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Katherine (Bristol, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Russell Hobbs 23310 Classic Long Slot 2-Slice Toaster, Stainless Steel Silver
Russell Hobbs 23310 Classic Long Slot 2-Slice Toaster, Stainless Steel Silver
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish toaster which looks great on the worktop, but needs to be kept polished - some great features, some need improving!, 20 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are lots of lovely features about this 2 slice toaster from Russell Hobbs and some features which could be improved.

The best points for me are that it can toast frozen bread, just by pressing an extra button. I also really like the lift and look feature, which allows you to lift the bread mid-way through toasting without cancelling the timer. so that you can lower it back down again without having to restart toasting and then risk burning the toast. I like the fact that the crumb tray is accessible from the front of the toaster - the last two toasters I have bought have had the tray accessible from the back, which when you have a short cable, makes it difficult to reach easily. The width of the slots is decent, so that I haven't had any problems toasting homemade bread slices or crumpets. The toaster looks great with its chrome and black looks - simple and stylish, but you have to be aware that there is a lot of chrome on show, which means to keep it looking at its best, you need to buff and polish regularly.

The less good points are that the sides of the toaster get pretty hot during/after use, so you just need to be careful if you are used to coolwall toasters. I really think that this would significantly improve the toaster, but as long as you are aware, it's fine. Secondly, I must admit that I haven't timed it against a standard toaster, but when it said that it was 50% faster, I expected it to pop down and almost instantly up again! It's quick, but I don't think it is twice as fast as my previous toaster, which was fairly quick. This isn't really a negative, more that it was over-hyped for me!

Not a negative, as i think that this is fairly standard, but more of a heads up if you are planning to buy this toaster - don't forget to put the toaster up to the highest setting (6) and then use it without any bakery items for the first one or two times to set the elements. It does smell, so make sure you open the window/back door and let it get on with it. Once it has been primed, it's fine and ready for use - just don't forget to turn it back down unless you like your bread very well done!

If you like the look of this toaster, but don't want quite as much chrome to keep sparkling, then have a look at this toaster: Russell Hobbs 23330 Colours Plus 2-Slice Toaster, Red which is available in 4 different colours.


Can I Have a Kitten?: Colour, Construct and Play With Your New Furry Friend
Can I Have a Kitten?: Colour, Construct and Play With Your New Furry Friend
by Mina Braun
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Create finger puppets, dress-up dolls and the piece de resistance - 3d model kittens with accessories! Amazing bumper pack!, 20 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The headline for the book is a little misleading as this isn't a colour, construct and play set, but rather a construct and play set, but having said that it is a bumper pack with loads to do!

The premise is simple, you press out the cut pieces, fold with mountain or valley folds (which are explained and shown with slightly different dotted lines on the push-out pieces and then you glue together. All of the card pieces are already in full colour in the interesting/quirky colour set shown on the front cover - bright and wonderful and there are a nice selection of boy and girl kittens, but no pastel pinks and blues here - a nice balance, with a nod to gender differences without being overly stereotypical - in the dressing up section Mildred has a blue swimming costume not a pink one and she has a Wild West style cowboy outfit complete with sheriff's badge and gun holster hanging over her skirt and she also has a judo costume as well as a feminine summer dress with tulips on it and red starred pyjamas, so she can be pretty, feisty or just cool depending on her mood. Kasper's outfits are also cool, with orange swimming trunks, a pirate outfit, an orange and black football kit as well as dinosaur pyjamas - if anything his outfits are a little less surprising. My girls loved the outfits for both cats, particularly as they currently hate anything pink, but love to wear skirts when they feel like it!

The book has three kinds of projects - finger puppets - there are 5 finger puppets to make - Kasper, Mildred, Flossie, Charlie and Jackson. Then there are the dress up dolls of Kasper and Mildred mentioned above - these are the more traditional dress-up dolls with the flaps on the outfits to go around and bend to secure and a slot in the kittens' heads for their hats. Finally, the piece de resistance - the kitten dolls, which are 3-d and have a body, two arms, two legs and a head and which are amazingly moveable, if incredibly intricate to make. There are also accessories to make to go along with the 3-d Mildred and Kasper kittens - a camera. an easel, some accessories for a beach scene, a full sized bed with headboard and footboard, a kitchen set, a workbench set, a skateboard and a handcart. Loads and loads of things to make and this project book will take you much longer than one rainy day indoors if you want to complete it all well!

My nearly 10-year old daughter was able to make the first project on her own with a little guidance, the second project was really easy, my younger daughter took to this, as she loved popping the pieces out of the book more than getting sticky with the glue and soon became an expert at carefully popping the card pieces out without any rips or tears. The final project is really intricate, with lots and lots of small flaps to glue into place and this is an ongoing team project - all hands on deck - we had some toothpicks at hand (as suggested) to help with some of the smaller flaps and we have been using some paperclips to hold some of the tabs together to allow the glue to dry securely whilst we moved on to another piece. We are having a lot of fun, but be aware that this isn't for the very young - the guidelines say not suitable for under 3, but I would say that it would be best suited to a careful child from age 7 with a lot of patience and willing to be helped or for those who are not so patient - add a few years - maybe 9 and up! It would be possible for a child to do this on their own, but it's much more fun as a family!


Rapesco X5-25ps Less Effort Stapler - Powder Blue
Rapesco X5-25ps Less Effort Stapler - Powder Blue
Price: £9.38

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an unusual-looking stapler which packs a punch!, 19 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an unusual-looking stapler, it is levered up higher than a standard stapler and which is shorter in length, giving it a stubby look. One of my colleagues thought that it was broken when she looked at it, as the central silver part of the stapler, where the staples sit is somewhat exposed, more so than in a bog-standard stapler. I don't mind people thinking it looks a bit broken as staplers have a habit of travelling around the office and sometimes never return, so if they think it might not work due to its quirky looks, it might be more likely to stay put. If not, the quirky looks also make it easy to spot on someone else's desk!

The short, stubby looks might make you think that it lacks power, but it really packs a punch due to the leverage of the raised top. There is no need to use additional force to get a staple through a 20-odd page document, as it passes through with ease!

In a busy school office, this was my stapler of choice when putting together school reports as it was lightweight, effortless to staple with and reliable.


Meguair`s G18616EU Gold Class Leather and Vinyl Conditioner Spray
Meguair`s G18616EU Gold Class Leather and Vinyl Conditioner Spray
Price: £12.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Brought my grey leather seats to life again, 18 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We have used this on our 13 year old Volkswagen Passat which in its heyday was top of the range and came with leather seats and trim throughout.

We have always kept the leather clean, but I haven't ever used a conditioner on the leather before and the results were noticeable. The best way I can explain it is that the leather came to life, it had a refreshed sheen and felt soft, without feeling slippery or greasy. Whilst it might not be glossy, there is a definite sheen to the leather. I liked the consistency of the product, which was good to be able to spray on, but was thick enough that it didn't dribble down uncontrollably. It's certainly an effective product, but I can't verify whether it is better or worse than other similarly priced products.


City Trails - London (Lonely Planet Kids)
City Trails - London (Lonely Planet Kids)
by Lonely Planet Kids
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd expected, but brilliant nonetheless, 18 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My children and I really like this book, but it isn't what we had expected at all. The title made me think that this would be like a kid's travel guide mixed with walking routes/underground/boat routes and things to spot as you went along. This isn't what it is, but it is brilliant nevertheless.

This book has allowed my children to journey through London through the pages of the book - discovering interesting facts linked to places around the capital. Each of the trails has a theme, for example, there is a treasure hunt trail, which looks at money and gold and treasure spots, which includes Hatton Garden, London Silver Vaults, Mansion House Treasures, the Bank of England and the Tower of London. There are 19 different trails and some of these are more obviously linked, such as a Royal trail and others have less obvious, but intriguing links, such as sounds of London, explored in London out Loud, which not surprisingly includes Big Ben, but less obviously perhaps The Valley Football Stadium! There are famous private homes in the spotlight in the Hey Nosey Parker trail, which includes London's narrowest house in Shepherd's Bush as well as the more famous 221b Baker Street amongst others.

This is a great book to dip in and out of if you can manage to put it down, or if you are like one of my daughters, you won't be able to put it down and you will read it cover to cover - in fact she read a good deal of it out loud to me, with an excited "Mummy, listen to this! before each new fact.

We will certainly be visiting some of the places in this book, but I don't think we would necessarily do one of the trails in the order shown unless they happen to be close by - but we all feel like we know London much better thanks to this book!


Hipiwe Folding Pocket Travel LED Mirror Compact Make Up Cosmetic Shaving Mirror 2X Magnified (Battery Included) (Black)
Hipiwe Folding Pocket Travel LED Mirror Compact Make Up Cosmetic Shaving Mirror 2X Magnified (Battery Included) (Black)

4.0 out of 5 stars A larger than average standard mirror and a magnifying mirror with okay lights in a simple sleek black compact, 18 Aug. 2016
This is a nice travel mirror - larger than a small pocket mirror, but not as big or more importantly as bulky as cosmetic mirrors designed for dressing tables and bathrooms.

I like the fact that you have a standard mirror on one side and an magnifying mirror on the other side, to help to see closer up when you need to.

The lights around the edge of the mirror are a nice touch and are useful, but they aren't anything to match my home illuminating mirror, which has a solid ring of light and it really shows up everything on my face. This helps to illuminate if it is a bit dark, but it doesn't quite manage to highlight to the levels I am used to - perhaps I am expecting too much of a travel mirror! I do like the fact that the lights can be brightened by holding your finger gently on the on/off button to regulate to your requirements and if you just close the mirror the lights switch off.

This is a very handy travel mirror and whilst I wouldn't keep it in my pocket, it is a good size for a standard handbag. I received this item for review purposes at no cost, but not attempt was made to sway my review and the opinion given is my own.


BT 9500 Halo Nuisance Call Blocking Cordless Home Phone with Bluetooth and Answer Machine
BT 9500 Halo Nuisance Call Blocking Cordless Home Phone with Bluetooth and Answer Machine
Offered by liGo
Price: £85.22

4.0 out of 5 stars If you are frustrated by cold calls on your phone or you have patchy mobile network at home, this might be the one for you, 16 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This home phone from BT is unusual in a number of ways. The first thing you notice straight out of the box is how long the phone handset is - much longer than your standard home phone. It has number-shaped buttons on the handset, which light up, which take a bit of getting used to, but again are something quite unusual. Once set up, it sits on the charging station which has the halo ring on it from which this phone takes its name and it looks really stylish on the sideboard.

The features which are really interesting are the call blocking feature, which allows you to take back control of your incoming calls. All of your saved contacts get through automatically, any you choose to block won't get through at all and any call that doesn't fall into either of the previous categories will have to give their name and allow you to decide whether to answer. You don't have to just block specific numbers either, you can block nuisance calls from broader types of numbers (e.g. international, withheld numbers or even from specific area codes).

I would have loved to have had this phone in my last house, out in the sticks where there were only one or two places in the house where you could reliably get a mobile signal. If you have patchy network around your house, you can use the Halo phone to help you with this by stationing the base where the signal is stronger. I have signal all around my house in the city at the moment, but may well be moving to a similar area again, so hope to be able to test this function out fully in future.

I like the fact that this phone allows me to import my contacts from my mobile straight onto the phone and you can do this from two phones (so this is perfect for our family unit as my children are too young to have mobiles yet!) and this saves either endlessly typing in all of your contacts or doing what I have always ended up doing, which is just adding two or three numbers and then get fed up!

I like the fact that the base is also a handy USB charger for up to two devices, so that I can charge my mobile and tablet from the phone base.

The sound quality on this phone doesn't quite match the other technological wizardry, which is a little disappointing, but it isn't terrible, but could be crisper and I had expected more. You can get this phone in a dual set of two handsets, which is worth looking at if you have a larger house and for a single handset it doesn't come cheap, but for the peace of mind of not having to be hassled by cold-callers, it is worth a great deal.


Russell Hobbs 23334 Colours Plus 2-Slice Toaster, Cream
Russell Hobbs 23334 Colours Plus 2-Slice Toaster, Cream
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish toaster looks great on the worktop, which has some great features and some which could be improved, 14 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are lots of lovely features about this 2 slice toaster from Russell Hobbs and some features which could be improved.

The best points for me are that it can toast frozen bread, just by pressing an extra button. I also really like the lift and look feature, which allows you to lift the bread mid-way through toasting without cancelling the timer. so that you can lower it back down again without having to restart toasting and then risk burning the toast. I like the fact that the crumb tray is accessible from the front of the toaster - the last two toasters I have bought have had the tray accessible from the back, which when you have a short cable, makes it difficult to reach easily. The width of the slots is decent, so that I haven't had any problems toasting homemade bread slices or crumpets. The toaster looks great with its cream, chrome and black looks - simple and stylish, without too much chrome to need buffing and polishing!

The less good points are that the sides of the toaster get pretty hot during/after use, so you just need to be careful if you are used to coolwall toasters. I really think that this would significantly improve the toaster, but as long as you are aware, it's fine. Secondly, I must admit that I haven't timed it against a standard toaster, but when it said that it was 50% faster, I expected it to pop down and almost instantly up again! It's quick, but I don't think it is twice as fast as my previous toaster, which was fairly quick. This isn't really a negative, more that it was over-hyped for me!

Not a negative, as i think that this is fairly standard, but more of a heads up if you are planning to buy this toaster - don't forget to put the toaster up to the highest setting (6) and then use it without any bakery items for the first one or two times to set the elements. It does smell, so make sure you open the window/back door and let it get on with it. Once it has been primed, it's fine and ready for use - just don't forget to turn it back down unless you like your bread very well done!


Levivo Silicone Tart Pan 34.5 x 21.5 cm for 6 Tarts, Red
Levivo Silicone Tart Pan 34.5 x 21.5 cm for 6 Tarts, Red
Price: £18.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Great tart tray which is great for pastry or for muffins, 12 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A friend of mine always seems to be able to produce lovely cakes and baked goods in the blink of an eye with seemingly little effort or preparation beforehand nor any subsequent fuss during clear up and when I asked her what her secret was, she told me that it was silicone bakeware.

Unlike traditional metal bakeware, silicone is amazingly non-stick, so the cakes literally pop out and therefore don't need greasing and lining nor do they take time to soak and scrub, as what little remains on the silicone comes off with a gentle wipe as you wash it up - or you can stick it in the dishwasher if you so choose and it will come out ready to use again.

The advantage of this particular range of silicone bakeare over others is that it has been re-enforced with an internal metal layer in the top, which helps to maintain the structure of the tray, so that you don't inadvertently get a kink in the silicone as you are moving it and spill the contents everywhere. The metal re-enforced part is just at the top edge, not in the dip of the mould/tray, so that you don't get any unwanted residual heat around the cake after you have finished cooking it and the silicone cools down much faster than a metal tin would. The metal is inside the silicone, but you do need to be aware that it does get hot, so you just need to be careful taking things out of the oven and ensure you use your oven gloves even if they have been out of the oven for a few minutes as the edges will still be hot.

Having used two other items in this range, the Levivo Silicone Financier Cakes/Brownie Baking Tin for 20 Cakes - 30 x 22 cm Grey and Levivo Silicone Baking Tray / Silicone Cake Pan 24 cm, Grey, I knew how well the silicone works and was confident to put muffin batter in without any pre-greasing or dusting and true to form, once baked, these were incredibly easy to just pop out of the mould onto the cooling rack. I'm not an expert with pastry, but I have been so much more confident with baking tarts in this tray as my main issue in the past has been that I can't get the pastry out of the tins unless I use loose bottomed tins and then I find it fiddly.

There is definitely less fuss with silicone bakeware as you don't have to grease and line as you would with tins, the fact that silicone is so wonderfully non-stick, it is really easy to clean afterwards and if you don't want to handwash, then this can be put into the dishwasher and will come out clean and ready to use again.

This is such a lovely range of more sturdy silicone bakeware than most items on the market and I will definitely be buying more from the range. The range is available in grey and red versions and I have two items in grey, but I love the red, which is really vibrant and stands out in the cupboard!


FUTURO 46200EN Large Surgical Binder and Abdominal Support
FUTURO 46200EN Large Surgical Binder and Abdominal Support
Price: £24.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Supportive, but material not very comfortable, 10 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This large surgical binder and abdominal support from Futuro is designed for function and in theory for comfort too, claiming to be plush-lined for comfort. Whilst I did find this to be supportive for my abdomen and back to wear, the material wasn't all that comfortable to wear next to bare skin and only part of it was "plush". I had expected it to be softer on the inside so that a close fit would also be comfortable on the skin, but I felt hot and sweaty with this on on a warm day.


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