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since 02/11/2008


Bizzy Bee Latex Free Hypoallergenic Gloves 02/09/2012

Try busy bee rubber free

Bizzy Bee Latex Free Hypoallergenic Gloves A short while ago I decided that it was time for me to wear rubber gloves when my hands were in water for any length of time. My skin resembles a rhino’s behind and the backs of my hands are covered in age spots! After years of cleaning and washing the dishes I don’t suppose I can expect much else! (Get the violins out) In all honesty the company that manufactured goods under the name of Busy bee were a new one on me, I went into Wilkinson’s whilst staying at my daughters and fell in love with the packaging. Yes you heard me correctly; the packet that contains the pair of latex gloves is lovely! Top and bottom of the plastic bag there is an emerald green border, a few little green leaves pop up from the bottom border and there in the middle of the packet is the most wonderful bright yellow and black bee! One pair of busy bee latex free gloves costs £2, so they are not the bargain rubber gloves that you can buy at the pound stores. I find that ordinary rubber gloves feel clumsy to wear and as soon as the water seeps under the cuff (I know that isn’t supposed to happen but it always does!) my hands begin to feel awful and when the gloves are removed the odour is awful. The company that make these gloves describe them as latex free cleaning gloves for sensitive hands. Take the gloves from the packet and you notice that they are a lovely pale peachy colour, they have a long cuff and the top end of the cuff is fluted. Toward the top of the cuff you will see that lovely little ...

Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Lawn Rake 601260W 01/09/2012

Every gardener needs a lawn rake

Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Lawn Rake 601260W When we look at a lush green lawn and admire it we often fail to take into account all of the hard work that has gone into making the grass look as good as it does. Lawn maintenance is an art and I am certainly not great at maintaining my grassed area. I read lots of articles on how to maintain the lawn, how to care for the grass, how to fertilize the lawn to get the best from it but my small lawned area never seems to look fabulously healthy. Even my Wilkinson’s Sword lawn rake cannot help me work wonders! I have had my lawn rake for many moons and it is a very useful gardening tool. In fact I have owned the rake for such a long time that I cannot remember how much I paid for the hand tool. Garden rakes are a necessity but they are clumsy tools that seem to take up a lot of space in the shed. But a high percentage of gardeners need to rake their lawns so this tool is of importance. My rake has no hanging clip so I managed to contrive a hanger, so the unwieldy tool now hangs towards the back of the garden shed where it cannot get in anyone’s way as they enter the shed. Wilkinson’s sword makes good quality gardening tools that will last for many years as long as they are well cared for. The brand name is trusted in the gardening world, their tools may cost a little more but they are worth every penny. The lawn rake has a good long Ash handle with a set of stainless steel tines. The company endeavour to make tools that are easy to handle and that can certainly be said of the ...

Spontex Sponge Cloths 27/08/2012

Set about the job with a Spontex sponge cloth

Spontex Sponge Cloths We all need to have a good supply of cleaning cloths so that there is a cloth for every cleaning job. In times gone by my duster box was filled with pieces of old pillowcases, soft cotton undies with the gussets cut out and large squares of old flannelette sheet. How times have changed, we still have a good range of cloths to use for cleaning but we both like to try new cleaning cloths that come onto the market. My daughter introduced me to the microfiber cleaning cloths, she loves them but I can’t seem to get on with them. The `feel` of the microfiber cloth sets my teeth on edge but I have to say they wash easily and dry out very quickly. Spontex have been making cleaning cloths and sponges for years and we get on very well with the Spontex sponge cloths. A pack of four cloths will set you back just under two pounds but the cloths last a long time. When you are cleaning you need cloths that are flexible and easy to handle. A piece of cotton rag does not have the same attraction as a Spontex cleaning cloth because the rag is thin and doesn’t soak up any spillage whereas the spongy cloths are very absorbent and wipe away any spillage with ease. The bright yellow cleaning cloths look good sat on the draining board; if the day is dull the colour reminds you of a good sunny day! These cloths are a decent size and although they have a spongy feel to the touch that feeling doesn’t set my teeth on edge! They are very supple and I can confirm that they are durable. The Spontex ...

Draper Stainless Steel Garden Fork 26/08/2012

The Draper stainless steel gardening fork is worth every penny

Draper Stainless Steel Garden Fork When the gardening season starts many of us need to ensure that our hand tools are in good working order. I have written quite a few reviews about tools for the garden and I always labour on the importance of taking care of any hand tool that you buy. The Draper tool company produces first rate garden tools and have doneso since 1919. Draper has a very comprehensive website and if you wish you can send for a catalogue of products. I find the catalogue invaluable because you can study the products in depth. The website holds information about new products and promotions, instruction manuals and part lists and there are some product videos. Now, anyone who enjoys gardening can pop along to Poundland and buy a garden fork for less than a fiver. Cheap gardening tools seem an attractive proposition but more often than not they are not as good a bargain as they seem. When I am out in the garden digging the borders I tend to use put quite a bit of pressure onto the fork, sometimes the garden tool will hit a stone or become entangled in a root and the metal forks are put under duress. A good quality stainless steel gardening fork will withstand the pressure and the prongs on the tool will not usually bend. On the flip side of the coin the inexpensive hand fork that appeared to be a good bargain at the time is highly likely to buckle under pressure, the prongs will maybe bend or the fork will part from the shaft. I invested in a Draper expert stainless steel soft grip garden fork ...

Harris Roller Set 25/08/2012

A work of art

Harris Roller Set In the past few months we have been doing a lot of home decorating. And I must admit that at times I wished that my lottery numbers would come up so that we could afford to hire the services of a painter and decorator. The wall-paper stripping has seemed endless even though we have a wall paper stripper; it feels like we have been filling cracks in the plaster for ever and in all truthfulness applying the emulsion paint was probably the easiest part. As a friend mentioned to me ninety per cent of home decoration is preparation and the remaining ten per cent is painting and wall-papering. I have to say that I have become quite handy with a paint brush; I can now use a radiator brush and a long reach paintbrush without any bother. If I didn’t understand something I simply asked the other half or looked it up on the Internet. I must tell you this before I forget, my daughters toilet cistern developed a fault and they though that they were going to have to pay for a plumber to call. My son-in-law looked at the `How to repair a toilet flush` articles and watched some instructional online videos and he was able to repair the flush himself. Amazing when you think what it would have cost to get a plumbing expert to do the work! I have bought numerous paint trays, some have come from DIY stores, some have been bought at markets and others have been purchased at pound stores. I bought a Harris roller set a few months ago from the local DIY store and it cost me £4.50p. Not bad ...

Reeves - Mixed Media Complete Art Set 22/08/2012

One art set that is worth buying

Reeves - Mixed Media Complete Art Set Children love drawing and painting and the Reeves mixed media complete art set would make a good birthday or Christmas gift for a youngster. The company have been producing high quality arts and craft products for years, so you know that when you purchase any set from Reeves it will be worth the money. I particularly like the Reeves website; there you will find handy tips and hints for improving you or your child’s art work or to share your artistic talent with others. The web site also has a postcode finder which allows you to find your nearest Reeves stockist. The fifty one piece art set comes in a relatively plain red cardboard box. On the front of the box it clearly states that the mixed media set contains fifty one pieces. Reeves recommend that the set is suitable for children aged three and above. In the box there are ten sizeable oil pastel crayons, five colouring pencils and one ordinary sketching pencil, six tubes of watercolour paint, six tubes of acrylic paint, a paint palette, a palette knife, a watercolour pan, a putty rubber, a pencil sharpener and three paint brushes. Reeves have also included a large sketch pad for good measure. Many parents throw their hands up in horror when their children mention having a painting session but I feel that painting and drawing allows a child to explore him/herself. I have seen my grandchildren enter into a world of their own as they apply paint to paper and watch the colours blend. We always have a painting session on the ...

Sainsburys Basics 2 Slice Toaster 21/08/2012

Two slices to Sainbury,s

Sainsburys Basics 2 Slice Toaster The market is flooded with cheap small electrical appliances; some function well and are worth purchasing whilst other inexpensive electrical appliances leave a lot to be desired. Like many people I like to think that I am getting value for money and the giant supermarkets seem to offer great value for money with their basic electrical ranges. In reality I would have loved to have bought a four slice all singing, all dancing toaster that would grace my kitchen worktop but my monthly budget wouldn’t allow me to do that so I decided to settle for a Sainsbury’s basics two slice toaster to tide me over . The two slice toaster costs just under a fiver and Sainsbury’s give you a few Nectar points as a bonus for buying it, so at first the deal doesn’t seem too bad. In times gone by I have bought quite a few small electrical appliances from Sainsbury’s and on the whole they score well. In general the more money that you are prepared to pay the better, the most up to date toasting machines have numerous functions that can be handy for a family who lead a busy life. I toast bread and the odd muffin in the morning and sometimes toast a teacake later in the day. My toasting needs are basic so in reality the Sainsbury’s basics toaster should meet my needs. The first thing that you notice when you remove the toaster from the box is the weight of the appliance. The pure white plastic toaster is as light as a feather. There is little need for an operating manual/leaflet although the ...

Ikea Lack Coffee Table In White 22/04/2012

This table lacks nothing

Ikea Lack Coffee Table In White We have a mammoth Ikea store a few miles away and I have to admit that I find it fascinating to visit. The other half steers well clear of the busy furniture store, he finds the crowds difficult to tolerate. No matter what time of day you go there seems to be throngs of shoppers admiring the stylish goods on display, the staff at the store certainly know how to market the goods to their best. Some of the furniture is a little too state of the art for my tastes but there are certain pieces that I find very appealing. The Ikea lighting department is glorious, the home ware is good and I love the soft furnishings. We don't have a lot of room in our `snug`, there is just enough room for a television, a small sofa, an armchair and a coffee table. The room is functional rather than beautiful and it is a place where we can go and kick our slippers off, lay on the couch and watch the telly. Hot coffee cups have a nasty habit of leaving white heat marks on wooden coffee tables and that is why we bought an everyday Ikea lack coffee table. There are various tables in the Lack range, ours is a low white table with a useful under shelf. Coffee tables can be expensive to buy but this version from Ikea cost us less than £20, which is good going by anyone's standards. Everything in the Ikea store is flat-packed and that is why the other half prefers to buy elsewhere. But flat pack furniture is far better than it used to be. Recently we bought two oak ( Formica) units from Argos, we thought ...

Sainsburys Non-Stick Baking Paper 21/04/2012

The pudding club? surely not

Sainsburys Non-Stick Baking Paper Baking paper or greaseproof paper has been on the market for donkeys years and I always keep a roll in stock. When I used to make jams and chutneys I used to use little circles of the non stick paper to top off the jars. Nowadays I use baking paper for lining cake tins, wrapping food and making piping bags. Occasionally I get the urge to make a steamed pudding and a layer of greaseproof goes over the pudding basin. My roll of Sainsbury's baking paper is ten metres long and it cost me £1.50 and it offers decent value for money. Sainbury's have placed the neat ten metre roll of baking paper into a tidy little cardboard box. The slimline box is aptly decorated with home made cakes. The company state that the paper was produced in Poland and I am convinced that the outer cardboard box can be recycled. Baking paper has an odd feel to it, the crispish paper cannot be permeated by oil or grease and drops of water will roll off of it. Still it is a very useful product. Baking paper is the perfect thing for lining a cake tin. Use the cake tin as a template to cut the greaseproof paper to shape. Take a dab of butter on a spare piece of baking paper and rub it over the inside of the cake tin. Place the pre-cut baking paper into the cake tin, hey presto the tin is lined and ready for the cake mixture. The paper undergoes a strange transformation when it is placed into a hot oven. The paper crisps in the heat and curls at the edges but it is designed to withstand the temperature. I do not ...

Sainsbury's Basics Blender 19/04/2012

Back to basics

Sainsbury's Basics Blender Small kitchen appliances need not cost a fortune. When I visit the store and gaze longingly at all of the latest electrical appliances on sale I positively drool, at the moment I am besotted with the brightly coloured kettles and toasters. The other half says that I am wasting his hard earned pension if I buy these colourful gadgets, he says that they are merely a fad! The majority of my small appliances are basic, the last but one electrical purchase that I made was the hand blender from Sainsbury's. I love to make soups and that is why I really need a blender, creamed vegetable soups are wonderful and filling. The Basics blender is basic but for most of the time it lives in a kitchen cupboard out of sight. However, I wouldn't mind anyone seeing the blender, the pure white plastic appliance looks clean and fresh. The Sainsbury's basics blender (400W) cost just under £10. My old blender cost around £17, it was from Lidl's and it was far bulkier than this one. It doesn't have a large jug, in fact the jug holds 1.5 litres and that is ample for my needs. Some blenders are very weighty but this model stands just under a foot high and it is quite light and easy to work with, although some cooks may prefer a heavier model. This is a no frills blender but it looks fine, the white plastic base looks clean and fresh and it is easy to wipe over. The machine has two speeds and a pulse, I find the `pulse` invaluable, it allows me to add cream to soup and `whizz` it in quickly. The pulp ...

Sainsburys Kitchen Foil 18/04/2012

I was foiled once again

Sainsburys Kitchen Foil Ask every kitchen-person ( being politically correct here!) what are two `must haves` in the store cupboard and they will say kitchen foil and kitchen roll. Kitchen roll is invaluable for mopping up spills, wiping dirty little faces and a million other jobs, whereas kitchen foil is so useful for wrapping up left over food, encasing sandwiches or lining a roasting tin. But kitchen foil varies so much, you can buy the ultra cheap foil that resembles tissue paper or you can shell out a bit more and buy a roll of half decent stuff. I am all for cheap but if cheap means `not too good` then it becomes pointless. Sainsbury do a decent kitchen foil, a 10 metre roll cost around £1.82 and that size of a roll will last me quite a while. The box that the foil is housed in is nothing to write home about, a plain cardboard box with the obligatory serrated edge to help cut through the foil. I agree that you need a serrated edge on the foil boxes but why is it I nearly always cut my finger? However, the box is sturdy, so after using the kitchen foil the roll can be placed back in the box and stored away until next time. The foil is thin but it is not ultra thin. Tear a sheet off and you can feel that it has a certain amount of body. Very cheap foils tear as you lift them but this does not. Sainsbury's state that the foil is made from aluminium and they say that both sides of the foil sheet can be used. Aluminium foil is useful for storing food in the refrigerator. The foil keeps the food ...

Angled Radiator Brush 18/04/2012

Look at it from all angles

Angled Radiator Brush Decorating our new home has gone to my head, I am forever scouring the internet looking for new ideas. Have you seen the stylish radiators that are on sale these days? There are designer radiators to die for! Cast iron radiators, mirrored radiators, aluminium and eco radiators, and if like me your budget doesn't run to any of those you can always go for the humble traditional radiator and cover it with a stylish rad cover. I am now capable of bleeding a radiator but draining a radiator is really beyond me, so the motley selection of yellowing radiators have had to have a couple of coats of radiator paint. Painting a radiator is no mean feat! All those ridges are a nightmare to paint and trying to paint the back of the rad is another matter altogether. The other half kindly bought me an angled radiator brush, an unusual looking tool but purpose built for the job. My paint brush came from B and Q and it cost the princely sum of £3.98. Apparently it was a toss up between an angled brush and a radiator roller and I was glad that the paintbrush won. The thought of trying to wiggle a small roller down the back of the radiators wasn't too inviting. The small tool is a peculiar looking item. The brush part looks like an ultra thin paintbrush and the elongated handle veers off at an angle to allow you to reach parts that other brushes cannot reach. I had never used one before so it was a new experience. The first job was to make sure that the central heating was turned off and that ...

Sainsburys Dustpan and Brush 17/04/2012

A delightful dustpan and brush set from Sainsbury

Sainsburys Dustpan and Brush Although I find Sainsbury's a little bit expensive I do like their home and garden range, I also love the TU clothing. A couple of weeks ago the supermarket giant had bath towels on offer, each bath sheet was marked up at £5. the towelling is soft and luxurious and it washes really well, so I had a good deal. I feel that the store is popular because it keeps in touch with what the public wants. When I look along the aisle containing the household goods I see that their wares are available in the latest styles and colours which is good. Like many people I like to buy matching accessories for my rooms and this dustpan and brush set is so cute. Polka dots and spots are in vogue and they are very `vintage'. Spotty wares look pretty and fresh and make a welcome change. This Sainsbury's dustpan and brush set is not too different from any other on the market but it took my eye when I was shopping. Lime green is fashionable at the moment and a lime green and white polka dot pan and brush set is going to appeal to a lot of shoppers. The set costs £4 and I don't feel that is expensive. If we are feeling rich then this set is part of a range from Sainsbury's. The range includes a spotty scrubbing brush, a broom, a spotty mop and a matching dish brush. Don't forget, every purchase you make adds valuable Nectar points to your store loyalty card. The lime green pan is made from rigid plastic, it has a deep dip in the handle where the brush clips in and a rubber edge to aid dust sweeping. ...

Mini Roller Tray 17/04/2012

It may be mini but it is great!

Mini Roller Tray Decorating a new home takes patience, time and unfortunately quite a lot of money. In an earlier review I was talking about the benefits of using the Silverline wallpaper stripper, a handy little tool if ever there was one. But the mini roller tray is another great invention that helps to make gloss painting doors far easier. Gloss paint is notoriously difficult to apply. Apply too much and it runs, making the freshly painted doors look poor, apply too little and the finish is not quite right. However, using a mini roller to apply the gloss paint provides a good even finish, the paint roller helps you to apply the gloss paint smoothly, hence the wooden doors are well finished and look good. Many amateur DIY'ers favour the paintbrush and for years I too used a brush for glossing the doors, until I discovered how easy it was to handle a paint roller. Buying a mini roller tray is not going to break the bank, I bought mine from a discount store, it cost under £2 for the mini roller tray, including a mini roller handle and four, 4 inch wide sleeves. The tray that I bought was not made by a recognised brand name and it offered good value for money. The small black plastic tray is just big enough to hold a four inch paint roller and the plastic it is constructed from is fairly sturdy. The paint roller itself fits snugly into the tray too. Place a roller sleeve onto the handle and the whole lot fits neatly into the plastic tray. After looking on the web I have noticed that Dulux ...

Silverline Wallpaper Steam Stripper 16/04/2012

Use this to help you strip

Silverline Wallpaper Steam Stripper Silverline is not one of the first names that springs to mind when thinking of DIY equipment. Many of us would look for the very popular brand names such as Black and Decker, DeWalt or Makita rather than pay attention to lesser known makes. Recently we have moved house and that house move has led to a lot of visits to home décor stores and hour after hour of home decorating. The end result is pleasing and both of us are full of home decorating ideas that we would shied away from a year or so ago. We looked online for home decorating ideas and looked for home decorating tips in some of the popular home decorating magazines. The small house that we moved into had to be stripped back and completely redecorated, the wallpaper had to be stripped off, the paintwork needed to be sanded, under-coated and repainted and there was wallpapering to be done. Wallpaper stripping is a tedious job, stripping lots of layers off can be challenging and tiring. We had borrowed a steam stripper a few years ago and remembered that it made the task far easier, so we headed off to the DIY store to purchase our own. There are plenty of wallpaper strippers for hire and rent but the Silverline steam stripper costs just over £20 to buy and will last for years to come. The hot steam created by the machine is supposed to be man enough to remove all types of wallpaper, vinyl, woodchip and decorative papers. Given that we had rooms covered in several layers of ancient woodchip the steam stripper was ...
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