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mssmith1 "mssmith1" (UK)
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Winnie the Bold! (Winnie the Witch)
Winnie the Bold! (Winnie the Witch)
by Laura Owen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Winnie delivers again, 17 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you're a Winnie fan, as my five year old is, then you'll know what to expect from this. Four new stories which I won't spoil by describing, but which very much follow the pattern of previous adventures. Great illustrations and humour, and the return of the all the familiar characters. There's no reason why a newcomer to Winnie couldn't start with this volume, although personally I really like the larger format books with the colour illustrations. A good read and well worth the money.


Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System (White)
Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System (White)
Price: £229.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Good sound, functionality could be better - check out your streaming services are supported, 9 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A mixed review based on a mixed hardware and software experience. Starting with the positives, the sound the little speaker puts out is pretty impressive. Bass sounds good and overall clarity is good. It's surprisingly loud, and would do well for dinner party, background music, or perhaps a small house party. It's not Bose quality, but doesn't disappoint for the price.

Where I was disappointed, was the streaming options. While I have a decent amount of my digital music stored locally on various laptops, tablets and phones, the majority is backed up in itunes match and google play. It's not possible to stream from these services at the moment, massively limiting what I could do with it. Spotify premium is supported, so I'm not sure why Panasonic couldn't "unlock" all the other services, and as a result I suspect that there will be plenty of digital music users who give this a miss until they do. You might think that you could simply access these services via your iphone (or Android device, but note there is now app for Windows mobile), and then output the sound to the speaker, but unfortunately it requires you to play all the music through the panasonic app. The app itself is fine - easy to use and seems stable, but did being forced to use it felt a bit restrictive.

Overall, three stars. If all your music is held locally and you're happy using the Panasonic app (or you're a Spotify premium customer), this will probably work well for you. If not, you might want to look elsewhere.


Little Book of Clarity: A Quick Guide to Focus and Declutter Your Mind
Little Book of Clarity: A Quick Guide to Focus and Declutter Your Mind
by Jamie Smart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.49

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a business book, not quite a spirituality book, 23 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a surprisingly difficult review to write - let me explain. I've followed Jamie Smart's work for a while, and without fail have enjoyed what he delivers. From his earlier nlp training through to his more recent "3 principles" books, he writes well and communicates the key points very well.

His last book, Clarity was similar in many ways to The Inside Out revolution bu Michael Neill. Based on the idea that your reality is created by thought emerging from consciousness, it moves beyond the usual realms of business self-help and encourages the reader not to change the nature or structure of their thinking (which was very much where Jamie appeared to be earlier in his career), but to see the true nature of reality.

The challenge of course is that whether Jamie likes it or not, this takes the reader firmly into the area of spirituality, whereas the book seems marketed towards the business/self-help reader. I do accept, that there is a blurred line between the two, but this definitely crosses into the spirituality category, and when looked at in that light, it simply doesn't go far enough.

If reviewed as a spirituality book, this then becomes a sort of "advaita-lite" explanation of non-duality. Everything is connected energy etc. If this was an area that the reader wanted to explore, they would probably be better starting with Ramana Maharshi, Gangaji or Mooji who have spent lifetimes teaching this type of philosophy.

So in summary, I did like this book. Very readable and a clear, logical bridge from traditional western thinking to a very different understanding of life. However for a Westerner looking for increased productivity or reduced stress, I'm not sure that this would take them far enough along the spiritual path this books points to in order to get the results they were seeking.


Philips GC2040/20 Easy Speed Steam Iron, 270 ml, 2100 Watt - Blue
Philips GC2040/20 Easy Speed Steam Iron, 270 ml, 2100 Watt - Blue
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great little package, 19 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ten or so years ago, getting an iron with these features and performance would have cost double this price. A non-stick sole plate was a premium feature and its great to see that as the technology has become more widely available, it also seems to be more robust. I haven't had this long enough to say how long the non-stick surface will last, but it seems really well made and works brilliantly. Similarly the calc clean function works perfectly too, spitting out scale build up in a cloud of steam.

This iron works so well, there';s not a huge amount to say about it. It's really light and feels very maneuverable, the controls are simple (Personally, I don't think you need much more) and a price I'd associate with a student iron, it has everything you need.


Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras Attachments
Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras Attachments
Price: £94.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Silky smooth quality, 16 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Relying on my wife's review here, I think the term that she used most was "quality" - really well built, feels like it would last, and easy to use. She had not used an epilator before, and remains unconvinced about the benefits over and above shaving. Not hugely painful, but definitely more uncomfortable than the razor, she questioned whether or not she would ever use it as an epilator. Her view is that because she's blonde and her hair is not hugely visible, then other people with darker hair may have more need for it. Working with the shaving attachment, it held a charge well and delivered a fast, smooth shave. The light is a nice touch, but she felt a bit of a gimmick and it would be fine without it.

All in all, a really good quality product. If you are after an epilator, this looks like it would fit the bill - my wife didn't have much to compare it against, but thought it did what it promised very well. If you're more of a shaver, then there are probably cheaper options that just focus on the razor.


Science in Sport REGO 500g Chocolate REGO Rapid Recovery
Science in Sport REGO 500g Chocolate REGO Rapid Recovery
Price: £7.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars and as a drink is more easily digestible than solids, 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a long distance cyclist, I've had to get fairly serious about nutrition so I do think about what I'm going to take onboard before, during and after a ride. One thing I've learnt (from the many mistakes I've made) is that getting some protein in immediately after a ride (and the consensus seems to be to aim for about 20g of protein within 15-30 mins) definitely helps recovery, particularly if you are riding hard on consecutive days.

The SiS Rego appealed as it includes carbs as well as protein, and as a drink is more easily digestible than solids. The taste and texture is pretty good, although I have to say I don't particularly look forward to it (hence it dropped a star), but the performance seems spot on. I have to say my preferred recovery combo remains a protein bar straight after the ride, and then my carbs as I rehydrate after a shower, but for ease of use, this shake is definitely worth a look.


AmazonBasics Cafe Stripe 16-Piece Dinner Set, Service for 4, Red
AmazonBasics Cafe Stripe 16-Piece Dinner Set, Service for 4, Red
Price: £22.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Basic but good, 25 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As the old Ronseal advert said, "it does what it says on the tin". A decent set of dinnerware that would be great for a first home or perhaps a holiday cottage, as well as more general everyday use. Sizes and weights are pretty much what you'd expect - not paper thin and likely to break at the drop of a hat, not heavyweight and would last for eternity. The design is simple and cheery and the picture shows the colours accurately. You know with Amazon if there are any problems with delivery, they'll sort it out for you, so why not save yourself a couple of hours in Ikea and buy online?


Aussie Shower Gel Body Wash Fresh Mate 250 ml - Pack of 6
Aussie Shower Gel Body Wash Fresh Mate 250 ml - Pack of 6
Offered by Activecare Online
Price: £14.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Good things come in small packages, 13 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was slightly taken aback when these arrived as the bottles were smaller than I was expecting. However the gel itself is quite thick, and you don't need much to get squeaky clean. The smell is nice and refreshing and a good way to start the day. I was hoping for a little more zing, but overall, a good product I will buy again (eventually as the six bottles are lasting a long time!).


Finish All in One Max Original Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 74)
Finish All in One Max Original Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 74)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like many of the other reviewers, 2 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A top notch wash really. Like many of the other reviewers, I tend to think of dishwasher tablets as a commodity, being quite happy to buy supermarket brand, or whatever name product is on offer. These had a couple of qualities I liked - the tablets come in a soluble wrapper, which makes them easy to just grab out of the bag and pop in the machine. Yes it's only a second or so that it saves, but it does feel like less hassle. The second plus point is that they really do clean well,, even when your dishwasher is low on, or out of, rinse aid. Why not five stars? Well, they are not the cheapest, but undoubtedly a high quality product which in my opinion is worth the money.


Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)
Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)
by Alexander Osterwalder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Few business books deliver as much as this, 26 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a brilliant book, and if you liked the business model generator book by the same authors, you'll like this. This is a beautifully presented (lots of colourful visuals) book that walks you step by step through the process of understanding customer needs, and then creating and communicating a compelling value proposition to meet those needs.

In my opinion, this is a critical business skill, whether you work in a large corporate (which I do at the moment), or run your own business (which I have in the past). This book and its sister book on business model generation are absolutely fantastic ways of approaching this subject, whether you are a complete beginner, or whether you have been doing this for years. It's simplicity does not mean it lacks depth, rather it is just more accessible and effective than many of the theoretical books I read for my MBA.

Really highly recommended.


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