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The Downton Abbey Collection Jewellery Jet Jeweled Radial Earrings PW-17573
The Downton Abbey Collection Jewellery Jet Jeweled Radial Earrings PW-17573
Offered by The Purple Armadillo
Price: £19.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Delicate accessory for the Downton Lady in your life, 16 Dec 2014
I purchased these as a gift to accompany a Downton Abbey blu-ray set, so the "Downton Abbey" logo on the card was probably the deciding factor! The earrings are certainly reminiscent of the show's fashion, although they are not made with precious gems or metals. They are 1.5 inches long, but look pretty delicate on the ear. For Downton fans, these earrings are a lovely bonus to include with a gift book or disc.


Jigsaw Puzzle 1000 Pieces 24"X30"-Wine Bottles
Jigsaw Puzzle 1000 Pieces 24"X30"-Wine Bottles
Offered by supermart USA
Price: £13.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Best enjoyed with a glass of wine, 13 Dec 2014
This collage puzzle has a simple design, but it's actually pretty challenging. The printed words on the wine labels are fairly minimal, and the color variation is subtle. This won't be the type of puzzle you can knock out in a couple of hours; consider it a project to work on over several days while relaxing with your own favorite wine.

The quality of White Mountain brand puzzles is consistently high---clear edges, crisp colors, sharply-cut pieces. This particular puzzle would make a nice accompaniment to a wine gift for an enthusiast. When assembled, it's pretty enough to frame!


Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Vanilla Frosting 453g
Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Vanilla Frosting 453g
Offered by SOUTH AFRICAN FOODS
Price: £3.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant chemical aftertaste, 14 Nov 2014
I keep my pantry stocked with box cake mix and ready-made frosting, for those times when the kids are relentless in their demand for an immediate cupcake treat. We've used most brands and varieties at least once---creamy, whipped, low-fat, even sugar free. This Pillsbury Vanilla is the only one I am now refusing to buy.

This brand/flavor has a very distinct unnatural taste. It's not just that it is sugary sweet, it's also that the vanilla flavor calls to mind a chemistry lab instead of anything grown wild. It's just barely tolerable when thinly iced on cake, and definitely unpleasant if you get a mouthful. There's nothing more aggravating than spending your time mixing and baking, just to have the final result ruined by this frosting!

Four-year-old kids will like this "vanilla," everyone else should avoid it.


Orly Nail Varinsh Polish French Manicure Bare Rose 18ml Uk Seller !
Orly Nail Varinsh Polish French Manicure Bare Rose 18ml Uk Seller !
Offered by Nailtopia Ltd
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly sheer tint, natural and pretty, 12 Nov 2014
If you like a more natural nail polish look, then this sheer pink is what you need for a pretty American or French manicure. Other nail-bed polishes are too opaque for my taste; this color is completely transparent, so your nail "moons" will actually show through.

I paint my tips first, then put just one thin coat of this lacquer on just the nail bed (don't paint over the white). Once it dries, I add a couple of clear topcoat layers. The final result is a natural-looking manicure with healthy pink nail beds. Perfect!


LEGO Juniors 10671: Fire Emergency
LEGO Juniors 10671: Fire Emergency
Price: £15.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good transition from Duplo to standard Lego, 11 Nov 2014
Got this for my 4-year-old nephew, who has been hassling me to help him transition from the big-block Duplo models to regular-scale Lego models. With very little help from me, he was able to follow the instructions and finish this firehouse independently.

The Juniors models are simply normal Lego bricks, with more large modular components like the preform walls and the slide: this makes building both faster and easier. (Parents might also like the fact that there are fewer itty–bitty pieces to get lost.) Minifigures and all the pieces are regular Lego, and will add to a collection of more challenging sets as little builders grow up.

And what kid doesn't love firefighters and the fire station?!


Jigsaw Puzzle 1000 Pieces 24"X30"-99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall
Jigsaw Puzzle 1000 Pieces 24"X30"-99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall
Offered by BIC WAREHOUSE
Price: £14.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Kick back with 99 choice brews, 4 Nov 2014
Great collage puzzle for fans of exotic (Bone Daddy!) and run-of-the-mill (Schlitz!) beers. This collage has lots of colors and different fonts, which will help even inexperienced puzzlers find connecting pieces. That being said, it's still challenging because of the similar sections of brown, green, and yellow hues in the bottles.

White Mountain puzzles are known for their clearly-defined edges, clean cuts, and sharp print. Nice thickness means the pieces go together and stay together---a bonus if you'd like to frame this completed puzzle! I love these collage puzzles, they always generate a lot of interesting conversation around the table.


LEGO The Hobbit 79017: Battle of Five Armies
LEGO The Hobbit 79017: Battle of Five Armies
Offered by whybee-ltd
Price: £78.56

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minifigure overload! Great value for enthusiasts and new collectors, 3 Nov 2014
This is one of those Lego sets that enthusiasts will appreciate just for the minifigures and weaponry. Seven detailed minifigures and an eagle, plus a load of different weapons---it's not enough for an entire army but will certainly add to the troops that a Lord of the Rings Lego fan likely owns in related sets.

The tower building and bridge are nothing special, but they do have "exploding" sections as part of the build. The rolling ballista has crossbow darts that shoot pretty far. There are some neat details to these sections, but the tower and bridge alone won't serve as a complete scene for a battle.

Worth it for the minifigures alone, this set is great for fans who already have other Lord of the Rings Lego sets. It's also not a bad choice to start a collection, since you have a high play factor with all the characters and weapons included with this model.


Poachies Egg poaching Bags - 20 Bags
Poachies Egg poaching Bags - 20 Bags
Offered by SM Direct
Price: £2.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfectly pretty, but still easy and delicious, 3 Nov 2014
As a poached-egg fan who has never mastered the open-pan method favored by chefs, I have tried just about every poaching gadget out there. I have a dedicated poaching pan, separate poaching rings, and a microwave poacher---none of which has given me true success.

With these poaching bags, you have to get a 3/4-full saucepan of water boiling instead of just a couple of inches as you do with traditional poaching, so use the smallest pan you have. Cracking the egg into the pouch, you then immediately lower it into the water. On my first couple of tries, the pouch tipped sideways and some of the egg white starting creeping out into the water; if you hold the pouch for a few seconds upright before releasing it, it forms more of a seal to retain the egg. NOTE: there will be some water still in the pouch when you remove it, so dump the egg out on a paper towel or another dish first (dropping it directly on your toast is going to create a soggy mess).

The egg does not look particularly pretty, since it takes on the shape of the pouch: a cone-ended ball. The eggs that had tipped over in the pan were a little more oval/flat, but still not pretty enough for a hollandaise platter. Cleanup was quicker and simpler than with any other gadget I have tried---just throw the pouch away and dump the water!

Overall, this is a simple solution that works well for everday breakfast, and doesn't take up space in your cabinets like all the other poaching gadgets. Also a good idea for camping, college rooms, or other places where you don't have a full kitchen but can get some water boiling.


Simon Swipe
Simon Swipe
Offered by Crystal Clear Discounts
Price: £21.49

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swiping is a little tough, revert to classic mode if you get frustrated, 25 Oct 2014
This review is from: Simon Swipe (Toy)
Our family gatherings have adults and kids in a wide range of ages, so I thought this "new" Simon would be a fun way we could all play together. As expected, it was a great way to pass the time with a mixed group---once we reverted to using the classic (tap) mode exclusively.

Even the adults who had previous Simon-experience had difficulty doing the correct swiping to satisfy the machine. I think we would have gotten the hang of it eventually, but it was too frustrating for casual party use. I do think the swiping and swiping/tap combo play is a neat way to raise the difficulty for those who want a real challenge. We ended up using just the classic mode, and everyone then could play and still have fun.

It's a neat "upgrade" to the old tried-and-true Simon game, but there is a definite learning curve to using it.


Hidden Object - Trick or Treat
Hidden Object - Trick or Treat
Price: £1.23

3.0 out of 5 stars No zoom option on backgrounds, too hard to see detail on a phone, 23 Oct 2014
This game has twenty levels, which can be played with a variety of options for difficulty. The scenes are very detailed and the music gets you in the Halloween mood.

However, this game---unlike other Hidden Object apps that I have---has no "zoom" capability on the scene. If you are playing on a tablet it's probably fine as is, but on my Fire Phone it was very difficult to see everything in enough detail. Too bad, it was an enjoyable holiday app otherwise!


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