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K. Z. Sobol (Bristol, UK)
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Tacwise 1187 16ga/ 45 Finish Nailer Nail Gun
Tacwise 1187 16ga/ 45 Finish Nailer Nail Gun
Price: £118.79

5.0 out of 5 stars This gets to job done quickly and easily, 20 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We have a smaller tacwise nail gun, which I have used for small detailing projects and to put together a lightweight bird house, but this is much more substantial and has allowed my husband to fix our fence quickly and easily.

Like the other nail gun we have, you need to press down firmly as you pull the trigger to fire the nail into the wood and you should get a good finish. It is well worth having some time to practise (as with any nail gun) before beginning your actual project, so that you get a good feel for the power of the recoil.

The nail gun is a good weight and is easy to hold and use and it kept neatly in its moulded carry case. If you are going to get a nail gun, this one is the best all round nail gun that we have used and although it has a higher price tag, it really is worthwhile getting a more robust machine as it is more useful for a wider range of jobs.


Hotpoint Multi-Functional Food Processor, 1000 Watt, Silver
Hotpoint Multi-Functional Food Processor, 1000 Watt, Silver
Price: £103.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Processor, just price check with its big brother which has some extra gadgets, 20 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Hotpoint Multi-Functional Food Processor has a good selection of accessories to help you to make the most of it in your kitchen, although it is worth comparing prices with it's slightly more versatile "big brother" model FP 1009 AX0 UK (which looks identical on the photo as the main body of the machine is the same, but which comes with a grinder for milling coffee beans or nuts etc, a citrus press and a juicer for apples and carrots etc.) Hotpoint Multifunctional Food Processor Fully Accessorised, 1000 Watt, Silver So check the prices - it's a great machine whichever you go for, but if the price difference is small (at the time of writing they are both being sold for the same price), then you might as well go for the other model with the extra gadgets, unless you are tight on space in your kitchen or just wouldn't use them, in which case the hub and the standard accessories are identical and equally as good as one another.

The main machine is the same for both products in the range, it is just the number of accessories which is different and the set up provides you is an elegant looking food processor, with a central base of stainless steel and sleek matt black plastic, it is stylish enough to be left out on the work surface and not hidden away. There are suction cups on the base of the unit which allow it to grip the surface, which gives it better stability, although in of itself it's a well-balanced design, so even without it would probably be very stable.

There are a wide selection of attachments which make this a really multi-functional tool and if you can make use of most or all of them, then this really is a useful box of tricks.

There is a circular attachment which can take any of the following blade inserts:
a. fine slice insert,
b. coarse slice insert
c. fine shredding insert or
d. coarse shredding insert

These are easy to insert and remove as required and when not required, there is a hatch at the back of the base unit, which these can be stored, each of the blades slotting in with enough space between them, so that you can differentiate between them and locate the one you want with ease.

The only other neat option for storage within the unit that I have discovered so far is that you can keep the beating disc (for whisking cream etc), the kneading hook (for dough etc) and the chopping blade (the standard double-bladed chopping tool) stacked up in the main unit on top of the drive shaft when not in use (just remember to take out the extra bits before trying to chop anything up!)

For the rest of the accessories, you will need to find some cupboard space to store them. The lid has two differently sized "food pushers", which sit one within the other and do not require additional space - the big food pusher slots into the machine if you just need to use the small food pusher, but can slide out for larger items, such as potatoes or other large vegetables.

This machine also comes with a blender, which replaces the main bowl on the top of the base unit and is made of a clear sturdy plastic with matching black plastic trim. The lid twists into place securely and the spout of the blender is completely seal by the lid when you are blending, but if you want to add ingredients quickly without removing the whole lid, you can twist out the central circular part of the lid, and pour/drop in any extras, before reinserting this part to continue blending. There are clear markings on both sides of the jug - one side showing ml and the other fl oz and cups. The jug of the blender can happily sit on a table if you want and again looks stylish enough that you don't need to hide it.

The controls are pretty standard - a pulse setting, activated by twisting the control to the left for a short burst, which switches off when you let go, or a range from min to max of ever increasing speeds which stay at that level until you alter them or switch it off.


Hotpoint Multifunctional Food Processor Fully Accessorised, 1000 Watt, Silver
Hotpoint Multifunctional Food Processor Fully Accessorised, 1000 Watt, Silver
Price: £103.94

5.0 out of 5 stars So multi-functional - it chops, grates, slices, kneads, beats, grinds, presses, blends and juices and it looks great!, 19 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wasn't sure what to expect from a Hotpoint Food Processor as I have only used Kenwood and Russell Hobbs processors in the past, but having had good experiences with other products by the manufacturer, I was hopeful that this would be well-engineered and it is.

This is an elegant looking food processor, with a central base of stainless steel and sleek matt black plastic, it is stylish enough to be left out on the work surface and not hidden away. There are suction cups on the base of the unit which allow it to grip the surface, which gives it better stability, although in of itself it's a well-balanced design, so even without it would probably be very stable.

There are a wide selection of attachments which make this a really multi-functional tool and if you can make use of most or all of them, then this really is a useful box of tricks.

There is a circular attachment which can take any of the following blade inserts:
a. fine slice insert,
b. coarse slice insert
c. fine shredding insert
d. coarse shredding insert, or
e. grating blade

These are easy to insert and remove as required and when not required, there is a hatch at the back of the base unit, which these can be stored, each of the blades slotting in with enough space between them, so that you can differentiate between them and locate the one you want with ease.

The only other neat option for storage within the unit that I have discovered so far is that you can keep the beating disc (for whisking cream etc), the kneading hook (for dough etc) and the chopping blade (the standard double-bladed chopping tool) stacked up in the main unit on top of the drive shaft when not in use (just remember to take out the extra bits before trying to chop anything up!)

For the rest of the accessories, you will need to find some cupboard space to store them. There are two different lids, one main lid with two differently sized "food pushers", which sit one within the other and do not require additional space - the big food pusher slots into the machine if you just need to use the small food pusher, but can slide out for larger items, such as potatoes or other large vegetables. The other lid combines with juicing accessory to allow you to make juices such as apple or carrot and celery and this lid has it's own fitted food pusher with a smaller chute than the main lid.

Need more gadgets -no problem. This comes with a blender, which replaces the main bowl on the top of the base unit and is made of a clear sturdy plastic with matching black plastic trim. The lid twists into place securely and the spout of the blender is completely seal by the lid when you are blending, but if you want to add ingredients quickly without removing the whole lid, you can twist out the central circular part of the lid, and pour/drop in any extras, before reinserting this part to continue blending. There are clear markings on both sides of the jug - one side showing ml and the other fl oz and cups. The jug of the blender can happily sit on a table if you want and again looks stylish enough that you don't need to hide it.

And we haven't finished yet! There is a citrus press - which allows you to juice citrus fruits - this can get a bit messy as this doesn't have a lid (as you need to hold your fruit in place over an accessory that look just like a traditional hand juicer), but it is useful if you want to make freshly squeezed orange juice or are making a recipe which requires a lot of lemon/lime juice.

And finally - perhaps my favourite part - this comes with a milling cup - so you can use this for herbs or nuts, but mine is only for coffee beans, which can be ground with the milling cup and small specialised blade unit, which attach straight onto the base unit.

There is a fairly non-descript spatula that comes as part of the package and is certainly useful if you don't already have one, but it isn't as good as my silicon spatulas, so I won't use this regularly.

The controls are pretty standard - a pulse setting, activated by twisting the control to the left for a short burst, which switches off when you let go, or a range from min to max of ever increasing speeds which stay at that level until you alter them or switch it off.


Melissa & Doug Create-A-Craft Car and Train Bundle
Melissa & Doug Create-A-Craft Car and Train Bundle
Price: £7.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Great train and car craft kit - perfect for a rainy day activity (or two!), 16 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really gorgeous craft kit which is great for girls or boys to make and keep or make and give to a loved one as a present.
As most creative kits in the high street seem to be aimed at girls or have a high amount of glitter involved - this is a nice break from that and is fun for any child to make, without getting quite as technical as the model building kits which maybe need a little more skill or supervision.

This set is perfect for a 6 or 7 year old to complete on their own with minimal assistance (if any) to complete and although they might not get quite the perfect painted finish shown on the train and car on the front of the box, they can achieve something that looks really good and is a personal achievement for them. The stickers might not be entirely straight and depending on your child you might like to let them do this alone or if they don't like things to be out of place, help them to get them stuck on straight!

This would also make a good kit to take somewhere for a trip as a rainy day activity for example, as it comes complete with glue, paints and paintbrush, so all that's really needed is some water and a pot to swill the brush out in (and some newspaper to protect the table!)


LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table
LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table
Offered by ToyMonster
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars French and English Musical fun! Many more Pros than Cons!, 16 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great addition to our toy cupboard and

Pros?
1. It's a good size, without taking over the whole room - it has been designed to work well in the home and not only in large halls/groups, although it would work well in a baby and toddler group too.
2. It is a brightly coloured and there are lots of different features to capture the attention of children.
3. It is easy to change from the words section to the music section - just flipping over the book page in the middle of the table.
4. There are 2 volume levels - so that you can adjust to suit the situation - loud or quieter
5. You have the opportunity to explore all of the words used in both English and French, for example, there is a counting song in either language, the keyboard keys are sung, going up one tone at a time (I would think it is C, D, E and F) singing Red, Yellow, Green, Blue as you press the corresponding key or Rouge, Jeune, Vert, Bleu
6. The voice is American (perhaps Canadian?) - which ordinarily might be a negative, but I am so pleased that the alphabet song ends with "zed" that there isn't any issue with this!
7. Flip the book page and instead of words as the focus, it's all about the music - the bluesy piano music when you press the coloured keyboard keys is excellent
8, There are a good variety of songs that you can listen to, lots of different sounds and musical noises, which means that you aren't driven up the wall by the same things repeated over and over again.
9. The legs can be removed, to just have the table top as a floor toy for those less stable on their feet or to make it easy for travel.
10. It comes with batteries included - so you are ready to go straight away
11. The French and English phrases are direct equivalents, so if you aren't sure what certain words mean, even if they are familiar, you just flick the switch and there's the English to remind you!
12. This is well built and feels like it will last many, many years

Cons?
1. Considering the quality of the bluesy music on recorded on the keyboard buttons, I wasn't as impressed with the tunes when you spin the rattle. There are lots of very recognisable nursery rhymes, which is great and some of the "xylophone/glock harmonies are nice on some of the tunes, but some were a bit "twangy" for me, but the children liked it!
2. The black notes on the keyboard don't move or make a sound
3. Not so much a con - but worth watching out for - there is a blue flap, which when lifted revealed a small, intentional pocket/nook, which is great for putting a half chewed baby rice cake or piece of carrot. It's just worth double-checking once in a while that there isn't anything perishable left in there!
4. I know I said in the pros that the accent doesn't bother me - it doesn't really, but I would still prefer a British accent on this table - but that's true of lots of electronic toys nowadays.
5. You probably need to know a little French yourself to be able to make the most of the French language on this toy - as the French recording isn't all that clear in particular when there is music in the background of some of the sung phrases/songs.

Overall this is an excellent toy and great value for money considering other similar items made by other manufacturers at the time of writing. This would make any under 3 very happy and if you get it whilst they are around 6 months old, you will get a lot of use out of it by the time they grow out of it (and it will probably still have a lot of life in it even then!)


Fisher-Price Little People City Skyway Toy
Fisher-Price Little People City Skyway Toy
Price: £23.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fisher Price at their best - made to last, masses of fun and no annoying noises!, 14 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is Fisher-Price at it's best. The good old-fashioned quality that I remember from my childhood, indeed the Fisher Price products from the seventies and early eighties were so well made, that they are still regularly being pulled out of grandparents' cupboards for their grandchildren to play with and whilst dated, they are still just as much fun as when they were first produced. Sadly all toys seemed to become cheaper and more disposable from the late eighties onwards.

This car helter-skelter is Fisher Price returning to this ethos - build it well and make it good simple fun. I don't mind that it took 25 minutes to put it together (and an additional 5 minutes to locate the Phillips screwdriver!), because as I was screwing it together I was thinking - this is really well built, good quality - made to last! Yes!

There have been squeals of delight as this has been played with - there are no flashy lights, no annoying musical trills or noises - just the noises that emanate from your children's mouths - vrooms, beeps and the glug, glug, glug as they fill up at the petrol pump - what joy!

So be warned - if you are buying for a birthday or Christmas, get it ready and then wrap it, as it is quite challenging to build (but with children eager to play with it, whilst you are mid-build is almost impossible! The instructions have a QR code to link you to a demonstration video, but I didn't need this as the 44 step-by-step instructions were clear and the numbered pieces make it less of a guessing game! There is a bag of screws included and it was reassuring that the right number of screws were included.

The game itself is just under a metre tall (about 3ft) which is such a delight for toddlers, but you do need to be sure that you want this up as a permanent feature wherever it is to be played with, as you wouldn't want to get the Phillips screwdriver out at the beginning and end of every playtime. It comes with two toy cars (one boy, in a blue car and one girl in a purple car) and there are three exit points, depending on which way the car comes down the slide and the junction points alternate as the cars come down, or your child can change them themselves manually.

Not only would this be a hit in the home, but this would also be a perfect waiting room toy - high impact, but good value for money and also robust enough to cope with heavy use.


1Byone Upscale PU Cambridge Bag for iPad, iPad Air, Preppy Look and British Style- - Green color
1Byone Upscale PU Cambridge Bag for iPad, iPad Air, Preppy Look and British Style- - Green color
Offered by 1Byone Products Inc
Price: £30.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Classy style and useful features without breaking the bank!, 14 Sep 2014
This cute slimline satchel-style iPad case is surprisingly good-looking and doesn't scream that it is a tablet case, but from the outside it could appear to be a slimline satchel to carry a notebook or study notes.

You secure your iPad in place with the rubbery elastic corners, which hold it well and you can prop it up for easy viewing in situ using the magnetic popper. When you have finished, you can lie it back down again and the whole compartment zips up securely and the final top flap has another magnetic popper and the faux leather straps can be slotted through the loops, made of the same faux leather, all of which have been thoroughly sewn or riveted into place and appears to be very robust, so there is no fear that any of the stitching will give way on you. The external magnetic popper doesn't really catch all that well on my bag, but as the zip is the main closing device and this is one of the two ways to keep the top flap down, it is a flaw that doesn't have any practical disadvantage.

Under this first flap, there is a zippered pocket, which I don't use as it is a bit of a tight squeeze to get my fingers in and out of without rubbing against the metal zip teeth, but those with slimmer fingers might find this useful as a pocket for bus tickets/oyster card etc, which you can reach without flashing your iPad around as this is within the main zippered section. Inside the central section, with the iPad, there is a larger pocket, which is made from the lining material, a thin, soft cotton-like material and could hold a small notepad and some pens in the main pocket and there is a smaller pocket in front as well. Under the flap with the iPad fixings is a section for cards, whether bank cards or library cards, this is a neat place to keep them, securely hidden, provided you don't want to have to get them out whilst standing at a cashpoint on a poorly lit street and then you might wish that you didn't have to flash your iPad as well as taking the time to get them out!

Overall I love the look of this bag and have had loads of compliments. It is practical and stylish for any woman who is tired of the usual boring black options or the overtly teenage options available on the market - this has some real class, without breaking the bank!

I was sent a product to test for my honest review.


My Little Pony Equestria Everyday Doll Rainbow Rocks Dash
My Little Pony Equestria Everyday Doll Rainbow Rocks Dash
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Rainbow rock chick has brought a new lease of life to My Little Ponies in our house, 14 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My daughter loves this Rainbow Rocks Dash doll, being the perfect middle ground between My Little Pony ponies and her other girly dolls. She has loved and played with the traditional ponies and loves the cartoons too, so this is a great addition to her collection and feels a bit more grown up too.

There is a good range of Equestria Dolls, each with their own individual style and this one is a funky rainbow-haired, knee-high booted rock chick who makes a lot of the other dolls in my daughter's collection look a bit boring and samey and she certainly won't get mixed up with any of the others, particularly if most of them are blonde-haired and blue-eyed! All of the dolls in this range are unusual to look at, some might say odd, but I think that they are pretty and my daughter does too - and that's what matters after all!


Disney Frozen Magical Lights Palace Playset
Disney Frozen Magical Lights Palace Playset
Price: £35.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In a nutshell, I'm disappointed, but my girls are delighted!, 14 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My daughter's are huge Frozen fans (although that's true of most girls at the time of writing) and Disney are making the most of this craze for all things related, which is understandable. What is not understandable, is why they would put their name to something that is so poorly designed. In terms of build quality, I would give this a 1 star review as the doors detach unintentionally and the lift has been stuck in the raised position on a few occasions and the doors don't seem to want to close properly, with one door continually popping back open. The lights display in daylight hours is pretty underwhelming (better with the door shut, if they'll stay shut), but as evening falls this really is pretty and I would imagine in mid-winter this will better value for money in terms of the waking hours in which it will light up will be longer!

From my girls point of view it rates highly and they love the figures, the turning platform, the bed and dressing table with mirror, Elsa's wand and the lights display - they have even asked for some of the matching sets (they would like a Princess Anna to join in the fun!) in a nutshell I'm disappointed, but my girls are delighted!


Silicone 7 LED Bike Lights - Bundle of 2 Lights (Headlight and Tail Light) - Super Bright - Fits All Handlebars and Seatposts - Water and Shock Resistant - Instant Installation and Removal - Lifetime Warranty
Silicone 7 LED Bike Lights - Bundle of 2 Lights (Headlight and Tail Light) - Super Bright - Fits All Handlebars and Seatposts - Water and Shock Resistant - Instant Installation and Removal - Lifetime Warranty
Offered by The Friendly Swede [UK]
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A totally different take on bike lights and I love it!, 12 Sep 2014
I really hadn't expected these lights to be anything out of the ordinary, but as soon as I got them out of the box I was really intrigued and surprised by the stretchiness of the silicon and the way in which the lights fitted to my bike.

These are really user friendly and apart from having to open them to insert the three AAA batteries, there is no fuss or bother (unlike many other bike lamps I have used over the years and my initial fears that they would not hold firmly to the bike were soon dispelled.

Like most modern bike lights, there are a selection of light options - fully on, flashing and high speed flashing so you can select your preferred setting. The light that shines is bright and is perfectly suited for cycling along city roads in the evening, which is the use I have put the lights to over a number of months now.

High quality and user friendly - I have had a number of comments from friends (and some strangers) seeing me putting the lights on or taking them off the bike and all of them positive.

Note: The manufacturer provided a review sample, but no attempt was made to influence my opinion of the product - I just happen to like it!


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