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After a long break from reviewing, I am dipping my toe in the reviewing pond once more.

Reviews written

since 05/03/2005


Ancient Egypt 16/09/2017

Walk like an Egyptian

Ancient Egypt Review of Ancient Egypt an ‘Eyewitness’ book for children I purchased this book some six years ago for my oldest grandchild who was obsessed by all things Egypt at that time. She was 11 at the time. The book has been well used by her and it ended up back at my house and in the toy box where it has remained until recently when her younger sister, aged 10, re-discovered the book. The Book This book is a large paperback; it has an image of Tutankhamun’s famous death mask on the front. It originally had a beautifully detailed and coloured wall chart and I believe of CD included, these are unfortunately long gone, but even without them; the book is a fascinating insight into the Ancient Egyptian culture. The book originally cost in the region of £7 new and it is still available from eBay for £2-£3 new and from amazon for £6.25 new or from 0.01p used. The book is aimed at children from the age to 9 to 14 years, it has 72 pages and should anyone wish to track it down the ISBN no is 1405368314 and it was published by Dorling Kindersley in their ‘Eyewitness’ range of education books for youngsters. The ‘Eyewitness’ range covers many different topics, Ancient Rome, The Victorian era, World War 1, World War 2, Flight, Fossils, Volcanos and Earthquakes and The Human Body, to name but a few. Content The book explores Ancient Egypt, the Egyptian civilisation, the cultures, and lifestyles and shows the reader how ordinary Egyptians and Pharaohs lived. The section regarding the ...

Olay Anti Wrinkle Eye Gel 12/09/2017

Eyes Right!

Olay Anti Wrinkle Eye Gel Review of Olay Anti-Wrinkle Eye Gel I started using this product a few weeks ago and have been pleased with the results, so felt a review was in order. The Product Olay Anti-Wrinkle Eye Gel is part of the Olay range of products designed for helping improve the texture and appearance of aging skin, namely the dreaded wrinkles. The gel is presented in a cardboard box and within is a small screw topped container which holds 15ml of Olay eye gel. Instructions for use, hazards and warnings, results users can expect and ingredients are listed on the reverse of the box. The advised usage is to massage a small amount around the eye area and smooth in until thoroughly absorbed. The hazards and warnings are very simple ones, not to ingest the product, not to get it into the actual eye and to rinse with plenty of clean water should you inadvertently do so.. We are advised that this product is to be used on the delicate skin in the eye area, where it provides intense hydration to help visibly smoothen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye contour, re-energize tired looking skin and to diminish the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. Olay also advise that the Olay anti-wrinkle eye gel is designed to combat signs of ageing and will visibly reduce the signs of ageing in just 14 days by minimising fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. Sounds good, but does the product live up to the hype? My Experience As a lady aged in her late 50’s, with a ...

T-Nuts 08/06/2017

T-Nuts for Peanuts!

T-Nuts Review of T-Nuts DIY is not my favourite pastime but at the moment needs must. My partner and I are in the process of refurbishing our 1930’s bungalow and in order to keep the costs down are doing much of the work ourselves. A recent disaster befell us. The bedroom ceiling collapsed! Our builder friend advised us that there was a weakness due to historic damage. The bungalow was built in 1933 and was subject to bomb damage during the 2nd World War. This is unsurprising really as the area that we live in overlooks the English Channel and was known as Hell Fire Corner during the war years. However, I digress! The ceiling collapsed directly over our bed; thank goodness we were not in it at the time… earth moving jokes please! We had to rescue our bed from beneath a layer of plaster, debris and dust. In my eagerness to save my (newish) headboard, a black faux leather jobbie studded with diamante (yes I know, naff and blingy, but I like it!) I pulled the headboard rather too roughly and managed to damage the fixings. Once the drama was over and everyone had calmed down, my other half examined the headboard and said he was sure it could be repaired as it was only the wooden struts that had been damaged, however the actual fixings were buckled so needed replacing. Our builder friend suggested using T nuts to strengthen the struts. I had never heard of them and a quick look at T-nuts on line plus a visit to Screwfix, rectified my ignorance! Please note this review will ...

Pilot Snapclick Ballpoint Pen Retractable 02/06/2017

Snapclick Does The Trick

Pilot Snapclick Ballpoint Pen Retractable Review of Pilot Snapclick Retractable Ballpoint Pen A pen is one of those things that we tend to take for granted. Like many households we have a ‘pen pot’ in our home, where pens seem to mysteriously appear and disappear with extreme regularity. It always seems that when I want a pen however, there are only the dregs left in the pot, you know, the ones that have dried up, gone ‘blobby’ or are in some other way less than useable! After a fraught search for a decent pen to write a birthday card with just after Christmas, I decided to deal with the pen pot as a New Year resolution and I threw away a fist full of useless writing implements and vowed to buy some decent pens. A few of these Pilot pens found their way into an Amazon order I was making. The Pen As the name implies, this pen is a ball point pen. The pen has an easy to grip barrel with an ergonomic rubber grip. This is an excellent addition to an otherwise fairly bog standard pen, it really does make for pretty good writing comfort. Another feature of these pens is the clip. Now I use these pens mainly for personal use although I have used them on occasions when taking notes during a meeting at work. For personal use the clip is pretty much redundant, but it is in the work environment where this cleverly designed clip comes into its own. It is an over-sized, auto-retracting pocket clip to which allows easy fitting to book covers, folders, pockets, belts etc. The clip operates with a satisfying click, the clip ...

Natural World Coconut Water Hydration and Shine Hair Shampoo 29/05/2017

My Hairy Coconut Saga

Natural World Coconut Water Hydration and Shine Hair Shampoo Review of Natural World Coconut Water Hydration and Shine Hair Shampoo I bought this shampoo as a little treat for myself. I had a few pounds left on an Amazon gift card so blew £5 (ish) on a nice shampoo. Being a bit of a sucker for anything smelling of or tasting of coconut, a product with coconut water in the description sounded right up my street. So was it a treat or was it a waste? The Shampoo The shampoo is Paraben free, something I look for in products of this type. It is certified as being made with natural coconuts. The shampoo is presented in a tall, slim plastic bottle with a flip up lid that reveals the dispensing hole. The label is very ‘busy’ with all the product details in black font against the pale green background. The bottle contains 500ml of creamy white shampoo which is produced in Soho, London. The back of the bottle has a similarly busy label which gives directions for use, the usual warnings such as to keep out of the reach of children, what to do if the product gets in your eyes and the 12m symbol which means the product should be used up within 12 months of opening. This shampoo is designed to be gentle enough for daily use; the blurb assures us that it helps restore softness and a silky healthy feel to de-hydrated and dull-looking hair. So far, so good. The product description also promises to produce a rich and creamy lather which gently cleanses the hair. A conditioner and weightless hair oil are also available in this range, but I have ...

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24h Foundation 27/12/2016

Made My Wrinkles Twinkle

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24h Foundation Review of Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24hr Foundation The Product Lancôme is a well-known cosmetic brand and their products are available in stores or on line. I was fortunate enough to be selected to trial this Lancôme foundation. The company wanted a range of people of different ages, skin types and skin tone to try the make-up and report back their findings. Before I received my trial foundation I was asked a series of questions about my skin, my age, how easily I tan, my skin tone and texture and so on. I was sent a 15ml bottle of the foundation through the post to try. My sample arrived very well packaged and the shade Lancôme selected for me was no 6 in the range of 19 different shades. The foundation was presented in a tall, slim glass bottle with a screw topped cap. The cap incorporated a plastic spatula type implement for applying the foundation. I did not find this particularly easy or effective to use, so abandoned it in favour of a cosmetic sponge! The advertising blurb that came with my trial pack stated that the foundation should be applied to well-nourished skin and is designed to give a flawless matt finish to the skin which is durable for up to 24 hours without the need to touch up. It has a SPF15. So did it live up to Lancôme’s claims? My Experience As mentioned above, I used a cosmetic sponge to apply the foundation to clean, moisturised skin. The foundation is a thick liquid type of make-up and it went on easily enough, but I found it dried very ...

Ecover Non Biological Laundry Liquid 11/10/2016

Sorry Ecover you just did not live up to expectation.

Ecover Non Biological Laundry Liquid Review of Ecover Non-Biological Automatic Clothes Washing Liquid Ecover is popular ‘eco-friendly’ range of products made from a combination of plant extracts. The company produce a wide range of enviromentally friendly household products. I was familiar with the brand but had not used them regularly, however, this was on offer in my local Sainsbury’s supermarket and as I am not loyal to any particular brand, the magic word ‘reduced’ is enough to get me to try a product! The Washing Liquid This laundry liquid is biodegradable and not tested on animals. It comes in a white-ish cloudy plastic bottle with a blue coloured top. I paid in the region of £2.50 for a 1.5L bottle. All instructions for use and warnings can be found on the reverse of the packaging. The washing liquid is unscented, so of course does not carry any particular scent; it just smells mildly soapy. The packaging advises that the product is suitable for sensitive skin having been dermatologically tested and approved by Allergy UK.. Ecover state that the washing liquid is tough on stains, even at low temperatures This size, 1.5 litres) should be sufficient for 17 washing machine loads. I usually wash our laundry at 30 degrees, 40 for heavier soiling. Being a mature couple with no children, our laundry is not particularly grubby or food stained, so I rarely need to pre-wash, soak or otherwise treat the laundry. I followed the dosage directions of a capfull in the detergent dispensing drawer and set the ...

Crabtree&Evelyn Gardeners Liquid Soap 10/10/2016

Cleaning up those green fingers!

Crabtree&Evelyn Gardeners Liquid Soap Evelyn and Crabtree Gardeners Hand Soap My partner was given this hand soap as a gift sometime ago; it has languished at the back of the bathroom cupboard until recently. He does do a lot of gardening but tends to clean his hands with whatever soap we have to hand. A special soap for use after gardening does seem a little extravagant to him I suppose! The Soap This product is liquid hand soap. It is presented in an attractive cream coloured pump dispenser bottle containing 300ml of the hand wash. The pump mechanism is easy to use and there have been no issues with the pump becoming clogged up or blocked as is so often the case with liquid hand washes. All company details and ingredients are listed on the bottle. The soap is produced using naturally deodorising ingredients such as sage, rosemary, alfalfa, carrot and cucumber keeps hands supple and soft. The soap is designed to thoroughly cleanse the hands and leave them soft and clean after gardening. The soap is very effective; it cleanses even the grubbiest of hands and has a superb, natural, herbal scent. Grass stains, compost and other garden grime are removed quickly and efficiently. It is an extremely good liquid soap and I have used it myself in the kitchen after chopping pungent vegetables such as onions, as it really does remove odours from the skin. I do find it somewhat drying to the skin however my other half has had no such issues. The Company **Crabtree & Evelyn were founded over 40 years ago by Cyrus ...

Yankee Candle Spiced Orange Sampler Votive 08/09/2016

Smells good enough to eat!

Yankee Candle Spiced Orange Sampler Votive PLEASE NOTE.....BEFORE READERS RATE MY REVIEW AS 'OFF TOPIC' CIAO DECLINED MY NEW PRODUCT REQUEST AND EMAILED ME THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS ****Thank you very much for your product suggestion Yankee Candle Pain au Raisin votive. Unfortunately, we were unable to accept this suggestion because: The product which you have proposed already exists in the Ciao catalogue, perhaps under another flavour. We unfortunately do not distinguish between cosmetic differences. Please add your review to an existing product even if the flavour is different.**** So the reason for listing my review in a different scented category now established, on to my review! Review of Yankee Candle Pain au Raisin This Yankee Candle Votive was received as part of a Christmas gift. I have had this particular fragrance previously in the form of a Yankee fragrance wax tart and in a small jar, so I was familiar with the scent. I would imagine most people will have heard of, if not tried Yankee Candles. This popular brand of scented candle originated from America and they have become a market leader in the UK too. The Votive Yankee candles come in various types, wax melts or ‘tarts’, votives, small, medium and large jar, plus other formats such as Car Jar, air fresheners especially for vehicles. The product I am reviewing here is the votive style, a squat stubby candle. Votives represent good value for money in my opinion as they give a good 12-14 hours of fragrant burning time. The cost is dependent on ...

Crabtree & Evelyn Evelyn Rose Eau de Toilette 27/01/2016

A Rose Named Evelyn

Crabtree & Evelyn Evelyn Rose Eau de Toilette Review of Crabtree & Evelyn Evelyn Rose Eau de Toilette I love receiving fragrance based gifts and trying out new products. I particularly enjoy traditional scents so was delighted to be offered a gift set by my good friend and neighbour, Olivia. She had received a Crabtree & Evelyn set at Christmas but as she does not really use this type of product she kindly re-gifted it to me knowing my penchant for all things scented! The gift set was clearly handmade and my friend kept the pretty basket the products were displayed in and gave me the Eau de toilette, hand cream and shower gel. Her loss, my gain! The Product The Eau de Toilette is prettily packaged in a white box, ended with silver and it bears a picture of a full blown pale pink rose. It is very feminine and ‘girly’. This is different form the image Ciao have provided. The actual scent bottle is vaguely rectangular, made of clear glass with a silver lid covering the spray mechanism. My bottle contains 100ml of fragrance. The fragrance is a delicate pale pink in colour and I do like the fact that the bottle is clear as you can see just how much fragrance you have used. The blurb on the back of the box tell readers that the **Evelyn Rose fragrance is a unique scent, the essence of a singular rose created especially for Crabtree & Evelyn by renowned English rose expert David Austin. The resulting bloom, named 'Evelyn', was eight years in the making, and is the triumphant result of over 30,000 unsuccessful ...

Cherry Active 30 Capsules 24/01/2016

Cherry Ripe!

Cherry Active 30 Capsules Review of Cherry Active Capsules The Product and Why I Bought it I have Osteoarthritis in my knees, as many readers will know this is a painful condition which can flare up causing swelling, discomfort and a horrible feeling of heat within the joint. I am lucky to be affected only quite mildly at this point in my life and that is the way I would like things to stay! My brother-in-law, who is a herbalist and homeopathic practitioner, recommended I try Cherry Extract alongside my regular painkillers to try to reduce the pain and support my immune system at the same time. I prefer to take traditional medicines sparingly, of course there are times when I do resort to my prescribed medication, but I was interested to try a more natural remedy along with my heat packs and aromatherapy rubs. With my brother-in-law’s advice in mind, I set about researching Cherry Extract. My searches lead me to various websites and I weighed up the various products on offer before plumping for these made by Cherry Active. I obtained my supplement from Amazon and they cost me around £8 for a one month supply of 30 capsules. I have since re-purchased and am now on my third bottle. The Amazon page states- **Montmorency cherry is a variety of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) and scientific research has shown that it is a rich source of anthocyanins and revealed their strong antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties. Used by many sports people to support rapid recovery, reduce soreness, ...

N-Spa Shea Body Butter 17/01/2016

Butter Me Up With N-Spa

N-Spa Shea Body Butter Review of N-SPA Shea Butter Body Butter I was lucky enough to receive an N-Spa Shea Butter hamper for Christmas and I am thoroughly enjoying trying out the products, especially as we have just had a new bathroom installed in our home and the novelty of having a bath after 15 years of just a shower cubicle is yet to wear off! This review focusses on the body butter. The Product N-Spa Shea Butter Body Butter is presented in a round screw topped container which holds 200ml of the product. The body butter is a rich cream colour and the texture is a little firmer than other body butters that I have used. It is a silky, fairly dense cream which melts with the heat of your body as you massage it into your skin. The scent is lovely, fresh and clean smelling with a warm musky undertone. I use this after a bath or shower for skin moisturing and have been very pleased with the results so far. The body butter absorbs into the skin quickly and easily leaving no sticky trace or particles. I find I can dress pretty quickly after using this product whereas some body lotions entail waiting around for the product to dry off. N-Spa Shea Butter Body Butter leaves my skin feeling smooth, supple and delicately scented. As I have several other products in the range it is great for layering the scent. As this product as it was a gift, I did not know the retail price, but a quick consultation with the ‘Wizard Google’ as the search engine is known in our house, I found that this costs around £3 ...

Listerine Stay White Antibacterial Mouthwash 17/01/2016

Teeth As White As The Arctic?

Listerine Stay White Antibacterial Mouthwash Review of Listerine Stay White Anti Bacterial Mouthwash Listerine is a well-known name in the field of mouthwash and although as a rule I buy another brand, this particular mouthwash found its way into my shopping trolley as I happened to have a £1 off voucher to use. The Product The mouthwash is a pretty vivid blue colour and it is presented in a user friendly, clear plastic bottle. The screw cap also doubles as a measuring device. The packaging is smart and business like as you might expect from this type of product and the bottle contains 500ml of mouthwash. Full instructions for use are provided on the reverse of the label. The front label entices you in with its promises to assist in helping reduce tartar, keeping teeth white and the anti-bacterial properties. The flavour is called ‘Arctic White’ which to me conjured up visions of snowy white teeth and a fresh feeling. This product should be used twice daily but not by children under the age of 12. I suspect this is as it probably has high alcohol content. The company state the five main benefits of using Listerine Stay White are as follows 1. Kill germs Kills up to 97% of germs left behind after brushing. 2. Reduce plaque Reduces plaque by up to 56% more than brushing alone. 3. Keep your breath fresh Provides up to 24 hours of fresh breath protection. 4. Maintain healthy gums Kills germs above and below the gum line to keep gums healthy. 5. Keep teeth white Helps prevent tartar build up to help keep teeth ...

Yankee Candle Snowflake Cookie Sampler 03/01/2016

Scented Snowflakes!

Yankee Candle Snowflake Cookie Sampler Review of Yankee Candle Snowflake Cookie I received this particular Yankee Candle in Votive form as part of a Christmas gift. It was not a Yankee fragrance I had come across before so I was interested to see if it lived up to my firm favourites. I think most people will have heard of, if not tried Yankee Candles. They are a popular brand originating from America and they seem to have captured a niche in the world of scented candles. The Votive The candle is, as mentioned the votive type and generally these are pretty good value for money in my opinion, as they give around 12-14 hours of fragrant burning time. The cost is dependent on where you buy them, but I would say the average cost of a Yankee Votive candle is in the region of £1.50-£2.00. Being a bit of a cheapskate, I tend to buy mine at a Yankee Candle clearance shop located in a designer outlet fairly near me! Of course, with this particular votive being a gift I have no idea where it was purchased or for how much. The colour is a delicate shade of pale pink and the outer label is decorated with a pretty image of snowflake shaped, sugar iced cookies. It is a very feminine looking candle and I was pleased to receive this votive along with several others in the Yankee range in the gift basket my friend made for me. The scent of Snowflake Cookie is a sweet, sugary fragrance and I am certain it is vanilla based one. I am particularly fond of vanilla fragrances both on myself and around my home. The scent is ...

Wizz Multi Action Bathroom Cleaner 28/11/2015

Wizz was a bit of a Swizz

Wizz Multi Action Bathroom Cleaner Review of Wizz Multi Action Bathroom Cleaner The Product I bought this cleaner on impulse when in my local branch of a well- known discount store. I had used other items from the range and been pleased with them, so felt it was worth spending 99p on this bathroom cleaner. The product is presented in a trigger action spray bottle. This is recyclable and the bottle holds 750ml of green coloured liquid. Wizz state that this product is designed to help remove lime scale, soap deposits and built up dirt and stains. The spray is mildly germicidal and is for use for use on baths, wash basins, taps and shower heads. In Use The product should be sprayed on the surface you wish to clean, wiped and rinsed off. I suppose it worked after a fashion, but it is very watery and needs a bit of elbow grease to cut through anything but the lightest of grime. I did not notice any particular efficiency in removing lime scale, something which is a real problem in my hard water area. The spray mechanism was not the best I've come across, it leaked and quite a bit if the cleaner was wasted as it dripped down the side of the spray. The biggest drawback in my opinion is the smell of this product; to be frank it is vile! The scent is an overpoweringly chemical aroma. It is unpleasant and unacceptable. I do not expect to have to open the bathroom window after using a bathroom cleaner in order to clear the smell! On the plus side the product did not irritate my skin at all and it rinsed off ...
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