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AmazonBasics 19-Inch (48 cm) Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
AmazonBasics 19-Inch (48 cm) Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

4.0 out of 5 stars For transport of smaller pets, 24 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is very easy to assemble, it takes barely five minutes with the use of a Philips screwdriver and doesn't require much physical strength; in this case it was put together by my daughters aged 15 and 12. The product comes in three pieces (thus making the delivery box smaller than expected) - the top and bottom half plus the door. In keeping with previous 'Amazon Basics' experiences this is of course basic, functional and simply hard to fault. There are six screws too. The price is not known at the time of posting this review but it will be competitive.

There are two sizes to choose from and this one is the smaller 19-inch version. We have three cats - sadly our fourth one passed away last month - and in terms of size they are small, medium and large. The small and medium sized cats fit into this Pet Kennel comfortably but the largest was not compatible. He could have been put in it but it would have been too tight a fit and for him we would definitely choose the larger 23-inch version. As it is, even for a small cat (or similar sized animal) it's a tight fit with barely enough room to turn round. A medium-sized cat can stand up inside but only just. It could accomodate two kittens with ease.

One unusual and very welcome feature is the option to insert the animal from the top as well as from the front. Some cats can be very reluctant to be put into portable carriers and having the option to lower your pet down from above could make life easier for everyone concerned and could save you a few scratches. The top lid is almost the full width and depth of the carrier so it's easy (in theory!) to lower your pet into the Pet Kennel and quickly put the lid on before he/she realises what's happening. This is a great idea, not unique but for cats in particular it makes a lot of sense.

It's hard to criticise the product, especially for carrying a small pet for what will probably be a relatively short journey, such as to the vet. It's not made of high quality materials but it seems tough and durable enough to last several years. It's all about getting what you want at a good price, and in this respect it definitely does that, as the price is bound to be reasonable.

Cellfade Skin Enhancement lightening Cream 50ml
Cellfade Skin Enhancement lightening Cream 50ml
Offered by Beauté Définie LONDON
Price: £49.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Lighten up, 22 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I may be one of the few male reviewers to use this cream but that's because I was attracted by the claimed benefits, which in my case meant reduced colouration of liver spots on the backs of my hands. Having followed the simple instructions and applying the cream twice a day I can confirm that this product does work. The spots haven't disappeared but I expect them to; so far I would suggest that there has been a reduction of more than 50%.

I'm not completely sure if I like the smell however. It's difficult to describe it - possibly a bit like lemon washing-up liquid - and I suppose the result will always be a combination of the cream itself and the person it's applied to! Maybe I don't like my own B.O.

It's main purpose though is to lighten the skin where dark spots exist, and having used it for about a week now I have no problem in saying that "it does what it says on the tin". Well, the box anyway.

Rexel A4+ 25mm Clear Ice Document Boxes (Pack of 10)
Rexel A4+ 25mm Clear Ice Document Boxes (Pack of 10)
Price: £25.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Rexelent, 21 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The document box, made in China, seems well-made and durable. It should contain up to 250 A4 documents although that would be pretty tight. It's light (when empty!) and see-through. There is a slot on the front for a supplied card of roughly business-card dimensions, and a smaller slot on the top containing another paper card for description. There is a clip on the front to keep the flap closed.

It serves its purpose well and although it's not yet possible to speak from experience, it does look and feel as if it will last a long time. It also gives the impression that it could give decent protection against rainwater should you need to use it to carry documents in inclement weather. That's not to suggest that it's waterproof, but a quick sprint from office door to car should be okay.

Overall: simple, functional and practical

Midori Spring Organic Ceremonial Matcha - Gold Class - Premium Japanese Green Tea Matcha Powder [Certified USDA, JAS, Kosher] (30g)
Midori Spring Organic Ceremonial Matcha - Gold Class - Premium Japanese Green Tea Matcha Powder [Certified USDA, JAS, Kosher] (30g)
Offered by Life & Food Amz Uk
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Premium price but a premium product that could help you live longer, 21 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have lived in Japan so I have had plenty of experience of Japanese Green Tea.

The tin of Midori Spring seems rather small at first (and contains 30g) but you only need to use about one-quarter of a teaspoon to make one drink, so at a wild guess you might get 30 or so cups out of this, depending on how strong you want it. Ideally it needs to be made with a whisk otherwise it can get very lumpy, and in traditional Japanese tea-drinking ceremonies the tea is made with a bamboo whisk - using the hiragana shape for "no" - and the bowl raised to the lips and consumed in three equal portions. It's important to drink it quite quickly while the tea powder is evenly distributed among the hot water.

So how does it taste? I can confirm that this is very authentic, as it should be as it comes from Aichi and Kagoshima prefectures - Shizuoka prefecture is the very best but it's very expensive, even in Japan. To the trained Japanese tea-drinker this is very strong and bitter, as the best Matcha should be; first-timers are likely to find it excessively so and might be put off. But there are real benefits to Matcha tea, not just the feeling that it cleanses the body but also the fact that it helps rid the body of "free radicals".

As you age, your body tissues suffer from oxidative stress due to the process of oxidation. Oxidation occurs when molecules within your body lose electrons to electrically-charged molecules of oxygen in your blood stream. These electrically charged oxygen molecules are called "free radicals," and they have the potential to cause damage to cellular DNA. Over time, the damage can become irreversible and lead to disease.

Oxidation is a natural process that happens to everyone. Because it's natural, a diet rich in antioxdants is necessary to keep the levels of free radicals in your body low and maintain good health. The more free radicals build up in your body, the more oxidative stress you'll suffer. Green tea, and in particular high quality green tea like Midori Spring, is full of anti-oxidants which offers a number of health benefits, and they have been touted as a possible preventative of diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's. Research suggests that antioxidants can indeed be effective in preventing a number of age-related diseases.

It's no wonder that Japanese people live longer than anyone else in the world - because they drink green tea every day!

Institut Karité Paris Shea Washing Cream, Milk Cream 500 ml
Institut Karité Paris Shea Washing Cream, Milk Cream 500 ml
Price: £8.18

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant but not anti-biotic, 16 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a pleasant hand washing cream with a favourable odour and feel, however it is not anti-biotic and for this reason I would hesitate from buying it. That's the only negative however because everything else about this "non soap" product is very nice. First of all you get a decent quantity - 500ml - so that's a positive. Its USP of course is the fact that this French company's product is not actually a soap at all but a handwash made from Shea Cream, of African origin. A kind of butter is extracted from the nuts of the shea tree, a butter that is widely used across Africa for cooking and in some parts of the world as a flavour enhancer.

Here of course it is used for washing your hands and the primary benefit is its moisturising qualities so for anyone with dry skin this will appeal and might well be top of the shopping list. It possesses a pleasant aroma and the texture of the skin after use is not as dry as might be the case after using hand-soap.

To some though, and I have to mention my wife here, it's lack of anti-biotic treatment may be a negative.

In summary this is an unusual hand cream, great for dry skin thanks to its moisturising qualities but it is not anti-biotic.

Latte Glasses x 2 - Coffee Cup with handles - Ideal for Hot Chocolate, Tea, Coffee, Mocha - Costa Style, High Quality, Luxurious, Gift Box, Tall - 250 ml (8.8oz) - Bring the modern coffee shop to your own kitchen
Latte Glasses x 2 - Coffee Cup with handles - Ideal for Hot Chocolate, Tea, Coffee, Mocha - Costa Style, High Quality, Luxurious, Gift Box, Tall - 250 ml (8.8oz) - Bring the modern coffee shop to your own kitchen
Offered by Pot & Kettle Black (UK)
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars No Likey, No Latte - I likey, 16 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So far these have been used for hot and cold chocolate shakes, and the thin-ness of the product can make stirring a little tricky, especially at the base. They come in a nice box so would make a good present. The quality is at the very least satisfactory but they are totally without etching, engraving or branding which would have made for a nice finishing touch. I recently bought a similar (but smaller) pair of glasses for the Senseo coffee-maker and these have the word Senseo etched on the side which, to me anyway, gives them a classy finish.

These latte glasses have a volume of 250ml but the dimensions are not currently mentioned on the Amazon product page. I now know this to be useful information, so let me be the first to add that each glass is a fraction under 150mm in height (149 I reckon), 70mm wide at the top and about 22mm wide (inside) at the base. The outer base is 70mm, identical to the top.

I'm not just a latte "non expert", I don't even drink coffee at all, but others in the household do and their feedback has been positive. The glass is officially dishwasher-safe, and although I can't find any mention of microwaves I have regularly heated up milk shakes in the microwave with no problems.

It's a reasonably well-made product, a nice finishing touch would have been to see "Pot Kettle Black" etched onto the glass. I'm not sure if that's the maker's name or just the UK distributor but it would have been a humourous talking point.

These latte glasses were provided by Pot Kettle Black for an unbiased review. They offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee, and to quote Tommy Cooper - "You can't say fairer than that, then"

TONI&GUY Men Sea Salt Spray - 200 ml
TONI&GUY Men Sea Salt Spray - 200 ml
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for those whose hair grows in seven different directions, 16 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I like Tony & Guy products - the conditioner and shampoo are now repeat purchases in our household. Expensive but worth the extra.

This spray is aimed at men of course, although I think anyone with short to medium length hair will benefit. In my case I may be past my 'best before' date but I still have a decent amount of hair, trouble is it resembles "Every Which Way AND Loose" at the best of times. Fine, floppy and just annoying as combing makes no difference at all. So this Sea Salt Spray is great - it enables me to position my hair just the way I want it, it stays that way pretty much all day, it has a very faint but pleasant aroma and even after application with the fingers (as is recommended) my hands feel dry and non-sticky afterwards, with no apparent need to wash them - even though I usually do.

I can't comment on the maker's claim about the given 'loose movement' as my hair is currently very short but what I can say is that for short hair it gives just about the ideal level of control I want, it's fast and convenient to apply, it's not sticky on the skin and while (as ever with Toni & Guy) there are cheaper alternatives I have to say again that you get what you pay for and that TONI&GUY Men Sea Salt Spray is worth the extra.

Toni & Guy is a British company, this product is made in Germany.

Philips BG105/10 Bodygroom with Skin Protector Series 1000
Philips BG105/10 Bodygroom with Skin Protector Series 1000
Price: £20.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Women are from Venus, Men are from Uranus, 6 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having shied away from the legendary Veet 200ml Men Hair Removal Gel Creme I am now the proud owner of the BG105 which has made my knob and bollocks very nearly as smooth as they were at birth.

It's handy and convenient and does facilitate access into all the trickiest areas and after several applications there are no snags to report - you can move it backwards and forwards with confidence. It can also be used in the shower and the manufacturer describes it as 100% waterproof.

However, hair regrowth is a nuisance and this does mean that you have to use it a lot to stay super-smooth. More to the point the returning hair is very sharp and prickly; this is less of a problem after waxing or using the Veet gel, so although the Bodygroom does a very good job it may not be the ideal long-term solution. On the other hand it's hassle-free and quick. It comes with two interchangeable heads, one for total hair removal and the other for a less severe 3mm trim. It would have been a good idea, I feel, if each unused head could be stored inside the body of the device because it could be easy to lose the head that's not in use. One handy feature is a stretchy rubber strap to enable hanging the device somewhere convenient, in the bathroom perhaps.

The supplied battery is not a rechargeable type.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 10, 2015 5:21 PM BST

In a Dark, Dark Wood
In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.69

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, padded and plain poor, 6 May 2015
This review is from: In a Dark, Dark Wood (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Agatha Christie would be turning in her grave if she could see the depths that "psychological thrillers" have slumped to in 2015. Onto the bandwagon jumps In a Dark Dark Wood which involves a get-together of some mainly female twenty-somethings in a remote part of Northumberland. One of them is about to get married and someone is about to get murdered. From a very early stage not only is it rather obvious who the victim will be but it's even more obvious who the perpetrator will be. To top that, the ubiquitous 'red herring' - the person the author draws you into thinking is the killer - is red-flagged as just that (a decoy) from barely halfway through the story.

If you're a regular reader of crime fiction, give this a miss. It might not be fair to call it unoriginal, but it's all so very predictable that I for one could not wait to get it over and done with. The writing style is amateurish throughout, the prose not worthy of any skilled writer, the characters are hard to care for one way or another, and the concept has been bashed to death for decades so there's really nothing new here on offer. Anyone who can say - as Nicci Cloke was doubtless paid to do - "I raced through this, totally unable to put it down" must either be Ruth Ware's sock-puppet or perhaps the book was super-glued to her fingers. Similarly, anyone who can call this a "tense, terrifying novel" as author Clare Mackintosh opines, must be about six years old and had the tale read to her as a bedtime story by her daddy. In fact all of the gushing recommendations on the dust jacket are from writers I have never heard of and I rather doubt that I ever will.

Well here's the thing. I am not being paid to plug this novel, so don't be fooled by all the praise for it that's being thrown around by people who have been asked to do exactly that. Take note of the critiques from those with zero interest in this book's commercial success and those with zero interest in giving every book they read a four- or five-star accolade. Always remember that an increasing number of reviewers have their own self-interest at heart and compliments are always more popular than condemnations. Ruth Ware is to be admired for at least getting her novel onto the bookshelves, for that is still an achievement in itself, but it really should be left there. This is not entertainment fare, it is something that has to be tolerated if not suffered, and I can think of not a single reason to recommend it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2015 10:58 AM BST

GRDE® Smart Sound Control Lamp, Lucky Bedside Table Lamp with Sound Activated Function, Energy Saving LED Night Light, Great Gift for Children (Upgrade Version, UK Plug)
GRDE® Smart Sound Control Lamp, Lucky Bedside Table Lamp with Sound Activated Function, Energy Saving LED Night Light, Great Gift for Children (Upgrade Version, UK Plug)
Offered by UK tree
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky Lamp, 27 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This night light is an excellent way to save energy and electricity, whilst helping you to fall asleep.

This is an unusual and attractive bedside lamp. It is seven and a half inches in height, with a base of just over four and a half inches. The stand is a bright red colour, shiny and looking new and polished. The head that sits on top is a simple, but well-designed white cuboid, without a lampshade. I found that it's better that it does not have a shade, so that it can light up the room without casting to may shadows. The stand is a design of Chinese characters that symbolise good luck.

On the back of the light stand, there is a switch with three different options: ON, OFF, and SOUND. The first two are rather self-explanatory - the ON switch means to leave the light on all the time you need it on, and OFF means to leave the light off through all the time you need it off. Then you have the SOUND switch which is the USP of the product. If you clap your hands, or make any sound over 60dbs, the light will automatically come on, and will stay on for 2 minutes, where you will then need to make another sound to light it up again. I have also found that if you make a movement close to the lamp, such as a swipe over the top of it, it will also come on.

The light source comes from an imported LED which the makers claim can last up to 50,000 hours. The light cannot be changed, but as it has such a long lifespan, this isn't your biggest worry! Also, the light, although it does not have a shade around it, is quite soft in output, and it will light a room well, but is not too bright that it hurts to look at it. Finally, the light doesn't brighten a room well unless it is night-time or close to it, and its light is very dim when there is still plenty of light around.

Overall, I have been very satisfied with this product, with its interesting appearance and power-saving light and design. Effective, convenient and unusual.

Product supplied by the manufacturer/supplier.

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