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tiggrie AKA Sarah (UK)

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Semper GF Cantucci Almond 200 g (Pack of 2)
Semper GF Cantucci Almond 200 g (Pack of 2)

4.0 out of 5 stars A little sweet, but very nice for gluten free., 3 Dec 2013
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I bought these on a warehouse deal, and in all honesty I don't think I'd purchase them again at full price, but they're one of the better gluten free products I've ever come across.

I do eat gluten, but bought these for family members who don't.

I think biscotti, by nature hard and dry, are a better candidate for being made gluten free than some other kinds of sweets. Cakes and biscuits can be oddly dry and leave the mouth dry, too. These had no unpleasant dry mouth after effect or taste, and they had the scrunchy character I associate with biscotti.

My one criticism is that they are rather sweet - I prefer biscotti a bit plainer, personally. I wouldn't want to eat more than one even though they're quite small.

Overall, though, quite nice, and much better in both taste and texture than most of the GF things I've ever tried.

Clipper Organic White Tea with Vanilla 26 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)
Clipper Organic White Tea with Vanilla 26 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)
Price: 7.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Really nice when brewed right., 3 Dec 2013
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I bought the vanilla and non vanilla versions at the same time and was a little confused as one wanted me to use still boiling water and the other water off the boil. I'm yet to try the plain bags, and I'm still figuring out exactly how long to leave them to get the best taste result, but I can say that when I do get it right, this is delicious.

I don't think it's THAT vanillary - though it will be interesting to compare it to the plain white tea - but it's definitely a light, almost sweet flavour (as long as you don't leave the bag in too long) and as someone who doesn't drink black tea (I like the smell of decent stuff, really not at all fond of the taste) and often finds green tea to be more something to drink for health reasons than for pleasure, this is actually rather nice.

I can't speak to the healthy benefits, though I'm sure ingesting antioxidants won't do any harm ;), but from a pure taste point of view this is very pleasant, and can even be drunk cold if you've forgotten about it. Consider me a convert!

World of Geekcraft: Step-By-Step Instructions for 25 Quirky Craft Projects
World of Geekcraft: Step-By-Step Instructions for 25 Quirky Craft Projects
by Susan Beal
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, with some reservations, 29 Nov 2013
A friend bought this for me some time ago.

There are some really fun ideas in here, but as a previous reviewer has said, this isn't really aimed at a casual audience: to get full value from it, you would ideally be both a serious crafter and also very into geeky things.

That said, there's a lot of fun in here, much of which could be adapted. There's a morse code quilt, which personally I think is one of the coolest things I've ever seen ;D There are patterns for crochet tribbles! There's a pattern and instructions for turning an innocent jacket into a Cylon! Star Wars terrariums! Everything from Mario to LOST is in there.

I haven't actually completed exact versions of any of these projects, but they have been good starting points for projects of my own. The book is written and presented in an entertaining and accessible way, so if you're the kind of person who enjoys reading about/being inspired by crafty things as well as actually physically doing them, there's a double whammy of enjoyability here.

Overall: I can't wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommend this book. Its target audience just isn't wide enough to appeal to everyone, with such a huge range of crafting techniques AND of fandoms. That said, it's a lot of fun and an enjoyable book to own and flip through, as well as having some really fun projects. There may be fairly few people who get the full benefit, but I'd imagine most people who were both crafty and geeky could find something to love here, and/or could adapt one or more projects for themselves.

Voortman Omega 3 Flaxseed Cranberry Cookies 350 g (Pack of 4)
Voortman Omega 3 Flaxseed Cranberry Cookies 350 g (Pack of 4)
Price: 11.96

3.0 out of 5 stars As healthy (ish) treats go, not bad., 25 Nov 2013
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These are one of those things that I personally would class as a sort of healthy sort of treat.

On the plus side, they're reasonably tasty, they have lots of fibre and omega 3s, and as biscuits go they're neither too unhealthy nor unpleasant to eat.

They do have a certain air of "I'm so wholesome I'm almost not pleasurable" about them, but in a way that's a good thing: they're tasty enough to subdue that biscuit craving, but not so delicious that you'd be tempted to eat a whole packet while watching a chick flick.

I bought them at an offer price, and yes, I probably would buy them on offer again, but the four large packs should last me some while, and I wouldn't pay full price for them.

Yesterday's Sun
Yesterday's Sun
Price: 1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, poor execution., 25 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Yesterday's Sun (Kindle Edition)
I was drawn to this book for its premise, which is a fascinating conundrum. If you saw the future and realised that you had no place in it, would you sacrifice your life for your future child, or would you put your own life first? Great idea, right?

Unfortunately, this is painfully poorly written. On the first page I already found myself wanting to get the red pen out and take out a good dose of the sugar and smooth out some of the painfully clunky prose. It beggars belief that editors at a decent publishing allowed the book to go out in this state. It reads like a first novel that hasn't been through the editing process - if I'd been told this was a self pubbed effort I would have believed it, and it would have been a little more forgivable. The writer thanks, in her acknowledgements, the people who gave her the courage to pull her MS apart and put it back together again, and to be honest all I could think was how much of a stinker it must've been if this was the post reconstruction version. There is over explanation, huge chunks of exposition, there are said bookisms, there is overuse of adverbs, there are paper thin characters, contrived plot lines and the whole thing is glued together with enough syrup to rot your teeth. Tom and Holly, our golden couple, are nauseatingly sweet, and they don't feel remotely real. It's frankly a disservice to the writer, never mind the reader, to publish a book in this state. When I read that Tom had "untamed locks" I thought I might be sick. Leave no cliché unturned!

There's also an ending that is the biggest cop out ever and made me want to throw my Kindle against the wall. It basically takes that wonderful premise and guts it of all its promise and all its heartbreak. It basically feels like one huge, cowardly cheat.

It's really just not very good at all, and all the more disappointing because it takes such a wonderful, complicated, heartrending premise, coats it with candy floss, guts it, and undermines its own basic storyline. Disappointing is hardly the word.

The IF Diet
The IF Diet
Price: 2.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Content OK, delivery lacking., 3 Nov 2013
This review is from: The IF Diet (Kindle Edition)
This may be "the only book on Amazon to include three different fasting diets" but it's let down by poor presentation.

I don't like being talked down to, and the constant capitalisation of IF was just annoying. Yes, I know Intermittent Fasting can be abbreviated to IF, good pun, now quit going on about it. IF it is overused and IF the word if it keeps getting put into capitals at every opportunity even when it is not referring to intermittent fasting, then it's going to get old fast. IF a book is written and presented well, it doesn't need the author to point out that "hey, the abbreviation of intermittent fasting and the word if look the same, aren't I clever to have noticed?" every three paragraphs.

The author is also a little too fond of bold and italics, and the effect of this plus the being told stuff that is largely common sense or common knowledge all ended up making me feel like I was being lectured, very loudly, by someone who thought I was a bit dim.

It may be among the cheapest books, but considering how hairpullingly annoying it was to read, I'm really not at all convinced it's actually better value.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 3, 2013 12:46 PM GMT

Sun Moon Star
Sun Moon Star
Price: 3.97

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly charming and moving, 1 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sun Moon Star (Kindle Edition)
First things first - this is a very short book, a picture book, told very simply. I say this because anyone expecting something else might be rather disappointed. This is not typical Vonnegut.

That said - this is completely charming. There's something very moving about this baby point-of-view, and more so because this is about a creator becoming the created. Though the story, such as it is, is insubstantial, it is told rather beautifully in its simplicity.

It's not really a children's book, but one that would be good to read to/with children.

Not the easiest book to review: not much here in the way of plot!

I was curious, and took a chance for ninety nine pence, and you know what? I'm glad I did,

BIC KiDS Evolution Colouring Pencils in Can (Pot x 60)
BIC KiDS Evolution Colouring Pencils in Can (Pot x 60)
Price: 13.74

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Description a bit off, but overall excellent., 17 Sep 2013
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The one big complaint I have with this can of pencils is that it's not described very accurately. 60 pencils, 12 colours: logically, one would expect five of each.

However, when I went to sort out a 'set' for my nephew, I discovered there were many more than 12 different shades - if memory serves I found 24 - and there was no logic to how many of any given colour there were. Of some shades I found three pencils: of others, only one. And it was not a case of having more of the most used colours or anything helpful like that. Very strange indeed.

This aside - and while annoying it was not a deal breaker - these are very nice pencils. The coloured "lead" is securely bonded to the casing, and the casing itself is strong and SO LIGHT. According to Bic, this is recycled and made of some form of resin - avoiding splinters. I'd have to take their word for that, but what I can tell you is that these pencils are so light-but-strong in the hand, well, I've never come across anything similar. The average pencil is hardly a heavyweight, but wow. They really feel like they will last brilliantly, and they just feel really nice to use.

Overall, do be warned that the product description is a bit misleading, in a rather odd way, but for kids' colouring pencils, these are just the job and I would recommend them.

Staedtler Triplus Ball 431XBSB6 Ballpoint Pen Desktop Box 0.7mm - Assorted Colours (Pack of 6)
Staedtler Triplus Ball 431XBSB6 Ballpoint Pen Desktop Box 0.7mm - Assorted Colours (Pack of 6)
Price: 9.57

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like them, but wanted to love them., 17 Sep 2013
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As with all Triplus products, these pens are the good quality one expects from Staedtler, and have been well designed both aesthetically and from the end user's POV.

So, why not 5 stars? I love the colours, they're all very attractive which is a plus, but I did not find them as smooth and blot free to write with as the finer ballpoints in the same range. I don't know where the issue lies, and these are absolutely not bad pens, they just aren't as good as I was expecting, nor as good as the 10 pack of finer pens.

They are attractive colours, with the pen barrel showing the ink colour, though I agree with a previous reviewer that the purple and the dark blue are a very similar shade.

They are, I think, made from a slightly different material than the fine liners and fine ballpoints, and they are more tactile and pleasing to hold - it's almost as if there's the tiniest bit of give to the material. Pen connoisseurs may appreciate a pen that feels so nice just to touch. The overall design, colour and feel is very good.

The only major fault, really, is that in terms of writing smoothness they simply don't live up to the other pens in the range, and unfortunately that's a pretty major fault. If you're getting them for say a niece to scribble in her diary with, or to add small bits of colour to letters, presentations, etc, then they'd be quite a nice addition to your stationery stash. Unfortunately. I couldn't recommend them for serious amounts of writing or anything where neatness is an essential.

Nice, but disappointing.

The Art of Being Brilliant: Transform Your Life by Doing What Works For You
The Art of Being Brilliant: Transform Your Life by Doing What Works For You
Price: 6.17

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wordy but nothingy at the same time., 17 Sep 2013
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This is not a bad book, it just left me feeling a bit "meh".

I appreciate the attempt to demystify positive psychology, and also the explicit intent to make it more accessible to us Brits, who typically do not react well as a nation to much of the overhyped YEAH kind of thing you'd find in many books of this sort.

However, I didn't find this terribly enlightening or engaging or... Well, anything, really. A lot of the time I felt the tone was everso slightly patronising. Not in a "wait while I throw this book at the wall" way, but just enough to leave me feeling I was being mildly scolded. I think the cutesy illustrations, whilst occasionally amusing, just added to this effect. Feeling I'm being talked down to does not, I'm afraid, being out my best or most brilliant side.

If you haven't read other books on similar subjects, this may be earth shattering. I think it's also intended to be at least equally applicable to business, and I found myself skipping some sections because they were neither applicable enough nor interesting enough to keep me going.

In all honesty, my favourite bits were some of the quotes. Eventually the "meh" overcame any positivity I was gleaning.

Overall, this isn't a terrible book. I just don't think it's particularly good, either, and also that it's a tad overpriced for its length and content. I found other books, such as Oliver Burkeman's "Help" more entertaining, more useful, and far less patronising.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2013 7:39 AM BST

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