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mssmith1 "mssmith1" (UK)
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MaxiNutrition Cyclone Strength and Power Protein Shake Powder 1.26 kg - Chocolate
MaxiNutrition Cyclone Strength and Power Protein Shake Powder 1.26 kg - Chocolate
Price: £28.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Nutrition profile looks ok, taste and mixing not so good, 23 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a cyclist, I tend to use a protein shake for recovery after long rides. I suspect this is targeted more at gym goers looking for mass, but unfortunately can't comment on how well it does that job. For my needs, it does a reasonable job of getting protein down me, but compared to some of the others it doesn't taste great or mix particularly well. Having tried this, I think I'll go back to Science in Sport REGO and that's what I'd recommend for cyclists. For gym users this might be worth a look, but maybe try a smaller size pack first to see if you like the taste and can live with the lumps as it's not cheap.


The Breath Co Fresh Breath Oral Rinse - 500 ml, Mild Mint
The Breath Co Fresh Breath Oral Rinse - 500 ml, Mild Mint
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid performer, but not worth the premium unless fighting problem bad breath, 23 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A solid but unspectacular performer. I usually use whatever alcohol-free mouthwash that is on offer at my local supermarket. No particular loyalty, although I do like that Dentyl ph lets you see the gunk you are getting rid of. Use primarily for teeth and gum health rather than fresh breath. It's gentle on the mouth, but so are plenty of the alcohol free competitors (I don't go near the old-fashioned Listerine type paint strippers). Seems to tick all the boxes, but loses a star as pretty expensive (£6 at the time of writing, compared to competitors that are often £3 but can be found at 50% in supermarket promotions).


H2D Black Magicurl Hair Curling Wand
H2D Black Magicurl Hair Curling Wand
Price: £50.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Wife and daughter approved, 23 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Thumbs up from wife and daughter and their hair looks great when they use it! The wand works really well. From my point of view as a non-user, it seems really well made and nicely weighted - not too heavy but not cheap and plasticy either. The cord swivels round so it seems not to get tangled up. Nicely packaged and a reasonable price for the quality.


Tefal FV5390 Aquaspeed Steam Iron, 2600 W
Tefal FV5390 Aquaspeed Steam Iron, 2600 W
Price: £64.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Bad boy looks with performance to match, 14 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This iron is a genuine bad boy. The looks are love it or hate it - styled liked a racing car in my opinion. The amazing thing is though, is that it genuinely has the performance to back it up. The main factor in this is the sole plate, which really goes glide effortlessly over even the most stubborn creases. The iron seems perfectly weighted too - neither too heavy nor too light which means that the actual ironing is effortless. Steam is available as and when you need it in bursts, but the overall performance was so good I didn't feel like I needed to use it as much as expected. Water reservoir is easy to fill (although not huge) and I've had no problems with drips or leaks. You'll probably have guessed, I don't hesitate to recommend this iron - go take one for a test drive!


Rimmel London Kate Lipstick Summer - Natural Beige
Rimmel London Kate Lipstick Summer - Natural Beige
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up from the daughter, 10 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ordered this for my daughter who gave it the thumbs up. Seems to be lots of discussion in the reviews about the colour, which my daughter describes as "nude". Goes on well and lasts well apparently, so quality seems appropriate for the price.


Schleich Riding Arena
Schleich Riding Arena
Price: £24.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality worth paying for, 28 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Schleich Riding Arena (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Really high quality plastic kit. The horse, rider, fencing, roof and accessories are made of good, solid and nicely detailed plastic. I got this for my horse-mad daughter, and it has already served up plenty of enjoyable play. I've deducted a star simply because Schleich is not a cheap brand and despite the quality, it is a lot of money for not much toy. That said, you get what you pay for, and I have a feeling this is going to last well and give plenty of imaginative games.


Carmex Cherry Tube and Pot - (Pack of 2)
Carmex Cherry Tube and Pot - (Pack of 2)
Price: £5.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My family love it - always a battle to keep it out ..., 26 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Top notch lip salve - fairly thick, but not greasy which has the benefit of making lips feel smooth and protected. Cherry "flavour" is just about right. Noticable but not too strong. My family love it - always a battle to keep it out of the kids' hands.


Braun Series 9 9040s Wet and Dry Electric Shaver
Braun Series 9 9040s Wet and Dry Electric Shaver
Price: £179.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really powerful shaving beast!, 11 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Really powerful shaver - ploughs through stubble on my face or head like an absolute beast. It gives a smooth, close and comfortable shave. Comes in a well protected, although slightly bulky travel pouch along with a charging cord and small cleaning brush. Dead easy to clean - just pop the top off. While you can use it wet or rinse under the tap, I've not needed to.

Only one unusual thing I noticed, which was that it seems to "eject" the hair it's shaving off as you angle it to save the sides of your face (or top of head). Downside is it's a bit messy, upside is cleaning it is even easier. Personally it doesn't bother me as I the mirror I shave in front of is over the sink, so the hair just gets rinsed down the plughole.

All in all, an excellent shaver that does what it's supposed to very well.


Purina ONE My Dog Is Delicate Salmon & Rice Dry Dog Food, 800g (Pack of 4)
Purina ONE My Dog Is Delicate Salmon & Rice Dry Dog Food, 800g (Pack of 4)
Price: £13.96

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for poorly pooches, 8 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having had one of my dogs diagnosed unexpectedly with an autoimmune disease this year, the hospital put her on a very strict diet as part of her treatment. This was a kibble that was essentially just fish and potato. As she began to recover, I started to wonder if there were alternatives to the particular brand that the hospital had prescribed, as it was seriously pricey.

I'm pleased to report that she has enjoyed the Purina ONE - seems to really enjoy the taste and the resulting back-end product seems to suggest that her tummy is not upset, which gets a big thumbs up from me. No it's not cheap compared to some dog feed, but given the relative ingredients that's not surprising.


The Strategy Builder: How to Create and Communicate More Effective Strategies
The Strategy Builder: How to Create and Communicate More Effective Strategies
by Stephen Cummings
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great summary of theory, not a game changer for creating and communicating strategy, 8 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Really smart way of condensing a whole heap of classic business strategy theory into a nicely presented book. The hardback copy is a polished, nicely laid out volume that starts by explaining why they have taken a visual approach. It then moves into strategy design and groups the various models into five basic categories:

- The environmental ecosystem
- The competitive spidergram
- The capability radar
- The growth options heatmap
- The balanced goals envelope

Within each of these categories you'll find most of the business strategy tools you'd expect if it's a field you're familiar with - Porter's five forces, blue ocean strategy, value chain analysis, McKinsey 7S framework and the Ansoff growth matrix. Each tool starts with a visual representation, which to be clear is generally just the drawing of the tool itself (often a two by two matrix for example), a summary of when to use it and with what other tools it works well with, and then a brief case study. There is then a blank page for you to draw your own version.

Where the book works well, is as a summary of all the tried and tested business strategy tools of the last forty years or so. It reminds me of the Financial Times book "key management models" which I used during my MBA as a reminder and a quick summary of the theory. It would be a decent place to start for someone new to business strategy or someone about to start an MBA.

As with any of these summary books, it is not a shortcut for really immersing yourself in the tools or theory if you are serious about using them. While you can get the basics of value chain analysis across in a couple of pages, it's no substitute for reading "Competitive Advantage" by Porter.

The other place the book falls down slightly is the visual component. I was expecting more (given the sub-title) on how to communicate strategy visually, and in reality the book does little more than show the tool as a matrix, spidergram or graph and then include a blank page for you to draw your own. I would contrast this less favourably with, for example, the brilliant book "business model generator" which has a single canvas at the heart of the process and thus genuinely changes the way you communicate strategy.

In summary, great introduction to theory - comprehensive, clear and nicely presented. If you want depth or a model to actually help you develop and communicate strategy, this is probably not the book for you.

Hope that helps


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