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candzjay

candzjay

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Crazy South African, lover of all animals and mom to 4 boy cats! Thanks for all reads and ratings - looking forward to reading your reviews after my long break! :)

Reviews written

since 24/09/2010

44

Crocodile Creek, Ballito 21/01/2012

No need to snap ;)

Crocodile Creek, Ballito The review below is a very long account of my personal experience at Crocodile Creek – enjoy! I have lots of pictures to add but I'm having problems doing so. More information can be found on their website: http://www.crocodilecreek.net/ About Crocodile Creek The park was founded in 1983, and has the largest collection of crocodiles/alligators in Africa – over 7,000 Nile crocs, alligators, and slender snouted and dwarf crocs. They range from 30cm hatchlings, to 600kg in size (Hannibal). The park is also home to a select few snakes and a few adorable monkeys. The park is located about 40 minutes from Durban, or 10 minutes from Ballito. The road leading to the park is a pretty intense dirt road – drive carefully! They have 5 tours daily, ranging from 10:30 to 15:30. There are feeding times at 10:30 and 14:30 daily – excluding the winter months. More information regarding school tours, corporate events etc, can all be found on their website, listed above. There are also some great pictures on their site, which you can use as visual aids to this review. I don’t remember how much the entry cost us, but it was reasonable. The history of crocodile farms I did a little research, and this is the info I came across: Crocs have been bred since around the early 20th century – although the earlier farms were only really tourist attractions. The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, from 1893, is a classic example when doing research. Commercial operations only began in the 1960’s. ...

Weight Watchers 19/01/2012

Still a work in progress

Weight Watchers What is Weightwatchers?Weight Watchers is a really big company, and they’ve been around since about 1963. They operate in around 30 countries, and are meant to be one of the most successful plans in the world – I’ll let you know if I agree in a few months! Unlike other fad diets, Weight Watchers isn’t about cutting out food groups or starving yourself – it teaches you how to form good eating habits. The awesome part – no food is off limits! So yes – you can still eat chocolate!! I really needed something that allowed me to still eat - I love food too much to give it all up. My journey so farI joined Weight Watchers in January this year (2011) , along with my mother-in-law and husband. I tried following the programme a few years ago but failed dismally after I had no support from anyone in the house (I was living with the hubby and his folks). After putting on 35-40 kgs (around 80 pounds!!) since having to stop sport, I became really unhappy... I tried different diets, and I would lose a bit of weight before falling off the rails again and putting it all back on, plus some. The more weight I would put on, the less motivation I had to try again. My mother in law has also battled with her weight for years, and she finally suggested that we join together! We have never really got along, as I’m sure is normal in most people’s marriages when they’ve only been together for a few short years – so when she suggested this I jumped on the opportunity. My hubby decided to join to support ...

Slimming World 16/01/2012

Not a diet, a change in lifestyle!

Slimming World ***Why did I join Slimming World?*** I joined Slimming World in June 2011 after trying and failing at Weightwatchers – I’m not saying that Weightwatchers doesn’t work; it’s just not the right plan for me. I had found myself feeling too hungry all the time, and always had to exclude myself from nights out and team lunches at work, and even sticking to the plan 110%, I still gained weight. I found the whole thing really demotivating, so stopped going. A few weeks after leaving Weight Watchers, a friend of mine suggested Slimming World – the line that got me hooked: “you can eat as much as you want of certain types of food, and still lose weight”!! I’m a big fan of eating and not living on lettuce leaves so figured I had nothing to lose but my excess weight (all 4 and a half stones of it!!!) I went onto their website www.slimmingworld.com, and searched for a group in my area. I called the local consultant to get an idea of what to expect, cost etc. I was reassured that I could sit through the first meeting for free, I would have the plan explained to me, and I could then decide at the end if I wanted to join. I managed to convince my hubby to join me – I’m VERY nervous when it comes to meeting new people alone. ***How was the first meeting?*** We popped into our local group 2 days later, showing up about 15 minutes early so we could meet the consultant before getting started. Pauline was the most bubbly person you could imagine! She assured me that I ...

Babyliss Big Hair 30/12/2011

Even tomboy proof!!!

Babyliss Big Hair Why the Babyliss Big Hair Styler? I’ve been a “tomboy” all my life, and over the last few years, I’ve slowly started to become more feminine – now all of a sudden my nails and hair are a big deal!! As you can imagine, I never asked my mom to teach me how to do my hair, and it’s not something I would be inclined to discuss with other girls... which makes learning to style your hair a little complicated :) My current hair routine – wash, dry and up in a pony tail! I’ve tried a GHD, a barrel wave styler thing, rollers, a wand etc – the easiest to use is the GHD but it still leaves my hair feeling flat and it has virtually no body... I also hate having to fully dry my hair before using it. I don’t like piling products into my hair and I really hate burning myself with different appliances. I needed something easy to use and fool proof. Enter the Babyliss Big Hair Styler – a gift from my hubby for Christmas this year. I had originally seen this on the Boots website and the reviews looked good, so I hopped onto YouTube to see some actual results... I was IMPRESSED! All it took was some pleading puppy-style eyes and hubby agreed to get it for me :) Turns out the hubby got mine from Argos for £34,99 – on sale! It’s regular price at Argos is £45,99. If I think about it, the price is 110% worth it – I can get salon quality hair at home in about 20 minutes, I don’t need to use any extra products and I don’t waste time drying my hair before straightening. On to ...

groupon.co.uk 08/02/2011

Amazing deals everyday!

groupon.co.uk This site is AMAZING! At first I was a little sceptical, but I've bought a few of their "deal of the day" vouchers and have had brilliant experiences so far. A few unique deals are shown on their website (www.groupon.co.uk) daily, divided up by city... and if you're a subscriber, like I am, you get emails everyday telling you about the deal for the day. This site isn’t only available in the UK – it’s spreading throughout the world! I've bought a national teeth whitening deal - a home gel kit for £19 instead of £99! Very much worth the money and it gave me the chance to try something I was apprehensive about before because the price was so low compared to normal prices... think I'll be doing it again, even at full price! All the unique offers make it easier for hubby and me to explore London for a change – without breaking the bank, which makes a really awesome change. Some background Groupon has only been around since 2008, and started off in the USA. Created by Andrew Mason, and they featured in Forbes magazine in August 2010 - this is what originally got my attention. I ended up having to research them for a project at my old job. They're supposedly the fastest growing company in the world! See: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0830/entrepreneurs-groupon-facebook-twitter-next-web-phenom.html. Pretty impressive work for a 29 year old! To make a long story short- Groupon is a group buying website. They negotiate amazing discounts with businesses and present ...

Step Up 3 (DVD) 22/12/2010

Born from a boombox...

Step Up 3 (DVD) I must admit, that after watching Step Up 2, this film was a HUGE disappointment. This is the third installment in the Step Up trilogy and - in my opinion - the worst of the three! This installment is written by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer and directed by Jon Chu (who also directed number 2 by the way). We see the return of 2 old characters - Moose (played by Adam Sevani) and Camille Gage (played by Alystom Stoner) from Step Up 2 and 1 respectively. The storyline kind of felt predictable - Moose and Camille head off to university in New York. Moose is meant to be studying electrical engineering after promising his mom he won't dance anymore - why in all of these movies are these poor people being forced to give up what they love?! It seems that he's having to choose between his passion and the safe option of a solid education - a dilemna many of us either have or will face at some stage of our lives. As usual, Moose is drawn into dancing when he literally stumbles into a dance battle, and needs to be saved by Luke and his dance crew - The Pirates. Moose finally decides to break his promise to his mother, and joins the dance crew in the hopes of winning the World Jam dance contest - competing against their rivals, the House of Samurai crew. The Pirates have a lot to contend with, including their home being threatened, and deceipt and betrayal from an unexpected source. Jacob (played by Keith Stallworth) from the Pirates lets Luke know that the rent is overdue and ...

Weetabix Chocolate 14/12/2010

Give me back the original weetabix!

Weetabix Chocolate I used to HATE eating breakfast – I just wasn’t hungry when I woke up in the mornings. Eventually I learnt to develop a routine and now I can’t cope without eating breakfast in the morning. I never eat anything particularly special – except on Saturday mornings when hubby treats us with bacon, eggs, mushrooms and toast. We usually have weetabix or coco pops, and in winter I sometimes order some oats with chocolate chips from back home (oats here don’t quite taste like the ones from back home for some reason). We occasionally try a new cereal every few months when we get bored, but we always revert to the usual after a while. We always watch TV in the mornings while we eat – mostly to block out the incessant shouting from the lady next door. One morning, as I was nagging the hubby about how much sugar he POURS onto his weetabix, we saw the advertisement for chocolate weetabix. You can watch this at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY1j5Ultpq8. We figured this may be an option to decrease the sugar consumption in our house. That week, while doing the monthly shop, we grabbed a box off the shelf. You can get a box of 24 biscuits for around £2, 00 from Sainsbury’s – so about 22p more than a box of original weetabix. The box looks very similar to the old yellow and brown box, but still being advertised as new. As with the old box, the biscuits are contained in plastic, which keeps the rest fresh once it’s been opened. Ingredients: wholegrain wheat, sugar, plain ...

Lanacane Anti Chafing Gel 09/12/2010

Finally some relief!

Lanacane Anti Chafing Gel Anyone remember the really cheesy ad on TV with all the balloon people walking around to represent chafe? Well... this was the ad for Lanacane anti-chafing gel – god-awful dancing included! (Ad can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9LH0nYoqrs) As terrible as the ad was, I had to have some. I’ve been battling with my weight for the last 3 years, and it finally got to a point where my 1 mile walk home from the tube station would leave me in agony – especially during summer. The heat builds up, you start to sweat a little and your clothing ends up clinging to and rubbing on your skin. At the end of every day I would arrive home in so much pain I wanted to cry, and my inner thighs would be rubbed raw, with horrible welts that took days to go away. After this, do you think I would exercise?! Hell no! Something had to be done. What causes friction? This happens when your skin is rubbed repeatedly – either by more skin or clothing (rug burn anyone?!). Friction without lubrication is BAD – as I’m sure most of you know. You can get chafe doing anything – sports, walking, swimming etc. What does Lanacane do? It basically creates a protective barrier for your skin. You apply a little dab of it in the appropriate area and gently rub it on the area – it dries to a silky finish. What I loved about this is that it’s see-thru and isn’t sticky at all – which is what I was dreading. It also seemed to relieve the chaffing I had already, instead of ...

Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3 (Wii) 30/11/2010

Taking the revolution to another level!

Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3 (Wii) I used to play earlier versions of Dance Dance Revolution in the arcade back home, but was usually too embarrassed to go full out and enjoy myself, so when I saw this for the wii I HAD to have it! I’m pretty reluctant when it comes to exercise – I don’t like sweating – so dancing is the best way for me to have fun and get fit (there are plenty of weight loss success stories from people who’ve lost weight thanks to DDR). The package I bought came with the game itself and a dance mat, and cost me around £40 from HMV... a bit pricey! You can buy the game alone for around £23 from Argos, or £39,99 with a dance mat from play.com, so the price hasn’t dropped since I bought it nearly a year ago – I would still pay full price though! When I compared this to number 2 of the series, it won hands down! The songs are much more up to date and I really enjoyed that aspect of it, as well as the additional features. In terms of exercise, I would rate this as being on par with things like wii fit and wii sports. I can easily do 30 minutes of sustained cardio with DDR, whereas other forms of exercise can be tedious and boring, with DDR I don’t even consider it exercise! Features There are a few new modes in this game that I love! DDR School This is ideal for beginners and I still wonder why they didn’t include this in earlier versions of the game. This teaches you how to play the game, as well as get used to the timing of the arrows – your timing drastically affects your ...

The Tale of Desperaux (DVD) 25/11/2010

Try not to fall asleep...

The Tale of Desperaux (DVD) The story The Tale of Desperaux is an animated film, directed by Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen. It’s meant to be based on the book by Kate DiCamillo, but doesn’t really follow much of one book – as there are 4 of them! Sigourney Weaver plays the narrator, with the 2 main voices being played by Matthew Broderick and Emma Watson. The film starts off with a big ship sailing towards the kingdom of Dor – specifically known for its Royal Soup Day – a huge pot of original soup is brewed by their best chef once a year. On the ship is a rat called Roscuro – played by Dustin Hoffman – and his human companion Pietro. Roscuro, being the rat he is, can’t help but follow his furry nose to find the soup! He makes his way into the kitchen at the castle, and is practically chased into the Queen’s soup... she gets such a fright she promptly has a heart attack and drowns in her bowl of soup, after taking only 1 sip. The chase continues, and Roscuro escapes only by falling into a vent and falling into the dungeons below, where he eventually meets Botticelli (voice played by Ciaran Hinds), who leads an evil rat pack below ground. The King – being the ninny he is – is so overcome with grief that he declares that soup is now forbidden and all the rats in the Kingdom are banished – can you say over-reaction?! This results in a chain reaction, leaving the town in a state, with no soup to look forward to and somehow making the world dark and sad... We skip a few years forward and ...

Zombieland (DVD) 17/11/2010

It's time to nut up or shut up!

Zombieland (DVD) I originally saw this in cinema and was disappointed when it took so long to be released to DVD - this film is the same kind of genre as Shaun of the Dead... but better. It's a zombie comedy film, directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Storyline: It's been 2 months since someone got infected by a mutated strain of mad cow disease that turned nearly everyone into zombies. The first to go were the "fatties", as explained by Jesse Eisenbergs' character, who has survived only by developing a unique set of rules to follow. Jesse plays "Columbus", a nerdy college student on his way to Columbus in Ohio to see if his family are possibly still alive. He first encounters an infected person when his smoking hot female neighbour shows up at his front door unexpectedly, screaming for help. She claims she was chased by a crazy homeless man, who tried to bite her. "Columbus" gives her something to drink, and she settles down for a quick nap. He later awakes, to find the smoking hot neighbour isn't so hot anymore, and has to either fight for his life or let her eat him! The whole situation just reaffirms his distrust of the human race. I think the reason Columbus survived so long is because, as he states, he has always treated other people like zombies, even before they actually became zombies. Columbus sets off, and loses his car in a zombie encounter... this is when he meets "Tallahassee", played by Woody Harrelson. ...

I Am Legend (DVD) 14/11/2010

One to watch!

I Am Legend (DVD) I'm a self confessed vampire and zombie film lover, and that's a serious understatement! The very day I saw the trailer for I Am Legend I knew I had to watch it! It promised to be an action packed science fiction film. The movie is based on a 1950's novel, 'I Am Legend' written by Richard Matheson, but has an alternate ending. I'm glad I didn't read the book first, as I always find that films can't compare to the books they're based on. The story is based in New York City, many years after a plague has killed most of the human race. The virus was man-made, originally meant to cure cancer. Things seemed to be going well until they went horribly wrong, infecting and killing 90% of the human race. One lone scientist has stayed behind to try and find a cure - played by the infamous Will Smith. Will plays a scientist - Robert Neville - and as far as he knows he is the sole survivor! For the last few years he's been going out every day, sending out radio messages in the hopes of finding survivors. Luckily he isn't entirely alone - he has his German Shepherd, Samantha, for company. There are a few moments where I wondered if he was starting to go insane.. ie. the DVD store specifically, where he has set up mannequins to talk to. The city is infested with infected people, so he has to be incredibly careful and puts his house in lockdown every evening. He lies in the bath with his dog, with his rifle and you can hear the screams from outside. Luckily they can't come ...

Holland & Barrett 5-HTP 26/10/2010

5-HTP - Happy pills, appetite suppressant and sleep aid :)

Holland & Barrett 5-HTP Beware: sob stories follow! Update at the bottom of the page! It all started with an incredibly rough week – I have a colleague at work that pushes every single one of my buttons... DAILY! He sniffs, picks his nose, slurps his coffee, farts, and sings... you name it, he does it. It got to a point where halfway through the day on a Monday, I couldn’t take it anymore. I sadly suffer from something referred to as “noise anxiety”... basically repetitive noise that I can’t control can drive me to an emotional breakdown. It starts off with me just being really angry, then I get anxious – to the point I get palpitations. It’s not something I can control, beyond going on anti-depressants – and this just isn’t an option for me. I’m very anti using chemicals to fix my problems! I spent the whole evening crying and not sleeping because I couldn’t relax or calm down (which has never happened before), so my hubby began surfing the net for something natural to help me relax. He came across an article for 5-HTP, and told me to read up on it. More details below! So first thing Tuesday morning, I caught a cab to Holland & Barrett’s in Harrow. I bought a large bottle - 120 capsules, for around £23 (it’s £27,59, but the kind sales assistant gave me a discount). You can also buy the smaller bottle – 60 capsules for £15,39. This stuff must be good –the Holland & Barrett website devotes a tab to it! http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/categories.asp?cid=137&left=1 It comes ...

Baker Pearce Estate Agents 23/10/2010

Another 1 to avoid - Baker Pearce Rayners Lane office

Baker Pearce Estate Agents Baker Pearce Estate Agents & Surveyors, have around 6 offices. They’re based in: Rayners Lane, Northwood, Pinner, Eastcote, Northolt and Harrow. They deal with sales, lettings and property management. They’re open from 08:30 – 19:00 on weekdays, and 09:00 – 17:00 on Saturdays. I’m not going to go in to much detail, as I don’t have much nice to say about them, so more info can be found at: http://www.bakerpearce.com/ My experience These are the estate agents that my hubby and I used to find our first place to rent in November 2009 – so I have just under a full year of experience dealing with them. We began our property search, clearly stating our budget (max £650 at the time)... naturally they only suggested properties above our budget – this seems to happen with 99% of estate agents though so we weren’t surprised. We arranged a viewing for 6pm during the week, after finding a place advertised for £700 per month, including council tax and water, but excluding electricity. An estate agent called Stuart walked us down to the property (in the rain), and proceeded to show us the house... in the dark. I found this a little unusual so asked what was wrong with the lights, and he said something about there not being electricity and something to do with builders. Very odd. We strolled through the house and he showed us the important bits like the tiny bathroom and bedroom. He then led us outside to the outbuilding. This was a newly built fixture, around 18ft ...

Kruger National Park, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces 17/10/2010

Into the bush we go!

Kruger National Park, Limpopo and Mpumalanga  provinces The Kruger National Park is one of the best places I’ve ever been to on a holiday. The weather was awesome (maybe a little on the hot side), the animals were out in force and the beds were super comfy. Getting there We drove, as always. My family prefers to take the scenic route to everything – even if it takes much longer to get there. For those with larger budgets, you can always catch a quick flight – from Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg. If you’re visiting South Africa, I would recommend renting a larger car for the trip to the park – the higher up you’re sitting, the better!(so you can see the animals) Prices I must be honest, as I wasn’t in charge of the bill, I have no clue about the prices! I’ve looked on their website, and found the following: 2 bedroom bungalow, around R1380 per day (around £126,94) and this unit can sleep up to 4 people. This is the type of unit we stayed in, and I would say it was worth every cent! We only stayed for 2 days, so this isn’t too unreasonable. If your budget is smaller (and you’re not scared of sleeping in tents) you would only pay R370 per day (around £34). This kind of tent can sleep up to 2 people. Keep in mind you would need to bring camping equipment! The prices vary according to the type of accommodation, the length of your stay and possibly the time of year you decide to visit. There’s something to suit everyone’s budget. More info can be found at: ...
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