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I am back at last, been a long time coming, I know, but things have settled now we have moved and I have some time to devote to this site.

Reviews written

since 07/10/2002


The Sanctuary Foaming Bath Soak 20/08/2012


The Sanctuary Foaming Bath Soak When it comes to bath time, I am the biggest sucker for anything that smells nice, or promises to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Being a fan of The Sanctuary's products, it would only be a matter of time before I got my paws on the foaming bath soak so following a recent short spell in hospital, my friend bought me a few gifts so that I could pamper myself when I got home. Among the goodies was the foaming bath soak that I am writing about today. Waiting for the opportunity to escape to the bathroom and escape family life for an hour (at least), usually a Friday when hubby and kids are all at Ju-jitsu I went in armed with a book and my bottle of bubbly (bath soak, and not champagne, dahling!) Reading the instructions on the bottom, it said to pour a generous amount under the running tap. Given that the bottle contained just 75ml, I chose to ignore the advice, from previous experience when using The Sanctuary products, I have come to realise that less is more, and that certainly is the case where the foam bath is concerned. A little does go a long way, and if like me you like to wash your hair in the bath, there's nothing worst than having hair that goes all bubbly and hard to wash after soaking in a bath of bubbles. As the bath filled, a strong, heady aroma filled the air. It was very pleasant though, ginger being the main scent, but also a sweeter background. I could feel myself relaxing even before getting into the bath. The liquid itself is thick and creamy, ...

All About Me 20/08/2012

What you see is what you get

All About Me As I have been away from Ciao for such a long time. I received an email today from Ciao asking if I wanted my account to remain open. While I realise that a few years have passed since I last participated on the site, a part of me felt that I wasn't quite ready to throw in the towel. I have come to know a lot of people on here, and I have shared a few memories with some and have also seen my children be born and grow up while on Ciao. I don't think my time has come yet to say goodbye, so once again it's Ciao. This was one of my original pieces so I thought I would bring it up to date, mainly for newer Ciao members and those more established that feel they want an insight. Well, here goes. 1)What time is it? 15.56. I have just got home from work, let the dogs out for a wee, checked on the chickens - 5 nice eggs, thanks very much girls. Put the tea on - Pasta and Chicken bake tonight, and while it's cooking I will do some Zumba. 2)First name as it appears on your birth certificate Julia 3)What are your parents names? Roger and Denise (or mum and dad to me) - They are celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary this week, so congrats to them. Mum will also be 70 on Christmas this year. Quite a year for them - and expensive for me :) 4)Number of candles on last birthday cake I wouldn't dare placing 37 candles on my birthday cake - a) it would have to be a pretty big cake to house them all, and B) there's a slim chance the house could go up in flames. 5)Hair ...

reveals yourself in 100 questions... 24/04/2007


reveals yourself in 100 questions... Well, what can I say? I have been away from the Ciao Community for some time now, such a long time in fact that I thought a good way of easing myself back in to writing on this site, would be for a little light relief in the form of Q&A's. This way, those that have a vague memory of me would be gently reminded of myself and those that haven't come to know me yet will learn something from this. That's the plan, whether it comes off or not is anyone's guess. I came across this challenge a few days ago while perusing the site, and I thought I might try it out. So here goes nothing, pull up a chair, crack open a beer or make a brew and above all else, take it with a pinch of salt. It's all fun. The original challenge was set by "Nadou", a young French Girl, and her idea was "This is my first review in ciao uk (I have made 81 reviews in ciao France). I'm a French girl and I decided to begin the adventure of made review in English. Hope you enjoy this one which are very successful in ciao France. Its name is: Reveals yourself in 100 questions…Please, do not hesitate to correct me, I want to perfect my English. Thanks per advance." 1 - First Names: Julia Michelle, hated my first name for most of my primary school days, but have now grown to love it. 2. - Pseudo(s)? Loads of nicknames, but here's a couple that I AM willing to share with you; Jules for obvious reasons, Bungle - not after the big brown bear in Rainbow, but more for my 'Calamity Jane' approach to life - ...

Pitrok 22/07/2005


Pitrok In the past when it came to keeping my armpits fresh and smell-free I always swore by using aerosol antiperspirants. I have never been a fan of the roll on variety, finding them sticky and slimy. Up until a few months ago I was getting on fine with my regular brand, but then I noticed that my underarm area was beginning to get a bit sensitive especially after shaving and I was always getting a stinging sensation after use despite the promise of my deodorant being kind to sensitive skin. Deciding to change my regular deodorant to see if that made a difference, my armpits were still very sore and sensitive, so when a good friend of mine was screaming from the rooftops about a product called PitRok that worked wonders for her I decided to try it out for myself. I'm not ashamed to say that I perspire, we all do, it's our body's way of flushing out toxins, but by gum it can smell if let to its own devices, so that is why we all flood out to buy deodorants and antiperspirants to help cover up the pong. And getting a bit older and wiser, I decided that it was time I did my bit for the planet and use a more environmentally friendly product to ease the guilt. That's where PitRok comes in. While the name might sound whacky, it really is a good description of the product. It is basically a chunk of rock, or natural crystal if you like, full of mineral salts which work hard at getting rid of all those nasty niffs that some of us are prone to. PitRok isn't strictly a ...

Milka Chocolate Bar 14/06/2005


Milka Chocolate Bar When it comes to chocolate, brands such as Cadbury's or Nestlé spring to mind. However, my friend recently came to visit after returning from Cyprus laden with lots of goodies including Milka Chocolate. This is not a brand that I am terribly familiar with and more fool me. I was actually quite surprised to learn that Milka is the largest brand of chocolate in Europe and it is made in Germany by Kraft Foods. I had to taste for myself what I had been missing out on all this time. Milka chocolate comes in fairly sophisticated wrapping. The outer wrapper is fairly bright and eye-catching, bright purple with a few squares of enticing chocolate on the front. The bar we are sampling is strawberry yoghurt flavour, but I believe there are over 20 flavours to choose from. Alongside the smidgeon of chocolate there is a single strawberry, oh and don't forget the purple cow, she appears on the front of every bar. For added freshness the chocolate is wrapped in gold foil. For those trying to lose weight, there is no calorific content which tells you this is a no, no. Taking off the foil is a wonder in itself. You immediately smell the rich, sweet aroma of milky chocolate. Your tastebuds are tantalised with the sweetness, and it is in no way overpowering. Each slab of chocolate, if you can bear to look at it that long, has Milka engraved into it. There is no let-down in taste either. The rich, smooth chocolate melts in your mouth and there is no gritty texture like other ...

Now magazine 11/06/2005


Now magazine Women are well known for gossiping. Just call it an inbuilt instinct. You only have to pass shelves in supermarkets and newsagents to see what I mean. There is a huge display of woman's magazines containing page upon page of celebrity gossip, and there's nothing I like more than snuggling up in bed first thing in the morning before the kids get up, and pick up the latest copy of Now. Now magazine has been around for a few years now, and although there is plenty of competition I have to say this is the only magazine I have stayed faithful to. It's not particularly glitzy, quite simple in design and lay-out, making it just perfect for those times when you want to escape the daily rigours of life, if only for half an hour. Priced at £1.10, I remember when it was on sale for a measly 50 pence, but just like everything else that gathers a large community of followers, the price rises as quick as the weather changes. Still, not to complain, it's worth every penny. So what do you get for your money then? Well, bucket-loads of gossip about the stars for one. Here you find out which celebrities have been up to naughty things, which one wasn't wearing any knickers at the latest film premiere, or what Jordan has been up to. She features quite heavily in this magazine, you'll be shocked to hear. Along the line of celebrity news there are a couple of exclusive in-depth interviews with famous stars. Recently, Cameron from Big Brother (if you can call him a star) laid ...

Yoplait Petit Filous 11/06/2005


Yoplait Petit Filous Now my son Craig aged 9 months is fully established onto solids, I always try and feed him fresh fruit and vegetables in his meals wherever possible. I have always prepared my own baby foods for him, only resorting to shop-bought versions at times of emergency. When it comes to giving my children puddings after their main meal, I am always conscious about making them healthy as well as enjoyable. I have found that Yoplait Petits Filous go down a storm in our household particularly with the children. Petits Filous are basically tiny pots filled with creamy fromage frais containing no less than 50% fresh fruit puree. The great thing about these little pots of creamy delights is that there are no bits of fruit, or pips in them making them ideal for babies who have just started the weaning process, usually at the age of 4 months. They make an ideal first food as they contain no added preservatives, artificial colours or sweeteners, so you can res t assured that your children aren't eating any old rubbish. Petits Filous are available in packs of 6 for £1.48, or packs of 12 for £2.69. There are special deals on in Tesco at the moment where you can buy one six-pack and get one free, or buy a 12 pack and get 50% free. In each pack there are 6 different flavours; Raspberry, Strawberry, Apricot, Strawberry and Vanilla, Blackberry and Raspberry, and Peach and Strawberry. Just as well most kids enjoy strawberries, as you can see most of the flavours contain them. They can be ...

Falcon Deluze Puzzle - Wasgij? 12/05/2005


Falcon Deluze Puzzle - Wasgij? From as long as I can remember, Jigsaw puzzles have always been a popular pastime in my family. I still have the very first wooden one I received for my first Christmas and despite it being handed down to my own children for their enjoyment, it still looks as good as new for its age (30 years, in fact). When or if I ever have some time to myself, there's nothing I like more than to sit and while away the hours at a jigsaw, and I am always on the lookout for new ones all the time. Even my two young children are hooked and it's nice to see them sitting quietly doing their puzzles. It was only a couple of years ago that I came across Wasgij puzzles, it was the name that stood out when I was in our local toyshop and I was intrigued when I picked up a box from the display. For those who are unaware of these puzzles, they are exactly the same as normal puzzles, the only difference being that the picture on the front of the box is only a clue to what the actual jigsaw is. The picture on the box could be showing a totally different angle to the subject making it much more difficult to complete, hence the word wasgij is the backwards spelling of jigsaw, clever, huh? All falcon wasgij puzzles have a comedic theme to them and the front of the box displays various funny looking characters with different expressions on their faces. They can all be laughing, screaming in fear or generally looking at something in interest, but it's down to you to work out what the people are amused ...

Caribbean Twist Pina Colada 21/04/2005


Caribbean Twist Pina Colada My all-time favourite cocktail is a Pina Colada. There's nothing I like more than relaxing on a lovely summer's day, preferably on a tropical beach somewhere with a tall glass of my favourite tipple. The sweet, sharp taste of juicy pineapples combined with the creamy sweetness of coconut along with a kick of rum are enough to send my taste buds into overdrive, so when I was in Tesco's the other day perusing the alcoholic drinks section, I came across a bottle of Caribbean Twist Shaken Pina Colada. It was begging to be plucked off the shelf so how could I resist - into the trolley it went. Appearance wise, the bottle is hardly supermodel status - a curvaceous clear bottle sporting a blue screw cap lid and a tropical themed label. Hardly stunning, but enough to grab my attention from the supermarket aisle. As mentioned above my bottle of Caribbean Twist was found next to the other alcoholic beverages, namely the alcopops section where you are sure to find other brands such as Reef or Bacardi Breezers. The description on the label reads as "sparkling pineapple and coconut flavoured drink" and already I am dying to sample a taste. Later that evening once the kids were tucked up in bed out came my bottle of Pina Colada from the fridge. As I screwed off the lid a loud fizzing sound filled the air, a sure sign that this drink was indeed sparkly. A sweet, tropical smell was also evident and it smelt every inch the cocktail that I so love. That's where my love affair ...

Nestle Baci 29/03/2005


Nestle Baci When it comes to chocolate I consider myself something of a connoisseur and there aren’t many varieties that have escaped my beady eye. But for some reason and I am still searching for it, I had never clapped my eyes on or even sniffed out this little delight by the name of Baci until Valentine’s Day this year. I was first introduced to these choccie treats when they were thrust under my nose nestled in a gorgeous bouquet of red roses from my husband, well I presume they were from him :O) otherwise I’m in big trouble. Baci, for those interested, is the Italian word for kisses, and my husband being the romantic he is used his noggin that day when he bought them and thought they would be the perfect gift for declaring his undying love to me. Baci Chocolates come in a gorgeous dark red cardboard wrapper with exquisite gold lettering emblazoned across with glittering stars dazzling in the background. Two scrumptious looking chocolates are also to be found pictured on the box 0 one has been cut in half while the other is still wrapped in an ornate gold foil wrapper. Just the image of the chocolate is enough to get my mouth watering. On opening the box, I find another cardboard wrapper, which sits 6 Baci, chocolates all in a row. Each one measures about 1” high by 1.5” wide, just large enough to pop in your mouth without making yourself look like a fat pig. A cellophane wrapper encases the box to keep them fresh and also to add further frustration when trying to get ...

Tesco Low Fat Yoghurt 15/03/2005


Tesco Low Fat Yoghurt I’m not really a snob when it comes to shopping and am happy to buy supermarket own brands as opposed to the more expensive products, but when it came to buying yoghurt I refused to buy any other than Ski as I believed it to be the best you could buy. That was until I started shopping in Tesco about 3 years ago after a new store came to my local town. Yoghurt is a very popular snack in our household, I particularly enjoy them as I turn to one now and then if I have a craving for something sweet and it’s enough to stop me diving for the biscuit tin. As for my husband and children, they always have one in their lunchbox at work or school, so you can say I spend a small fortune on them. Being naïve a couple of years ago and believing that the more you paid for something the better it was, I continued to buy the higher priced yoghurts not even wanting to touch the cheaper alternative with a barge pole, but that all changed when my husband went shopping when I was heavily pregnant with my second child. Being a canny Scot, he always likes to save money where possible so he chucked in a Tesco’s multipack yoghurt deciding a severe tongue lashing for me was worth the pennies he was going to save. And the rest they say is history… Unsurprisingly, Tesco Low fat yoghurt can be found in the chiller cabinets next to butters, creams, cheese and other dairy deserts. The packaging is fairly eye-catching and stands out well amongst the crowd of other yoghurts. The 125g pots of yoghurt ...

Everything that starts with H ... 10/03/2005

Hi Ho Hi Ho, It's off to work we go

Everything that starts with H ... This challenge was set by Laura.mclean and has proved to be very popular over the past couple of weeks. I decided to have a go while I wait for a couple of products to be added to the listings, and if the truth be known I'm feeling a tad lazy. 1. Where do you work? I work for a council run swimming pool/sports centre. 2. What is your job title? I’m a part-time receptionist, also known as ‘gopher’, general dog’s body, and ‘nice lady at the desk’. 3. What does you job entail? Grabbing the money off customers as they venture into the building. Seriously though, my job primarily is to welcome visitors to the swimming pool and answer any queries they may have, hand out application forms for joining and helping them fill in the details. I book appointments for them to maybe have an induction with another member of staff if they’ve never used our sports facilities before. I am also responsible for checking the stock every week making sure we have plenty of those sexy blue shoe covers our customers love wearing so much. 4. How long have you been in your current job? I only started this job at the beginning of the year, after being a stay at home mum for just over 2 years. So it’s early days yet, but so far so good. 5. Are you happy at work? As I said it’s early days yet so the novelty is yet to wear off. As it’s only part time and a couple of evenings a week, with a weekend thrown in here and there I don’t have much to complain about. My colleagues ...

Baxters Cullen Skink 07/03/2005


Baxters Cullen Skink Up until a couple of months ago I had never tried Cullen Skink soup before. The name itself was enough to put off let alone the chief ingredients. The mere thought of eating a soup containing smoked haddock wasn’t in the least bit appealing to me so had never felt the urge to let any pass my lips. However, that all changed over the weeks leading up to Christmas last year. Having won a rather handsome hamper laden with goodies, I couldn’t wait to delve in to see the delights so when I got home I rifled through the contents and was really pleased with my win. However once I reached the bottom I found a tin of Baxter’s Cullen Skink and it was enough to turn my stomach. Cullen Skink for those as ignorant as me comes from the Gaelic language. Skink is a term used for shin of beef and it’s said that this was the original chief ingredient of this soup before Smoked Haddock took over later on. Cullen is a small fishing port located on the north coast of Scotland where the recipe originated, it’s obvious then why fish plays a major role in this soup today. The firm Baxter’s that make the soup started out over a century ago by the Baxter family. They have become one of the most successful companies in Scotland employing a large workforce in Morayshire, providing a healthy income for many families around that area. Baxter’s still maintain that they are still a family-run business and that this is their driving force behind their successful range of products. Baxter’s soups ...

Bio Oil Face Cream 23/02/2005


Bio Oil Face Cream I was first introduced to Bio Oil about some years ago. My sister had recommended this product after she had her baby and it had left her with unsightly stretch marks that refused to budge even with recommended stretch mark creams. When I was younger I had a serious accident that left me scarred and being so young I was very conscious about my appearance and refused to show my arms and legs off after the scarring left behind numerous operations. At the age of 17 I had the world at my feet, I was in my final year at secondary school and was studying hard for my impending exams. As well as revising I had two part time jobs; a couple of evenings a week I worked in our local village shop and at weekends I was in the Territorial Army. I had always wanted to make a career in the forces and this was a great way of getting the experience before jumping into it without knowing much about it. It was while taking part on a weekend gala that I suffered horrific injuries after plunging 25ft from a platform erected for the use of a death slide. The fall resulted in my knee crumbling after landing, and my right arm being fractured in 3 places. I also suffered a hairline fracture in my ankle. In hospital I endured an 11-hour operation to fuse my knee together with the help of a metal plate, and the same for my arm. Because the surgery was so intrusive, I was left with a large scar running down the outside of my left leg, which measures about 7” long. The one on my arm was slightly ...

Jean Paul Gaultier Perfume 22/02/2005


Jean Paul Gaultier Perfume Any visitors to my house would be easily mistaken into thinking our bathroom was a mini Perfumery. No, joke I honestly think sometimes that I can hear their jaws dropping on the bathroom tiles as they spend a penny and marvel at the amount of perfume bottles I have on display in there. I have always loved perfume and this stems from my childhood when my mum always used to have a quick skoosh on her wrists while perusing around Boots and this is a custom I am guilty of. One perfume that I am particularly fond of is Jean Paul Gaultier ‘Classique’ and I was first introduced to it about 5 years ago when I was at a wedding with my husband. We were in conversation with a couple we knew through family and while we were talking I was aware of a gorgeous scent that was wafting between us. Making sure not to offend I tactfully asked what the smell was, adding that the perfume was lovely. The woman went on to tell me that it was no other than Jean Paul Gaultier and she had bought it while on holiday after smelling it on somebody else and I knew then I had to have it. Back in those days I wasn’t Internet savvy, so I just relied on local shops for buying perfumes, or waited until we were going on holiday so that we could buy it in the Duty Free shops. I think the first time I purchased a bottle of this scent I forked out just over £60 for a 100ml bottle of EDP. These days though I prefer to shop around and tend to buy from where I pick up the same perfume ...
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