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elsie purdon "reads too much" (dorset uk)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Coconut Syrup, Natural Sweetener,250ml
Coconut Syrup, Natural Sweetener,250ml
Offered by Bali Nutra Ltd
Price: £10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful tasting sweetness that is not sickly and is more nutty than coconut, 2 Aug. 2015
This is a new product to me but I am enthusiastic about coconut as I believe it has many health benefits. I also happen to like the taste and smell.

This product has the sweetness without being sickly. I don't like anything that tastes too sweet and I would rate this coconut syrup like maple syrup.
It is sweet but also moreish in that you do want to have more of it rather than puling away feeling that you have over indulged. I dripped my syrup over home made gluten free scones- delicious, and buckwheat pancake, again delicious and makes a good alternative to maple syrup my usual addition to pancakes.
I don't add any sweetener to drinks so I can't test it for that. I will get around to trying it for baking as suggested at a later stage..

The flavour is interesting, it's not at all heavy on the coconut, but has a dark, rich yummy almost nutty toffee flavour. That's my best description. I really like it.
Once opened you have just thirty days to consume and it needs to be kept refrigerated.
I think it may be a best shared with family and friends as one bottle is a lot for a single person to get hrough.
I reckon it will make a great topping on vanilla ice-cream or a steamed pudding!

The info on the back of the bottle lists health benefits and also mentioned 10% profits are donated to building local orphanages or programs that help develop waste recycling on the Island of Bali.

There is a claim that it has a lower GI index that maple syrup , honey or sugar. I think this is true because after consuming some I didn't get any kind of comedown feeling that I do if I consume sugar on an empty stomach. This syrup….I knocked some back straight to really get the flavour and it felt good. really good.


Rexel JOY 182 mm Comfort Scissors - Blissful Blue
Rexel JOY 182 mm Comfort Scissors - Blissful Blue
Price: £1.80

1.0 out of 5 stars Too uncomfortable to use, 1 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am so disappointed with these scissors. The openings for fingers are just too small for an adult to use comfortably.
In fact I am finding them unusable without pain in my fingers.

Not sure if I would want children to use them as they are quite sharp..
What a mistake by Rexel . I hope they rectify this soon.


Outside Edge: How Outsiders Can Succeed in a World Made by Insiders
Outside Edge: How Outsiders Can Succeed in a World Made by Insiders
by Robert Kelsey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Do you want an outside edge?, 31 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I read this book sometimes agreeing with Kelsey but often not.
On the first page I decided he didn't really get what being an outsider is. It's not about your nose pressed against a glass wanting in, it's about growing up and knowing you don't fit amongst the people you grow up with. The solution is to remove yourself as soon as you can and gravitate to find other outsiders you will fit with. Least that is my life experience. I grew up feeling apart and different to the people around me and from my adult perspective I would say that feeling was accurate. Note I say different not better than!
Back to my review of Kelsey' book and I would say there are times I think he has it spot on.

For me the best example of an outsider would be Van Gogh. He spent his whole life never fitting in. Never happy. No-one except his own brother bought any of his paintings, yet now he seen as not only a genius artist but his work now sells for millions of pounds. yet he never knew he had success.
There was an episode of Dr. Who were the doctor and his then assistant take van Gogh to the present day Paris Louve and show him the crowds, the adoration, fame and success he never knew. I cried buckets. i always felt for Van Gogh, that he never knew how good he was. Or did he? I love that nothing stopped him painting. He didn't do it for the money for sure. He painted cos he had to.

In this book Kelsey writes about outsiders some successful in their lifetime, like Hirst (awful) or not, like Kafka, who never tasted success before an early death.
Kelsey writes that this is the prices of being a disadvantaged outsider rather than an outsider with connections or money.

Overall this is an interesting book to read if this topic is already on your mind. I am not sure if it would really give any answers but reading about different people and situations might stir up some motivation. I liked it when he wrote of older people finding their thing late in life. Life is after all what you make it (cliche I know), and even if you get dealt a rubbish hand it's still up to you what you can do.
Feeling like an outsider is not a block to success. Gladwell says make that your edge, your thing, and be successful.
This book is less focussed that way but might even be more helpful because of that.


Vax AP01 Air Purifier, White
Vax AP01 Air Purifier, White
Price: £94.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Portable and Audible, 30 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
That sums up the best and worst of this smaller of the new range of Air Purifiers from Vax.

I already have and use 2 air purifiers. one is wall mounted and will also eradicate moulds, bacteria and viruses.
My other portable air purifier is best at removing chemicals like VOC's to which I am highly allergic in that I respond negatively very fast and become very ill when exposed. I bought that air purifier when I had my kitchen refurbed. There were lots of chemicals and it did a fantastic job. Which leads me to this Vax Air Purifier.
It is of a more standard type.
It removes particles and odours but never states anything about chemicals, moulds or bacteria. Therefore I presume it won't remove these.

I wanted to test this machine out to see how effective it would be in simply cleaning up the air in my bedroom which is quite small.
I have a disadvantage of living very close to a lot of traffic and it is affecting my Asthma.
I can stand the noise by running the machine before I go to bed when I am not in the room.
I agree with the other reviewers, it's not really quiet. I can be in the room with the lowest setting but not the other two.

I think it has made a good dent in the dust levels, and also the outside smells that leak indoors. It has done a good job banishing those.
It will take longer to assess how much help it is overall and I will update in about a month. This is high holiday season so the traffic fumes and smells will be at their highest.

The look of the Air Purifier is pleasant, I have ordered and returned another Brand which arrived shaped like a tower but looked really cheap and tacky, and it wasn't cheap either.
The timer is fairly standard in these machines and is very helpful. I am running it for 2 hours per evening at top speed and wait see the longer term results. After a few evenings I am happy to say it makes a difference but need longer.
Although the filters are expensive you can see how much good they are doing, by how dirty and dusty they become.
I think the price is reasonable if this machine has a good long life.
Overall It is good as a basic Air Purifier and I would recommend it as that.


GCSE French Interactive Vocab Tester - DVD-ROM and Vocab Book
GCSE French Interactive Vocab Tester - DVD-ROM and Vocab Book
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.67

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy to make podcasts for revision, 29 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Back in the day when I sat exams I remember carrying around my cards with revision notes. How much easier this is! Plus it's an improvement as you can listen to the French pronunciation too.

Although it is a shame that it is just Vocab and not phrases and sentences it is still useful. I think it is the constant referring to the Vocab at odd times that will help it to stick in the memory.

With this guide you make up your own podcasts filling it with the revision you want to revise and leave out what you don't need or want.

I think it's rather good and plan to use it myself to brush up on my fading French until one of the grandchildren study French GCSE.


Children's Speech Sound Disorders
Children's Speech Sound Disorders
by Caroline Bowen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £42.74

4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Dense Textbook, 28 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This heavy tome is divided into two section,

Part one: A Practical Update

1. The evolution of current practices

2. Terminology, classification, description, measurement, assessment, and targets.

3. Special populations of children

4. Intervention approaches

5. "common", "best" and evidence based practice

Part two: SPEECH INTERVENTION IN EVERYDAY PRACTICE

6. Phonological disorder and CAS: Characteristics, goals and treatment

7. Childhood apraxia of speech

8. Treatment targets and strategies for speech sound disorders

9. Parents and children together in phonological intervention

10 Directions and reflections

I wanted to review this book because one of my grandchildren has a speech disorder problem.
Unfortunately for me this book is a proper textbook and goes way over my layperson's head.
I did info inside on dyspraxia a condition a friend's son has struggled with all through his schooling. I thought the ideas looked interesting and I am sure the writers all know what they are writing about.

I am sure this is a good textbook but you need to be already studying this in order to understand it.


Oster Versa Performance Blender, 1400 W, Black
Oster Versa Performance Blender, 1400 W, Black
Price: £333.77

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, straightforward and strong, makes smoothies proper smooth !, 26 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was curious about this blender, how can it be so expensive? I had not heard before of Vitamix or Blendtec, two other American blenders that are more expensive than this Oster Versa and are also very powerful machines. After a quick google I discover that while Oster Versa is a cheaper machine it is also highly rated.
Oster Versa are a well known brand in the USA. They have other blenders in their range but this one is the most powerful. It has a 1400 w endurance motor that reaches 28000rpm!

The quality is there to see. The jug is plastic but it is BPA free and did not have even a tiny whiff of a plasticky smell like cheaper versions can have. Underneath the blender jug the metal is smooth and solid looking. The blade in the jug is a 6-point made of stainless steel.
The base is plastic with rubber and that does have a rubber smell that I personally didn't like, and the machine was banished into a safe outdoor space to air before I tried it out. It is fine after a few days unwrapped.

We first made a smoothie with a lot of fruit including frozen strawberries and chunks of cacao which is a very hard substance. Usually we grate the cacao finely but in my normal blender it remains in tiny chunks….in this blender it turned the cacao into dust or powder. The blender had no problem reducing the completely frozen strawberries into pulp.

As well a manual variable speed with the dial you can use the preset buttons. There is also an additional pulse button.

The motor on this is very powerful. At full blast I wanted earplugs but it does the job, and you don't really need the fastest speed.
On the smoothie preset I was happy with the sound level and the smoothie was ready really quickly. Best of all no lumps. Medjool Dates included for sweetness also disappeared into the smoothie…… they remain in lumps in my usual blender.

As well a a manual variable speed with the dial you can use the preset buttons. There is also an additional pulse button.

The motor on this is very powerful. At full blast I wanted earplugs but it does the job, and you don't really need the fastest speed.
On the smoothie preset I was happy with the sound level and the smoothie was ready really quickly. Best of all no lumps. Medjool Dates included for sweetness also disappeared into the smoothie…… they remain in lumps in my usual blender.

The Oster Versa Blender has a 7 year guarantee which speaks for the manufacturers confidence.

Included are a tool to push ingredients down into the jug and a couple of recipe books, which are very Amercian, all in cup measurements and some odd ingredients but not impossible to find now as they once were. There are basic instructions for the blender but really it's all very simple and intuitive.

As the machine is so strong you can make a V-8 veggie juice from chopped veg.
It makes nut betters, peanut, almond hazelnut whatever you fancy.
apparently you can make almond milk which is something I will have to look into but sounds good.

There is a little confusion with the soups, apparently you use the soup preset and it comes out warm? but the soup recipes definitely include heating in a saucepan.
Now I have read the review by L.M. I can see the answer it's all to do with metal friction creating some heat.

I will still be putting the soup part to the test for this review ASAP but domestic issues have prevented me doing this today. I will update.

Overall I am far more I'm impressed than I expected to be. I liked my old blender but this one just makes smoothies smoother and that's a major plus. The only downside so far is the space it will take up on my already small counter space.


Braun VitalScan 1 BBP2000 Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor with Positioning Guide on Device
Braun VitalScan 1 BBP2000 Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor with Positioning Guide on Device
Price: £27.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy easy to use, and seems reliable to me, 19 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I like the ease of using a wrist monitor, plus it doesn't do that horrible tightening around the upper arm, I really hate that!
So is this a reliable option?
I think it is. I tried on myself and a friend on two different days, and times of day. The readings varied slightly as would be expected, different days, different times, but were consistent for each of us. My friend has normal Blood Pressure and heart rate. I on the other hand do have hypertension that is not quite under control with 3 different meds.
It makes sense to me to do the readings on my own because I really do have the "white coat" syndrome. Although the nurse is very sweet ``as soon as one of them comes near me with a machine that is going to squeeze my arm til I nearly scream, well it's not going to give a low reading is it?
So this is a viable alternative.

The machine is easy to use, it can remember up to 10 readings and comes with a chart you can record measurements and that then becomes a graph reading. So easy to see if there is a problem.
Braun explain that it makes sense to take readings at different ties of day and I agree, again you get a picture with more info than the snap shot at the surgery.
This model is quite basic. It only caters for one person unlike some machines which will collect info on two people.
The accompanying little book does give info on what the readings meaning in terms of normal, mild hypertension or severe hypertension.

I think the biggest positive is the ease of use which means it is more likely to be used. Or perhaps for travelling as it is smaller and therefore easier to pack in the suitcase.

I found it reliable, in fact I checked the reading against two other arm BP monitors, one other Braun and also an Omron.
All the readings matched up bar a degree or two. Nothing to worry about.

Braun include 3 AAA batteries so you can use it straight away.

I am giving this item five stars because I am actually using it, and my old Omron remains back in it's box for now.


Brabantia Premium Peg Bag - Black
Brabantia Premium Peg Bag - Black
Offered by kitchen essentials
Price: £8.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PegBag that even appeals to men, 18 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fab little peg bag that is totally better than any I have used before.
There is nothing I can break unlike those little hangers inside a lot of peg bags.
The material its made of is waterproof and very tough. The stitching is good too.
The bag has a good strong clip you can attach to the rotary drier, your belt or anything.
There is a drawstring to close the opening and a hole in the bottom to allow drainage if you leave the bag out in the rain or it gets wet for any reason.
Even though it is not very big there is good capacity for well over a hundred pegs.
This one turned up just as I had annihilated my last peg bag and both myself and friend thought this one was perfect……it has a strong appeal for being practical, durable and even attractive in it's useful simplicity.
It feels good using it. Because of the sleek metal hook you can slide it along the washing as you go, meaning the pegs are always where you need them, next to your hand
Currently it's outside as I write, hung on the drier waiting with the pegs for the next load of washing to be hung up.


Braun ExactFit 3 BP6100 Automatic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with 2 Cuff Sizes
Braun ExactFit 3 BP6100 Automatic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with 2 Cuff Sizes
Price: £89.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Quality and ease of use, 16 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly I found this BP monitor very easy and quick to set up. To my amazement this machine came with Duracell batteries. Ready to go, you just insert the batteries and set date and time and that was also simple to follow.

There are two cuffs , I have to admit to needing the larger one and I was totally impressed with the comfort of it. I have an older Omron BP monitor which is a good solid machine but this Braun beats it hands down for comfort. It is not the pleasant sensation having your arm squeezed by a machine so this is quite an important difference.
The Braun cuff is soft and flexible. I had a friend test the smaller size and we are both happy with the fit.
The larger is 32cm-42cm and the smaller is 22cm-32cm.

One reason for having my own machine is that visiting nurses doing my check ups never bring a large cuff. This makes me feel like uncomfortable…..but I found the larger cuff had plenty more room than I needed and will be good for a really muscly big man as well as a rather over sized female!
There are clear markings on the cuff about positioning too. It could not be easier.

I am not good at doing regular BP checks, this machine might change that.
It remembers the last 50 readings or two separate users.
It also tells you what the numbers mean, so you can see if you are having low, normal or high BP levels.

Also the idea is that by taking your own readings at different times of day, over a week or so, you will have a more accurate picture of your Blood Pressure rather than the snap shot of a visit to the GP surgery which will probably send your blood pressure up anyway. This is a well known phenomenon known as "white coat syndrome".

There is app. so you can gather the information on your iPhone or android. There is also an app. to help you with the information gathered.


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