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Boots Essentials Cucumber Everyday Eye Gel 10/11/2017

Cooling and soothing, but does nothing for puffiness

Boots Essentials Cucumber Everyday Eye Gel Some time ago now, I nipped into Boots to get a new cleanser and toner - I really like the Boots cucumber range, and noting that the stuff in that range was on a 3 for £3 offer, looked for something else in that range to try, my eyes alighting on the Everyday Eye Gel. A quick read through the info on the packet told me that this eye gel contained soothing cucumber and vitamins and "is easily absorbed to cool, refresh, reduce puffiness and lightly hydrate the delicate eye area." Now, I do have slightly puffy skin around the eyes when I first wake up in the morning, as well as dark circles and, on very rare occasions, a little bit of dry skin. I quite liked the sound of something that would reduce that puffiness and offer a bit of soothing comfort, so popped it into my basket to complete the offer, and looked forward to trying it at home. Packaging This comes in a small clear tube with a twist off cap, and the gel dispenses by squeezing the tube and dispensing a small amount onto a fingertip. Although this is perhaps slightly more wasteful than a roll-on style gel packaging, it does offer the benefit of being more hygienic - the ball isn't picking up germs that can be harboured in the tube, which I appreciate. The packaging contains all the information you need to use this - which frankly isn't much - pub a dab on your finger, and smooth over your eye lids. Usage Applying this is simple as already outlined above. Simply add this into your usual morning and night skincare ...

Wagg Complete Worker Dog Food 09/11/2017

My nighttime visitors seem to love it!

Wagg Complete Worker Dog Food I'm going to say now, right at the start of the review, that I don't own a dog, or in any way look after and feed one - that may affect how useful you find this review! I do however use this food on a regular basis, and it gets eaten - not by a dog, nor thankfully by myself - but by badgers. How did we come to have badgers You see, before I moved into this house in mid october, Brian and Julie (The previous owners and now very good friends) asked us on our second viewing if we liked wildlife. The answer to that was yes - we're a household of animal lovers, and indeed one of the attractions of a house that almost backed onto the woods was that we hoped to be able to encourage some wildlife into our garden. Turns out there was no need to do the encouraging - Brian and Julie had, for the six years they'd lived in the house, been feeding a cete of badgers every evening. Now, some people regard badgers as a pest - and I'm absolutely sure they are in some circumstances - they dig setts and forage for worms and slugs, which can cause damage to gardens, they have a reputation for being rather vicious, and they are aggressive and sometimes predatory to other wildlife. They also, of course, carry TB, although since this is passed on through infected air, and you're very unlikely to get into a badgers breathing space, the risk to humans is minimal. In fact, according to our neighbours on the right hand side, before Brian and Julie started feeding the badgers every night, his rear ...

Kitsu, Royal Tunbridge Wells 08/11/2017

A hidden gem worth going out of your way for.

Kitsu, Royal Tunbridge Wells When I woke up this morning, for some reason the only thought in my mind was that I really, REALLY wanted sushi. Not a problem if you live in a big cosmopolitan city, slightly more difficult if you live in a sleepy little seaside town. Luckily, I knew of a fantastic little Japanese restaurant in Royal Tunbridge Wells that I'd visited a handful of times in the past, and as RTW offers some excellent shopping I decided to combine christmas present shopping with satisfying my craving and hopped on a train. Location 82A Victoria Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2PW 01892 515510 Open 12-3, 5.30-10 daily except Sunday. First Impressions I first found Kitsu quite by accident around 6 years ago when my boyfriend and I were visiting some of his friends who had a flat share in one of the small villages near Royal Tunbridge Wells, and we decided that as I'd never been to the town before, we'd arrive a few hours early to allow me to explore the town. Location wise, Kitsu is located up a side street, just behind the car park entrance to the Royal Victoria shopping arcade. It's really not much to look at from the outside - in fact, it looks less like a restaurant, and more like the kind of small cafe where you might expect to get a greasy fry up. It was purely by chance that we saw the word 'Sushi' out of the corner of our eye, and both being fans of Japanese food decided to give it a go As we turned to go in that first time all those years ago, we hit our first minor snag in that there was ...

Pontivy, France 07/11/2017

Charming little French town

Pontivy, France On our holiday to Brittany in August, we stayed in a tiny little village called Quelven, just outside Guern. Quelven itself is a miniscule settlement, probably around 30 houses, though still managing to boast a large church and two bars, and Guern is not much bigger - it has a boulangerie and a bar/tabac, as well as a post office, but if you need to stock up your fridge and freezer, Pontivy was the place to go. However, this little French town has more to offer than just supermarkets! Location and Transport Pontivy is located in the Morbihan department of Brittany, and by far the easiest way to get here is by car, for which there is ample parking provided, with a large square carpark right in the town centre, and free parking along many of the side streets. As with everywhere else I visited in France, public transport appeared rather limited - the train station is permanently closed, however there are buses that go from the central square to larger towns such as Carnac and Auray that do have stations. A little history Legend has it that this quaint little town was founded in the seventh century by an English monk named Ivy, and the town takes it's name from the bridge - or Pon t- over the Blavet, which is named after him. From 1396, Pontivy was the home of the Rohan family- a very influential family in the Morbihan department today, and still the reigning Dukes of Brittany. The influence of this family can be seen all over the area - in the town itself with the gorgeous ...

The Picture Playhouse, Bexhill-on-Sea 06/11/2017

Picture Perfect.

The Picture Playhouse, Bexhill-on-Sea We had some excitement in the little seaside town of Bexhill last 18th of July. Quite aside from it being my birthday, an occasion which naturally warrants an elephant parade and a marching band, Bexhill got it's very own Wetherspoons! People, myself included, were quite excited, for although Bexhill does have a handful of pubs in the town centre where you can nip in for a pint once you've exhausted all the charity shops, they are, for the most part, drinkers pubs - where you can get a decent pint but where the food offering extends to a packet of dry roasted peanuts, if you're lucky! Contact Info 01424 819500 The Picture Playhouse 36/38 Western Road Bexhill-on-Sea East Sussex TN40 1DY Opening Hours 8am-Midnight daily. Location Bexhill is only a small town, so you're not going to have any difficulty finding this pub. It's smack bang in the middle of the town centre on Western Road, right next to the big co-op (why a town this small has two co-ops I will never know!) There is street parking right outside, with disabled spaces, however I wouldn't bank on getting a space here, as these spots seem to be busy at any time of day, and with such a large elderly and infirm population, even those with a blue badge will have difficulty finding somewhere to park. That said, it's only a 5 minute walk from the train station and taxi rank, and the same distance from bus stops for all the routes in and out of Bexhill. Leave the car at home would be my advice. Decor My interest ...

Tempur Cloud Pillow 29/10/2017

Doesn't leave me in a bad tempur!

Tempur Cloud Pillow Some time back, whilst we we waiting for the purchase of this house to be finalised, my partner and I took stock of the furniture we had, and made decisions about which items we would bring with us, and which we would get rid of. One of the items we decided not to bring with us was our sleigh bed - the mattress had ceased to be properly supportive, and the faux leather had long since started peeling off, creating a need to hoover round the bed daily. Having done our research online, in particular bearing in mind my partners size and my arthritus, we came to the decision that a Tempur mattress (or Tempura, as my father in law calls it!) was the way to go. A few trips to Dreams and some haggling later, we came out with an order placed for a new Tempur bed, and two tempur pillows in hand as a freebie. Considering they cost £90 quid each in Dreams, this might be considered an impressive freebie. The two pillows we came out with were actually of different firmnesses, the Tempur Comfort Original, which is pretty firm, and the Tempur Comfort Cloud, which is softer but still with enough push back to give great support. I already had a positive first impression, having tried these pillows out for some time in the store itself - If I'm spending hard earned money on a bed, I want to make absolutely sure it's the one for me, and we tried the tempur bed with the tempur pillows for probably at least an hour in our combined visits to the store. I hoped the extra support the pillows ...

Method Granite & Marble Spray 25/10/2017

The best Method for a sparkling finish

Method Granite & Marble Spray A little under two weeks ago, we moved house - still in Bexhill, but needed a house that worked better for our family. One of the huge selling points of this particular house, for me at least was the huge kitchen, complete with black granite worktops. Julie, the previous owner, advised that although they look lovely when polished up, keeping them looking that way was a constant job, as the granite would show marks from fingerprints, mugs, pans through daily use. And she was right - there isn't a day goes by that they don't need a buff up - Luckily, so far it's a job I enjoy doing after dinner, and although it's a big kitchen, it only takes around five minutes to do all to worktop, so it's not a particularly onerous task. The product I've been using to keep them sparkling is Method Daily Granite and Marble Spray, which comes in a sort of square cylinder bottle with a spray gun on the top. A bottle of this cost me 3.99 from Dunhelm Mill, and having looked online it costs £4 at my regular supermarket, Tesco. This both cleans and polishes - spray a little on and wipe to remove any dirt and marks, and then buff with a clean cloth to bring to a lovely shine. I have no complaints about the performance of this - having used it every day for two weeks (sometimes more than once a day if the kitchen has seen a lot of activity) it does the job beautifully with a minimum of effort. It does say it can also be used on marble including garden statues - I don't have any to test it on, so ...

Baylis & Harding Hand Wash & Lotion Set 01/10/2017

Stylish, but merely average quality.

Baylis & Harding Hand Wash & Lotion Set Baylis and Harding are one of those brands nobody had really heard of 5 years ago, but they seem in the last few years to have popped up everywhere - especially this time of year when for some reason shops and supermarkets start laying out their stalls for Christmas, despite not even having got halloween out of the way yet! As a brand, I'd say they're budget, with a big brand look - they're never particularly expensive, but they look like they cost more than they do. Maybe this is why as well as making their way into our homes, I'm also seeing these with increasing regularity in pub toilets! I've tried a few varieties of this handwash and accompanying lotion over the years - ones that I definitely tried are the Black Pepper and Ginseng, Mandarin and Grapefruit, and Magnolia and Pear. I also seem to vaguely remember a Kir Royale scented one, but can't find that one for the life of me! For the purposes of this review though, I'm focusing primarily on the Velvet Rose set from the Boudoire range, which seems to be Baylis and Harding moving towards a more sexy sophisticated look. Gone are the chunky, clear, curved shoulder bottles I'm used to, instead we have two tall cylinders, with flat shoulders, with the bottles themselves being coloured, the hand wash in a black bottle and the hand and body lotion in a pink bottle. Each bottle also has a paper label, with pictures of roses on both. The gold lettering remains, with both capitals and italics making a feature, and the overall ...

Boots Essentials Brown Hair Grips 17/09/2017

Keeping my wig on!

Boots Essentials Brown Hair Grips A couple of months ago, I had my long hair cut short. It's starting to grow out a little now, but I'm having to wait to get it cut again until my first payday (roll on the 25th) so I'm keeping it under control by clipping back the longer bits . I've also had a fancy dress fundraising day at work, where I wore a wig that was supposed to be Magenta from Rocky Horror but looked a little more like Brian May, and these clips have also been called into practice to help keep the wig secure. These clips cost £4 for a pack of 70, which isn't terribly expensive, as although you can get similar grips for £1 for 40 in the pound shop, they don't tend to come in different colours so as to blend in with your natural hair the way these do - these are also available in blonde and black. I also think these clips are a little more rigid than some of the cheaper alternatives - this perhaps makes them slightly trickier to open up enough to clip back a thicker swathe of hair, but does mean that these retain a secure grip once in place, and keep you looking tidy and groomed. I recently found out I've been using these the wrong way round my whole life, with the smooth side at the bottom and the ridges on top, but a friend put me straight and since putting the ridges on the bottom I have no slipping of these clips at all - they simply stay put until I want to remove them, which is easily done by just sliding down the hair. Unlike some of the cheaper clips I've tried, these don't seem to catch or ...

Pyrex Oval Pie Dish 07/09/2017

Long lasting cookware that does the job

Pyrex Oval Pie Dish I imagine many kitchens have some Pyrex products in them - I have quite a few, some that I've purchased myself, others passed to me by my mother after a clearout, and since we moved in with my father in law, even more that his wife would often use in cooking. One of the dishes I probably use most often is the oval pie dish. I don't think I purchased this, I think this was one my mum gave me some 15 years ago when I was setting up my first home, which is itself stands as a testament to how hardwearing and durable these dishes are - I've never been particularly gentle at washing up, and most of my cookware does eventually end up chipped, but this is still in really good nick after all this time - sure, there are a few tiny scratch marks on the glass, but nothing that would affect it's usage, not bad considering that in addition to my careless handling, it's been dishwashed, frozen, baked, and moved house several times. In terms of looks, it's practical rather than pretty, a standard clear glass oval of quite thick glass, with a decent sized lip at the end. I've used this for cooking pastry pies - both those with full cases and those with just a lid, and the thick lip around the edge not only provide support for the lid of the pie allowing me to crimp the edges neatly with a fork, but also helps in actually forming a really good seal between the top and bottom, preventing leakage in the oven when baking. Of course, you don't have to use this for pies - I've called it into ...

Bexhill on Sea (England) 05/09/2017

Gods waiting room....

Bexhill on Sea (England) After some 20 plus years of living in Nottingham, I recently moved with my partner and daughter to Bexhill on Sea, to be closer to his dad after losing his mum last year. We'd been visiting East Sussex for the nine years we'd been together, and Bexhill for the last five after his parents moved, so it wasn't a wholly new area, and in fact Bexhill is a town I've come to love over the last five years - I was quite surprised to find I hadn't reviewed it already! Location Bexhill-on-Sea is a town on the East Sussex coast, roughly 6 miles from Eastbourne and a similar distance from Hastings. There is a railway station in Bexhill itself, right in the town centre, with regular trains running through to London Victoria and Ashford International, or in the other direction to Brighton. Bexhill also incorporates the areas of Collington and Cooden Beach, both of which have their own stations although trains do stop there slightly less regularly. Bexhill is just off the A259 so easily accessible by car, and does have parking up by the seafront (mostly free for periods of up to 2 hours, but the area in front of the De La Warr Pavilion is pay and display) and free parking in some areas of the town itself though this tends to be busy. The seafront parking can be very full on busy days or when events are on, particularly in the school holidays - usually a space can be found with a bit of driving around, but often with a ten minute walk to get to the town centre itself. Buses run to ...

Le Creuset Stoneware Mug 04/09/2017

You wouldn't be a mug to buy this!

Le Creuset Stoneware Mug I love charity shopping, it's where I pick up some of my best bargains, and one of the bargains I'm most proud of is my Le Creuset Stoneware Mug! I have always loved Le Creuset - years ago, when I was maybe around 12, my mum had to get rid of a lovely cast iron Le Creuset pan set, as repetitive strain injury meant she could no longer comfortably hold such heavy cookware, and I've always regretted not having the foresight at 12 to ask her to hang onto it for me as I got older! Price and Availability Le Creuset mugs typically retail for £15, both on their own website and on The price also seems to be £15 in many department stores, though some stores like TKMAXX will occasionally have Le Creuset items available at slightly discounted prices. Colours Available and Appearance There are 16 colours to choose from in this mug on the Le Creuset website, from pale pastels, to dark colours and some really bright ones. I was delighted that the mug I picked up in the charity shop for just £2 came in Volcanic, a lovely bright orange colour. The colour on the mugs is a sort of Ombre effect, with the glaze much darker at the bottom than it is at the top, and the inside of the mug being an off white colour. The mug has the Le Creuset logo on the bottom - three raised horizontal lines in the ceramic, with the middle line broken up by the words 'Le Creuset' in capital letters just under the handle. Key Points *Dishwasher safe *Freezer Safe *Oven Safe *Microwave Safe *5 ...

Sandtex Ultra Smooth Masonry Paint 02/09/2017

Tarting a house up for sale

Sandtex Ultra Smooth Masonry Paint Before moving down to Sussex, we had a few tweaks to do on our old house in Nottingham before putting it on the market - we'd already done all the major renovations that the house needed, new kitchen, heating system, bathroom etc. The inside was looking fabulous, but the outside was looking a little tired and needed a little bit of tarting up just to make it a bit more saleable, and one of the tasks we needed to do was to repaint some of the white stonework - concrete gate and fence posts, white painted backsteps, and stone lintels around a couple of the windows. Luckily, having at that point been working for a DIY/Tool shop for a year, I not only had a handy staff discount to call on, but also knowledge of which paints were said to be good for masonry thanks to regular dealings with contractors, and as a result, didn't waste time looking at lots of different paints, but instead went for the Sandtex Ultra Smooth Masonry Paint. Colours Available There is a decent selection of colours available - Pure Brilliant White, or course, as well as Black for those of a goth persuasion, Magnolia, Cornish Cream, Sand Dune, Plymouth Grey, Mid Strone, Chocolate, Terracotta. I did briefly contemplate buying a black for the gate posts to match the gate, and then a white for the steps, but in the end decided to just go for the Pure Brilliant White for everything, as that was clearly the colour everything had been originally so I knew it would look decent. Sizes and Prices If you have a ...

Kleenex Original Pocket Tissues 01/09/2017

Handy for toilet emergencies!

Kleenex Original Pocket Tissues On my recent trip to France, on the drive from our arrival in Dieppe to our Gite in Guern, we pulled into an 'aire' by the side of the road, a little area with picnic tables, bays to pull up your vehicle and sleep, and more importantly for me at the particular moment, toilets! Having been to France as a teenager some 20 years ago, I vividly remember my first experience with one of these roadside French squat toilets - a communal room where five or six ladies could squat over a small ditch in the floor. Times have moved on, and the toilets are now, generally, separated into cubicles, but one thing I had forgotten was the general lack of toilet paper. Being caught without twice on the five hour journey (and having to use some rather expensive face wipes from my bag instead) the first and best decision I made during the next mornings trip to the supermarket was to buy a multipack of pocket tissues, in order to always have some in my handbag, opting for Kleenex as they were the only brand I recognised and could be certain of the quality of. I paid just under 2 euros for 10 small packs (with each pack containing 8 tissues) which happened to be Frozen themed (the tissues were plain white, but the packets had Elsa and Ana on them!). The same tissues can be found in most supermarkets in the UK for around between one and two pounds, although not necessarily with the Frozen theme. Each packet is fairly compact - maybe two inches wide by 3 tall and one deep, they can easily be ...

Poul Fetan, Quistinic 30/08/2017

Fab if you're fluent in French, less so if you're not!

Poul Fetan, Quistinic On our recent holiday to France, one of the places a friend recommended I visit was the little medieval village of Poul Fetan, just outside Quistinic. I've always been a huge lover of history, and particularly of being able to see history being lived, and the way my friend described this, as a sort of performance museum of medieval French (or, more specifically, Breton) life, made it sound like it was right up my street. Location Village de Poul Fetan QUISTINIC 56310 France We found that Poul Fetan wasn't signposted at all until we actually got to Quistinic, but once we were in the town centre, signs were clearly displayed. There is a large flat car park at the attraction, and the attraction itself has good signage and is very visible, so you're unlikely to drive straight past. Opening Hours As with many attractions in rural France, opening hours vary by season, and I would recommend visiting the website for up to date information. As best as I can translate, the attraction is only actually open from the 1st of April to the end of September. And is open from, and has slightly varying opening and closing times within that period, along with guided, audio, and performance tours available at varying times. Entry Fees Entrance is €10.80 for an adult, and €5 for a child between 5 and 15 years (under fives go free). A family ticket is available for €28.50 which includes 2 adults, with no limit on the number of children. It is also possible to buy year tickets, allowing an ...
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