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Rosey Lea (london, UK)
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Cut the Carbs: 100 Recipes to Help You Ditch White Carbs and Feel Great
Cut the Carbs: 100 Recipes to Help You Ditch White Carbs and Feel Great
by Tori Haschka
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not low carb, and recipes don't have carb counts, 27 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Two big things to know with this book - it's not low carb, it's lower carb, and the recipes don't have carb counts.

Essentially it's a no bread, pasta or rice cookbook. But the majority of the recipes are waaaay too high in carbs to routinely use as part of a low carb diet (that's possibly why they left the carb counts off!).

I find the tone of the book to be as annoying as heck. It's full of pride in how the little woman author provides for her big, strapping, hungry menfolk. Lines like these make me want to vomit:

Referring to an omelette as "the sort of thing a college boy will shovel in his mouth before hitting a weights room that smells of Tuesday's socks"

And a soup as something she created when her husband wanted something green but complained he was "a little too tired to chew", Poor dear.

The chat about the sad days the author can't make it to London's high end restaurants to 'scoff' did not make my heart bleed for her. Similarly I got sick of the blurb with the recipes telling me to daydream of yachts/holidays/money whilst eating the finished meal.

Most of the recipes are lengthy to prepare (although the ingredients are fairly basic in most of the recipes), and the book is at pains to make the recipe titles as incoherent and pretentious as possible. The text is unnecessarily tiny, so there's a huge amount of white space - very aesthetically pleasing, but leaves you squinting at the actual recipe.

In short, the book is going in the bin - it's not low carb and it's very annoying. It's only saved from one star as most of the ingredients are easy to buy and every recipe has a picture of the finished dish.

If you want day-to-day low carb The Big Book of Low-Carb Recipes: 365 Fast and Fabulous Dishes for Every Low-Carb Lifestyle is unbeatable,

If you want low carb with a touch of pretentiousness and an 'us girls' vibe, go with Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet: From Pig to Twig

(NB, just noticed most of the 5-star reviews of this book seem to be PR fakes.)


Pacman Retro GAMING T-shirt - (Black) 2XL
Pacman Retro GAMING T-shirt - (Black) 2XL
Offered by Your Web purchase
Price: 14.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Badly printed, 25 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disappointed with this.

The coloured inks are so feeble they barely coat the black of the t-shirt. You've got weak, faded colours mottled through with the black background.

I'm keeping it as i Just can't be bothered to send it back, but I won't buy from the seller again.


C'est Si Bon: Original 1952 - 1954 Recordings
C'est Si Bon: Original 1952 - 1954 Recordings
Price: 6.42

3.0 out of 5 stars Not the classic album - just a compilation, 30 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My own fault, I should have read the track listing here on Amazon, but I bought the CD in the mistaken belief it was the Eartha Kitt album C'est Si Bon. It's not, it's a compilation album, and sadly missing the classics of the C'est Si Bon album itself.


Logitech Wireless Performance Combo MX800
Logitech Wireless Performance Combo MX800
Price: 106.40

2.0 out of 5 stars Under supported/over priced, 3 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I spend my life at a PC, so keyboards mean a lot to me. I do like the keyboard in this set very much, but that's about all this (currently) 119.50 set has going for it.

It's a nice keyboard. The keys aren't too deep, the key strokes are smooth, and I'm an absolute sucker for things that light up - and it's the letters that light up here, not just the keyboard background, which is rather lovely. The keys are etched with their lettering, rather than just having stickers on them. But that's it for good news,

The mouse is too big and chunky for my liking, it's like ironing a shirt when you use it, but it's all down to personal choice.

The big problem is the software download that accompanies the set. To get the 'best' from them you need to download Logitec's drivers, and from then on it all goes to heck with the software not recognising the hardware. The mouse stopped working completely, the keyboard only worked as a basic dumb keyboard without access to the snazzy functions. (I tried the set on Windows 7 and Windows 8.)

So, a 120 quid for a keyboard that lights up a bit...


Sarah Beeny's 100 DIY Jobs
Sarah Beeny's 100 DIY Jobs
by Sarah Beeny
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Jobs need difficulty ratings, 3 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm an absolute DIY beginner - and sadly this book wasn't "idiot's guide" enough for me,

I had high hopes of spending the two May bank holidays guided by this book and doing long-outstanding odd jobs around the place, but the book alone didn't give me enough help (especially with drilling) and I had to fall back on good ol' YouTube tutorials. The guidance in the book was just too abridged, a bit like a recipe book equivalent would be "1. Get ingredients. 2. Make cake. 3. Eat cake". The font used in the text is absolutely tiny (font size 4 or 6?) and there's a lot of white space, so it's not as though more information couldn't be fitted in.

It would have really helped if the jobs had difficulty ratings at the start (like the Haynes manuals) and a very rough idea of how long the job should take. There are no guidance photos in the book, just a few outline illustrations of general DIY.

I also found the "How To Nail It" sections irritating. Initially I foolishly ignored them, assuming they were about banging nails into things, on reading them and learning they were supposed helpful tips, I found them to be annoying, shouty, space fillers.

I'll be sticking with my giant Reader's Digest DIY book with back-up from the Google.


Belkin Felt Wool and Leather Contrast Sleeve with Magnetic Closure for 13 inch Laptop - Grey/Black
Belkin Felt Wool and Leather Contrast Sleeve with Magnetic Closure for 13 inch Laptop - Grey/Black
Offered by B2B TRADING
Price: 17.09

3.0 out of 5 stars Look! I am "tasteful"!, 25 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an item for people who want to (subtly) scream loudly that they have "taste".

It's a Macbook/Ultrabook sleeve (so not a full protection case) with a few nice touches. The chunky fold-over top clips nicely into place with the magnetics - far easier than poppers, and the leather edging does give good protection to the laptop's vulnerable corners. The wool aspect is pretty much impossible to clean without damaging, so good luck it you want to get a coffee stain off.

Yes it's "nice" and "tasteful" and I'm sure will be coverted by people that think using fountain pens makes them better writers, and constantly hang shirts in the back of their cars, but it's the fine line between overpriced heritage items and naffness.


Targus Geo Gibson Messenger Bag for 15.6 inch Laptop - Grey
Targus Geo Gibson Messenger Bag for 15.6 inch Laptop - Grey
Price: 38.70

2.0 out of 5 stars Better off with a messenger bag and laptop sleeve, 25 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Over a decade ago, if you wanted a laptop bag your only High Street choice was Targus. The bags were overpriced, boxy, cheap looking, heavy and 'plasticy'. When the laptop bag market opened up, I went over to Crumpler bags, and now use the Amazon Basics bag range. So I was interested to see if Targus bags had improved over the years, They haven't.

This is a perfectly serviceable laptop bag, but screams 1980s (not in a good way!). There's a couple of nice features, that do differentiate the bag from a 5.99 market stall version (chunky removable shoulder strap, sleeve at the rear to drop the bag over a wheely trolley frame, raised popper fixings), but not enough to make it worth the current retail price of over 40. The naff 'leather' trimmings are just more plastic.

The popper fastenings are a pain too. This isn't an easy bag to open and close.on the move (good luck trying it on a crowded commuter train!), and the fixed briefcase-style carry handle is way too small, rough and stretchy to use without hurting your hand. The padded bottom just feels like cardboard and the internal padding isn't enough go without a sleeve on the laptop.

It's functional, but not particularly nice for the price.


Panasonic Blue/ Silver Self Hair Clipper
Panasonic Blue/ Silver Self Hair Clipper

3.0 out of 5 stars For short haircuts only, no beard trims!, 25 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This isn't a multi-functional 'shaver'. It's designed to do Grade 1 to Grade 3 haircuts only, There's no beard trimmer or brow trimmer attachments. It's essentially an electric razor to do an all-over skinhead haircut.

It's perfect as what it is. The handle is well shaped and the wide blades cut quickly and evenly (you can select a hairlength of 1mm to 10mm at 1mm intervals, and the selection clicker is sturdy). The unit charges quickly from a small mains powered cradle (nice that it's small, a lot of these electrics have taken to using HUGE cradles lately) and you get up to 40 minutes cutting time from one charge. The cleaning is a stroke of genius. Instead of having to wipe down the blades or poke around with a small brush, you can simply run water through the unit, flushing out stray trimmings.

On the downside, the comb attachment (to cut at the chosen hair length) is very cheap plastic. I had one on a similar Panasonic trimmer and after a few weeks the comb was useless, so I don't have much faith in this one. Also, the cutting edges should be oiled before and after use - in itself this is fine, it means less razor rash for you and a better cut from the trimmer, but the bottle of oil supplied is tiny. (Cheapo Wahl Clipper Oil 4floz 3310 is fine as a replacement.)

I'm a bit torn between 3 and 4 stars for the trimmer. It's a nice unit and I love the easy clean, but it's essentially just a wide bladed electric razor, so I think it's a bit over priced at currently 59.99.


AmazonBasics DSLR and Laptop Rucksack with Grey Interior
AmazonBasics DSLR and Laptop Rucksack with Grey Interior
Price: 36.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Anything but Basic, 13 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I usually use Crumpler bags for carrying camera equipment, but this is a fraction of the price, far less boxy and equally good!

The adjustable padded dividers inside the bag are perfect, and the tripod carrier down the side is a work of genius. But my big love is the shape - it's a proper, well-fitted rucksack, not a padded box with some straps stuck on. The bag is still a big, sturdy rucksack, but the rounded edging and slimmer (but still perfectly effective) padding means you're less likely to accidentally start a fight on a packed train.

It's amazing to think this bag constitutes a Basics item when it's a class act, not a cheapo "it'll do". But, as other reviewers have noted, the Amazon Basics logo is small but very obvious on the bag, so if that bothers you it's a problem - as you can't easily remove it.

If the other audio/visual bags in the Amazon Basics range are this good, then I'll happily be an Amazon Basics Label Slave!


PG tips Juicy Pure Green Smooth Green Tea Pyramid Tea Bags - 28 g, Pack of 4, Total 80 Tea Bags
PG tips Juicy Pure Green Smooth Green Tea Pyramid Tea Bags - 28 g, Pack of 4, Total 80 Tea Bags
Price: 5.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly good cheapo green tea, 7 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I think it's a bit unfair to see people basing their review on comparison to high-end green teas. Yes, these PG Tips bags are nowhere near the green tea pleasure of first flush Silver Needle loose tea tips (served from a crystal clear set of matching glass teaware), but they're not supposed to be. These are cheapo green teabags for you to dunk into your office mug and be done with it.

On that principle, these aren't bad. They're a nondescript muddy green tea (the green tea equivalent of a builder's brew), but there was no bitter tang and they seem impossible to 'stew' no matter how long the bag is left in the mug. The box is sturdy enough to throw into an office drawer and the current price of 5.16 for 80 is fairly good - it's more expensive than the supermarket own brands, but it does have more taste than real bargain bin versions.

The labels on the string attached to the teabags are terrifying first thing in the morning though. A close-up of Monkey in Andy Warhol style saturated greens and red. Most unnerving.


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