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Crafty Marie "mariej30" (Cambs)
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Timbuk2 Ballistic Envelope Sleeve for Kindle Fire HD 7" with 360 degree protection, Grey/Cold Blue (will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7" [Previous Generation])
Timbuk2 Ballistic Envelope Sleeve for Kindle Fire HD 7" with 360 degree protection, Grey/Cold Blue (will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7" [Previous Generation])
Price: 14.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Sleeve, Needs Sleeker Closure, 20 Dec 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really like this sleeve for my Kindle Fire HD. Unlike cheaper sleeves, this one has neat stitching and is well made. I don't think it looks inexpensive and I am someone who really notices little details. However, every one has different tastes and perceptions.

The fabric is thick and I love the gorgeous blue across the middle. I was concerned that the lighter grey color would stain easily but this material seems to have some kind of coating over it so nothing will sink into the fabric grains. It wipes clean easily.

When the Fire is in the case, I feel it offers quite good protection because the fabric is thick and it helps to keep the screen clean.

If I am being picky, the only thing I do not like about this sleeve is the velcro closure: 1) because it is noisy when you pull back the fastening which means that I can't sneak it out of the case quietly while hubby is sleeping and 2)the velcro fastening makes the closing flap quite bulky and not sleek unlike the rest of the case sleeve.

So I think it is a good quality sleeve but needs a rethink on the fastening.


Cath Kidston: The Collection (Sew! Stitch! and Patch!)
Cath Kidston: The Collection (Sew! Stitch! and Patch!)
by Cath Kidston
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Gorgeous Gift Set of Kidston Books, 20 Nov 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am thrilled with this gift set of Cath Kidston books to say the least. They are a beautiful set of 3 of her craft books: Sew, Stitch and Patch PLUS a bonus of a free kit to make your own Cath Kidston bag with everything you need, even a Cath Kidston label. All nicely presented in a floral case.

Anyone who delights in the sheer prettiness of Cath Kidston items should be delighted to receive such a gorgeous set. I think it makes a great gift for Christmas and birthdays, especially for someone who is either new to sewing or who likes to make pretty items. I think the books are largely aimed at beginner to intermediate sewing skills and are suitable for most people.

The books are charming to look at and have finished items that make you want to get your sewing kit out. I love the household items you can make such as the charming cushions, bag for your pegs, apron and more. I can't wait to decorate the home in a Cath Kidston style.

Unless you loath Cath Kidston or you loathe sewing, I cannot see how anyone could be disappointed with this delightful set.


Sennheiser OCX 685i Sports In-Ear canal Headphones
Sennheiser OCX 685i Sports In-Ear canal Headphones
Price: 39.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound Quality, Look a Little Flimsy, 20 Nov 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have a hard time getting headphones or earphones that not only sound good but that are comfortable to wear. These Sennheiser ones actually score pretty highly on both counts.

They come well packaged in a plastic box - so well packaged that I had to resort to a small and sharp pair of scissors to remove everything! Once I'd hacked away at the packaging to get everything out, it was pretty much ruined. However, they give you quite a nice black bag to store the instructions, headphones and earpieces in. Everything fits inside and it closes with velcro at the top - this is a neat touch as I like to keep all my items together neatly.

You get 3 different sizes of rubberized earplugs (the bit that goes in your ear) but I chose to stick with the medium size that are already fitted onto the headphones instead of fiddling around. These bits look a bit flimsy and it remains to see whether they break, tear or come off easily but they surprisingly felt comfortable inside my ears.

It took a while to get used to how these slip over the tips of your ears and slot inside but they feel incredibly comfortable and are a big step up from having a heavy headphone strap either over the top of my head or (worse) at the back of my head - both of which are uncomfortable when laying in bed to listen to music.

Soundwise sounds very nice indeed - almost as good as a more expensive pair of headphones that I have. Though I'm no music expert. It's just my personal opinion on the sound. They also seem to cancel out a lot of background noise which is great too.

I don't exercise or run with headphones in so I can't comment on that but they certainly don't slip out of my ears. They fit in snugly.

Overall, I'm very pleased with these headphones and I will be using them a lot until I get a pair of bluetooth ones - getting fed up with these wires. Oh that's another point, they give you a clip too to attache the wires to your clothing. They tried to think of everything. I never use the volume control on headphones but I suspect they work with Apple gadgets as they should.


Friends at My Table: A year of eating, drinking and making merry
Friends at My Table: A year of eating, drinking and making merry
by Alice Hart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.72

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Looking Book but Slightly Impractical, 15 Nov 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As other reviewers have pretty much stated, this is a nice looking book. I think it might make a nice gift for someone who likes to just browse through cookbooks and recipe books for ideas and inspiration. But it isn't a book that I shall be turning to with the idea of actually cooking anything.

It's a lovely book to just browse through because the photos are nice. And I suppose there are some useful snippets in there like how to use chopsticks! This was semi-useful to me because some restaurants encourage you to use them - although I've resisted so far.

But, on the negative side, most of the recipes are not for the average family or cook. Like Quail for example. Erm right, I'll just see if Tesco do those then! And what on earth is shaoxing rice wine? Anyway, some of the ingredients are really not at all practical or cheap.

One recipe calls for 6 egg yolks! 6 - does the author realise how expensive eggs are these days. Nevermind all the other top of the range ingredients. Fine if you have unlimited shopping funds or maybe if you are cooking a one-off special meal.

Trying to read this book might drive you mad. They had a field day with all the different fonts and typefaces they used and frankly it gives me a headache trying to read it. Just way too much. I just flick through the pics. Give me the hairy bikers any day!


Calculator Plus Free
Calculator Plus Free
Price: 0.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Calculator App, 30 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Calculator Plus Free (App)
This is the nicest calculator app I've used: sleek design and it remembers your calculations even after switching off. Love it.


Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation]
Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation]
Price: 99.00

4,255 of 4,468 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Me - Better than my iPad!, 25 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had an iPad 2 tablet for a while and, though I love it, it isn't the ideal tablet for me and this is mainly due to the fact that it is so large, bulky and heavy.

A 10 inch tablet is wonderful for watching movies and iPlayer stuff but I can't fit it in my bag and it is cumbersome and heavy to hold in bed at night when I like to read books with the Kindle app dimmed down.

So, as soon as I saw that Amazon were bringing out a 7 inch screen device, I jumped at the chance to get one. I had minor quibbles when I saw the iPad Mini was coming out but when I saw the price which is almost what I paid for my 10 inch iPad 2 - seriously Apple? You're having a laugh! It's way too pricy for what it is combined with the fact that the specs are not nearly as good as the Kindle Fire HD.

PROS OF KINDLE FIRE HD:

1) It is small, portable and light enough to take out with me no matter where I go. Fits into my bag very nicely while still being a useful size for Internet, email, games, books and more.

2) Quick and easy access to all your Amazon content: all my music, Kindle books, games and apps, movies from LoveFilm and Amazon shopping all in one handy place. OK you can do this with most other tablets but not so seamlessly integrated.

MP3s you buy from Amazon are automatically stored in the cloud for you for free - and you can even upload some of your own MP3 music to the cloud for free. If you want to simply add MP3s onto the device itself, you can do that by connecting your Kindle Fire to your PC with the lead it came with and then adding them manually into the correct folder - someone else said this is called the music folder. I haven't yet tried it because I haven't needed to.

3) Beautiful backlit screen with adjustable brightness, what can I say. Really looks crisper than my iPad 2 device.

Tested this in bed last night. So much lighter and easier to hold than the 10 inch iPad for reading and because it is backlit (unlike my old Kindle Keyboard) I can carry on reading it when the lights are out. You might want to try the free GSam Screen Dimmer if you need to dim the screen even more - it worked great for me.

4) Awesome sound either out loud from the speakers or with using headphones in the headphone jack. Seriously, if you are really into music, this is the tablet to get because you won't get a better sound experience even with a pricier tablet.

I tested this side by side with the same games and music on hubby's Google Nexus tablet last night and the Kindle Fire was the clear winner with regards to a richer, sound experience.

5) Easy and intuitive to use. At least it is for me anyway. The carousel displays all your most recent items. If you want to add items from the carousel into a Favourites section, press and hold down on a carousel item and choose Add to Favourites. You can see all your favourite apps etc by clicking on the Star symbol which is bottom right - love that feature.

If you don't want the last web page you looked at shown on the carousel then go to Settings | Applications | Silk - and uncheck Display most recent page in Carousel

I love the fact that Amazon recommends items that other people have bought under the items in your Carousel display. You might not like this, if so go to Settings | Applications | Amazon Home Recommendations and select hide so they do not display.

6) Appears to be very tough and well-built though I've popped it into a case as I do with most gadgets.

The wide bezel around the edge makes it easy to hold and grip the device without accidentally touching the screen and pressing something you don't want to.

CONS OF KINDLE FIRE HD:

1) Less choice of apps. You get spoiled with the Apple app store because they have so many apps. However, I did find that I got bored looking for apps on my iPad after the novelty wore off and I just used the same core set all the time. Sometimes having too much choice is simply overwhelming.

Apparently it is possible to get the Google Play apps, perhaps do an internet search on that - I'm too busy working my way through the Amazon apps right now. Might try it at some point.

2) Physical volume buttons and the Off switch are a little hard to find especially in the dark. Amazon could definitely improve on that.

It is very easy to change the volume on-screen with the top menu that slides down even when you are on the Internet or reading.

3) I want to be able to buy and own (not rent) digital movies from Amazon like the Americans do - I believe that there are more complex laws in Europe but hope that eventually this will be possible. I certainly think Amazon are trying their hardest to deliver what they can to the UK market.

I found it very hard to connect my existing Lovefilm account with the device - Amazon should make that much easier if they can. But I did get it working.

Essentially you click on the Videos section, then you click on the middle bar icon at the bottom which gives you some settings. I had to log in to LoveFilm with my existing account details, once there I clicked above a film on a link that mentioned something about connecting accounts and then logged in with my Amazon acc details to link it all up. Now my Lovefilm items come up in the Videos tab. Sorry if it is vague but that's what I remember from the process. There is help in the on device help guide too!

NOTE ON iPLAYER - yes it does work. You need to download 2 apps - BBC iPlayer and BBC Media Player. Then you just use the iPlayer app as normal and it works like a charm.

Apparently you can add your own movies but only MP4 ones that have NO protection - ie ones you got from itunes won't work because they are protected. I think you can add them by transferring with the cable - they do not show up in the Videos tab (that's Lovefilm stuff) they show up apparently in APPS / Personal Videos. I haven't tried it but read about it and hope that helps people :)

Really delighted overall with my KFHD - I can see that the iPad might be made redundant because the 7inch screen of the Kindle Fire is so much more practical for me which means it's going to get a lot more use.

Thanks Amazon!
Comment Comments (89) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2013 4:01 PM GMT


WeSC RZA Street Headphone - Black/Blue
WeSC RZA Street Headphone - Black/Blue
Price: 102.42

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich Sounding Headphones, Poor Instructions, 20 Sep 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
PROS:

1) These would make a stylish gift because the packaging is about the best I've ever witnessed with a tech product. The headphones are packed in a very smart, black box which you slide open to reveal a top layer of neatly presented accessories such as headphone cables, connector plugs and batteries. After removing the top layer of the box, you see the headphones which come with their own very plush black case.

2) The headphones themselves feel extremely well made and robust although on the large and heavy side.

3) Supplied with a very smart black, zippered cary case which is hard so will withstand knocks but is covered in an silky fabric.

4) Very useful music-share function with separate plug-in points on either earpiece.

5) A very useful additional extra long 1.5m lead with a 6.3mm conversion.

6) The headphones fold down really neatly so they fit into their supplied case.

7) The headband has useful adjustments and can even fit my head which is very small being that I am a petite 5'2 female - but they also easily fit my strapping 6' brother.

8) I was blown away with the sound. I have a cheap pair of headphones which were about the 20 mark and they sound really tinny and rubbish compared with the sound that can blast out of these WESC ones. I love the fact that the earphones cover my ears completely and drown out any other outside noise so that I'm completely immersed in the music.

CONS:

1) The handbook is next to useless being literally a case of style over substance. Lots of meaningless waffle over the design concept which I couldn't care less about and really none on the technical aspects of the headphones.

2) These headphones are very bulky and heavy (260g) so not ideal for using out and about with portable devices but good for home use.

3) I can't get the LED equalizer to work and neither can my very tech savvy brother. No explanation in the handbook.

4) The earpieces can get uncomfortable after a while and start hurting my ears. I think they need to look into the design of that.

SUMMARY:

Very sleek, stylish and well made headphones which provide a very rich sound experience for me and are a joy to listen to music with. A badly written handbook which means some functions are difficult to understand. More thought needs to be put in to the comfort in wearing these AND I think for the price, they ought to have bluetooth or wireless functionality too.


Practise & Learn: English (Age 6-7)
Practise & Learn: English (Age 6-7)
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English Confidence Booster Book, 16 Aug 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wasn't sure if my daughter would appreciate being given more 'work' to do outside of school because she does get a fair amount of homework. But she was struggling with her reading and her handwriting almost impossible to read - after a parent's evening the teacher advised doing English activities with her to boost her confidence and help her out.

We encouraged her to work through the book in short bursts of about 15-20 minutes which was just the right amount of time to work properly on a page or two and more importantly so she didn't get bored.

Luckily the book looks fairly attractive with fun and bright color pages which makes it look a lot less like a 'work' book and more like a fun, activity book so that does help.

The book really encourages both writing and reading comprehesion with the use of phonics that many schools use now and kids can relate to.

It contains the main following areas:

Phonics practise
Writing complete sentences
Grammar such as adjectives, compound words, prefixes and suffixes
Punctuation such as full stops (.) and question marks (?)
Writing fiction stories and non-fiction
Doing research or fact finding which is useful for homework

It does cover quite a lot for what seems like such a thin book. I was surprised at how much was packed in but clearly in a way that engages with children. My daughter proudly knows what a compound word is now and loves giving examples of where this happens. I was amazed she picked it up.

If you want reuseable copies you can photocopy pages (or scan and print) so kids can work on photocopied sheets instead OR you can do what I do and take out pages and laminate them and you can work on the top with a white board marker pen which will rub off.

My daughter's confidence in English and understanding of it has come on leaps and bounds. Of course we have put in a lot of work and encouragement with it and not just with this book. But the fact that she now writes complete sentences and undertands what they are and the fact that people can now see and undertand what she's trying to write has given her a huge boost in confidence. So we are very happy.


Practise & Learn: Maths (Age 5-6)
Practise & Learn: Maths (Age 5-6)
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Maths Foundation, 16 Aug 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I think it's very difficult to make a maths book fun and entertaining for young children but this book makes a very good attempt. My daughter (5) has worked through the whole book now in short bursts of around 15-20 minutes before she's had enough but I think that most children find it easier to concentrate properly for short periods of time and very few will want to look at it much longer than that.

The pages are in color which looks a lot less like a work book and more like a fun, activity book so that's a bonus. And kids can pactice things such as writing out their numbers, reading comprehension (I get my daughter to try and read the instructions herself which helps her English too) counting items, colouring the right number of items, counting on in numbers other than 1 which helps with the times tables, filling in missing numbers etc.

Someone mentioned it's a shame that the book isn't wipe clean - if it was it would be twice the price. If you want reuseable copies you can photocopy pages (or scan and print) so kids can work on photocopied sheets instead OR you can do what I do and take out pages and laminate them and you can work on the top with a white board marker pen which will rub off.

I don't think my daughter is any more wild about maths than she was before but she's definitely learned a lot more using the book and it's helped her confidence too.


See Inside The Noisy Middle Ages with Sounds (Usborne See Inside)
See Inside The Noisy Middle Ages with Sounds (Usborne See Inside)
by Rob Lloyd Jones
Edition: Board book
Price: 12.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Educational, Lots for Kids to Look At, 6 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First up, my daughter (5) loves Usborne books and we've tried lots of different types but never a lift the flap version. I saw this Middle Ages book and it comes with the noisy sounds and without. I guessed (correctly) that my daughter would prefer to have the one with sounds as well so that's what we went for.

The only downside I can see is that the book is heavy and having the sounds on the side makes it heavier and a little more bulky but that has been no obstacle to reading the book at home - just you might not want to take this one out and about with you.

It's worth opening all the flaps up BEFORE giving this to an over-eager child because they are a little tricky for a child to open the first time and you can make sure that they don't get ripped or bent the wrong way.

The book is very well made, the flaps are thick cardboard and the illustrations and colorful, fun and very detailed. With lots of small chunks of text to explain what's going on.

I think it's suitable from about age 5-9. My daughter loves reading and enjoys factual info books more than story books but I think that many children would enjoy learning a little about history in such a fun and engaging way.

There are 6 double page spreads, 1 single page and 1 extra little paper booklet on castles in its own little holder at the back which is very well done indeed.

It doesn't seem much but the pages are big and they are packed (and I mean packed) with visual delights, text and over 80 flaps to lift up which are all really great fun.

We love this book (wish we'd had these when I was a kid) and we will be getting some more from this range as my daughter thinks these and the usbourne history sticker books are the tops.


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