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since 15/06/2011


Kenco Smooth Eco Refill 25/08/2011

Morning coffee time!

Kenco Smooth Eco Refill I love a good cup of coffee in the morning when I wake up. It is the first thing I drink in the morning and I usually have another one or two cups a day depending on what I am doing. In my first year of university I opted for cheap coffee and sacrificed the taste. Now that I am getting older (and the study nights longer) I much prefer to splash out a bit more cash for a nicer tasting caffeine fix! I first heard about the Kenco Eco refill from seeing an advert on the TV. I thought it was a good idea to use less packaging and so I kept an eye out for it when I went shopping. I spotted it in Tesco one day on offer and thought I might as well try it out. It was on offer for ages after it was released but I can’t remember exactly how much I paid at the time. The packaging is quite attractive and is red and orange with a picture of a jar of coffee on the front. There is a large green banner across the top telling you that the pack is an eco refill. The actual bag is made from a type of plastic and is fully recyclable. There is a resealable strip at the top of the bag to keep your coffee fresh. The only problem with this is that the strip can be quite fiddly to work. At first it was a bit strange buying my coffee in a bag but I have a coffee jar in the house that I just decant the coffee granules into instead of having the bag next to the kettle. The actual coffee is lovely. It takes the form of medium sized granules which look a lot lighter than other coffee brands I have ...

Creative Zen Micro photo 8GB 20/08/2011

You would need a Creative way to destroy this!

Creative Zen Micro photo 8GB I honestly cannot remember when I got this mp3 player. It was at least 4 years ago though and probably longer. The fact that I have not replaced this player yet probably gives you an indication of how much I love it! I got it initially because I didn’t want to pay the price of an ipod when there were other options out there that I felt were equally as good. This player looks really great and even now I still think it is modern and attractive. Mine is the black version with a white case on the back and it lights up a lovely blue colour. The combination of colours is great and looks really classy. I was surprised when I got this player as to how small it is. It is more bulky than the modern ipods but still much smaller than my mobile phone and easily fits in a pocket. The screen is just less than half the size of the player which makes it a really good size. Ok, so the main reason I got this product was to listen to music. It performs this function very well. Adding music to the player is easy using the software provided with the player. The software is also easy to install and very user friendly. The instructions provided with the player tell you all you need to know. Listening to the music is also easy and the quality of the sound is great. I have obviously had to replace the headphones that I originally got with the player but all of the ones I have used have worked well. There are 6 buttons on the front of the player. These are the play/pause button, the skip ...

Tesco HB10 20/08/2011

Not for Blending Hands!

Tesco HB10 I bought this handblender from Tesco last winter when I had the urge to make lots of blended soups! I had quite a lot of clubcard vouchers to spend so I thought I would treat myself to this extra gadget in with my weekly shop instead of going elsewhere. Tesco describe the blender as “stylish”, which I thought was a strange way of describing a basic handblender. I guess it is as stylish as a blender can be! It is all white except from the silver button on the top and looks quite sleek. The design is very simple which makes it very easy to use. This is great as I didn’t want a blender with hundreds of functions. The blender comes in two parts which are easily put together by twisting the bottom part onto the top part. It is equally simple to remove the bottom part for cleaning. There is a twist button on the top of the blender which you can use to select which speed you want to use. There are 3 speeds and I usually use the slowest one. The blender works by pressing in the large silver button on the top. You need to hold down the button to get a continuous action or you can press it to pulse the blender. There is no separate pulse function but this isn’t really a problem as you can control the length of the blending easily anyway. I have used the blender to blend soups and make smoothies which it does with ease. If I add ice to the smoothies I need to use the highest speed but it does blend the ice well eventually. I havn’t used the blender for anything else yet. After ...

Acer Aspire 5535 17/08/2011

Ace(r) Laptop!

Acer Aspire 5535 Ok, so my boyfriend and friends will tell you that I am a complete technophobe. I don’t pretend to understand how things work and I certainly can’t sit and talk to you about the ins and outs of the workings of this laptop. Luckily for me, two of my best friends are computing students meaning that if anything goes wrong in computer land I can get help quick! This review will be based on my personal experience of using my laptop computer and probably won’t contain much technical information as I don’t fancy just copying and pasting things from the specifications. I had never owned a laptop before deciding to come to University. I then decided that it would be much more useful for me to have a laptop than a desktop as I could take it to the library with me. Looking for a laptop was a nightmare for me as I had no idea what I needed or what was a good deal. My needs were very simple; I wanted access to the internet, use of Microsoft word and powerpoint and a good sized screen so I didn’t get sore eyes looking at it for hours (I sound so sensible). Baring in mind my simple requests, my Dad stepped in to suggest this Acer Aspire. It has a 15.6 inch screen which is quite large and I think is great as I hate the new tiny screens that are floating around. I reckon I would get a sore neck and eyes from staring at a small screen. The screen quality is really good, especially when playing films in full screen mode. I did find a slight issue with having the larger screen is that ...

Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes 16/08/2011

Clean skin is Simple!

Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes I have really sensitive skin and tend to come out in spots or rashes with a lot of products. I had heard of the Simple range for a while before I finally decided to give it a try. The first product I tried from their range were these cleansing wipes. Simple make a range of products which do not have any added perfume, colours, alcohol or harsh chemicals. This means they should be perfect for people with skin like me! These particular wipes also have added vitamin goodness. I have no idea what difference these added vitamins will make to your skin just by wiping them over it though. The packaging is the usual green and white colour that I now associate with the Simple brand. All of their products are coloured in this way and I feel it makes them noticeable on the shelf. To take the wipes out you need to peel back the sticker to reveal the hole in the packaging. The wipes can then be pulled out easily one by one. The sticker is easily replaced over the hole which means that the wipes will not dry out. The packet contains 25 wipes and each one is as good as the one before. I have found with other brands that when you get to the bottom of a packet the wipes have become dry. The actual wipes are a white colour and a good size. They feel moist but not overly wet and they have a nice fresh smell. Even though they are gentle to skin, they still remove makeup really well. I usually wear foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara on a daily basis and they remove all of this well. ...

Simple Soothing Toner 15/08/2011

Toning is Simple!

Simple Soothing Toner Since discovering the Simple range I have been using their products all the time in my skin care routine. This toner has become a must have for me and I have been buying it for about 6 months. A toner is used to tighten up the pores on your skin, making it more smooth and toned (hence the name...). This toner is also marketed as being soothing to your skin while doing its job. Usually toners contain alcohol in order to carry out their function. Simple products do not contain harsh chemicals or alcohol so I was intrigued to see how this toner worked. I am not an expert in skin care so cannot comment on which ingredients are actually carrying out the functions of toning. I can tell you that the product does work though! I use this product after cleansing my face and before applying moisturiser. The liquid is clear, colourless and is the consistency of water. I like the fact that it is colourless because I know there are no added colours. The toner is applied using a cotton wool pad. It is easy to apply the product to cotton wool as there is only a small hole in the top of the bottle. This means that product does not spill everywhere when you tip the bottle upside down. The bottle has a screw lid which is easy to remove but also creates a great seal to prevent spillage. Wiping this toner over my face is quite a nice feeling. It does not contain any alcohol which means that there is no stingy feeling. This is especially important if I have some spots that are a bit open ...

Hotpoint RFA52 02/08/2011

Cool Product

Hotpoint RFA52 When I moved into my house, there was a fridge/freezer already in the kitchen and came included with the house. At first I thought this was great as it saved me having to shop for a fridge soon after moving in. However, after having switched the fridge on and waiting for 24 hours, it was obvious that it was not going to get cold. Fortunately, there was a smaller fridge in the utility room of the house which did work and I could use that while looking for a new kitchen fridge. This was not ideal as 1. It was small for 3 people using it, and 2. It is downstairs from the kitchen so the milk kept being left out! There are so many fridges on the market and looking for one was a nightmare. I did manage to narrow down my options because the space for the fridge is built into the kitchen units, meaning that I had to get one with specific dimensions. The space is quite tall and narrow so I looked for a fridge that was narrower than standard. We got this fridge from John Lewis and ordered it online. This was great as it was delivered to the house. The delivery men were amazing and carried the fridge up the stairs and into the kitchen. They also took away my old fridge. The fridge was great because it is only 54cm wide so will fit into small spaces. It is 174cm in height which means you still get quite a lot of space overall. The fridge was really easy to install and only involved me plugging it in to the wall. It did take 2 people to do it as it involved holding the fridge near ...

Mr Muscle Window & Glass Cleaner 28/07/2011

Muscle For Your Windows!

Mr Muscle Window & Glass Cleaner There’s nothing worse than spending ages scrubbing windows or glass only to take a step back and be presented with a load of streaks! In times like these, I turn to Mr Muscle. The Mr Muscle Window and Glass spray comes in a clear plastic bottle with some orange detail on the nozzle. The product is a bright green colour and the combinations of the green and orange makes it very recognisable in my cupboard and on shelves in the supermarket. It is worth noting that even though the product is green it does not leave a green colour where you spray it! The bottle is a classic cleaning product design with a spray nozzle which can be locked by twisting a piece of plastic on the front of the nozzle. The spray works well and a good amount of product is contained in each spray. I usually use two sprays for each window as you can make it go quite far as it builds up on the cloth. You should use a dry cloth or kitchen roll as water will only produce streaks. It really does the job well and makes cleaning windows and mirrors much easier. It has added vinegar which they say aids in the streak-free finish. I had heard of using vinegar in cleaning before but I honestly don’t have a clue how it makes a difference. Due to the fact it contains vinegar I was worried that it might make my windows smell a bit like chips! In fact, it does not smell like vinegar at all and just smells clean. I can’t really describe the smell but it’s fresh and clean. The smell does not hang around for very ...

Dettol Antibacterial Multi-Action Complete Pink Grapefruit Spray 28/07/2011

Pink Grapefruit Freshness

Dettol Antibacterial Multi-Action Complete Pink Grapefruit Spray I like to make sure that my house is clean (even if it’s not tidy!). I would usually buy a cheaper surface spray for the kitchen and bathroom but this dettol spray was on offer in Tesco so I thought I would try it. I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for it on offer but it usually costs between £2 and £3. The bottle is a red colour and has the Dettol logo of the green circle and sword which is instantly recognisable. It’s quite a large bottle and holds 500ml of product, meaning that it will last quite a long time (depending on how often you clean!). On the back of the bottle it states that the product: -cuts through kitchen grease -removes bathroom dirt and soap scum -kills 99.9% of bacteria, such as E.coli and influenza virus (H1N1) -leaves a visible shine -leaves a fresh fragrance It’s really suitable for most cleaning tasks to be honest. I usually use it to clean the cooker hob, kitchen surfaces and bathroom surfaces. It works very well on the cooker hob and removes all the grease which builds up from cooking. You don't need to use a lot of the product even for really dirty surfaces a couple of sprays will be enough. I find in the bathroom that it does remove soap scum but it doesn’t get rid of tougher stains on the tiles. For this I need to use another product. The fact that this spray kills 99.9% of bacteria is a great feature and puts my mind at ease, especially in the kitchen. I can be sure that kitchen surfaces are nice and clean and minimise the risk of ...

Nestle Nesquik Chocolate 27/07/2011

Nesquik, Disappears Quick!

Nestle Nesquik Chocolate I always loved Nesquik drinks as a kid and have recently rediscovered a love for them whilst at University! We always had arguments in my house over what flavour was the best and my opinion was always the chocolate drink. Usually I just drink water, coffee and tea so it’s nice to have something a bit different every so often as a treat. The Nesquik comes in a powder form and you simply add it to some milk and stir in to make a lovely chocolate flavour milkshake drink. On the box it recommends using 2-4 teaspoons of powder added to about 200ml of milk. I usually use only 2 teaspoons as I find if you use any more you end up with a lot of powder residue in the drink (eww). I also always use semi-skimmed milk just through personal preference as I find the full fat one too creamy. If you wanted a more creamy rich drink then you could use full fat milk instead. The powder mixes with the milk quite well but you do end up with powder left at the bottom of the glass. I have found the best way to mix it is to use a milk whisk. This was a bit of a random addition to our kitchen equipment and is now usually only used for Nesquik! It makes the milkshake more bubbly and mixes it well. On the box it states that the product has no added colours, artificial flavours, sweeteners or preservatives which is a big thumbs up for me and I guess would appeal to parents giving it to their kids. The product also has Vitamin D added to it which aids the absorption of calcium from the diet. Again ...

Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer 26/07/2011

Achieve that light glow look!

Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer I had never been one for using fake tan, always hating the “tango’d” look that some girls achieve and seem to love! However, when it came around to a big night out and I was looking particularly pale, I decided it might be worth a shout. I was very confused by the vast array of products available and so took advice from a friend. She advised that I go for something which was spray on and didn’t require me to shower it off. This product caught my eye because it promised a streak free finish and it also came in a spray bottle which I assumed would be easy to use. I chose the version for fair skin as I didn’t want to go too many shades darker than my natural whiteness! It is also available for medium and dark skin. I was very wary of the product to begin with so made sure that I read the instructions carefully before starting. The mist sprays on and dries without any need to rub the product into skin. The instructions say to spray the product about 40cm from the skin in regular motions. It recommends using the spray every day until the shade you want is achieved. The tan will take 3 hours to develop. This product is not suitable for use on your face. However, there is a face mist also available in the range. Using the spray is very easy. The bottle is easy to hold, and it will spray at any angle which is very useful if you don’t have someone to help you with the difficult angles! The weird thing about this product is that it is colourless, so you can’t see where you have ...

Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion 21/07/2011

Magic Potion!

Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion This eyeshadow primer is a must have in my makeup bag and I use it all the time. To be honest, I had never even heard of using eyeshadow primer until I got an urban decay set and this was included. I decided I would give it a try and absolutely loved it! I've been buying it ever since in the full size version. Eyeshadow primer is used under your eyeshadow to fix the product better. This means that the colours will last longer, be more vibrant and there will be no annoying creases in your makeup. I wasn't convinced initially that this product would be worth adding to my makeup routine but it really does work. The urban decay eyeshadow primer comes in a lovely purple/pink small bottle and doesn't take up any more space than a mascara in my bag. The lid screws off and there is an applicator on the end of a stick. The applicator is similar to the ones that are used in most lip glosses. It has a slightly curved edge which makes smoothing the primer over your eyelids much easier. The actual product is a light cream colour and has a slight sticky texture. Despite the stickiness, it does not bunch up on your skin and smooths on in a thin layer easily. You can see where the primer has been applied because of its colour and the shine from the product. The colour does not interfere with the colour of your eyeshadow, even if you are using light nude shades. When I use this my eyes don't feel sticky or heavy at all and once it dries I can't even notice it is there. I was really ...

Ribena Really Light Blackcurrant Drink with No Added Sugar 17/07/2011

Hopefully I'll be Light after drinking this!

Ribena Really Light Blackcurrant Drink with No Added Sugar I don’t usually drink very much juice, preferring water or tea most of the time. On the occasions when I do buy concentrated juices I usually opt for either Ribena or for a Robinsons fruit squash. When I was in Tesco a few weeks ago they had a buy one get one free deal on both the Ribena and the Ribena No Added Sugar. I would usually buy the normal Ribena but since I am trying to shift a few pounds I went for the light version. When I got home I saw that my flatmate had a bottle of the normal Ribena in the cupboard so I thought I’d compare them. I was really surprised to see the difference in the calorie contents! For a 250ml diluted serving the nutritional information is: No added sugar version: Calories 10, sugars 1.3g, fat nil, saturates nil, salt trace Normal version: Calories 108, sugars 26.3g, fat nil, saturates nil, salt trace This is a huge difference between the two versions and was really quite shocking to me. It would be easy to drink a few glasses of Ribena in a day and really start to pile in the calories without thinking about it. This made me really glad that I picked up the No Added Sugar bottle! As well as the saving on calories, the lower sugar content is a real advantage in the healthy teeth department. I can also pretend to myself that I’m being healthy by drinking this as it is rich in Vitamin C, bonus. As there is no added sugar, the sweetness is achieved by adding sweeteners to the juice. In my eyes this is a bit of a disadvantage as I have been ...

Carex Hand Gel Aloe Vera 14/07/2011

Clean hands with Carex

Carex Hand Gel Aloe Vera Good hand hygiene is something that is really important to me. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to wash your hands properly with soap and water and that’s where this product comes in! I tend not to carry this around with me all the time but always make sure it is in my handbag if I am travelling. I hate flying without having some with me as I think it’s really difficult to wash my hands properly in the tiny sinks in aeroplanes. Hand gel can be used to wash your hands if soap and water are not available. It should not be used instead of soap and water if they are available though. Also, it should be noted that if your hands are actually covered in dirt this gel won’t do much! The gel dries on your hands quickly so you don’t need to dry your hands or worry about dripping gel on your clothes. Carex claim that the gel kills 99.9% of bacteria, which puts my mind at ease when I’m using it! The gel is easy to dispense by removing the lid and pressing on the pump. Usually you need to use a few squirts of the gel to clean both hands. The main reason I bought this gel is because I wanted a hand gel that smelled nice. I use a plain hand gel quite often as my university course requires me to spend time on hospital wards. I could have used the same hand gel for everyday use but I’m not very fond of the alcohol smell. The carex gel is also an alcohol based gel but is fragranced with aloe vera. The smell is really strong to start with and I feel it still smells like alcohol ...

Tesco Value Sponge Pan Cleaners 14/07/2011

Real value!

Tesco Value Sponge Pan Cleaners There are certain things I hate spending a lot of money on. Cloths and sponges for cleaning the dishes are definitely some of those things! I always think it seems a bit pointless spending more than you have to on something that is going to get dirty and be thrown out anyway. This pack of Tesco value sponges costs just 14p and there are 5 in the pack. This is excellent value as it means each sponge costs less than 3p! Bargain! The sponges are white with a black stripe of rougher material on one side which can be used to remove food from pans. I do not find that the sponges scratch any of my dishes but I guess you might need to be careful if you are scrubbing vigorously. There are non-scratch pan cleaners available but these cost 82p for a pack of 6, working out at 14p per sponge. I use the pan cleaners to wash all of my dishes usually. They clean things very well, especially if something has had time to get stuck onto a plate! I actually find them easier to use than normal cloths for the purpose of washing dishes. I have found that the sponges last a reasonable length of time. Obviously if you buy more expensive ones they will last longer but I don’t think it would be a lot longer since they are both going to end up dirty from dishes. Eventually the sponges do start to fall apart but by that time they are usually pretty disgusting and I would throw them out anyway. All in all, these are great value for money and fit their purpose well. 5 stars from me!
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