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Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra)
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Busy B Kitchen Labels - Multicolour
Busy B Kitchen Labels - Multicolour
Price: £4.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not waterproof and not multipurpose "kitchen labels"., 12 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whether or not this little book of stickers is something you'd want to use will largely depend on how keen you are to handwrite and stick labels onto pots and jars. It's ideal for homemade jam hobbyists because several of the stickers show pots, bowls and spoons. However it's not quite what I thought it was when I ordered it. I expected glossy stickers with pre-printed words such as sugar, coffee and biscuits. What I got was paper stickers with spaces for words to be written in by hand, along with around a dozen small round stickers saying "with love" and assorted small stars and coloured drawings of jars and spoons.

The larger stickers are in various shapes, with colourful edges and could be stuck on wrapping paper to say whose gift it is, or of course on jam pots, for which they are ideal.

I counted 23 sheets in the little book, which is made up of four different groups of design repeated throughout. The description on Amazon says it has "messages to suit any occasion, plus blank designs for your own personal message," however there are no messages other than the "with love" stickers, although I suppose that's the only message you need if you're giving jam as a present. (If the person who gives you the jam isn't doing it out of love, then why would you risk eating the jam?)

The stickers peel off the sheet easily (even the oddly shaped ones) and the ones I stuck to paper and plastic peeled back off again without coming apart. They are easy to write on too.

But "kitchen labels" suggests a wide range of uses, and I would only use these on packets of consumables, not on any storage jars and the like, which I – of course – am going to wash or clean at some point. They are not suitable for that purpose. So if you're into jam making, add some more stars to my review score here, but realistically I can only feel good about giving this a 2.

A New House
A New House
Price: £0.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Good little song that tells a good little story, 11 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A New House (MP3 Download)
I saw Deacon Blue on Aled Jones' show last week, where they performed this new song and their classic Real Gone Kid. I enjoyed listening to both songs as much as they clearly enjoyed singing them, so am very pleased to get this track for free. In return I have just bought Real Gone Kid from the other main music site (because it's cheaper, sorry Amazon).

Watching Ricky and Lorraine sing together, now in their fifties, and sounding better live than most bands half their age, I think that their children probably have amongst the coolest parents in Scotland.

AmazonBasics USB 3.0 A to B Cable (1.8 m / 6 Feet)
AmazonBasics USB 3.0 A to B Cable (1.8 m / 6 Feet)
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Another solid Basics range product, 11 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have several products – mostly cables – from the Amazon Basics range and have not had a single problem yet. This excellent quality USB 3.0 A to B cable lives up to that quality.

The cable transitions smoothly into the end connector coverings smoothly, without any of those gaps you find in some other cables (that can become frayed into holes with repeated connection/disconnections). The connectors themselves are gold plated with light blue inserts and are easy to put in and remove.

I find the length of the cable (6 foot) to be ample for the job in hand.

Spike: Into The Light (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Spike: Into The Light (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
by James Marsters
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heart's in the right place but…, 6 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Seeing as you're reading this, I probably don't have to tell you that James Marsters is the actor who played Spike in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel".

The fact that he wrote the story is something that appealed to me. Another reviewer here has a good point about the "canon" of the story, but I felt that could be excused because if this information hadn't been provided, I could have found a number of places it would have fitted in without that being a problem. Truth is, it doesn't bother me anyway. What is more important to me is whether the story is any good or not.

I'll start on the positives:

I wasn't expecting this to be in hardcover, so that was a nice surprise.

James Marsters knows Spike's "voice", as of course you'd expect him to, and the character rings true.

The artwork is excellent.

Great monster design.

The negatives for me – and I don't like saying it, but I have to – all relate to the story. To use the old overworked cookie dough analogy, the ingredients are there, but it's not done baking yet.

Again I'll start on the positives. Although it may sound strange, Spike damaging one of his boots and having to find suitable replacements without resorting to stealing or hurting people works out as actually quite a good catalyst for a story. It's actually something that adds to the overall character and will stick in my mind – something I might think of from time to time when I'm reading other Spike stories.

However everything else about the story all seems a little underdone. A flashback to Spike's past is uninteresting, acts as little more than scene setting and is a waste of four pages. Spike's moral dilemma is interesting because stealing a pair of boots would be so minor compared to the things he did in his past, but we aren't let in as readers on just why that matters so much to him, and the way it all works out at the end is far too convenient. Also, although he got distracted by a pretty girl and had a fight with the usual monster of the week, these two events felt disconnected from the 'boots' storyline and it didn't really feel as if he'd done anything to earn the inevitable resolution.

The demon, the girl and the boots… If this was a Whedon story you would have seen parallels in each that gave an insight to the whole, but if I was to get my scissors and cut the panels up into three sets, there would be three independent stories: The demon, the girl and the boots. When I got to the end of the book, the thought flashed up in my head that if this was a TV episode I would be expecting it to come back after the break with one more act, one where everything tied up together and there was a moment of realisation, or poignancy or… something.

So although I love the artwork, and the story has some interesting moments (Spike realising a little too late that his date has brought him to watch the sunrise and having to run off cursing himself for not realising it sooner, being one of these), I would only recommend this one to the completists, the diehard Spike and James Marsters fans and those who don’t mind spending a little money for a Buffyverse story, knowing it's not going to be up there with the best in the series.

Kipling Women's Halia TT A4 Shoulder Bag K10624B78 Black Pearl W
Kipling Women's Halia TT A4 Shoulder Bag K10624B78 Black Pearl W
Price: £81.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and stylish, 31 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This dual purpose shoulder bag / handbag ticks all the important boxes. It's really stylish, made from good material, and has more secret compartments than a 1800s smugglers' vessel. As a shoulder bag it's excellent, but the shoulder strap can be detached if you want. The central compartment is fastened by a clip stud and you can unclip two heaver duty push studs on the sides of the bag to expand the compartment. It has a full length zipped compartment within.

The front part of the bag has a zipped compartment which revels a notebook and pen holder and a mobile phone holder. It also has a key ring holder on a strap, which can be used to unlock the front door and then simply drop the keys back into the bag. On the very front, just above the chequered marking there is another zipped compartment big enough to put a Kindle book reader in. There is also a detachable key ring on the outside, with a monkey motif. There is another compartment at the back big enough for a file of papers.

Bop It! Beats Game
Bop It! Beats Game
Offered by Signyt
Price: £12.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once you bop, you can't stop! Yes, I really do mean it; every time you see it you'll just pick it up again., 30 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Bop It! Beats Game (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"Bop it to start," says the voice of the Bop it! Beats machine, after I've inevitably scratched when I should have spun and should really be putting this addictive toy away again. But it's so addictive that, not unlike a certain potato crisp type product, you just have to keep having one more try.

The original Bop it! is a family favourite and we haven't tired of it yet. This new way of playing Bop it! is just as fun, but is cleverly different. This version is shaped like a double sided turntable – the sort that you'd imagine DJs might use in zero gravity – and instead of bop, pull, twist, spin and flick, you have bop, spin, scratch, flip, reverse and repeat (the latter two appearing when the difficulty starts rising).

That on its own would be enough for me to love this, but what makes this version really work is the officially licensed songs from Nicki Minaj and Avicii. I'm a fan of Avicii, so I love the use of "Levels" here, and the choice of "Pound the Alarm" is a natural fit for all that bopping and scratching. The tracks actually switch from one to the other every time you flip the Bop it! over. There is a remix mode where you can do what you like and flip the songs at any time, although for accuracy's sake I need to say that the scratching, spinning and reverse are just sound effects and you're not actually changing the speed or direction of the track.

As well as the standard solo game, you can get the family involved with a party mode where you are told after a few of the regular instructions to "pass it". There is also another game (called DJ), in which you need to remember a series of instructions and then do them when the Bop it! tells you to "go". This gives some welcome variety and it too has a party mode.

Although everything worked fine in testing (not that we thought of playing with it as "testing"!), a slight problem did present itself. In the DJ and DJ party games you are supposed to wait until the word "go" to carry out the actions. You would think that carrying out the actions before the word "go" would fail the game – and I think most people would agree that it should do – however unless one of those actions is flip (which does immediately fail the game if done before "go"), there is no consequence. That doesn't spoil your enjoyment if playing solo, but in party mode it starts to matter.

It occurs to me that just as the original Bop it! game can be easily used by the visually impaired, the Bop it! Beats game may be also be used by the deaf and people with impaired hearing. This is why I think this: There are eight LED lights on the Bop it! Beats (one every 90 degrees on each side) which light up in different patterns to accompany the voice instructions. There's even one for "pass it". In the DJ mode there is no visual cue for "go", and that could be a problem, however there is a long enough gap after the light patterns that after a few goes you'd get the hang of the timing. These patterns are quick, but distinct. No-one in my family has this consideration, so I would be interested to hear a review from someone or a family that does.

Corelle 1.9L Vitrelle Glass Lightweight Bake/Serve/Store Rectangular Baker with Plastic Cover, White
Corelle 1.9L Vitrelle Glass Lightweight Bake/Serve/Store Rectangular Baker with Plastic Cover, White
Price: £23.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous quality baking tray, 28 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was looking forward to trying this out, especially because the first meal the family enjoyed from this bake tray was oven roasted duck breasts and potatoes.

First impressions of the tray were very positive. It's light and appears to be made from very strong material. The rims on the side make it easy to lift with oven gloves and also – when the tray is cold – make the accompanying plastic lid fit on tightly and securely. You can use the tray and the lid together in a microwave oven. Surprisingly, you can also use the dish and lid together in the freezer – although of course you need to let it cool to room temperature before you do so.

The cardboard wrap around the product when you take it from its packaging has more instructions than some electronic products I've seen. Most of these are fairly obvious safety precautions, but ones worth pointing out are that you must never expose the tray to a sudden change in temperature (don't pour cold water into it when its only recently come out of the oven), that you must only use plastic or nylon cleaning pads (not wire pads), and that you need to give it a wash before using it the first time so as to remove a clear protective coating.

The roast dinner was cooked perfectly. After the meal, of course, comes the washing up. Although the tray is dishwasher safe, its size means we'll always be cleaning it by hand. That's no problem, because the tray is very easy to clean. We poured warm water and washing up liquid into the tray and left it for a short while to soak. After that, the deposits from the meat just wiped straight off. It went back in the cupboard looking like new.

TCP LED E14 Small Edison Screw 5 Watt LED Candle, White
TCP LED E14 Small Edison Screw 5 Watt LED Candle, White
Price: £8.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice energy saving bulb. Does the job., 28 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the smaller diameter screw type bulb. Although I made the mistake of thinking it was the larger sort when I ordered it, I do take this sort of bulb in my angle-poise-type desk light. It's a very good bulb, and ideal for putting on whilst I'm sorting out papers.

This LED candle bulb is a 5 watt equivalent of 30 watt standard, and boasts a 25000 hours lifetime (or 12500 on/offs, whichever comes first). It's warm white and has no perceivable warm up time. It's mercury free and has an A+ energy rating.

It looks well made and it comes with a 3 year warrantee. Like any energy saving product, the saving in electricity will come over time, and in these times of rising fuel prices many will see this as worth the initial outlay.

Wooden Pirate Ship
Wooden Pirate Ship
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pieces of eight, 27 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Wooden Pirate Ship (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although at first glance this self-assembly, self-paint-and-decorate wooden model appears a bit oversimplified, that is actually something that's in its favour. It's very easy to put together, and the wooden pieces stay where they're put without even the need for the glue that's included, although it is best to use the glue seeing as it's there.

Our review copy didn’t come with the instructions that the box says should be there. This hardly mattered, because the model was so simple, but it means I can't comment here on how good those instructions are. Depending on your child's age, adult supervision is required, because there are some small pieces. Be especially careful with the thin wooden rods that hold the sails, even if it's just to make sure they don't roll off the table never to be seen again, or worse trodden upon.

There is enough paint in the small chain of plastic paint pots to give the model a couple of coats. A paintbrush is included. The paint is fairly quick drying, so it's best to make three or four painting runs with an hour or two in-between as you build up the detail. Unless you have a very steady hand, the line-work between the colours is not going to look as smooth as in the photo on the box without the need for some careful touching up after the rest of the paint has dried.

Be careful unpeeling the stickers, as they tear easily. Once they are placed on the finished model, it looks quite good. Okay, it doesn't look like a traditional pirate ship, but traditional pirate ships are complicated and it's always a good philosophy to start off simple and work up to something more complicated. This is a very good place to start.

Oral-B Trizone 4000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Trizone 4000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: £44.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic toothbrush – gets everything right., 25 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an Oral-B toothbrush powered by Braun, and it's without doubt the best toothbrush I've ever had. It requires a 22 hour stay on the charger in the first instance and you can use it until the battery runs down or place it on the charging unit after each use to keep it topped up. There are two spare heads for when the first one needs changing. Given time (about 3 months according to the instructions) the blue bristles will fade, letting you know it's time to think about putting a new head on. The three heads in the box come with different colour identity rings, so this one toothbrush could easily be used by a family of three. There is a nice storage box which clips onto the charging unit (and could be used by a family of four if you buy an extra head).

The first time I used the Trizone 4000, I put the toothpaste on the bristles and then switched it on whilst looking at it. The toothpaste started flying everywhere, and whilst I very quickly learned not to switch it on until it was inside my mouth, it was a good demonstration of how powerful the brushing motion is. Powerful though it is, it does not hurt, tickle or even feel funny to use.

The toothbrush makes a noise after each 30 seconds to let you know it's time to move on to the next "quadrant" of your mouth, but I find that more useful than that is the louder noise it makes to let you know when 2 minutes have elapsed (because I move the brush around my mouth as I see fit, and I don't really pay attention to "quadrants", but it is important to me that I use the brush for the recommended period of time, especially when I'm in a rush in the morning and don't want to give in to the urge to finish as quickly as possible). The handle is easy to grip and the power button is easy to find without looking. Pressing it again cycles to sensitive and polishing modes before switching the unit off.

The feature that most surprised me was the intrusive red light that shines in your eyes when you are pressing the toothbrush with too much pressure against your teeth. At first it was doing it quite a bit and I didn't like it, but each time I used the toothbrush after that I found I was doing it less and now the light is not flashing at all when I use it. Because that means I'm using the brush properly, I have to say that this is actually a really inspired feature.

Overall, I can't praise this toothbrush enough. Although you can get battery powered toothbrushes from the high street shops and supermarkets for comparatively very little money, they are nowhere near as good at getting your teeth clean as models like this are. Even after the first clean with this product, you can really tell the difference. And it's not just marketing when people tell you that the cleaner your teeth feel, the better you yourself feel.

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