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L Howles (Littleborough, Lancashire)

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Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Pint Cup-Brushed Stainless-16 oz
Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Pint Cup-Brushed Stainless-16 oz
Offered by MilitaryOps Ltd
Price: 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Not the same as a fully insulated travel mug, but beautiful nonetheless., 29 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I take my own drink with me to work, having to regularly fill up a glass from a larger bottle. I decided I needed something a little better than a standard glass - and I like having my own things that only I use.

While this does work to keep things cooler for longer, it obviously isn't as good at insulating drinks as a travel mug is - the open top is a clear inlet for heat. Having said that, it's perfectly fine for something you're drinking now, rather than in three hours time.

As with all Klean Kanteen products, I have to mention its looks - it is a thing of beauty. It's ever so slightly matte to the touch, feels extremely solidly made, and is a dream to rinse out - no sharp edges for bacteria to build up in.

It feels like it's going to last for years and years, meaning it's easily worth the price - and the bonus over traditional glass or pottery is that it really does feel like it would survive a drop to the ground. I can imagine the worst case being a dent - which is infinitely better than sweeping up the pieces.

One thing I wasn't expecting is that the lip isn't perfectly curved - the inside is a gradual curve, but the very edge is almost a drop off. It isn't something you notice while drinking, though.

On a side note, it feels a little strange to hold - even though I figured it wouldn't be cold to the touch, it was still a little strange when it wasn't (both because it's aluminium, and because it contains cold liquid).

I'd recommend this for anyone even looking for a stylish tumbler - the fact that it also insulates your drinks is a bonus.

Linkee Trivia Game
Linkee Trivia Game
Offered by a1 Toys
Price: 24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A really fun party game - but you will run out of questions, 17 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Linkee Trivia Game (Game)
This is a really fun game - we played it all Christmas. It's great to try and guess the link, especially trying to get in before the other players.

The range of difficulty is quite striking - some are very easy, and some are extremely difficult or obscure. There's definitely an amount of 'have to know the answer', but it's still great fun. The tide can turn mid-game too - I remember being four ahead and then losing 6-4 to one of the other players!

It's a little boring for the question master, but you can swap between games.

The other issue is that once you've heard the link, they kind of stick in your mind - so if you play it a lot and run out of cards it's more of a memory game than a skill game. Hopefully they'll release question packs to remedy this (and I think they already plan to).

Definitely recommended - a very fun game for adults - especially at the upper player limits.

Monoprice Headphone Splitter with Separate Volume Control - White
Monoprice Headphone Splitter with Separate Volume Control - White
Offered by Monoprice UK
Price: 2.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for couples, 17 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There aren't too many examples of a headphone splitter, and far fewer with individual volume controls, which sealed the deal for me.

At 2.50 it's difficult to beat - there are many more 'stylish' options at much higher prices, but this is really a utility product, not a fashion statement.

As to be expected from the price, the build quality isn't great - the cables are thin and the plastic feels a bit cheap, but they aren't major gripes.

We use it for train journeys between London and Manchester where we catch up on Podcasts, for which it couldn't be better.

Definitely recommended - especially for the volume controls.

Belkin Flip Blade Adjust Stand for Tablet (Compatible with New Apple iPad 3rd Generation HD)
Belkin Flip Blade Adjust Stand for Tablet (Compatible with New Apple iPad 3rd Generation HD)
Price: 22.18

4.0 out of 5 stars A great upgrade from the FlipStand, 17 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My girlfriend and I bought a pair of these to upgrade from the FlipStand for a few reasons.

They're a little more expensive now than they were then, but even so as far as stands go they're very reasonably priced. As compared to the older FlipStand, they provide a lot more support - the dark grey back piece is coated in a rubber-like substance to hold your device in place and comes about three quarters of the way up the back of a landscape iPad Air.

The gap at the bottom is perfect for cables (in the case of an iPad, if it's portrait).

I've used this stand everywhere from a standard desk, to a bed, to a train journey. It's never rocked or fallen or lost hold of my device. I've used it at a few of the angles too, from watching TV to writing a document and I've had no trouble with stability.

There are only two minor downsides - it doesn't quite lock into the pre-set positions - so the base is a tiny bit wobbly when it's locked in. This isn't much of an issue but it's an oversight.

The other is the fact that the hinge is quite thick - so when folded one side is much larger than the other. It still fits in my iPad case, but only just.

Overall, a worthy stand that's solid on most surfaces and very reasonably priced. Definitely recommended.

SodaStream 1 Litre Carbonating Bottles Twin Pack - Grey
SodaStream 1 Litre Carbonating Bottles Twin Pack - Grey
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to use them for SodaStream, 16 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These bottles are saving me a lot of money each year, but not because I use a SodaStream - for quite another reason.

To begin, the bottles themselves are perfect. The branding is minimal, making them fit into many situations, they're a very large size with a nice wide neck and easy-to-open cap, very easy to clean and because they're rigid they feel much nicer to use than soft plastic bottles like those that shop-bought drinks come in.

They hold a lot more than they appear to - two litres in bottles that can relatively easily be slipped into a messenger bag.

They are dated with an expiry. This could be due to the constant pressure changes they're expected to be subjected to weakening the bottles over time, or some reaction to the bubbles in fizzy drinks that could slowly degrade the surface. Even so, the date is at least three or four years, so replacing them to that schedule won't get too expensive.

So why did I get these if I don't own a SodaStream? I'm a very regular Cinema goer, and usually spend a full day at the cinema. When it comes to something to drink, this leaves me a few options.

- Buy drinks at the cinema. Well, we all know the issue there, especially if you're running late.
- Take cans. This is reasonable, but can be costly.
- Fill bottles from something larger.

The latter option is where these bottles come into their own. Because I usually take something fizzy, I can't use standard water bottles - the pressure builds to a point where the contents literally want to explode out of container. These bottles, however, are both rigid and because they're not quite air-tight and are designed to hold fizzy drinks, pressure doesn't build up. I take both of these to the Cinema, containing two litres of drink, which easily lasts all day. And it only costs me the price of a two-litre bottle - far less than cans or small bottles, and hugely less than buying drinks inside the cinema.

Given the fact that most cinemas have a policy of allowing cold food and drink to be taken inside, I also don't come across any issues with staff.

Perfect solution to something I've been trying to figure out for a long time.

12 Pairs Mens Thermal Socks / Size 6 - 11
12 Pairs Mens Thermal Socks / Size 6 - 11
Offered by Louise-23
Price: 5.49

3.0 out of 5 stars A decent compromise, 24 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First things first - Heat Holders these are not.

While these are a lot thicker than normal socks, they're nowhere near as thick as Heat Holders.

As others have said, they are a little large - I have 12-13 feet and these fit me just fine.

I do have a couple of gripes:

- They're not very long, so don't come up quite as high as I'd like.
- They're very loose - they often slip down and always come off when taking outer layers of trousers off. They also wrinkle when trying to wear them with slippers.

I would probably prefer a few pairs of a more premium brand, but to be honest for slightly more than the cost of one pair of those, you get twelve here.

Lock & Lock Picnic Lunch Box Bento Set - HPL856DP, Purple (Large)
Lock & Lock Picnic Lunch Box Bento Set - HPL856DP, Purple (Large)
Offered by LocknLocks
Price: 29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lock & Lock Bento Set, 24 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I chose this set of boxes for lunch at work, as my old set of Ikea boxes was starting to fall apart.

It took a very long time to arrive, having been delivered from Korea, but I don't really have an issue with that.

I picked this one specifically for the size of the boxes. Usually Bento sets are very small and not really suitable for a full meal, but this looked ideal.

I take all of my day's food in this and almost everything fits in nicely. I've had: Beans, Cottage Cheese, a baking potato, an apple, banana, two ryvita, cream cheese, grapes and two Alpen bars - so it holds a lot!

The only thing I had trouble getting in was the apple, because it was a little too tall.

The lids seal very tightly, which is a bonus over simple Tupperware-style lids - in fact when washing them it can be a little difficult to get the lids off with wet hands.

A couple of things that aren't obvious from the photos or description:

- You can use the cool pack without the compartment insert inside - it comes with a shelf that sits on a lip in each box.
- The whole bag has an insulated lining, helping keep things warm or cold for longer.
- There's one divider, which is slightly shorter than the box itself - so if the things you put in there overflow it slightly, that's okay.
- There's a mesh pocket in the lid - ideal for cutlery. Mine don't fit inside the boxes themselves.

Overall, I'm really happy with this set. I could do with the boxes being slightly taller, but I guess you can't have everything. Everything fits very neatly inside the bag, which is very easy to carry, and it really does hold quite a lot of food.

Tefal ActiFry Low Fat Fryer - 1 kg - White
Tefal ActiFry Low Fat Fryer - 1 kg - White
Offered by Alex Shanks Ltd
Price: 132.28

196 of 204 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great machine, with a couple of design issues that could be improved in future versions, 27 Oct 2013
I got the ActiFry recently primarily because I've been doing Slimming World.

'Slimming World' chips are chips sprayed in Frylight and cooked in the oven. To be honest, they're acceptable, but they're not the same - the aren't really crunchy on the outside and they're not very fluffy on the inside. I got a bit bored of chips like that, so I decided to get one of these.

Putting it together was as simple as could be - I managed to get everything open and apart without a second thought, gave it a wipe down and away we went.

On the first night I cooked a batch of chips, some bacon and some sausages. I chipped the potatoes, rinsed them and patted them dry, sprayed them with Frylight (avoiding using even the tablespoon of oil because that would be more fat than just doing them in the oven) and set the machine off.

30 minutes later (there weren't that many of them - the book states 45 minutes for 1Kg), I had a batch of hot chips. They were much more crispy, better on the inside too. I was really impressed with the results because to be honest I wasn't holding out much hope that it would be any different to cooking them in the oven.

Straight after they came out, I tried some sausages and bacon in there. I put both in at the same time (6 low-fat sausages, 6 medallions of bacon) and added no oil. I was a little worried about whether it would cook the sausages through, whether the sausages would be too heavy for the agitator, and whether the bacon would burn being put in at the same time, but 12 minutes later both of them were beautifully cooked through.

Cleanup was relatively simple, though a few little pieces of chip managed to get through to the base of the machine and had to be wiped out.

I heard about a couple of issues with the machines that made me a little indecisive about whether I'd get one - such as poor build quality, too noisy, and the agitator getting stuck, but so far none of that has been an issue for me.

There are still a couple of things that could be improved, though.

- The machine is quite loud. It's not over the top, but it's noticeably louder than a fan oven and you can still, though faintly, hear it in another room.
- As a result of the general volume of the machine, the timer is actually very quiet. Luckily it went off when I was in the kitchen, but we both commented on how quiet it was.
- The controls are at the back, which means you have to lean over the thing to do anything - and there is usually hot air coming out of it.
- Speaking of the controls, the timer is a bit dumb. There doesn't seem to be any way to reduce the timer, only increase it, so if you make a mistake you have to reset it and start again.
- The agitator is quite annoying to clean. The bottom side of the agitator picked up quite a lot of debris and, strangely, it's hollow, meaning grime got inside it into the very small crevices and was quite difficult to get out. This probably won't be a problem for people with a dishwasher, but for those of us without, bear in mind that it's probably best to clean at least this part immediately.

Overall, I think it's definitely worth getting, especially if you get it on offer like I did.

Things generally take longer (especially chips) to cook than they would in, say, the oven, but in the case of things like Sausages, you simply don't need to watch over them, so you can better use your time. You can also put most things in the same dish and walk away, depending on timings.

Finally, for those doing Slimming World or wanting to be healthier in general, it's good to note that this does still work with a spray of Frylight, so you don't need to use the oil.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2014 4:25 PM BST

Black & Decker NV3603N Dustbuster Hand Vacuum, 3.6 V
Black & Decker NV3603N Dustbuster Hand Vacuum, 3.6 V
Offered by Burrows
Price: 38.98

3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not amazing., 21 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like this dustbuster for certain things. It's certainly a lot easier to carry around and pick up small things than the main vacuum cleaner. It comes with a wall mount that you can leave it on, which also charges it.

This is the only way to charge it, though, so if you end up not putting it on the wall, like me, you have this whole wall mounting unit hanging off the thing every time you charge it.

The cable also isn't all that long, so if you do mount it, it has to be quite close to a socket, which makes it harder to keep out of sight.

For anything particularly dusty, don't use this - when I tried it in the car footwell, it just blew the dust right out of the back and all over me. Not very tasty I might add!

It does seem to last a relatively long time on a charge, and the suction is adequately powerful to pick up general things off the floor, so all in all I think it's a good purchase.

Offered by XHF(HK)
Price: 2.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 21 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had a few phone mounts for phones now. I keep having to upgrade them because my phone changes size, which is very annoying.

This time, I decided to go for something universal, and I'm glad I did.

This holds the phone perfectly well - it's a fairly strong grip so there's no real worry of it falling out. The padded arms also offer much needed protection.

The arm is manoeuvrable enough for everything I've needed so far.

My only grip is the way you attach and detach it is a little strange - there's a kind of locking mechanism that you have to turn while pressing the cup to the window, which can be a little ungainly if you're stretching or at an awkward angle, but you soon pick it up.

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