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Emile Zola reader "Gervaise" (Hants, UK)
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Philips S5320/06 Series 5000 Electric Shaver with Smart Click Precision Trimmer and Turbo Function
Philips S5320/06 Series 5000 Electric Shaver with Smart Click Precision Trimmer and Turbo Function
Price: £119.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously, the best electric shave I've ever had., 28 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’ve long thought that it would be very difficult for a shaver to surpass the performance of my existing Philips “AquaTouch” wet/dry shaver. No other shaver had ever come close to being as good. However, I was willing to try this Series 5000 but to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. Even though my old shaver took a bit of time to get a good result, it was comfortable, smooth and quiet. I only ever used it on the dry option as I find that there is negligible difference using an electric shaver wet compared to dry. In my opinion – there is a lot of over-emphasis with this.

My whisker growth is “average” but I’m not one for “designer stubble”. I shave every day, simply because it feels more comfortable – and my only quibble with “old faithful” was that it sometimes missed stray hairs on my lower chin / upper neck. These tend to grow in whorls – so occasionally needed some separate attention – but this Philips 5000 model took them in its stride.
This model comes with a sideburn / moustache trimmer, which does the job nicely, producing a clean edge without any hair pulling. It’s also good at picking up any longer stray facial hair. However, unlike some other models, you first have to remove the triple-head unit from its socket and replace it with the trimmer. There is nowhere to store the trimmer - other than on the bathroom shelf, so a travel pouch would have been a nice addition to store it all together. There is no charging stand with this model but personally, I don’t miss it because they get in the way and are easily knocked over. The instruction leaflet is graphical – but easier to follow than some.

The shaver, itself, is excellent. It’s smooth, quiet and comfortable. I felt “clean” after using it and there were no tender patches or redness of the skin at all. The cover for the triple rotating heads flips open for cleaning and the actual heads are larger and more “angled” than old faithful - giving greater flexibility and a better overall shave. There is a “Turbo” switch that boosts the rotation speed of the blades for a faster shave. I was expecting a big increase in noise level but the difference was barely perceptible. The shaver charges fully within an hour – as shown clearly by the three-level indicator lights – and lasted me for well over a week. There is an illuminated “tap” icon to remind you to rinse out the head compartment after use - the three heads are not recessed, so this is an easy process. The shaver can be locked for travel by simply holding down the switch until the “lock” icon flashes. There is also an icon to tell you when the blades should be changed – but they should last around two years. There’s confidence for you!

I am an avid supporter of Philips products and this shaver is ideal for my purposes – it knocks spots off my old one that I thought was very good. I recently tried the Philips “Style” shaver and – most unusually - was disappointed. This Series 5000 shaver is very different and I am extremely pleased with it. I considered knocking off a star because there was no travel-pouch - but the shaver itself is so good that I feel it still deserves a 5 star rating.


Tinksky Crochet Caterpillar Costume Baby Clothes Photo Props for Unisex Babies of 3~6 Months
Tinksky Crochet Caterpillar Costume Baby Clothes Photo Props for Unisex Babies of 3~6 Months
Offered by PixnorStore
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made little outfit for baby's fancy dress debut., 28 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This Caterpillar Costume was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

When I received this item, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s a very well made little costume. The hat and ‘body’ of the caterpillar are crocheted, using a soft (baby double-knit?) wool yarn, and it doesn’t feel rough or scratchy. The workmanship is very good – there are no loose ends, the seams are neat and the wool is not likely to unravel.

The approximate measurements are:
Hat – 51cm (20”) circumference, 16.5cm (6 ½”) from crown to brim.
Body – 43.5cm (17”) length, 28cm (11”) width.
As the garments are crocheted, there’s a lot of flexibility in the wool (more so in the tunic than the hat) and they will stretch quite a bit. However, it’s worth noting that a smaller, tighter crochet stitch is used for the hat, so the section that fits around the baby’s forehead will not stretch more than a couple of centimetres. There is a pair of black plastic (lens-less) glasses that completes the outfit that convinces me that this is a little bookworm outfit, not a caterpillar. Either way, it’s very cute. Obviously, you wouldn’t place the little specs on a baby’s face but you could attach them to the hat (over the crocheted eyes) using a couple of loose holding stitches for a photo call.

This is a good value, quality made little outfit for a baby to make his/her fancy dress debut. A photograph of baby wearing this little bookworm/caterpillar outfit would be lovely to look back on. Who wouldn’t want to show it when ‘baby’ brings their first date home to meet the folks? You could pass it around the wedding guests to see the bride or groom as a little chrysalis!
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Philips Avent Classic+ Newborn Starter Set SCD371/00
Philips Avent Classic+ Newborn Starter Set SCD371/00
Price: £13.55

5.0 out of 5 stars My first choice in baby bottles., 28 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Anyone who has experienced trying to comfort a baby in the grip of a colic attack will remember the feeling of utter helplessness and heartbreak of being unable to relieve the painful cramps. It’s distressing for the baby and upsetting for the adults. Philips has trialled these Avent bottles with 2,000 testers, who reported less cases of colic when using them compared to conventional ones. The valve on the teat lets air into the bottle, but not into the baby’s tummy - this has to be a good thing.

The pack contains 2 x 260ml (9oz) bottles, 2 bottles x 125ml (4oz) for newborns, one dummy with cap and a soft-bristled bottlebrush. There are only four parts to each bottle - the bottle itself, the bottle/teat ring, the teat and the top – so it’s very quick and easy to assemble. I could actually feel the quality of the material in the teats compared to some others I’ve used. The brush is well designed to reach all components of the bottle to ensure that no milky residue is missed when cleaning it.

We’ve used Avent bottles before and haven’t bothered with other brands since. The bottles are comfortable to hold, retain their sheen after prolonged use and the teats are very good. Another reason why I like - and would recommend - this newborn starter set is that it is made by Philips, which is a brand I trust.


BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier WE
BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier WE
Price: £84.95

5.0 out of 5 stars First rate for safety and quality (and freedom from wheels)., 27 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As baby carriers go, it’s very hard to beat the BabyBjorn brand. We used to have the BabyBjorn Miracle model and it served us well in terms of quality, comfort and reliability. My first impressions of this WE model was that the quality and build was of the same high standard. Stitching, seams and clips are firm – there is an obvious click to let you know that the buttons and straps are securely locked when you are assembling it and placing baby in. The fabric is washable to 40 degrees – which is far better than sponging down little milky dribbles.

The carrier is very comfortable to use and is designed such that the hips bear the weight, rather than the spine, which is ideal for anyone who suffers from back problems. The degree of adjustment in the straps is especially good. There is almost twelve inches height difference between my partner and me, but with a quick bit of fine-tuning the carrier suits us both. The makers recommend that newborns should only be carried in the front, facing your chest. Once they can support their necks, babies should still be carried in front, but they can also face outwards, should you wish. After twelve months of age, the babe can be placed in the back carrying mode. Children up to the age of three years can be carried in the back position, but - at just over five foot tall – I think I would look ridiculous lugging a two or three year old on my back!

For new parents unsure about the safety of baby carriers, I can say that the BabyBjorn range is probably one of the best you could choose. Instructions for use are very clear – from opening the box, adjusting straps, we were ‘ready to load’ in under ten minutes – it’s that easy. It looks huge in the photograph, but it’s not in reality because the carrier folds easily and fits neatly into a bag. If you have a toddler in a buggy, or you just want the freedom to go without wheels, this BabyBjorn is brilliant.


Dawn of Deception: Part I in The David Nbeke Thriller Series
Dawn of Deception: Part I in The David Nbeke Thriller Series
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced thriller intelligently written., 26 Jun. 2015
I was given this book free of charge by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review. I have no links with the author or publisher.

Every now and then I read a book that keeps me up until three in the morning, wishing I could speed read, yet at the same time not wanting it to end. This was such a book. It’s no exaggeration to say that from the very first page to the last, I was riveted. The novel begins with a prologue describing the disgrace of a young Maasai boy, Maliki, and his banishment from the tribe. Thirty years later, David - a ranger with the Kenyan Wildlife Service - is trying to stop a gang of poachers from slaughtering more elephants and rhinos within the Maasai Mara Reserve. The lives of Maliki and David intersect for most of the book, but only towards the end of the tale do they realise they share a horrific, violent past.

There is so much to this novel that it would result in a very long review, with possible ‘spoilers’, if I were to outline more of the plot. Suffice to say, there’s not a single dull page in this book and I can’t recommend it enough. The characters are believable, the plot is riveting and the style of writing just flows. Descriptions of wildlife, game parks, shantytowns and markets are so vivid that I could imagine myself there. Such is the writer’s gift for bringing a book to life. In parts, and interspersed within the action, are fascinating little snippets about various wildlife and the terrain – I really liked this.

Although classed as fiction, the novel describes many unwholesome truths. Ethnic cleansing and tribal warfare, political corruption at every level, non-existent human rights, international poaching rings and misappropriation of wildlife funds are just some of the subjects highlighted. These issues are addressed within the novel, but not in a lectured ‘nanny-knows-best’ style.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s a fresh, intelligent read, where the author never hammers a point home. Dan Fletcher has a great style of writing; the plot is brilliantly exciting and quite unpredictable. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the book – one of my best reads this year – it would also make a terrific film. I’m just sorry that the next book in the series is not available yet.


Braun Silk Epil 5-541 Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator with Shaver Head
Braun Silk Epil 5-541 Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator with Shaver Head
Price: £88.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but awkward to open and no drawstring bag for storage., 24 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The epilator comes very well packaged – too well packaged - because I had to take a knife to remove the tape holding the sides shut and it wasn’t obvious how the box opened. The thick plastic shrink-wrap around the plug and electrical lead was even worse. Why does it have to be industrial grade polythene? Other leads don’t come like this. I don’t like to start off with a moan, but when it comes to annoying modern packaging, this wins the prize this year so far. Ok, mini-rant over.

Instructions for how to use the epilator are clear and there is a large illustration in the booklet to identify the different parts and heads mentioned in the text.
The plug is two pin, so - if you do not have a shaver point - you will need an adaptor to charge the epilator. These are cheap to buy, but personally - although we have a shaving socket in the bathroom - I prefer a regular three-pin plug. The lead is very generous - seven-foot long (2.13m) - a real bonus if you are going to use an adaptor. There is a spring-action eject button on the body of the epilator to release the particular head attached, so changing heads couldn’t be easier or quicker. Each of the shaver heads is marked with an arrow to ensure it is not placed on the unit the wrong way round. This not only saves time, it also prevents potential damage trying to force the head on incorrectly. This is a good feature that I’ve not seen before on an epilator. The unit has two speeds and charges quickly. It also lasts for weeks before a re-charge is needed.

The epilator fits comfortably in the hand and the ribbed, rubber-like sections on the front and back ensure that it won’t slip from your grip if using it in wet mode. The various heads – for use on legs, bikini area and underarms – are very good. The epilator copes well with short hair and the noise and level of discomfort is lower than some that I’ve used in the past.

This is a very good epilator. I wouldn’t say it was better than another well-known brand, but it is comparable. However, because of the frustrating packaging and the lack of a drawstring bag for storing the system, I am giving this a four star rating instead of five.


PIXNOR 11 Pairs of 36cm Silver Stainless Steel Straight Single Pointed Knitting Needles Crochet Hooks with Different Size of 2.0mm /2.5mm /3.0mm /3.5mm /4.0mm /4.5mm /5.0mm /5.5mm /6.0mm /7.0mm /8.0mm
PIXNOR 11 Pairs of 36cm Silver Stainless Steel Straight Single Pointed Knitting Needles Crochet Hooks with Different Size of 2.0mm /2.5mm /3.0mm /3.5mm /4.0mm /4.5mm /5.0mm /5.5mm /6.0mm /7.0mm /8.0mm
Offered by PixnorStore
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate gauge and excellent value., 24 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These knitting needles were sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased
review.

Each of the 11 pairs of knitting needles has its own plastic sheath, similar to the ones on sale in UK craft and hobby shops. All are approximately 13” long (33cm) and, after checking the diameters on my needle gauge, I can confirm that the sizes are accurate. If, like me, you are a knitter, you will notice that these needles are made of shiny stainless steel, but the ones we usually buy have a grey plastic/Teflon-type coating. The Pixnor needles are also lighter. I weighed my own 4.5mm (No.7) needle against the same gauge and length Pixnor and mine was heavier by 7 grams. Granted, that’s not a lot of weight but if you are knitting something large and heavy – say, the back of an adult-sized double knit or chunky wool – I’d rather have lighter needles. Also, if you were a beginner at knitting, I think the lighter weight could be more beneficial - though I would recommend starting with shorter needles.

The needles are not much different to most other metal knitting needles; they fit comfortably in the hand and in the crook of the thumb and forefinger. They do not seem as strong as the coated needles I already have, but they certainly don’t bend easily. If I had one criticism, it would be that the numbering of each needle is not very clear on the tabs – white on white is not helpful. However, this is a minor point when you think of how many pairs of needles you get for a very reasonable price – I’ve paid more for just three pairs in the past. I was very pleased with this set of needles and - until I used them - I hadn’t realized just how blunt the tips of my old ones had become. This is my honest opinion of what I feel are decent, good value knitting needles and I hope it’s been of some use to you.
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TinkSky 20pcs Hair Bows Alligator Clip Grosgrain Ribbon Headbands for Baby,Girls and Young Women-15 Pure Color+5 Polka Dot
TinkSky 20pcs Hair Bows Alligator Clip Grosgrain Ribbon Headbands for Baby,Girls and Young Women-15 Pure Color+5 Polka Dot
Offered by PixnorStore
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm genuinely surprised at such good quality., 24 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This pack of alligator clip hair bows was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

These ribbon bows are very cute and are excellent value. They are also very well constructed from decent materials. The bows are made of a soft petersham-type fabric that – unlike satin or silk ribbon – retain their shape and gives a nice structure. The zip locked pack contains twenty bows of self-colours and five in polka dotted pattern. I particularly liked the colours – unlike many ready-made bows that tend to be a bit garish, these come in classy shades and look expensive. Each bow measures approximately 3 1/2” (9cm) at its widest point and 2 3/4'” (7.5cm) from top to bottom and has a small alligator clip firmly attached to the underside. Although I think it would be quite difficult to separate the fabric from the clip or to open the clip itself, for safety reasons I would not recommend leaving a small child alone with one.

The bows make lovely accessories for young girls and women for use as clips for holding back stray hair – the clips hold, without pulling, even on a small lock of fine hair. They look especially gorgeous as adornments to French pleats, plaits, ponytails etc. The bows are also good for other uses besides hair, for example, customising clothing. I clipped the dark brown bow to the edge of the neckline/shoulder strap of a favourite cream-coloured dress that I’d had for years. The alligator clip was invisible and the small addition of the contrasting bow turned a tired-looking day dress into something quite classy. I plan to do the same with a navy dress, using either one of the plain pink/cerise/red bows or the lime green one. I’m also thinking of clipping one to the edge of an evening clutch bag to jazz it up. There are lots of uses for these very reasonably priced quality clip bows.
This review has been my honest opinion and I feel that this is a lovely, good quality product. I hope it’s been helpful.


Taf Toys Rainbow Pram Arch
Taf Toys Rainbow Pram Arch
Price: £22.90

5.0 out of 5 stars A very cute and good quality pram arch., 19 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Taf rainbow pram arch is absolutely lovely and I'm really happy with it.
The arch is very flexible, and can fit and span the width of most prams, buggies and pushchairs. Attaching it is quick and easy, just position the clamp on each end of the arch over the side edge of the pram, then turn the white collar to tighten and lock securely into place.

The arch is softly padded and covered in five different coloured sections of fabric. Above it, there are five crinkling flaps in various black and white designs while the colours are vibrant and eye-catching on the reverse. The materials used are of good quality and the stitching is excellent, so no fears about components coming loose.

Three bright and cheery little characters dangle down from the arch.
I particularly liked the happy, smiling faces on the rattling cloud and the rattling bird with his dangly legs. The cheery chime tree has a lovely soft blue teething ring hanging from a ribbon. Everything about the arch is designed to attract baby's attention and it is just gorgeous. There is nothing about this rainbow pram arch that would scare a baby or toddler.

This is the first Taf baby item we have ever had. I was very impressed with the design, quality and safety of this rainbow arch and I intend to check out the whole of the Taf range. If other items are as nice as this one, I'll definitely be buying some.


View Quest Christie DAB+ Radio and NFC/Bluetooth Speaker - Red
View Quest Christie DAB+ Radio and NFC/Bluetooth Speaker - Red
Offered by Electric Mania Limited
Price: £98.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Good looks and excellent performance., 18 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely radio with retro-style good looks and reminds me of the one my mother had for decades from the 1950s that had `leatherette' facing. However, that's where the similarity ends. I was very impressed by how easy it was to set the radio up - the instruction book has clear graphics and text. I had no problem saving my favourite radio programmes, because as the radio scans the available stations - analogue and digital - the details show on the screen and storing to pre-set mode was so easy. You can store up to 30 pre-set stations.
The radio can be placed in either portrait or landscape position, which is good if space is an issue. It looks really good either way up.

The sound quality is very good. I like listening to music, but my favourite channel - radio four - is mostly a talk station and the clarity of speech and clear reception is excellent. Bass and treble sounds from the speaker are also good - I especially liked the sound delivered from a classical music channel. There is a Bluetooth facility, should you wish to listen to music on your iPod, MP3 etc., and pairing your device to the radio is easy and hassle-free. There's also a headphone socket at the back of the radio and a USB charge point for your phone. Oh, and there is an alarm clock facility too. Although this model does not come with batteries, there is a housing at the back of the radio if you wish to buy a battery pack.

Despite all the clever extras, I wanted this primarily to listen to the radio and - in this respect - I couldn't be more pleased with it. It's a very attractive radio, but more importantly, the build is of high quality. I love flicking through my pre-set channels and I'm constantly surprised at the rich sound that emits from such a relatively small device.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 22, 2015 9:45 AM BST


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