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Ames123

Ames123
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Member since: 22.03.2004

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    • More +
      13.11.2013 18:58
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      A no-brainer.

      For the past year or so my day-to-day eye make-up for work and not working has just been brown eyeliner and mascara, because it is so much quicker than using my eyeshadow palette to do a full eye. I much prefer the extra five minutes in bed! I prefer a dark brown rather than black which looks too harsh especially if you line the bottom of the eye as well.

      I like the UD 24/7 liner which is brilliant and Avon glimmerstick liner, nearly as good and a third of the price. But I've recently been using this eyeliner from MUA. I believe MUA is exclusive to Superdrug or at used it used to be. It is a very affordable range of make-up which isn't all that bad for the price!

      I found this in my sister's make-up collection and got myself my own promptly. It costs just £1 and the brown comes in a lighter shade or this richer brown colour called rich brown. The lid doubles as a sharpener. They also sell glitter pencil liners, liquid and gel liners.

      For the cost this is brilliant. I've found Urban Decay and Avon liners to be the best for application as I can't stand having to drag a pencil harshly across the eye and going over and over it. It is on a par with the Avon eyeliner for application, meaning the best you can get without beating Urban Decay. As for staying power, with a primer underneath, it lasts about four hours before you need to go over it. You could get away without going over it but it wouldn't look its best. I use primer no matter what eyeliner I use and the longevity suited me this summer. I was working in Italy in a hotel doing split shifts. I only really put proper make-up on for the evening shift so I only needed it to last for about four hours anyway. I occasionally used it on the bottom lid but as with every other liner I have tried it comes off pretty soon after application. It didn't leave much of a mess though which is a bonus!

      I did have one problem and that was that I couldn't get the sharpener to work and the lid wouldn't stay on. The lid coming off was the main problem because the pencil would blunt itself in my case and I had to sharpen it with every use. It still lasted me nearly three months though using it every day despite this! I have read a few reviews though and no-one has mentioned this problem so it must just be a one-off.

      I will continue buying this because it is an absolute bargain. If you need a new eyeliner I would give this a go because it is worth spending so much less on this and saving the difference to put towards items I believe you do need to spend more on such as foundation.

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      14.06.2012 23:02
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      A must read!

      I not heard of Jojo Moyes before and even if I had done I probably wouldn't have picked this up as I tend not to read authors I am unfamilar with unless it has been recommended by my sister. This beauty fell into my hands when I was visiting my friend in London. After the inital journey there I realised I would be spending a long on tubes and trains so wanted something to read. A few, including this one, caught my eyes in Smiths but I tend not to pay full-price so went to look for a charity shop. I came across a second-hand bookshop and this was on top of the chick-lit pile - a lot cheaper than I had just seen it for. So I suppose you could say I was meant to read this.

      Now the actual topic of the book I feel is different from the blub on the back of the book. I didn't realise his injuries were so serious. However it is good that is was not on the back because I am ashamed to say that I would not have read the book as I wouldn't have thought it was my thing. How wrong I would have been!

      Now initally I didn't click with Louise; her taste in clothes was a little too eccentric for my tastes but it didn't take me long to change my mind. Afterall i'm not reading a fashion book! Louise was persistant with Will iniatially because she had no other option but to keep the job, but then because she saw in something in Will that was deeply hidden. A further reason comes to light later on which sets a sad undertone to the book even in happy circumstances.
      The trick Will played on Louise during their first meet was cruel but I can full understand why he did it. He was a touch egg to crack for Louise as his sudden drastic change in lifestyle left him depressed and completely void of the character he used to be. It was lovely to see the moments when we glimpsed his former self.

      I cannot recommend this book enough, it is brilliant. I have already passed it onto my friend and as it turns out my sister already had it. I wish she had told me about it! This book is addictive; I was reading it on every train/tube during my trip and even nearly missed my stop because of it. Consequently I rushed off with my lugguge and knocked a poor women on the leg with my suitcase, sorry! The last section I knew had to be read all at once rather than split up and it was about 3.30am one morning when I finished it sobbing like a baby and reaching for the tissues. I have not cried at a book like that before. That is not to say the whole book is sad, I laughed out loud several times, probably earning curioius glances on the tube. The book makes you think about life and how lucky you are. All I can say is thank goodness Louise Clark came into Will's life.

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    • General / Discussion / 25 Readings / 22 Ratings
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      19.04.2012 23:47
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      An amazing read!

      My 100th review after 8 years on the site so thought I would complete one of these 'about me' questionnaires.

      1. What is the wallpaper on your computer screen? Why did you choose it?
      My sexy Salvatore boys and Elena from the Vampire Diaries. I am in love with TVD. Don't get me wrong I love Twilight too but this is just so much more!

      2. Mexican food, Chinese food, Italian food, French food or American food?
      Chinese probably.

      3. Do you have any tattoos and piercings?
      Just my ears.

      4. Do you have any siblings?
      A younger brother and sister, 22 and 17.

      5. Have you ever broken a bone?
      No, touch wood.

      6. Do you believe in superstitious things such as breaking mirrors?
      Yes, I throw salt over my left shoulder when spilt and tend to do things in threes.

      7. Do you like those 'end of the world' movies?
      They are ok, don't watch many of them.

      8. Do you eat more fruits or vegetables? What's your favourite fruit and veggie?
      Vegetables. Am loving broccoli at the moment and bananas are my most eaten fruit.

      9. Who were you most likely to play during school nativities?
      Part of the chorus. I was in Grease in high school which was a lot of fun.

      10. What's your opinion of the dentist?
      Don't mind them, unless I have to have a filling!

      11. Have you ever had a speech impediment?
      No.

      12. If you had to choose, what is the worst movie you've ever seen?
      I have seen a couple which would be contenders but I can't remember the names.

      13. Do you like meeting new people?
      I do but I tend to judge a book by it's cover which is wrong of me but I am getting better.

      14. If you could, which celebrity would you date?
      Well I think my friend and I decided I would marry Ryan Renoylds, though I think there are many others I would like to date. It tends to be the characters people play that I fancy rather than the actor themself.

      15. Who would you take with you on a deserted island?
      A witch or wizard who can help me survive!

      16. Do you know how wide your hips are in exact inches?
      No.

      17. What would you say is the worst part of high school?
      I am thankful that (looking back) I enjoyed high school and didn't really have any problems apart from a little of the usual stuff.

      18. How old will you be on your Mother's 68th birthday? Is that 'old' to you?


      19. Ever thought you were dying of something you were not even close to having?
      Nope. But I when I was in Fiji in 2009 on the ferry to one of the islands I banged my head so hard on the TV, I am sure there was a dent in the TV. I was really scared that I was going to fall ill from it and I was by myself and it would take hours to get help, so I was pretty worried then. 

      20. Have you ever wanted to be a doctor?
      Not a doctor, a nurse though.

      21. If you were dying who would you say goodbye to first?


      22. Do you like to babysit children?
      I used to babysit when I was a teenager but sometimes found it a little hard to cope. Have not babysat anyone in years!

      23. Do you often forget where you put things?
      Yes or more likely forget to pick things up or forget to do things.

      24. Do you go on a lot of holidays?
      The last couple of years have been on little UK breaks rather than abroad. I do need some sun soon though!

      25. Have you ever met someone with the same 'biggest fear' as you?
      No but one of my fears is of people looking over the top of toilet cubicles as it happened to me once in school and ever since I am a little paranoid about it!


      26. Would you rather write with a pen or pencil? Why?


      25. What is your favourite number and why?


      26. Are you afraid of being kidnapped when you go outside at night time?


      27. Where was the best school trip you ever went on?
      Don't know what the best oen was but I did go to France and Germany which was pretty cool.


      28. Are you a controversial person?
      I don't think so.

      29. What would you say your average word per minute count is on a keyboard?
      It is fairly good. I was tested when I was working for temping agency in Australia. I think it was 57wpm if that sounds right?

      30. What was your favourite and least favourite subject in school?
      History and geography were my favourite and when I started it at A Level Economics and business. Least favourite depended what year but I struggled with ICT at A Level because of not taking it at GCSE.

      31. Do you bite your finger nails?
      No.

      32. When is the next time you'll go to the library?
      Not for a long while.

      33. Do you like fiction or non-fiction books more?
      Fiction books. I read a lot of the chick-lit genre.

      34. Do you treat others as you'd like to be treated?
      The majority of the time.

      35. What type of child were you?
      Very chatty but quieter and shy when older in public and at school.

      36. Are you someone who likes to get into arguments and fights a lot?
      Well when in an argument I will carry it on as long as possible.

      37. Do you swear a lot?
      I don't swear.

      38. If you had to get a tattoo, what would it be of and where would you have it?


      39. What's your favourite TV shows?
      Vampire Diaries, Take me Out, X Factor, the soaps.

      40. Does personality weigh out the sense of 'good looks'?
      It would eventually.

      41. What is your favourite thing in your bedroom?
      My bedcover, it is flowery Cath Kidston style from Ikea.

      42. If you could change 1 thing about you, what would it be?
      Be more decisive.

      43. Do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?
      Being too shy at school and not being forthcoming enough. I always think I missed an opportunity but I'll never know now.

      44. What colour hair do you have?
      Brown.

      45. What colour eyes do you have?
      Blue.

      46. Favourite Sound?


      47. Favourite Quote?


      48. Favourite Colour?
      Blue, orange and purple.

      49. Favourite Films?
      Probably 27 Dresses, that would be the one I have watched the most.

      50. Pet Peeve?
      People leaving washing in the sink. By the time I want to use it the water has gone cold and I have to take your stuff out putting my hand in the cold water with food floating about!

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      • More +
        06.04.2012 17:53
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        A must read

        I love Paige Toon's books, however I have only just read this book and it was published in July 2011.This is a sequel to Johnny be Good from 2008 and had forgotten that that book was very good and so was not in a rush to read this one, however I should have been.

        Meg used to work as PA to super, gorgeous rock star Johnny Jefferson in his amazing LA pad and Baby be Mine picks up nearly two years later when she is with partner Christian and their one year old baby Barney in the South of France. The blurb on the back wonders how long Meg can keep the secret from Christian. You see every day Barney is looking less like Christian and more like Meg's ex-employer Johnny. I wish I hadn't been put off reading this for so long, it is very good.

        I found that you could split it into three sections, by location and the situation at the time. I do respect Meg for how she is able to move to new places with a baby in tow! All three locations sound amazing especially the way she described the setting in the South of France, so picturesque and peaceful!

        I thought Christian would be in it more but once the secret had come out he only had a background part and it was more about Johnny's relationship with his son and Meg's upheaval from place to place. I thought what was good was how Johnny and LA didn't lose its pace, glamour and extravagance from the first book completely but was a lot more sedate; this included Johnny, who in in some ways did seem to have grown up a little.

        The ending wasn't inevitable but it was what I was hoping for and the nature of it did surprise me. If Meg was to pick between Christian and Johnny, based on what she had said about Christian earlier on the book there was only one way it could have gone.

        Meg and Johnny shared lots of lingering looks and you could tell that despite what he may have said, his actions and body language betrayed his feelings towards Meg. As to Meg she often thought about Christian but the feelings that arose at just a reminder or touch from Johnny showed that she was pretty lost in him really. Meg can't act on these feelings though as Johnny leads a life not entirely suited to that of a toddler.

        The other relationship that we wonder about throughout is of that between Christian and Johnny. You see Christian is Johnny's best friend and they have known each other since childhood. This obviously makes things a lot more complicated!

        Paige continues the theme in her books of having reference to characters from other books and here we get to meet Luis and Daisy from Chasing Daisy. I did find the meeting between the two sets of characters surreal!

        I did read one review where the reviewer read the book without realising this was the second and so it must be readable as a stand-alone book. However I would not recommend it as a lot of the meaning of things will wash right over you. Read Johnny be Good first and then this.

        The Cosmopolitan quote on the back cover says you will be laughing and crying until the last minute. I can't say I cried, but I did get upset and did laugh out loud. If you fancy this but don't know whether to because of it being a sequel it is definitely worth buying the first one too and also any of Paige Toon's other books. My sister and I's favourite is probably Chasing Daisy.

        Baby be Mine can be bought from £5.17 from Amazon new or from 1p use on Amazon marketplace.

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        • Beastly (DVD) / DVD / 58 Readings / 56 Ratings
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          17.03.2012 23:56
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          A good watch

          I had wanted to see this since I saw the trailer last year but unfortunately it was one of those films that was not showing in many places and for a short time only. I therefore only saw it last week when I rented the DVD.

          It is based on Beauty and the Beast. The main lead, Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is your typical high school idiot who attends school in the centre of New York. There, after offending the school witch Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), a spell gets put on him which turns him into 'beastly'. He is horrified and hides away. The only way he can break the curse is for a girl to say that they love him. He soon finds the girl he wants to impress in the form of Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens). I am not going to insult your intelligence as to the ending; it is pretty obvious what will happen.

          I enjoyed this film, although it was not long enough at all! The conclusion was too quick and I found it a little unrealistic how she immediately accepted who the person she had been falling for really was. I guess that was the only major problem I had. I enjoyed the appearance of Neil Patrick Harris as Will, Kyle's live-in tutor after he had been changed. His humour was necessary to lighten what would otherwise have been a dark film from Kyle's situation and Lindy's background.

          Other characters included Zola, the family's housekeeper and Kyle's dad who struggled to cope with the change. The last scene, strangely you may think as it involved Kyle's dad and Kendra, was rather funny!

          I only rented the DVD so I cannot comment on any extras. I do recommend you give this a watch as I is not bad at all, it just needs to be a little longer.

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        • More +
          05.03.2012 00:03
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          Enjoyable read.

          I have not read a mermaid book before. I can't even remember seeing The Little Mermaid all the way through. My usual genre is chick-lit and whilst this could be classed as such I have not come across it before. It was thanks to Amazon that I bought this and its positive reviews.

          It cost me £2.75 through Amazon Marketplace and can be bought new for £4.61.

          The book is about Lily, a mermaid that has been living on land for the past three years and has a crush on the school jock. She is convinced he is her mer-mate and that they will live happily under the sea together. That is until Quince, her irritating neighbour, keeps butting in and stopping her revealing her feelings. We see relationships and feelings develop before Lily knows it herself. The second half focuses more on the consequences of Lily accidently kissing someone she shouldn't have. For in mermaid world once you kiss someone you are connected to them for life!

          It did not grab me from the first chapter however after this I was hooked. The fish slang that Lily constantly uses was a little irritating at first and made her seem immature but it is only because of the way she was brought up. Where this was in a magical kingdom underwater called Thalassinia (in which I picture her Dad to be like the King in The Little Mermaid) which I find hard to get my head around. I imagine it to be relatively simple but houses and furnishings seem to be quite a lot more sophisticated than what I would imagine it could be underwater!

          I did have two problems with the book and that was the change in one of the characters. This person seemed a nice, genuine person, perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, but genuine. However when the plot required they turned into a bit of a twat. I did find this unnecessary, it would have been possible to continue without altering them like that.

          Secondly, was the fact that Lily's revelation to individuals that she was a mermaid brought about no questioning at all. It was simply accepted as if it was perfectly normal. One character simply laughed and asked if she wore coconuts! I know this is a magical book but even in Twilight Bella does not immediately accept the fact there are supernatural beings in the world.

          Apart from that though I really enjoyed the book and finished it in about three days. There is a sequel titled Fins are forever which I will obtain once it is released in paperback. I recommend chick-lit and supernatural book fans read this as it could well open up a new type of book to you.

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          • More +
            06.01.2012 18:34
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            A fun read

            =I heart Vegas=

            But I still can't spell it. I've googled the place, looked up hotels and looked at my friends pictures of the place in more detail and yet I still spell Vegas wrong every single time! Because that is what this book has made me do; research the place. I think this is the second of Lindsey's Kelks book that has given me a passion to go there one day. The first was New York, but then everyone wants to go there anyway but Las Vegas has never really done it for me, or so I thought. But reading this book it showed me how bright and vibrant and different it is.

            =I heart various locations=

            This is the forth in the I Heart series from Lindsey Kelk. As you may have gathered the first was New York followed by Hollywood, Paris and now Las Vegas. To set the scene for you the first was Angela running away from England after a rather nasty discovery at her best friend's wedding. Running to New York her life completely changed and she is still based there 18 months later when I heart Vegas starts.

            =What is it about?=

            Angela has been living with her hot musician boyfriend Alex for several months now and all is rosy. Until the day she receives a letter telling her her work visa has expired and unless she somehow manages to get a new one she has four weeks to depart the country! Angela really doesn't know what to do and after exhausting all other avenues reluctantly accepts her best friend Jenny's advice to marry Alex. But how will she ever ask him? The first third of the book is slower than the rest, setting the wheels in motion for the dramatic events that unfold in Vegas. I don't think the book is entirely predictable and there were some things I was right about and others not.

            All the characters return including Jenny's ex Jeff who causes yet more heartache for Angela's best friend. Erin is back and there are a couple of new characters including Sadie whom you will dislike at first.

            Like the first book, where I couldn't believe so much could happen in just a few days, the same applies here. The weekend to Vegas is only three or four days but every Vegas stereotype plus more seems to happen. Despite bad things happening it didn't dampen my spirits and the way brightness, extravagance and luxury is described along with the fact anything can happen has put this location on my to visit list.

            The conclusion to the book, as you would except in a chick-lit, is satisfying and I can imagine what the contents of the next book (yet to be released), I heart London, will be.

            =The book=

            It seems standard practice to make a book in this genre as bright and eye-catching as possible and this is no exception. The white writing with the name of the book is set on a purple background with, who we are supposed to presume is Angela, dressed up in front of a fountain and hotel in Vegas.
            At the back of the book is a handy little guide to Las Vegas by Angela and contains sections on hotels, shopping, eating and drinking and clubs and would actually be useful if you were going there as they are all real places.
            It has an RRP of £6.99 but you can purchase it on Amazon for £3.89. It was published very recently in December 2011.

            =Lindsey Kelk=

            If you are interested in the author see my review on the first book, I heart New York. But what I will say here is that Lindsey has a couple of websites including one which is written in the style of Angela as a guide to the various locations. www.iheartvegas.co.uk

            =Conclusion=

            If you read books by the likes of Paige Toon and Sophie Kinsella then you will love this. It fits exactly in that category of easy to read, not having to think book and makes you feel you can do anything. You could technically read this without having read the other three books but it would be wise to read them to understand the relationships between people and their past as otherwise you may be left a little confused in parts. If this is your usual genre then you should get yourself a copy of this today!

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          • Nokia 2220 Slide / Mobile Phone / 59 Readings / 55 Ratings
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            13.12.2011 22:35
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            A simple phone

            My last phone, which incidentally was also pink, sadly broke one day whilst sending a message. I coped for a couple of weeks without one until I got round to purchasing a new one. I went with this Nokia slide after only a quick search. I didn't want a slide phone but if you excluded touch phones there was not much choice in design! I bought it from Argos for about £30 but I did have to buy top-up at the same time.

            My first thought in using was that it was horrible. I didn't like the keys and how you navigated the phone. But now that I have used the phone for several months I can see that this is just getting used to a new phone.

            In terms of design, everyone knows what a 3310 is like? Pushed together it is smaller height-wise and when you slide it out to reveal the keys it is slightly taller than a 3310. It is about 3/4 of the thickness of one. The front of the phone is hot pink whilst the back is black. I can't remember exactly how long I have had this phone, perhaps six months but the middle button which is your selector is scratched and some of the pink is now white.

            The keys are black and are only separated by row not individually. I found these really difficult to use at first as using the top row I found the bottom of the slide bit in my way.

            This phone is a simple phone in today's market and is the quality that you would have expected in the mid- 2000's. It is colour but the camera on it is very basic. It is not even worth using, in fact my phone I had in 2007/8 had a better camera. It has the usual calendar and phone functions. It does have the internet though I have never been able to connect, though this is down to me as the last phone I had wasn't set up properly for it either!

            I currently have over 1800 messages stored which impresses me and sent messages are automatically stored. However looking for a particular one is not an easy task as there is no search function, it is simply a case of scrolling through. As I will mention later slow speed of the phone does not help!

            One of the games is pinball which was a welcome discovery. Although is not the best it is good enough to waste a few minutes.

            Battery life is excellent. As I only use this for text messaging and occasionally the phone and there are no energy draining features I can get over a week out of it without charging and even when the battery icon goes red and flashes it can still last a couple of days!

            Now my main gripe is that it is so slow! It is not that bad but I sometimes have to wait for it to catch up with itself. You can see this particularly when playing pinball. Some things are instant but with others you have to wait a second, it even has a loading bar!

            My other complaint is that there is no calculator. I understand this is a basic phone but even the basic of the basics has a calculator and it has a convertor so why not a calculator?!

            For 90% of the mobile phone owning population I would not recommend this. But those who are not bothered by fancy phones and are willing to put with a little slowness this phone will do what you need at a low cost.

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          • More +
            22.09.2011 22:59
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            Try on furnishings

            I bought this from Avon as part of a deal with other items such as shower gel. I paid something like 3 items for £4. It's rrp is £4 but it is currently on offer for 99p on the Avon website. It is very rare that you will ever pay full price for this type of product with Avon! Other scents available are strawberry and guava, juicy watermelon and lemon blossom and basil.

            The packaging is lovely, looking exactly like the above picture except a little lighter. The bottle is slim and the picture makes it look very natural. Unlike other room sprays/fresheners which stay strictly under the sink, this does not look out of place on your dressing table.

            As the name suggusts, use can be to freshen linen or the room. Initally I was a little taken aback by the smell as it was a little different to just lavender but once you get used to it is lovely and not as strong as lavender on it's own can be. I normally spray it about three times into the air but after the initial smell it is pretty useless doing this as it just does not last and you cannot smell it further.

            I also spray it on my pillow and here it lasts much longer, a good few hours. It is not too strong and it did seem to help me fall asleep, although you never can tell with these things.

            If you purchase at less than it's rrp then I would reccommend this, as although it is pretty useless as a room spray, it is effective on linen and is a perfect relaxing scent.

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          • More +
            25.06.2011 15:13
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            One for your list.

            This book was read because of a positive review on here. The plot intrigued me as house sitting (well actually pet sitting, but a similar thing) is something I very briefly looked into in Australia and I also just love a bit of spark flying in a book to get the pages turning.

            I thought I had read a book by the author, Freya North, before as the pink stripes on the front were similar to the green ones on another I had. I thought it was a theme on her books but actually they are different authors. But Freya has released many books ; in the front pages nine others are listed which include many named something that you would called your cat such as Fen and Pip! It took Freya five years to get her first book Sally published in 1996 after she gave up her PHD to write it. This book itself was published in 2009.

            As I mentioned house sitting is the theme here. Tess answers an ad in the paper written by Joe who lives in a house that although is beautiful, holds many secrets. Ultimately this house becomes a home and haven for Tess who is running away from her problems in London with her baby, Emmeline.

            Now, as a rule, I don't read chick-lit books that have children in them. I don't have any myself so I cannot relate and I also think they would involve more mature women, not necessary of age but in mind. However I did not know about Tess' child before I started reading because I hate to say it but it may have stopped me reading. I am glad I didn't know because this book is brilliant. I couldn't put it down, wanting to read more about Tess' growing life in Saltburn-By-The-Sea and relations with Joe when he was not out of the country doing his bridge engineering work. Freya North did much research regarding the bridge aspect of the book although sometimes it did seem Joe was spouting of information from an information card!

            What was a little different to what I normally read is that the characters were not ones I immediately warmed to or liked all the time. Tess, I thought was a little presumptive to arrive on his doorstep with a child in tow and similarly things that Joe kept on doing throughout the book I thought was bang out of order. But I guess things can be explained. Tess for example, is at the end of her tether and she simply cannot be turned down to be a house sitter because she has a child.

            As for the secrets in the title of the book, they range from the guessable to the weird with weird and odd being the reason Tess will not go on the beach!

            The setting is in the beautifully described and researched Saltburn (abbreviated) and the author actually includes pictures and descriptions of at the end of the book. With a pier, beach and Italian Gardens, Saltburn is not picturesque in the foreign holiday way but in the typically British seaside town with history way.

            The book can be purchased for £4.49 on Amazon or from 1p plus p&p on Amazon marketplace.

            It only has three and half stars on Amazon compared to more favourable ratings here. Some of the complaints are about the secrets, the length of the book and the rather descriptive bedroom scenes. I do agree about the latter. The book is written in the third person which is this way enables you to learn more about the two main characters. However what this also means is more description of places and items which was actually ok but I do have a short attention span when it comes to such things! One complaint I do have is that I would have liked to have learnt and read more about were Tess' friends Lisa from Saltburn and Tasmin from London as they only really featured when Tess was in need of something.

            But the complaints are small, this book kept me wanting to read more and with the characters becoming more comfortable with themselves and overcoming their problems the book arrives at a satisfying ending, although I wouldn't have objected to a little more! You will even smile at one of the things Tess' enjoys doing in the latter half of the book as I did as it is something I would love to do.
            I would really recommend this book as it will keep you frustrated, upset, guessing and wondering and ultimately happy.

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            • Cadbury Heroes / Chocolate / 118 Readings / 116 Ratings
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              13.06.2011 12:37
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              High up there in the miniature world

              Cadbury Heroes. When did they stop being miniature heroes? Obviously they felt dropping the miniature elicited a better response from the consumer. But the fact is these are miniature versions of staple Cadbury products that have been in our shops for years.

              Heroes have changed over the years. I remember them previously including a dream (white chocolate which I am not even sure is available in the full-sized version anymore) and a crunchie. The full line up is as follows:

              Crème Egg Twisted - Not a mini egg shaped crème egg but a crème egg twisted. The twisted is the bar version of the Easter product and like the bar, does taste different to the egg. It is not just the fact it is not round but the fondant is a little runnier and the mini version here is the same. A nice addition though and better than including something I won't eat.

              Dairy Milk - The humble but nation's staple is just pure milk chocolate. What I like is that the small piece is indented down the middle meaning you essentially get two bites.

              Dairy Milk Caramel - Not much to say about this one, but exactly like the full-size.

              Twirl - A light bar with wafers of chocolate encased in a layer of chocolate.

              Éclair - Not one I remember them including previously. Soft chocolate encased in a thick chewy toffee. The sweet that is perfect for car journeys.

              Bournville - I am please they include this dark chocolate as it provides a bitter sweet refreshing alternative to the milk chocolate.

              Fudge - Soft fudge with a layer of chocolate wrapped round. Easy on the teeth and perfect for small children.

              This is the only miniature chocolate collection where I will eat all of them and not leave any. There is not even a particular chocolate that gets left to the bottom in our house unlike Celebrations with the mars bar and milky way of left until last. Not only do I get to eat more but they last longer because of this fact. The mix of different chocolates/fudges/toffees is good and provides changing tastes for the palette. The share that each chocolate gets in the box is pretty even though I did find there were not many crème egg twisted though but this did not concern me.

              Packaging

              They are packaged in a tall purple box that is narrower at the bottom than at the top.
              The lid can be tucked back closed which keeps the products enclosed and looking neat.
              Including wrappers you get a neat 400g. Each chocolate is foil wrapped with most of them being easy to get into by just un-twisting the wrapper. There is not an individual calorie count as each would have to be listed separately but overall for every 100g there are 480 calories and 22.5 g (13.4g saturates) fat.

              Picture appeal

              What I haven't noticed before is that each little picture of the chocolates on the box is accompanied with a picture. Studying these, they seem to be representative of the product. The sling-shot is perfect for the crème egg twisted as it is something you would see in a TV advert slinging it across to splat on a wall! Dairy Milk fittingly has a crown and caramel a feather boa. Does this show it is the fancy alternative to the dairy milk? The hoola hoop on the twirl can only be related to the name. The red Bournville with the beefeater hat relates to the colour and the star-shaped lit up sunglasses wrapped around the fudge show it's childlike appeal. The only one which confuses me is the éclair with its French beret and artist's palette. I can only presume éclair is a French word and the little mark that just appeared above the e in the word when I typed proves it.

              Price

              I paid an amazing £1.99 from Home Bargains and bought them purely for the fact I was after chocolate and these were reasonable. This is price is excellent as full price you can expect to pay approximately £3.96. At that price I would not buy for the purpose I wanted them for but purely for their intended purpose as chocolate to be given as a gift. At Christmas time you can buy a tub of them.

              Where do these fit into the miniature world?

              One of the newest additions to the market (although still 12 years ago in 1999 they were launched), their nearest competitors are Nestlé's Celebrations, which as you have guessed are little versions of their products such as mars bar and milky way. Quality Street and Roses are also in the market and are the grow-up siblings of the two chocolate manufactures'. Out of the four, Cadburys win hands down. I have always preferred Roses to Quality Street and whilst I do love Celebrations ultimately there are ones that always get left which is not the case here.

              The winner?

              If Cadburys is not to your taste then you would not get much out of these, but if you don't mind it or even love it then these are perfect for dipping into and eating without getting bored of eating the same chocolate. Perfect for passing round the family when sat in front of the TV on a Saturday night these deserve to high up there if not top in the miniature world of chocolate.

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              • Beko CDA648F / Fridge / 76 Readings / 72 Ratings
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                09.06.2011 22:14
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                • Reliability

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                A decent fridge/freezer

                First of all a few specifications. This is a frost free, auto defrost fridge/freezer with the fridge having a 175l and the freezer a 94l capacity. It has a grade A energy rating, a four star freezer rating and dimensions are (H)190.6 x (W)59.5 x (D)60.0. I know it says auto defrost but sometimes you never know but as far as I am aware we have never had to defrost this by hand. We do have a little frost at the back of the fridge but nothing major.

                The silver does not exactly match our kitchen but then we do have a silver cooker too and the fridge is tucked away so does not look too bad. In fact the colour hides minor dirt and finger marks. The inside walls are white with glass shelves that are all easy to clean. The design is sleek as there are no handles, you can either open the fridge with the bottom of the door which has a large, groove all long or by just opening where the suction is at the side. The freezer opens similarly but at the top. You do need to be careful that it shuts properly as just giving it the door a push close sometimes leaves it open.

                The glass shelves are all movable including the ones on the door which includes an egg tray. We use the bottom tray on the door to store milk and juice which can fit in four 2l bottles. The bottom of the fridge has two pull out salad boxes. One of them must have broken as we only have one. This suits us fine as by not having the glass shelf above (it smashed) most of the salad fits in the one box as there is room for it to stick out. The other side allows room for bottles (2l milk not 2l fizzy drink size). The shelves in the fridge width-wise are nearly twice a pizza box size (Asda chosen by you to be specific!) and the depth of just over one.

                The freezer starts with a thin pull out ice tray which allows your ice cube tray to sit flat to freeze. You can also put various fruit and vegetables in to freeze. The first draw underneath is a fast-freeze and has a pull down lid rather than pulling out like the other three drawers do. The drawers are a see-through/frosted plastic. They are deep (fitting the mentioned pizza in flat) and you can fit enough in for a family of four or five if you shop regularly. We do have a chest freezer now as well so I would say this would suit 3 people ideally without having to shop for a while. The fridge though has plenty of room.

                It is pretty tall, but then it is a fridge/freezer. I have no issue with reaching the top of the fridge, none of us do, but then we are not small in our house! Others may struggle to reach the back of the top shelf however you could move it down one. I cannot however reach on the top of the appliance. It is handy to store trays and cake tins but not worth keeping anything else as I would need a stool to reach the back.

                The good thing with the design is that the back has wheels so moving it around is a little easier. The doors can also be put on opening either way.

                It also comes in white, the model number being CDA648FW. This silver is CDA648FS1.

                Prices for this fridge in silver are:
                £267 from nextdomesticappliances.co.uk
                £279 from comet.co.uk

                This fridge/freezer is a good appliance for us. We needed a decent size one as we have never been one to be able to use a tiny one and this provides ample space, particularly in the fridge. We have not had any problems with it and can happily recommend it.

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                • More +
                  07.06.2011 00:22
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                  Will not disappoint

                  I knew this would appeal as soon as I read a couple of reviews of this book and was sure my sister had a copy. So I went to my personal library (my sister) and borrowed the book to devour. I say devour because Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan (published this year) sounds like an ideal, very modern idea of a book to curl up with a hot chocolate. Indeed cupcakes are very trendy right now making this an ideal theme of the book. The content and the pink cover that suits the book perfectly mean this book is difficult to resist.

                  It is a chick-lit with a difference. Issy is made redundant from her comfy job at a property firm and her hotshot, loves himself boyfriend leaves her feeling very disappointed. What Issy does have though, is a generous redundancy payment that she could use to realise her dreams of baking. Issy makes the most delicious cupcakes and running a cafe like this suits her to the ground. There are problems though, with customers, with competitors and with of course men.

                  The book is written in the third person which means that it is not all about the main character. Sometimes the story will deviate slightly and talk about a different character for a page or so. I like this as it makes their character more dimensional. Issy is a likeable character, brought up by her Grandfather, with bakery in the blood and I certainly empathise when she is unsure whether she can do it. Other characters include her on-off boyfriend Graeme. He was a bit of a plank to be honest, more interested in his career than Issy. Also there is Helena, the reliable best friend, Pearl, the assistant Issy could not have done this without, Caroline, her upper class competitor for the shop who turns out to have a bigger role than I expected and Austin her banker. They all add different prospectives as they really couldn't be much more different in their lifestyles.

                  I was really willing Issy to succeed in the bakery, the picture painted of the cafe is so cosy and I wish it was real. There must be a place like this somewhere! The romance was probably not the main story here and I did not guess the romantic interest straight away and even then was unsure how it would end. Chapters start with a recipe, many from her Grandfather. The book also comes with a few proper recipe cards which is a nice addition.

                  A few things did annoy me though. Although the frequent chapter breaks were good in that I could put the book down when I wanted without having to wait to get to the end of the chapter but the breaks but just too frequent, often one on one page and then one on the next! The next little complaint is that sometimes Issy would mention something that happened last week. It would then go into that and I was unsure of when that ended and the present continued again. The last little thing is that I found the ending of the book a little sudden. It could be that it was setting it up for another book but I don't think that is it.

                  However these were the only things I could fault the book, everything else was perfect and I dare you to read this and not attempt to bake afterwards! It inspired me to make some delicious chocolate cupcakes.

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                  • Olympus FE-4000 / Digital Camera / 63 Readings / 59 Ratings
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                    27.05.2011 22:33
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                    Does the job of a basic camera and looks good

                    I am sure many of you are the same, that when it comes to electricals you are loyal to one brand. This is not with all products but for cameras this is me. My last camera was an Olympus and I had had it for three years before it broke three quarters of the way through my year in Australia. It just stopped doing anything apart from display a very very faint picture. I think it had been dropped for the final time. I needed a new one sharpish so it was not long after when I was back in Sydney that I purchased one. (Typically it broke just before I was leaving Mildura and I wanted to take pictures of the place so had to get a disposable!) I did a little research but didn't have time or the resources to do as much as I would now.

                    I decided to get an Olympus again because I had liked the other camera despite the fact the XD card is not as practical as the standard SD. I suppose this cut my choice down saving me time. I selected this 12mp camera and purchased it after a little dealing for 179.99 dollars. It is available to be bought in selected colours around the £100 mark on Amazon and around £90 on various digital camera websites. It came in dark grey/chrome, white, pink, blue and orange. Although I wanted the pink one, this and the rest bar the white were pretty useless cosmetic wise as the finish of them was shiny and would display finger prints. My off white, pearlised camera does not do that at all and never gets grubby, I love it. Apparently this has a double-layered crystal shell finish. That does not mean much if you have not seen the camera but makes sense to me. The back of it is black with a 2.7 inch screen.

                    ---About the camera---

                    The camera is very thin at 22.4mm and even though cameras keep getting smaller this still beats most of them. I have never had a problem with it slipping though as it grips well so there are really no disadvantages to the size just the advantages of it fitting easier in small bags. Although the buttons are smaller than my last camera there are not many of them so there is no worry of accidently deleting that photo.

                    It was easy to set up, just a case of inserting a memory card (I don't think it came with one, but not a problem if you had a camera before). But you can take a couple pictures without one to test it with the 19mb internal memory. It is a simple point and shoot with all the settings on automatic although you can change things like the exposure manually if you like. One of the others things I have noticed you can change is something to do with the weather conditions as often I have accidently stumbled across little pictures of clouds and sun which you can choose. I presume this is to do with light conditions.

                    Although it takes an XD card it does come with a SD adaptor card meaning you can use SD cards too though I have never personally used this. Looking on Amazon there is a newer version, the FE 4040 which has an SD not an XD card slot.

                    It has a 4 x optical zoom with a wide angle lens though I can't say I have noticed this part, but the zoom is bigger than my last one and in the most part is perfectly adequate.

                    There are a few special settings called the magic filter where you can take pictures in a sketch mode, one that makes it look like an old film print, another that darkens the edges and another which isn't much different to the normal one. I really like the one than darkens the edges, some of the shots would make great prints. It added a gothic look to one I took with a tree and church tower.

                    In with the 13 modes available are the normal portrait, sunset and pets among many others including cuisine and documents but I hardly use any of these. I have used the sunset one and whilst it takes slightly different shots to using it on normal I don't know which makes for the best photo so tend to take a shot with each! Another which I use is the document one, useful for taking close-up shots of writing.

                    A problem with my old one was that it was not up to much taking night-time shots. Out and about in a club etc was fine, but try to take one of fireworks for example and you will struggle. Now this is not spectacular, but I believe it is better, though I find sometimes it does not matter whether you use the night mode or not!

                    The battery is a lithium re-chargeable one and despite not seeming to charge for long does last a long time and even when it is flashing at you that the battery is empty still lasts a good while as I found out whilst in Holland earlier this year.

                    --- Some problems---

                    I do have a few complaints. For one I cannot view the photos without switching the whole camera on with the lens coming out. On my other one I could just press the play button and the screen would switch on whereas with this one I have to switch the whole thing on at the top.

                    Another niggle is the delay in between taking a photo and being able to take another. Now I like the fact that the photo is able to be viewed for longer on the screen but it really is too long and I am forever asking subjects of a photo is just hang on there a second whilst I wait for the camera! I would say this has to be one of the biggest gripes with this camera.

                    The screen's quality, despite being much bigger, is not as good as the other one in displaying the picture. Often it will look bad on the screen but when viewed on the computer is fine, so this is just something I have adapted to. It has a 230000 dot resolution and apparently this should be ok but it really does not equate to good viewing.

                    Lastly this is just a problem hopefully with this one. Last year, less than a year after purchase, it started developing lines down the screen, going all fuzzy and multi-coloured when trying to take a picture and freezing on me. When I eventually got round to it I sent it off to be fixed to Olympus and they sent it back not long after all fixed. They seem to have repaired it but this was not enough as it soon broke down again and so off it went again. This time they appeared to have replaced parts rather than repair them and so far *touch wood* I have not had any problems. They never questioned any fault or charged me but then it was obvious there was a problem and I had sent all the documents (receipt and warranty).

                    ---Conclusion---

                    It does seem I have had problems with this camera and it has it faults but I am sure you can all find some with yours. Most do not matter too much and do not affect the photo in the end. I really love the design, feel and size of the camera and I believe I paid a good price for it. In researching the specs I came across a couple of digital camera reviews in which they do not rate this camera at all. Some of the things like the screen and lag in taking photos I agree with but other points are not something I have noticed or know anything about so I would suggest that this camera would be fine for normal use. Those with a little photography knowledge looking for a compact digital camera would probably be wise to look elsewhere. The camera also has AV tracking, advanced fact recognition, image stabilization and the ability to take videos. The full specification is rather long so I have not posted it here but you can read it at http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/29_digital-camera_fe-4000_-_specs_21929.htm:

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                    • More +
                      22.05.2011 00:56
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                      Worth a try if treating yourself

                      Even though I have only purchased a handful of things from the shop I knew this was one Lush product that was regarded as amazing and one browsing session in a different town led to me purchasing this product. I was in two minds as although I wanted to buy something from the shop it was hideously expensive. But I had just been paid so I thought I'd treat myself. I can now say this was a treat indeed!

                      It cost me £3.99 for a 100g bottle. I wish it was in ml like every other shampoo and conditioner as it is difficult to compare but the bottle is the same sort of size as one that you would decant into to take away on holiday. It also comes in 250g costing £7.99 and 500g for £12.99.

                      I smelt it before buying and decided it was pleasant but not as strong as I was expecting. I couldn't really tell what the scent was supposed to be.

                      The website says how they were inspired by teenagers meeting in 1950s milk bars for frothy, creamy milkshake and using a product like theirs to get their hair soft. I love this image and the smell and creamy texture reminds you of a vanilla a milkshake which is what this look and smells like.

                      --USE--
                      The directions are simply to rub in and rinse off but I knew from other conditioners that it would be best to leave this on a couple of minutes. Dispensing it from the bottle is not as easy as some as you have to shake the bottle upside down and then squeeze hard as the plastic is very sturdy. I settled for approximately two 50 pence pieces on my shoulder-length hair. The white, creamy conditioner distributed well and I left it on for a couple of minutes. I couldn't smell much at this point unless holding it to my nose. Rinsing it out was easy and didn't take long at all leaving me with really soft hair.

                      My hair when left to dry naturally and even when styled is thick and frizzy so I left my hair without any products on to see the effect of this conditioner. Now my hair was not frizzless (I'd doubt a product could, not because my hair is so bad but I have jut never found one) but the frizz was soft if that makes sense, more of a relaxed frizz. I noticed hair was incredibly soft and shiny and it brought out various colours in my hair other shampoos and even my brunette/red one couldn't. These colours are particularly prevalent under lights.

                      Now the smell was still quite subtle, unable to smell it unless the hair was swished. It is vanilla but not a strong one, not like anything you would find in a spray or perfume, but it smells amazing! I would say a creamy vanilla and it would be one of the natural ingredients which gives it this smell. I cannot detect any of the fruits though. Two days later I could still smell this on my hair which is very impressive however the next time I used it I used a smaller amount and it only lasted until the next day.
                      The bottle lasted over a couple of months with use about every other time I washed my hair. One reason this tiny bottle lasted so long is because of the price. I was being a little more careful with how much I used compared to using others.

                      --PRODUCT--
                      What I love is the ingredients list. Look at any shop bought conditioner and it has a million chemical sounding ingredients but this list is short and the majority you recognise. The few that are chemical sounding are explained on the Lush website (I found the Canadian one to be the best for explaining how ingredients are used.).

                      Honey Water (Aqua), Vanilla Pod Infusion, Propylene Glycol, Fresh Organic Oranges, Cetearyl Alcohol; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Fresh Strawberries, Perfume, Lanolin, Cetrimonium Bromide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Vanilla Absolute, Clary Sage Oil, Lavender Oil, Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax tonkinensis pierre), *Linalool, Coumarin * Occurs naturally in essential oils

                      Cetearyl Alcohol - used to thicken and stabilize.
                      Propylene Glycol - helps to soften the hair.
                      Cetrimonium Bromide - an emulsifier, surfactant (helping dirt and oil to be trapped and rinsed away), acts as a preservative and stops fly away hair by making it lie flat.
                      Cetearyl Alcohol - stops oil and water from separating and creates thickness.
                      Benzoin Resinoid - from the styraceae plant family and extracted from the bark it is a natural preservative and antiseptic helping ease irritation. It is used in this product as it leaves a film on skin and hair which gives shine. It also has relaxing properties which is why it is used in one of their glitter bars.
                      Courmarin - found in plants and give strength to fragrance. I did find some information about how it has been banned from some food products but am unsure how this relates to its use in a cosmetic product.

                      Strawberries are calming on the scalp, strengthen hair and add shine. Oranges packed with vitamins and nutrients help leave it tangle-free and shiny.

                      So all the ingredients are there for a purpose and are mostly naturally sourced. I am not saying another hair products contain unnecessary ingredients but this list does seem to be a lot shorter which in my opinion can only be a good thing!

                      --ANOTHER?--
                      To sum up this is a really lovely conditioner that works brilliantly, smells gorgeous and contains few ingredients. I do wonder why there is not a matching shampoo available but that is not something I am too worried about as this is the final product you will use and so the smell will stay rather than if it was the other way round. The one bad point is the price. Whilst I appreciate it may cost more to produce, the price is still extortionate. If they brought it down to £3 then that would be ok. Due to this fact and fact that there is not a store near me I shall not be repurchasing in the near future. Should I find myself near a store and wanting to treat myself then I may buy again.

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