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Grr "Gumbo" (England)
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Philips HP3631 300w InfraCare Lamp
Philips HP3631 300w InfraCare Lamp
Price: £50.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Soothing warmth for achy muscles and joints, 30 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When this first arrived the first thing I noticed is how light it is. The lamp has a sturdy base and feel about it, but it is very light meaning you can position it easily.

The timer element of the lamp does not run on mains power and is operated by a small press button on the top right of the lamp. You press the button once for each minute you want it to be on for and when it gets to zero it emits a high pitched beeping sound. It doesn't however automatically turn off the lamp so you need to do this manually. Something to be aware of in case you dose off while using the lamp.

When you turn the lamp on it lights up in a bright red colour and immediately emits a strong warm heat. The instructions say you need to sit about 8 - 15 inches from the lamp itself and at this distance the heat is strong but not uncomfortable. The lamp head pivots up and down so that you can adjust where you are aiming the heat.

I tend to use this after I have finished some physical activity that might make me stiff the next day, particularly gardening. I find the heat to be extremely soothing and effective at stopping or minimising a painful slow moving morning after.

For anyone who suffers muscular pain I imagine this would be essential. For me it just helps to keep me moving and ensures I don't get put off doing hard work thinking it will put me out of action for a day afterwards. Very glad I have it.


Philips GC9236/02 PerfectCare Expert Steam Generator Iron with OptimalTemp - 320 g Steam Boost, 1.5 L, 2400 W, Purple/White
Philips GC9236/02 PerfectCare Expert Steam Generator Iron with OptimalTemp - 320 g Steam Boost, 1.5 L, 2400 W, Purple/White
Price: £179.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable ironing? I would never have believed it!, 20 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I first opened this iron and got it out of the box I considered that I might need to build a specific laundry room to accommodate it - it certainly looks like it deserves it - but having used it or a while now I have been able to tuck it away when not in use and when I do use it I tend to leave the water reservoir beneath the ironing board so it doesn't get in the way.

The iron itself comes in two sections, the actual iron plate itself and a hefty water reservoir which is connected to the iron by a heavy duty cord that has two sections to carry both power and steam. The iron slots into the water reservoir and has a clip to hold it in place so that there is no danger of it falling out when moving it - this is also helpful when you have an interested toddler trying to see what you are doing as the iron can not be removed by little hands.

Once you turn the iron on it takes a couple of minutes to heat up and then you are good to go. The base unit delivers a continuous stream of steam to the iron plate though initially you may need to watch out as there are usually couple of water drips that preceed the steam. I also did burn myself a couple of times when I first used this as you need to make sure you keep your hands well away from the steam and I was trying to hold fabric in position which put my fingers too close. This is a minor issue though, you just need to adjust how you iron clothes as it is a different technology to a traditional iron. The water tank is a huge 1.5 litre and it is easily removed from the unit so you can fill it up from the tap. The amount it holds means you really can get through a lot of laundry without a refill.

This iron differs from your usual models in that you do not adjust the temperature, instead it adjusts the temperature itself and produces pressurised steam to remove the creases from almost all fabrics. This has the benefit of never burning clothes and ensuring you never set it at the wrong temperature again. It also has a self cleaning mechanism which is extremely useful as we live in a hard water area and with the amount of water it gets through it could clog up quite quickly. You are also reminded when you need to do this which is great.

The results you get from this iron are great, it really glides easily over clothes and produces fantastic results quickly - faster than my traditional iron. It's also actually pretty enjoyable to use which is a welcome relief when you have a mountain of clothes and bedding to get through.

I guess the big question really is - is this iron worth the hefty price tag? Part of me says yes - it is a high quality piece of equipment that uses new technology to make ironing simpler and easier and part of me says no - how can an iron be worth £250? I think it all depends on how important ironed clothes, sheets etc are in your life. If you need to have crease free everything the this is a great investment. It will make ironing quicker, easier and in many ways more enjoyable. If you have the funds then go for it, you will not be disappointed.


The Clockwork Dragon
The Clockwork Dragon
by Jonathan Emmett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun to Read Aloud, 20 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Clockwork Dragon (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A charming picture book with a story that appealed hugely to my 2 1/2 year old boy, who loves the 'How to Train Your Dragon' film. Though the book is recommended for 3 years plus, I found my little chap able to focus on and enjoy the story without getting bored.

It's a great fun book to read aloud and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so, especially as the tale involves a scary and real dragon being chased off by a bigger, clockwork one driven by the child protagonists. The illustrations by Elys Dolan are good; bright and detailed with lots of things to get your child to spot and point out as you read which is something we enjoy doing.

The book has had a few outings since it has arrived at our household and whilst it looks unlikely to usurp The Gruffalo, Underpants Thunderpants, Green Eggs and Ham and Where The Wild Things Are as my son's main favourites, I can still see us returning to face Flamethrottle on a reasonably regular basis for some time to come.


Philips HR1832/01 Viva Collection Compact Juicer, 1.5 Litre, 500 Watt - Black
Philips HR1832/01 Viva Collection Compact Juicer, 1.5 Litre, 500 Watt - Black
Price: £34.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good juicer for a small family or for anyone wanting to try out making their own juices., 18 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I used to have juicer many moons ago but it was a cheap model and never really produced the juice I wanted and I couldn't afford the mega posh ones which juiced fruit and veg to within and inch of its life so I was excited to be able to start using this new one. First off this is a nice compact design. It really doesn't take up much room and it has small suckers on the base to keep it in place on the kitchen surface.The juicer is simple to take apart and put together, instructions are not really needed, though there are some basic pictures provided on the box.

The juicer spout where you put your fruit and veg in is quite small. I need to cut up my apples into quarters to fit them in and although this is not a huge flaw it is a shame as you wouldn't need it to be much bigger to get them in. So far my juicing attempts have all been successful - apples, raspberries, grapes, cucumbers, carrots have all yielded a fair amount of great tasting juice. I also unwittingly popped a chopped up mango in there without realising it is one of the starchy fruits that is apparently doesn't work with - it seemed to work fine for me. I can see how a banana or avocado might not work, but the mango did produce juice so you may want to experiment. The pulp left at the end is still fairly damp and I found I could easily squeeze liquid out but it's in no way dripping and I would say a decent job had been done. I know that there is a lot of goodness left in the pulp so if you want to use this then just make sure you clean your fruit before juicing and remove anything you wouldn't want in the pulp. That way once you have finished juicing you can just scoop out the pulpy goodness and do whatever you want with it.

The specs for this juicer claim you can clean it in under 1 minute. I think this is a little optimistic but that said its not too far off. All the plastic parts rinse clean easily and quickly with warm water and the only part which takes a little more effort is the metal sieve and grater. This has teeny tiny holes in it to help separate juice and pulp and so it does get clogged up with stuff. That said I have found that using a soapy scourer sponge and gently rubbing with the green side does the trick pretty swiftly. It certainly does not take much elbow grease and I found it very easy to clean off - unlike my previous juicer where you needed to scrub for half an hour and you were still finding bits the next time you used it.

I think this is a pretty decent juicer for the everyday user. Yes it could produce a little more liquid from the things it juices but it is certainly not bad and the stuff it produces is on the whole clear from bits. The anti drip spout is not quite antidrip and you do need to watch out for juice on the fruit plunger when you put pieces in as I have whipped it out too quickly and splashed drops of fresh juice all over the place. For the current price I would say it is well worth it.


Philips GC3811/80 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 160 g Steam Boost and Steam Glide Plus Soleplate, 2400 Watt, Multi-Colour
Philips GC3811/80 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 160 g Steam Boost and Steam Glide Plus Soleplate, 2400 Watt, Multi-Colour
Price: £44.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely looking, easy to use and effective, 14 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first thing I noticed about this iron is that it has a subtle resemblance to a penguin. I am not sure what this has to do with ironing but I quite enjoy the fact that someone has taken the time to make a dull iron a little more interesting, plus who doesn't like a good penguin now and again. Our ice cream scoop has a penguin handle and it always brightens up the day so hopefully will using this iron. This could be the start of a penguin themed appliance collection!

When I first plugged the iron in it heated up nice and quickly. I found the controls easy to use and simple to operate. The iron glides easily over my clothes. The base plate is really smooth and it seems to provide a decent amount of steam when required. It is easy to stand up and well balanced when you do so. I found that I got through the ironing pile quickly and the clothes were really crisp when I double checked them. The extra pointy nose of the iron makes it super easy to iron between buttons, but it can catch on tricky seams if you are not careful.

There is a self clean feature to the iron which is great meaning you just press a button and it will clear itself out. Perfect for us as we live in a hard water area.

I am a little disappointed with the length of the power cord. Although it's not overly short, while ironing you do need a decent amount of give and unless you are positioned extremely close to the socket this iron can come up short. I have been a bit spoiled on this front though as my last iron had an extremely long cord so it was something I immediately noticed on this model.

I found the water reservoir easy to use but you do have to take it to the tap. Other models I have had provided a little jug to fill and bring to the iron. This would be a nice option as I would prefer carrying a plastic jug about instead of the whole iron, especially as I have two small children who want to be with me all the time and become instant trip hazard, not to mention their toys.

Overall I am impressed with the iron. It looks good, is easy to use and a reasonable price. It's a shame that the small niggles I mentioned are there as they would be cheap and easy to fix and would make this a great 5 star product.


Gillette Fusion Proglide Manual 9 Razor Blades + Razor with Flexball Technology
Gillette Fusion Proglide Manual 9 Razor Blades + Razor with Flexball Technology
Price: £25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally time to put the Mach 3 down?, 8 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been one of those people who Gillette despaired of - despite their vocal protestations that the 5 blade Fusion razor was superior to the Mach 3 razor, I was nonplussed. It didn't matter that they got Thierry Henry, Tiger Woods & Roger Federer to star in an advert imploring us 3 blade loyalists to swap, I was one of many who weren't sold. The reason for my reluctance was simply that I was not convinced the Fusion was a better product that the Mach 3. I did try the Fusion but actually found it a bit ungainly and, in all honesty, preferred the result of my older, triple bladed razor, specially with the price difference.

Now, several years later comes this new variant, the Proglide Fusion with Flexball, they may well have finally converted me.

I'm still not totally convinced that 5 blades are significantly better than 3, but the added control and ease of use the Flexball offers a greatly superior degree of control, making for a smoother and far easier shave. The razor works with the contours and angles of the face extremely well and delivered a satisfyingly close shave. I am cursed with very sensitive skin, especially on the neck, and this has certainly been less irritated by this razor as well, which is a huge plus for me.

I only wet shave once a month or so usually, trimming stubble with electric shavers for the rest of the month to keep me looking less tramp-like in appearance, but the relative ease of use for these shavers may see this increase a little.


Igenix IG3020 4 Slice Toaster in White with Six Position Variable Control, 1300 Watt
Igenix IG3020 4 Slice Toaster in White with Six Position Variable Control, 1300 Watt
Price: £18.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing fancy, b ut does everything you need a toaster to do!, 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We have had many toasters over the years, from flashy gaudy models to Value brands. This toaster is a more basic model and although the colour in the picture shows it as white the one we have is more off white - not a problem but we are not matching up a kitchen at the moment. It is a clean looking machine with a rounded design. all the controls are in one area and are easy to understand and use. The cord is a reasonable length but could be a bit longer to reach the plug sockets on our kitchen a little more easily.

The toaster is big enough for the 4 slices and toasts well and also quickly. The slices come out evenly coloured and nice and crisp. There is an easy to empty crumb tray so you can keep the unit clean and there are some nice features which raise it above the basic level - you can toast frozen bread and reheat, there is an efficient stop button which causes the toast to pop up.

We really like this toaster, it's easy to use, produces exactly what we want and is not obtrusive in the kitchen.


AmiGami Giraffe Figure
AmiGami Giraffe Figure

4.0 out of 5 stars Imagintive plaything for 7-12 year olds., 1 Mar. 2015
This review is from: AmiGami Giraffe Figure (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There is much to applaud in the AmiGami range, I feel they are well considered and encourage imagination and individuality. I let my 7 year old niece loose on this during a weekend visit and she had a lot of fun customising her giraffe and added lots of features.

She was kept really well entertained by this toy for a few hours and I can't help but feel that, if she'd had a friend or if her sister or my children were closer in age, they'd have had enormous amounts of fun if they had one each to play with and I would strongly recommend this if anyone reading is considering doing so. I think kids between 7-12 would enjoy this toy.

The materials don't feel especially high quality, hence four rather than five stars, but my niece was totally untroubled by this and was loudly exclaiming how she was looking forward to showing it off in the playground on Monday - which is of the upmost importance to youngsters of course. As such, 4 stars is the least I could give.


Avojo Black Peel Off Mask Set of 4 Sachets (10ml each)
Avojo Black Peel Off Mask Set of 4 Sachets (10ml each)
Offered by Instant Beauty Fix
Price: £10.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Hard work with a minimal result, 26 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used many facemasks in my time and most of them have been a pleasant experience with a nice smell or texture which helped me to relax and then a simple removal process leaving me with softer, smoother brighter skin....this is not the case with the Avojo Black Peel Off Mask!

This mask is somewhat expensive overall compared with others I have used and for me personally it was pretty awful. The mask itself is black in colour and does not have a particularly pleasant odour. I had read other reviews on here about how difficult it is to dry and remove and as such I only used a thin layer of the mask on my face, but this was enough. It still seemed to take a long time to dry and removal of the mask was quite a challenge. It did not peel off easily and I was left with small patches which I had to scrub off.

Once removed my skin did appear marginally brighter and smoother but not more so than with other less tar like masks. In many ways part of the joy of using a face mask is the relaxing experience that goes with it leading to a much more pleasing than usual glance in the mirror afterwards. They really are not meant to be hard work and sadly this one really does feel like a bit of a chore and an expensive one at that. I am giving 2 stars as my skin did fee a little better after using it, but really cannot give more due to that fact it did less than cheaper makes I have used in the past and it really is pretty tough to get off once its on there!


Oral-B Pro 2000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush - Pink
Oral-B Pro 2000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush - Pink
Price: £27.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling teeth...and it's pink if you like that sort of thing!, 22 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very pink toothbrush clearly aimed at those who like the colour. I don't really have a preference towards pink but the bright colour does make it easy to spot in the bathroom next to the other toothbrushes for the family and in a washbag when travelling. It does nothing to help functionality but does help brighten up the sink. It is compatible with other Oral-B chargers which is a really good thing as I have been able to keep my old charger and have a spare to take away with me etc. You can also use different Oral B heads to suit your preferences so allows you to make sure you are getting the best clean for you.

When I started up this toothbrush the first thing I noticed is that it is quite noisy compared to some I have owned. This is not in itself a bad thing but if you need to be particularly quiet at night (if you have small children who sleep lightly perhaps) then this is something to note before buying. The brush holds the charge well and you don't need to plug it in very often - you also get warned if the charge is running low with a little light at the bottom of the brush - this also flashes while charging to let you know the electricity is getting through.

The toothbrush has two speeds, one which is constant and one which pulses. I find both are useful at different times. You simply press the brush on once for a constant speed and twice for pulsing. This does mean to turn the brush off you need to press it twice if using the constant speed - something which took me a little while to get used to.

The pressure sensitive warning light is really noticeable which is a good thing. I am certainly brushing more lightly than I have done. Not that the light was going off at all times but when I adjusted my hold or changed angle it did light up so it has made me more aware of what I am doing when brushing my teeth which can only be a good thing.

There is an app you can download to work with this brush but as I do not tend to bring my phone/tablet etc into the bathroom with me when I am getting ready for bed I found this feature a little redundant. If however you are someone who brushes with one hand and texts with the other you may find it more useful.

Price wise I have found this to be in the mid range and it certainly performs at this level if not a little higher. There are better brushes out there but for basic functionality and ensuring you get good clean teeth then this is worthwhile. A good solid 4 stars from me as it could be a little quieter and maybe have more different speeds etc.


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