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BETA Adult Spaniels with Chicken, 2 kg (Pack of 4)
BETA Adult Spaniels with Chicken, 2 kg (Pack of 4)
Price: £23.36

4.0 out of 5 stars Mavis loves it. Of coure she loves it, it's food, 21 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our family spaniel is not what you'd call a fussy eater; her eclectic tastes range from the finest, most expensive dog foods known to man, to goose poo and other droppings; a pile of manure is an all-you-can-eat buffet as far as she is concerned. Bearing that in mind, I'm not sure whether my endorsement of this particular brand of kibble could or should sway you when making your doggie-kibble choices, but for whatever it's worth, I can say, our darling woofed this in seconds and begged for more. She'll also take it as a on-walk treat biscuit. From the human point of view, it smells OK, if not exceptionally appetising, smelling clean and bland. The ingredients are pleasingly free of nasties, though the meat content is low for an active breed like a Spaniel - I assume it has been balanced this way for a reason (BETA make several versions of their complete food aimed at different breeds), and though it is meant as a complete food, we added a little chopped meat as well. Like all the BETA formulas we have had, this one seems good quality and Mavis certainly loves it, which has to be the main thing.


GOODOGS CAPRICE Can Snack for Dogs, Small
GOODOGS CAPRICE Can Snack for Dogs, Small
Price: £2.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Poppy LOVES these, 17 Sep 2014
Since Poppy enjoyed the same company's other small dog treats (small dog, green tin, not yet available) SO much, we decided to try these too. If anything, she loves them even more (probably because they're much bigger!). Bigger treats mean fewer to a tin so a more occasional treat, but they have the same chewy texture, and all I can say is, she loves them, goes crazy for them indeed. At £2.35 for quite a small tin, they're not cheap (but then, dog treats never are. I would never spend this much on such a small tin of treats for myself); they'll have to be rationed. But she does love them; I suspect she probably loves them more than me...


GOODOGS TREAT Dogs Snack for Dogs, Small
GOODOGS TREAT Dogs Snack for Dogs, Small

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, she seems to really like these!, 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This has just arrived in the post, and even before I could get the packaging open - before I could lift it from the letterbox indeed - young Poppy, our Lakeland-Jack Russell cross, was doing her level best to break in and sample the treats. She's already woofed down seven and would no doubt have gone on to finish the box if I let her. I can safely say Poppy would give 2 thumbs up If she had thumbs to give. They seem to have a chewy texture; she has to work at them which means she at least gets to taste them; she can't swallow them straight down. These treats are small, fine for a toy-sized terrier like Poppy; they wouldn't impress suit a larger dog (but the same company makes a larger version). There are plenty in the tub, should keep even a greedy pup like Pop going for a month or so. 35% meat, no artificial preservatives, what's not to love?
ETA: Poppy is currently making my life a misery, constantly begging for more of these. I've had to hide the tin inside another tin, on a high shelf, where she - hopefully - can't smell them. I think she may be developing a problem...


Crooked Heart
Crooked Heart
by Lissa Evans
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.69

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read this year, 15 Sep 2014
This review is from: Crooked Heart (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the story of Noel and Vera, a very odd couple who find each other by chance, live a life of dire uncertainty in the midst of war and finally find an unexpectedly happy ending together. What a riveting, captivating, heart-warming, thoroughly glorious corker of a tale this is! A well-baked mix of perfect ingredients set at the start of World War two, Crooked Heart is almost magical blend of quirk and coincidence and decidedly feel-good.
The story begins with Noel, a precocious, friendless, bookish ten year old. Noel is an orphan, who lives with his Godmother Mattie - an eccentric old Suffragette who is losing her mind - in a ramshackle Hampstead house, cluttered with strange treasures. When the bombs begin to fall, Noel is evacuated to St Albans and billeted on Vera Sedge. Vera is as peculiar in her own quick, nervous way, as Mattie: a simple fantasist of limited vision, whose scrimping, hardscrabble life has been devoted to dodging the rent man and caring for those who do not care for her. It is ambivalence at first sight for Vera and Noel; neither likes or understands the other, until they accidentally discover a shared love of a quiet thrill. Together, they embark on a spree of petty crime - Vera's born of need, Noel's from a naive love of adventure and thrills that comes from reading too many thrillers - that flings them both into real danger, out of which which grows mutual respect, and finally, love.
I absolutely loved this book. I read it in two days; I couldn't put it down. It is very character-led (as all the best books are) and peopled with such oddly dislikeable, fascinating, loveable individuals. Even the minor players have a captivating quality: Vera's selfish, venal, loathsome son Donald; the Austrian refugees - shrill, maddening Birgit, so determined to love her new country, and cold, captious, dispassionate Hilde; Vera's gloriously mental mother Flora, whose story is told through her letters to Churchill; the deranged former socialite and Suffragette Mrs Gifford; The Overs, Noel's dreary, guardians, who try to be kind, but whose devotion to each other is so complete, there's no room for anyone else, least of all a peculiar little boy... It would take all day to list the memorable characters who come together to tell the bizarre tale of Noel and Vera; much better for you to go away now, at once, and read this wonderful book for yourself. It's the sort of book that, if a friend said they didn't like it, I would have to seriously question our continued relationship. It is just that good.


2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas
2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas
by Marie-Helene Bertino
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Hit and miss but well woth a read, 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have very mixed feelings about this novel. The writing is exciting, quirky, poetic, original and touched with beautiful, poignant, throwaway observances. At times it made me think that the author was trying to write like Kerouac - and maybe that was the case, given that the rhythms of jazz pervade the narrative and the 'heroine' is a jazz aficionado and aspiring singer. The characters are unusual; not terribly likeable for the most part. There is no sole protagonist: most of the tale revolves around Madeline, a complicated, damaged, toilet-mouthed, ten year old smoker, jazz lover and aspiring singer. There are reasons for Madeline's complexities - domestic difficulties no child should have to cope with; they didn't make her likeable, but she was never boring. Other characters are much less fascinating: Madeline's lonely teacher Sarina was sympathetic but not that interesting; Lorca and Sonny and Alex, The Cubanistas and all the motley cast who inhabit The Cat's Pajamas (a New York jazz club fallen on difficult times) couldn't engage me and Madeline's unofficial carer, Mrs Santiago, was just plain dull - until the end, when she becomes really weird. I mean, what happened at the end, does anyone know? That came completely out of left field and, unless it all has some profound and clever meaning that whisked over my head (it wouldn't be the first time), it completely threw me out of the groove. It ruined the ending for me; left me feeling confused and bemused and thinking, 'that was very silly' (but not in a good way), rather than happy and inspired. All in all a bit of a curate's egg. For all its faults, I definitely I recommend it; it's not just another face in the crowd and that, in a world filled with new books that feel like you've read them before, is well worth a few hours of your reading time.


Lumie Zest Combination Light Therapy - Portable SAD Lamp and Wake-up Light to Improve Energy and Mood
Lumie Zest Combination Light Therapy - Portable SAD Lamp and Wake-up Light to Improve Energy and Mood
Price: £118.01

4.0 out of 5 stars I love it. I wish I didn't always have to plug it in., 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using SAD lights for a couple of years; I've had two before, both good. They're not a quick fix; you start slow (50% intensity) and slowly build to full power if/when you feel you need it. I use mine for 20 - 30 minutes a day in the winter months, usually over breakfast and they really do work; my sleep and my mood has been hugely improved since I started using these lights and they are superb at combating jet lag. The Lumie-Zest looks very different from my regular light, sleek and neat, more conventional, less 'medical' in appearance, than my usual Phillips and I was excited to test it.
The first thing I liked was its size; it is actually larger than my usual light, but weighs appreciably less which is very useful when travelling. Most of all I loved the timer function which means it can be used as a wake-up light - a travelling wake up light, in fact, and this is exactly how I have been using it this week, while working away from home, and it works brilliantly. At 2,000lux, this is not as powerful as my home light and the light is white, not the blue I am used to, but the light quality seems very good (in so far as combating SAD and keeping me alert on dark days and gloomy environments). Of the light itself, I have no complaints, I do love the wide-awake feeling my SAD light gives me; I wake, I sit in bed and bathe in its light for half an hour while reading or checking my emails and drinking my coffee. It's a wonderful way to kick-start the day and I am very happy indeed with it. I've also been carrying it into the office for the dark, wet days we seem to be having such a lot of; it brightens the day, keeps me alert. My only complaint - and the reason I give this 4 and not 5 stars - is that there is no way to use this on batteries, rechargeable or otherwise; it has to be plugged into the mains, which isn't always convenient, especially at work; it seems a major oversight in a portable unit. In every other important respect - ease of use, quality of build, quality of the light - the Lumie-Zest is an excellent solution to anyone who suffers in low light. Of course, I haven't been able to truly put it through its paces; the dark nights aren't truly on us yet, and I've only had the light a relatively short time, but from my experience with it so far, I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable SAD light, and/or a portable one.


Scholl Pedi Velvet Smooth Essential Pedicure Collection Gift Set
Scholl Pedi Velvet Smooth Essential Pedicure Collection Gift Set
Price: £80.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice foot sander but the kit is overpriced, 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A gift set containing a battery-operated foot sander (with batteries), moisturising cream, a small manicure set - toe separators, cuticle sticks and a nail file - and a carry-bag to keep it all in. The roller-sander, the main event, is brilliant. It takes dead skin off in seconds (showering you and your room in fine white powder made of skin. Be advised; use a towel if you don't want to have to clean up afterwards. It is tricky to sweep up). The kit includes batteries, but no replacement rollers. The cream is delightful, quickly absorbed and with a fresh, herbal scent that leaves feet deliciously soft. The tube is quite small though, and the rest of the kit is made up of a cheap pedicure/manicure set that I could buy from my local market for a couple of pounds. The carry-bag is nice, but not expensive. In short, the kit is nice, but Scholl make better, cheaper kits that include the sander, which is all you really need; the rest is just over-priced padding and window dressing. My advice is to buy one of Scholl's other excellent, cheaper kits, or just buy the components individually and save some money.


Scholl Express Pedi Gift Set
Scholl Express Pedi Gift Set
Price: £60.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Throw away your pumice stones!, 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love the roller-sander, it's so easy to use with a nice large roller, and reasonably powerful, considering it's battery operated. The skin comes off in alarming quantities; a fine white powder like talc - I advise putting a large (it goes everywhere!) towel down before you commence sanding because it can and will make a mess. After towelling off the powdery deposits, I used the cream, which is gorgeous! It sinks in instantly, not greasy at all and has a delicious unisex herbal scent. I'd definitely buy more when this tube runs out. It's all very easy to use; batteries are included, as are two spare rollers. A lovely gift for Christmas for men or women.


Body Pure 1200 mg Raspberry Ketones
Body Pure 1200 mg Raspberry Ketones
Price: £12.37

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far, I'm pleasantly surprised, 9 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Though a fit and active person, I have an appetite to match and am currently in need of losing a few pounds. More than a few. Let's be kind to myself and say, a fair few. But I've been decidedly half-hearted about doing much about it.
I know there's a bit of a buzz about raspberry ketones at the moment. Utter nonsense, I thought. I'm pretty dubious about all weight loss gimmicks in general, mentally filing them in the 'grasping at straws' drawer. But I was offered these raspberry ketones free for review, through the Vine programme and thought, what's to lose? So, I've been taking these capsules (along side Nature Pure Potent Raspberry Ketone, taking one Body Pure capsule at night, one Nature Pure in the morning) for a little over a week now - too early to start talking about results and writing reviews you'd think, except for the fact that something is clearly going on. My appetite is very much reduced, especially for the naughty stuff I love. My taste for sweet things especially, is noticeably reduced. At the same time, my energy levels are up and I'm sleeping much better too. Obviously, it's early days; this could all be a coincidence. Time will no doubt tell. When the course is done, I'll see where I am and update this review, but for the moment, I can say (somewhat reluctantly - I am still very sceptical; I really didn't expect these to work at all) pleasantly surprised and quietly impressed.


Nature Pure Potent Raspberry Ketone
Nature Pure Potent Raspberry Ketone
Price: £11.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far, I'm surprised and impressed, 9 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Though a fit and active person, I have an appetite to match and am currently in need of losing a few pounds. More than a few. Let's be kind to myself and say, a fair few. But I've been decidedly half-hearted about doing much about it.
I know there's a bit of a buzz about raspberry ketones at the moment. Utter nonsense, I thought. I'm pretty dubious about all weight loss gimmicks in general, mentally filing them in the 'grasping at straws' drawer. But I was offered these raspberry ketones free for review, through the Vine programme and thought, what's to lose? So, I've been taking these capsules (along side Body Pure 1200 mg Raspberry Ketones, taking one Body Pure capsule at night, one Nature Pure in the morning) for a little over a week now - too early to start talking about results and writing reviews you'd think, except for the fact that something is clearly going on. My appetite is very much reduced, especially for the naughty stuff I love. My taste for sweet things especially, is noticeably reduced. At the same time, my energy levels are up and I'm sleeping much better too. Obviously, it's early days; this could all be a coincidence. Time will no doubt tell. When the course is done, I'll see where I am and update this review, but for the moment, I can say (somewhat reluctantly - I am still very sceptical; I really didn't expect these to work at all) pleasantly surprised and quietly impressed.


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