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Reviews Written by
Alison "Kindle Allie" (Derbyshire, UK)

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Lumie Zest Combination Light Therapy - Portable SAD Lamp and Wake-up Light to Improve Energy and Mood
Lumie Zest Combination Light Therapy - Portable SAD Lamp and Wake-up Light to Improve Energy and Mood
Price: £129.15

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great SAD light, OK wake-up Light, 13 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used wake-up lights for a few years now and I absolutely swear by them. They are a much more gradual and pleasant way to be woken in the morning and for me I feel so much more ready to face the day than when I used to use a standard alarm clock.

The Lumie Zest is a very portable unit that combines a wake-up alarm clock with a SAD light that can be used for light therapy sessions. The light settings can be altered to suit; different light intensity, time of light therapy session, wake-up time, volume of sound alarm etc. The unit is small and a plastic section that slots into the back and stays in place with magnets is used as a stand while the unit is in operation. For true portability this unit would benefit from a battery but I guess that would compromise it's light output, weight and operating duration. The power adaptor too isn't big or heavy so it's portable enough.

Where it doesn't quite succeed for me is the clock function. As a clock this unit goes on a bedside table and should help you sleep until the light wakes you in the morning. However, the backlight that illuminates the time is bright, very bright. Now, you can adjust the brightness - HI, LO or off. Great! What is not so great is that the setting only works if the alarm is actually activated. Sunday night to Thursday night this is not a problem, I set the alarm for the next morning and so my choice of LO is activated and the brightness is turned down LO (too low, I can't read the time unless I get very close, but that's largely due to me being very short-sighted!). Friday night and Saturday night I don't want to set the alarm, but for some unknown reason the brightness defaults back to HI! I have no idea why it would do this and I have read the manual carefully, trying to get this to change, nothing seems to work. The HI brightness is so bright it keeps me awake. So much so I switched the unit off entirely last night. I'll switch it back on and have to reset the settings and time on Sunday night - far from ideal. The other alternative is to change the alarm time to a later time on the weekends.

The light output is variable and it's very effective for light therapy. You can easily modify the settings to carry out the intensity and duration of session that you would like.

Overall it's a nice small unit that is quite portable but the settings are a little inconvenient for a week-round bedside clock.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 25, 2014 1:57 AM GMT

Creative Sound Blaster E3 Headphone Amplifier
Creative Sound Blaster E3 Headphone Amplifier
Price: £102.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Convenience and sound quality, 13 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Creative Sound Blaster E3 Headphone Amplifier is a small device that can turn any pair of headphones into bluetooth headphones with added oomph!

I'm not a dedicated audiophile, so I can't tell you what some of the technical specs mean for these but I can tell what a difference this unit makes. It really gives added depth and volume to the sounds that my headphones produce and there is no way I can even tolerate listening to beyond half-way of the volume range the amp can produce.

The device means I can move about without being attached to a bluetooth music player. I've used this a lot with my iPhone; I've used it walking about and have been able to leave my phone securely inside my bag and clipped the E3 to my clothes. I've also used in while exercising at home and in the gym, I can clip to me and leave the phone somewhere out of the way so I don't end up dropping it or getting it sweaty. The E3 is a small and light unit so it's a lot easier to have clipped to be rather than trying to find somewhere suitable for my phone to go.

I've used it with different headphones and they all have worked well. I've taken telephone calls and that has worked well too. The bluetooth connection is strong and hasn't dropped once, it connects quickly every time. First pairing was quick and easy too. Once I got used to the placement of the buttons on the E3 I can use them without needing to look.

I'm impressed with this item. A great quality sound that gives added convenience for different circumstances.

GOODOGS CAPRICE Can Snack for Dogs, Small
GOODOGS CAPRICE Can Snack for Dogs, Small
Price: £2.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Waggy tail!, 11 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A medium sized snack that can be easily broken into smaller pieces to suit. Our large dog (weimaraner) really enjoyed these, so although they are marketed for small dogs, they are not too small for bigger dogs too and could be used as little training treats for big breeds.

A very high meat content (65% pork with some chicken) and no artificial ingredients, these are a good option for treats. Nothing nasty and fake in these treats.

GOODOGS TREAT Dogs Snack for Dogs, Small
GOODOGS TREAT Dogs Snack for Dogs, Small

5.0 out of 5 stars Gobbled up!, 11 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These treats are little and are an ideal training treat for all but the largest dogs. We have a large dog (a weimaraner) and these treats are a little on the small side for her. However, she's a bit of a fussy eater and was refusing to eat her meal this evening. I mixed just four of these little treats in to her meal and it was enough to get her interested in eating all of it! So a definite thumbs up from the dog on taste!

The treats are high in meat content (pork with chicken) and have all natural ingredients - no nasty preservatives or artificial colours/flavours.

The re-sealable tube is handy and keeps the treats fresh.

Showing Up: How to Make a Greater Impact at Work
Showing Up: How to Make a Greater Impact at Work
by Tim Robson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars School with pay?, 8 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book didn't hit the mark for me because it's base premise was that work is like school with pay. The assumption is that we carry our school behaviours into the workplace and function within 5 paradigms: teacher knows best, do what you're told, don't answer back, don't copy and stay out of trouble. I just couldn't identify with that as a working reality for me.

The solutions to breaking those paradigms and creating new ones were a little more helpful and focused on 5 new paradigms: think, create, believe, connect and all-is-well. These were more familiar workplace environments for me which suggests that this book isn't the right one for me and I'm fortunate in the workplace and approach to work that I have.

The next section is about the four components that support the five new paradigms, this section was more practically helpful for me. There are also examples of where successful people have taken a similar approach to that suggested. This felt a much more pragmatic and practical section. There are some really nice suggestions and I particularly liked the chapter about Your Time.

Overall, not the right book for me but some useful parts to this book.

by Eric Holubow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £41.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 8 Sep 2014
This review is from: ABANDONED (Hardcover)
This book provides a look into those abandoned and crumbling buildings that most of us wouldn't dare to venture within or possibly even notice. The photographs show a mixture of grandure and decay, a mixture of emptiness and abrupt departure. There is the disbelief that buildings can be left to rot and there is disbelief that the building could ever have contained what it did.

Some of the images give a feeling of sadness for what might have been or what has been lost but all of them are compelling and captivating. The captions and short section introductions provide some context for the images and some idea of the relevance of the building within its time, but the text doesn't quite give enough and you search the images for more clues of the people that used it inhabit these places and the stories that the buildings contained.

A facinating book with stunning imagery.

I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Year-Round Slow Cooker
Year-Round Slow Cooker
Price: £9.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Flavour and Variety, 7 Sep 2014
The Year-Round Slow Cooker is a modern looking and well presented book with recipes which are organised around the four seasons of the year. The seasonal approach means the the vegetables and fruits of each season are emphasised in the recipes for that section.

Each recipe follows the format of prep time, and slow cooking time in the top left-hand corner then the title of the recipe followed by the list of ingredients and number of servings. Underneath the ingredients list is the step-by-step methods which usually include tips or serving suggestions. Most recipes have lovely full page photographs, but not all. The instructions are well written and practical, often giving very specific guidance on working the food i.e. "breaking up the tomatoes with the back of the spoon".

The book is interspersed with tips on slow cooking and different ingredients. For example there are tips on converting standard oven and stove recipes to slow cooker recipes, tips on preparing certain foods for the slow cooker and there are 'spotlight' tips on more unusual foods such as collard greens and Jerusalem artichokes. These 'spotlight' features make for a very comprehensive book which will help maximise what you can achieve with your slow cooker.

Most of the ingredients will be easy to find, but some are more unusual. One example would be kholrabi (also known as stem or turnip cabbage) but the recipe also gives alternatives that can be used if you can't source kholrabi (i.e. turnips or carrots). So the recipes encourage you to try new things but are also pragmatic if you can't get the more unusual ingredients.

There is a real variety of recipes on offer in this book and the focus is on using a variety of ingredients with good flavour from herbs and spices. Most of the recipes are for savoury main courses, but there are a few breakfast and dessert recipes too. Many recipes involve meat, as it does cook so well in a slow cooker, but there are vegetable based dishes too.

The book is an American book so expect the measurements to be US based (cups and pounds are prevalent) and some naming to be different (i.e. zucchini rather than courgette). I didn't find the US units to be a problem but you will need to convert or have cups ready to measure ingredients etc.

Overall a very nice book with a great selection of flavoursome recipes that would only be improved with more photographs of all the recipes. Inclusion of ingredients in grams as well as cups/pounds/oz would also be an improvement.

I received a free electronic copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

ESPRIT 103EG1Y015 Women's Loungewear Black Size 14
ESPRIT 103EG1Y015 Women's Loungewear Black Size 14
Price: £18.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Knitted style, 6 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are comfortable loungewear with a knitted style.They are cuffed at the ankle which should stop them riding up when sleeping, but the right ankle on my pair is a little too loose, hence the four stars, and the right leg does ride up to the knee, irritating. Otherwise these are really nice to wear.

Kong Air Dog Squeaker Tennis Balls Large 2pk
Kong Air Dog Squeaker Tennis Balls Large 2pk
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Squeak!, 6 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Slightly larger than a standard tennis ball size, these have a great squeak and my dog loves chucking it about and making it squeak. They are robust balls (although not indestructible) and if we make sure she doesn't chew them then they last a long time even with lots of squeaking.

A fun toy for a reasonable cost.

Camilla Kerslake
Camilla Kerslake
Offered by b68solutions
Price: £2.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Voice, 6 Sep 2014
This review is from: Camilla Kerslake (Audio CD)
We saw Camilla Kerslake perform live recently while we were on holiday and we were blown away by the purity and power of her voice. On stage she has such presence I was amazed when I spoke to her afterwards and released how petite she is! I would recommend either of her albums, they have a good selection of music and show off the versatility of her voice. This self-titled album is her first album (2009) and "Moments" is her second (2011). This album also includes some bonus Christmas tracks.

I hope she brings out another album very soon. Easy to listen to, beautiful voice.

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