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AmazonBasics Everyday Double Fitted Sheet, Blue
AmazonBasics Everyday Double Fitted Sheet, Blue
Price: £16.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Fitted Sheet, 27 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first Amazon Basics item I've received and I was pleasantly surprised. I was kind of worried that the sheet would be cheap and too small for the bed, but that wasn't the case. It's a good, basic sheet and so far I've had no problems with it. It's well made with secure stitching, no loose threads and it washed well. (I washed it before first use).

This pale blue double fitted sheet is crisp cotton rather than brushed cotton, so is perfect for the muggy summer nights we're having at the moment. I have a standard double bed and this came up slightly too big - but this is not a problem as I have a very deep mattress, so the slightly larger size was a bonus as I was able to tuck it underneath the mattress.

It's actually better than some of the other double fitted sheets I already own, where I have to really pull to get the elastic over all four corners of the mattress. Overall, I'm very pleased and would buy from this range again. (Will update if I have any future problems).


AmazonBasics Premium 16-Piece Classic White Dinnerware Set, Coupe, Service for 4
AmazonBasics Premium 16-Piece Classic White Dinnerware Set, Coupe, Service for 4

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Dining Set, 25 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This 16-piece dining set consists of 4 mugs, 4 side plates, 4 dinner plates and 4 cereal/dessert bowls. I'd not seen any of the Amazon Basics range before, so was a bit unsure of what the quality of the items would be like. But I'm actually pretty impressed and think this set makes a great everyday dining set.

My first main concern was that the set would arrive damaged, but it was packed well and arrived safely with no breakages. The set is stamped Amazon Basics on the bottom with a sign to say microwave and dishwasher safe. The mugs, side plates and dinner plates all had a nice solid feel to them and were heavier than I expected them to be (which was a nice surprise). The cereal bowls felt slightly lighter and more fragile, but still well made.

The only niggle I have is that the finishing on the set I received is a little uneven. On most items there is some bobbling or hollow in the glaze which really stands out on a white plate. On a set that you're going to use every day (which therefore has a higher risk of getting broken) you're probably not going to worry about an uneven glaze surface too much. But probably not a set I'd give as a gift, unless you know someone who's very accident prone and who gets through a lot of china.

Overall - a great everyday set, one that should be used and not kept in a cupboard.


Taf Toys Rainbow Pram Arch
Taf Toys Rainbow Pram Arch
Price: £22.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Well Made and Appealing Pram Arch, 23 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'd not heard of the Taf Toys brand before receiving this item, but I am very impressed with the quality and feel of this pram arch and would definitely keep an eye out for their products in future.

The toys and the arch have different textures, colours and sounds designed to encourage different areas of a baby's development - senses, emotional intelligence, motor skills and cognition. I'm not completely convinced by the emotional intelligence argument, but I agree that it is very appealing for the other three. The arch has crinkle circles, a yellow bird rattle, a chime bell tree with teething ring, and a white smiling cloud rattle.

The arch looks beautiful in the box - it would make a great baby shower gift - and the colours when you first open it are bright and inviting - though I'm not sure they'll stay that way for long, once baby starts playing with them. It's a shame that the toys are permanently attached to the arch as it means you'll only really be able to surface wash them.

Because the arch is flexible rather than rigid, it can be adapted to a range of widths, so you can move it from pram to stroller to moses basket if it's one of the toys that your little one takes to. I have attached the arch both to my Maxi Cosi Elea pushchair and my Tippitoes stroller. I was happier with the fit on the stroller as I was able to fit it directly to the frame. On the Elea I had to attach it partly to the seat padding which I don't think gave quite as secure a grip and it was a little frustrating trying to get it to clamp securely on. I wish there had been some mention on the box of where the best place to attach it would be, but as it's been designed to fit multiple pram designs this isn't really practical.

Overall, I'd have been very pleased to receive this as a gift, and I think it would make a great present for someone - something different to a multipack of babygrows or baby toiletries.


Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for Epson - T0715 Combo Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for Epson - T0715 Combo Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
Price: £15.75

4.0 out of 5 stars 4-pack of Inks, 19 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have never used remanufactured ink cartridges before as I was always worried that they would leak all over my printer and ruin it. However, the cost of Epson's own T0715 4 pack of ink is so high, that I decided to try these out.

So far, so good. I have been using them (pink and blue) on my D78 printer, have been pleased with the results and haven't had any problems using them.

I don't do an enormous amount of printing so can't say (yet) if the quality declines over time. But I will add to my review any problems I encounter or if I'm able to use all 4 inks from the pack with no problems.

At their current price of £15.88, I will definitely be buying my next lot of printer ink here.


Elle by Beurer MPE100UK Manicure/ Pedicure Home Nail Spa
Elle by Beurer MPE100UK Manicure/ Pedicure Home Nail Spa
Price: £129.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Professional Kit...Needs Much Better Instructions, 6 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly the positives - this is a beautiful piece of kit. Just unpacking it, you appreciate how well put together it is. Everything fits inside the smooth white case - mains lead in a compartment underneath (I'm also keeping the 30 single use sandpapers in there, it's a bit of a squeeze but they do fit), and inside the main compartment all the attachments have their own little slots, as does the hand held device to which you attach them.

I think this piece of equipment is something that, the more you use it the more confident you become with it. If you haven't used an electric manicure/pedicure system before (like me) this is probably not the one to start with. I'm currently still using it on the lowest speed setting and even then, you can easily remove more nail than you intend to. It's also quite expensive ( a quick search on Amazon shows that there are cheaper items available, though admittedly none of them looked as good as this).

I have two main problems with the item. Firstly I feel the instructions are too vague - I think there is an assumption that the buyer will have used something similar before. The instructions tell you what each attachment does, but don't go into enough detail on how you should use each of them. Total page length of instructions in the booklet is six and a half pages - this includes the technical specifications, disposal and one page of warnings and safety notes. My second concern is that you are provided with tools to treat ingrowing toe nails and corns, with only the barest of instructions on how to do so, and that given how powerful the device is, it would be very easy to cause yourself significant damage. I've been to the Beurer website to see if there are more detailed instructions available for download but at the time of writing this review there isn't. There is a short Youtube video but this is only 1:52 minutes long, and just shows you how to set up the device and how to file your nails.

Replacement accessories are available, but you have to e-mail the listed supplier. I would suspect in the first instance you'd only need to replace the disposable sandpaper heads as the professional attachments are described as long lasting.

If you've used a basic electrical manicure system and are looking to upgrade then (if you can afford it) this is probably for you. Otherwise, I'd start with something simpler.


Rexel Dox 1 A4 Lever Arch Files - Blue (Pack of 6)
Rexel Dox 1 A4 Lever Arch Files - Blue (Pack of 6)
Price: £30.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Well Made Files that Look and Feel Durable, 29 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This 6-file set (the current price works out at around £5 a file) is definitely better value than buying the single file. While you can certainly get lever arch files cheaper at your local supermarket, I doubt they would be as well made as these and would probably need replacing sooner.

The lever arch mechanism feels strong and sturdy and a metal trim around the base of each file prevents wear and tear when you're getting it into and out of it's box. The white plastic pull tab on the side of the file (rather than a hole) to remove it from the box means your papers won't be getting dusty if you don't look at them for a long time. The files take A4 documents stored in plastic pockets easily. If you like to slide slightly larger documents/envelopes into the back of your files they will stay securely inside the box, though it makes it a little harder to slide the file in and out.

I was initially surprised when I received the files as I expected them to be in one large box - making a single storage area to put on your shelf (closer inspection of the photos reveals that they are individual boxes placed next to each other). And actually the single boxes are a brilliant idea as you don't have to struggle to get the files to stay standing upright when they are full of papers.

If you are looking for longer term storage of documents, then these files are well made and worth the money.


Philips GC7635/30 PerfectCare Pure Steam Generator Iron - One Perfect Temperature, 240 g Pressurised Steam Boost
Philips GC7635/30 PerfectCare Pure Steam Generator Iron - One Perfect Temperature, 240 g Pressurised Steam Boost
Price: £139.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Makes Me Love Ironing, 28 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Prior to using this iron I had never before used a steam generator, so my review is from the perspective of someone new to this sort of thing.

Overall I am very impressed. The instructions were easy to follow and using the iron for the first time I had no problems at all. I wouldn't go so far as to say I now love ironing but it's certainly made it a lot easier and quicker to get the job done. The instructions that come with the iron recommend using it in standard mode for best results but I found this generated so much steam that I felt like I was in a sauna. (Perhaps because I'm not used to using steam generator irons?) So I use it in eco mode which uses less water and creates less steam. I have had no problems getting creases out of any items (including jeans) using eco mode and I'm still ironing much faster than I did using my basic iron. It is lighter than my previous iron but I find this is more of a bonus than a problem, as I'm able to iron for longer without my wrist wanting to give out.

I was dubious about the smart chip technology - the iron apparently senses what it's ironing and adjusts the temperature accordingly - and whilst I haven't rushed to try it on anything silky, the items I have cautiously tried ironing, waiting for them to scorch, have all survived perfectly well and crease free.

I don't think it's great that you have the ongoing cost of buying water softening cartridges to use in this iron (the iron won't function if you don't have a working cartridge in place) but it's worth knowing you can get the cartridges more cheaply on Amazon than direct from Philips. As I live in a very hard water area I tend to use deionised water (apparently if you use deionised water the iron senses this and doesn't use the cartridge) in my iron anyway, so already have that as an ongoing cost. But that's my choice, it hasn't been made for me by the manufacturer.

I've seen no evidence so far of any leaks from the tank (as mentioned in other reviews). Will update the review if this situation changes. I never leave water in the tank when I'm not using it though.

The iron comes with a five year guarantee which is quite impressive and I hope that I will still be using this particular iron in five years time. If I had to replace it, I would save up and buy another steam generator iron. I've definitely been converted to this way of ironing.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70EB-S Compact Digital Camera with LEICA DC Vario Lens - Black (12 MP, 30x Optical Zoom, Control Ring, 1.2.EVF, Wi-Fi with NFC) 3-Inch LCD
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70EB-S Compact Digital Camera with LEICA DC Vario Lens - Black (12 MP, 30x Optical Zoom, Control Ring, 1.2.EVF, Wi-Fi with NFC) 3-Inch LCD
Price: £294.00

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Next Step From Point and Shoot, 12 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm usually more of a point and shoot person - I like the camera to do everything for me - worrying about focal lengths and lighting is a bit beyond my technical abilities. But I also want to be able to take the best pictures I can. I think this camera would make a good step up for someone wanting to move on from letting the camera do everything automatically to making your own choices about aperture adjustment, shutter speed etc.

The camera comes with a cd-rom which contains more detailed instructions and a program for you to store your pictures on your PC. It also has a little booklet of basic instructions - so you can get started almost straight away - you're going to need to charge the battery first, but this charges very quickly. The instruction booklet says three hours (170 mins.) for the battery to charge, but I think it charged quicker for me. You also get a hand strap and a USB cable. If I was buying this as a gift for someone I'd also want to buy a case, so it has some protection. The camera is too nice just to have it loose in your handbag. One of the things I love is that this camera does have some internal memory so if you forget to buy a memory card as part of the present, they'll still be able to take some pictures.

So far I'm still pretty much pointing and shooting and getting some very nice crisp images. Even if you only have experience of taking pictures on your mobile phone just following the basic instruction booklet would see you being able to take pictures with the camera very quickly. One thing I am interested in doing is macro photography, I'm looking forward to tackling butterflies when the weather is better. (Will update my review as my experience with the camera increases).

The camera can also be connected to a smartphone or tablet, this is not something I'm interested in doing, but that option is available.

This is probably not a camera that I would just pop into my handbag on the chance that I might want to take a photo - I can use my mobile phone to do that. But I would take it with me on holiday, to a wedding, wildlife watching, to a child's birthday party etc. places where I wanted to take the best picture I could. (I haven't experienced any of the image quality problems mentioned in other reviews but will update my review if that situation changes.)


Tefal X-Large Actifry Express Health Fryer, 1.5 kg, White
Tefal X-Large Actifry Express Health Fryer, 1.5 kg, White
Price: £199.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Chips, 1 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My sister has had one of these Actifryers for ages and has raved about it, so when the opportunity came to try one out, I thought I'd give it a go. We got rid of our deep fat fryer years ago and I was hoping this new Actifry would produce chips that tasted better than oven chips without the problems of having to use large quantities of hot oil.

This is quite a large piece of kit and does take up a fair amount of space on your kitchen counter, so if you don't eat chips regularly you'd probably want to consider one of the smaller models (or at the price not bother).

The unit has proved easy to set up, use and look after and whilst you can use it to cook other things (a very short recipe leaflet is provided) I suspect we will be using it mainly for chips.

The instructions are easy to follow - recommended potatoes are King Edwards and Maris Piper. We used Maris Piper. Recommended chip size is 13mm x 13mm thick and a length up to 9cm! Now, while I appreciate having a standard size chip will probably give you better results, I (like I suspect most people) did not measure the chips I was using, I just estimated as best I could. This does mean that you get slightly uneven results, some chips slightly crispier than others, but they tasted just fine. They were definitely better than oven chips but not as good as the ones from our local chip shop. I think if you eat chips regularly and despair of the slight cardboardiness of the oven chip, then this is a purchase you should consider. If I had to return this X-Large Actifry tomorrow I don't think I would replace it, but as a family we eat quite a lot of chips, so I'd almost definitely save up for one of the smaller models.


Kärcher SC1 Premium Steam Cleaner with Floor Kit, 1200 Watt, 3 Bar
Kärcher SC1 Premium Steam Cleaner with Floor Kit, 1200 Watt, 3 Bar
Price: £80.11

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Little Steam Cleaner, 17 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The premium version of the SC1 comes with lots of accessories for cleaning various things - a detail nozzle with two different heads, a hand nozzle and a floor nozzle, terry cloths for use with the larger nozzles and extension tubes if you want to use it more like a typical floor cleaner.I've never used a steam cleaner before but overall was quite impressed with this.

The cleaner comes with two sets of instructions. The first book contains the safety instructions with information under the headings Danger, Warning, Caution and Attention, useful (if a little scary) if you've not used a steam cleaner or pressure vessel before. Mostly the information here just requires you to apply common sense when you're using the cleaner. The second book contains the usage instructions which includes a contents list, how to fit the appliance together and how to use the appliance and the accessories.

On first use the instructions are a little daunting (at least I found them so) but actually using the machine was quite straightforward and easy once you've got it assembled. And the more you use it the easier it is. So far I've used it on upholstery and carpet for cleaning specific areas - and whilst it didn't remove the purple biro stains I think it reduced their appearance. I'm looking forward to tackling the kitchen and the bathroom with it.

Being small makes it nice and portable and it reaches temperature quickly once you turn it on. But like the other reviewers I also found that it didn't last for the 8 minutes listed in the main product description. If you've got a huge living room carpet you want to clean you might want to go for one of the larger models.

If you have severe arthritis in your hands bear in mind that you have to hold the trigger for the SC1 in the 'on' position. This is a great health and safety feature as it means if you trip or fall whilst using the cleaner as soon as you let go the steam cuts out. But my mum was unable to hold the trigger on, so this wouldn't be suitable for her. And if you're using the unit for a while your hand does get tired. Also remember that if you live in a hard water area you will need to descale the unit more often.


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