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ilusvm

ilusvm

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Catching up on reviews - give me a nudge if you want me to read something and it looks like I have forgotten you. Am moog27 on Dooyoo. Those irritating Hotpoint ads just make me want to boycott them?!

Reviews written

since 08/09/2004

257

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London 05/09/2013

Behind the scenes of Harry Potter - Phenomenal

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Since the day I read the first book in one sitting I have always been a huge Harry Potter fan. I love the books and I loved the films. So as you can imagine I was just a little bit excited when my friend announced that her birthday present to me this year was to take me to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour. I knew that various friends had been before and rated it highly so my expectations were high right from the start. You cannot just turn up at the studio tour; tickets must be bought in advance. I think this is a good thing as it means that they only allocate a certain number of visitors for each tour time slot meaning that it is never going to be so crowded that you can’t enjoy it properly. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling their call centre. A great feature here is that you can buy “gift tickets” so for example if you wanted to buy tickets for someone as a surprise gift without having to steal their diary/attempt to guess at a day they might be free you can do. You purchase the tickets and they can use the website to book their day and time slot. If you are booking the timeslot there and then the website is easy to use and you will be send an email confirmation of the tickets. You can also opt for them to be sent to you. My friend booked ours online but somehow managed to delete her booking confirmation. She rung them using the number on the website and they were very helpful and gave her all the information she needed. It is also worth noting ...

Fold Hill - Click 'n' Treat 04/09/2013

Click 'n' Treat

Asda Pricesmart Baked Beans 03/09/2013

(ASDA) Beans beans are good for your heart...

5 reasons why you love summer 25/08/2013

Why a teacher loves summer

5 reasons why you love summer Rather than writing about the 5 generic things that most of us love about summer (weather, holidays etc) I have decided to do a slightly different take on it based on the thing that takes up the majority of my life right now, my job. So these are the 5 things I love about summer within the context of my job as a teacher. 1.) GCSE Results Day Sometimes I feel like my entire job is driven by government targets. Perhaps it is. I spend the whole year pushing myself and my students in preparation for one thing – their GCSE exams. Three days ago I watched over three hundred of my students open their GCSE results. Almost all of them were delighted and their hard work had paid off. As usual, this year’s Year 11 students have brought with them a whole range of challenges, often making me want to pull my hair out and quit altogether, but to watch their faces as they open an envelope that matters so much to them is a feeling like no other. Watching the squealing and screaming (mainly girls!), the high fives, the beaming smiles, the hugs and the tears of joy just makes it all worthwhile. On top of that are the success stories –those students who have been a real nightmare and almost driven me to a mental breakdown before finally turning all around at the last minute and pulling it out the bag. Often this is the first time we really get “thanked” by those that we teach for what we have done for them and the pride is overwhelming. 2.) Prom Perhaps a very American concept, but one ...

Early Learning Centre 3 Foam Balls 21/08/2013

My coloured balls

Early Learning Centre 3 Foam Balls Although I do not have children of my own I do seem to have a large toy box in my front room for my 2 year old God daughter when she comes to play. On the rare occasion that I get time to hit the shops I always have a little browse of the toy shops to see if there are any bargains suitable for the toy box. A year or so ago I discovered this set of 3 foam balls in the Early Learning Centre (ELC) costing only £2. I have always been a fan of ELC toys due to their quality so I picked up a pack. The pack contains three foam balls (each is the size of a standard tennis ball); one red, one blue and one yellow. You can squeeze them and they are soft enough that even at full pelt they aren’t going to do you any real harm or break a window. Although they are soft and you could obviously pick at the foam, they are robust enough that they aren’t going to fall apart on their own. Mine have been well played with for a good year and are still in a great condition…well...apart from the one the dog got at. They aren’t advertised for dogs and as expected, if a dog chews one they will eventually demolish it. Sadly Bonnie thought that the blue one was for her and chewed it to death a couple of months ago. My god daughter for who they were initially brought for has loved them. She first started playing with them when she was 1 and enjoyed squishing them and rolling them around. As she has gotten older she has moved more towards throwing and catching. I think the fact that they are soft and ...

Sudocrem netdoctor Antiseptic Healing Cream 18/08/2013

Not just for bums! (Sudocrem)

Sudocrem netdoctor Antiseptic Healing Cream Sudocrem. Now we all know it as ‘bum cream’ for babies but I think it’s many other uses are often overlooked. Sudocrem comes in an antiseptic healing cream that promises to sooth and heal nappy rash. It also suggests that it can be used to treat eczema, bed sores, sunburn, minor burns, surface wounds, acne and chilblains. It is a thick white cream that comes in pots of varying sizes (and also a small tube for travel). It has an antiseptic smell about it but nothing too strong. It contains a mild local anaesthetic so it soothes pain and doesn’t sting when you apply it. As a child, I always remember a cut or graze being given the Sudocrem treatment and it has always been a staple in the first aid kit. Nappy Rash - Although I don’t have my own children, my best friends little girl is a regular visitor at my house. Back in the days where nappy rash was a problem, a couple of day’s use of Sudocrem tended to clear it right up. The cream is quite thick but a little goes a long way so a pot of this stuff lasts forever. Cuts and Grazes – As an adult I tend to acquire more injuries that I ever did as a child. I’m not really sure how or why but whenever I get a cut or graze I tend to whack a bit of Sudocrem on it (usually overnight so that I don’t smudge it over my clothes etc.) and I feel that it does make a difference with helping it heal. In particular when I get an accidental scratch from the dog and there is the extra risk of infection I always us a bit of Sudocrem for the ...

Colorsport 30 Day Mascara 27/07/2013

Dying to have dark lashes - Colorsport Eyelash Dye

Sharpie Permanent Marker 22/07/2013

The trials and tribulations of my Sharpie

Sharpie Permanent Marker My handbag and my car are full of a number of items that “might” be useful. To be honest I am probably a bit of a hoarder. But one item that has been useful on several random occasions is my Sharpie permanent marker. Some of my latest reasons to use it were writing on the t-shirts of my students at work (not as some form of bizarre punishment… they were getting them signed as they were leaving!), labelling CD’s and DVD’s at a friend’s, writing a bold sign which I attached to my car to say “Broken down, waiting for AA” to minimise the number of people that wanted to beep their horn at me for being in their way (how inconsiderate of me to break down in their way) and writing addresses on plastic packages of items I post. Sharpie permanent markers have been well advertised with celebrities such as David Beckham promoting them. The concept being that they are vibrant and will write on anything. They were the first official pen-style permanent marker. There is now a wide range of Sharpie permanent markers available including mini pens and ones that will attach to a key ring. The pen itself is round and comfortable to use. Nothing spectacular or but the cap fits on the end nicely which keeps me happy (simple things!) and it is nice to write with. The colour of the cap represents the colour of the ink and the barrel is quite a simplistic light grey colour with the Sharpie logo. Although there are now a range of thicknesses, the most commonly available Sharpies are the “fine point” ...

CND Shellac Nail Varnish 20/07/2013

Perfect nails for 2 weeks.

CND Shellac Nail Varnish I love having painted nails but can guarantee that I will have managed to chip it by the end of the day. Three weeks ago a friend told me about Shellac and was raving about how amazing it is. You can only get a legitimate Shellac manicure of pedicure from a trained beautician. The products and whole system of the Shellac manicure/pedicure is the brainchild of the company CND (creative nail designs). You can buy the Shellac Nail Varnish and the equipment needed to apply it online but if you don’t know what you are doing then it won’t work! You can’t just apply it in the way you would with normal nail varnish. The Shellac nail varnish does not contain gel like many other current options (gellux etc) and works by building it up in thin layers and “curing” each layer. The CND Shellac Nail Varnish comes in a wide range of colours and the nail varnish can be layered to create additional shades. It is ever so slightly thicker than normal nail varnish but doesn’t really smell at all. The Process Before the Shellac manicure your nails will be prepared with a bit of filing to neaten them up and a cuticle treatment although from what I have seen most beauticians also offer various luxury treatments including hand massages and so on. The first stage of the Shellac process is the application of a thin clear base coat. Once applied the base coat has to be “cured” under a CND UV lamp for 10 seconds. Next is two coats of the colour and each coat needs to be cured under the lamp for 2 ...

Tesco Everyday Value Cheese Burger and Chips 20/12/2012

Cheese burger and chips for £1.... too good to be true?!

Tesco Everyday Value Cheese Burger and Chips What and why? I have recently been trying out various items from tescos “Everyday Value” range in order to save money. The range tends to be the cheapest version of any product you will see in Tesco, whether it is soap or food. My experience so far has been that some things (such a frozen veg and chicken) are reasonable where are others (chocolate, crisps) are not very pleasant. On a recent visit to Tescos I was perusing the frozen food aisle and noticed that for £1 I could purchase a “Everyday Value” cheese burger and chips ready meal. To be honest the only reason I brought it was purely that I was intrigued about what on earth it would be like. On picking up the box it was quickly apparent that I wasn’t going to be getting a filling, nutritious meal as it was very light (220g frozen apparently) and the nutritional information did not look too promising with 510 calories, 3.6g of sugar, a whopping 19.4g fat (of which 10g saturates, constituting 50% of my recommended daily allowance) and a rather concerning 2g of salt! On the plus side, the ways in which it could kill me were possibly slightly minimised by the fact that it contained no artificial flavours or colours. The description on the box states that the product is a “cooked beefburger with a processed cheese slice in a sesame seed bun with chips”. The image on the pack doesn’t look too dreadful although I was still rather sceptical that I would be getting an edible burger and chips for £1! So…. Despite my low ...

Apple iPhone 4S 16GB 29/08/2012

iLove my iPhone 4S

St Ives Apricot Scrub 27/08/2012

Give it a go or pin down a teenager and test it out on them.

St Ives Apricot Scrub A month ago I turned 25. As if that were not tragic enough (what with being halfway to 50 and all!) I realised that I have suddenly redeveloped teenage skin. I am not sure whether it was due to the stress of pushing towards being “old” or the hotter weather but I was breaking out in spots and blemishes left right and centre. I have such ridiculously sensitive skin that I pretty much just use simple make up wipes and water to clean my face. Most sensitive face washes ruin my skin and I have always done well not using too many products. However, my spotty, teenage looking face was getting so bad that I realised I needed some form of scrub to use throughout those summer months where my skin was clearly having some kind of hissy fit. I did a couple of internet searches for face scrubs and read some reviews. My main criteria were something that will be suitable for my sensitive skin, is not too expensive and will actually work. I saw this St Ives Apricot Scrub. I had a vague memory of having used it before and not hated it so I decided to give it a try. Knowing that I had some Boots Advantage Card Points left, I hit the Boots website to order some. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was only going to set me back £3.99 and I had enough Boots points to cover this plus my delivery costs. As soon as my scrub arrived I gave it a go. The first thing I approved of was the packaging – simple, easy to use and it wouldn’t make me look “poor” is someone saw it on my bathroom side. ...

Bold 2in1 Lavender & Camomile Liquitabs 25/05/2011

I may be a washing dunce but I know a good thing when I see it!

Bold 2in1 Lavender & Camomile Liquitabs I had never really given washing tablets much thought until a year ago when I started living on my own. I had pretty much just used whatever I found at home, and when I lived at Uni I would “borrow” washing tablets from home to take with me. I am quite capable when it comes to doing the washing but had not really taken into consideration the huge range of powders, liquids, tablets, liquitabs etc. All of a sudden I found myself standing in the aisle with a million different brands, types, sizes etc and no clue about which ones to pick! After a few pointless rounds of “eeny meeny miny moe” I decided to go with a fail-safe plan and choose the prettiest ones! This selection method led me to Bold 2 in 1 Lavender and Camomile which were a beautiful creamy purple colour and the box had purple on it too so they were a clear winner. They weren’t the cheapest at £4.17 for 20 (Tescos) but according to the box they contain detergent and fabric softener (I had no idea what this was but found out I quite like it!). They also claim that they will keep my clothes feeling clean and fresh for 12 hours of wear. The pack on 20 does 20 washes as you only need one tablet per wash and it goes in the back of the drum. I did my first load of washing and quite like the fact that I could smell the lavender and camomile whilst the washing machine was doing its thing. As soon as the washing was done I was very impressed with the smell of my washing as it dried as it did smell really nice – yet not ...

Gift House International Snug Rug 11/09/2010

Snug as a bug in a rug

freecycle.org 03/07/2010

Give away your junk (or get something you need)

freecycle.org After such success with this website over the last 2 days I felt compelled to review it. Having sold our family home but with all of us already owning furniture in our new homes, we had planned to sell much of the furniture from the family home. But then laziness took hold, time passed an all of a sudden we only had a week left to get everything out. Offers to friends and family got rid of a few bits but we were effectively left with a 4 bedroom house full of furniture that needed to go quickly! Much of the furniture had enjoyed some good use from us and wouldn’t really have had much sale value anyway. It felt criminal just to take the furniture to the rubbish tip, or even to give it to someone that would the sell it on and make a profit. Somehow we came across the freecycle website. Mercenary Freecycle is a network made up of lots of groups, so there will almost definitely be a group for your area. The groups are run by local volunteer moderators. When you join the site you join a group (or several) for the areas you are interested in. You can then advertise anything you want to get rid of on the condition that it is free of charge and legal! You can also send out a request for something you need. The site is very easy to use and although the pages are a little slow to load at times, it is a quick and easy process to list your unwanted items. On Thursday evening we listed a range of items. These included a slightly tatty but still reasonable condition 3 piece suite, a ...
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