Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas

How I discovered it: Two months after I was born – there it was!

What they say:The annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus: celebrated on December 25 and now generally observed as a legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging presents.


What I say: Trees, baubles and lights; midnight Mass, candles and carols; ribbons, tinsel and wrapping paper; Christmas cards strung in the hallway, friends’ coats hanging on hooks, eating and drinking to excess seen as a virtue - what could be better?

What could be improved: A time machine would be nice, to take me back to the snowy, sparkly, happy, holy Christmases of my childhood – giving me the chance to spend just one more day with much-loved, much-missed family ... but failing that – it would be nice if I were to hope for gifts, not presents, and to spend as much time being grateful as I do being greedy! :o)

Oh. And ‘Christmas pudding’ could use a bit of a rethink. Seriously.

The verdict: Lorelei loves it - and wishes you everything wonderful for Christmas and the New Year!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Waitrose Essential Mixed Grilled Vegetables


How I discovered it: Wandering to the frozen food section in search of frozen spinach – ho hum! – I spied this! My Italian-American husband makes fantastic grilled vegetables, and I’m always pestering him for them – but they take a bit of time and effort, so he's not always willing to cooperate. Was this an easy substitute?

What they say: “A mix of red peppers, yellow peppers, courgettes, aubergine, green peppers and onion in sunflower oil from our selected growers.”

What I say: This genuinely tastes like you’ve spent ages cleaning, cutting and grilling yourself. The blend is perfect. I heat it up in a pan with a little salt – it doesn’t need any oil. I usually just have it on its own with a bit of shaved parmesan, or as a side dish to grilled meat, but it also makes a fantastic addition to pasta for a quick and simple supper (OMG, I sound like a television mom!!). Anyway – my 5-a-day never tasted so good. 

What could be improved: I don’t think anything about the product itself needs improving –but at £2.49 for 750g, you’re paying a fair bit for the convenience. But grilled vegetables can be quite labour intensive – for my husband, not me :oD - so I’m happy to pay a premium for this.

The verdict: Lorelei loves it!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

breo ‘Roam’ Watch

How I discovered it: Delayed on the tarmac at JFK recently, I leafed through the Virgin Atlantic duty-free catalogue, and saw this adorable rubber watch. I don’t normally buy duty-free on the plane, as it never seems to me to be any cheaper – but I’d lost my watch in New York, which I think is often God’s way of saying, “Buy something new!” 

What they say: “breo®'s multi-functional Roam watch is a statement of design and quality. It is designed to the highest engineering standards and feels comfortable on the wrist under any conditions. Won the Good Design award 2008 and set to be the fastest selling wristwatch of 2009/10... Roam bands have achieved celebrity status in both the sport and fashion world, and are a unique, low cost purchase. So, if you are an extreme sports enthusiast, a glamorous high street shopper or simply want something that little bit different, trust in breo®..”

What I say: This is a really cute, fun watch – light, made of rubber, it has a simple face with two numbers (the hour and the minutes), one over the other. It comes in three sizes. Not sure what size mine is, but I assume it’s a medium - my wrist measures 16cm, and it fits me a bit like a bangle. It comes in loads of yummy colours – I got the black one, but am going to buy the glow in the dark version, too! I think they’d look great stacked.

What could be improved: Not good if you’re allergic to latex, but can’t think of any other negatives at the moment. Only time will tell how durable it is! At £10 I’m happy to take a punt... And speaking of the price: I wish Virgin Atlantic would stop pretending it’s a duty-free price – in fact, it’s one penny less on the breo site, and only £6.99 on Amazon.

The verdict: Lorelei loves it!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Mario Badescu Elasto-Seamollient Hand Cream


How I discovered it: When I was in New York a couple of years ago and looking for a really good facial, a friend said that the place to go was Mario Badescu on East 52nd Street. The facial was fantastic! Better yet, I discovered Mario Badescu's fantastic, super-reasonably-priced skincare range – and this hand cream is one of my favourite products in that range.

What they say:A unique formulation of protective Seamollient* and nourishing Vitamin E makes this thick, rich, hand cream perfect for frequently washed hands. Contains antioxidant Peanut Oil to moisturize and protect dry, chapped or cracked skin.”

What I say: I love this hand cream! I don’t agree that it’s thick - in my opinion it has quite a light texture, but it’s very moisturising and a tiny dab is all you need. At $14 for an 8 oz pot, it’s incredibly good value – the pot I bought in the spring still going strong!

What could be improved: The packaging is quite utilitarian, so if you like luxurious-looking products on your shelf, you may be disappointed. (I’m keen on the minimalist look, so it suits me fine!) My main complaint is that I can’t buy it at a more reasonable price in the UK! It is available at Harvey Nichols and from some companies online - but is not such good value.

The verdict: Lorelei loves it!

*algae extract

Friday, 19 November 2010

Kerastase Elixir Ultime

How I discovered it: I was at the hairdresser last week and my stylist used this product instead of the usual serum, applying it to my wet hair after washing and conditioning, but before blow-drying.

What they say: “Our first versatile beautifying treament enriched with a complex for four precious oils. Maize, Argan, Camellia and Pracaxi oils combine to create a luxurious Elixir for all hair types ... The alchemy of four precious oils to beautify hair A new legend is born, the secret of magnificent hair is revealed. With a few drops of Elixir Ultime, hair is transformed into silky, weightless matter. Applied before cleansing, hair is instantly nourished and visibly regenerated. Applied before styling, hair is incredibly supple and protected.”

What I say: I love this product! It seems to do everything a silicone serum does, but it’s lighter and feels like it’s doing my hair good. They’re right about versatility – I’ve used it as a leave in conditioner, a serum, and a ‘between washes’ smoother, and am very happy with the results. As a bonus, the smell is delicious.

What could be improved: At around £36 it’s not cheap, but as I’m using it one or two drops at a time, the 125 bottle means there might be some left to leave to my great-grandchildren! :oD It would be great to have the option of a smaller size – and a travel size would be heaven!

The Verdict: Lorelei loves it!