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Benson (Cardiff, UK)

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Philips Sonicare HX9351/04 DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush Black
Philips Sonicare HX9351/04 DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush Black
Price: £166.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Fool proof, 25 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly, whoever said this toothbrush was noisy has obviously never had an electric toothbrush in their life. A little noise is expected but for the record of all the electric toothbrushes I've owned this one is the quietest one.

A few months ago I changed my brush to one of the Braun oral b blu tooth brushes which you can pair with a smartphone. While these brushes are amazing they are rather on the complicated side when it comes to using it with your phone.

The Philips brush has very similar brushing features in that there are different settings to brush on - clean, white, polish, gum care and sensitive. However, the Philips brush is much easier to navigate and it doesn't pair with a smart phone so the complexity of the brush is pretty much zero. There is one button and the setting is clearly lit up on the brush. Fool proof really.

Cleaning wise it gives a really good clean and it really feels like it after brushing. The charging glass is both practical and handy because brushes tend to drip residue after brushing. It's a rather light brush compared to other electric ones and the travel case makes it perfect for transporting.

A great brush really without all the added complexity that similar high gizmo brushes have.

Decorated: Sublimely Crafted Cakes for Every Occasion
Decorated: Sublimely Crafted Cakes for Every Occasion
by April Carter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cakealicious, 19 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a beautifully presented book and would make a great gift for anyone who loves baking cakes, novice or pro.

There are some very innovative and unusual recipes throughout such as the chocolate beetroot cake, lavender layer cake and toasted porter, peanut and chocolate cake. If you're not brave enough for those there are plenty of the more conventionally delicious such as the sea salted caramel chocolate cake and a red velvet and raspberry layer cake.

With the exception of a recipe for choux buns, Black Forest tarte and chocolate chip cookie layer cake all the recipes are for large cakes. There is not a cupcake section if you were particularly hoping for that. The author favours 'stacking' a lot as depicted in the image on the front cover so a good portion of the cakes really are quite elaborate.

While the recipes would excite any cake maker there is an extensive section for the novice detailing everything from how to make buttercream to setting up a piping bag. Many of the cakes make extensive use of piping. There is also a 'final touches' section detailing how to make crystallised rose petals and painting with edible good lustre dust amongst other things.

I'll reiterate... wonderful gift for any kind of cake enthusiast.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2014 9:42 AM GMT

Tomy Counting with Luke the Loop
Tomy Counting with Luke the Loop
Price: £10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for an inquisitive toddler, 22 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My 15 month niece loves this toy and as she is muttering more and more words it is great at introducing her to numbers. She is slightly younger than the recommended age but I believe a toy like this can only help her advance even quicker than she already is. It did not take her long to realise the toy says different things depending on how you move it. We will get a bit more use out of this because we have introduced it to her a little earlier. There are no small parts if you are a little worried about purchasing it for a slightly younger child. I don't really see the issue so long as your child is supervised during play anyway.

EMERGEN-C Juicy Strawberry Energy Release and Immunity Support Food Supplement - Pack of 16
EMERGEN-C Juicy Strawberry Energy Release and Immunity Support Food Supplement - Pack of 16
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great boost for travel, 8 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I seem to have managed timing well with this product by starting it as our weather has taken a bit of a cold turn. I am quite a healthy person but I seem to pick up things when I take trips and end up not sleeping properly. During the 10 days I've been taking this so far a few people at work have been struck down by tonsillitis and I have taken a trip for a few days in which I didn't sleep smoothly. Touch wood, I've not picked up anything and I'd like to say this supplement has helped keep everything at bay.

Taste wise you are looking at somewhere in-between a soluble aspirin and energy drink (without much fizz). It all depends how much water you use. It's not bad tasting but I'd imagine it's not for everyone. If you don't like the taste of energy drinks or soluble medication like panadol I would give it a miss.

Great for a little boost if you're away from home and pick up things easily like me but expensive if you want to take them all the time.

Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home
Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home
by Trine Hahnemann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Velbekomme!, 23 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is beautifully presented. If you've ever been in a bookstore and picked up a Jamie Oliver book, it is presented in an almost identical fashion; hardback, almost 300 pages and full of exceptional food images throughout.

It was actually Disney's 'Frozen' that inspired me to acquire this book. As that movie is loosely based on the Norwegian culture I thought it might have some suitable things to make for a more adult Frozen party. There are definitely some things you could make for that. I'd personally tend to go for sweet options but there are a fair few savoury options beyond the extensive bread section.

For the danish pastry fan there is a recipe for basic danish pastry dough but it is followed by only a couple of traditionalesque recipes, not such a thick section as you might expect; there are more bun and sweet bread recipes in this section.

For others you might be eager to see what suitably festive ideas the book brings. As it goes there is a whole 'Christmas' section full mostly of Finnish cookies/biscuits (barely a dozen different recipes). These are not complicated recipes and most are suitable for young children to help you with also. The most delicious looking recipe in this section were the 'little spiced apple pies'. This is a scandinavian take on the british mince pie and I'm confident would go down a treat at any festive gathering or bake sell.

None of the recipes seemed overly complicated or contained ingredients you wouldn't have at home but despite all the beautifully captured images not many things jumped out at me as must makes at all. Though, if you want something beyond the traditional british baking you'll find plenty of unusual things to try without them being too weird. Special mention to the raspberry eclairs and the apricot and chocolate marble cake.

Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 200g Steam Boost, Safety Auto Off, 2600 Watt, Black
Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 200g Steam Boost, Safety Auto Off, 2600 Watt, Black
Price: £49.45

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steamingly brilliant, 19 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really love the sleek and cutting edge design of this iron. Very easy to fill and irons out creases exceptionally well. This is down to the power of the steam which is exceptionally better than a cheap iron. With my old iron I had to keep going over and over some things to get the creases out; not the case with this model. It also heats up really fast.

I've found with previous irons they tend to drip a lot. This iron has not given me issues with that yet and the squirting mechanism for tough creases is gentle yet powerful.

You can use tap water in the iron which makes things simpler as some models I've had in the past have required a special kind of sterilised water which got a bit annoying when you ran out. Your water level is highly visible so you can tell with ease when you need to fill up.

The model is also slightly indented at the bottom to make the cable wrap really neatly and securely around the iron when putting it away.

The only con is the length of the cord which comes up rather short. I have quite a big ironing board and am finding I have to iron as close as possible to a socket so it will stretch around the board. Not enough to put me off though because this it irons like a dream.

Kipling Women's Alenya Shoulder Bag K1062384H Tango Red
Kipling Women's Alenya Shoulder Bag K1062384H Tango Red
Price: £35.88

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant yet modern and stylish, 10 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Tango red' suggests it has overtones of orange but this is not the case at all, it is just a very prominent red colour.

I found it an extremely well-made bag with a very secure zip and spacious interior. The sewn in security clip is a nice addition if you are a little paranoid of something valuable falling out. I'd imagine it is intended to fasten your purse to but you could use it for something else such as your phone or keys, if required. When empty the bag is very light but I would not doubt the strength of the fabrics used. The inside linen is grey with light pink polka dots and is similar to the fabric of a waterproof, so without a doubt this bag is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. Size wise it would be considered slightly on the large size for everyday use but ideal for flying as your 'personal item'. In terms of travel bags I'd consider it small, but plenty of room for flight essentials such as phone, makeup, tissues, passport etc, even an iPad or tablet.

The strap is adjustable so you could use it as a shoulder or across the body bag, whatever your preference.

My sister in law had asked specifically for a bag of this brand and assured me it was a very renowned brand. I thought the trademark gorilla keychain was a cute touch.

Rubies 887535-STD Captain America Costume
Rubies 887535-STD Captain America Costume
Offered by FuW Store
Price: £35.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EPIC!, 4 Sept. 2014
I'm in love with this costume. It looks amazing and went down really well with all my friends (and plenty of strangers). It resembles the Marvel kids costumes they sell at the Disney Store in terms of look, material and quality (an all in one suit with some padding). I'm 5 8" and 145 lbs and got the standard size. There is a lot of space in it without it looking like it is too big. I could comfortably wear it over other clothing and wouldn't struggle to get it on. Both the mask and jump suit fasten together with velcro. I personally didn't have an issue with that but have read of others who said it came undone a lot. The costume has a belt sewn into the front of which you can attach guns if you so wish. The best shoes to go with it are brown boots, or anything army like really.

I've cross checked the official costumes they offer in the US and this one looks like a European exclusive. The american version seems to be a 'plus sized' costume for much bigger guys. This is definitely the better Captain America one.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2014 4:18 PM GMT

Oral-B Trizone 6000 Smart Series With Bluetooth Technology Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Trizone 6000 Smart Series With Bluetooth Technology Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: £113.72

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An oral hygiene dream, 4 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been having great results with this toothbrush so far. Oral hygiene has always been really important to me and I've visited a dentist regularly since I was 4 years old, so I feel like I've tried a lot of different products over the years, manual and electric brushes.

Previous to this brush I was using the Oral B Professional Care 600 'Floss Action' brush which retails approximately around £30-£50 mark. This brush is quite a big jump in price from that but it isn't a little more beneficial... it is A LOT more beneficial.

The obvious things are battery life. Once charged you can get a good week out of this brush. Other electric brushes I've had manage 3 days at max. The other obvious plus for me with this brush was the very compact travel case it comes with (it's slightly longer than a glasses case but not much thicker). When I travel I'll usually leave my electric brush at home because it is either a pain to charge, too bulky to carry or leaks water all over my other toiletries. Not the case here. I will happily travel with this, and if it's less than five days I know I won't need to take the charger with me.

The trizone brushes were new to me and they look a lot bulkier than I'm used to. The majority of electric brushes have a round brush that rotates in a circular motion. These brushes are better. They give you a feeling of total control and seem to reach hard to get to areas a lot better than the circular brushes.

The different settings might come across as overwhelming but they are very easy to pick up. There are two buttons on the toothbrush; a power switch and an arrow button. Simply put your brush on and it will start in daily clean mode. Press the arrow and it will switch to a different mode. You will need the timer to assist you with this as when you switch modes a different icon will appear on your timer (or smartphone app). Each icon matches a different setting so this is the only way to tell what mode you are in unless you become really adapt to the rhythms of each mode. The brush is completely wireless so as soon as you switch it on it communicates with your timer and it does the rest for you. The only thing you need to do with the timer is take it out the box, insert the batteries (included) and set the clock on it.

If you already have immaculate oral hygiene you might find some of the features of this brush a little tiresome. For me personally I don't need to time myself to know when I have adequately brushed enough. For someone wanting to develop better habits though or doesn't get regular coaching from their dentist, this is a useful tool. What is good about the timer though is the smiley face you see on screen will soon flash to a sad face if it detects you are putting too much pressure on your gums.

If the whiter tooth look is something you desire this brush is a healthy investment for that. Many people feel the need to harshly scrub their teeth with the false impression this is what is going to make them 'squeaky clean'. Harsh brushing can actually wear down the tooth enamel and contribute to ruining your teeth. An electric brush such as this promotes good brushing technique, and the 'whitening' and 'deep clean' setting is ideal if you want a more thorough clean after your initial brush.

To complete the look you get a very compact stand which holds the charger and a case for up to four heads. This is great if you want to take full advantage of this brush and use different heads. You get two additional heads with purchase and an interspace brush for the hard to reach in-between areas.

Being able to use your toothbrush with the Oral B app on your smart phone is a nice addition but not something I feel like I will utilise as I can see it as something that would quickly drop out of habit. Besides if you're accident prone do you really want your phone in the bathroom close to the toilet and water? I also got the impression it was for someone who forgets to brush their teeth. Do you really need to set a reminder to brush your teeth?

Upon pairing your brush with this ap it can remind you when to replace your head. It works similarly to your timer in that as soon as you start your brush it automatically detects it and will tell you how long you've been brushing and what mode you are in. You are also able to set reminders of when to brush, when to floss and when to rinse with mouthwash and find fun facts about different aspects of good oral care. It'll also warn you when your brush is needing charging. It's a nice ap and a much clearer way to see what your toothbrush is doing, but the other features are only for the very technologically confident. If my parents used such an app with their brush I could see them struggling.

All in all I'm very satisfied with this brush. Seen as we use our toothbrushes everyday why shouldn't you invest in something nice? The best part about this brush is that it is actually a completely risk free purchase. In your instruction manuel you'll find details of the 'Oral B 30 day challenge'. If you are not 100% satisfied you can return everything and your receipt to Oral B who will give you a full refund. If you're on the fence about spending so much on a brush what do you have to lose?

Price: £9.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pop factory, 1 Sept. 2014
This review is from: V (Audio CD)
'V' continues on nicely from 'Overexposed' with an even more commercial sound if that was possible. It does work and there is plenty to like if you enjoyed previous hits like 'Payphone' and 'Maps'. For the fans of Maroon 5's old style they may not be able to tell whether these are reject Katy Perry songs or simply a collaboration with some of Kylie Minogue's best writers.

As it goes both could be true as 'V' features plenty of well known co-writers as 'Overexposed' did. Lady of the minute, Sia Furler has a credit on the duet track with Gwen Stefani, a rather pleasant piano track but kind of begs the question, where are the rest of the band? Shellback, Rodney Jerkins and Ryan Tedder are other well known names that feature throughout. Interestingly, Adam Levine is the only band member this time to have any co-writing credits, despite always writing as a band on previous albums.

Soundwise, think 'Maps', Payphone', 'Daylight' and 'Love Somebody' and you have similar melodic and catchy songs throughout, nothing too experimental. My highlights were 'Animals', 'Sugar' and 'My Heart is Open' but there wasn't a single track I strongly disliked. This is a full blown 'pop' album and doesn't try to be anything else. The deluxe version is completely worth it for the insanely catchy and Gnarls Barkley esque 'Shoot Love'. I wouldn't be surprised if this became a single.

Even though he's previously stated publicly his loyalty is with the band, for me this album was a step closer to an inevitable Adam Levine solo album. If the writing credits are anything to go by, the rest of the band seem irrelevant now.

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