both to bits. My mum and dad are also in there, at the top of the list. They have supported me endlessly throughout my life and have always been there for me; I couldn’t do without them.
So, sorry to end on a cheesy note, but that’s the way I am. Incidentally, other items which nearly made the list were:
My hairdryer, cosmopolitan magazine, travel, sunny days, chicken korma, strawberries, vanilla scented candles, heat magazine, TV, films, eating out and the cinema. There are loads more, but I don’t want to bore you to death!