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Reviews Written by
C. M. Cotton "Chris Cotton" (Europe and USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

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QuickBooks Pro 2015 (PC)
QuickBooks Pro 2015 (PC)
Price: £99.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good but Basic Package, 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: QuickBooks Pro 2015 (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I now run several businesses in the UK. I use an accountant I have known for many years and have always been happy with their service. I have had very little need for such software, especially given the price of accounting software packages. I am not a computer whiz and sometimes find complicated Microsoft software packages difficult to use.

I received this software free of charge via the Amazon Vine programme. In truth I would not have bought such software, given my relationship with my accountant. I therefore used this opportunity to try the software without any risk or guilt. As this is the second tine of using I am getting used to how the programme works and the ultimate ease of use.

It was simplicity itself to install. The software gives you a comprehensive and easy to use accounting package. Whilst my area of business pertains to the service sector and does require the holding of stock, the software can easily handle business situations where stock control is necessary. It can easily track sales, expenses and profits and can create professional looking invoices using PDF's for emails. It can automatically calculate VAT and creates an Efile so you can send it directly to HMRC. It works with all Office programmes so there is great compatibility, so allowing greater ease of use. It also allows you to create budgets and cash flow projections. In short this software can handle virtually anything a small to medium sized business can throw at it. This version does not include payroll software which some other programmes give you, allowing you to calculate wages, NI, Tax for your employees.

A final note on this particular package, there is a difference between Quickbooks Pro 2015 and Premier 2015 software. The Premier software contains additional Time Saving Tools such as, the ability to create budgets and cash flow forecasts, it allows you to create back orders and so automatically set stock aside for order fulfillment, track unbilled expenses and allow you to set different prices on the same item depending upon client or job. All of these time saving options work in the same intuitive way as the rest of the package.

Whilst I am a stick in the mud and like the reassurance that my accountant brings, this software is the next best thing. It is easy to use and does virtually everything you will require. A great product at a great price, compared to other accounting software packages.


Kid Galaxy Mega Morphibian Crocodile
Kid Galaxy Mega Morphibian Crocodile
Price: £20.35

3.0 out of 5 stars Good Idea, Poor Construction, 25 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a boy I always wanted a remote control car. When I finally received one I spent hours playing with it, all it did was go foward or spin in a circle. A bit basic but a lot of fun. In theory this car would be any boys dream, a car that goes through water, mud and normal terrain. The problem with this product is that it is spoilt by several things.

Firstly the batteries are difficult to put in. You need a screwdriver to access the recessed screw. This would not be so bad, but the unit has no on/off switch. This means the only way to turn it off is to get the screwdriver and take the battery out. This is crazy.

Second, it does not come with batteries. This is poor but not a deal killer.

Thirdly, this is not a top quality product. The remote is quite poorly made and has no metal antenna, just a dangling wire. Everything feel flimsy and very plastic.

Once in operation and if you can ignore the faults, this is quite a good toy. It is fun to play with and I am sure, so long as it does not break, it will give hours of pleasure.

If you are happy to accept the shortcomings of this product, then it is quite a good toy and I can recommend it with caution.


Gro Hush Baby Calmer
Gro Hush Baby Calmer
Price: £34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good but Maybe Not Great, 21 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product is small and fits into the hand of an adult. The idea is to turn the white noise machine on, put the speaker to the baby's ear and the noise cancellation properties should help relax the child and send it off to sleep. There are 3 sounds to choose from, heart beat, rain and waves. The sound level is set at a low 75Db and there is a strap on the device, so as to attach it to your hand. It does not come with any batteries, Sounds good in theory, but does it work? So far we have to say it has helped, to a great extent. It certainly has a calming effect, but it has not had the "magic" effect of putting the baby to sleep. We will certainly keep trying the device and update as we progress. This is the only reason I refrained from giving it 5 stars.

Overall this is a well made item, that certainly has a calming effect. Recommended.


Karin Herzog Eye Cream 15 ml
Karin Herzog Eye Cream 15 ml
Price: £42.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, 20 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am always on the look out for products that will put me in the good books of Mrs C. When this came up on the Vine list I jumped at the chance of trying it. It comes in a very small tube, but unlike the Karin Herzog Mask product I reviewed earlier, you only need to apply a small amount to the eye area to make a big difference. It is very noticeable that after 2 applications the puffiness has diminished and her eyes look different.

Simply put, this is a product that works and works very quickly at reducing the puffiness around the eyes. I am therefore happy to recommend it.


Karin Herzog Essential Mask Hydrating Face Mask 50 ml
Karin Herzog Essential Mask Hydrating Face Mask 50 ml
Price: £52.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Does Work but Expensive, 20 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Mrs C sometimes suffers from problematic skin. She has tried many different creams and masks to help take away the blemishes that crop up from time to time. This face mask is not cheap, in fact for the size of the tube it could be considered very expensive, but does it work?

It comes with a brush, which you use to put a thick layer of creme onto the skin. After leaving it the appropriate time, you wash it off and in theory it should hydrate the skin, making it feel clean and supple. Certainly the product made my wife's skin glow with health, far more than it did before. It also helped cleanse the skin of blemishes. So yes it did help the skin but it also uses quite a lot of the product with each application.

Overall this is a great product which does cleanse the skin brilliantly, whilst leaving it hydrated and supple. It is expensive, but it also does work. I am happy to recommend it, to the less price consciousness consumer.


Hotpoint Slow Juicer, 400 Watt, Silver
Hotpoint Slow Juicer, 400 Watt, Silver
Price: £99.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but Slow, 20 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have owned many different makes of domestic juicer, from the expensive Magimix, Phillips to a cheaper Breville and Kenwood juice fountain, many have been given to me via the Vine programme. All the juicers I have tested, have had faults with things I did not like. The Phillips was returned after 3 days of juicing after a part broke and it could not juice bananas/soft fruit. The Kenwood needed new filters every 3 months and became too expensive to own. The Magimix was simply hopeless in all departments and the most expensive. So far the Breville Juice Fountain has lasted the longest and has generally made very good juice. All the juicers I have tried so far are centrifugal machines, which means a filter sieve whizzes round at high speed and you push the fruit/veg against the blades of the sieve which in turn extracts the juice. This machines is totally different, it is a slow juicer, which means the system crushes the fruit to extract the juice rather than a centrifugal sieve shredding the fruit/veg. So is this juicer better than the usual centrifugal type?

This machine looks top quality and is built to a very high standard. The juice it produces is excellent and tastes better than a centrifugal one. I do not feel the slow process is a gimmick, as I can taste the difference. The big problem is that you have to cut the fruit into small slices and the juicing process is slow and takes far more time than the normal machine. The other advantage I have found , with this machine, is regards cleaning. As there is no sieve with holes in, which clogs with pulp, this juicer is quicker to clean than the centrifugal type. Overall, if you can accept the slower juice time and the fact you must cut the fruit and veg into smaller pieces, which takes more time than the normal juicer, this is a great machine, which produces better tasting juice.

I am happy to recommend this product.


Konstsmide Lightsets Outdoor 3612-110 19.04 m 120 Micro LED Fairy Lights, Warm White
Konstsmide Lightsets Outdoor 3612-110 19.04 m 120 Micro LED Fairy Lights, Warm White
Price: £24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the Price, 18 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One aspect of the Christmas celebrations I really enjoy is the putting up of the Christmas Lights. When these were offered on Vine, I jumped at getting a set and I am so glad I did. They come with a ong cable, before the actual lights start, about 10 m before the first LED. When the LED's do start they are well spaced at about 16cm apart. Stretched out to full length they measure about 19 meters long, so perfect for a small outdoor tree. The LED's are small but very bright, but there is no chaser function, they are simply static. The one downside is the LEDs cannot be replaced, but it stated that they should last 50,000 hours.

Overall these are a great set of Christmas lights and I am happy to recommend them.


Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer 2013 Wine 75 cl (Case of 3)
Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer 2013 Wine 75 cl (Case of 3)
Price: £31.56

3.0 out of 5 stars OK but there are better wines on the market, 15 Sep 2014
I am not a great fan of white wines but I was asked to test this wine by Amazon. This South African white Blanc de Mer offers a very light white colour, with a bouquet of sweet lemons. The taste is quite frankly mediocre, with an anonymous taste. It has a slightly effervescent fizz to it but this does not save it. This is the type of wine that would be placed on the table, in a good restaurant, if you asked for the House White. To sum this wine up, it is pleasing without inspiring. It can be drunk with chicken, salads or on its own. If you are looking for a light white that will offend no one, this may be the wine for you.


Ernie Els Wines Big Easy 2012 Wine 75 cl (Case of 3)
Ernie Els Wines Big Easy 2012 Wine 75 cl (Case of 3)
Price: £43.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Great with Cheese and Beef, 15 Sep 2014
This is a mix of 6 wines but is predominantly a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon blend. The noise is that of a bramble bush just past full bloom. It has a wonderful light cherry colour. The colour belies the taste, I was expecting something more akin to a fruity Pinot, yet the pallet experiences an intense blast of a bramble bush, with intense peppery overtones. The length of the wine is long and the flavour finally mellows. This is a good wine for beef and steak dishes or for a well rounded cheese tray. This is a big ambitious wine which is intense. If you want a full bodied experience, try it and you may like it. Recommended.


Paul Cluver Wines Noble Late Harvest Riesling 2012 Half Bottle Wine 37.5 cl (Case of 3)
Paul Cluver Wines Noble Late Harvest Riesling 2012 Half Bottle Wine 37.5 cl (Case of 3)
Price: £40.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Desert Wine, 15 Sep 2014
I am not a great fan of white wines and especially sweet desert wines, but I was asked to taste and test this wine for Amazon. Paul Cluver is a name that is known as a Vineyard that produces great value, boutique wines, aimed at the more discerning wine drinker. This particular Riesling benefits from the Noble process, which has created a great intense sweet desert wine. It has a delightful golden hue. Its aroma is akin to that of honey. On first tasting the wine explodes across the tongue with a sweet honey taste and as it mellows, the taste changes to overriding tones of apricot and peach. As this is a full bodied wine, you may expect high acidity, yet this was a perfectly balanced Riesling and is an almost perfect desert wine. At a price of just over £12 for half a bottle, this wine offers remarkable value and I am happy to recommend..


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