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jo-1976

jo-1976

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Return rates only at the minute. Fed up with those who just 'dump and run'.

Reviews written

since 02/07/2009

523

Gillette Mach 3 Blades 25/03/2017

Macho Shaving for Women Too!

Gillette Mach 3 Blades I've always chosen to use razors aimed at males rather than females; mostly purloined from any men resident in the household at the time. Unfortunately, my husband has recently decided to grow a beard so I've been forced into purchasing my own blades and comparing prices. The Product These are Gillette branded replacement razor blades, designed for use with a Gillette Mach 3 razor. Gillette is one of the leading brands when it comes to razors and shaving related items, although it is part of the Proctor and Gamble group which has a long-standing poor reputation in relation to animal testing, predating current UK legislation around testing cosmetics on animals. Originally produced in the late 1990's, the Gillette Mach 3 was groundbreaking at the time - with each disposable blade offering three cutting blades to maximise cutting performance. Nowadays, razors are offering even more blades and features such as added battery power but the Mach 3 range still seems to be going strong and standing its ground against the increasingly sophisticated competition. The Mach 3 razor needs to be purchased separately and comes supplied with a single blade (unless there are any promotional offers available at the point of purchase.) These blades can also be used in conjunction with the Gillette Venus razor handle, aimed at the female market, which is very useful as the Mach 3 blades usually work out cheaper than the Venus blades. These replacement blades are required very quickly and form ...

Gillette Fusion Proglide Razors 20/03/2017

Gillette - the Best a (Wo)Man Can Get!

Gillette Fusion Proglide Razors I've always used razors aimed at males from my teenage years and my first attempts to rid my body of unwanted hair. I started by 'borrowing' my father's cheap (and rubbish) disposable Bic razors and moved on to more expensive Gillette razors with replaceable blades, depending on the budget of my boyfriend and/or male housemate at the time. I am still using Gillette branded razors, initially purchased by my husband for his own needs, to this day; although my husband has now chosen to grow a beard so I've finally been forced into purchasing my own blades! The Product Gillette is one of the leading brands when it comes to razors and shaving related items and is a trusted household name. This Fusion Proglide razor is one of many razors they have introduced to the market and offered something different at the time, with each removable blade offering five cutting blades rather than the three blades boasted by their popular Mach 3 blades. The razor comes in secure plastic packaging with a single blade initially provided. The Fusion Proglide has been revamped slightly since I obtained this particular razor and the newer versions now offer a handle with 'flexball technology' although the blades themselves remain unchanged. There is also another hybrid variant of this Fusion Proglide razor on the market with the 'Fusion Power' offering the convenience of a manual razor with additional power added by the inclusion of a disposable battery. The lack of a battery on this standard Fusion ...

Garnier Ambre Solaire Aftersun Soothing Hydrating Lotion 14/03/2017

After the Sun Has Gone...

Garnier Ambre Solaire Aftersun Soothing Hydrating Lotion Having experienced a few sunny spring days recently, it's nice to look ahead to the summer months in anticipation of hot weather and relaxing surroundings (even though I'm not likely to end up anywhere more exotic than Minehead!) The Product This is Garnier Ambre Solaire branded 'Soothing Hydrating' after sun which comes in the form of a creamy white lotion. The packaging is an attractive shade of green and comes in a sturdy but slightly flexible plastic bottle, with a strong and secure flip top lid, making this a practical choice for the average beach holiday and, at 200ml, the bottle is a reasonable size to carry about easily. The only potential issue with the packaging is that the bottle is not transparent so the only way to gauge the amount remaining in the bottle is by judging the weight. The bottle itself is informative; containing details about the brand, the after sun lotion and emphasising the positive aspects of the inclusion of naturally derived aloe vera, with its 'calming and soothing properties' as an active ingredient. Garnier claim that this particular after sun lotion has been specially developed to moisturise, sooth and nourish skin that has been exposed to sun and feeling dehydrated as a consequence. After sun lotion is not necessarily limited to use following excessive sun exposure and should not be used as an alternative to a decent high factor sun protection lotion. The recommendation is that the contents should be used within 12 months of opening, so ...

Panasonic DMP-BD75 12/03/2017

Super-Panasonic

Panasonic DMP-BD75 Back in 2012, my husband decided that he wanted to watch more films and requested a blu-ray player for his birthday. This was the first blu-ray player we had ever owned and I chose this Panasonic (DMP BD75) based on previous positive experiences with the Panasonic brand. Set Up Despite being completely inexperienced with blu-ray technology, the initial set up process was fairly self explanatory and straightforward, with the player being pretty much ready to use as soon as it was connected to the tv. The player does not come supplied with an HDMI cable which is a little disappointing as it is not possible to use the appliance without one. A basic cable is pretty inexpensive, however, and I managed to purchase one as part of a deal at Argos at the point of purchase. An ethernet cable is not supplied either but the player will function perfectly without one (certainly for the purposes of playing either blu-rays or DVD's.) We were a little confused initially as to what the benefits of having this player connected up to the internet actually were and did not find much clarity from either the instruction manual or the on screen menu system. From ongoing experience, the ethernet connection only seems to enable the player to perform a firmware update as and when it deems necessary. Fortunately, this is not a frequent occurrence and has only happened twice since we purchased this player. Design Aesthetically, this is a really attractive looking device. I like the sleek black ...

Ghostbusters (DVD) 07/03/2017

True Classic!

Ghostbusters (DVD) Ghostbusters is one of the first films that I can remember watching as a child. I watched it on tv when it was broadcast, one Christmas if I remember rightly, long before we had anything as technical as a video recorder in the house! Many years later, I have retained fond memories of this classic film and bought a copy on DVD to share with my family. I'd be surprised if there are many people who haven't seen the original Ghostbusters film, as it was made back in 1984. There has also been a (less successful) sequel and a 2016 remake/reboot of the film, which has received less than positive reviews thus far. It is always difficult to remake such an iconic film as this one, which does make me wonder why it is even attempted. (Money is, of course, the answer to that one!) Storyline Three parapsychology students decide to set up their own 'ghostbusting' service, following an increase in paranormal activity in New York. They set up premises, TV adverts and a collection of equipment for the removal and disposal of ghosts and poltergeists from homes and public buildings. Cast * Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman * Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stantz * Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler * Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore * Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett * Rick Moranis as Louis Tully * Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz * William Atherton as Walter Peck * David Margulies as Mayor Lenny My Opinion Although the casting for the Ghostbuster crew themselves was strong, I personally ...

Dinosaur Trouble - Dick King-Smith 05/03/2017

Dick King-Smith has Dinosaur Trouble!

Dinosaur Trouble - Dick King-Smith One of my sons received a boxed of Dick King-Smith books for his sixth birthday a few years ago and we steadily worked our way through the series, many of which have become such family favourites that they have been read and re-read on numerous occasions since that initial reading. The Author Dick King-Smith is a fairly prolific and much loved author, with his most famous children’s story being ‘The Sheep-Pig’ on which the popular film Babe was based. His other books include The Swoose, Harry's Mad and The Invisible Dog amongst many others. His stories all have a common theme of being based around different animals and should appeal equally to both boys and girls. The Story ‘Dinosaur Trouble’ was one of the first books that my son selected, with the dinosaur theme being a topic perfect for the 5-9 age group. The book charts the growth of an unlikely friendship between a young brontosaurus (Banty) and a pterodactyl (Nosy), despite the opposition and prejudices of their own families. The two friends have to work together to try and defeat the tyrannosaurus rex who is terrifying their community. Ease of Reading This is a chapter book supposedly aimed at confident readers aged seven and over. Much as the theme and contents are perfect for that kind of age group, I do think that a lot of the vocabulary is far too challenging for a young child to tackle if reading independently. As you’d expect, there are a number of dinosaur related terms within the book but, in many ways, ...

Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils Stain Remover No.5 for Fat, Grease, Oil 03/03/2017

Out, Damned Spot!

Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils Stain Remover No.5 for Fat, Grease, Oil With three mucky boys to clean up after I am always dealing with mess and dirt of some kind! I picked up a multipack of Dr Beckmann stain removers in Wilko recently in an attempt to keep on top of our dirty laundry and tackle those stains that seem to miraculously appear on the family's clothing. The Brand Dr Beckmann is a well established UK based brand which is quite rightly proud of its longstanding heritage in successfully producing laundry and cleaning products. I'm not sure what the Dr's professional and/or medical qualifications actually add up to or even if this mysterious 'Dr Beckmann' is one of those mythical figure heads such as Aunt Bessie and Betty Crocker! I have previously purchased and tried various products under the Dr Beckmann brand (including whitening products and colour catchers) with mostly positive results so was happy to give their stain removing abilities a try. The Product This Stain Devils stain remover was purchased as part of a small set with two other variants. Unlike some other brands of stain removal product, which offer a universal product for all different types of stain, these Stain Devils are all individually designed to deal with specific types of stain. This does make a lot of sense, as different products will respond differently to different chemicals, but does also mean that you would need to purchase various items to cope with all eventualities. This particular product is designed to remove stains caused by cooking oil, fats and ...

Visit as a tourist or live as a local: how do you like to spend your time abroad? 28/02/2017

Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb!

Visit as a tourist or live as a local: how do you like to spend your time abroad? We all like to take a well needed holiday from time to time, but what kind of holiday-maker are you? Homestay or Hotel? Are you one to indulge in lavish delights luxury hotels have to offer? Or do you prefer to immerse yourself in the culture and live like a true local? So, dear Ciaoers, visit as a tourist or live as a local: how do you like to spend your time abroad? Like most people I enjoy travelling abroad and experiencing other locations and cultures. Unfortunately financial constraints and the logistics of travelling with three children means that foreign holidays are very much a luxury at this period in my life and are few and far between. This does mean that whenever I have the rare opportunity to travel abroad I want to make it as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. My last jaunt oversees was a much needed long weekend break with my husband, with my mother kindly looking after the children for us. We had a lovely long weekend in Dublin which is a city that neither of us had ever been to before and it had the advantage of being a very short plane journey for us. Much as the opportunity to visit some far-flung territory would be lovely I'm not sure that I would enjoy the experience of a long haul flight and a short journey was much more appealing, especially for such a short period. Language One of the deciding factors in choosing Dublin rather than somewhere more exotic was for the practical reason of going to a place where there are no language barriers. ...

Ratchet & Clank (PS4) 25/02/2017

Ratchet & Clank Revisited

Ratchet & Clank (PS4) My oldest son is a typical teenager and when he's not out with his friends he is holed up in his bedroom playing on some electronic gaming device or other. This game forms part of his growing PS4 collection. The Game This Ratchet and Clank game is based on the 2016 film of the same name. Bizarrely the film was actually based on an original 2002 PS2 game, which was a very popular game in its day and went on to spawn a number of different games and versions. This latest version is currently exclusive to the PS4 console and takes the story of Ratchet and Clank back to the start. This is an animated 3d platforming game. Game Play The game is based on the Ratchet and Clank film and follows its storyline so it does help to be familiar with the film before playing although this is by no means essential as the game does make the story clear. My son received both the film and the accompanying game at the same time as a gift. This is probably fortunate as the film in its own right wasn't a particular favourite in our household and would have been unlikely to have led to this game being purchased otherwise. It is probably not altogether surprising that something originally conceived as a game works much better as a game than as a film. The eponymous heroes of the film/game are Ratchet, a cute cat-like creature (actually an alien being called a Lombax) and Clank who is a funky robot. This unlikely duo join forces in order to defeat Chairman Drek who is threatening the entire ...

Rocket League (PS4) 22/02/2017

In a League of its Own

Rocket League (PS4) My oldest two sons are typical siblings and make it a point of principle never to agree on anything. This is only exacerbated by a five year age gap so there is rarely any common ground or mutual interest to overcome that natural sibling animosity. This PS4 game has been one of the few things that they agree on - to the unprecedented extent of agreeing to pool some of their Christmas money and purchase the game between them! The Game Rocket League is available in both PS4 and XBox One formats. It is a very strange concept that merges motor racing with football with the basic purpose of the game to score goals by pushing a giant ball around a particular course using rocket powered vehicles! The first time I heard about this game was through a review on this site and I thought the combination was pretty unusual but didn't really anticipate this being such a big hit with the boys. Game Play The format follows that used by more conventional racing games. There is a wide choice of different modes and within those there are a number of different game arenas so the setting varies each time and prevents the game from getting boring. Each of the games is subject to a five minute time limit which visibly counts down on screen. This helps to make the game feel really fast paced and tense despite being a lot of fun. Players are able to deliberately crash into other vehicles and can bash them out of the way so this is like a high powered version of rocket powered dodgems without any ...

Rayman Legends (Wii U) 19/02/2017

Fun but not Legendary

Rayman Legends (Wii U) With three children in the house, including a teenager, it is almost inevitable that we own a number of different games consoles and the corresponding games. The Wii U console was purchased for my then eight year old son for Christmas 2015 and he has gone on to receive a number of different games as gifts and has chosen a select few using his own Christmas and birthday money. Amongst his chosen games is this Rayman Legends. The Product Rayman is a well established classic computer game character and has featured in a number of games over the years. This particular game, Rayman Legends, is available in various formats including Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One and PS Vita. We only own the game in this Wii U format. This game needs the Wii U gamepad to operate but can also be used in conjunction with other Wii controllers so that up to five players are able to join in at any one time, alongside the online multiplayer options. Game Play Rayman Legends is a sequel to an earlier game, Rayman Origins but that game is not needed in order to play and understand this particular game. My son had no experience with the Rayman series prior to purchasing and playing this game but game play is fairly standard and self-explanatory and he was able to pick up and play the game without any issues. The game is based around the 'Glade of Dreams' which has been taken over by a range of monsters and mythical creatures. Rayman and his friends need to defeat these creatures and rescue the ...

The Folk of the Faraway Tree - Enid Blyton 12/02/2017

More Enid Blyton Magic

The Folk of the Faraway Tree - Enid Blyton The Folk of the Faraway Tree is the third and final book in the fantastic series of Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree/Enchanted Wood stories. This is a series that I loved reading as a young child myself so it has been a real pleasure to revisit the excitement and adventures as an adult, sharing these stories with my own three children. The Story Here, siblings Jo, Bessie and Fanny are joined by a family friend, Connie. Connie is, initially, at least somewhat spoilt and expresses her disbelief in the very existence of the Enchanted Wood, the Faraway Tree and the fantastic folk who live within its branches - not to mention the magical lands that appear at the top of the tree. Connie soon discovers that the magic really does exist but unfortunately her attitude and curiosity leads to a few narrow escapes in some of the less pleasant lands. This book easily lives up to its predecessors. The themes themselves are familiar - with bad behaviour and personality traits always leading to trouble and naughty children getting their comeuppance and good behaviour being rewarded. Having three female characters in this particular story does help to emphasise the inherent sexism within the story with the girls being expected to help with all the domestic chores and the boys taking control. This is a common theme throughout Enid Blyton's books and representative of the time in which it was originally written. Age Recommendation I would recommend this book to be read to children from around ...

TKC Stomp Rocket Refill Pack 08/02/2017

Fill 'Em Up, Stomp and Go!

TKC Stomp Rocket Refill Pack My boys have owned and loved playing with a stomp rocket for several years and, during that time, have managed to lose and break a number of the rockets originally supplied with the kit. In my attempts to prepare for a sunny and fun filled summer -insert hollow laughs- I decided to buy a new refill pack of replacement rockets as a supplement to an existing Amazon order so that the toy would be all set for summer. What Is A Stomp Rocket? Stomp rockets are fantastic toys which are sctivated by the pressure created by either standing, jumping or 'stomping' on a squidgy plastic launch pad. This causes a sudden blast of wind to travel down the attached pipe and forces one of the plastic 'rockets' to fire into the sky. Stomp rockets can be used and enjoyed by both kids and adults of various ages and can reach pretty incredible distances in terms of both height and length. Amazingly, despite this being over four years ago, our stomp rocket is still going strong and brings much entertainment to our family whenever the weather is nice enough for outdoor play. The original stomp rocket kit consists of a stand, a pipe attachment which is connected to the launch pad and six plastic rockets. The rockets provided are pretty sturdy but with repeated use can either get lost - these go a very long way- or damaged. Some of ours have accidentally been stood on between uses and the long tube section has cracked rendering them unusable. A couple of the others have lost the coloured tail ...

Modern Family Season 5 (DVD) 08/02/2017

A Modern Family Wedding

Modern Family Season 5 (DVD) We are massive fans of the American sitcom Modern Family in our household and watch the individual episodes over and over again from each of the seven seasons that have been released in the UK to date. Season Five This is the complete fifth season of Modern Family in DVD format and features all 24 episodes across three discs along with a selection of special features. The discs run for 513 minutes in total although this is very much something to dip in and out of, but there is always a temptation to sit through a number of consecutive episodes. Originally shown on screen back in 2014, this season still feels fresh and current. In this series, the Pitchett-Dunphy family are well established, with Jay still the patriarch of a rather unusual set up featuring his younger, beautiful Columbian wife, Gloria, their baby son, Joe, and his step-son, Manny. Jay's older children from his first marriage are grown up with partners and children of their own and the series follows their milestones, significant events and everyday challenges with a mixture of humour and sentimentality. This season follows Mitch and Cam's wedding plans from the proposal in the opening episode through to the big wedding day itself which is so 'big' that it takes up both of the final two episodes and brings plenty of opportunity for humour, drama and crisis after crisis! Casting Ed O'Neill - Jay Pritchett Julie Bowen - Claire Dunphy Ty Burrell - Phil Dunphy Sofia Vergara - Gloria Pritchett Jesse Tyler ...

Carex Hand Wash Chocolate Orange 08/02/2017

It's Not Terry's - It's Carex!

Carex Hand Wash Chocolate Orange I love Terry's Chocolate Orange so as soon as I discovered that Carex had brought out a new range of fun fragranced hand washes, including a Chocolate Orange flavour, I knew I had to give it a try! Tracking this variety down proved a little difficult initially. This was not stocked in my local (large) Morrisons store or in Wilkinson's where I tend to buy household items such as this. I finally managed to buy some in a large Tesco store. This range has now been out for a couple of years, but this specific variety is much harder to get hold of than the Strawberry Laces and the Cola Bottles scents from the same range. I rarely shop in Tesco, so end up purchasing other varieties of hand wash even though is by far my favourite. I am willing to pay the full RRP of £1.80 for a 250ml pump action bottle but the hand wash is occasionally available on a half price offer, making this an excellent bargain and prompting me to stockpile when I get the chance! The hand wash is presented in the familiar Carex style with an easy to operate pump action helping to dispense the liquid soap inside in a steady flow. One pump is a pretty accurate amount needed for handwashing, helping to minimise waste. I do like this format of hand wash as the bottle is slim enough to fit on the side of the small sink in my downstairs toilet, conveniently to hand. It's not entirely mess-free, despite the pump format, as my children do tend to get a bit carried away and leave a bit of an orange trail over the ...
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