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Cee-Gee (Northants, UK)
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Sarah Beeny's 100 DIY Jobs
Sarah Beeny's 100 DIY Jobs
by Sarah Beeny
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy guide for begninners ..., 30 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am just moving in to my first home and I am having to think about DIY for the first time. As an absolute beginner, I needed something to direct my efforts.

Sarah Beeny's book has been really useful - starting with basic decorating (towards the end of the book), I have tackled walls and woodwork and I am about to move on to the bathroom tasks (fixing the toilet, removing and replacing old sealant). The instructions are easy enough to follow, although I would have preferred more diagrams (hence only 4 stars). There are lots of stylised pictures. but I haven't spotted any step by step diagrams.

If you already have some DIY experience, I am not sure that you will appreciate this book, but for people new to the tasks I recommend checking taking a look.


Asus VM40B-S025K VivoPC (Intel Celeron 1007U 1.5GHz, 500GB, 2GB DDR3, USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Card Reader, 2x 2W Speakers, Windows 8)
Asus VM40B-S025K VivoPC (Intel Celeron 1007U 1.5GHz, 500GB, 2GB DDR3, USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Card Reader, 2x 2W Speakers, Windows 8)
Price: £259.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly slow ..., 1 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One thing and one thing only has struck me about this pc - just how SLOOOOOOW it is.

Yes, it is very nice to have a pc that is just a very small box, with plenty of options to connect peripherals. I have no idea why desktop pcs are still so big when it is possible to make nice compact machines like this.

That said, size is the only thing that this machine has going for it. It is ridiculously slow - it has the same size processor as an old laptop of mine that is 8 years old. Computing has moved on a lot since then and constant hanging is just not acceptable. After the initial set up, when I noticed how slow it was, I thought that I would relegate the pc to being used as a glorified smart TV box, but it took ages just to get the internet to open, navigate to 4od and play some catch up tv.

I have had the machine about two weeks now and it has been out of the box only twice - that says it all.


Rowenta Ultrasteam DR6055 Steam Brush, Dual Voltage
Rowenta Ultrasteam DR6055 Steam Brush, Dual Voltage
Price: £25.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of hot air ..., 1 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have never had a steamer before and so I am not able to compare it to other similar products. I expected that a few shots of steam would encourage creases to drop out of fabrics, but I was disappointed with the results.

First up, a pair of curtains which still had the creases in from where they were folded when packaged. To get a constant jet of steam, you have to continuously press the trigger - but you have to keep pausing whilst it comes back up to temperature. Having used all of the water in the container, I had only done one floor length curtain and it was left decidedly damp and still creased. When the curtain had dried, the lighter creases had come out, but the heavier ones were still there.

Next up - a linen jacket. I though that as this was a lighter item, I might see results quicker. Again, this was not the case, althought it did get rid of most of the creases whilst it dried.

Finally, I tried this on a wrap that I was wearing to a wedding. I draped this over a clothes airer and the beaded trim helped to weight it. Again, the lighter creases came out, but the main folds remained.

As for this being a travel product, I would never dream of putting it in my suitcase - it is bigger than my hair dryer!

I can see that this would be useful for very lightwieght items which you can steam the night before you need them and leave hanging. It is no good for quickly making creased items ready to wear.


Braun Silk-épil 7 7569 - Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras (Including Shaver Head and Trimmer Cap, Cleansing Brush for Face)
Braun Silk-épil 7 7569 - Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras (Including Shaver Head and Trimmer Cap, Cleansing Brush for Face)
Price: £99.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great epilator ..., 24 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am a committed fan of epilators and I have been using the Silk-epil 7 epilator for years because the option to use it in the bath or shower is great, much more convenient than the old fashioned corded epilators used to be.

Once again, this is the same basic epilator body - as ever, charging doesn't take too long and the battery lasts long enough to have a really good go at both legs, or several "touch up" epilations. The Silk-epil 7 can pick up really short hairs, but it does not do so reliably unless you go over and over the same patch of skin. I tend to epilate one evening every tam going to be wearing a skirt that day (to catch any stray hairs). I have tried the Silk-epil 7 with a razor attachment (designed to do both jobs at once) but I didn't rate it and so I am not sorry that it has been left out of this box. There is a shaver and trimmer attachment, but I have never been too fussed about it because it cannot be used in the shower.

I am glad that the massaging roller epilator attachment is included - it is my favourite from a previous version of the Silk-epil. It is the only epilator attachment that I use - I have never been a fan of the "sensitive area" cap - I tried it under my arms a few times but I found that the epilator tended to catch my skin more often when I did. I have never tried the "facial" cap.

The new item in the box this time is the sonic facial brush. I am a little confused as to why it is in there - it is a stand-alone product, rather than an attachment for the epilator. That makes me think that it is a bit of a gimmick, rather a purpose built accompaniment to a really good product. Adding to the disappointment is the fact that the face brush is battery operated, rather than charged on the mains. I already have a face brush (a cheap, battery operated one from the high street) and so I was interested to try a sonic one. I have heard great things about the big name sonic brushes but have never been able to justify the cost. I have to say, there is no noticable difference in the way my skin feels using the sonic brush included here, and the non-sonic version I already own.


AmazonBasics Thermal Laminating Pouches A4 Pack of 100
AmazonBasics Thermal Laminating Pouches A4 Pack of 100
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worked well but ..., 24 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have got the Basics Laminator and Basics A4 Laminating pouches to use together.

I have no complaints about the finished result, but there are two issues which I think users should be aware of:

1) The instructions for the laminator specify 3mil thick pouches for general use and 5mil thick pouches for thinner or softer materials. There is no information about the thickness of these pouches, either in the description on the website or in the box supplied.

2) The instructions for the laminator recommend a 1/4 inch (about 6mm) border all the way around the paper, but this is not possible with these A4 pouches. They are about 5mm too small in length and width to leave that border around an A4 page. I did not have any problem with the finished product, but I do think that consumables desgined to be used with a particular device should match the specifications set out in the instructions.

They do come in a nice, small, sturdy box, Amazon's Frustration Free Packaging. What made me laugh was that this A4 sized box was inside a much larger one (41x31x11cm).


AmazonBasics A4 Thermal Laminator
AmazonBasics A4 Thermal Laminator
Price: £15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use laminator ..., 24 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was my first time using a laminator and I had no problems.

I wanted a laminator so that I could protect frequently used A4 reference sheets from becoming worn.

It does smell quite stongly when it is heating up (the instructions warn you about this) and it does take a couple of minutes to come up to temperature.

You should use 3mil thick laminator pouches (two supplied) for general use and 5mil pouches for thin or soft materials. It does say that you should leave 1/4 inch border all the way around the document, but this is not possible with the A4 pouches supplied. I had to get out a conversion chart to see that this is 6 and a bit mm. By my measurements, the pouches are about 6mm too small in both length and width and the border around my A4 page was only 3mm at best. The corners of the pouches are rounded and the clearance from the very point of the corner is only about 1mm.

There is no explanation why a 6mm border is suggested, and why the pouches supplied are too small to allow this, so I was a bit nervous using it first time. There were no obvious problems, and the pouch has sealed all the way around, but the laminitor does lose a star because the consumables don't meet the specs required by the instructions.


Scholl Velvet Smooth Pedi Electric Hard Skin Remover
Scholl Velvet Smooth Pedi Electric Hard Skin Remover
Price: £22.49

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin ..., 5 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product removes hard dead skin fast - great! The roller head that spins and removes the skin is quite coarse and I was worried that it would leave my feet feeling rough, but it doesn't. The only time that I have noticed a round feeling was when I used the pedi after having had a shower - my own fault, it warns you to use it on dry skin only and towel dried is clearly not dry enough.

It is a pretty chunky product - but it does not feel awkward in use. I have not given it 5 stars because it requires 4 AA batteries (which explains the size of the handle) - that is a lot in my book. I would rather have something rechargeable. That said, I have had this product for about a month and I have not had to replace the batteries yet. The roller head can also be replaced if it loses effectiveness, and this is easy to pop in and out of the handle.


Theft of Life (Crowther & Westerman 5)
Theft of Life (Crowther & Westerman 5)
by Imogen Robertson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.79

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crowther and Mrs Westerman investigate again ..., 26 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have read all of the Crowther and Westerman series so far and have always enjoyed them, but this time I was a little disappointed.

Crowther and Mrs Westerman are an unlikely crime fighting duo in the 1700s - he has an unusual interest in human anatomy and she is a society lady. They have a knack of getting drawn into investigations (to the scandal of society) which are puzzling and lead them into danger. This time, a slaver is found murdered in the streets of London and they try to work out "whodunnit".

The story was a good one, with plenty of strands to it which will keep you guessing about who the murderer is and their motiive. I never like to say too much about the plot to a crime novel because I do not like to give anything away.

If I had not read the previous novels, I think I would have enjoyed it more. I think I was a little disappointed because it was "more of the same" - we have already have 4 other novels. The beginning of the novel sets up the relationships between the main characters, Crowther and Mrs Westerman, for example. Presumably, this is for the benefit of new readers, but loyal fans will already know that fashionable society is scandalised my Mrs Westerman's involvement in crime fighting adventures and that the Thornleigh family struggle to fit in with their recently discovered wealth and titles. Because we were covering old ground, I found the novel slow to get going and it took me quite a while to read it.

In the end, I did get sucked in by the plot and I couldn't put the book down for the last few chapters - I finished it a 1am, when I had to be at work the next morning! For that reason, I can't say that it is a bad book. Fans of the series will like it, and it can be read by people new to the series. I just hope that Robertson's next novel takes a new theme - time to return to one of her other novels set in early 20th century France?


Russell Hobbs Illumina Hand Blender, 700 Watt - Black
Russell Hobbs Illumina Hand Blender, 700 Watt - Black
Price: £39.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance ..., 5 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had a cheap, plastic hand blender years ago but when it broke I did not replace it. Recently, as I was making a lot of soups, I got fed up of washing up the smoothie maker and decided to give hand blenders another go.

My first impressions of this blender is that the handle is VERY large - much chunkier than my old one and there is no apparent reason for this. It is also heavier than my old one. I can imagine that some people will find it awkward to hold.

The main selling point of the blender is that it has a ring of lights that changes colour according to the speed of the blender. What use is that to anyone? Roll the switch one way and the speed slows down, the other way and it speeds up. There are also small numbers on the roller switch and you are more likely to remember that speed goes up from 1-4 than that blue is slowest, followed by purple and green before you get to red as the fastest.

The handle of the blender is shaped so that your thumb can sit on the pulse button at the back, which is useful. You can use it for a maximum of 2 mins at a time, then you have to let it cool for 2 mins.

There is always less washing up with this type of blender, compared to a food processor, but the blender itself is not dishwasher safe. The beaker that it comes with is dishwasher safe, but the instructions warn that this will affect the surface finishes (but not product performance).

The blender works as a hand blender should and blends up my soup. I haven't tried it on anything else, but pesto and sauces are also included in the instruction / recipe book. There is also a recipe for eton mess, which reckons that you can use the blender to whip up the cream and the strawberry puree.

Overall, I am not sure that this warrants a premium price tag - I expect that they have had to come up with something that looks fancy to complement a product range. Given the choice again, I would probably go for a much cheaper, more compact plastic design. It is not as though I am going to be displaying the blender in pride of place on my worktop, as I might a food processor style blender.


Braun Silk-épil 7 Skin Spa Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator and Sonic Exfoliation Brush
Braun Silk-épil 7 Skin Spa Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator and Sonic Exfoliation Brush
Price: £99.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great epilator ..., 19 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am a committed fan of epilators and I have been using the Silk-epil 7 epilator for years because the option to use it in the bath or shower is great, much more convenient than the old fashioned corded epilators used to be.

Once again, this is the same basic epilator body - as ever, charging doesn't take too long and the battery lasts long enough to have a really good go at both legs, or several "touch up" epilations. The Silk-epil 7 can pick up really short hairs, but it does not do so reliably unless you go over and over the same patch of skin. I tend to epilate one evening every tam going to be wearing a skirt that day (to catch any stray hairs). I have tried the Silk-epil 7 with a razor attachment (designed to do both jobs at once) but I didn't rate it and so I am not sorry that it has been left out of this box. There is a shaver and trimmer attachment, but I have never been too fussed about it because it cannot be used in the shower.

I am glad that the massaging roller epilator attachment is back - it was my favourite from a previous version of the Silk-epil 7 and I was disappointed that it wasn't in the last version that I tried. It is the only epilator attachment that I use - I have never been a fan of the "sensitive area" cap - I tried it under my arms a few times but I found that the epilator tended to catch my skin more often when I did. I have never tried the "facial" cap.

The new attachment with this version of the epilator is the sonic exfoliation brush. There seems to be a craze for sonic exfoliation at the moment and so I was quite excited to try this. My first disappointment is that it cannot be used on the face. I think that Braun have missed a trick here because facial exfoliation brushes are big news. The day that the epilator arrived, I jumped straight in the shower to try the exfoliator, but I wasn't blown away. It was good enough, but I wasn't left with an amazing smooth feeling. Certainly not one that would justify spending a lot of extra money on an epilator. I haven't actually used the exfoliator attachment since. I certainly wouldn't pay to upgrade to this model if you already have a Silk-epil 7.

On the positive side, when I did have a problem with my original epilator (after a few months the battery started draining within a few minutes) I sent it back to the nearest service centre and they very quickly sent it back with a brand new battery unit. I was very pleased with the service.


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