I bought this at the sale price of £59, instead of full price of £119. Its more than I usually spend, and certainly I couldn’t afford it if it wasn’t on sale but….I’m still wearing an East two piece skirt/top combo I bought around 17 years ago and it doesn’t show any signs of aging.
I’m not a fashion purist, I don’t care if things are last season ( or 17 seasons ago!!) I like to wear what suits me and is comfortable and this dress is perfect.

I love the feel of merino wool, I find its very warm without adding bulk, so perfect for knit dresses such as this. I ordered it in XL as I usually wear a 16-18 dress size, and as I’m a wheelchair user larger is better. Sitting all day means comfort is important and I don’t want anything tight pulling across my hips.

The dress feels wonderfully soft, drapes well and is so easy to wear, just pull on, thats it, no zips or button to fiddle with.
The skirt flares out gently adding shape while the neckline has a wrap design creating a V neckline and a small stand-up collar. The sleeves are a good length and its the perfect winter-to-spring dress.
I also love the colour combination, I wear a lot of black and grey, its a colour that seems to work for me and is easy to brighten up with coloured tights and matching scarf or necklace.

It says hand-wash, but like most people I don’t have time for that so it went in the machine on a cool wasg, gentle/delicate setting and was fine. I did remember to turn inside out, that helps avoid piling.
I didn’t tumble dry, I never do with anything wool, it’s so easy to shink it, I just laid it over an airer to dry.

Stars: Five, It looks good, is easy to wear and will give me lots of use.

Pure Copper Water Bottle for Ayurvedic Health Benefits (Joint Free & leak proof)

Pure Copper Water Bottle for Ayurvedic Health Benefits (Joint Free & leak proof)

I was reading how under Ayurveda principles copper water utensils are good for the body.
I’ve also read that some people have copper deficiencies, and also that copper can help with weight loss. Ok any port in a storm, I’m always looking for weight loss boosters 😉 so as I love copper I thought I’d give this a try. If I didn’t like the taste then it’ll make a pretty vase.

I’d seen people complaining of mould inside, and mine had a little there. Usually suppliers put thosetiny crystal bags inside to absorb damp but this didn’t have any. Soon washed off with some hot soapy water though, as you can see from the images.

Its made in one piece, no seams to come apart or hold germs. Its got little cuts around the lid which help with grip too – I found that useful as I have issues with arthritis in my fingers and opening things can be hard. The lid also has a rubber/silicone seal to help keep it water tight.
I filled it up and left overnight ready for use next day. It holds around 700ml of water, enough to take with you if out for the day ( and save on the environment cost of disposable bottles. I’m a prime candidate for that, tend to always have one with me if out for the day so I’ll try to use this in future.
I filled it with water and gave a good shake upside down to test for leaks and I’m happy to say there were none. No use taking a leaky bottle out….

Its an attractive, hopefully useful bottle, and makes a pretty alternative to carrying plastic bottles, possibly giving a heath boost too.

Five stars.

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Wikipedia Day

Thanks to author Tracey Cooper Posy 


I discovered today that yesterday was Wikipedia Day

Ok, I’m late to the party but….who doesn’t use wiki for a quick check? Its a brilliant idea IMO, though still sneered at by many. I’m not entirely sure why that is, sure there are “facts” that maybe put up but haven’t been checked but that army of volunteers wiki has spawned are pretty hot on editing.


I’m a bit of an info magnet so I love Wiki, I know there are those (esp many academics) who look down on it but I can – and have – lost hours there. I love learning, love reading snippets and odd facts, always have. As a kid my mum used to say I was a mine of useless information, I was always quoting odd stats and facts….and that hasn’t left me. I’ll look up one thing on wiki, say a song title, which will lead me to an artist, then another, then collaborations, maybe a film where the song was sued..it goes like that and suddenly I’ve spent an hour just browsing.
I donated recently, only a fiver but I just love this site. In the early days it was a tad unreliable, with people adding facts without checking but its got an army now of people who love to spend their time checking and editing, just for the love of information, certain books, films, groups, countries, people, places….so its pretty much spot on when it comes to accuracy. Its still gets knocked as an unreliable source but I find its pretty good for the stuff I want to know.
I love that it isn’t “owned” as such but an idea put out and taken up by people, not fat cat companies who control everything. that’s a mark of real neutrality IMO, when no owned company gains by controlling info.
Yay for wiki day!

Elite99 5pcs Chameleon Colour-changing Mirror Chrome Powder Pigment Nail Glitter Effect Nail Art Shine Manicure Salon Tips 1g/Box 5 Colours with Sponge Stick

I love playing with nail colours since discovering shellac nails – they last well even on careless people like me! 30 or so mins and I’ve nails that last from a week up to over two weeks depending on if I remember to take care – usually not so a week is about it for me….Now I’ve seen these “mirror finish” powders so more to play with. Of course I’m also thinking what fun they’d be in paintings……
I’ve used a plain silver one which was great but the plain gold I tried made my nails look as though they turned septic #notagoodlook

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I’ve used two of these. Advice seems to be a dark base is best so I used a very dark blue polish over a base, then applied the powder loosely, burnished and sealed with a clear top coat. I’m using the gel/shellac stuff that needs UV light to cure as it lasts so much monger but I don’t see why you couldn’t use this with ordinary polish. I can’t keep that stuff looking good for 24 hours never mind a week so its the gel for me…I use Bluesky peel off base, then a soak off or peel off colour, and bluesky soak off top coat. That works best for me, everything either peels away easily or I soak in warm water for ten mins or so and they come off easily. Use rubber gloves when washing hair or dishes or nails come off as I found…
The first one came out a lovely turquoise blue sparkling mirror finish, (but I forgot to photo) then after a couple of days I added a different one, over the old polish, new top coat. I could have taken it all off but it was still firm and I just wanted to try another colour. This one has given me a greenish blue finish. I keep thinking it reminds me of something, this morning it came to me – its that lovely iridescent finish and shine you see on beetle carapaces, especially shield bugs. Its hard to see from the photos the shine and the way the top coat really brings out the colours.

I do wish though that they were labelled. I meant to write on containers when I’d done my nails but… stupidly put it back in box with the rest so I still don;t know what each colour powder brings. If I ever do remember I’ll show it here, add to my review. The powders are very similar but it is possible – just – to tell them apart from looking so hopefully my experiments might help someone else. the ones I’ve used show traces of the blue and green tints in the powder.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Merry Christmas to you all, and thanks for being part of this blog in 2016 – lets hope 2017 is a happy, healthy and wealthy new year for everyone.

May all your dreams come true.


Sonic Electric Toothbrush, AQV Easy Clean Multi-function Rechargeable Intelligent Frequency Sonic Electric Toothbrush Intelligent Model Waves Smart Timing with 2 Clean Standard Size Replacement Brush Heads

Sonic Electric Toothbrush, AQV Easy Clean Multi-function Rechargeable Intelligent Frequency Sonic Electric Toothbrush Intelligent Model Waves Smart Timing with 2 Clean Standard Size Replacement Brush Heads

So I use an electric toothbrush and have had my current one for years.Well, can you beat the AQV Sonic  Power Toothbrush and produce 31,000 brush strokes per minute? Nope 😉 of course not and yet its still very gentle and safe to use.

Its got three modes of use, v my old on-or-off choice! It’s so simple , plug in, charge up and use.
Comes with everything you need and a spare head. If you value your teeth – and you should, get a decent brush and use it.
These are far superior to manual ones, and yet very gentle. It has two timers, one to tell you when to move to a different section and the other to tell you when two mins is up, the dentist recommended amount of time to spend on your teeth.

My old brush had a round head, and new ones seem to be mostly like this, a rectangular one that moves up and down rather than in circles. At first I found I banged my teeth often, as if was so different but I’ve got used to it. TBH I’d still prefer a round motion one with the small round head brush, as I’ve a small jaw but I guess things change for a reason and maybe research has proved this is better. I want to keep my teeth healthy so I’ll go with it.

What does concern me is replacement heads, sellers say they will be selling them soon but currently they don’t. I tried a Braun one, and that’s too big so they might be difficult to find. You can’t tell till you’ve bought them if non AQV ones will fit so it could prove expensive.

Stars: Four, a great brush but reservations over obtaining replacement heads

Product supplied for honest review. All items undergo assessment and testing where needed before I give my opinion, and stars given accordingly.

a few recent purchases

Sparko A006 Std Coal Shovel 6in


does the job, I needed a small shovel for the coal for fire. I have arthritis and can’t lift heavy items, so this size is perfect. It seems pretty robust, and doesn’t feel likely to break. There are cheaper ones, but I don’t see the point in saving a couple of quid if the item doesn’t last.

Yankee Candle – 8 x Festive Fragrance Sampler / Votive Candles

Yankee Candle - 8 x Festive Fragrance Sampler / Votive Candles

Well, I thought I’d try these so I could pick a favourite and have a big one for xmas. So far its one of the green ones ( and stupidly I forgot to note the name…) but they’re a nice set. They burn really quickly just placed on a plate, so I have mine in a small terracotta plant pot, but a
small jar or heat/fire proof container will do. It contains the wax instead of letting it spread and so it burns slower but still releases that lovely aroma.

Clark Drain 600 x 450mm Galvanised S/S Pedestrian 2.5T Manhole Cover PC6AG

got a couple of drains that lead to soak-away sewer ( old house, 16/700s so no moans, no septic tank but this works,. Noticed recently the old covers rusted through so bought these to replace, fit well, quick delivery and well priced. Perfect.

PowerLead Wifi 2.4GHZ UFO RC Aircraft Remote Control Drone RC Quadcopter Aerial Vehicle-Upgrade version

PowerLead Wifi 2.4GHZ UFO RC Aircraft Remote Control Drone RC Quadcopter Aerial Vehicle-Upgrade version

What I really liked about this drone is that it has a camera, and the kit has a card and USB card reader included.
So often items come without, and if you don’t have one handy you’ve to wait til you can buy one….can be frustrating, and with expensive items it just adds more onto the cost. Its a real bonus and very welcome when its included as it is here.
You will need four AAA batteries for the controller though, check you have them when you buy so you can order if needed. Then when it comes its ready to use.

Usually with tech items its the (very grown up) kids or the grandkids that do the testing, but they weren’t about for this so I tried.
Me and Tech don’t really mix and the first issue I had was how to get the battery in the drone. I turned it round, and over and just couldn’t see where it went. In despair I asked the sellers, who very promptly emailed back with a nice red arrow on an image showing me. Of course once pointed out it was obvious….oops. Great contact from sellers though, always good to hear.

So havening fixed that, tucked the SD card in the camera and batteries in the controller I read instructions, down-loaded the app to my phone, and went outside.
I’m a wheelchair user so couldn’t test too far as I wouldn’t be able to get it back. I’ve a huge garden but we’ve had so much rain the scooter won’t go over much of it.
It was pretty easy to work out how to use, and the app opened up easily, so if I was flying it high I could use the phone to work out best steering, not have to follow it almost out of sight.
I couldn’t work out how to work video or take images – my fault, lack of tech skills, not the device and now son number two has it he’s promised to send me some when he’s out with it.

I took it onto the patio, switched on, let it rise…and rise…and rise, before I worked out how to bring it down. It was about 20ft up, and over conservatory roof, and I was worried it would fall there and I’d be unable to get to it. Managed to bring it down, then crashed it from about 10 feet up onto the patio. The camera fell off but wasn’t damaged, and was easy to slot on again, and best of all the device wasn’t damaged.
With previous ones family have found that the blades and supports are quite fragile and easily damaged. This design is much more robust and less likely to break, though there’s a list of spare parts that can be ordered in the event something does.
I also crashed it onto a flower pot, where somehow a cane managed to catch in one of the parts where the propellers are, flicking it off. I thought it would break – it didn’t, and was easily clicked back on and running. There are spare propellers included with the device.

I think this is great value., more robust than others we’ve had and a good price. Son number two who has this now says they sell similar ones in the shop where he works for £500. He can’t see many differences to reflect the huge price variance.

NB: One things to be aware of is control, its easy to let it go further than you think ( my first play where it rose up 20ft or so very rapidly), and so keep it well away from roads, overhead wires and other peoples houses and gardens.
Don’t risk getting caught for invasions of people’s privacy, the camera is fun, but not for snooping in neighbours gardens or houses!!

Its a toy best suited to older, more responsible children and adults.

Stars: Five, Fun for older kids and adults

Product supplied for honest review. All items undergo assessment and testing where needed before I give my opinion, and stars given accordingly

Building Blocks, Coolife Building Bricks Building Toy Blocks 500 Pc Bulk Blocks Construction Set Bricks – Tight Fit with Major Brands

Building Blocks, Coolife Building Bricks Building Toy Blocks 500 Pc Bulk Blocks Construction Set Bricks – Tight Fit with Major Brands

Lego, bane of parents life as they are so awful to stand on, and the bits get everywhere – but kids love the stuff, and its very creative. It costs though, so when offered this set for review I knew 6 year old Brennan would love to play with it. We’ve cartons of Lego but never seem to have enough of the stuff.

So how did it do? Well, on first inspection we were really pleased, they fitted well together, and did fit the Lego too. A great choice of colours and shapes too mean kids can really get creative.

Of course Bren’s at that age when Guns Rule, and Light Sabres of course!
We made a couple but ….they fell apart very, very quickly. Lego is a pain to take apart but when used for “active” toys like this it works, stays together and the game isn’t spoiled by someone’s gun or sabre falling apart within seconds of starting the game.

I don’t know why they fall apart, it looks practically identical to Lego, must be an infinitesimal size difference or may the Lego words help grip? Who knows, but though they look the same they don’t perform the same.
I guess you get what you pay for, 500 Lego bricks would be far more expensive.

For static models, houses etc these are great value, and fit together well but for active games – and that’s what my grandkids mostly do – they’re simply no good.
I’ve star rated a three, 1 for active models, guns etc, and 5 for houses, castles, shops etc.
It really depends what your kids want the bricks for.

They really aren’t much good to Bren, we’ll stick to the pricier Lego, and less of it but if yours are more into model making, towers, houses etc then its a great value set.

Stars: Three.

Product supplied for honest review. All items undergo assessment and testing where needed before I give my opinion, and stars given accordingly.

5 in 1 Compact Mandoline Food Slicer

5 in 1 Compact Mandoline Food Slicer from Twinzee® – slices and shreds fruits and vegetables thinly, uniformly and quickly – comes with 5 interchangeable sharp stainless steel blades, protective hand guard and easy food storage container


I had one of these ages ago then must have given it away.
This one has some updates, the box is great as its anti slip, and there’s no need to try to hold the grater/slicer at an angle for working. Just select the blade wanted, click carefully in place and then connect top to the box. Its easy to slice over the top and the food gets collected underneath.

This does great thin slices of cabbage, onion, carrot for coleslaw, apples, cucumber, red cabbage, radishes, even tomatoes which are a pain to slice thinly, for salads and sandwich fillings.
Food appearance is very important when you don’t always feel like eating and this makes it easy to do that. Drizzle a mix of shredded and sliced veg with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and instantly you’ve a quick and healthy salad.
As well as slicing there are blades for shredding, and zesting, great if you’re a marmalade maker. There are several different blades so pick which you need.
Easy to clean, just wash quickly in hot soapy water and take care with the sharp parts. don’t just drop those in the water leaving someone to put hand in bowl and find them the hard way.

The downside. You MUST use the guard.
Yesterday I was slicing cheese for cheese and onion pastries (tan and beth, also spinach and ricotta ones, both with filo pastry, Daz wanted bacon and sausage rolls, bren wanted ” that breadcrumb stuff” ??? turned out to be shortbread he wanted, we made some a few weeks back James is happy with anything.)
All went well with the cheddar, then i wanted some parmesan (veggie type) As it was a biggish wedge I didn’t bother with the spiked holder and – yep, sliced right across my thumb!!
Ouch. I put on plaster but it wouldn’t stop bleeding and I still had lots of cooking to finish, so a bigger plaster plus two disposable rubber gloves til tan got here and was able to dress it better.
Its my right thumb, i hadn’t realised how much we use thumbs,I do now.


Stars: Five, easy to use, very effective but do take care with safety. Don’t shortcut, always use the guard.

Product supplied for honest review. All items undergo assessment and testing where needed before I give my opinion, and stars given accordingly.