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Squeebles (UK)
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Bionaire Ultra Slim Tower Fan, Silver
Bionaire Ultra Slim Tower Fan, Silver
Price: £59.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I'm not a fan, 24 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I did think I'd prefer tower fans as they take up less space than a circular one. This time of year a fan is a must in homes and work.

The fan comes in a slim box, but there must have been some slipping of contents during transit as I had to physically tear open the box to get the fan out. Once out, there's the main column and the wide base is in two parts. A small resealable bag contains four screws for the base and a short user guide. The built in power lead isn't that long, so that will decide placement, unless you use an extension lead.

Assembled, the unit stands just over three feet tall.

All functions are controlled by four light up buttons on top of the fan, and there's a more expensive version with a remote control, but . The functions are, three levels of fan, breeze mode (which cycles through the different speeds for a more organic breeze effect), a night mode and oscillation mode. There's also a timer function that allows you to switch off the fan after 1,2,4 or 8 hours.

In use, it's quickly evident this is not a quiet fan, even at the lowest speed. It's not something you could switch on and, say, listen comfortably to the TV or radio, the noise of the fan is stubbonly intrusive. When the oscillation mode is switched on, the whole unit becomes wobbly in action.

Finally, is it as good as a 'normal' round fan? No, I don't think so. If you want a column fan that produces a good volume of air in a column shape, you'd be better looking elsewhere.


Rokit Gel Polish Kit, High Gloss
Rokit Gel Polish Kit, High Gloss
Price: £61.94

5.0 out of 5 stars For when you can't get salon appointment..., 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you like your nailwear, this is a brilliant home kit and substantially more convenient and faster than a salon session.

There's no need for nail prep beyond wiping your nails with the prep solution in the kit - no basecoat or primer is needed. Paint your nails, stick your fingers under the UV light for a minute, and you're done. That's it. You don't need a topcoat. I only used one coat of polish and my nails still look 'just done' now four busy days later. Certainly cuts down on time spent retouching or starting from scratch every time.

The kit comes with a gorgeous bordeaux red 'all-in-one' gel polish and a bottle of Rokit Ready (their nail cleaner / preparation).

If you enjoy the whole salon experience - the chat, the relax etc, then stick with it. If you just want your nails done in 5 minutes, without having to even leave the house, then this kit is brilliant.


ScotchBlue Pre-Taped Masking Film in Dispenser Medium 1.21 m x 27.4 m Transparent
ScotchBlue Pre-Taped Masking Film in Dispenser Medium 1.21 m x 27.4 m Transparent
Price: £14.09

2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, but just doesn't work., 14 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The idea is that this is a canister of thicker gauge cling film with decorators' tape running across the top. Stick the tape to the edge of whatever you're painting, and a layer of protective plastic hangs underneath to protect the surface from stray paint. Great idea.

It doesn't work like that though.

The blue tape strip is too thin, it's only 1.5 cm wide so not enough to stick well to a surface. The slightest movement in the cling film and the tape falls off the surface it was stuck to.

The cutting strip to dispense the film in the canister also doesn't cut well. It's spiky and sharp (it spiked a hole in my t-shirt), but it doesn't cut, it mangles. (Attached photo show how the film came off the dispenser when I used the cutter.) You need clean, sharp, scissors to manually cut sections of film.

The film is static cling film, so it clings to you as much as it clings to anything else. It's much easier to put up as a two-person job. If you're on your own and doing a large area you may well shrink wrap yourself!
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Rokit Professional Twin Kit Gel Polish
Rokit Professional Twin Kit Gel Polish
Offered by Worth-a-Glance
Price: £79.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nailed it!, 13 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you like your nailwear, this is a brilliant home kit and substantially more convenient and faster than a salon session.

There's no need for nail prep beyond wiping your nails with the prep solution in the kit - no basecoat or primer is needed. Paint your nails, stick your fingers under the UV light for a minute, and you're done. That's it. You don't need a topcoat. I only used one coat of polish and my nails still look 'just done' now four busy days later. Certainly cuts down on time spent retouching or starting from scratch every time.

The kit comes with two colours - Postbox Red and Shock Pink. The pink is brighter than the red, the red is more red brickwork than bright pillarbox. What you don't get is the remover, which is a little annoying. (The remover is sold here on Amazon for around £5, but it's usually on delayed delivery so plan ahead!)

If you enjoy the whole salon experience - the chat, the relax etc, then stick with it. If you just want your nails done in 5 minutes, without having to even leave the house, then this kit is brilliant.


BaByliss Simplicity Curl Secret
BaByliss Simplicity Curl Secret
Price: £80.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For fine hair, 13 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This works, but it's only efficient on fine hair that's no longer than shoulder length.

The curler is time consuming. I have coarse wavy hair that's about 8 inches past shoulder length. I can get around it with a curling iron in less than 10 minutes. Using this curler took over an hour, and the curls fell out very quickly. I ended up with just a bit of twirl in the bottom ends.

The maximum section of hair the curler can curl efficiently is about 5mm thickness, and the hair needs to be poker straight to start with. The curler can't style against any natural wave in the hair and hair products don't hold the curl.

The biggest downside is some of my hair came out fried. You have to hold the curler in place a while for the curl to set, so any strand that wasn't perfectly wrapped in with the section being treated came out frazzled.

For the price (currently £80), unless you have very fine hair and time on your hands, a GHD curling wand is faster and gives stronger curls.


BUKI France 5402UK "Professional Studio UK Couture" Sewing Machine Set
BUKI France 5402UK "Professional Studio UK Couture" Sewing Machine Set
Price: £46.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but you might be better with an adult machine, 7 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This isn't a toy sewing machine, it's a very basic sewing machine scaled to child size. Currently selling on Amazon for £45, you could buy a small 'proper' sewing machine for not much more. So the question is, is this worth it as a child's starter machine?

For your money you get a nice, scaled down sewing machine, It's sturdy, but not heavy. Copies the threading mechanisms of an adult machine (the machine comes pre-threaded, which is a very nice touch - no need to spend hours working out your first threading). Sews a basic running stitch and allows backward sewing to tie off thread ends. There's a variable speed pedal, which is a bit hit and miss, but there are two speed settings on the machine itself. You can adjust the thread tension just as you would a full size machine. The bobbin maker works fine, but is a bit fiddly for adult sized hands. The machine does come with replacement needles, but you could easily use cheapo needles from any supermarket as replacements.

You get extras in the box.. Some trims, cottons, scissors, a tape measure, pins and a few things. There's also enough material to make a couple of projects from the booklet accompanying the machine (a scarf, a lacy collar, a t-shirt and a skirt) and the paper patterns to cut from.

All in it's a nice set to start a youngster off with, and there's enough in here for them to really create something without you having to dash out and buy extras.

On the down side, the sewing machine instructions and project guides are appalling. Everything is written small, cramped and in five languages at once. The booklet refers you to demonstrations via QR codes. My phone (Nexus 5x) couldn't read the codes, I think they were too faint and the paper too shiny. Going to the tutorials by manually typing the URLs takes you to dead links (I only found one that worked).

Back to the 5402UK, is it worth it, against buying a basic adult machine - given this machine is pitched at children aged 8+?

I think it comes down to whether the child has an adult sewer around them. If the child has been raised around sewing and there's an enthusiastic adult sewer around then they'd do better with an adult machine (I was using my mother's by age 8), and this machine would be better for the age 5 to 8 bracket.

If there's not a home sewer around to support the child, and this is a brand new hobby for a child aged around 8, then it's a very good place to start - it's a decent machine and comes with a full kit. BUT, keep in mind the instruction booklet is a pain and if they've never used a sewing machine before they will need adult help to get started.
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The Photographer's Pocket Book: The essential guide to getting the most from your camera
The Photographer's Pocket Book: The essential guide to getting the most from your camera
by Michael Freeman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Freeman makes me a better photographer, 17 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Michael Freeman, is a British author, photographer and journalist. He has written more than 40 books on the subject of photography, in theory and practice. So this man knows his stuff.

This seems to be an revised version of his 2010 publication: The Photographer's DSLR Pocketbook: The Essential Guide to Getting the Most from your Camera, though the inside cover blurb says it’s a new, 2016 book. Whereas the thinking, the techniques of photography is basically the same, information on the hardware side of things has been updated.

As you can tell from the title, this is about digital photography, in particular the digital single-lens reflex camera (though there is reference to the new mirrorless cameras as well). I particularly liked the differences between the menu screens of Canon & Nikon cameras (other camera brands don’t get much of a look in) as although I shoot Nikon, we’re getting Canon cameras in at work. There's also instruction on using software to make your photographs shine (though if you get the photo perfect in your camera, the amount of post processing is reduced).

The book, small in size, it does fit into my jean's back pocket, but still runs to 256 pages. It’s choc-full colour images and diagrams as well as Michael’s own stunning photography throughout. For those of you more interested in the learning about how to find and take great photos, have a search on the Michael Freeman's Photo School series also available on Amazon.


Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Coconut Flour 500g, gluten free, Soil Association certified organic
Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Coconut Flour 500g, gluten free, Soil Association certified organic
Offered by Sevenhills Wholefoods
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Coco-naturally good., 15 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is pure coconut flour, not desiccated or shredded coconut, and there's no added sugar.

Although coconut flour is becoming popular as a gluten free and lower GI/carb alternative to grain flours it's still a bit difficult to get in the supermarkets. Trying to make coconut flour at home, from grinding down shredded coconut, doesn't really work.

This coconut flour is a very fine powder. It doesn't need sieving before use. It still retains a slight granular texture (so not as soft and floury as ground almonds, but much finer than castor sugar). The flour does have a slight coconut flavour, but it's easily drowned out by other ingredients. That said, if you loathe the slightest hint of coconut flavour this isn't the flour substitute for you.

At the current price here on Amazon of £6.49, this is a bargain. Organic, pure, fine ground, it's much better than the overpriced versions in the health food shops.


By Caprice Home Riviera Diamante Organza Duvet Cover Double Size White
By Caprice Home Riviera Diamante Organza Duvet Cover Double Size White
Price: £59.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loses sparkle with wonky stitching, 12 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a duvet cover this works fine - it covers the duvet. But so does a £5 one from the market. So it's the added value features we're looking at.

The diamante trims are personal taste. They do sparkle under direct light from a ceiling light, but they're appallingly sewn. The diamante effect is a mesh strip that's sewn onto a wider ivory stripe, which is in-turn sewn into the white duvet cover. The ivory stripes look dirty against the white and the diamante strips aren't sewn on straight. They wobble all-over the ivory stripe. The sides of the diamante strip are unfinished, so after one wash the edges are starting to curl up.

The top side of the duvet cover is lovely and soft. It's just polyester, but it's a gorgeous silky finish. The underside (the side you lay under) is a disappointingly scratchy polycotton. It feels like a cheap bedsheet has been tacked on the back.

The seams are sewn well enough. The buttons fit the button holes. It washes quickly, dries easily, and doesn't really need ironing. Remove or straighten the diamante strips and cut the price by 50% (currently £49.16), and it would be brilliant.


Sevenhills Wholefoods 500 g Organic Raw White Chia Seeds
Sevenhills Wholefoods 500 g Organic Raw White Chia Seeds
Offered by Sevenhills Wholefoods
Price: £5.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Three cheers (Chias!) for healthy food, 11 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Chia seeds are something you either want or you don't. They're believed to be high in the Omega acids and can be used like sesame seeds or linseeds.

I use chia seeds as an egg replacement in some cooking (mix a spoonful of seeds with a little water and leave for 20 minutes, it'll turn into a glutinous mass you can use as you would an egg), and as a nutty seed in cakes and cookies (chia goes really well with dates).

This was my first time using white chia, instead of black, and there was no difference whatsoever.

1kg of white chia seeds will cost you about £27 in the supermarkets, and it won't be organic. So this pack is an absolute bargain at the current Amazon price of £6.49.

If chia is your thing, or you fancy trying it, this is a great way to buy it.


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