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Cairo Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes from the Middle East Inspired by the Street Foods of Cairo
Cairo Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes from the Middle East Inspired by the Street Foods of Cairo
by Suzanne Zeidy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Great Looking Travel / Food Coffee Table Book, 12 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a beautifully presented hard backed food book with loads of recipes from the Middle East, a region of cuisine that I am not so familiar with so there were a lot of ingredients in the book that could be a bit of a struggle to get hold of unless you visited a speciality shop. The book is split into several sections, starting with breakfast, then mezza, soups, greens beans and grains, street food, family style meals, pickles etc, desserts and then finally drinks. In between there are also articles about certain foods/dishes and their historical and cultural importance / interest. There are lots of photographs of the food (though quite often, they are not on the same page or adjacent page to the written recipe. And some dishes do not have photographs. There are also quite a lot of scenic photos to give the reader a sense of the 'streets of Cairo', making it more like a travel book. Overall, its a nice book to have one the shelf or coffee table.


Melissa & Doug Pots and Pans Set
Melissa & Doug Pots and Pans Set
Price: 18.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really good quality, 11 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These pans are heavy like real ones, have a metal rack like real ones, sound like real ones, feel like real ones, in fact they feel better quality than some of the actual pans you can buy in a supermarket.

They are food safe and dishwasher safe so you can actually use them, but...tempting as it is, I think you might be wise not to actually put them on a hob as the handles might get hot by the looks of it. Be afraid though, cold baked beans and swiss roll could be served for breakfast. Do you remember that advert?

But seriously - all the Melissa & Doug products we've used so far have been of the absolute best quality and have surprised us, and this is no exception. Don't bother with the smaller plastic pan sets, these are so much better. Would recommend!


Philips Disney Planes Children's Ceiling Pendant Lightshade
Philips Disney Planes Children's Ceiling Pendant Lightshade
Price: 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good large lampshade and doesn't restrict the light output much, 11 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As mentioned by others this shade does require assembly but this is because it's quite a large around 30cm diameter "fragile" plastic shade which they have rolled tighter in the packaging to allow it to be shipped without getting dented or broken. So, assembly is a simple matter of opening it out, matching four tabs to four holes, inserting three rods and screwing them in. If you have a UK standard ceiling rose you also will need to put the adapter in but that's simple enough too. The process took me less than five minutes and didn't require me to read the manual, it's that straightforward.

The quality is very good, as you'd expect from Philips, the printing quality is excellent and the shade is light in both meanings of the word - it doesn't weigh much, and it also is very transparent so compared to our old one, lets a lot more light into the room.

It's also a very deep (tall) shade so even though we have an LED nightlight attachment and a lengthy "energy saving" bulb, it doesn't poke out of the bottom.

It was an instant hit with our toddler who spent the next ten minutes talking non stop about the "plane light". And then demanded it be turned round so he could see the helicopters on the other side.

Would recommend.


Riviera Line (PC DVD)
Riviera Line (PC DVD)
Offered by DVDGAMING DIRECT
Price: 10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars It's OK for what it is, but there's limited play value here, 11 Sep 2014
This review is from: Riviera Line (PC DVD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've owned Train Simulator (formerly known as Rail Simulator) for 5 years and played it more than a bit. Over the years with the free upgrades to the new versions (nice!) I've gathered a few add-ons that come with them but never any "paid for" downloadable content.
It's important for me to stress that this is a review of the add-on, not Rail Simulator - for that would be a whole essay in itself.

What did surprise me but probably shouldn't is that you really don't get much content here. You can view that in two ways I guess. As primarily a gamer rather than a train enthusiast, it's pretty poor. One Class 443 "pacer" train*, one route and six scenarios. But if I were approaching from a non gamer direction, then you're getting 28 miles of accurate scenery which honestly is much better than the usual scenery that you get from this game. Seems that most of the effort has been put into this area to me.

*you actually get two, but you can't use the "HST" in anything but quick drive mode. Why no scenarios for it? No idea! In my layman opinion it's also identical to one of the HSTs you appear to get in the base game too. Perhaps there's a difference but I can't see it.

So. I hate the "pacer" trains. I remember riding them as a child too, and hated them then. Not least because I always ended up standing in them due to overcrowding! I don't live anywhere near South Devon and didn't realise they still run them there. Apparently so.
That aside, implementation, well, here's a new thing that annoyed me a lot. In the cab, does the emergency brake HAVE to be on the main brake lever? If this is for authenticity then I wish it weren't...I keep hitting it by accident because I'm controlling the lever with a mouse and it's REALLY fiddly - something the real drivers never have to suffer. So between "direct" and "emergency" is only perhaps a slight overenthusiastic flick of the wrist if that. And engaging the emergency brake costs points, not to mention a firm "telling off" on the bottom left of the screen. I should add that I believe there are keyboard shortcuts for fine brake control but in my opinion that's a workaround, not a solution.
And what is the problem with the horn? They've assigned one tone to the normal horn, and the other to the bell. Which doesn't turn off. So the high tone is a single press, then the low tone is a double press on another button. Seriously?
Add to that the help text in one scenario that tells you to press ctrl-+ to change cabs - which...doesn't work. For me at least.

Would I recommend it? Depends if you want the route and it's scenery I think. If you have a connection with the route or some other affinity then yes. You'll enjoy this, especially in free roam. If you're looking for more "scenarios" in career mode then there's better ones out there I'm sure. What I will advise is that if you haven't played train simulator at some point since its release then make sure you install it and do the "steam" registration and so on, and give it a good few hours with the base scenarios to decide if you like it.


Creative Sound Blaster E3 Headphone Amplifier
Creative Sound Blaster E3 Headphone Amplifier
Price: 90.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't look like much, but it sounds excellent!, 9 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well, this was a pleasant surprise actually. I don't consider myself an audiophile but I am an "enthusiast" when it comes to sound quality, and definitely more discerning than I probably ought to be.

I tested this device on both an Asus laptop which claimed to have "superior sound" and a Samsung note 2 which is known for having a pretty respectable DAC, comparing both with this DAC and without. I also compared it to the same music played separately on a PC with an ASUS xonar essence for the final test. For headphones, Grado sr60i. This is going to be fun, I thought.

Well - I'll keep the results brief:
- Compared to the asus laptop itself, blown away. The sound quality using the E3 was so notably superior that I defy anyone to not notice in a blind test. I was actually surprised here.
- Compared to the note 2, again the E3 was better but the note 2 does pretty well by itself. I do however like the "cordless" nature of the device so it definitely wins.
- Compared to the asus xonar essence, well, no. The xonar essence felt a lot more "natural" if I can say that. Distortion was lower than the E3. But only very slightly. I had to keep swapping the headphone plug a lot to detect any difference.

So. Well played Creative. In this fairly tacky unassuming odd looking small plastic case with a belt clip, you've managed to somehow defy expectations. I'm not sure how many gold plated parts or high end audio capacitors there are, but I suspect...well...few.

OK - so, moving on to annoyances. Well, with a bluetooth device you're always going to have them. There's a lot of clicking and random crackles when the DAC turns on. Luckily it doesn't do this between songs for me, just between sound effects (on the phone) and occasionally when you start playback on the PC. I'll be honest. I don't care. As long as it doesn't do it in my music, I really don't care.

By default there are some "bells and whistles" turned on when connected by usb to the PC. Some "surround sound" and "clarifier" filters. You should at least turn them off to start with, I would say. They are most certainly meddling with your music. Or enhancing it. Depending on your opinion.

Now a final note about noise floor because I worried about this a lot before I got my hands on this device. Well, I can't find any noise floor issues as yet. A lot of music plays tricks on you, as it actually has a fair bit of noise during the quiet parts, for reasons I can't explain. But I haven't been able to isolate any noise created by the E3 other than the non-playback related clicks mentioned above. I will continue to listen out for it. As far as sound distortion, well, I have some bluetooth headphones and they really do mess with the sound, I think they compress it somehow. This E3 doesn't. I'd have noticed, I'm pretty sure.

So in summary, well, it's a really great device so far, I'll definitely be using it every time I listen to music on my phone and every time I remember to take it with my laptop. Would I recommend it? Well yes, but not to everyone.


Leitz Style A5 Soft Cover Ruled Notebook - Titan Blue
Leitz Style A5 Soft Cover Ruled Notebook - Titan Blue
Price: 22.28

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Notebook with a few added features., 8 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice looking A5 notebook with lots of features and is a reasonable size to fit into a large pocket, handbag or brief case. Most of the pages are lined, but there are a few plain pages in the back that are perforated so they can be ripped out. Inside the back cover there are a few 'post-it note' type stickers which you can use for highlighting your notes along with an expanding wallet pouch to hold loose pieces of paper, receipts or tickets etc. There is also a printed ruler on the back, as an added feature along with two ribbon book marks. The cover has a satiny luxury finish, though after a couple of trips in my bag, it was already looking a bit bashed around, which if you are looking for a note book you carry around, might be something you consider as it is only a soft back cover. On the other hand, as it is soft back, it is lighter than a hard cover. The pages inside are quite thick and the pages are stitched together. This book does have quite a few nice features. The notebook and its contents are held together with an elastic band and there is a loop to hold a pen, however, I found when I did hold a pen in the holder, it flapped around and twisted, Overall, a nice looking note cover with some extra features. If you are looking for a notebook to make a statement, then maybe this, if you just want something more utilitarian, then perhaps shop around.


Tacwise 181ELS Electric Nail Gun
Tacwise 181ELS Electric Nail Gun
Price: 72.25

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A substantial and functional nail firing device with plenty enough whack!, 4 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had a cheapie nail gun a few years back and used it for a long long time until it finally started firing nails without you even pulling the trigger (a bit dangerous!) so I had to get rid of it. I hadn't bothered to get a new one until now, but I did miss it.

So, it was pleasing to see some advancements in the tech since my last one. First thing to note - an entry point at the front of the gun. So if it jams, you can open the front and sort it out. I don't think they jam often, or my old one never did as I recall, but I guess it could happen maybe with inferior nails. I wouldn't buy inferior nails.

So about nails, well it comes with some 1 inch nails, a fair few actually, a whole box of them. That's great because it's always annoying to have a tool arrive and not be able to use it straight away.

Another great thing it comes with is a fantastic plastic tool case. I like a case with my tools, these days as I'm getting older and more set in my ways, I am beginning to make decisions on tools based on the storage they come in. The case is just perfect. Big enough and not too big. No issues packing the thing away either, and some room for the nails too. And a handle.

So, how does it perform? Well about the same as my last one actually. If you want the nails embedded into softwood fully then you have to take off the "soft guard" and push down on the gun to stop it recoiling, which it will. If you dont somehow add extra force, as much force as you can, most of the energy will be used pushing the gun back into your general direction leaving you with an expression of shock and a nail half stuck out of a piece of wood. This is not a staple gun!

Apparently it can fire 4 nails per second, although I really can't see how you'd ever be able to test that unless you're up to something nefarious.

So, worth putting a note here to say PLEASE be careful with nail guns. They are pretty dangerous if you don't respect them. Always fully unplug it before removing the guard or opening the front entry point, because both of those operations require you to fiddle around with the bit that's firing, and you could end up with a nail in your hand or worse. Always check what's under the piece of wood you're nailing and make sure it's never a body part - use clamps, never hand hold small pieces. Goggles are a must! And read the manual!


Melissa & Doug English Alphabet Dinosaur Colouring Pad
Melissa & Doug English Alphabet Dinosaur Colouring Pad
Price: 5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Giant pad - what else would you expect for giant dinosaur fans?, 31 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wow! What an enormous colouring pad! I guess when you order things online you have a mental image of what you're getting, but this thing exceeded expectations by about 100%. It's possibly the biggest colouring pad you've ever seen - I'd advise buying a whole new set of colouring pens for this one because you're going to be using a lot of ink here!
But thumbs up from me and our toddler - he knows the names of a lot of dinosaurs so it was nice to go through them and let him learn some more of them. How he remembers names like "pachycephalosaurus" is beyond me.

The book is alphabetized, meaning one dinosaur per letter although some share the page - for example tyrannosaurus and triceratops are on a page, because they're both "must have" dinosaurs in a colouring book. I think they had some trouble choosing! Most of the favourites are there, but I'm slightly dissapointed there's no pterodactyl...probably a good thing, imagine trying to explain the spelling of THAT!

Only problem now is we're going to need an industrial sized fridge to put his "artwork" on!


Cafe Pod Nespresso Compatible Intense x(Pack of 4, Total 40 Pods)
Cafe Pod Nespresso Compatible Intense x(Pack of 4, Total 40 Pods)
Price: 8.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice pleasant coffee, but a bit over packaged, 30 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These coffee pods fit our Krups Nespresso machine without any trouble, unlike some other Nespresso 'compatible' coffee pods we have tried which jammed in our machine. Each packet comes with ten pods which are plastic, unlike the aluminum pods that are produced by Nespresso, so feels a little tackier than the premium original pods, but they still worked effectively and didn't jam or burst when trying to use it.. Each pod is individually wrapped with a shiny metallic plastic wrapper, perhaps to make them feel more premium? However, this does seem a bit like over the top and excessive packaging and not as recyclable. The coffee produced from this pod was a nice strong expresso which I found had a nutty flavour and pleasant aroma, and was lovely when added to milk to make a latte. A nice coffee and an alternative from the Nespresso standard offerings..


Oral-B Trizone 4000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Trizone 4000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: 49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good All Round Electric Toothbrush, 28 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a good all round electric toothbrush with some nice features. First of all, it does clean very well and comes supplied with three larger more traditional shaped brush heads which will keep you going for quite some time. The main feature is that it has a two minute timer which after cleaning each 'quadrant' of your mouth for 30 seconds, it will briefly intermittently pulsate to tell you to move onto the next quadrant until you finally complete your two minutes where there will be a longer pulsation to tell you that the two minutes are up. Another nice feature is the pressure sensor which tells you when you are cleaning to hard, Even after using an electric toothbrush for many years, I cannot get out of the habit of trying to manually brushing at the same time, which is when it triggers the red light to tell you you are brushing too hard. There are four modes that the toothbrush can operate and pressing the on switch in quick succession will toggle between standard, gum care, sensitive and teeth whitening modes. How effective each of the modes are would depend on if you require them. Overall a nice looking toothbrush with some decent and useful features.


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