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Profile for Fiona Millar > Reviews

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Content by Fiona Millar
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Reviews Written by
Fiona Millar "cookiemum" (Edinburgh)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Salter "Leaf" Digital Kitchen Scale, Black/White
Salter "Leaf" Digital Kitchen Scale, Black/White
Price: £14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... older version of these Salter digital scales for a good few years now, 6 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've had an older version of these Salter digital scales for a good few years now, but it's clearly getting to the end of its life, so I thought this would be a timely replacement. This newer version measures in whole numbers and fractions, which the older one didn't, so that's a definite improvement for those very fiddly recipes. It measures both dry and liquid ingredients in mls and ounces, so covers the full range you'd need.

While I'd given my older scales five stars, this newer version lost a star for me due to its build - my older ones were compact but felt robustly made, whereas this one, while just as compact, seems to have been built using much cheaper plastic materials, and I'm not sure it will last nearly as long as my previous set.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2016 8:11 PM BST


Playmobil 6669 Summer Fun Water Park with Slides
Playmobil 6669 Summer Fun Water Park with Slides
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars It's easy enough to do and doesn't take too long, 5 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Playmobil sets are always well constructed, and this one is no exception. It has 143 pieces, so it's not a set you're going to just hand over to a young child to put together, and will need an adult to make sure it's properly fitted together. It's easy enough to do and doesn't take too long, and then you're off! The set features a tower with two upper levels, each one leading to a slide - one slide twists direction halfway down, which kids will love sending the figures down!. Both slides head towards a central pool which has a spinning octopus which will make wee waves. There's also a dinghy that the three included figures can use with the slide, and a cute winch to pull the dinghy back up to the top of the slide. A nice added feature is the safety signs on the structure, telling children how to use the slides properly, which is just a nice wee reinforcement thing for real life behaviour at the pool.

This is a set which will keep its play value for a long time - it's for ages 4-10yrs, and you could certainly see kids pulling it out of the cupboard each summer to enjoy playing with again and again.


Ultrasport Women's Eldy Multi-Functional Jacket - White, Small
Ultrasport Women's Eldy Multi-Functional Jacket - White, Small
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great wee jacket for sporting activities, 4 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great wee jacket for sporting activities, or just for those days that are too warm for a coat, but you want something in case it rains or there's a chill to the breeze. It fits nicely, and has three handy zipped pockets. It's a very light material, and would easily roll up very small to go into a backpack or decently sized handbag. It's waterproof and breathable, so suitable for mild and wet weather. A good choice if you need a jacket which can be stored in a bag and just taken out when the temperature drops or the rain arrives.


Rapesco Manta Ray Full Strip Stapler, 20 sheet Capacity Uses Staples 24 and 26/6 mm - Blue
Rapesco Manta Ray Full Strip Stapler, 20 sheet Capacity Uses Staples 24 and 26/6 mm - Blue
Price: £8.48

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a nice sturdy stapler, 4 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice sturdy stapler, which is also nice and light. It uses standard size 24/6 and 26/6 staples. It has rubber sections on the bottom to keep it steady, and a rubberised section on top, so you're not going to end up with a sore hand if you've got loads of repetitive stapling to do, and it seems to go through several sheets of paper with ease. A very handy addition to your office or home.


Modern Lovers
Modern Lovers
by Emma Straub
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars but it's not very funny. There's a bit too much introspection and navel-gazing, 2 May 2016
This review is from: Modern Lovers (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book follows a group of parents, coming to terms with the fact that their own youth is past them, mainly through watching their now teenage kids going through the sort of adventures and mishaps they experienced in their own wild youth. While the blurb tells us it's full of laughs, there were remarkably few laughs on show here - the story is interesting enough, if slightly predictable, but it's not very funny. There's a bit too much introspection and navel-gazing, interspersed with stuff actually happening. If you took the plot and boiled it down, it would only cover a few chapters, and unfortunately I didn't care enough about the characters to invest in the sections of them pondering their own histories and futures. An ok read if you've got little else to hand or you really like that kind of thing, but not one to choose if you like a bit more plot in your stories.


Sonic Chic Deluxe Silver Toothbrush
Sonic Chic Deluxe Silver Toothbrush
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a useful wee toothbrush for travelling - it's not big or ..., 1 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a useful wee toothbrush for travelling - it's not big or bulky, but very slimline and smart looking. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of more expensive electric toothbrushes, but it does what you need it to. It has two speeds, vibrates every thirty seconds to tell you to move to another quadrant, and switches off after two minutes. It's most useful feature is that it charges via USB, and it holds a good charge too. You probably wouldn't want to use it as your permanent electric toothbrush, but it's perfect for travel and holiday use, and on that basis, it gets five stars.


RockJam Folding Guitar Stand for Acoustic, Classic, and Electric Guitars
RockJam Folding Guitar Stand for Acoustic, Classic, and Electric Guitars
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars It's nice and sturdy, 1 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nifty wee guitar stand - you take it out of the box and pull it open, and you're set. It's nice and sturdy, despite being incredibly lightweight. It's well padded at the areas which connect with the guitar, and looks as though it will fit all guitars quite well - my daughter has tried it with her acoustic and electric guitars, and it's nice and stable with both. A great wee stand which is small enough to be portable and sturdy enough to be reliably safe with your guitar.


HEX
HEX
by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars and do their best to hide her from the outside world, 30 April 2016
This review is from: HEX (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really interesting take on a horror story - the scares come not from some monster or supernatural entity that might jump out from the dark, but from a witch who moves about in plain sight and is an accepted part of reality for an American town, Black Spring. They track Katherine the witch's movements with iPhone apps, watch her on a series of security cameras, and do their best to hide her from the outside world. The reason for this is because they know the outside world can't help them - anyone who comes near the witch falls under the same curse as the townsfolk, unable to leave because the witch's influence will follow them and cause them to kill themselves. They believe that they are as safe as possible if they manage Katherine and never undo the stitches keeping her eyes and mouth closed.

The book centres on Steve, Jocelyn and their two teenage sons, Tyler and Matt. Tyler and his friends have been experimenting, trying to understand Katherine and her movements in order to find a way to escape a lifetime trapped in her spell. However, it's not long before the experiments become something far more sinister when some of the teenage boys turn to provoking and attacking the witch. Soon the whole town seems to be heading towards a disaster they can't avoid, one which is of their own making as much as it is the witch's doing.

This is a bit of a jumble of a book, perhaps partly because it's a translation. While some sections are well written and thrilling, others go off into a long, misery-laden ramble which do nothing to move the story forward. It's a long book, and would certainly benefit from some editing of those sections which drag it down. I was gripped for most of the book, but the climax was a disappointment - here the book is completely overtaken by doom, gloom and a plot which seems to lose its way and become a bit too messy to follow. It feels as though the author has splurged out their ending enthusiastically, and forgot to edit and tidy it up so it actually made some sense. I got a bit fed up reading variations on how Steve would give anything to turn back time, or how he was gripped by madness - we have variations on his sanity breaking irrevocably at least three times in the final section. Once would be enough, any more than that not only makes no sense, but turns the whole thing into hyperbole. After a book which had me gripped most of the way through waiting to find out what would happen, I ended up skim-reading the climax, which is a shame, as there was so much promise in what went before.

This would work very well as a screenplay for a film, and perhaps the screenwriter could exercise a little poetic licence to make the ending into something befitting the originality in the story, and one not quite so unremittingly bleak and overdramatic.


Hallmark Disney Winnie Card Friendship - Small Square
Hallmark Disney Winnie Card Friendship - Small Square
Price: £1.75

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a very good quality card stock, 29 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very cute card to give a friend - it features a lovely wee felted Pooh and Piglet smiling away at each other as they hold hands, with the words 'Friendship is a very comforting sort of thing' written above. It's a very good quality card stock, with a good sized envelope so you're not having to fight the card into it! It's blank on the inside for your own message, and is the high quality you'd expect from a Hallmark card. I think any friend would be over the moon to receive this lovely card.


Levivo Silicone Muffin Baking Tray for 6 Muffins, 27.5 x 17 cm, Grey
Levivo Silicone Muffin Baking Tray for 6 Muffins, 27.5 x 17 cm, Grey
Price: £12.41

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great baking tray, 26 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great baking tray. Although it is called a muffin tray, it's really not deep enough to make proper muffins - these are more like cupcake size. Although silicone trays cook and release food well, they're not the easiest things to handle, but this one combines the best of both worlds. The tray is rigid so it's easy to hold and take out of the oven, but the silicone where the cakes sit is totally pliable and it's incredibly easy to release the cakes, even when they are still hot. The tray cleans well and food doesn't stick to it, so it's easy to quickly wipe over and fill with more mixture when batch cooking.


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