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Jayne (London, UK)
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Philips HR1867/21 Viva Collection Quick Clean Juicer, 2 Litre, 700 Watt - Brushed Aluminium
Philips HR1867/21 Viva Collection Quick Clean Juicer, 2 Litre, 700 Watt - Brushed Aluminium
Price: £81.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Full-size centrifugal juicer squeezed into a compact package, 30 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been juicing for years. I own 2 other juicers (a masticating juicer Green Star GS1000 Twin Gear Juicer and another centrifugal juicer, the excellent Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer, Aluminium. This new Philips juicer may well be my favourite.

I've been loyal to my old Philips workhorse for years (so much so that, when the first one fell apart after years of heavy use, I replaced it with an identical one). It's very quick, making a juice door-to-door in 15 minutes from plugging in the juicer to preparing the fruit and veg to cleaning the machine and sitting down with a glass of fresh juice. It's quick and efficient, easy to use and sturdy.

This new Philips juicer (the next step up from the Philips HR1836/01 Viva Collection Compact Juicer, 1.5 Litre, 500 Watt - Brushed Aluminium which has a smaller 500W motor) shows where juicing design and technology have developed in the years since I began juicing: it has the same size motor (700W), the same wide chute that takes whole apples, but takes up just over half the space on the worktop. It also comes with a self-rinsing feature which really speeds up cleaning. It's a really well thought out bit of kit that's a pleasure to use and produces lovely fresh juice.

My tips for happy juicing are:

- Buy a juice recipe book such as Juice Master Keeping It Simple: Over 100 Delicious Juices and Smoothies
- Clean your juicer before you sit down to drink your juice: that way, you won't come back to caked on pulp after you've finished drinking your juice
- Focus on juicing vegetables, only really adding fruit as part of recipes (taking the fibre out of fruit will just give you a sugar rush). Juicing recipes are really delicious.

Top tips for chooosing a juicer:

- Don't go for a tiny cheap juicer: it'll only be slow, fiddly to use, give wet pulp (and therefore take more fruit & veg ... and hence be expensive to run) & will end up in the back of the cupboard
- Start with a centrifugal juicer around this price range; masticating juicers are only for dedicated juicers who are committed to juicing regularyl. My masticating juicer makes the best quality juices, especially of green leafy vegetables, but only if I've got 45 minutes to spare, which generally I haven't. It does get the most juice from fruit and veg (the pulp is very dry). It's the slowness of the whole process that means it's saved for best though.
- If you want to make juicing a part of your life, you're more likely to do so if the juicer sits on the side the whole time rather than being tucked away in a cupboard, so whichever juicer you get will need to have a footprint that'll fit on your kitchen worktop

In summary:

Pros:

- Full-size 700W motor
- Full-size jumbo feeding tube
- Suction feet that really do grip onto the work surface effectively
- Small footprint
- Whizzy self-rinsing function that makes cleaning quicker and simpler than many other juicers
- Comes ready-assembled with a quick start guide printed on the inside lid of the box

Queries:

- The locking arms are plastic rather than metal - they look and feel sturdy, but only time will tell
- Only 1 speed (though I can't really remember being that bothered by having 2 speeds on my usual juicer)
- Small internal pulp collecter (rather than a large one on the side) - this is what makes the footprint so much smaller

Note on the black and brushed aluminium models:

- The black model has a black plastic body, black spout, black locking arms and black trim on the to of the feeding tube. The brushed aluminium model is identical except the body is brushed aluminium. To my taste, there's a bit too much black trim going on and I'm not sure black really fits with my kitchen, but that's a matter of personal preference.


FORZA Multivitamin for Dieters
FORZA Multivitamin for Dieters
Offered by Forza Supplements
Price: £7.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Pink box - pink capsules! Low levels of some key supplements, 28 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The box contains 30 multi-vitamin, mineral and trace element capsules designed as a food supplement for women who are undergoing a diet and exercise programme aimed at losing weight. It is not a weight-loss product itself.

Top marks for the little 48-page leaflet accompanying the capsules, which contains good solid advice, tips, recipes and FAQs for healthy eating, together with a really handy proforma for a recording daily food and calorie intake.

But the product loses marks for capsule content. The blurb on the website says lists calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin C as the top 4 supplements the capsules contain BUT the capsules contain only 20% of the NRV* of calcium, 40% zinc NRV and 50% NRV for both iron and vitamin C. It's also unclear why the product contains 5x the NRV of vitamin B12. That seems to me to be a poorly-designed supplement and means you may need to take additional supplements to reach the NRV for these key nutrients.

I presume the calcium content is low because you couldn't fit 800mg into a single tablet (it'd be too big to swallow!). Perhaps the answer is to supply 30 multi-vitamins and 30 calcium capsules in the same box.

The exact vitamin, mineral and trace element contents (from the box) are as follows:

Calcium 160mg 20%
Zinc 4mg 40%
Iron 7mg 50%
Vitamin C 40mg 50%
Vitamin K 45ug 60%
Niacin (B3) 12mgNE 75%
Biotin 50ug 100%
Pantothenic Acid (B5) 100%
Riboflavin (B2) 1.4mg 100%
Thiamin (B1) 1.1mg 100%
Vitamin B6 1.4mg 100%
Vitamin D 5ug 100%
Vitamin B12 12.5ug 500%

* NRV is the Nutrient Reference Value seems to be the EU version of RDA, the recommended daily allowance.


Charlie Merrick's Misfits in I'm a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here! (Charlie Merrick's Misfits 2)
Charlie Merrick's Misfits in I'm a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here! (Charlie Merrick's Misfits 2)
by Dave Cousins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Five friends, four days, one mission: survival!, 27 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The book is aimed at girls and boys aged 7+ to young teens, especially those who need encouragement to read for pleasure. It's light-hearted, fun and full of laughs, hand-written (rather than typed) and delightfully illustrated with cartoons and diagrams.

The premise of the book is that Charlie and four friends are booked onto a football training camp but end up at the Go Wild Survival Centre bushcraft and wilderness training camp instead. After learning basic survival skills, they're dumped in the middle of nowhere by the camp's leader, Survival Clive - complete with glass eye, bitten ear, shark's tooth necklace, utility belt and scars - and must use survival skills to make it back to camp. To add to the fun, there are three rival gangs doing all they can to thwart their efforts. The book is Charlie's diary of what happens.

The book also contains real survival tips which may encourage children to go out and try some of these themselves (in the perrenial quest to get kids away from computer screens!). Skills include, amongst others: how to make a paper cup; how to build a tarpaulin shelter; a handy guide to knots; how to build a fire; how to tell from the colour of your wee if you're drinking enough water or getting dehydrated; and finding your way without a compass.

I have to admit that, let alone the kids (this was read and enjoyed by a 10-year old not-very-sporty boy who loved it), I enjoyed reading the book myself.

A follow-up book to Charlie Merrick's Misfits in Fouls, Friends, and Football (Charlie Merricks Misfits 1), in which Charlie kept a diary of the football team's entire season. It is not necessary to have read that book beforehand though, as it's a jolly good read too, why not give it a go too?


Maxi-Cosi Loola Pushchair (Robin Red)  2015 Range
Maxi-Cosi Loola Pushchair (Robin Red) 2015 Range

5.0 out of 5 stars Maxi-Cosi Loola - No pavement tractor! Nimble, agile, great value, 22 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A fantastically versatile and good quality product. Well-thought out and well-executed design makes it a joy to use.

My favourite features:

- Lovely deep red colour, quality wipe-clean fabric
- Clear band in the hood so you can see the little one when the canopy is up without having to crane round
- Compact design - not like one of those pavement tractors that practically force other pedestrians off the footway! - which makes it practical, nimble and lightweight - and stows upright when folded
- Flick open and click to lock - sorted!
- At £300, a really great price (there really is no need to spend £500 plus on a pushchair)

More features:

- Can be used from birth (includes newborn baby nest) to 15kg toddler (I've only used this pushchair with a newborn baby)

- Several uses in one:
- 3 positions: fully reclined, slightly inclined plus seated upright
- face forward or backwards
- can be coverted to a 'travel system' or pram (adaptors included; car seat and foldable carrycot available to purchase separately)

Included items
- pushchair
- newborn baby nest
- shopping basket
- sun canopy
- parasol clip
- integrated bag clips
- 5-point harness
- adaptors which will take a car seat and a carrycot


The Gracekeepers
The Gracekeepers
by Kirsty Logan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully whimsical fantasy novel, 22 May 2015
This review is from: The Gracekeepers (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A beautifully whimsical fantasy book of loneliness and yearning. An absorbing and well-written read recommended for those who enjoy good characterisation as well as good plot. Thoroughly enjoyable.


The Eco Friendly Medium Beco Ball, Blue
The Eco Friendly Medium Beco Ball, Blue
Price: £4.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic product from a fantastic eco-friendly and super-tough British range, 22 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had great fun throwing this ball around with my friend's dog - it bounces unpredictably, so the dog never knows what direction it'll veer off in. It quickly became a favourite toy and I haven't seen it since. Reports of the toy's success continue to be favourable!

Safe to chew and so far indestructible, this toy's proven a great hit. The medium ball is 6.5cm (small is 5cm, large is 7.5cm and extra large 8.5cm).

Beco Things is a new comapany focusing on affordable, non-toxic eco-friendly products designed in Britain (Beco / eco - geddit?). The BecoPets ball is on sale at my local pet shop together with a broad range of BecoThings cat and dog toys and accessories under the categorie fetch, eat, poop and sleep. There's also a BecoBabies range of baby products (potties, feeding sets) (not on sale at my local pet shop!).


TRESemme Perfectly Undone Waves Creating Foam - 150 ml
TRESemme Perfectly Undone Waves Creating Foam - 150 ml
Offered by musk beauty shop
Price: £7.95

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use for both everyday and going out, 27 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really liked this product! I have quite long hair with a bit of natural movement in it which can be enhanced with a bit of effort and product, and this one does the trick really well. The first time I used the product, I followed the instructions exactly, washing my hair then using a few pumps on damp hair, blow dry. Then I used curling tongs held vertical and twisted sections of my hair around the tongs, away from my face. This created a lovely spiral effect when I let the curls cool and ran my fingers through my hair.

The second time I used the product, I dampened my hair a little then added the product and spread it throughout my hair, scrunched my hair and let it dry naturally in the air. This left my hair with that nice "beach hair" look I really like. It's a quick and easy everyday look.

Overall, easy to use for both every day and going out and a nice smell.


Maclaren Hand Sanitizer
Maclaren Hand Sanitizer
Price: £2.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant smelling alcohol hand sanitizer gel, 15 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Lovely little hand sanitizer gel - fresh smell, non-sticky, non-drying

Pros:
- Smells nice - definitely lavender in there!
- Pleasant to use - not at all sticky or drying (contains moisturiser along with the alcohol)
- Attractive packaging in a handy size for carrying around
- Aimed at cleansing stickiness or germs on the go (rather than removing any, ahem, "solids")
- Effective anti-bacterial - "kills 99.99% of germs" - ie alcohol is the top ingredient

Queries/cons:
- The instructions and ingredients list are in the tiniest of tiny writing when you peel open the label on the back of the bottle and it seems other reviewers haven't found this


Simply Good News
Simply Good News
by Tom Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a step back to see key messages of the Christian gospel, 26 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Simply Good News (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I come to this book having never heard of Tom Wright before nor read any of his previous writings. The book sets out in a simple, fresh and accessible way some key ideas in Christianity from the New Testament. It works as an introduction to those unfamiliar with the Christian gospel and for "old hands" wanting to take a step back for a fresh approach. I particularly liked the analysis of the Lord's prayer which pretty much everyone can recite from having learned it at school but may not have looked at since.

An enjoyable, accessible book that is making me think.


RSPCA Burgess Guinea Nuggets, 2 Kg
RSPCA Burgess Guinea Nuggets, 2 Kg
Price: £6.08

5.0 out of 5 stars RSPCA Healthy Nuggets for Guinea Pigs, 26 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My friend's guinea pigs enjoyed these nuggets very much. She did as the packet recommended, which is to gradually introduce the nuggets over a couple of weeks by mixing it in with the guinea pigs' existing food in increasing proportions. This worked and meant the guinea pigs didn't either reject the mysterious new food or have any digestive problems.

Pros:
- Helpful guinea pig care information on the package (for instance, though this is a "complete food", it should be given to the animals along with hay, healthy treats and varied leafy greens)
- A trusted brand - made for the RSPCA by reputable brand Burgess Pet Care
- The uniform pellets ensure the guinea pigs can't select out their favourite tasty morsels, leaving the rest behind
- Meets the recommended balance of protein and fibre and vitamin C


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