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since 23/11/2003


Kombucha Tea Therapy 11/07/2004

Kombucha? Can betchya!

Kombucha Tea Therapy I first came across Kombucha tea last autumn when visiting friends in Chicago, and have been making and supping it ever since. It was a long way to go to find out about this elusive concoction, but I feel a whole doggone lot better (to mingle the jingo) for taking it. What follows are bits that I’ve since found out about Kombucha, with a recipe for fermenting it, should you be inclined to do yourself a favour. This is a bit long (and I’ve edited so too, honest), so maybe you want to grab yourself a regular cuppa before you take a read. Pronounced com-boo-cha, aka Manchurian Mushroom Tea, Teakwass, Mo-Gu, Fungus Japonicas, Divine Tsche, Kvass. What is it? Kombucha is a pleasant tasting, health giving beverage that tastes not unlike a sparkling apple-cum-cider drink with a slight tang. It’s made by fermenting sweetened tea, using the Kombucha mushroom as its starter, much like yeast is used in brewing. The mushroom, however, is not a mushroom at all but a colony of beneficial bacteria and yeast. It looks like a smooth but thick jelly like disc, greyish brownish in colour, depending on its age. Origins Kombucha has been around for centuries and has been traced back to the days of the Chinese empire. Over time, it spread to Japan, India, Russia and Eastern Europe and the Baltic. Today it is consumed daily by people around the world. Properties Some of the known components of Kombucha are – lactic acid, acetic acid, malic acid, oxalic acid, gluconic acid, ...

Clinique Foaming Mousse Cleanser 10/07/2004

La mousse pour la face

Clinique Foaming Mousse Cleanser This cleanser will suit any skin but I’m gunning for the woman of ‘a certain age’ here - it will definitely suit you. What I like about this cleanser is its moussness. No need to be applying big dollops of it either, you can be really stingy with it. And you don’t need any extra paraphernalia such as cotton pads to apply it, just plain old water and your hands. First off, wet your face, and with your hands still wet, pump about half an inch of mousse onto your palm, rub your palms together and you soon have lots of moussey lather. Apply gently to your face and neck in small circular movements (avoiding the eyes), splash off, and finish off with some toner. Then, of course, moisturise. Just like the beauty girls say you should. You need such a small amount that it’s going to last quite a long time. I’m only into my third month of using it twice daily (doing as I should finally in life – such a slow learner) and it’s nowhere near half used. The pump is easily controlled and works every time so you can get out that half-inch and just that half inch. Just a slight depress and out oozes the mousse. I was doubtful at first that such a small amount would do – the Clinique woman was insistent a small amount would work, but I don’t believe anything until I’ve tried it myself. But you really do need just a smidgen. The pump function means it’s also easy to use in the shower. With my new daily routine, which I never thought I’d hear myself saying, my skin ...

Clinique Anti-gravity Firming Lift Mask 23/06/2004

Great drink for dry faces

Clinique Anti-gravity Firming Lift Mask This mask gives a quick fix instant hydration to the skin, which is great for us older women with thirsty faces. Not wanting to sound disrespectful but either the previous reviewer was writing about a different product or didn't read the instructions too clearly. Before you use this cleanse the face, no point in going to all that trouble if you don't cleanse first. This is quite a thick cream that you apply generously, and leave on for 5 mins. Then just tissue off. Results - in those 5 minutes the skin has drunk quite a lot of the cream, and you are left with that nice luminous look. It's good for fine lines but you can't use it around the eyes, unfortunately. My skin is so dry these days it really appreciates these treats. It doesn't dry; it's not that kind of face mask. Just a thick creamy drink for the skin. Clinique recommend using it once or twice a week, I'd add whenever you need that quick fix ie before going out. I have broken capillaries across my cheekbones (oh those careless days of sunbathing) and found it best if I avoided using it there as it tingled a bit the first few times I tried it. But, interestingly, that seems to have gone now. So I'm happy to smooth it all over. It leaves my 50 year old skin felling softer and looking much healthier with that nice moisturised toned look that you get after having had a facial. And people have noticed. Of course Clinique recommend following up with other anti-gravity products, and if money is ...

BT ON AIR 2250 21/06/2004

The phone for families

BT ON AIR 2250 Life as I knew it before getting this phone had me constantly yelling up the stairs to one of my teenagers It’s for you. The old cord phone was in the hallway, so whomever it was for would then plonk themselves down on the bottom stairs and curl up into a sort of foetal shape in an attempt to get some kind of privacy. Or they’d stretch the cord beyond its capability determined to prove that it would reach to the sofa in the front room – resulting in kiboshed cord. The obvious answer was to invest in a cordless, but all that fuzzy whiny interference! Better the devil you know. But then digital happened. The reception is crystal clear with this phone. I haven’t experimented with just how far I can go from the base unit and it still work but it’s certainly further than the garden or the attic. Useful features on the handset include – a directory for up to 50 names and numbers; intercom facility between handsets (which is a fun bonus, saves on yelling Tea’s ready!); and redial for the last 20 calls made or received, it also lets you see how long any recent calls were. And my favourite function, the ability to transfer calls from one handset to another, which really does save on the lungs (it’s still nearly always not for me). Other features for subscribers are Caller Display and Call Waiting. The answer-phone in the base unit has ample facilities for most needs - it can also be set to be ‘answer only’ if you don't want to receive even any messages. It can be ...

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion 08/06/2004

Older eyes deserve the best

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion For years now I've listened patiently whilst my lovely daughter tells me about the latest wonder product she's bought for her skin. Years of it whilst I've scurried off to the cheaper than cheap shelves for mine. Then one day a little extra cash came my way I knew just where I was headed, straight to that Clinique counter. After all, I'm of that certain age (50) and need all the help I can get. Those lines that we all dread have begun to appear below my eyes. This moisturiser is good for all of the face but especially under the eyes. Whatever the formula it's just right for older skin. My daughter (26) says she found it a bit heavy for her young skin (didn’t offer to pass on her bottle though!). Getting the moisturiser out of the bottle is half the battle. Why put it in a glass bottle? I'm not at the end of it yet, but already am contemplating how on earth I'm going to get those precious last drops out. But once you have got a few blobs out then just dab it under the eyes, nice gentle dabs and see the transformation. Well okay, it's not quite that dramatic but it does rehydrate the area nicely. It won't get rid of those lines but it can make them less noticeable. Given that us women of a certain age are such consumers of skin care products - and what a wealth there is out there these days - we need each other's honesty to help us choose the best products. I've tried all sorts for under the eyes and am quite content with this one so far. As to whether ...

Ultrasonex Phaser Toothbrush 08/06/2004

Have toothbrush will smile more.

Ultrasonex Phaser Toothbrush Having lost my front teeth to dentures I resolved to take extra special care of my remaining teeth. Though price determined which sonic toothbrush I purchased in the end (£20 off £59.99 at Boots, plus all those loyalty points). The booklet is quite informative, but only begins to make sense once you start to use the toothbrush (which at first sight looks enormous). I can imagine it being somewhat awkward for those with the smaller mouth, as you need to stretch your mouth as wide as possible and be in front of a mirror so that you can see and do a good job. The ends of the bristles are placed against the gum where it meets the teeth then down over the teeth. The vibrations are actually pleasant. I have a couple of looser teeth and so far they don't seem to be adversely affected. You soon develop a routine for brushing in sections. The pause in the vibrations (every 30 seconds) is really useful so you know it's time you should've moved on to the next bit. The cleanliness factor is superb, as good as when the dentist cleans them. So now there's no excuse for not having super clean teeth. The blurb states that the sonic vibration gives traditional brushing action with less effort, whilst the simultaneous ultrasonic vibration penetrates the gums and attacks plaque - good for reversing gingivitis, reduces bleeding and 'shrinks periodontal pockets'. Well, my teeth haven't felt this good in years or looked so clean and it's that combination of the sonic and ultrasonic ...
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