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since 09/07/2007


The Story of the Little Mole - Plop Up Edition - Werner Holzwarth 16/08/2009

It was none of his business

The Story of the Little Mole - Plop Up Edition - Werner Holzwarth Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin. The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch - the Plop-up Edition. I bought this book for my nephew as a reward for using the "big toilet" to do a poo in. Bless him he's been finding it hard to come to terms with poo and toilets and in a last gasp effort to crack this last bit of his toilet training my sister decided that every time he did a poo in the big toilet that he would be rewarded with a book. He told me about this and I said I would buy him one too as I was very proud of him. He went all shy at this point - he is a typical boy! So browsing Amazon for books in the 3 to 4 year old range I found all sorts of amusingly titled books but this title jumped out at me. It wasn't so much the title but the funny hat on the mole that made me take a second look and I realised that the hat was in fact a pile of poo. Now the title made sense and it made me giggle (I am a child yes!). I thought "How apt" and was about to add to my basket when I noticed in the "other items you might like" that there was a pop up or plop up version as the cover describes it of the book. Without hesitation I bought it (currently this hard cover pop up version is £6.49 instead of £9.99 on Amazon). The story of the book is very simple. The Little Mole wakes up one morning to find a pile of poo on his head but he knows it isn't one of his so he sets out to discover the faecal ...

Lush Sakura Bath Ballistic 29/03/2009

Sakura Bleu!

Lush Sakura Bath Ballistic OK so I ended up in Lush again last week! I needed some products because I had run out and well three of these Sakura Bath Ballistics somehow ended up in my basket as well. Those Lush pixies are very mischievious! What attracted me (sorry I mean the pixies) was the Japanese element of the product. You see I love all things Japanese - I love the food, the art, the literature, the history and even my skin care is based on a Japanese ritual. I am also attempting to learn the language before we go to Japan in a couple of years. So anything vaguely Japanese related is going to get bought especially if it relates to Sakura - the Japanese name for cherry blossom. My parents had a lovely cherry tree which was always so beautifully perfumed in the spring and so this smell reminds me as well of my parents' house when I was growing up. I would love to go to Japan in the Cherry Blossom season. So with the lovely spring weather we had last week I was ready for a rejuvenating but relaxing bath and this bath ballistic seemed like the ideal one. I was a little bit dubious about using a whole product as at £2.99 this wasn't going to be a cheap bath. It is one of the medium sized ballistics (you can get smaller like the butterball and some varieties have now been made into huge versions) and is easily recognisable as it is white with pink and blue coloured salt crystals dotted throughout. It just looks a lovely clean and fresh product and the fragrance when dry is quite potent. It has a ...

Busaba, London 17/03/2009

Shall we Eathai tonight?

Busaba, London For most people being invited out for dinner is a real pleasure but for me being invited out for food is a bit of a nightmare. Don't get me wrong it's not the going with friends that causes me the problem - that is very much the best bit for me. But the food and where we eat is the nightmare. You see ever since I was told by a lovely doctor that I had to go on a fat free diet (which has now been scaled up to fat restricted - woohoo!) it is often difficult to find a restaurant that caters for such a diet. So when I go out I usually end up having salad without dressing or fillet steak, chicken or white fish/tuna/prawns, dry vegetables (no oil or butter) and pudding is pretty much out of the window unless they do fruit salad or sorbet. This might not be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that I have always been a bit of a foodie and an exotic foodie at that. One of my favourite cuisines has always been Thai. I love how fragrant the food is and I used to love cooking with coconut (for this reason I also used to love the Indian cooking from the region of Kerala). However, many thai restaurants in this country have a habit of combining these wonderful flavours with far too much oil and so I had to kiss goodbye to eating this food out. That was until a few weeks ago when my husband sent me a link for a restaurant called Busaba and said "This is where they want to take us - think you'll be ok?" Hesitantly I surveyed the menu. It actually didn't look too bad. ...

Nars Mascara 09/03/2009

It's mascara - just mascara

Nars Mascara For more years than I care to remember I have bought mascara. I've bought cheap mascara, expensive mascara, lengthening mascara, and thickening mascara but what I have never bought is the same mascara twice in a row. Actually that isn't quite true because I love coloured mascaras (i.e. any colour other than black or brown) and so if I find a colour I like I buy that over and over again until they discontinue it usually! However I always put coloured mascara over black or brown mascara to help intensify the colour and even then only on the tips. So it doesn't really matter to me if coloured mascara does what it says on the tin. But it does matter to me that a black or brown mascara does what it claims. And that is why I have never bought two of one brand twice in a row because frankly I have never found one that does what it claims to do (or at least not cause me a headache trying to get them to work properly). And another bug bear of mine is being able to find a mascara in the elusive brown/black colour which isn't too brown or too black. So my latest quest has been for a mascara that really claims to do nothing extraordinary. All I want is a mascara which adds colour to my lashes. I don't want longer lashes. I don't want thicker lashes. I don't want curlier lashes. I don't want a mascara with a fancy shaped and bristled brush or a fancy formula. And to be honest I thought I was never going to find it. So when I ran out of my last mascara I just bought the nearest mascara ...

Melinda And Melinda (DVD) 05/03/2009

Life is it's funny. I'm confused!

Melinda And Melinda (DVD) Before I start this is just a review of the film. I have always had mixed feelings about Woody Allen films. I hated them when I was younger. They seemed full of bumbling characters that I couldn't identify with. But as I've got older and I've watched his films more often I've realised that actually I just didn't understand the subjects that well and any mixed feelings that I still have is more because some of his films are a bit hit and miss. However, my husband is very much a fan and so whenever a Woody Allen film is on it is either recorded, we go and see it or it is added to our DVD list. And so for the first time the other evening I sat down to watch his 2004 film Melinda and Melinda. The premise of this film is simple. Set in Allen's beloved Manhatten four friends - two playwrights and their intellectual friends begin to discuss the following: Is life a tragedy or a comedy according to how you look at life? Are things really that bad or can you find something good in every situation? So the story begins. Well really it is two stories - one comic and one tragic. They overlap in themes and sometimes they use the same lines but they have different actors and slightly different stories but both have a common start - a woman arriving unannounced at a dinner party and the woman arriving at both parties is the lynch pin of the film, Melinda (played by Radha Mitchell). And as the stories unfold you are left to ponder which one ends up comedic and which one ends up tragic ...

Le Creuset Wok with Glass Lid 23/02/2009

Wok a wonderful thing

Le Creuset Wok with Glass Lid When I left home to go to university my Mum gave me something very special. It was her Le Creuset Volcanic (orange/red) cast iron casserole. She wanted me to have it for when I left home because it was given to her by her parents when she left home ie as part of her wedding present. I had always loved that casserole and hadn't realised (although I should have done as I can always remember it being around) that at that point it was 23 years old. So why the touching story? Well because this then started my love affair with all things Le Creuset. Unfortunately in my student days Le Creuset was out of my price range, in my singleton days there seemed little point in having anything other than my trusty casserole and when we got married we were bought a set of saucepans and pans and casserole dishes. There seemed little point in buying anything else and frankly we didn't have the room for anything else in our little kitchen. However that didn't stop me from drooling over the ever expanding range of Le Creuset products and picking up the odd bargain along the way. All of this changed though in October last year when we moved! Welcome to our larger kitchen with its lovely new gas hob and large double ringed wok burner. There was only product that was going to sit on that ring and that was the Le Creuset Wok with Glass Lid. However there was a plot afoot and every time I went to buy one in John Lewis or House of Fraser my husband would drag me away. I was getting annoyed at ...

Lush Reincarnate Shampoo Bar 14/02/2009

Can you reincarnate?

Lush Reincarnate Shampoo Bar One of the advantages of stumbling accidently into Lush shops is that they often give you little goodies to try. I love getting a bath bomb to try or a bit of soap but was a little disappointed a couple of months ago when a small slice of Lush Reincarnate Solid Shampoo was slipped into my bag. That makes me sound a bit ungrateful but I am very fussy about my hair care. I spend rather alot of money on my hair and my hair care bill is comparable and now I have come across a regime that suits me I am reluctant (understatement time here) to change what works so well for me. However I couldn't quite bring myself to throw it away mainly because the idea of a solid shampoo intrigued me. I just couldn't see how this would work but I will always try something once - I just wasn't sure when I would feel inclined to try it. So what led me to give in and try this product out? Well one of the advantages of having two showers is that when we're getting ready to go out we can have a shower at the same time (well you can do that with one but sometimes it isn't practical - or you don't have the time!). The disadvantage is that sometimes you don't take your products out after you and then when you need them (and this normally happens after you've got into the other shower), you realise they're not there and have a panic. But on this occasion I remembered that I had this sample in my Lush drawer so necessity or probably more accurately laziness and curiosity had me trying out this small ...

Lush Honey Bee Bath Bomb 12/02/2009

Honey Bee seeks cleaner

Lush Honey Bee Bath Bomb So my husband is returning from a business trip and I have a nice evening planned for his return. I've gone shopping and got some nice ingredients for dinner, bought some nice wine and accidently fallen into a Lush shop (as you do!). But for once in my Lush purchasing career I was very firm and told the assistant exactly what I was looking for. And this strategy worked because I only bought another 3 things that I wasn't after! But what I was after were some products which complemented the fragrance of Lush's Soft Coeur massage bar which my husband and I have been enjoying recently. And one of these products was a Honey Bee bath ballistic. I have to say that the fragrance was lovely. It had a toffee honey smell with citrus high notes. It was not so different from the Soft Coeur fragrance but less creamy, slightly more metallic and also had more of a floral note. It had a nice warming smell though and if this is translated onto the skin and into the bathroom then I really was in for a treat. Now I am not generally a lover of Lush's bath ballistics because they usually contain annoying bits of paper or dried flowers or worst of all, glitter. But not only did this one smell nice but not a bit of unwanted frippery in sight. The yellow ball with sandy brown swirls looked lovely - it also looked like it was in two halves. Potentially this was quite handy because I was told that I could break it in half easily. This was great because at £2.65 this is quite expensive for one ...

Secretary (DVD) 10/02/2009

Secretary wanted...but for what?

Secretary (DVD) Sometimes you can watch a film two or three times and not see it for what it really is and I must admit that Secretary is one of those. Directed by Steven Shainberg and based on the short story Bad Behaviour by Mary Gaitskill, my first reaction when I watched this film originally (I was still in my "I love James Spader" phase) was that it was just another strange kinky drama that James Spader seemed to specialise in at one time. And I had always viewed Maggie Gyllenhaal as an actress who played characters who were slightly odd. And given the sado-masochistic subject of the film I wasn't far wrong. In fact on the first watch I must admit I was quite disappointed by the film. It wasn't sexy, there wasn't enough naked James Spader and it wasn't even funny and for an erotic black comedy I would have expected it to be. But then last night I watched it again and have to say that having seen all the "erotic" bits once and discarded them as not worth watching again I actually started to see this film for what it really is - an unusual but touching exploration of two complex characters who are both on a journey to discover themselves and actually need each other to become fulfilled. It certainly isn't a conventional love story. It certainly isn't always comfortable watching but by the end of it you see that diversity really does make the world go round. The basis of the story is that Lee (Gyllenhaal) has just been released from the mental institution she attended for being a ...

Lush I Should Coco 04/02/2009

Coconutting on Ice

Lush I Should Coco I love eating coconut but in recent years having to control my fat intake has meant that it has put onto my "once in a blue moon and then you can only smell it" list. Which is most distressing when one of your favourite treats was going to the chocolatiers down the road to buy their chocolate covered and plain coconut ice selection. I miss it very much and so when I was in Lush just after Christmas my eye was immediately drawn to the huge slabs of soap where right in the middle was what looked like coconut ice. How dare Lush tease me with this inedible version of one of my favourite treats! However as hard as I tried to walk straight past it, my hand suddenly had a mind of its own (honest!) and reached and grabbed a small piece of this pink and white soap called I should Coco. I just wanted to smell it. In a way this was a mistake for two reasons. Firstly the fragrance stirred up memories of my lost treat and secondly it gave the assistant time to pounce on me. I expect you are all waiting for me to say "the fragrance was so much like coconut ice that I wanted to eat it". Well it smells of coconut and it has the distinct pink top graduating down to white appearance with pieces of desiccated coconut on top and throughout the soap so the appearance is that of coconut ice but the fragrance is far enough removed to make you not want to eat it. Coconut ice can smell sickly sweet but this had more of a warm and earthy scent which is a little bit sharper than coconut on its own. ...

Aveda Calming Body Cleanser 02/02/2009

Not as calming as it should be

Aveda Calming Body Cleanser So that you don't all become bored of my latest craze in review writing I thought I would return to an old favourite of mine. At Christmas I love getting nice bath products. To me having a nice long bath or shower is absolute heaven. One of the disadvantages of working from home is that you are at home all the time and sometimes you feel that you can't "escape" your surroundings. But an hour in the bath or a nice long hot shower takes me away from the routine of the house and work and is complete 'me' time. This year however I asked very nicely that I didn't get any more Sanctuary products and bless everyone they all came up trumps. One of the brands that I was least expecting (surprisingly considering how I love their hair care and hand cream) was a box set of Aveda bath and body products from my sister and one of the products in that box set was Aveda's Calming Body Cleanser. I was quite excited about this as Aveda's skincare was something I had thought about trying but I am so hung up on their hair care that it has always been bypassed as I head to get my shampoos and conditioners. This product uses aloe vera and witch hazel - two well known natural "soothers" - to purify and condition your skin whilst your mind is balanced and calmed by rose, vanilla and lavender. I have to say that the fragrance was very soothing. It has a warm, sweet fragrance which helps clear your mind and as with all Aveda "smells" it is quite earthy and it feels natural rather than being ...

Lush Nutts Massage Bar 01/02/2009

I wouldn't lose my Nutts over this one

Lush Nutts Massage Bar I have well and truly been sucked in by these Lush products. Upon nipping into a nearby store the other day to buy another Soft Coeur and see if there was an alternative to Buffy, I was met by quite a good offer. A £50 bag of goodies for £15. This is basically to get rid of the excess Christmas stock and box sets that they can't keep because of the limited shelf life of Lush products. The only thing is it is pretty much a lucky dip and you don't know until you get home what you've got. Thankfully for me I had picked a bag with quite a good selection of 15 products and one of these was a Nutts Massage Bar. This flat, pale yellowy cream oval shaped bar seemed quite ordinary and boring compared to my soft coeur and my mange tout (which I somehow managed to buy as well - expect a review!) and to be honest I was a little put off by the initial smell. But after my shower yesterday I thought well if it's a natural product I better use this one first so that it doesn't go off - the other two could wait. You see I have decided that these bars are best used as moisturisers. Yes if I get a massage out of them so much the better but in the weeks since I have been using these bars my skin has been lovely and radiant and I am saving on perfume and body spray! Now Nutts is so named because it is made from organic coconut butter which makes it melt quicker and is much smoother in texture. I can seen the reasoning behind this because coconut oil seems to heat quicker when I use it so ...

Lush Soft Coeur (The Honeymooner) Massage Bar 27/01/2009

I have a Soft Coeur

Lush Soft Coeur (The Honeymooner) Massage Bar Well it was Thursday night, I'd had a naff week and a 2 hour evening appointment with a customer so what else was a girl to do but try and get someone to rub her shoulders for her. Alas my husband was in the pub and I couldn't wait for him to come home so I had a nice long soak and raided my lovely box of Lush goodies that I had received for Christmas as I knew it contained a massage bar or two. I knew I couldn't give myself a massage in the traditional sense but it would make rubbing my shoulders easier. Of the two that were in my goodie box the one that attracted my attention was Soft Coeur - a lovely cream coloured heart shaped bar with what I first thought were rosebuds in (I know of Lush's penchant for putting dried flowers in their products are spending many hours scooping them out of the bath plug hole or worse still walking down the road and finding them in my hair!) but on closer inspection these blemishes were brown. I was intrigued. However I didn't have time to nip downstairs and nose on the Lush site to see what this was because the oils in the massage bar were melting already and releasing a glorious fragrance. I rubbed the bar onto my shoulders and the tops of my arms and then thought "oh this is a good moisturiser" and decided to carry on using the bar all over my body. The smell was just heavenly - very heady and quite powerful - it was really rich, very rounded with a slight sweet citrus note. It had a nutty almost butterscotch smell and if I wasn't ...

Lush Sexy Peel Soap 24/01/2009

Peel away for a sexier, happier you

Lush Sexy Peel Soap My Lush Christmas box is slowly becoming depleted. Yesterday I decided that I would give my Sexy Peel soap a try as I had run out of shower gel in the ensuite shower room and I would have had to go downstair to the other bathroom to get some more. Me...lazy? Well yes I am and it was too cold to go downstairs. So the first thing I noticed about this little piece of soap was that there was citrus peel on the outside - there was lemon and orange peel so it looked quite pretty. This also proved to be quite a gentle exfoliator. Now what I wasn't sure about was did this peel go all the way through the bar or was it just on the top. Please bear in mind that this was a round gift pack soap that I had and not a bar. The bars appear to have one side "peeled" and the other side as more of a traditional soap. This makes sense as you can exfoliate one side and then soap the other. This didn't work out quite so well with this little round soap. So the first thing I noticed was that there was very little fragrance coming off the soap. It had promised me a revitalising citrus burst but instead the fragrance I initially got was a faint lemon smell. I was at this point most disappointed because I love citrus and lemon fragranced beauty products. My favourite of all time was Laura Mercier's Tarte au Citron fragrance which they no longer make unfortunately and so all products with a similar smell will always be held up to that. And this Sexy Peel was not measuring up well. However as a ...

Lush Buffy the Backside Slayer 24/01/2009

I couldn't give a Buff!

Lush Buffy the Backside Slayer Well Christmas has come and gone and I am left with a mountain of toiletries to use. Am I complaining? Of course not....I love using new products (especially if it gives me a chance to review it!) and I was extremely excited on Christmas day when I opened one of my presents from my husband to see that for once he had actually listened to me. Oh sorry you want me to write some more....I was still basking in the glory of my husband listening to me! I made the mistake a few years ago of saying I like the Sanctuary ranges of body care and ever since that is all anyone ever buys me. But this year I categorically said "No Sanctuary" and bless my husband he wanders into a Lush store and buys me loads of goodies. How happy was I? And how happy was I when I found that one of these products was one that I had often considered purchasing after reading reviews but never quite gotten round to it? Well I was over the moon when I saw a little bar of Buffy (formerly known as Buffy the Backside Slayer until Warner Bros asked Lush to not call it that anymore due to the similarity to the title of a certain US TV show!). So why the excitement? Well for many years I have tried all sorts of old wives remedies and expensive remedies for trying to get rid of the dreaded cellulite and in my case losing 7 stone has made things worse because it meant I lost skin tone as well. So I suffer from dry skin which needs smoothing and firming constantly and yet being a sensitive soul many products are too ...
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