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Bee of Good Cheer (England)
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Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Musical Gym
Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Musical Gym
Price: £35.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for young babies, 24 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Fisher-Price has been a reliable name for baby and children's toys since before I was a tot, so I was expecting a good quality toy and wasn't disappointed.

The gym assembles and disassembles quickly (apart from the musical mirror set up - you need to find a tiny screwdriver and AAA batteries first) but is sturdy in use for safety. The quality of materials and stitching is excellent, and will easily withstand a young baby's attempts at destruction/ingestion/covering in bodily fluids as what isn't machine washable is easily wiped clean.

With lots of different toys and sounds, this should keep the little one amused, and if they become very fond of one item, these can be removed and attached to pushchair/cot etc.

Bright and gender neutral, this is very attractive. I particularly like the BEE :)

My one little gripe is that the washing instructions label is stitched to the front of the mat, covering the design - surely it would be better on the back?


Rapesco Heavy Duty Punch, Hole Punch, P1100
Rapesco Heavy Duty Punch, Hole Punch, P1100
Price: £52.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Big and beefy, 24 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Even having seen the dimensions in the description, I hadn't really realised just how big this would be ... it's not something that can be shoved into a desk drawer, that's for sure.

However, the weight and heft are necessary for it to do the required punching through thick documents and solved my problem of needing to punch holes in magazines for filing - and the force needed gives me a workout at the same time.

It won't win any awards for aesthetics, but it does what it's designed to!


The Cabana Cookbook
The Cabana Cookbook
by Lizzy Barber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye catching design and zingy recipes, 24 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Cabana Cookbook (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you're fed up of black print on white paper in your cookbooks, this is the one for you - it looks like a Brazilian carnival has been distilled and splashed across the pages, they are so colourful and full of life and movement!

However, don't let the wacky design fool you - this is a cookbook with a deep love of Brazilian food and Brazilian culture imbued within it, and the recipes are designed to bring the relatively unknown flavours of that vast country to a wider audience.

Whilst for some ingredients you'll need access to a major large supermarket or specialty shop, most are relatively easy to access, and there aren't great long lists of them for each recipe. Emphasis seems to be on quality and freshness, with vibrant flavours and simple methods. Yes, there's lots of barbecued meats, but there's lots of fruit and vegetables in there - and even cocktails, sauces and salads.

With snippets of information about Brazilian life and culture - and even instructions on how to dance the samba - this is as much a book to read as to cook from.

I definitely enjoyed it - but perhaps it's not one that will be on the England Football team's shopping list!


Bibetta Neoprene Children's Lunch Bag (Turqoise Bird)
Bibetta Neoprene Children's Lunch Bag (Turqoise Bird)
Price: £14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Holds masses, and is easy to clean., 19 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm surprised that this is sold as a children's lunch bag - never mind lunch, this would fit in several day's worth of food for the average kid! As such, it's fab for me - I'm following Slimming World, so I'm generally taking loads of fresh fruit, veg, fat free yogurts and the like for a working day and the bag just swallows all that it's given. The neoprene stretches to accommodate the different shapes of container and fruit, and still allows the bag to zip easily.

I've had a couple of spills - the protection isn't great, so battered pears and leaky lids have meant I've needed to wipe and wash the bag, but that's easily done and the marks have not persisted.

The bag is actually a much brighter turquoise than pictured, which I like, but it might bother other people.

The only thing I would change is adding a shoulder strap, as I have a longish walk to work, and it would make carrying it easier.


A Scandal in Spixworth: A Walton Cumberfield Mystery
A Scandal in Spixworth: A Walton Cumberfield Mystery

1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying, 12 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I felt the protagonist was really annoying, so I gave up very quickly - can anyone really be so stupid and lacking in self-awareness? There were some witty moments, but not enough.


OZONE Neon Precision Laser Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse - Black
OZONE Neon Precision Laser Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse - Black
Price: £41.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and smooth, 12 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My boyfriend has a habit of not using his cordless mouse on his laptop and “borrowing” my corded mouse instead, so when I was given this to review, I passed it onto him.

It’s obviously a good sign that I haven’t had my mouse taken since, and that boyfriend has stuck with the review one. He likes the fact that the cable is really flexible as it’s braided, not extruded, and the mouse itself is smooth and responsive.

However, we’re not quite sure why it’s called a gaming mouse, as there’s no “extra” buttons or functions, and it’s not noticeably faster.

All in all, a good mouse, but not great, and not really different enough to justify the price tag.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 22, 2014 2:16 PM BST


Knitting Smitten: 20 Fresh and Funky Hand-knit Designs (Simple Makes)
Knitting Smitten: 20 Fresh and Funky Hand-knit Designs (Simple Makes)
by Jessica Biscoe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

4.0 out of 5 stars A good resource for beginners, 12 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was lucky enough to be taught to knit as a small child by my mum, but not everyone is so fortunate!

Although a lot of the contents of this book could be obtained for free elsewhere (for example YouTube for tutorials, Ravelry for patterns) this is a nice resource for a beginner or improver knitter and has been well thought out and put together.

The photography is excellent, and the instructions nice and clear. The author doesn’t shy away from knitting in the round or colourwork either, which many beginner books don’t cover. The designs are straightforward but have a modern twist, so should suit a wide audience – although not sure about the bow tie for a dog!

Although there’s nothing terribly new about the approach or the patterns, I think this would make an excellent gift or self-purchase for someone taking up knitting for the first time.


Finish Power and Pure Quantum (Pack of 1, Total 40 Tablets)
Finish Power and Pure Quantum (Pack of 1, Total 40 Tablets)
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Efficient and effective but not sure of the benefits of no packaging., 12 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I moved into my flat late last year, I became the proud user of a dishwasher for the very first time. It has been a revelation, but the first time I went to buy the detergent, I was taken aback by the prices of the leading brands, and opted for a supermarket own brand - which worked out around 10 pence per tablet as opposed to 36-40 pence for the big brands, including Finish.

I have been perfectly happy with my own brand (apart from the smell) so I was interested to try this product - at nearly four times the price, would it be four times as good?

With no inner wrapper, first impressions of the block are that it feels slightly squidgy and sticky - like a gummy sweet, so I guess it would be even more important that usual to keep the tablets out of the reach of children/pets. It's also really important to handle them with dry hands.

As I live on my own during the week, I only run the dishwasher every couple of days so things do get dried on whilst waiting. The tablets removed all food debris efficiently, and left the dishes shining. There's more shine to my cutlery with these tablets than with my usual ones, and no overpowering smell of detergent when I open the dishwasher either.

So, to sum up, I like these tablets, and would buy them if I came across them at a reasonable price (say 15-20p per tablet) but the premium price doesn't mean the performance is increased by the same amount.


Braun Silk-épil 7 7569 - Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras (Including Shaver Head and Trimmer Cap, Cleansing Brush for Face)
Braun Silk-épil 7 7569 - Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras (Including Shaver Head and Trimmer Cap, Cleansing Brush for Face)
Price: £99.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, efficient and surprisingly painless! (Yes, really!), 15 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not a hugely hairy person and during the winter months, hide my fluffy pins underneath trousers and opaque tights. But, the warmer weather means sheer tights or bare legs and I prefer the smooth look then. I normally just shave my legs and save waxing for pre-holiday treats.

There were lots of bits to unpack, and quite a chunky instruction book to read - fortunately, this was because it was in numerous languages, not because of the complexity of the instructions! I quickly popped the unit onto charge - fortunately, as I use an electric toothbrush, I had a shaver to 3 pin plug adapter so I could get started right away. The unit took just under an hour and then it was ready for the big test!

I have heard and read horror stories about how painful using an epilator can be, so I was braced ... once I'd managed to turn the unit on (the switch is very stiff!) I ran it up my leg and all I felt was a slight scratch, as if I was using a cheap disposable razor - and yet I could see the hair had gone. The massage head was leaving little tracks on my admittedly rather dry skin so I switched to the "efficiency head" which helped. The light did help spot hairs, but in daylight, I did notice the odd missed hair or too. It took longer than shaving, but less time than home waxing to do my legs, and made the best job yet of the bumpy bits round my knees.

Buoyed by my success I moved onto my underarms. Results were a little more mixed here - it was harder to keep the skin taut, so a couple of times I pinched some skin with the tweezers - which did hurt and has left red marks which have persisted. I think my technique will improve with time and possibly with using another head.

I have yet to try the facial brush, so will revise the review once I have.

I've been really impressed with this so far - and especially the lack of pain. I think the most painful aspect would be paying the full price for this unit - ouch!

Edited to add: Hair has regrown to several millimetres in only 2 weeks, so it's a little disappointing in the long lasting effects stakes. Will persist, and hope that this improves over time as I get the little blighters in the right stages of their growth cycle.


Sunshine On Leith
Sunshine On Leith
Price: £9.49

5.0 out of 5 stars So cheery!, 15 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sunshine On Leith (Audio CD)
I loved the film, so bought the soundtrack to add to my MP3 player. The Proclaimer covers make me smile broadly on the upbeat numbers, and wistful on the lovely version of "Sunshine on Leith" by Jane Horrockes.


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