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since 17/10/2002


Ebac 2650 12/02/2015

My Ebac 2650e Removes Condensation & Cuts Heating Costs

Ebac 2650 Condensation and Possible Solutions If you have a mild condensation problem, try using cheap disposable crystal based dehumidifiers that can be bought for about £1 each, and ventilate your home as much as possible, especially when using hot water, for example, cooking and bathing. If this is insufficient to solve your problem, you will need to think about an electrical solution. We were looking for ways of minimising the condensation problem in our home, which seemed to get worse the more we insulated it to save on heating bills. We have an extractor fan over our cooker, a vented tumble dryer and were timing our showers for the warmer parts of the day, so that we weren’t creating much in the way of unnecessary steam in the evening or night when we wanted to close our windows. We tried using the single use de-humidifiers, which have crystals that attract and absorb the moisture in the air. This helped and was enough when placed in each bedroom being used in the 4-5 warmest months of the year, if I made sure the house was well ventilated during the warm day-time temperatures. In winter, there was even bad condensation on the windows of unused rooms overnight though, which was beginning to cause mould. Apart from this, our home was well maintained, so we knew the excess water was due to everyday living factors such as breathing, sweating, cooking and washing. Ebac The Ebac website has all sorts of helpful information to help you decide which ...

Stanley Sortmaster Organiser 05/02/2015

Organise Your Saucy or Sweet DIY Valentine with Stanley

Stanley Sortmaster Organiser My husband is the DIY expert in our house, with his own preferences, so I could never buy the “right” tool for him. It would be like a bloke choosing a woman’s clothes without knowing her size. I thought buying him storage would be easier. He devised a lot of make-do solutions, some of which were definitely not fit for purpose because they can’t take the weight required of the heavy metal items that he put in them. Specifications Overall it measures 328mm x 427mm x 86mm. The six small central compartments are fixed, but the outer space can be customised with removable dividers. The ridges in the lid interlock with the dividers so keeping everything in the right compartment. The lid also stays reliably shut when fully locked by a pair of side clips, and the more secure mechanism at the centre of the lid. The see through lid is especially handy if the owner has more than one of these in use. The strong synthetic material that it is made of is fit for the purpose of carrying heavy components, and unlike similar metal ones will not rust. Saucy or Sweet Valentine Gift Ideas With Valentine’s Day approaching, you may think this is a good gift idea for a not yet tidy DIY enthusiast. Instead of giving an empty box you could put a few screws in it or maybe some love-hearts, whichever best suits your taste, saucy or sweet. I bought this as a gift for my husband a few years ago now. He seemed to have a lot of screws, nuts and similar but never ...

Boots Essentials Compact 1600W 04/02/2015

Compact, Light & Reliable Hair-Dryer by Boots

Boots Essentials Compact 1600W This Boots Essentials 1600w Compact Hairdryer was first bought as a convenient one for my daughter to take away on a school holiday, when she was 11 years old. We wanted one that was light, compact and didn’t cost too much, not knowing if it would find its way home again, as she had not had to look after a suitcase full of her own belongings before. Happily it did survive that holiday. Since then it has travelled many miles with us. When we first bought it, I had thick long hair, and had to be careful, especially when I dried my hair from underneath, that I didn’t let my hair get sucked into the inlet grille. The controls are easy to use and enabled me to turn it off quickly on the couple of occasions when this did happen. This was not the fault of the hair-dryer. I should have been more careful. Had I not been this fast, it is designed with an automatic thermal cut-out if either the inlet or outlet grills need attention. Once cleared, and the dryer has cooled down, the thermal cut-out will reset when it is cooled down. Now I have short hair and can foresee no reason for wanting to use a more sophisticated dryer. The important thing for me now is to have a good cut from my stylist. Luckily I have my own personal one, who I have known all her life. Now that most of the weight of my long hair has gone, I can easily run my comb and then my fingers through it. Doing this while it is still damp is enough to give a bit of height to my style. The hairdryer comes with a ...

Trivial Pursuit Party Board Game 30/01/2015

More Tactical than Original, and Quicker, so More Fun

Trivial Pursuit Party Board Game Why My Family Prefer the Party Version of Trivial Pursuit We are not serious, competitive, quiz players, and only play any board games for fun. If I don’t laugh while I am playing, it’s not worth the effort for me. I think this is the type of person the Trivial Pursuit Party version is aimed at. The questions themselves aren’t meant to be humorous, but the light-hearted way my family have played it, makes it fun for us. The Original Trivial Pursuit My family did have the original version of Trivial Pursuit but gave it away many years ago because we found it tedious and eventually with not enough up-to-date questions. To make it more family friendly for those with specific knowledge strengths and weaknesses we did play in teams rather than individuals though. Trivial Pursuit Party This is designed to be played with a little help from your friends, rather than having to re-invent the rules as we did with the original version. All of the cheese wedges that you have to collect to fill the circle are now white, and now answer any 6 questions correctly to complete the cheese. Get the full cheese to the centre and you are the winner. Throw the dice to see what space you will land on. On three out of four spaces on the outside of the circular board you will have to ask a question on a specific category. On the fourth space you can choose your own category. The few spaces leading to the central winning square are all specific category ones though. If ...

Disney Doc McStuffins Annual 2015 27/01/2015

Learn to be Healthy with Doc McStuffins' Activity Annual

Disney Doc McStuffins Annual 2015 The 2015 Doc McStuffins Annual - THE CONTENTS ARE IDENTICAL TO THE 2014 ANNUAL This was not a problem for my family, since my grand-daughter had not discovered Doc McStaffins last year, but I think that it is sad that some good meaning people may have bought the annual with 2015 on the front for children who already had the 2014 annual from last year. There is a note referring to this on the back cover of the book, but it is in small print. It says, “Please note: this edition has the same content as the Doc McStaffins Annual 2014 which was available through an exclusive retailer in 2013.” I think this information should have been on the front of the book in bigger print. This is the only reason that I am not giving this annual the full 5 stars. Doc McStuffins My grand-daughter loves Doc McStuffins. She first discovered this character on Disney Junior TV. To start with it was the catchy Time for a Check Up song that got her attention and started her dancing around the room. Once interested, the colourful characters, with child-like needs and attitudes, have taught her a lot. Annual Contents 2014 AND 2015 The Annual starts off by explaining who Doc McStuffins and the key characters in her life are. I think this is especially good for helping adults, unfamiliar with the subject, to quickly understand why the characters are so appealing to youngsters, and help them develop play activities based on them with the children. Briefly, the Doc is a ...

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Perfect 10 02/01/2015

Perfect Hair Dye for Me with Great Result in 10 Minutes

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Perfect 10 I colour my hair to get rid of my now 50% grey hair. My natural hair colour was light brown and that is how I want it to stay. Clairol Perfect 10 Light Brown shade 6 is an exact match for me. This shade is designed to work well with medium blonde through to medium brown hair, for those wishing to change their colour within this range, to light brown. The likely results for these colours are shown on the box. My Family’s Teamwork While I believe it is possible for those with reasonable eye-sight to use Perfect 10 without help, my eyesight is very poor without wearing my specs. Therefore, my daughter used to put the colour on for me, as it is desirable to take spectacles off when applying the colour to avoid colouring them as well. While she was still living at home, we tried out different brands, and decided this was the best one for her to use on me. After she moved away I thought I would have to pay a hairdresser to colour my hair, but my husband rather nervously said he would try if I wanted him to. My daughter visited us to supervise on his first attempt, and encourage him that he could do a good job easily with this. Now he colours my hair without either him, or me, worrying about it, so he thinks it must be easy, even for those with no previous experience, provided they follow the instructions correctly. What’s in the Box? (see photo) High Gloss Colour Crème – tube marked 1 Colour Activating Crème – bottle marked 2 with Root Applicator ...

Carousel Stacking Cups 11/12/2014

Versatile & Safe Baby & Toddler Toy

Carousel Stacking Cups OUR CAROUSEL STACKING CUPS Stacking Cups may seem a simple toy, that has been around for ages, but for those with imagination, they are one of the most versatile playthings a young child can have, especially if as well designed as this set. These Carousel Stacking Cups came from Tesco. For £4 you get a set of 10. (Those with Tesco loyalty vouchers to spend, will be please to know that they are currently also available through the Double Up Clubcard Rewards Scheme for toys.) The cups have a number on the base from 1 to 10, 1 being the biggest cup. My one minor disappointment was the selection of colours, which had no obvious sequence. Our set contained 3 orange (numbers 1, 3 & 7), 2 yellow (numbers 4 & 8), 2 red (numbers 2 & 5), 2 purple (6 & 10) and 1 green (number 2). I think it would have been better to have included blue instead of the orange, which is close in shade to the colour red, and had 2 of each colour in a logical sequence. Our toddler doesn’t seem to mind the colours supplied though, so I will not reduce my rating for that. GAMES TO PLAY We have found lots of games to play with these cups. Here are the 14 things we have done with them so far. 1 Stacked them high. 2 Gigggled as we knocked them down again. 3 Played matching up the cups with others of the same colour. 4 Played sorting the big cups from the little cups. 5 Used the cups as hats, either by trying to balance them on our own heads, or using them on the ...

Dove 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner 07/12/2014

Best Value Hair Brand for Me - Dove 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner

Dove 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner MY BEST VALUE FOR MONEY @ 99p I have been using Dove Shampoos for many years. Although I have sampled other brands in between using Dove varieties, I always come back to it. I have found dearer shampoos that are as good, but not better. For me, it makes no sense to pay more for a product I can get in my local 99p Store (for 99p). Dove is usually there in most of its forms, and to make sure I don’t run out, I try to keep spares in my cupboard. MY HAIR TYPE & USAGE As I have got older, I have tended to need the type of shampoo for Normal hair, rather than the Greasy hair type of my younger years. Although the kind of shampoo and conditioner I need, can also change with the weather. The DOVE that I use most often is the 2 IN 1 SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER. It cleans my hair well, without over drying it, and leaves it with a subtle pleasant smell. Most times this contains the right amount of conditioner for me. There are times when I do add a small amount of extra conditioner to my hair. These are just after I have dyed the greys, and any time I feel my scalp is a little dryer (this usually happens in the winter). All home dying kits that I have bought contain more than enough specialist conditioner to top up the conditioner in Dove 2 in 1 until it is time to dye my hair again. I just use Dove 2 in 1 as normal on these occasions, and then use a modest amount of extra conditioner to finish off. The one time I don’t use Dove 2 in 1 is the shampoo just ...

Superdrug Vitamin E All Over Body Cream 06/11/2014

My Top Value for Money Moisturiser

Superdrug Vitamin E All Over Body Cream The Superdrug Claim “Give your skin an intensive hydrating treat every day with this all over body cream that's rich in naturally sourced Vitamin E. Non-greasy and easily absorbed, it will moisturise, soften and smooth your skin to leave it feeling refreshed and looking radiant. Our naturally sourced vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which revitalises and protects the skin, helping to combat the damaging effects of the environment and prevent premature ageing.” Price At full price this costs £2.99 for a large 475 ml jar. Superdrug often have special offers, especially on their own-brand products. A current offer is “buy one get one half price” across a wide range of their own-brand products. This means I can get 2 large jars for £4.50, which would last me about six months. However, you don’t have to buy 2 identical products, but buying 2 similarly priced products is the way to get best value for money. Other products include basic and advanced skin care, oral care, feminine hygiene and toddler feeding. Initially, I didn’t have especially high hopes for this cream, but thought it would nevertheless get used up during the harsh winter months. I turned out to be pleasantly surprised. Advantages FRAGRANCE It has a light pleasant smell of coconut oil, which is one of the ingredients. I have experienced creams with a heavier, artificial, coconut smell in the past, but prefer this lighter fragrance, which I believe comes from the natural ...

Avon Simply Delicate Cooling Feminine Wash 13/10/2014

Not Recommended for Delicate Skin

Avon Simply Delicate Cooling Feminine Wash This product is advertised as being suitable for feminine intimate areas, which are often the most vulnerable to irritants. Avon’s Claim I have found that Avon often say very little about their products, implying their properties more with photos and not-too-precise words. They are not alone among beauty manufacturers to do this, but some brands do give a lot more information on websites. On the back of this container in small print it says, “Gentle, effective and cooling formula for all day freshness. Suitable for daily use. TO USE: Apply small amount to external vaginal area. Lather and rinse thoroughly. CAUTION: For external use only. Discontinmue use if irritation or rash appears.” Avon’s website does not include the above information. Instead, under product information, it just says, “Soap-free and pH-balanced. 300ml.” Avon do not say exactly what they mean by pH balanced, although to me it implies that it is pH neutral, that is it is neither acidic or alkaline. If it is pH neutral why do Avon not say that? Being suspicious, I assume the absence of that statement means that it is not neutral. Sodium Laureth Sulphate The cleansing agent in this liquid, is the same as that used in a wide range of products for cleansing the skin. Most people called it “liquid soap”, but it is actually sodium laureth sulphate, which is not scientifically called soap. I believe that, ideally, cleansers for sensitive skin, or for areas that are more sensitive than ...

Earol Olive Oil Spray 14/09/2014

Simply Soften Ear Wax

Earol Olive Oil Spray My Experience Hay fever badly affected my ears last year. After applying prescription strength drops, I ended up having to have them syringed twice in 2 weeks, at my local Health Centre, to get all of the hardened wax out. I should not have left it so long before going to my GP. By the time I asked for the initial appointment the excess wax was so bad that it was affecting my hearing and balance. (For those that didn't pay attention in the relevant biology lesson, healthy semi-circular canals in the inner ear are essential to good balance.) This resulted in people having to shout at me to be heard, and me falling over and breaking an arm. This being something I didn’t want to repeat, I took my GP’s advice and am using preventative olive oil in my ears to stop them ending up in the same state again. My doctor didn’t recommend olive oil of any particular brand, but when I saw it in spray form in the healthcare department of Morrison’s, I thought it an easy and non-messy way of getting an appropriate dose into my ears. However, after a couple of months Morrison’s discontinued this and I couldn’t find it anywhere else on my high street. I have since bought it from Amazon, who currently sell it for £4.99 a 10 ml bottle. This is part of their free delivery on total orders over £10 offer. How often you need to use it will depend on the degree of ear wax problem you have. I have used it as a preventative treatment for the past year, and have had no ...

Skin Wisdom Age Delay Day Moisturiser 06/03/2014

The Wisdom of Experience

Skin Wisdom Age Delay Day Moisturiser The Skin Wisdom Range Tesco launched their own brand skin care range, called Skin Wisdom, about 10 years ago, with cleansers and moisturisers. They gradually extended the range and in 2011 they launched Skin Wisdom Anti-Aging products, which are marketed for different age groups. These were created for them by Bharti Vyas, who specialises in holistic skin care. The age guidelines are:- Youth Protect Products for those under 35, Ultimate Lift Products for those aged 35 to 50, and Age Delay Products for over 50s. My Facial Skin Type Until I reached my 40s I had excessively greasy skin all over my face, so only used very light skin care products, often those designed for teenagers. In my 40s some previously greasy skin became what I believe to be average. The very greasy T Zone (forehead, nose and chin) persisted though. Now in my late 50s, I still have that greasy T Zone, but have to be careful that potentially dry patches on my cheeks and around my mouth are kept well moisturised. Age Delay Day Moisturiser The manufacturers claim, "The Skin Wisdom Age Delay range is designed to address the needs of mature skin. Helping to hydrate and replenish to leave skin feeling more resilient and nourished with a youthful radiance." The recommended age range is for the over 50s. My brief SUMMER use proved to me that the SPF 15 stopped the areas I had applied it from burning. It was obvious on my fair skin, after only a little sun ...

Avon Anew Reversalist Renewal Foaming Cleanser 24/02/2014


Avon Anew Reversalist Renewal Foaming Cleanser Avon's Guidelines Avon typically say very little about their beauty products in their advertising. Instead they tend to rely on the impression potential customers get from their promotional photographs. However, with their skin care products, they do have age guidelines. In the Anew Anti-Aging Skin Care Range these are the age guidelines. 25 to 40 Years Vitale 40 to 50 Years Reversalist 50 to 60 Years Ultimate 60 Years upwards Platinum For Anew Reversalist Renewal Foaming Cleanser Avon say, "Moisture-rich, fast-foaming cleanser formulated with Activinol Wrinkle Reversal Technology. It removes dirt, excess oil and make-up, leaving skin looking refreshed, toned, soft and smooth based on a Consumer Study, 30 people." Exfoliation I think one of the ways the Reveralist range is supposed to work is that the AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) in it chemically dissolve away the top layer of dead skin. Other cleansers do a similar thing by having naturally occurring abrasives in their cleansers - for example Avon Clearskin Scrub (primarily aimed at teenages). A popular example from another brand is the St Ives Apricot Scrub. This is the sort that seems to suit me best, and even then I only feel a need to use them once a week on my skin. Although experience has shown that the AHA method of exfoliation has not worked well for my facial skin, others apparently do benefit from it. Getting rid of the dead surface skin this way can make the skin ...

Clean & Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash 20/02/2014

Scrap Off the Dirt

Clean & Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash Clean & Clear Range The Clean & Clear range of facial care, by Johnson & Johnson, is primarily aimed at those with greasy skin, typically teenagers. However, I believe that skin type is just as important as age when choosing products. Clean & Clear have their own moisturiser, which I used to use after cleansing, but since maturing I have switched to an anti-aging brand, although I still occasionally use their exfoliating wash. Exfoliating Daily Wash I used to use this a lot when I was younger and had very greasy skin. Now in my 50s I still use it occasionally, concentrating on my greasy (even though mature) T-zone of forehead, nose and chin. Exfoliators work by getting rid of the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, and with them dirt and excess oil. I find that this makes it look and feel healthier, providing you do not do it more often than your skin type requires, or use a product that is too harsh for you. Exfoliating with a suitable anti-bacterial product can also reduce the risk of spots. The exfoliators in Clean & Clear's Exfoliating Daily Wash are tiny "micro-beads". Some exfoliating washes use liquid chemicals to remove the top layer of skin instead of obvious abrasives. I find Clean & Clear's "micro-beads" gentler on my skin than the chemical method used in other brands' products. If you feel that your skin needs you to rub the beads in hard you can, or you can be gentle while using this product, as I am. I wet my face ...

Derwent Coloursoft Pencils Extra Soft Highly-blendable Colours 12/01/2014

Subtle to Vibrant Blendable Colour

Derwent Coloursoft Pencils Extra Soft Highly-blendable Colours Derwent and Their Main Competitors Derwent are the UK's market leaders in good quality pencils. Their main competitors worldwide are Faber Castell (Germany) and Prismacolor (USA). Usually these competitors' products, which I believe can produce similar artistic results , are slightly more expensive if bought in the UK. The full range of Prismacolor can be especially hard to buy from UK based stores, so this often means paying shipping costs from the USA. Although there are small differences in similar ranges from these three companies, the pencils artists prefer most appear to be down to individual tastes and types of artwork. Personally, I like to experiment by combining as many different brands and types as I have available, either from my own supplies or from friends. A good way of avoiding expensive mistakes is either by reciprocal loans from other artists, or by using the testers available in some art shops. Derwent Ranges Derwent have a wide range of pencils. Many are aimed at adult artists. Derwent also make good quality pencils specifically aimed at children (the Lakeland and Colourland ranges). COLOURSOFT Safety Although Derwent Coloursoft pencils appear to be aimed primarily at adult artists, there is now an assurance on their Facebook page about the safety of all their pencil ranges. Their representative has posted, "I can confirm the products don't contain any heavy metals and are safe for children. We ...
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