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Emile Zola reader "Gervaise" (Hants, UK)
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Rexel JOY Pen Cup - Blissful Blue
Rexel JOY Pen Cup - Blissful Blue
Price: £12.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive, useful and very stable., 30 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This pen cup by Rexel is part of a range of desk accessories in coordinating colours - pretty shades such as Perfect Purple, Pretty Pink and mine, Blissful Blue, are available. I can’t vouch for the blissfulness of my pen cup, but it is certainly very useful for keeping a desk tidy, with pens, rulers, scissors and highlighters in one place.

It has a sloped front that makes for easy access to the contents and has a removable foam layer at the base to protect ballpoint pens and sharpened pencils. Rexel claim that the base is stable to prevent tipping. I can verify this, because I am using the cup for dressmaking bits and pieces - my scissors are big and heavy and the cup sits firmly on the table, with no sign of instability.

I like the Rexel brand, I’ve always found that their products are good quality - and this cup is no exception. With its attractive high gloss finish, it is a useful addition to a workstation.
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High Quality Julienne Peeler & Vegetable Peeler ✮ Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Dual Blades
High Quality Julienne Peeler & Vegetable Peeler ✮ Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Dual Blades
Offered by Sabah Trading
Price: £19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality and easy to use., 30 July 2015
This Julienne/vegetable peeler was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

This is a very good quality Julienne and vegetable peeler, with a brushed stainless steel handle, which is very smooth and fits comfortably in your hand. This product is lightweight, yet solidly built, with really good control during use. The peeler has a hook at the end for storage or - if you have a magnetic kitchen bar - it will attach easily, without taking too much room. Both sides of the cutting blades have a small loop/triangle for removing eyes from potatoes, etc. The blades, by the way, are razor sharp – and there is a small brush to clean between the blades.

I’ve accumulated a small collection of mandolins/peelers/cutters over the years and never felt very comfortable using them. However, I felt more in control using this Julienne slicer and less likely to cut my fingers with the blade.
I used the peeler to make Julienne courgettes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and apples for stir-fry and salads - and also to garnish ordinary meals. I could never have chopped the vegetables this thinly using a knife. The blades on this peeler shaved pieces of Parmesan as though it were ordinary cheese – I was impressed. We have a three-year-old child who will not touch cooked vegetables, but will eat them raw. I’m always concerned that she could choke on a lump of carrot, so now I’m using the Julienne blade on most of the vegetables I normally cook - and we are both happy!

This is an excellent peeler/Julienne slicer and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. It is a quality product and I am happy to give it a five star rating.
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#DoYourYoga Yogabag »Sunita« yoga mat bag made of high-class Canvas, for yogamats / pilatesmats up to 186 x 63 x 0,6 cm. Rose Pattern
#DoYourYoga Yogabag »Sunita« yoga mat bag made of high-class Canvas, for yogamats / pilatesmats up to 186 x 63 x 0,6 cm. Rose Pattern
Offered by #DoYourSports GmbH
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars First rate quality yoga mat bag., 29 July 2015
This bag was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

This is a very pretty canvas cotton bag in which to carry your fitness/yoga equipment. A mat, approximately 183x61cm, would fit inside - with width room to spare. Alternatively, if you are new to yoga or need a new mat, I would recommend this company’s Annapurna Classic for excellent quality and a lovely range of colours.

The shoulder strap is firmly anchored to the bag by a strong, neat, double row of stitching and is fully adjustable by a sliding buckle. The strap is just less than 4cm/1.5” wide, so it feels comfortable on the shoulder without digging in.
There is a reinforced pocket, measuring approximately 6 ½’/16.5cm x 8 ½”/21.5cm, with a small space above the zip. The pocket is useful for holding a purse, car keys etc and is secured by a strong, wide-toothed zip, with a robust faux-leather pull tag for easy glide opening. The lining of the bag is fabric - not plastic or compressed paper - and will help keep your mat in good condition.

This is a beautifully constructed bag of very high quality and there’s not an unfinished seam or raw edge in sight. It looks really classy and I love it.
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Syllable G600 Stereo Adjustable Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Headphone HIFI Deep Bass 3.5mm Earphone Headset Built-in Mic / 40mm Speaker Microphone for Smartphones MP3 Players Walkman (White)
Syllable G600 Stereo Adjustable Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Headphone HIFI Deep Bass 3.5mm Earphone Headset Built-in Mic / 40mm Speaker Microphone for Smartphones MP3 Players Walkman (White)
Offered by Syllable Official Uk
Price: £21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound and performance., 26 July 2015
These headphones were sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

The quality of these good-looking headphones belies their cost. They are lightweight, comfortable and very easy to use. The instructions - in graphic and text form - are simple to follow. They come with a USB charger and a jack to connect the headphones to your iPod, or other devices, should your power run out. Once the headphones were charged, pairing them to my iPhone and MacBook - using Bluetooth - was straightforward and practically automatic.

The headphones are comfortable to wear – the ear cups have a soft leather-like padding that not only feels nice, but also helps to eliminate any noise leakage. Each cup is clearly marked L and R, though if you are right-handed, you wouldn’t get confused after using them for the first time because the control buttons are on the right-side ear piece. Control buttons include on/off switch, volume control+/next song and volume-/previous song. The on/off switch is also used to answer and end phone calls, which will come through to your headphones - once you have paired them with your phone.

I was really impressed by the sound quality. I enjoy listening to classical music, but to get that concert hall feeling there has to be a distinction between different sections of the orchestra. Sometimes headphones don’t deliver this very efficiently. Well, I am pleased to say that the Syllable G600 passed the Mendelssohn, Liszt and Chopin tests. Bass was very pleasing, violins very sweet and the overall clarity was excellent.

If I had one little criticism, it would be that the overhead band on the headphones is a little too long for me. Adjustment is very good for expansion – just slide the band up an invisible ratchet – but I would have liked them a tiny bit shorter. However, I am a petite size, so I can’t blame the makers for this.
These are classy and expensive-looking looking headphones that perform very well and are excellent value.
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#DoYourYoga yoga mat »Annapurna Classic« / The perfect yoga-mat for beginners. Size: 183 x 61 x 0,3cm, green
#DoYourYoga yoga mat »Annapurna Classic« / The perfect yoga-mat for beginners. Size: 183 x 61 x 0,3cm, green
Offered by #DoYourSports GmbH
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully cushioned and easy to roll., 25 July 2015
This yoga mat was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.
This Annapurna Classic mat is 0.3cm thick and compared to DoYourYoga’s exercise mat, the Yamuna – which is 1.5cm thick – it is obviously not as springy or soft. However, this mat is still beautifully cushioned – after leaving an imprint of my foot, it sprang back within seconds.
It is an ideal mat for beginners like me, who are not going to indulge in the more complex of positions just yet. It provides more than adequate comfort, even on a wood floor - and just from glancing around, everyone in the room seemed to have a mat with a similar thickness.

This mat unfolds easily and lies flat without furling back. I was particularly impressed when rolling the mat up again – the edges seemed to keep together naturally, so I didn’t end up with one thin end and the other one twice as thick!

This is a lovely looking green mat and the company logo – a nice design and perfectly stitched - adds a classy trim.

Based on the quality of other products in this company’s range, I expect this mat to last for years, given the correct care of a gentle brush and a light sponge down. If, like me, you are new to yoga and looking to buy your first mat, I’d definitely recommend this one for good quality, value and comfort.
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Philips Avent Classic+ Feeding Bottle SCF560/27 (125ml/4oz) x 2
Philips Avent Classic+ Feeding Bottle SCF560/27 (125ml/4oz) x 2
Offered by Activecare Online
Price: £10.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't improve on perfection., 25 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely set of two 4oz/125ml feeding bottles from the Avent Classic+ range. They come supplied with teats – marked size 1 for newborns – and the graduation lines on the bottle are clearly numbered for precise measurement. The screw rings and teats in this range are compatible with all Classic+ bottles, so you can interchange, should you so wish. The teats have been designed with a valve to help reduce colic - and anyone who has seen a baby with this painful, distressing condition will value this innovation. I know that some people feel that buying 4oz bottles is not essential, that you can use a larger bottle just as well - and they are correct. However, I’ve always found that at this stage, you can never have too many bottles - and personally, I do prefer the satisfaction of using the smaller size for a newborn. I find that all the bottles in the Classic+ range have a lovely feel to them and fit comfortably in my hand.

This bottle is simple and quick to assemble and the relatively wide neck makes it easier to clean out dried bits of milk. Another thing I like about this brand of bottles is that even after numerous sterilizing sessions, they retain their sheen and markings better than others. We’ve used the Avent brand of bottles and cups for years and they are my first choice for quality. I have no hesitation in recommending these lovely Classic+ bottles.


Philips Avent Classic+  Blue Feeding Bottle SCF565/27 (260ml/9oz) x 2
Philips Avent Classic+ Blue Feeding Bottle SCF565/27 (260ml/9oz) x 2
Price: £9.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Usual excellent product from Avent Classic+ range., 24 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We’ve been using the Avent brand of bottles and cups for years and they are our first choice for quality. I must confess to being a little biased when it comes to testing out anything in their range, but these slightly tinted 9oz/260ml bottles are just lovely. Although the bottles are lightly coloured in pink or blue, the level of milk can be seen clearly against the darker markings of the graduation lines on the bottle. As with most Avent bottles, they feel really nice and fit smoothly and comfortably in your hand. The teats in this set of two bottles are clearly marked as size 2 – suitable for babies aged from one month - but different sized teats in the Avent+ range will also fit. The teats have been designed with a valve to help reduce colic and anyone who has seen a baby suffer with this painful, distressing condition will value this innovation. The bottle is easily and quickly assembled and the wide neck makes short work of cleaning out dried bits of milk.

Once again, Avent have produced a very good quality feeding bottle that has baby’s welfare at the fore. Avent is a brand we trust and I have no hesitation in recommending all the bottles and cups in their range. Well worthy of five stars.
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#DoYourYoga Yogabag»Ghanpati« / Yoga mat bag made of high-class Canvas, for EXTRA THICK yogamats / pilatesmats up to 186 x 62 x 1,5 cm, Navyblau
#DoYourYoga Yogabag»Ghanpati« / Yoga mat bag made of high-class Canvas, for EXTRA THICK yogamats / pilatesmats up to 186 x 62 x 1,5 cm, Navyblau
Offered by #DoYourSports GmbH
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, well made and practical., 24 July 2015
This Ghanpati bag was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

These bags are exactly the same as those in the patterned Ghanpati collection, except that they are self-coloured, with a selection of nine lovely shades to choose from. I also have another sample bag in this range in ‘Gaudy Flowers’ pattern and - to be honest - I’d struggle to choose between them for classy good looks. My review below is similar to the one I submitted for the patterned bag because it is exactly the same bag in every respect, apart from the fabric being plain or patterned.

If you are looking for a bag to carry an extra thick (0.5cm) yoga/Pilates/exercise mat, consider one from the DoYourYoga range because their combination of quality, good looks and practicability is hard to beat. The bags are made of durable cotton canvas and come in a selection of colours and patterns – mine is navy blue with a lovely tan contrast of the zips and tabs, faux-leather logo and very neat stitching. It looks like an expensive bag. The handles on each side are anchored securely within long plackets by strong neat stitching and can be used to carry by hand or on your shoulder. I tried tugging the handles to test the stitching – nothing is going to dislodge those, believe me. There is a zippered pocket, measuring 15.25cm x 19cm on one side of the bag – ideal for holding a phone, money wallet, car keys, gym pass etc. The zips are strong and the teeth are large; opening and closing is a very smooth process without any snagging. The top zip opens up the whole length of the bag, so you won’t have a struggle when stowing or unpacking your mat.

I am genuinely delighted at the quality of this bag. The finishing is exceptional. It is lined with a decent fabric – unlike many bags that have plastic or paper-type linings – and there’s not a loose thread or raw seam to be found. This type of quality control seems to be the exception, rather than the rule these days.

I love this bag and would happily recommend it - not just for carrying exercise mats, but also for all types of sports gear. It would make an ideal gift for anyone into sports or, for that matter, carrying all manner of personal items.
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#DoYourYoga Yogabag »Ghanpati« / Yoga mat bag made of high-class Canvas, for EXTRA THICK yogamats / pilatesmats up to 186 x 62 x 1,5 cm, knallige Blumen
#DoYourYoga Yogabag »Ghanpati« / Yoga mat bag made of high-class Canvas, for EXTRA THICK yogamats / pilatesmats up to 186 x 62 x 1,5 cm, knallige Blumen
Offered by #DoYourSports GmbH
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional quality in a good-looking practical bag., 23 July 2015
This DoYourYoga bag was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

If you are looking for a bag to carry an extra thick yoga/Pilates mat, consider one from the DoYourYoga range because their combination of quality, good looks and practicability is hard to beat. The bags are made of durable cotton canvas and come in a selection of colours and patterns – mine is ‘Gaudy Flowers,’ and is an eye-catching, vibrant print that looks expensive. The handles on each side are anchored securely within long plackets by strong neat stitching and can be used to carry by hand or on your shoulder. I tried tugging the handles to test the stitching – nothing is going to dislodge those, believe me. There is a zippered pocket, measuring 15.25cm x 19cm on one side of the bag – ideal for holding a phone, money wallet, car keys, gym pass etc. The zips are strong and the teeth are large; opening and closing is a very smooth process without any snagging. The top zip opens up the whole length of the bag, so you won’t have a struggle when stowing your mat inside.

I am genuinely delighted at the quality of this bag. The finishing is exceptional. It is lined with a decent fabric – unlike many bags that have plastic or paper-type linings – and there’s not a loose thread or raw seam to be found. This type of quality control seems to be the exception, rather than the rule these days.
I really love this bag and would happily recommend it - not just for carrying exercise mats, but also for all manner of sports gear. There was room to spare even when the extra thick (1.5cm) mat was stowed inside.

Apologies for the wonky photos - I'm having a little trouble loading them.
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Philips HX9044/26 Sonicare Adaptive Clean Brush Heads x 4
Philips HX9044/26 Sonicare Adaptive Clean Brush Heads x 4
Price: £30.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Adaptive to give a deep clean without any damage., 23 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sonicare Adaptive Clean brushes will fit most handles in the Philips Sonicare range – and because Philips claim that they give their deepest clean ever - I was keen to try them. The heads are just as easy to attach to the handle as my previous ones – simply pull the old one off the metal post and push the new one on. Couldn’t be quicker or simpler. The brush head is slightly arc shaped with the green bristles on either end being slightly raised – presumably to ensure that the base of the teeth and gums are not neglected. Each little group of bristles is cushioned within a pocket of silicon gel to give flexibility and prevent any over-enthusiastic damage to gums. The blue bristles fade to white when it’s time to replace the toothbrush head, but Philips recommend replacing the heads every three months regardless. For hygiene reasons, I do this anyway.

I liked these brush heads - and whether it was my imagination or not, I thought they cleaned better than my usual ones. I bought my first electric toothbrush many years ago on the recommendation of my dentist, who said I was eroding my teeth around the gums by manually brushing too hard. That kind of damage would be virtually impossible with these flexible heads. I will be buying these heads when the bristles on the present ones fade to white.


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