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Miss K (UK)
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The Angel at No. 33
The Angel at No. 33
by Polly Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A funny & touching read!, 14 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Angel at No. 33 (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sophie dies but she isn't ready to leave yet so she sticks around (as a ghost) to see how all her loved ones are coping with her sudden departure. Unfortunately, this means watching without being able to actually DO anything to help/console/fix or intervene as her secrets start to unravel.

This is a heart-warming story which is both funny and touching. It's a light/easy read, despite dealing with the difficult subject of bereavement. It's quite well-written in my opinion and I actually didn't mind the fact that the story was slightly predictable - I enjoyed it regardless.

The mix of humour/wit and poignancy of the story, makes this both an entertaining and satisfying read. I hadn't heard of the author prior to reading this but on the strength of this book, I will definitely read something by her again.


Nakd Wildly Different Orange Infused Raisins 25 g (Pack of 18)
Nakd Wildly Different Orange Infused Raisins 25 g (Pack of 18)
Offered by UK ONLINE
Price: £10.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flavoured raisins!, 25 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a fan of raisins anyway so I knew I'd probably like these. The orange flavour is citrus-ey and not too overwhelming. As far as 'wildly different' goes, they are not that different to other raisins I've tried by other brands (I'm thinking of all the infused raisins in my Graze boxes) but there's definitely nothing like this in my local supermarket and it's brilliant having them in a handy pocket sized pack (1 of 5 a day fruit/veg). Not sure they will convert people who detest raisin but they are certainly tasty and I'd order them again.


H & L Russel Ltd 9 x 45 x 30 cm Sweater Bag with Inside Store Pocket, Pack Of 2, Pink Candy Strip
H & L Russel Ltd 9 x 45 x 30 cm Sweater Bag with Inside Store Pocket, Pack Of 2, Pink Candy Strip

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Handy storage bags for small spaces, 25 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These bags are a pretty pastel pink. Not sure what the fabric is but it's like very strong, breathable tissue (strong enough that it won't rip) The bags have a suitcase style so there's a useful handle and a zip that goes all the way round the front and sides and it opens up like a suitcase.

I had planned to use these in the small space above my hanging rail in the wardrobe but the bags are too flimsy: I was expecting a hard board base so that the bags would keep their shape, but these really are just 'bags' so there's no hard board included. Nothing to stop you from adding your own board if you need the bags to keep the shape instead of being floppy. As they are though, the bags are ideal for storing/protecting and keeping things dust-free in the wardrobe (on shelves or other small flat spaces). These are listed as 'sweater bags' and there's room for one (maybe two) chunkier sweaters or more if they are thinner knits. My sock drawer is overflowing so I'm using the bags for winter tights and socks at the moment, though I think maybe there might be other uses (just not had any ideas yet!)

For a pack of two, these are good value for around a fiver. They're just about pretty enough to have 'out' on open shelves if you don't mind the tissue cloth-type fabric. The relatively small size (and the 9cm height in particular) make them quite handy for small spaces. You could use them vertically too if you have little spaces on the sides of your wardrobe or gaps in between furniture.


Coriolanus [DVD] [2011]
Coriolanus [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Ralph Fiennes
Price: £3.75

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Shakespearean Tragedy (in a good way) ...engrossing stuff!, 24 May 2012
This review is from: Coriolanus [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Admittedly I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this. Like lots of people, I've watched the (almost obligatory) modern re-tellings of Shakespeare after having studied the plays at school (Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet spring to mind) Coriolanus however is not a play I've read and I was doubtful, given the subject matter, that I would enjoy it.

It's a tragic story about a General who vows revenge on his own people after he is humiliated and excised from his country. The story explores various themes including pride, power, honour, hatred, revenge and compassion. It's a visual film with physical action but apart from the violent opening and violent ending, the rest of the film doesn't contain very much violence. I'm always a bit anxious about Shakespearean plots but the film makes it so that the political storylines are really very easy to grasp.

The story is gripping and I was thoroughly engrossed in the drama of it all. The acting is really quite brilliant, though you have to expect it's going to be 'over-acted'... it's meant to be this way: dramatic and theatrical. Ralph Fiennes' performance as the unlikeable General, is particularly convincing; the Shakespearean dialogue is like second nature and there's real rhythm, pace and passion in the way he delivers his lines. It's a little difficult to decode and follow at the start but I think it just takes a while (for non-Shakesperean buffs like me) to get used to it. I had a brainwave a few minutes in and decided to stick the subtitles on, which oddly really helped... Maybe reading the dialogue helps to reinforce what's being said? It helped me anyway!

If you like a bit of Shakespeare already, I think you'll definitely appreciate this. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea when you consider the brutal military setting coupled with the Shakespearean dialogue but if you're willing to keep an open mind, you might be surprised: I didn't think I'd like it after all... I was suprised Ralph Fiennes directed & produced this (on top of starring in the film too) and was even more surprised to learn that Will Young (yes, the musician!) worked as an executive producer. I have to confess it was hard not seeing a bit of Voldemort in Coriolanus (there are definitely similarities!!) but no doubt this only enhanced my enjoyment of the film!:D It's pretty gripping stuff overall and I'm so glad I gave it a chance. Definitely worth a watch.


NG Angry Birds Space
NG Angry Birds Space
by National Geographic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Space facts for kids, in Angry Birds packaging, 10 May 2012
This review is from: NG Angry Birds Space (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a cool book, similarly designed to the Angry Birds Space game. The book is packed with facts and trivia about space - there's not much actually on the birds themselves. It's described as a 'companion book' to the game, so I expected there to be a bit more of a tie-in with the Angry Birds - hints, tips, comedy insights into the bird characters perhaps? I think fans of the game would have really appreciated extras like this but as it stands, the book is predominantly a fact book on Space, neatly packaged with an Angry Birds theme.

It's good entertainment for kids and a fun learning-aide of sorts! Adults can dip into it too, though without any Angry Birds trivia etc, it doesn't hold quite the same kind of appeal.


Nutmeg
Nutmeg
Price: £3.06

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relationships, truth, lies and the power of imagination..., 5 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nutmeg (Kindle Edition)
I must say that the first few pages (which I sampled before purchasing the book) were eloquent and stylistically interesting and I expected a book that would be highly original and unique. In some ways it IS these things but in other ways it's also fairly formulaic. It's slightly confused too; at times I felt I was reading a light-hearted chick-lit and other times, the book felt a lot more literary.

I don't really want to label this as your average chick-lit because there's a fair bit of depth and complexity to the story and the characters. It's an enjoyable and entertaining story about relationships, truth, lies and the power of imagination. Cocooned in childhood memories full of fantasy and a terminally ill mother who refuses to accept the truth (or tell it), Meg is determined to reconcile the stories and separate fact from fiction. She soon finds though that doing a jigsaw puzzle when you don't really know what picture you're making is not only harder than it looks, but you also risk creating something you really don't want to see in the end.

The writer shows a lot of promise with this book. I loved Meg's mother in the story and the exploration of their mother-daughter relationship (the real heart of the book) was especially interesting. Admittedly I found Meg herself to be much harder to like and her immaturity and lack of self-awareness to be rather frustrating. This I am sure is how you're supposed to feel towards Meg though and I did find myself warming to her towards the end.

The book deals with some serious issues but glosses over them somewhat - what you DO get though, feels right for this book. It is ultimately a heart-warming story and the message you take from it is an optimistic one. It's a light read but it's got substance, which I really liked. Definitely worth a read!


Plantronics Voyager B230 PRO UC Bluetooth Headset (Standard Version)
Plantronics Voyager B230 PRO UC Bluetooth Headset (Standard Version)

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant bluetooth headset which pairs with two phones, 25 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The packaging is impressive and you get a lot of little bits and pieces included in the box compared to other headsets I've had in the past. You get a nice sturdy faux leather case which I really like and there's also a pouch to store everything else (cable, extra ear pieces etc)

The headset itself is a little on the heavy side, with the bulk of the weight being behind the ear. Despite the weight, the headset feels comfortable in the ear and after a few days, I got used to it (doesn't feel heavy at all now). The headset has an extended microphone arm which is unobtrusive and also adjustable which means you can wear this headset on either the RIGHT OR LEFT EAR.

The buttons take a bit of getting used to. The volume buttons are positioned on the top which isn't AS practical as having a volume slide switch along the side. The power on/off button is located close to the bottom of the piece which isn't as practical as having a switch on the big flat part - pressing the button also tells you the battery life. The main 'call' button is at the start of the arm and this one is really easy to use - you can answer/end calls and redial last call using this.

THE SOFTWARE
I wanted to start by saying that the headset will work perfectly fine even if you don't download any of the software or firmware updates - you can charge it up, pair it with your mobile phone and you're ready to go.

I was a little bit disappointed with the Plantronics website / lack of instruction in the manual - took a bit of looking around to figure out which software to actually download. The 'My Headset Updater' will allow you to get firmware updates to your headset and control such things as language & alert preferences and whether you want the smart sensors on or off. There are also apps available for download - Plantronics Vocalyst (chargeable) lets you control your headset with your voice. I have a voice control on my phone and never use it so didn't bother with this for the headset.

FUNTIONALITY
The voice in the headset will tell you how much battery life is remaining (even during a call) when you press the on button - it will round up to the hour so you get "talktime, 6 hours" rather than "battery level is high" as with other headsets I've used.

Pairing the phone is easy although it doesn't say anywhere that you need to keep the on button pressed until your phone actually finds the device - it won't connect if you let go as soon as you see the blue light (took me a few minutes to figure this out)

Importantly, the headset will connect to TWO devices so if like me you use two mobile phones, you can actually pair the headset to both. The headset works great with both my Android and my Blackberry. You can also pair the phone to your PC if you make calls in this way. To connect to multiple phones, all you need to do is pair one phone and then pair the second phone as normal - the voice in the headset will confirm this as "phone two connected." Once paired, you'll be able to use the headset with both phones to make/receive calls.

The headset also has a SMART SENSOR which has a few nice features, the main one being able to activate itself when you put the headset in your ear. This feature is 'on' by default and if you don't want the auto answer, you can disable it using the software (as mentioned earlier). This feature is wonderful because it means you can actually just leave the headset on the desk (or wherever) and when someone calls you, you put the headset on and it will answer the call by itself - this is perfect for me because keeping any headset in my ear all day long leads to earache!

SOUND QUALITY
The sound is crisp and clean. I've experienced very little interference and no crackling even when moving around.

BATTERY
You get 6 hours talktime and the headset will charge up fully in an hour and 30 minutes (it's about half this the first time you charge) The charge time is pretty quick compared to other headsets I've used.

CONCLUSION
Headsets are pretty much essential in this day and age for anyone who needs to keep their hands free while using the phone. I've used a lot of headsets and this is easily the best one I've owned simply because it delivers on what it promises. It's pricier than other headsets on the market and I can see it appealing more to the busy business user who will use all the extras but I think it will also appeal to anyone who just wants a top quality headset with a few extra features than your average headset. Fair enough it doesn't have a little portable charger unit I can carry around (like my old Jabra Stone); and the headset is a bit bigger with oddly positioned buttons that take getting used to, but having the Smart Sensor more than makes up for it. It's a comfortable device and it's reliable. It pairs TWO phones, which I think is invaluable as now I only need to carry around one headset instead of two. If your budget will allow for it, this is an impressive headset all-round and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Highly recommended.
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Glamour: Making it Modern
Glamour: Making it Modern
by Michael Lassell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £23.55

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring book of glam interiors, 24 April 2012
This is a lovely book with lots of beautiful imagery to indulge in and get inspiration from. There is a good mix of different interior styles ranging from modern glam to the more traditional. There are a few quirky interiors too and it's really nice having a book like this that shows you beautiful interiors that have actually made use of colour as opposed to just doing everything in neutral shades. I also like that the interiors shown in this book are ones that you could actually take inspiraion from and apply to your own home - I've flicked through other books where the homes are so opulent that there's not much I can see myself being able to use in my own home given the kind of spaces we have and the budget we're limited by - nothing wrong with that kind of book, but we are doing up our house at the moment and I wanted a book that would give me visual inspiration that I could actually use.

Style is about personal taste and while I can't say I like ALL the interiors shown in this book, there is definitely more to like than dislike. I also love the way the book has been written - there's more writing than I expected for a book of this kind and both the captions and the chapter introductions are impecabbly well-written and engaging. All in all, the book is a real joy to 'consume' and perfect if you're looking for some inspiration for your own home or if you're an interior design fan and just want a new coffee table to indulge in!


AmazonBasics 3-Button USB Wired Mouse Black
AmazonBasics 3-Button USB Wired Mouse Black
Price: £6.99

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT WIRED MOUSE!, 23 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
WOW! Didn't think I could be so impressed by a bargain mouse, but I am. I've always used wired mice and this one is fantastic. It's a little smaller than my previous Logitech one but I actually prefer this size (I'm female, small hands) It's a nice looking mouse which feels comfortable to use and it's got a kind of soft-touch coating so it feels nice against the skin. Most importantly, it's reliable and has fantastic responsiveness; it's certainly more sensitive than my previous mouse and a lot lighter. I'm using the mouse without a mousemat and this feels fine. The mouse scroll is smooth and easy to glide and the button clicks are quiet, quick and responsive - all in all, it's a really effortless experience.

This is a basic mouse that doesn't promise anything fancy but it's everything the average user needs. It feels good to use and it's accurate and responsive. Honestly, I cannot fault it or its bargain price! Very highly recommended.


Nakd Cocoa Orange Gluten Free Bar 35 g (Pack of 18)
Nakd Cocoa Orange Gluten Free Bar 35 g (Pack of 18)
Offered by Team Nutrition
Price: £13.70

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A healthier chocolate fix..., 21 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are absolutely lush! I'm not so keen on some of the other nakd bar flavours, but this one I definitely like. Tastes chocolatey and the orange is not too overwhelming. What's amazing is these bars are basically just dates, cashews and raisins with a bit of cocoa, all 'smooshed' together - don't know why no one thought of doing this sooner!:P

The bars are firm but soft to bite into (no doubt this is because of the 40% date content) and the chopped up cashews add a bit of texture. The bars are moist which makes a change to the usual, dry cereal bar alternatives. With no added sugar and only 1g of saturated fat per bar, they are a healthier option to chocolate and other snacks. The bars are also dairy, wheat and gluten free and suitable for vegetarians & vegans.

Nutrition info, per bar:
145 calories
7g fat (1g saturated fat)
4g protein
16g carbs
2g fibre

I absolutely love these - the bars are a decent snack size and certainly enough when you've got a sweet craving. They also count as 1 of your 5 a day of fruit & veg, which is an added bonus. I concede that if you don't like dates, it's possible you might not love these as much as I do but they are definitely worth a try. I actually picked up singles of all the flavours from my local supermarket and sampled them this way before buying a boxful from Amazon. I'm definitely a fan and the bars get my seal of approval! :D


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