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since 19/03/2014


Betty Crocker Classic Vanilla Cake Mix 11/12/2017

Baking with Betty

Betty Crocker Classic Vanilla Cake Mix Please note, I am reviewing Betty Crockers Velvety Vanilla cake mix not the Classic Vanilla cake mix as in the title. A quick look on line shows me that the Classic Vanilla is no longer available and as the packaging to both products is otherwise exactly the same I can only assume that the product has simply changed name. I was recently lucky enough to be selected to take part in a campaign for Betty Crocker, I was sent a selection of cake mixes and icing to test for free. Betty Crocker asked me to report back to them at regular intervals, to share my experiences of baking with their products. I received the products at the weekend, perfectly in time for the half term, yesterday I popped to the local Sainsburys with my daughters to pick up the rest of the ingredients and we got started at soon as we got home. We decided to bake the Velvety Vanilla Cake Mix first so this is the one I will be reviewing today. What does it look like Betty Crockers Velvety Vanilla cake mix comes presented in a rectangular box which clearly shows the Betty Crocker red spoon logo along with a lovely photo of a cake in the centre. Lots of information is given on the reverse including preparation guides and times, simple 3 step instructions, ingredients list and nutritional table. Inside the box we have a simple packet of cake mix. What is required Apart from the Betty Crocker Velvety Vanilla Cake mix you will also need the following items: * 90ml veg oil *180ml water *3 medium free range ...

An Elf for Christmas Boy Magical Reward Kit 29/11/2017

An Elf For Christmas

An Elf for Christmas Boy Magical Reward Kit Elf on the shelf is one of those American crazes that has made its way over here, its not something I had even heard of up until a few years ago when my daughter declared that all of the kids in her class had a naughty little Elf which visited their home every December to wreck havoc. Funnily enough ours arrived days later, much to my daughters pleasure and the thing has been the bain of December ever since. He is due to make his appearance once again on December the 1st, which was when I was planning to publish this review, but hey ho...lets go... What in the box? This is a lovely little presented box we have here, but of course the child will never see the box as this would spoil the mystery. The Elf is sent direct from Santa, not from Amazon. So inside we have the Elf which is a cute soft toy wearing a stripy red and white tshirt, green dungarees and of course elf shoes & pointy hat. The hands have velcro so can be fastened together or around something. There are 2 versions, a boy like Ciaos pic and a girl which we have, but the two are still very similar. The set also comes with a welcome letter, informing your child that this Elf was sent from Santa to keep an eye on them (he a busy guy this time of year after all), various little notes and a goodbye postcard thanking the child, this is to be sent after the Elf has left on Christmas day. My Experience I hate the flipping thing and I'm already kinda dreading it reappearance in a few days, but my daughter loves it and ...

Avon Skin So Soft Silky Moisture Dry Oil Body Spray 27/11/2017

Skin So Soft

Avon Skin So Soft Silky Moisture Dry Oil Body Spray My mum has been raving about this Skin So Soft Moisturising Dry Body Oil Spray for quite sometime, I don't have a local Avon rep so she kindly purchased a bottle for me as a little treat. Having been using the spray for the past few weeks now I thought I would review it here today. What does it look like? The product comes presented in a very feminine bottle in baby pink with curves at the side. Its all really understated with a simple silver and dark pink swirl going down the centre. Its quite cute and girlie so feel it would probably be best suited to females. On the top we have a screw on spray dispenser. This came covered with a little clear plastic lid but I lost that after like a day or something, I'm always loosing the lids to my products! My Experience Fragrance wise this one is initially very strong and potent, thankfully it dies down a little after application but I still get a good whiff of it every now and again - it has good sticking power. Its quite a clean fresh smell, similar to talc and I find it refreshing and pleasant. Its certainly a feminine scent, I certainly cannot imagine my boyfriend using this one. Likewise, its not one to wear if you are planning on wearing a strong perfume as I can imagine it would clash a little. Applying the product is simple, I like the inclusion of a spray as this enables easy distribution. After showering I spray my body liberally and it feels cooling on my skin. This is an oil so it does initially feel a little oily, ...

Avon Nailwear Pro+ 26/11/2017

An Average Nail Varnish

Avon Nailwear Pro+ Whenever I pop down to my Mums house I always end up perusing her Avon catalogue and inevitably add a few bits for myself to her order, paying and collecting them from her next time I see her. I decided to treat myself to a couple of nail varnishes, because a girl can never have enough of them, right? I'd been after a plain understated colour for day to day wear and Avon had just what I was looking for in the form of this NailWear Pro+ in Beige. Avon NailWear Pro+ shades There are a total of 34 shades in this collection, including: * Beige Beauty * Blue Belle * Candyfloss * Coral Confidence * Cosmic Blue * Dusty Fog * Lavender Luxury * Rose Gold * Royal Raspberry * Tweed * Licorice * Golden Vision * Majestic Mauve * Smokiest Plum * Mauve Rose * Inspired Iris * Wandering Rose * Cherry Jubilee * Decadence * Lemon Sugar * Pastel Pink * Real Red * Sea Breeze * Cherry Jubilee * Coral Confidence * Naked Truth * Royal Raspberry * Shimmer Silver * Twinkle Bronze * Violet Gleam * Cracked Cobalt * Plum Dazzle * Pink Flicker * Naked Truth It is easy to decipher what colour each of the shades is from their name, even if they are a little outlandish. There's a large selection of colours here, so there is sure to be something to take your fancy - whether it be a deep pink or soft blue. There is also a separate glitter variety available. What does it look like? The nail varnish come presented in a little black box, which I quickly discarded. The bottle itself is rectangular in shape, ...

X-Men: The Ultimate Collection (DVD) 23/11/2017

A beginners guide to Xmen

X-Men: The Ultimate Collection (DVD) I've watched the first two Xmen movies on TV a few times over the years and thoroghly enjoyed them, however somehow I've never managed to catch the rest of them. Whilst in my local British Heart Foundation Charity Shop I noticed this X-Men Box Set containing the first 5 films, priced at just £1 I thought it was a bit of a bargain and so purchased it. I've been making my way throught the films of a Saturday and aving just finished watching the fifth DVD on Sunday evening I thought I would review it today. What does it look like? The DVDs come housed in a cardboard slip which is black in colour and has circular gold ring in the middle with the X in the centre and 'Xavier's school for gifted youngsters written around the circumference. We also have a list of all the films included in the set. On the reverse we have a general blurb about the X-Men movies and the special features along with pictures of all five covers. This is quite a cool looking sleeve and fits in well with the X-men brand, It looks cool on my shelf amongst my other box sets. There are 5 DVD cases slotted inside the box, these are smaller than standard DVD cases being just half the size. I'm not a fan of these slim DVD cases as they look cheap and feel flimsy but I can understand their inclusion here, the set may have been too big and bulky in a larger case. Each DVD has the original cover though and plenty of information on the reverse including blurb, movie stills and special features. I'm not gong to bore ...

Little Live Pets Swimstar Turtle Digi 17/11/2017

Turtle Power

Little Live Pets Swimstar Turtle Digi My eight year old daughter has a number of toys from the Little Live Pets range, including some owls and birds complete with cages. She received one of these Little Live Pets Turtles from Santa for the Christmas just gone and so I thought I would review it today. Little Live Pets Swimstar Turtles There are a variety of different turtles available and I guess the idea is that kids can try to collect all the different characters and designs. The selling point is that all these turtles have a unique shell. There are also special packs which contain a grown up turtle and a little baby one too, which is bound to pull on the heart strings of any child and so parents will find themselves putting their hand in their pocket once again. Of course, these turtles will also need a habitat to live in, so Little Live Pets have kindly produced a tank for your turtles, as well as playpens and play trails too. Sheesh, this Little Live Pets malarkey is beginning to look more expensive than keeping an actually real pet. There is huge choice of different turtles so perhaps your child would prefer the rainbow design called 'Sunshine', the strawberry design called 'Pinky the strawberry', the star design imaginatively called 'Star' or the blocky green one shown in Ciao's picture. The list is endless and there's something there too suit all tastes. Ours easily fits in the palm of my hand and feels comfortable there as its quite light too, so perfect for little hands. We have the character Pearly ...

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Body Yogurt 15/11/2017

Moisturising Yogurt

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Body Yogurt Nicole Scherzinger always seems to end up with yogurt on the tip of her nose on those Muller adverts, but Aveeno have gone one step further here and released a yogurt moisturiser for the entire body. I received a sample of this Aveeno Daily Moisturising Body Yogurt and decided to try the product out myself, here are my findings. What does it look like I received a 10ml sachet sample directly from Aveeno so mine is presented a little differently compared to the actual packaging. I've seen it in the shops and on line though and it looks just like Ciaos picture above, a rather simple understated tub I am sure you will agree. There are currently two varieties of the yogurt available, but no doubt they will add to this if the product is popular. The choice is either Apricot & Honey or Vanillan & Oat, I have the latter. The moisturiser itself is white in colour and has a thin creamy consistency. My Experience I apply a moisturiser to my body everyday after showering, I do have my favourite brands which I tend to stick with but I will deviate from this is I spot something new and interesting or if there a bargain to be had. I've used body lotions from the Aveeno brand before and thoroughly enjoyed them, but found them a little too pricey for my meagre budget. I had saw this body yogurt in store and really wanted to try it so I was over the moon to receive this sample. Aveeno is a relatively new brand to me and it may have passed me by completely if I had not seen the adverts ...

Cif Power & Shine Bathroom Spray 14/11/2017

Power & Shine

Cif Power & Shine Bathroom Spray We are very lucky to have two bathrooms in our rented house, there is a family bathroom upstairs predominantly used by the kids and a wet room downstairs which my partner and I tend to use. As great as this is for family life, it also means I have two bathrooms to clean which isn't the best as this chore is probably my least favourite. I generally go through a lot of household cleaning products especially those bathroom cleaners. My most recent purchase was this Cif Bathroom spray which I have bought numerous times over the years, so I thought I would review it here today. What does it look like? This Bathroom Cleaner is part of the 'Power & Shine' range produced by Cif, it should not be confused with Cif's 'regular' bathroom cleaner spray as they are two separate products. Cif's Power & Shine bathroom spray comes presented in a 700ml curved plastic bottle, although I am aware that a smaller version is available. The brand logo and product name are clearly displayed on the front along with a picture of some bubbles along the side. The design is well suited to the bathroom with its clean, simple blue and white colour scheme. On the top we have a powerful trigger spray, the nozzle can be rotated into two positions - on and off - although I rarely remember to return the nozzle to the off position after use. On the reverse we have plenty of information including a product blurb, warnings and usage guide. All of this should be read thoroughly before use. What are the ...

Comfort Concentrated Fabric Conditioner Blue 13/11/2017

Dreaming Of Blue Skies

Comfort Concentrated Fabric Conditioner Blue I have purchased Comfort Fabric Conditioner for many years now, with my most recent purchase being the 'Blue Skies' variety which I am reviewing today. What does it look like? The product comes presented in a plastic curved container which is clear so the blue liquid can be seen inside. On the front we have a sticker showing the brand logo, product name and a picture of a beautiful blooming blue flower. The packaging looks fresh and evokes visions of washing drying outside on the line on a sunny day. On the top we have a screw off lid which doubles as the dosing device. Screwing this off reveals a large hole thought which the product can be dispensed. On the reverse we have plenty of information including a product blurb, usage guide and warnings. All of this should be read thoroughly before use. The liquid itself is a beautiful blue colour and it has a watery consistency. What are the claims? Comfort claim that this conditioner will leave clothes with 100% more long lasting freshness. Clothes will be left feeling 'super soft'. This new formula also includes an added odour defence. The product will help to maintains colour and prevent fading. Comfort is made by the Unilever brand and is part of the voluntary sustainability initiative The product should not be poured directly onto fabrics, instead it should be dosed straight into the washing machine draw. If hand washing the product should be well diluted as stated on the bottle and it is advisable to wash hands ...

Cif Ocean Floor Cleaner 07/11/2017

Ocean Fresh Floors

Cif Ocean Floor Cleaner For the past few weeks I have been potty training my son, things seem to be going well and he has really started to get the hang of things. With potty training comes lots of extra housework, my washing machine seems to be in constant use and I seem to constantly have a mop in my hand to clean up any accidents. I sure have been going through the floor cleaner, so when I saw these Cif Floor Cleaners on a 2 for £2 offer I took full advantage. I chose two different fragrances with Ocean being the subject of my review today. What does it look like? Cif Ocean Floor Cleaner comes presented in a large plastic bottle with a mounded handle. The bottle is clear, so the blue liquid can be seen inside. The brand and product name are clearly shown on the front along with a picture of a shiny white tiled floor. On the top we have a screw on lid, which doubles as the dosing device. Screwing the cap of reveals a large hole through which the product can be dispensed. On the reverse we have a little blurb about the product, usage guide, ingredients and warnings. All this information should be read thoroughly before use. What are the claims? Cif claim that this product will leave floors shiny, clean and streak free. The cleaner will leave behind a fresh 'ocean' scent. There is no need to rinse after use. There is no mention of any antibacterial properties, so I am assuming it has none. The product can be used on linoleum, vinyl, ceramic tiles making it a great all rounder for all the ...

Cartamundi Royal Flush Playing Cards 04/11/2017

How do these playing cards stack up?

Cartamundi Royal Flush Playing Cards My boyfriend bought a pack of these Cartamundi Royal Flush Playing Cards back in June for us to take away on holiday. He thought they might come in handy on the 4 hour flight or during the evenings when we were in our rented apartment and the kids had gone to sleep. They turned out to be a good buy as we have played with them on a regular basis over the past 5 months. What do they look like The cards come presented in a standard cardboard pack, which is strong and resilient enough to keep the playing cards safely inside. The cards have been removed and placed back in the box multiple times but remains perfectly intact with no scuffing or splitting. There are two different pack colours available - blue like Ciao's picture or red like mine. Other than the different coloured packs, there is no other difference between these two options. The box clearly shows the brand name and has a picture of some cards spread out on the front. Like all English standard decks of cards, these contain 52 cards consist of four suits (diamonds, hearts, spades and clubs) with 13 cards in each suit (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace & Joker). These Cartamundi Playing Cards have a Linen finish and I have noted I can see the grains on each card if I look hard. To be honest I've never been overly bothered by any particular finish to playing cards and would not purposely seek out a particular type, however my boyfriend informs me that he does prefer the linen finish as he finds them more ...

The Big Bang Theory Complete 1-5 (DVD) 02/11/2017

The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory Complete 1-5 (DVD) My teenage daughter is a massive fan of the US sitcom 'The Big Band Theory' and enjoys watching the repeats of E4, I on the other hand have began to tire of watching the same episodes over and over again and so I decided to purchase her the box set for her birthday so that she could enjoy the show in her bedroom. I ended up purchasing this particular set which includes all the episodes from season one to season five, I was lucky enough to snag a bargain with this one paying just £4 for a second hand copy in our local British Heart Foundation charity shop. What does it look like? This is a nicely presented box set we have here which is surprisingly slim for a set containing so many seasons. The DVDs come housed in a cardboard slip which is bright orange in colour and has the iconic Big Bang Theory logo along with photo of the cast all in various poses. On the side we have 5 different pictures each showing the original cover of each seasons DVD release. The reverse gives a general blurb about the show along with screen captures. There are two DVD cases slotted inside the box which are double the size of regular DVD cases, the cover of both DVDs are identical to the box with the reverse giving blurbs about each individual season and information on the special features included. The inner cover gives a complete guide to all the episodes included on that particular disc. The box set contains a total of 16 discs, with each of the discs clearly showing the disc number along with ...

East Coast Anna Cot 25/10/2017

Sweet Dreams

East Coast Anna Cot Last night, I heard some bumping and banging coming from upstairs, so off I went to investigate. The culprit was my 2 year old son who was running around his bedroom playing, it seems he has leaned to climb out of his cot. Obviously it is now time for his cot to go and so I have spent this morning looking on line for his first bed, financially the timing couldn't be worse what with Christmas just around the corner, but safety must come first. I must admit to feeling a little melancholy as we move onto another stage in my sons life, they do grow up to fast! It feels just like yesterday when I first put his cot together but this actually took place more than 2 year ago. So, today I thought I would review our experience of the East Coast Anna Cot before it gets donated to the local charity shop. Making my Purchase I have three children and subsequently this East Coast Anna Cot was the third cot I have purchased, We've moved house quite a few times over the years so its never really been a viable option to keep hold of any furniture on a 'just in case' basis. So, I approached the purchasing of a new cot with some experience and a good idea of what I did and did not want or require. I wanted something mid priced but of a good quality and good customer reviews. It needed to be white to match the rest of the furniture in my sons room and I wanted it to have slats of wood running down all sides rather than circular poles. Last but not least, I wanted it to have an adjustable base ...

Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment 23/10/2017

Helps Put Nappy Rash To Bed

Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment I am a member of many product testing sites and have been sent many different items over the years to try out and review. One of the campaigns I am currently involved with is for Bepanthen Nappy Ointment Cream, I was sent a 30g tube of the product for free to try on my son and samples to pass on to my friends and family. Today I thought I would write a review detailing my experience of using this product. What does it look like? The packaging that Bepanthen sent to me is a little different to Ciao's picture above, I feel it is safe to assume that the product has been recently updated and that mine is the most recent incarnation. The overall look is still the same with the medical white and blue colour scheme but now we have the addition of a pink outline of a newborn baby. The brand ans product logo are clearly displayed so there is no mistaking this one. Opening up the box we are met with a 30g tube in a similar style, the tube is similar to a toothpaste tube but smaller and a little fatter. On top we have a flip top lid, when popped snapped open this reveals a small hole through which the product can be dispensed. Bepanthan claim that this is an 'easy to use' tube and I must agree with them here as the design is good and well thought out. I have bought Bepanthen cream before which came in a thick aluminium style tube which was such a pain to use and once half way through it was almost impossible to dispense the cream. I certainly prefer this design. There is plenty of ...

Ravensburger Paw Patrol 4 Shaped Puzzles 19/10/2017

Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol, Be There On The Double

Ravensburger Paw Patrol 4 Shaped Puzzles Last year my son had his developmental review, this is standard for all 2 year olds in England to ensure that they are meeting their important milestones. Our review took place at home with our local Health Visitor and she basically sat and played with him for around half an hour, using a variety of different toys and puzzles. Overall my son did well and the health visitor was happy with the results, however there was one area in which he struggled a little and that was completing some small jigsaws. It then struck me that he didn't actually own many jigsaws and so I decided to purchase a few new ones for him. Amazon is always my first port of call and it was here that I saw this Ravensburger Paw Patrol 4 Shaped Puzzle which I will be reviewing today. Packaging The product comes presented in a nice sturdy cardboard box which can be kept to store the jigsaw in, this helps to ensure that no pieces are misplaced at the bottom of the toy box. On the front we have the brand and product name as well as an illustrated picture of the jigsaws themselves. At the bottom we also have a cartoon picture of three of the Paw Patrol Characters. Age & Gender recommendation We are given an age recommendation of 3+ here. Whether this puzzle would be too difficult for toddlers under 3 would really depend on the child and their experiences, if they have experience with completing jigsaws then this one may prove to be a nice challenge. My son had just turned 2 when I purchased this for him so I ...
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