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Now moved, moving again in a few months, hence somewhat sporadic appearances here!

Reviews written

since 14/05/2015


Baco Bacofoil Turkey Foil Wrap 27/05/2017

Great wide foil ...shame it's not available all year round

Baco Bacofoil Turkey Foil Wrap I love a good roast dinner, and the secret to keeping most roasts moist in the middle but crispy and with a good colour on the outside is to keep the roast under foil for most of the cooking time, which seals in the juices, before whipping it off right at the end to allow the skin or the outside to brown and crisp up. Whilst this is easy using standard foil for most roasts, with bigger roasts, such as turkey or a large gammon joint, you tend to have to use three or four lengths of foil to adequately cover the meat, and it's never quite as airtight. Never fear, Turkey Foil is here! Turkey Foil? Now, there is nothing particularly special about this foil that marks it out as being turkeys only, it's simply a wider roll, at 60 centimetres wide compared to a standard foil roll which is usually just shy of 30 centimetres. Packaging Like ordinary foil, it comes in a cardboard box (red) in a narrow, long shape, with a serrated edge that is supposed to make tearing the foil off easier but somehow never works for me (I suspect because I'm a bit of a yanker ...if you were more patient when pulling off your foil I think it would work very well!). The edge is quite sharp, and could potentially cut skin, so the packaging is best kept safely away from little fingers! Usage This foil performs perfectly well, the width of it ensures I can wrap even quite large birds and joints securely to keep them moist in the oven, and at three metres there is enough foil there for multiple uses. ...

Argos ColourMatch Laundry Basket 26/05/2017

Basket case...

Argos ColourMatch Laundry Basket I recently moved from Nottingham to Bexhill, and having moved in the full awareness that I'll be moving again soon (we're upsizing) one of the first tasks my father in law set me upon moving down was de-cluttering and organising various spaces, particularly the garage! My mother in law, who sadly passed away last year, was something of a hoarder - not to the extent of those TV shows where you can't move around the house, thankfully. In fact, the house itself is very tidy and organised, and although there might be slightly too much in some cupboards, there is a place for everything and everything in it's place. However, when something doesn't have a place anymore - into the garage it goes, with the result that the garage (which incidentally is also the only place we could fit the computer desk, and is therefore my home for the evening) was full of cushions, spare duvets, spare pillows, spare blankets ... spare everything in fact. Having thrown away some stuff that was either unusable, or simply surplus to requirements, I still had a lot of spare bedding and towels left in good usable condition, and did want to hang on to it as, when we upsize, we will be needing it. But I needed better storage for the stuff, and a way to keep it categorised, hence the purchase of four of these colourmatch laundry baskets, which are available exclusively from argos for 4.99 each. Variations Being part of the colourmatch range, which is designed to make it easy to colour co-ordinate your ...

Packaging2Buy Cardboard Wardobe Box 23/05/2017

A clever solution for a smooth move

Packaging2Buy Cardboard Wardobe Box Moving is, supposedly, one of the most stressful times in a persons life, and having recently uprooted from Nottingham to Bexhill in East Sussex, I can say I definitely felt the strain! One of the things I struggled with was my desire to get as much packing as I could done in advance, versus the fear of packing away something I'd need, and then having to dig through various boxes to find it! Luckily, with clothing, I didn't have that worry - I was already aware of the hanging wardrobe boxes, having helped a friend move with a couple of them two months before my own move was planned. I got in touch with my friend to ask where she had purchased them, and she let me know that they were available from the packaging to buy website, and very kindly let me have the two she already had, as she thought they'd be sturdy enough to handle another move. With those two, and another couple purchased at £8.88, I easily had enough space for all mine and my daughters clothe! Assembly The boxes come flat packed, and are lightweight enough when empty to be carried to the room where you'll need them, though potentially somewhat bulky and awkward if you need to navigate a narrow turn. We'd already made the decision before assembling to keep one box each in my daughter and my bedrooms for the most commonly used items (school uniform, work uniform, casual wear) and to keep the other two downstairs for the less common items (dresses, formal wear, spare shoes and handbags etc) as I already knew ...

Byron Plug-in Wireless Glow in the Dark Doorbell 22/05/2017

You can ring my beeeeeeellll, ring my bell!

Byron Plug-in Wireless Glow in the Dark Doorbell ***Please note, the bell I am reviewing does not have a glow in the dark feature, however ciao would not add the new product and this is the closest match, being the only plug in that is not a plug-through*** Until I recently moved from Nottingham to Bexhill, I worked for a DIY chain, and we used a wireless doorbell in order for a member of staff on the shop floor to be able to easily summon other staff members from the warehouse to the till to serve customers - this worked really well as it meant people weren't just standing at the till all day waiting for someone to come in, but were instead in the back doing the things that needed doing, putting away deliveries, cleaning, completing paperwork etc. The one that we used was a Byron wireless plug in. This came packed in one of those hard plastic packs with a sealed edge, which was a bit of a pain in the bum to get into as you need really sturdy sharp scissors, or a Stanley Knife, to get into the packet. Bizarrely, though we sold such knifes and scissors, we weren't allowed to use them for health and safety, so opening the packet resulted in rather a lot of swearing! Set up on this bell is, by contrast, incredibly easy. Plug the chime box into a location within range of the button where it will be heard, and if you like, screw the button itself onto a door or wall. For our purposes, it worked better not attached to anything, as whoever was manning the shop floor could carry it in their hand. The button already comes with ...

L'Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist 25/03/2017

Infallible? I think not.

L'Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist On the rare occasion I go to the effort of applying a full face of makeup, I generally want it to last as long as it can. My daughter swears by a spritz of hairspray on the face, a practice I don't approve of (those chemicals are not meant to be inhaled, so I treated the both of us to a bottle of L'Oreal Paris Infallible Fixing Mist Setting Spray - I figure if it's designed for the job, it's probably a lot less harmful! Price and Availability This seems to be priced at 7.99 pretty much everywhere -Boots, Superdrug and Amazon all have it at this price. However, lookfantastic currently has it a little cheaper,at £5.59. What is a fixing spray Essentially, this is a spray designed to 'set' your makeup and make it last longer. This is particularly helpful if, like me, you work in a job the requires a fair amount of physical exertion, where natural perspiration can cause make-up to slip, or to build up in the creases. You might wonder why this is necessary when a primer seems designed for the same purpose - one of the problems I have with primers is that they can leave the sin feeling greasy, and in my experience, most of the primers I have used have clogged my pores. I figured a spray that sits on top of my makeup might be a better way of tackling makeup slippage. Usage Experience It is recommended to use 2-4 sprays of this on the face, from a distance of approximately 20cm , spraying alternately in an x and a t motion, in order to have maximum coverage. You then just let ...

Ivy Counterfeit Money Currency Detector Pen 27/02/2017

Fine, but not infallible

Ivy Counterfeit Money Currency Detector Pen I handle a lot of cash in my job - you'd be surprised how many tradesmen come into the store, make an order in the hundreds of pounds, and pay with notes peeled off a fat wedge in their pocket. I'm definitely in the wrong job. Naturally, we want to make sure that all the notes we receive are genuine, and the company has a very strict policy that we must test each and every note with a pen capable of detecting a counterfeit note. We keep these pens on the tills for all staff to use, and woe betide anyone caught not checking notes. The pens are simple to use - you just draw a line on the note, and if the line is very light or clear, the note is fine. If the line shows a brown or grey colour, then the note is a forgery. Years ago when these pens were quite new, I remember people being offended when their notes were checked, but they're so common nowadays, with so many shops using them that people rarely comment on them being used. We've had a few occasions as a company where we've been targeted by money launderers travelling through all the stores in the area, handing over fake notes,in the hopes that the staff handling the transaction won't check, and then walking away with the change, or with high value items that they can then re-sell. Luckily, our store has never been caught out with this - we've spotted the fake notes before they make it into the till, and saved any losses. Any time we have ended up with a fake note in the till, CCTV has confirmed that the note hadn't ...

Kitchen Craft Colourworks Silicone Pastry Brush 23/02/2017

Won't be giving this the brush off

Kitchen Craft Colourworks Silicone Pastry Brush A couple of years ago, I got myself some lovely (or so I thought) non stick pans. In an attempt to keep them pristine, I replaced a lot of my wood and metal utensils with brightly coloured silicon ones. Whilst it wasn't strictly necessary to replace my pastry brush - after all, the old one wasn't going to scratch anything - it did look a little odd and old fashioned in the pot next to all the other brightly coloured stuff, and it had started shedding bristles occasionally. The Kitchen Craft Colourworks range does lots of silicon tools in a variety of colours, and you can either opt to have them all matching, or, like me, go for a mixed pot of pleasing bright colours! The pastry brushes specifically are also available in different sizes - short ones ideal for pastry work, or longer ones which are more useful if, like me, you'll also tend to use them for brushing over hot joints and grilled meats. I went for the slightly longer 26cm version in a rather lovely bright blue colour - I believe I paid less than £4 at the time, although amazon seems to have increased the price to £5.49. If you're not an amazon shopper, I frequently see products from this range in TKMaxx, and occasionally in Tesco supermarkets. The brush itself is made of silicon, with the main stem of the brush being firm - quite rigid in terms of not being bendable, yet a little soft to the touch though. It has a hole in the handle for easy hanging if that's how you store utensils, and the brush head at the ...

Badger Balm Mini Foot Balm 18/02/2017

No badgers were harmed in the making of this balm

Badger Balm Mini Foot Balm My job has me always on my feet. In addition, I love walking, and try to walk to work whenever the weather is fine, and go for leisurely walk on my days off. Cooped up inside (more often than not) steel toe cap boots and getting a massive pounding every day can result in the skin becoming a little dry and cracked. I moisturise my hands with handcream every day, but until recently never gave the same attention to my feet - something that changed when I came across a mention of Badger Foot Balm on a beauty blog, and decided to give it a go. Price and Availability A 21g pot of this (that's the same size as a vaseline lipgloss tin) cost me £5 including delivery on It is also available elsewhere online, feelunique for example has it at 5.99, but I don't know of any high street retailers where it is stocked. Ingredients *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, *Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, *Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom) Oil, *Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, *Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, and *Abies Balsamea (Balsam Fir) Oil. *= Certified Organic Usage I like the small pot design, and feel that it is nice and secure - there would be no risk of this, for example, coming open in a handbag or pocket. That said, I personally don't tend to massage my feet when I'm out and about, instead keeping this on my bedside table, ...

Tesco Rectangular Bowl 12/02/2017

Sink or Swim....;

Tesco Rectangular Bowl When it comes to chores I dislike, washing the pots has to be right up there. A lot of this has to do with my my sink, which due to bad fitting has a draining board that doesn't actually drain, and a sink that is so hard and so small that even a carefully washed pot could chip against the sides. It has become essential to use a washing up bowl in the sink to soften the blow, and the Tesco bowl does the trick. Vital Statistics This bowl comes in a rather nice silver grey colour. It measures roughly a foot along each side, giver or take an inch or two and only, and being a little longer along the front and back. It just fits into my little sink. I'm not sure of the actual liquid volume of this bowl,the label on the front having been long discarded, but with a depth of roughly 15 cm can be filled with a decent amount of water. In Use The main reason to have one of these is that bashing a plate against the side of a plastic bowl causes significantly less damage than smacking it against the edge of a marble sink, or one made of steel. As someone who is INCREDIBLY clumsy, this actually is a massive boon, and one I see on a relatable level all the time -I have smashed so many less pots since using this,despite not actively taking any more care. Ther sides of this just are that little bit softer then a normal sink. Conclusion I would very much prefer not to have one of these at all, but when you're as clumsy with the washing up as I am, a reduced chance of breakage is a ...

Stanley Tylon 02/02/2017

Stanley Tylon really measures up.

Stanley Tylon I work for a branch of Screwfix, and often during the course of the day we are called upon to measure things - people will bring in a random bit of plumbing, and need the right size connector finding, or will have a measurement in inches when the catalogue only lists it in centimetres, requiring us to measure it in order to give the best recommendation. Most annoying of all is when they come in wanting screws or nails, and the best measurement they seem to have, having not brought the actual screw in for comparison, is holding their finger a little bit apart and saying 'I need something this long'. Luckily, working at Screwfix, there are ALWAYS tape measures on hand - at any one time there are usually at least three kinds on the shop floor, and numerous others throughout the warehouse. Personally, I have a great preference for the Stanley Tylon when it comes to measuring things up. Price and Availability Screwfix sell the Stanley Tylon only in twin packs, with each tape running to eight metres long, costing 9.99 per pack of two measures. In comparison sells a single measure for £11.46, Amazon sell a pack of three for £17.50,, and Wickes sell them at £8.49each. Tylon? I shouldn't get too excited, nobody's discovered a new element here. Tylon is simply a trademark Stanley have applied to certain measuring tapes they have coated for extra durability. For the sake of common sense, I'd assume that's for durability of the actual measurement prints, ...

5 Star Office Pencil Pot 31/01/2017

5 star gets 5 stars

5 Star Office Pencil Pot I work in a busy shop and warehouse, and we're always using pencils and pens - to leave notes regarding orders, obtain signatures for card refunds and order collections adjust rotas, or fill out holiday request forms. We also have a large colouring wall poster in the break room to help people take a few minutes to relax, so in various places we have these little pencil pots dotted about. Price and Availability These pots are widely available online, including amazon, with prices starting from £2.30 ( to £4.29 (Amazon) As far as I can tell, they are available in three colours, black, blue, and clear. The Pot I think for such a basic item, these are quite stylish - a square base with tall sides tapering outwards, with each edge on the top having a slight curve to it. Measuring 7.5 cm wide by just under ten tall, they don't take up much space on a desktop, and the plain colour makes them quite smart and discreet, and the glossy finish is easy to keep clean, as it can just be rinsed off under a tap, or wiped down with a damp cloth. Inside, the pot is divided into two sections, with the divider running diagonally across. This could be fairly handy if, for example, you wanted to divide it between pencils and pens, though we just tend to plonk the pens in willy nilly. How much this will hold really depends on what you keep in it - if it was just slimline biros, I imagine it would probably hold around 30, however we tend to store other pens, ...

What We Do In The Shadows (DVD) 31/01/2017

A wonderful Mel Brooks-esque vampire film

What We Do In The Shadows (DVD) When you think of Vampires, what do you think of ? The frilly, fashionable, 18th century dandy? Perhaps something more along the lines of the sadistic Vlad Dracula, more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler. Or, if you're younger, perhaps you think of someone a little more trendy and in tune with modern culture - someone who seems young, but really isn't. Now imagine all of these movie tropes living in a house together in New Zealand, being filmed by a documentary crew as they live their normal day to day lives, and you've got "What We Do In The Shadows". I was introduced to this film by a friend on one of the regular movie nights we have at my house, I'd never heard of it prior to watching, and honestly wasn't that keen - although I freely admit to having loved the resurgence of vampires in film and literature back in the noughties, I was beginning to feel the genre as a whole had been milked dry and had nothing fresh to offer. But I might have been wrong :) "When I first became a vampire, I was quite, uh, tyrannical. I was known for torturing a lot of people" -Vlad We start the film by being introduced to Viago, 379 years young, as he wakes up in the evening, and begins his day by waking his flatmates Deacon (183), Vladislav (862) and Petyr (8000). The tone of the movie is set very early - mere minutes after starting, the vampires are sat around a table, being filmed by a documentary crew, as they argue over the household chores - most notably the fact that Deacon hasn't ...

Annie (2014) (DVD) 28/01/2017

A perfectly enjoyable reimagining

Annie (2014) (DVD) I remember when it was first announced that there was going to be a remake of Annie - and the outrage that seemed to follow. People grumbled about unoriginal film-making just rehashing originals, and made a big show out of how this would taint their nostalgic memories of the original. But mostly, the overall complaint I remember seeing at the time is 'But Annie wasn't black!" Personally, I didn't really have any such worries. I'd never read the original comic strip (Little Orphan Annie) on which it was based, and whilst I'd seen the 1982 film, I think I was about 18 when I watched it, so whilst I enjoyed it it was already terribly dated. I just really didn't care either way, and whilst I didn't hurry to the cinema to watch it, or to buy it on dvd, when netflix recommended I watch it tonight, I decided to give it a go. Plot Whilst the original Annie was set during the great depression, this iteration sees Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) slap bang in the middle of 21str century New York. A bright and confident child at school, but loving a less than perfect life in foster care, where she is fostered by Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) a failed musician with a booze and pills addiction who only fosters for the sake of the extra money. Living in a cramped bedroom with other girl, Annie dreams of the day her parents will come back to rescue her. Life plods along miserably until, attempting to save a dog being taunted by a pair of boys, she trips and falls in the road, narrowly avoiding ...

Scotch Low Noise Packaging Tape 27/01/2017

Who needs to pack in stealth mode?

Scotch Low Noise Packaging Tape As some of you know, my life is looking to be full of changes this year -towards the end last year we lost my mother in law, and came to the decision that we wanted to move down to East Sussex to look after my father in law, who is now on his own, and at 68 not getting any younger. Luckily, this coincided with my partner finishing his training as a nuclear medical technologist, and shortly after that a vacancy came up in Eastbourne that was offered to, and accepted by my other half. Although moving is likely a while away yet, as we've a house to sell here, and all the things from that house need to be moved to my house, and then moved again once we actually get a place down south. I've been using this as an opportunity to declutter, and to slowly begin packing the things I won't use in the next few months but will want to take. Boxes aren't an issue - I work for a large chain where there are several large boxes I can squirrel away after every shift, but tape was something I would have to buy. Having always used Scotch Packaging Tape in the past, I went for the same thing again, although the purchase of the low noise variety was accidental. I'm not sure how much need there really was for a low noise version of the tape. Sure, the normal stuff is loud, but I don't shock myself too much using it, and I've never been in a situation where having to pack and seal a box in stealth mode was necessary. Perhaps in a busy warehouse environment where lots of people might be using the ...

Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Mascara 26/01/2017

Sadly, I'm not a curly girl

Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Mascara Though not often one for heavy makeup, I always like to use a little mascara and lip gloss, just to make me look a little more awake, so getting a new mascara to try in one of my subscription boxes is always good. This particular mascara 'Fairy Lashes Curl' by Jelly Pong Pong was one I was quite excited to try - I've heard wonderful things about their 'Paradise Pigments' lip and cheek stains from my friends, and previously tried (and loved) their white foundation when getting goffed up for a night out! Price and Availability This retails for 17.95 on the Jelly Pong Pong website. Ingredients Water (aqua), stearic acid, cyclomethicone, carnauba (carnauba cerifera) wax, glycerin, PVP, ehtylhexyl palmitate, triethanolamine, beeswax (cera alba), moringa pterygosperma seed extract, methylparaben, propylparaben, [+/- (may contain/peut contenir) titanium dioxide (CI 77891), iron oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), chromium oxide greens (CI 77288), FD&C blue no. 1 al lake (CI 42090:2), D&C red no. 7 ca lake (CI 15850:1)] The Spiel "Fairy Lashes CURL is a sculpting, curling mascara that continually curls lashes throughout the day with a unique synthesis of Moringa Seed resin that dries down and holds the curl of lashes for long-lasting results. The unique brush instantly creates dramatic volume and intense definition." Packaging The mascara came independent of any box, sealed in clear plastic wrap that peeled off easily. The tube is a deep brown red colour, flat on the ...
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