22 Jun 2010

Persil Non-Bio Small & Mighty

Persil Non-Bio Small & Mighty

Persil is a brand that has been around 'forever'. My Mum used Persil when I was little and everyone remembers the advert where the teenage boy tips washing powder all over the floor while trying to read the instructions on the box "Oh Mum!".

Persil is a brand that we can trust, not only with our smalls but also our skin, our children's skin and now the environment as well.

Small & Mighty is the same top cleaning power of Persil squashed into a small bottle. Its 2x concentrated so that you only need a small capful of liquid to wash a whole drum of washing. One 730ml bottle will wash 20 loads of washing as long as you use the correct measurements by using the cap as a guide.

I am a nightmare, I always put in a bit more liquid 'for luck' but honestly it isn't needed ... one capful is sufficient to remove stains and give the clothing a tip top clean.

Tough on stains but gentle on skin, Persil Non-Bio is an ideal choice for your little ones, even newborns.
Packed with cleaning technology, it's also dermatologically tested and its skincare research is validated by the British Skin Foundation.
So, no matter what your little ones get up to, you can trust Persil Non-Bio to gently clean away everyday stains like dirt and grease from their clothes, leaving them kind next to sensitive skin – even on a 15°C cold wash.

Being a smaller sized bottle (2x concentrated), it only takes ½ the water to make it, ½ the packaging volume to put it in and ½ the lorries* to deliver it. This way Persil are trying to do their bit to help the environment, they are also working towards the Cleaner Planet Plan.

Small and Mighty comes in a variety of products, non-bio, bio, colour care, NEW olive blossom, NEW aloe vera and even one with added Comfort.

Available from all high street supermarkets.
Persil - a brand you can trust!

Starbucks Via Ready Brew

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

Starbucks have brought out a range of instant coffee that you can drink at home, the Starbucks VIA sachets have the same high quality coffee that you buy in the shops ... except that its instant.

There are three variety's to choose from depending on how you like your coffee: Italian Roast, Colombia and Decaf Italian Roast.

The Italian Roast is stronger than the Colombia (medium), both types are quick and easy to use and give a smooth Starbucks coffee aroma.

The coffee is very very finely ground, so fine that it is almost like a powder. This helps it to totally infuse when mixed with water to give a fresh coffee taste.

The best thing about the coffee is that it can also be mixed with COLD milk to create an iced coffee effect. It is best to whizz it with some ice cubes in a blender for a proper iced effect, but just stirring it in a glass is sufficient as all the coffee powder dissolves to leave a refreshing iced coffee.

We have also used the sachets while on the move, we took some along with a flask of hot water while out camping .... its great sitting in the middle of a field drinking Starbucks!
I have also put some in the caravan for a nice aromatic morning brew ... other caravan users always say they can smell the coffee from outside and ask if we have ground the beans etc... We just laugh and invite them in for a brew.

For more information above Starbucks VIA please visit: http://www.starbuckscoffee.co.uk/starbucks-via/

There is also a Starbucks App for your IPhone or Ipod Touch:
Download the myStarbucks App for free from the App Store.

Denhay West Country Bacon

Denhay West Country Dry Cured Bacon

When you buy bacon in the supermarket, do you ever stop and think about the pig and how it was treated?

Do you search through the packs for the nicest looking meat without too much fat for the best price?

When cooking your bacon do you get a white scum forming on the meat that you have to scrape off?

Denhay Bacon is from welfare assured British outdoor reared pigs. The company are RSPCA monitored and are part of the Freedom Food scheme.

Denhay bacon is dry-cured, they use sea salt to bring out the natural flavour of the bacon without it being too salty. The taste is divine as you know the meat has been allowed to mature slowly without being forced for mass production.

What you see if what you get, there is no water added to Denhay bacon. This way the fat in the pan is directly from the meat, there is no white scud as its all natural pork fat with no water or bulking agents.

Denhay Dry Cured Bacon is available in both Back and Streaky, Smoked and Unsmoked and medium sliced. They pay a lot of attention to their product, packaging and prices.

This meat isn't the bacon you buy from your local supermarket, it is tender and wholesome. This bacon tastes like bacon is supposed to taste like, which makes a darn good bacon sarnie if I do say so myself.

Use Denhays award winning bacon in a recipe, don't just grill/fry it and slap it between two slices of bread. For example:

West Country Bacon Bruschetta

* 150g Denhay Dry Cured back bacon
* 170g fresh garlic loaf
* 1 thinly sliced tomato
* 1 thinly sliced mushroom
* 1 finely chopped spring onion
* 25g grated Denhay Farmhouse Cheddar
* 2.5ml dried mixed herbs

Preheat the oven to 200C (gas mark 6). Cut the bread into marked slices and place on a baking tray. Arrange slices of tomato, mushroom and onion on the bread. Cut the bacon slices length ways and place 1/2 rashers on each bread slice. Sprinkle with cheese and herbs. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the bacon is cooked and the cheese has melted. Serve as a snack or light lunch with a large tomato salad.

Cooking Time: Approximately 10 minutes

To learn more about Denhay's farm and their farming techniques which produce such high quality meat and cheese please visit their website: http://www.denhay.co.uk/

For further information about their bacon and links with the RSPCA please visit: http://www.spoiltpig.co.uk/

I found their bacon gorgeous, it was tasty without being fatty. You could taste the meat and the smokiness of the smoked variety. Each pack was fresh and well presented, you could tell that only the best cuts had gone into the pack.

Knowing that the pigs had had a good life without being caged has certainly shown me the difference in texture and taste of the meat produced.

12 Jun 2010

Melvita Skincare

Melvita Young Skincare Range

Emma (9) has child acne, at times it dies down but sometimes her skin is really really red and sore. Around her nose it looks like her skin is burnt and enflamed, luckily the kids at school don't seem to notice her skin or say anything to her and so it doesn't seem to bother Emma either.
We have been using Melvita products from their Young Skincare Range.

Because adolescence is often a difficult time, Melvita has developed a complete range of targeted skincare treatments specially suited to young skin. Melvita offers 7 skincare products formulated with a minimum of 30% organic ingredients and with effective natural active extracts to provide a solution to acne prone skin. All Melvita Young Skin products contain a key ingredient: BIRCH SAP.
I was a little apprehensive about 'Birch Sap' as it sounds a little hocus pocus'y "eye of newt, tongue of a dragon, sap from a young silver birch' etc.... but when the products arrived they looked very posh!
We followed Melvita's 123 Plan and first cleansed with their Cleansing Foaming Gel. I purposely haven't followed the plan using ALL the products as Emma is very young and I didn't want to 'over wash' her skin. So we have only used 3 of the range on the website.

The Cleansing Gel which is great as it foams up, this is good as it means Emma can spread it on to her face herself. The Cleansing Gel contains: Birch sap, Lavender and Zinc.
This foaming gel combines:
√ regenerating, purifying properties of Zinc lactate and Lavender
√ powerful purifying qualities of Tea Tree
√ moisturising and softening Birch sap and Witch Hazel

Its a nice cleaning product, gentle on young skin and cleans well, you only need one pump of gel to wash your whole face, the product lasts ages. After use Emma's skin was quite matt ready for the next product.
We next used the Sebum Balancing Fluid. This is a very light moisturiser which helps to control the production of sebum. With Emma being young she gets a lot of nasty white spots which then turn to blackheads, this moisturiser can control this and also give her skin the nourishment it needs to heal itself. The fluid contains: Moisturising Birch sap, Yogurt, Willow and Boswellia.

√ is light, non-greasy
√ moisturises
√ helps balance oil production
√ is non-comedogenic
√ is designed specifically for skin that suffers from temporary blemishes

Emma's skin doctor advised her to use products that are non-comedogenic so its great that this moisturiser is ... if you look in your local supermarket it is very hard to find branded products that are non-comedogenic.
We liked this fluid, it has an easy 1 pump bottle where one squirt is enough to cover Emma's face. It is also very hygienic as you don't have to scoop the lotion out of a jar or bottle .. it is self contained and sealed.

The Anti-blemish Roll-on for Targeted Action, is actually my favourite. Containing Rosewood, Tea Tree, Schizandra and Tepescohuite it smells very very strong and rolls straight onto problem areas.

IF you put this onto broken skin you will know it!! Also any sore spots (where you have picked them!) will sting like crazy if you roll this product onto them.

This quick-dry formulation combines:
√ purifying essential oils of Tea Tree, Cistus, Sage, Lavender, Lime, Rose wood, Peppermint
√ repairing properties of Schisandra berries, Tepescohuite bark and Propolis
√ comforting qualities of Ginger and Birch sap

I found that it almost dried out Emma's spots, however we found it quite hard to roll-on as you couldn't tell if any had actually come out as you rolled.
A good product, I even used it myself a couple of times. You can also use it underneath make-up.

We liked Melvita's Young Skincare Range. I cannot say that they cleared up Emma's spots as they didn't but they have lessened the troublesome areas and controlled her blackheads a little.

Well worth a look as the products are packaged in colourful packaging that will look good in any ones bathroom regardless of age.

Cleansing Foaming Gel: £12 for 200ml
Sebum Balancing Fluid: £16 for 50ml
Anti-blemish Roll-On: £10 for 5.5ml

All products plus more! Available from http://uk.melvita.com

1 Jun 2010


Ecover - Powered By Nature

Cleaning experts Ecover are powered by nature to offer a wide range of highly effective and ecological cleaning products which cater for your every summer cleaning need. From ground-in dirt on your favourite t-shirt, stubborn stains on your kitchen floor, tough grease on your BBQ or a dirty car or bike; Ecover has an effective ecological solution for all your cleaning needs.

Ecover uses sustainable plant-based and mineral ingredients, all of which are chosen to ensure Ecover’s products are effective and tough on dirt.

Now I must admit .. I was always a little suspect about Ecover's claims about cleaning, I saw the products in the shops but never actually purchased any, how wrong was I !!

As with all new products I always worry about how my skin and my families skin will react to the products, especially with washing liquids and softeners. I am allergic to most washing-up liquids and Andy is terrible with certain brands of clothes washing products. I am pleased to announce that none of us had any kind of reaction to Ecover - any type!

Ecover's washing-up liquid took quite a bit of liquid to get a good amount of washing bubbles (a good squeeze), but once in the water and bubbly it cleaned our dishes really well. The glasses came out shiny and it seemed to shift dried on food as good as any other leading brands.

The non-bubbly effect is actually on purpose by Ecover, apparently other brands use foam boosters that are full of chemicals to make all the white foam, they have no extra cleaning effect and are harmful to the environment - hence why Ecover leave them out.

For stained coffee mugs I found it worked best with really hot water, I ran it hot then left mugs to soak for a while. All stained wiped off easily with a sponge, no scrubbing.

The fragrance was also very pleasant and my hands felt soft after use and not dried out. I had no rashes at all with Ecover so I was really pleased.

Available in 3 fresh fragrances: Lemon and Aloe Vera, Chamomile and Marigold, and Grapefruit and Green Tea just one squeeze is enough for a whole sink full of dirty dishes to be left sparkling clean.

RRP £1.30 (500ml)

Ecover's laundry products also surprised me, they cleaned well with a nice fragrance and didn't leave the washing machine drawer all scuddy.

All of the ranges are concentrated so you only need a small amount of liquid to wash a full drum of dirty linen. The cap doubles as a measuring device so you can be sure to use the correct amount each wash - no more hunting round for a scoop or in wash liquid holder.

Offering exceptional washing results, even at low temperatures; more washes per bottle; 54% less packaging per wash and 68% less transport miles, Ecover’s powerful concentrates mean you can tackle your dirty laundry with an even cleaner conscience this summer.

The softener was also of high quality, it was creamy and luxurious. After the wash had finished and clothes dried you could still smell the freshness of the conditioner fragrance. The clothes felt soft when dry, I used a tumble dryer for all our washing so I cannot comment on how they feel after being on the line.

Ecover Concentrated Bio Laundry RRP £5.69 (500ml)
Ecover Concentrated Non Bio Laundry RRP £5.69 (500ml)
Ecover Delicate RRP £2.06 (500ml)
Ecover Under the Sun Fabric Softener RRP £1.99 (500ml)

All I can say about the Multi Surface Cleaner is WOW!

We brought a caravan the other week and I used the multi surface cleaner to give the whole van a good wipe round. It didn't knock me out with strong chemical smells and I used it on all surfaces - even the outside of the caravan and the windows (it did say 'multi-surface').

It cleaned really really well, all sticky marks disappeared with not much scrubbing effort and the sink and shower tray came up lovely. It made light work of the cooker hob and also took care of a small patch of mould on the fridge door.

I was really impressed, I have even left it in the caravan to use while on the go as it won't overwhelm us with fumes like other brands.

Ecover Multi Surface Spray Cleaner RRP £2.84 (500ml)

All-in-all I was really impressed with the whole Ecover range of cleaning products. The washing-up liquid is definitely on my list for the future and the multi surface spray is the best I have ever used.

My rating: 10/10

Lovea Bio L'Argan

Lovea Bio l'Argan

This shampoo is from their Bio range, the type I am reviewing is dedicated to 'Shine'. The special Organic Moroccan Argan Oil formulation brings health and vitality to dull and lifeless hair.
It is a clear shampoo with a lovely fragrance, it is quite runny and so runs through your fingers while you are quickly trying to out it onto your wet hair, but a little does go a long way.

The foamyness is smooth and silky, lathers up well and washes out quickly. My hair felt very clean but I do not use products (gel, sprays, etc...) and so it is quite easy to wash, I would think though that it would cut through products and give a good deep clean for all hair types.

Shine wise I didn't see a difference until I had used it a few times, it was actually a colleague that commented when the sun caught my highlights, I couldn't personally see any difference myself.

It is a nice shampoo, not the sort that I would buy and use daily (as I am a supermarket type of girl) but nice as a a treat. Would be great in a set with shower gel and conditioner as a gift.

Kosmea Eighth Natural Wonder

Kosmea Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum

My first impression was that the tube of cream looks really really posh, its like a mini pump bottle with lots of silver making the dispenser look very swish and snazzy.

It didn't take much of initial pumping for the cream to dispense either which was positive ... one pump gives a good amount of cream, enough for your whole facial area as the cream smoothes really well and give good coverage.

The colour of the cream is slightly off-white yellow, I personally am not keen as I prefer creams to be white and pure looking. I am under artificial light though and so that may be where the yellow tint comes from so please forgive me if the colouring is different under natural light.

Basically Kosmea Eighth Natural Wonder is an age-defying, antioxidant which has the ability to 'freeze' fine lines and facial wrinkles. It gives a radiant glow like a mini face lift using natural ingredients. The two main ingredients are hibiscus extract which is used to combat fine lines and organic rose hip oil to give your face an instant lift and glow.

Combined with green tea extract, rosewood and geranium these all help with their own properties such as anti-aging and replenish and revitalising.

So how do you use it? After cleansing in the morning pop some onto your facial skin, you can use it under other Kosmea creams if your skin requires extra hydration, if not then on its own if fine.
At night you should not need any extra moisturisers as this is the time to let Kosmea Eighth Wonder do its magic.

I however do not like the fragrance of the cream, on first application it smells like paint drying, then as the initial powerful fragrance has disappeared you can smell the essential oils that are combined to make the properties of the cream. I don't like it, its not my personal cup-of-tea ... but every ones senses are different.

Suitable for all skin types, but do do a small skin test before smothering your face in it (as you would any product).