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Schmoo (Manchester, UK)

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Sick Notes: True Stories from the GP's Surgery
Sick Notes: True Stories from the GP's Surgery
Price: £1.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Moan moan moan, 15 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The blurb seemed to suggest that this would be a humorous read & I was expecting amusing anecdotes of life in general practice instead this is one long moan about how annoying patients are, how ridiculous the system is & how he is overworked. While I don't doubt that all 3 of these points are true & valid the book comes off as some sort of patronising passive aggressive whingefest, with the intention of making lay people think twice before bothering their local GP, but that if you do & things don't go to plan then don't blame the GP because it's the fault of the 'system'.

The book would have been much better titled as "I do a difficult job & I want to have a big moan about it"

Jawbone Medium UP Fitness Tracking Wristband - Black Onyx
Jawbone Medium UP Fitness Tracking Wristband - Black Onyx
Offered by You Want One
Price: £53.94

105 of 115 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs some work, 28 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love gadgets & I do believe that this type of technology is going to be the future key to health & wellbeing however the technology isn't there yet, the accuracy of this device is hit & miss, so much so that I've sent mine back for a refund as it just doesn't perform the way it should..... E.g. In the space of a week it has only once recorded my sleep accurately, most nights it tells me that I've woken up & stayed up around 4/5am which I know isn't true as I've actually been woken up by it vibrating on my arm at 7am. I did some research & found loads of other people complaining about the same thing with the suggestion being that perhaps it gets knocked out of sleep mode when one is moving about in sleep. Maybe so, but last night I put it to sleep mode at midnight & then read for a while so no moving around except this morning it informed me that I'd not turned it on until 3.30am. I'm not convinced the alarm function works properly either, unlike other reviewers I found that vibration was strong enough to wake me up but it always woke me at the absolute last time I gave it maybe because it had stopped tracking my sleep a few hours before! That said how was it even waking me up if I'd knocked it out of sleep mode?

Another inaccuracy is that I did an exercise DVD & straight after I plugged it in to see whether it had recorded the movement or if I manually needed to do so & it told me I'd achieved 100% for moving that day...... following day did the exact same DVD, plugged it in & it told me I'd only achieved 50% - that's a huge difference, a few percent I could have put down to me being a bit slack the second day but not half as much! I never tried the reminders to keep moving as sometimes my job requires me to be stationary for a long time so it'd just become annoying if I was trying to focus on a report only to have the band telling me to get up & move about. I also didn't find it that comfortable to wear but my wrists are quite bony so perhaps it was rubbing on them.

On the plus side the app is excellent, really well designed & the bar code scanning is brilliant, adding food manually is a bit of a chore but the tips it gives are quite interesting. I know some people have found plugging it in rather than using bluetooth a pain but this didn't bother me especially as it means you have to charge it less often, although the charge didn't last 10 days for me.

I will buy one of these again in the future but a few models down the line when they've got the technology honed.

Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs Fitness Programme: Get Flat sexy abs without doing any sit-ups
Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs Fitness Programme: Get Flat sexy abs without doing any sit-ups
Offered by Beachbody
Price: £66.80

14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably one for those with better co-ordination than me, 27 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The cardio bits of this DVD reminds me of why I never did aerobics classes in the gym - My brain can not process everything at once! I can just about manage Shaun T's 'tilt, tuck & tighten' move combined with the leg moves but add arms in & I'm lost. Even so this isn't a particularly tough workout, I'm by no means amazingly fit but I'm not finding this that difficult, it works up a sweat but I don't think this is going to cut it for fitness fanatics.

The music is dreadful, cheesy commercial pop music - no hip hop, but that's ok I just play my own & watch what Shaun T is doing. The audio quality is appallingly bad anyway so even without playing my own music over the top I can barely hear what he's saying. I also find it really annoying that every time I put the DVD on I have to wait through the Beach Body ads & then the Shaun T intro, I just want to be able to put it on & go. I'd also prefer it if the camera stayed on Shaun T as it's really easy to see what you're meant to be doing if you watch him, when it cuts away to the backing dancers or trains in on someone's stomach I totally lose what I'm doing.

The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About Using Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, Stress Relief, and Pers
The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About Using Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, Stress Relief, and Pers
Price: £11.03

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mainly common sense, 26 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book because I'm always tired which means I find it hard to exercise & then sometimes make bad food choices which only make me more sluggish & it's all a vicious cycle so when I bought this I was hoping for some new advise on how to boost my energy.

The book claims to be 'The surprising truth'. There is nothing surprising about the majority of the tips in here. Eat more fibre & protein, drink less alcohol & caffeine, don't add sugar & salt to meals, drink water, exercise, exercise with a friend for motivation, try going to bed earlier, don't look at bright screens before bed. It's all standard healthy living stuff. Then there's the questionable tips such as doing the master cleanse or supplements. There's a lot of research to say that supplements or herbal remedies are placebos & it's a million pound industry keeping us all believing that we need these magic tablets & diets.

Maybe I was expecting too much as I do actually know how to eat well & which exercise is best & yet exercise still makes me tired & miserable as sin so I thought I must be missing something & that there would be some magic key in here to help me find the energy to do it more often but no, my summary is that the majority of this book is standard information. If you know anything about eating well & health I wouldn't bother with this book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2013 10:16 PM GMT

Lascal KiddyGuard Accent Retractable Safety Gate White
Lascal KiddyGuard Accent Retractable Safety Gate White
Offered by Cheeky Rascals Ltd
Price: £88.99

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for stairs, 10 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already have the Lascal gate in black at the top of our stairs which is excellent, but the time had come to get another gate at the bottom to stop my baby from climbing the stairs & I chose this one as it was cheaper. The problem with this particular model is that the way the unit has to be fixed to the wall/banister means that the gate comes out flush to the wall not out & across. I spent ages trying to find a way round this & have ended up installing it & making it work by pulling it round the unit & then across which is not easy compared to how easy the black gate is to use. It also means it's not possible to do while holding a child.

I spent some more time today studying the gate to see if we'd got something wrong, but there really is no other way to install it. Then I looked at the box again which shows it being attached to the outside of a doorframe which it would seem is the only way this item would work. Also the dial on the top of this model is a lot fiddlier than the black one

I will keep it because it won't need to be shut at all times & it does shut it's just not as easy as the black one we have.

I think it would be better advertised as a gate for doors rather than safety gate for stairs or doors

Dog Rocks 200g - Prevents Urine Burn on the Lawn
Dog Rocks 200g - Prevents Urine Burn on the Lawn
Offered by Pet-Bliss - Delivering WORLDWIDE
Price: £12.57

3.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced, 8 Jun. 2013
I've had these in my dog's water bowl for about a month & my brand new bright green lawn is still getting yellow patches all over it. The new patches are yellow as opposed to totally dead & brown as the ones from before I used the rocks were, but they still look pretty awful & out of place & I've had to re-seed them.

I'm now giving tablets a go. I'll probably keep using these as a precautionary measure but I'm not convinced they do much (for my dog at least)

Kenwood FPM264 Food Processor - Black
Kenwood FPM264 Food Processor - Black
Price: £90.00

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible quality, 4 May 2013
I've just given this away as it was so useless. The blender has never worked, it leaked badly, I'd read that this might be an issue with the rubber seal coming out of place but I was never able to fix it so I chucked it in the bin & bought a separate one. The instruction manual says not to use the whisk for making cakes, I can see why, it's really flimsy, so the only thing it could be used for is whisking egg whites & it's not much use at that, I use a electric hand whisk instead. To make cakes you are advised to use the metal blade - this isn't good enough to even blend butter into sugar when I tried making a cake in the food processor the batter came out with lumps of butter, another job for my electric hand whisk Who knows what the point of the plastic 'blade' is, if the metal one can't even process butter efficiently what hope has a piece of plastic got for doing anything? I've tried making buttercream in it as well - same issue of lumps but with the added pain of icing sugar billowing up from the sides of the bowl going everywhere & covering my kitchen.

Plus points are that it grates & shreds well but a little piece of plastic fell off the lid of mine quickly which meant that the discs aren't help in place as well as they should & so they rattle around. The grind attachment works well for making breadcrumbs but it's not big enough to take more than half a piece of bread at a time & it was pretty useless at chopping herbs, I went back to doing those by hand.

There's no box for the accessories, a small point but other models do offer this & I found it annoying having all the fiddly accessories knocking around loose. I've also found the base quite hard to keep clean, the grooves that the bowl slots into got filled with gunk & I've not been able to get it out.

All in all this was a complete waste of money for me, it feels cheap & performs poorly all of which has been hi-lighted by me buying a more expensive model by a different brand

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 4 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent pencil sharpener, doesn't split the wood part of the pencil or break off soft liners. Even though it has 2 holes it actually fits 3 sizes of pencil as the larger hole has an attachment that comes out. Definitely the best sharpener I've owned.

Cuisinart 3.8L Food Processor
Cuisinart 3.8L Food Processor

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delighted with my purchase, 4 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've only had this item a few days but I am so pleased with it. Very unusually for me I spent ages researching & weighing up all the options of food processors in this price bracket as my last one (a kenwood costing about £90) was utterly useless so I really didn't want to waste more money on a dud product. The Cuisinart doesn't make it into the Which? best buy category unlike the Magimix however a friend of mine has the Magimix & says that when using the smaller bowls she has to wash all 3 because food leaks through & this made my decision to buy this model instead as it has the rubber seal to prevent leaks & having tested this function I can confirm that it works.

It's very heavy, so don't even think of buying it if you're wanting to store it away in the cupboard as it'll be such a chore you'll never get it out. I've found it easy to assemble & take apart, the bowls all slot into place well & the lid clicks down & has a button to release. Everything about it feels very solid & well made, it comes with an accessories case to store the attachments that you're not using.

So far I've used it for chopping, grating & slicing & have been pleased with the results. One of the reasons it didn't make it into the Which? best buy category is because there was some cheese left on the grater that didn't shred, which also happened when I used it, but that's not a big concern of mine, it got through the cheese in super quick time which is the main thing. Which? also wrote it up as not being able to whip & not that I've tried to do that yet but I have seen a video from Cuisinart where it is being used to whip cream so I think the Which? review must be inaccurate on that point.

Cuisinart do loads of instructional videos for the US market. Search for '16 cup food processor' & it's the same model. There's a really good one lasting almost half an hour which shows all the things the machine can do, I found it very helpful when researching which brand to buy. The only thing I've been disappointed by is that unlike the US model the UK one doesn't have a retractable lead. No biggie I know but when watching the videos before mine arrived I do remember thinking what a good idea that is

I'm off now to make an apple pie, pastry & all using this wonderful machine (yes there's a video on that too..... I'm obsessed!)


I am still very pleased with this purchase but the first time I used the large bowl I noticed that the maximum fill on it is 2.7ltrs for liquid & 3.3ltrs is the maximum marked. I contacted Amazon to ask whether the wrong model had been sent out but after they checked their other stock they got back to me to say that it is the right one & that the extra space at the top will make it a 3.8ltr model. This may be so but there's no way there is 3.8ltrs of useable space which means there is a larger model in the US market (16 cups) & this is actually only 14 cups. Plus in the user guide it states that you can grate 4ltrs of cheese into it. How? If the bowl is only 3.8ltrs big? As I say I am still pleased with this machine, it works like a dream & I've been using it non stop but I do feel a bit conned that it's not actually 3.8ltrs of useable space.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2015 6:30 PM GMT

Toshiba Flash Air Memory Card Class 6 SDHC 8GB
Toshiba Flash Air Memory Card Class 6 SDHC 8GB
Offered by MemoryLab
Price: £21.20

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I thought it would be, 24 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought one of these cards as I was given a compatible camera for my birthday & one of the reasons I wanted the camera was so that this technology would be available to me. The set up process for this was pretty time consuming & the instructions not very clear. If you're not that computer literate or not used to fiddling about with wireless settings I think this product would be too complicated. Mine didn't do what the instructions said it should do & I ended up having to consult other information on the internet to figure out how to actually view the content of my camera.

I think what I was expecting was that this would automatically open up aperture or iphoto for easy download as it would if I were to plug the camera into my mac, but it doesn't. What you have to do is choose the SD card as a wireless network & then use your browser to go to [...] Any pictures already on the camera will show & then you refresh your browser bar to see any more that you take after that. However they're not full sized files & there doesn't seem to be any way to download into photo storage software short of dragging each picture to where you want it. Time consuming.

I feel the main use for this is if you've taken a single picture you want to email or add to Facebook or twitter, it's by no means an alternative to plugging the camera into your computer via cable or SD slot for transferring large amounts of data. I assume that in the future the technology will be able to do this but for now it's exceptionally basic. I'm not sure what I'll be using it for for as the vast majority of the time if I want to quickly take & share a picture the chances are I'll have my iphone on me & that'll do the job a lot quicker.

I've not yet seen how this works via my iphone, but I'm assuming it's a similar process (open browser etc) & as yet they haven't developed an OS app for it which they have for android.

I'm pleased to have the camera that is compatible with this technology for future developments but for the time being I think this SD card is a lot of money for not that much functionality


I found the OS app on the apple store (Toshiba should really update their website to advertise it) & it works a lot better than using the web address on a computer. You still have to find the cards wireless network to view content but then you can easily select which pictures you want to download & then they appear in the iphone's photo file, but as I said before if I wanted to take & share a single picture I would probably just take the photo using my iphone anyway.

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