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BeccyBoop
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Member since: 01.02.2010

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    • More +
      19.07.2010 16:51
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      Great alternative to water

      I am for ever trying to find new ways of loseing weight or toning up etc....so when I read an article in Cosmo and stumbled across this cellulite busting drink, I immediatly rushed out to purchase some for myself.

      *****Background

      It was brought to America by childhood friends, Ira Liran and Michael Kirban, in 2005 after discussing coconut water with some Brazilian ladies.
      And is now available in over 10,000 retail stores nationally.

      Ingredients and Benefits*****

      100% Pure Coconut Wate
      Coconut water has 15 times more potassium than that found in sport drinks and is naturally loaded with the five key electrolytes:
      - potassium
      - magnesium
      - phosphorous
      - sodium
      - calcium
      Vita Coco is also fat and cholesterol free with no added sugar and is also suitable kosher and is Star-K certified. Some doctors also recommend that pregnant ladies drink this as it has so many nutritional benefits. Coconut water contains high levels of lauric acid, what the body uses to make monolaurin, a disease-fighting fatty acid derivative. Lauric acid has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that protect the body against various infections and boost the immune system.

      This is what Vita Coco can do for you:

      - Help keep the body cool and at the proper temperature.
      - Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells and boosts poor circulation.
      - Regulates the function of the intestine, helping promote smoother skin.
      - Helps replenish your body's fluids after exercising.
      - Helps detoxify your body and boost your immune system.
      - Helps ease stomach pains.

      Many people arent aware of the different kinds of coconuts - This is made with green coconuts. They are harvested in the north of Brazil, in a farm near Fortaleza and the average age of the coconut is about 7 months, the best age to extract sweet coconut water that is fat-free.

      *****Purchase and Price

      This can be bought from any Holland and Barrett store or online. It is also available on www.amazon.com. It ranges from £1.89 for a 330ml to £4.99 for 500ml, depending on where you shop.

      Packaging and storage*****

      They come in tetra packages which keep the drink cool. Once opened I would recommend that it is to be drunk the same day and served chilled.

      ****Flavours

      - Coconut
      - Acai & Pomegrante
      - Pineapple
      - Tangerine
      - Peach & Mango

      Overall*****

      I tried this drink as the magazine I read said it breaks down cellulite and supresses your appetite. Well this actually did! Well it didnt really get rid of my cellulite but it did supress my appetitie. I would have on of these at around midday and then didnt feel hungry for the rest of the day, until dinner time. The magazine also mentioned that these are really popular with celebrities and that this was the new craze, so I went with it! (sad I know).

      I started off on the 100% coconut juice and didnt really like the taste. It was very creamy and the texture was quite thick. So I tried the pineapple one which was delicious. It still had the coconut taste but it was sweetened by the pineapple.
      I have tried the others but I tend to buy the pineapple as it is the best tasting.

      I took some on holiday once as an alternative to water and it really hyrdated me by the pool. They are easy to store and you just slip the silver tape off the top and sip.

      My only critisism is the price. It can get pricey if you drink one a day and I had to treck to town to get them or order on line as they dont stock these in your local supermarket.

      Worth a try as an alternative to water!

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      • Mikado Chocolate Biscuit / Snacks / 61 Readings / 60 Ratings
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        03.03.2010 21:07
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        Great snack and great for kids.

        I am always looking for an alternative to sweets and chocolates for both me and the kids, so when I saw these in Tesco, I put them in the trolley and off I went.

        ***Background***

        They are based on the game of 'pick-up sticks' originating in Europe. The game was brought from Hungary to the USA in 1963. The game got its name from the highest scoring (blue) stick "Mikado" (Emperor of Japan). The buddhistic Chien Tung also contains a stick called "emperor".

        2009 saw Kraft Foods launch Mikado, an exciting and unique chocolate biscuit snack specifically designed for on-the-go customers.

        ***Biscuit***

        The ultra thin crunchy biscuit sticks are covered with smooth milk chocolate, with one end left uncoated of around 1 cm, so you can hold onto the biscuit with out it melting on your fingers.
        They are around 7 inches long and the width of a small paintbrush or a matchmaker (chocolate).

        ***Price***

        1 x 39g (17 sticks) 69p
        3 x 39g 1.99
        75g priced at £1.19

        ***Package***

        All packs have a flip top opening for easy snacking and all of them are foiled sealed for freshness. They have athe Mikado logo on the front and the nutritional information for easy understanding of the intake.

        ***Ingredients***

        Chocolate 49% [ Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Skimmed Milk Powder, Glucose Syrup, Butter, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Flavouring (Vanillin)], Wheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Lactose and Milk Proteins, Salt, Raising Agent (Ammonium Hydrogen Carbonate), and Yeast

        Per Biscuit -
        Calories - 11
        Fat - 0.5g
        Saturated Fat - 0.3g
        Sugar - 0.8g
        Salt - Trace

        Contains Gluten, Wheat Flour, Milk, Lactose, Milk Powder, Milk Proteins, Soya & Soya Lecithins. May also contain Eggs, Almonds, Hazelnuts & Pistachio Nut.

        ***Overall***

        These are great and really tasty to have on the go or at home as a treat. I bought mine from B&M's and paid 59p for a 75g pack, which is really good considering some shops prices. Tesco also do them on deals sometimes and you can gain the clubcard points aswell.

        I find that even though these are really nice tasting, you have to eat quite a few (or the whole packet in my case) just to even get a chocolate fix! They are really mourish and I can't help myself when I open the pack. Which is quite bad as they are quite high in calories when you look at the size of the actual stick!!

        I normally keep these in my car as a quick snack between work and the school runs and the kids often nick a few.
        They are also great lunch box fillers (the 39g packs) and with the non dipped end, the kids can hold them without getting sticky hands.
        You can buy these at any supermarket and also on Ebay for some good deals.

        I love the advert and think it is hillarious (the women ends up photocopying her bum by mistake!) and the website, www.mikado-lu.co.uk, is a really great designed website, with cute animation and informative videos.

        The taste of the biscuit is a little plain and the chocolate not the best quality but combined they taste really sweet and savory at the same time. I would recommend these to anyone who wants a little treat, just don't eat the pack like I do!

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        • RBS Royal Bank Of Scotland / Bank / 43 Readings / 42 Ratings
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          02.03.2010 17:59
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          Waste of time and money, staff are not trained properly and all of them are greedy.

          I have had so many problems with this bank and do not even know where to start!I first opened my account in 2001 and started with a current account. I wasn't on the best of wages so just kept it simple, with no ISA's, overdrafts, credit cards etc.

          All was well till I started earning more.

          Problem one - Savings.

          I received a phonecall one day from the bank. They asked me if I would like to come in and discuss my account with them and feeling like I was in trouble, I said yes and made an appointment.

          I was sat down (similar to Alan Sugar) and told of all the benefits of a savings account (that I didn't even need) and that I should open one now to get the chance of winning a mini in their special competition.

          I signed up and prayed I would win the car (I didn't and couldn't drive even if I won it).
          So I had a savings account and no savings to put in it and the nice lady had commision from my account sign up.

          Problem two - Another savings account.

          Now I was getting a bit more clued up on these banks (and my mini hadn't arrived!) so when they next called to arrange a meeting, I said no straight away. However, they got me on my next visit to their branch. I ended up signing up to another ISA on which I had to deposit £3000 in each tax year. I was led to believe that you had to put this money in or you would be charged.

          Loads of paperwork came through my door and I ended up making a standing order from my current account to the ISA for regular payments every week.

          Problem three - Credit cards.

          I have never had a credit card till I joined this bank. They offered me one with a £3700 limit and thinking about a holiday, I signed up. I received it within a couple of weeks and starting spending on it straight away.

          I got myself in debt and started paying the monthly instalments and also the interest. On the odd occasion, they write to me to inform me that they have upped my credit limit. At first I thought this was great, but then I spent it and ended up in further debt. I have to call them up when they do this and say I don't want it.

          Problem four - Overdrafts.

          I needed an overdraft as on some occasions I have gone over and ended up being charged. So I applied for a £100 overdraft and they agreed. Within a matter of weeks they called me up to ask if I wanted an increase on my overdraft. I thought it would be ok to do so and said yes.
          It wasn't explained to me that they will be charging me for the use of this.
          So I am constantly in my overdraft as I can never get out of it.

          Problem five - Poor customer service.

          I set up a standing order to pay my rent to my landlord. It was really simple but I was a little unsure that I had the right bank details so I asked the lady 'if the details were incorrect and the money went out, would I be able to get it back?' She said of course. I also asked if I could cancelled this, how long would it take to cancel, she replied 2 working days.

          Well the details were incorrect so I went into the bank to cancel. She said it would be done within 2 days and I went on my way. However, what she didn't inform me was that it would actually take 5 working days and 2 of them happened to be bank holidays.

          The money ended up going out and even my overdraft didn't cover it so I was charged on top of that. I had to borrow my rent money and pay the landlord in cash and started to complain to the bank about being misinformed.

          They told me I was wrong. I asked the lady that served me and she said that she didn't say 2 days at all.
          They said they were trying to trace my money but couldn't find it (which I know is a lie as my sister works in a bank). They then said that I wouldn't get it back as it is just 'floating' about.
          I was so annoyed at being called a liar and being charged for their mistake, more than the money, that I ended up taking it to the Ombudsmen. Before I could do that the bank called me and said that as a gesture of goodwill (!) they will refund me my money and any charges. The money was back in my account within days and I also received a £50 deposit from the bank as an apology. So they were in the wrong.

          Problem six - Customer service...again.

          Since all this, I have been moving house and wanted to change my address details for my account and credit cards etc. I went into the branch and they asked me for some ID. As I had just moved in and the bills were in my partners name, I had no utility bill to give them. They asked for my driving licence which unfortunately had my old address from years ago on so they wouldn't accept that. They then asked me there and then to prove who I was as they didn't want to discuss my account anymore.
          I don't carry any other ID on me so had to leave.

          In the ollowing weeks I contacted another bank that did a switching service. They contacted this bank and told them. I have since had a phonecall from RBS to discuss my account and update my details over the phone! I declined.

          I have since left 1p in my account just to keep it open so it costs them the admin fees and paid up all my credit cards and removed my savings. Call me annoying but they have displayed nothing but poor service and I am glad I am out of there.

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          • Smoking in General / Discussion / 40 Readings / 36 Ratings
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            28.02.2010 22:14
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            Not something you want to start and really hard to give up.

            I have not smoked now for nearly 5 years and to be honest with you, I could smoke one now. This is just my personal opinion about smoking and it may not apply to others so please don't hate my opinion.

            ***How it started***

            I started smoking when I was around 13/14 years old. It wasn't due to peer pressure or even because my parents did, it was because I wanted to. I would smoke Lambert & Butlers and smoke around 10-20 a week. Back then 10 fags were around £1.09 and a lighter around 20p and I would use my dinner money to buy them and hide them in my school bag.

            I smoked on and off for a couple of years and ended up smoking rolling tabacco as I couldn't afford the other ones.

            ***When I stopped***

            I got pregnant with my first son. I am ashamed to admit that I didn't give up straight away but cut down. I went from smoking 20 a day to 3 a day.
            It was only when my son was born, he was a healthy 8lb 1 oz so, that I gave up. I noticed one day that I looked pathetic in the mirror and my son smelt of smoke.

            ***How I gave up***

            I woke up one day and said thats enough. I tried one week of patches but found that they made me dizzy and when I took them off, I just needed one straight away.

            I decided that I would have to just do it with pure determination and I did. I haven't had one since that day.

            ***Why I gave up***

            How can I possibly tell my kids not to do it when I smoke?
            I hate the amount of money it costs - a pack of 10 now cost £2.89 upwards.
            You smell horrible.
            Anti social.
            Health reasons - My dad was diagnosed with throat Cancer and it is terminal.

            ***Conclusion***

            Smoking is revolting, but not something that you can easily stop. I have a massive amount of sympathy for people that smoke and want to give up. It is the hardest thing to do and I still, even now, after so many years, I could still have one.

            It has become so anti social, what with the bans, that more and more people have given up. There is a guy in Blackpool that owns a pub. He is going to court all the time as he is still smoking in his pub and the police are arresting him. He claims it is against his Human Rights. I am behind him and have even signed his petition.

            I have noticed and do get really mad when the NHS and government go on about how bad smoking is, and then up the price to 'prevent' people from doing it. They glorify drinking. They extend drinking hours to 24 hours and make the advert sexy and appealing and then put pictures of blackended lungs on a pack of fags. I don't remember seeing a bottle of baileys with a poisened liver on it. They then ban smoking in all public places??? Confused.

            I also don't understand how much they go on about smoking and how dangerous it is. When I smoked, I never got into a car with a fag and killed anyone. Yet people, when drinking, have killed themselves and others in their cars. So to solve this, the government have extended the drinking hours??

            My partner smokes and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. The only thing that annoyed me, this was when I was a smoker aswell, is when people smoke at the dinner table. It is rude and ignorant.

            Smoking is an addiction. It has been noted that it is more addictive than heron. Yet heron addicts get help and support and smokers have to pay for their patches? If it is so bad for your health, then why don't you get patches on the NHS?? I was offered no support and luckily, was able to do it myself. But if I hadn't, then I would be then addicted to the patches and also very much out of pocket.

            Anyway, surely there are other issues in our country that need addressing? Leave smokers alone until they have enough power and courage to give up.It is something they need to do, not to be bullied into it.

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            • Top Shop / Highstreet Shopping / 17 Readings / 16 Ratings
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              28.02.2010 21:37
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              Corpoate Rubbish

              I am probably going to be hated by all women out there, but I do NOT like this shop.

              ***Background***

              Topshop launched in 1964, and has now become one of fashion's biggest success stories. They claim to have affordable style and it's approach to fashion has made it the number one high street stop for style conscious shoppers and industry insiders alike.

              They have over 300 stores in the UK and over a 100 internationally. It is part of the Arcadia Group and began in the basement of a department store in the North of England.

              In 1994, Topshop's flagship store was born. It is still the world's largest fashion store on the high street, attracting over 200,000 style savvy shoppers each week.

              Topshop has produced designers like Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, as well as emerging talents like Christopher Kane, Danielle Scutt and Marios Schwab. Topshop has also displayed pieces from Kate Moss and Celia Birtwell.

              ***Blackpool Store Layout***

              This store is located just opposite the Hounds Hill centre in Blackpool town centre and has Topman downstairs and Topshop up 2 flights of stairs.

              After climbing the 2 flights, you go straight onto the shop floor where the clothes are. Firstly, the store is so hot and sticky that I feel like passing out at the top. I don't know why they feel the need to put the heat on but combined with no natural light (no windows), it is stuffy and uncomfortable.
              The decor is ghastly. It is sectioned off into Jeans, Knitwear, Petite, Tall, Denim, Footwear and Accesories. There are so many items in each section and there are murials and also some paintings on the walls that just look messy.

              There is a small seating area near the till that you can try shoes on, or just sit down to cool down! The changing rooms are again small, far too bright and hot! The mirrors make you look like you an ompalumpa (small and dumpy!!) and quite often there is no one on them to get different sizes etc.

              ***Clothes***

              When I used to be an addict of their clothes, I would buy anything just to say it is from Topshop but now is a different matter. The jeans are really strange sizes. I am normally a size 8 in denim but I can't even fit into the 6, some would be happy with that! The styles are garish and out dated. It seems like all their stock is the same with the odd bow or stripe on it.

              The quality of the vest tops have gone down. I once bought one and within 3 washes, the colour had faded and the stitching was coming of the side. I have also purchased underwear from here and when I got them home, they looked like they had been worn and I couldn't take them back as they have a no refund policy on underwear.

              The shoes are another story. £75 for leather boots. I had mine for a month and the bow on the side came off. I also have a huge problem with the fact that they have never given me a new pair of shoes.
              I went in one day to get some shoes for a wedding and picked an expensive pair of suede and leather sandals, they were £50.
              I tried them on and went to the till. I asked the lady to give me another pair as they had been on display and they were streched from everyone trying them on. The lady, quite rudely, explained that all their shoes were worn and they didn't have any that customers haven't tried on!

              Topshop prices are ridiculous. I don't know how you can charge £13 for a vest top when places like Primark charge £4 for the same thing? It also amazes me how much they charge for their jewelery. H & M's have better pieces at a fraction of the cost.

              ***Overall***

              I believe that you have to be a student, a fashionista or a slave to fashion to shop in here. I don't believe it to be all about fashion anymore. The staff have been unhelpful to me in the past and I have found them really snotty and jumped up. I have never minded paying a lot for clothes, but only when they last.

              There is a shop in Blackpool town called Steals and they sell shop rejects and seconds. Topshop is a firm seller in there. They are notorious for having holes and snags in the stitching, but at least you can buy the clothes at around 70% off and stitch it up yourself.

              I remember when Kate Moss had her first collection in there and it sold out within 2 hours. Her clothes she 'designed' were vile and really un flattering to women but girls and women all around were rushing to get any piece. This is a major reason why I hate Topshop as it prays on young girls and almost brain washes them into thinking that they need that top or that dress, and especially as Kate Moss has designed it herself!

              I have shopped on the internet shopping site before. I found this to be much better for me as I don't have to deal with the staff. But saying that, I don't like the clothes and have only bought a friend of mine a little bag and some tights. I wouldn't purchase any of the clothes anymore.

              www.topshop.com
              9/11 Bank Hey Street
              Blackpool
              FY1 4RU
              01253 294024

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              • More +
                28.02.2010 19:11
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                Not like Mamma Makes at all!!!!

                I have never been to Italy or New York so don't really know what kind of foods to compare this to, but I went here on Friday night and was really dissappointed.

                I had heard that this was a great place to eat and really good quality food, so after a friend invited me to her birthday meal, I was quite excited to go.

                ***Background***

                Frankie Giuliani was 10 years old when he left Sicily and went to New York in 1924.
                They moved to an Italian neighbourhood. It was no surprise when the family opened a restaurant within a year, everybody helping with the building and the cooking in equal measure. Frankie went to the nearby High School and became lifetime friends with Benny, already a third generation American.
                When his father retired, Frankie and Benny took over the business, combining the best of popular American food with traditional Italian dishes.

                ***Typical Menu***

                Bruschetta £4.45
                A home made mix of fresh tomato, red onion, basil, olive oil and cracked black pepper served over toasted garlic ciabatta bread, finished with a balsamic glaze.

                Amazing Skins £3.95
                Mouth-watering and fully loaded! Choose from: BBQ chicken, sweetcorn & cheddar; crispy bacon, tomato, onion & cheddar or melted goat's cheese & home made bruschetta.

                F&B Mushroom Alfredo Crostini £4.95
                Fresh garlic button mushrooms tossed in our rich cheese sauce, served over toasted garlic ciabatta bread. Belissimo!

                Crispy Coated Chicken Strips £4.95
                Three southern fried chicken breast strips served on honey and mustard dressed salad leaves with a pot of our delicious dressing served on the side.

                Chicken and Prawn Alfredo £9.15
                Chicken breast, large prawns and sautéed mushrooms served in a creamy Cajun cheese sauce with penne pasta.

                F&B Meatballs on Spaghetti £9.15
                Five large classic pork and beef meatballs, piled high on to spaghetti tossed in our rich tomato and beef ragu. A real big eat!

                Spaghetti Carbonara £8.15
                An Italian classic! Spaghetti tossed with pancetta bacon, sautéed mushrooms and a deliciously creamy cheese sauce.

                Chicken Carbonara £9.15
                A twist on our classic carbonara. Pancetta bacon, sautéed mushrooms and creamy carbonara sauce loaded with chicken.

                Cheeseburger £8.75
                A real favourite! Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, dill pickle and mayo.

                Bacon Cheese Burger £9.15
                Crispy grilled bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and dill pickle with mayo.

                Prime Irish 6oz* burgers served on a toasted sesame seed bun with house fries and tomato-chilli relish on the side.
                F&B Black & Blue Burger £9.45

                Frankie's Steak Ciabatta Sandwich £9.95
                A 4oz* sirloin steak cooked to your liking and served on ciabatta bread spread with nut pesto mayo, lettuce and red onion. Served with house fries, slices of fresh tomato and mozzarella, drizzled with nut pesto oil.

                Chicken Club Triple Decker £8.95
                Grilled fresh chicken breast, crispy bacon, lettuce and fresh cut tomato layered between toasted wholemeal bread spread with mayo. Served with house fries and a pot of coleslaw.

                They also do a selection of deserts from £3.75 - £4.55 and some kids meals from £3.95 - £6.95.

                ***Layout***

                I went to the Blackpool restaurant, it is very much in the style of an Italian/American diner. It has the 'Frankie and Benny's' name in red lights on the front of the building and 2 green and white canopy on either side.

                The layout inside is very cramped and all the tables are crammed in a little bit too much. I found the bar area really pleasant but again quite busy (I know it was a Friday night so I expected that), there was plenty of seats but all taken so we just hovered at the bar till our table was ready. The seats were wooden and really uncomfortable and the tables were plain and boring.

                ***Overall***

                Even though we had booked the table for 7.30pm, we had to wait for it to be cleaned. We stood by the bar and had a drink till they called us, which was quite a while (around 20 mins), I thought this was because they were decorating it as it was my friends birthday, but when we went up it was just a table.

                We then waited a further 30 minutes to have our order taken and by that point had visited the bar ourselves twice to get further drinks.
                The lady that took our order was pleasant enough but just seemed to be too harrased to care about service and the bar staff were all foreign and seemed confused by what we were saying.

                Once our starters had come it was 8.45pm and I was feeling so hungry I didn't want it. I had the garlic mushrooms and they tasted nice but were cold and I found the bread was to hard to cut into and the mushrooms were flying off my plate.

                My main course was cajun chicken pasta. It came at around 9.30pm and was also not that warm. It tasted really bland and was something I didn't expect from a 'cajun' dish.
                The lady served the food off big black trays on a stand and everywhere you looked these trays and stands were all of the place.

                No one cleared our table of empty glasses and we ended up taking them up to the bar ourselves (on the way to getting our own drinks again). Our dirty plates were still on the table 30 minutes later and just so I could relax and lean on the table, I moved my plate to the floor.
                Eventually at around 10.30pm, the lady asked us if we wanted anything else....I replied no thanks and I didn't hang around for pudding so can't comment on that.

                My meal ended up costing just under £20.00 not including drinks at £2.50 a glass. They aren't bad prices really but for what I got, I wasn't impressed at all.

                Everything was dark and dingy and the food was bland and boring. It was like something that I make my family on a weekday night after school and the pasta was something that my 5 year old would make.

                Even though it was my friends birthday, they didn't sing happy birthday to her which is what they are supposed to and there was no decoration on the table to make her feel special. After not eating for nearly 2 hours, I had drank far too much and decided to cut the night short.

                I am almost sure that the food and the atmoshere were not like 'mamma makes'. I don't know any Italian that would serve cold food and I don't know any New Yorker that doesn't chat to their customers and give a bit of personality. Corporate consums this whole place and it has lost its spark.

                I would not go back at all.

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                • Kinder Surprise / Chocolate / 47 Readings / 45 Ratings
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                  24.02.2010 21:40
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                  Great for kids and adults.

                  Everytime I hit the shops for my weekly shop, and the kids have to come, these are my saviour. I buy one at the start of the shops and let them eat it in the trolley, I obviously pay for it at the end!!!

                  ***Background***

                  Kinder Surprise originated in 1972. The toys are designed by both inside designers and external freelancers and manufactured by many companies worldwide. Kinder Surprise is also known as a Kinder Egg, kinder being the German word for children, is manufactured by Italian company Ferrero.

                  They issue out special editions and also over 75 new toys a year.

                  ***Types***

                  Kinder Surprise - Hollow milk chocolate egg with creamy milk lining and a surprise toy inside. These come in single eggs and also in a 3 pack.

                  Milk chocolate, milk powder, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, soy lecithin and vanillia. The interior layer contains milk powder, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla.

                  A 20g egg contains 116 calories and contains 7g of fat.
                  Cost - Between 39p-49p, the boxes of three cost £1.59 in Morrisons.

                  These normally come in a red, blue and white foil wrapping and once opened the chocolate is exposed. The chocolate normally has a line down the middle so you can easily break open. Once the chocolate is in half, it exposes the milky white chocolate layer inside.

                  The middle is the yellow hard egg. It used to come in a squeezable yellow egg shape that came off in two pieces but it now comes in a yellow flip lid.

                  They all come with toys, jigsaws, firgures or items that need constructing. They come complete with instructions and information lists.

                  ***Other types***

                  Kinder Chocolate - Small individual milky chocolate with creamy milk centres. Made especially for smaller hands! These come in single packs, bars of 6 and 4 little ones.
                  Contains Milk chocolate, milk powder, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, soy lecithin and vanillia.
                  A 12.5 g bar will contain291 calories and 4.2g of at.
                  Cost - around 69p

                  Kinder Happy Hippo - Hippo shaped crispy wafer with milky hazelnut centre and meringue coating. They come in single and packs of 5.
                  Contains sugar, vegatable fats, skim milk powder, hazelnuts, wheat flour, whole milk powder, why powder, raising agents, salt, vanilla,.
                  A 21g bar contains calories and 7.7g of fat.
                  Cost around 59p and the packs are 1.69 upwards.

                  ***Overall***

                  I have loved these for years now. The chocolate is so creamy and tastes great and the toys are an added little bonus for kids. I remember always nagging my mum to get me one and loving the toys especially the ones that you had to put together and add these fiddly little stickers on them.
                  Now a days, they rarely do the put together toys and they are normally figures (at the moment I think it's ice age).
                  I also got one of these in Spain once and it split in half to reveal a creamy mixture with 2 small chocolate crisp balls and it comes with a spoon to scoop it all out (but no toy!).

                  These vary in price from shop to shop. Currently at Morrisons these are for sale in a 3 pack for £1.00 so it pays to buy in bulk so to speak.

                  The toys traditionally were collectables and if all papers are kept with the toy and container, then they can be worth quite a bit in the future. They bring out limited editions and on occasions have produced metal figures, porcelain firgures, hand painted and cartoon characters to add to the collectables. They also have brought out a maxi egg, that include bigger chocolate and bigger toys.

                  Overall, a great snack or treat for kids (and adults) to enjoy and has a timeless and somewhat innocent take on chocolate at a great price.

                  website.www.kindersuprise.co.uk
                  Not suitable for under 3's because of the small parts.

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                  • Road Rage / Discussion / 70 Readings / 67 Ratings
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                    21.02.2010 19:09
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                    Doesn't get you to your destination any quicker

                    I will admit that I have been both a victim of road rage and also suffered it. I have been driving for 3 years now and I am not a great driver, nor am I a rubbish driver. But I am really proud of my licence, my clean licence, so far, as it was a nightmare getting it!


                    Victim of road rage -
                    Ok this only happened yesterday, and I am still furious about the situation. I was driving my boyfiend to go and pick his car up from it's MOT and was coming up to some traffic lights at a junction. There are 4 sets of lights and all of them were out.
                    In this situation it is a case of courtesy. I believe that no one has right of way here and as long as you take your time and go carefully, you should be able to get through.

                    I was turning right at these lights and needed to get in the middle of the road to turn. The car in front was turning right as well so I crept up behind him and started to turn. To my right was a white van (sigh) and he was coming towards me. I looked to my left and the cars had stopped to let me through and by the time I turned to the right, the white van man had moved and because of the road works, he had come onto my side of the road so I was sandwiched between the car in front and the white van.

                    I couldn't move. Instead of waiting, he boxed me in and then reversed nearly crashing into my car. He reversed so he could wind his window down and shout at me. So I was stuck in the middle of the road, and the car in front ended up going on the pavement to escape. There was a huge pile of cars behind him and no one could move because of him.

                    He swore at me and shouted at me untill my boyfriend said he was going to get his number of the side of the van. He then moved forward and drove off. All the other cars were mad at me as they thought I had held them up and I was left shaking, half with anger and half with the fact I was scared.

                    This left me shaking so bad that I had to pull the car over and get out. People say that it is young people that are aggresive and intimidating, but this man was really old and he was the one who was in the wrong.

                    Road Rager -
                    I am a verbal road rager. I don't get out of my car or wind my window down but I do get really mad at some drivers, especially on a Sunday.

                    I hate people that don't indicate when they are turning. This really aggravates me on roundabouts. I also get really mad at people that overtake dangerously. There is a road in Blackpool that merges from 2 lanes to 1 and I hate it when drivers push them selves all the way pass the traffic and push in the que.

                    I also have a huge problem with speeders. They have no road sense and seem to think they can drive how they like. My biggest peeve is sitting in traffic. In the morning, I spend 1 whole hour on the school run waiting in traffic. Where does it all come from? Why is everyone so slow? Generally, it is caused by temporay traffic lights or 'work men' working, or what ever they call it these days!

                    My son gets mad at me because I tend to shout and get mad. He thinks some of it is funny, but I shouldn't be so mad, it's pointless.
                    Getting stressed gets you nowhere fast.

                    After being on the other end of road rage, I will make an effort to not get so stressed out as it can effect the other person or people you are travelling with.

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                    • Coinstar / Other Service / 57 Readings / 54 Ratings
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                      21.02.2010 10:05
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                      Does it all for you and really simple.

                      I have a huge jar in my kitchen that I put spare change in when ever I can. Everytime I have some floating in my pocket, I put it in, and I have to admit, I emptied the kids copper jars into it as well!

                      On a trip to the local supermarket, I noticed one of these machines that counts your change for you. I went home and stared at the coin jar on my windowsill and then decided to take it to the machine.

                      ****Background****

                      Coinstar was founded in 1991 and turns consumer change into cash, conveniently, at a self-service kiosk. Coinstar brand coin counting offers highly accurate counting and unsurpassed machine uptime, benefiting both consumers and retail partners.

                      ***History***

                      In 1989, a student called Jens, began interviewing supermarket
                      shoppers as part of a graduate school project. He learnt that people have a lot of change at home and really don't care to go through the trouble of sorting, wrapping, and rolling those coins in order to take them to the bank.

                      Two years later, with his Stanford degree in hand, Jens founded Coinstar. Two classmates who shared his goal of creating an easy way for people to turn their accumulated coins into cash joined him. They got to work and eventually succeeded in creating a machine that could quickly count change while filtering out the nuts, bolts, paper clips, and other "dirt" that is often found in piggy banks and coin jars.

                      ***Facts***

                      *28 million people keep money in piggy banks and jam jars
                      *Of the 23 billion coins in circulation, 13 billion are sitting in piggy banks and jam jars or down the backs of sofas
                      *The largest Coinstar transaction to date in the UK is £5,677 by a customer in Sydenham in Kent
                      *More than 2 billion coins have been processed in the UK

                      ***How it works***

                      Take your coins to your local supermarket, you can see on the website where your nearest machine is, and tip them out onto the metal grid.
                      Tilt the grid and the machine starts to count the ones going through.

                      At the end of the counting the screen will tell you how much you have and will then print out a voucher. Take the voucher to the supermarket counter and they will exchange it for money.

                      Simple.

                      ***Charges***

                      In the UK, the fee for coin counting service is 8.9 pence per pound counted. In Ireland the fee is 9.9 cents per Euro.

                      ***Overall***

                      This is a great invention. Gone are the days where I have had to sit there counting coppers and picking out the foriegn coins and paper clips. Being told to wash my hands and not to put them in my mouth and then trailing to the bank to cash them in.

                      This is easy and simple to use. Some coins don't go in for some reason and they will come out of the bottom so don't forget to pick them up before you go. The machine will automatically pick out anything that isn't an english coin (god knows how they know it) and also fake coins.

                      They then print out your voucher. We got £18.95 out of a small jar of coins. I had guessed that there was only £7.00 ish but was really surprised when it totalled up. It benefits the supermarkets as I then spent that money in their shop!
                      You can donate to charity if you want to which is a nice option to have.

                      Pain free and easy to use. Have a rummage around your house, check the back of the sofas and in drawers to see if you have anything worth taking along to the machines, and, Happy Counting!!

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                      • musicmagpie.co.uk / Internet Site / 55 Readings / 53 Ratings
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                        20.02.2010 13:16
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                        Great for unwanted CD's that are messing up your house.

                        With iPods and iTunes and the developments on the markets, Cd's are a thing of the past. I don't even have them in my car anymore. I use an MP3 player attached to my hand free system.

                        So when I got some money making tips from none other than Martin Lewis, I looked into it further.

                        ***Background***

                        Musicmagpie ias an easy way to turn ld CDs into cash so they don't have to be thrown away.

                        According to musicmagpie, 2500 tonnes of CDs are thrown away each year and over 130 million new music CDs are sold each year.
                        The average music CD album is only ever played eight times fully.
                        It doesn't matter how badly scratched CDs are they can be easily repaired and if a CD can't be reused it is almost 100% recyclable
                        As more people move to digital music players more CDs will be thrown away so this is a chance to recycle and get some cash.

                        ***How it works***

                        For all CDs, DVDs, or Games sold to them, they must:

                        *be in a perfect playing condition
                        *have all the original artwork
                        *have covers and booklets
                        *have a case that is structurally sound although they accept it may have some blemishes incurred during day to day use.

                        Step one - Enter the barcode into the box. Some CD's have sticker barcodes on them and you will need to type in the original barcode for the CD and not the one on the sticker.

                        Step two - You can enter a minimum of 10 and up to 500 individual CDs in a single transaction. When you have finished you can press save for later or press complete the trade.

                        Step three - If you aren't registered then you can do this now. It is quick, simple and free.

                        Step four - When you have opened an account, you will have completed the transaction and be able to print off the pack and details you will need. If you don't have a printer, they will send you the pack with the postage details.

                        Step five - Find a suitable box or envelope to put the CD's in and attach the FREEPOST labels to the front. Post at Post Office.

                        Once posted, await your cheque.

                        ***Overall***

                        I have found this company really simple to use and would recommend to all. If you have a few CD's around your house then this is the company to use. This is easy to use and also free to use. All you have to do is put the barcode in and it tells you how much they will give you for that CD or DVD.

                        ***Price***
                        I found that the most recent CD's were worth between 33p and £1.00 and the really embarrassing CD's, like Peter Andre and Mystic, that I thought no one would want, were worth the most, at around £2.47 to £3.00. Double CD's go for more money at around £4.00. They also do games and DVD's, but I only had a couple of them and they went for around £1.10 each.

                        ***Condition***
                        The cases need to be in good condition and scratch free (although some wear and tear is acceptable). I had some with stickers on the front and was worried that they wouldn't accept them but I had no problems with them. If they don't accept them, they do keep them and dont return so make sure you send them in good condition.

                        Magpie state that:

                        *The disk must be in the case and it must be the right disk for the case.
                        *The disk must NOT be a copy or pirate disk - we take this issue very seriously and reserve the right to take further action on this matter
                        *The disk must NOT be cracked or have dents, deep scratches or other serious damage to it - light surface scratches are usually accepted
                        *All the original packaging must be present (including the artwork and booklet where relevant)
                        *The packaging must be in good condition. Cases may have light scratches, but booklets and artwork need to be free from tears, stickers and other major blemishes.

                        ***Posting***
                        Posting them was quite simple. I just put them in a shoe box and wrapped them in parcel paper and tape. It is really important to pack all your items in one parcel, or as few as possible, so they can process your order and send payment as quickly as possible.
                        You have to use the freepost labels with the correct order number and these hold a barcode on it that identifies you and your order.
                        I would also suggest getting proof of postage for peace of mind.

                        ***Payment***
                        I was told the final amount and they said once these have been processed, and cleared testing, then they would send payment by form of a cheque. I didn't have to wait to long, a week later a cheque arrived and I have just put it in my account.
                        If you are concerned about your order and payment, then you can easily look up your account on line and see whats happening.

                        I have had a great experience selling my CD's and would do this again.

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                        • More +
                          19.02.2010 09:39
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                          Nice to sit and have a drink but then go home.

                          Half term is always a nightmare with the kids, so when I saw that Guys Court were doing ice skating, I decided to give it ago. We had been here before and weren't that impressed but decided to give it another go.

                          ***Background***

                          You can find Guys Court just off the A6 at Bilsborrow near Garstang, easily signposted so you can't miss the turning.
                          They have a pizzeria next to the Owd Nell's Tavern, Guy's Lodge and School House Square with its clutch of craft shops.

                          It is family owned and been running for nearly three decades. It has its own cricket pitch with all weather wicket and thatched cricket pavilion. and is situated next to the canel.

                          Open every day.

                          ***Food***

                          Some examples of the food on the Lunch menu:

                          Starters.

                          A BOWL OF MARINATED OLIVES £2.50

                          CHOICE OF TWO HOMEMADE SOUPS. £3.20

                          CURRIED MEDITERRANEAN PRAWNS. A medium curry of succulent prawns on rice. £5.75

                          FRESH IRISH MUSSELS. Cooked in white wine and herbs. £6.50 / £10.50

                          GRILLED GOATS CHEESE SALAD. Dressed leaves & bacon bits. £5.95

                          CAESAR SALAD. Parmesan, croutons and Caesar dressing. £5.95

                          DUCK TERRINE Coarse terrine of duck and green peppercorns. £4.95

                          FEGATINI. Sautéed chicken livers with white wine and a touch of chilli. £5.95

                          Mains.

                          CHARGRILLED CHICKEN SALAD. Plump breast of chicken seasoned with Cajun spices seared & sliced over mixed leaves with Monterey Jack cheese and hot wholegrain mustard dressing. £9.50

                          FILLET OF SCOTTISH SALMON. Blackened with Cajun spices or poached with lemon butter sauce £9.75

                          SALMON & DILL TORTELLONI WITH LEMON. £5.25 / 8.50

                          TAGLIATELLE OF GINGER & VEGETABLES. £5.25 / 8.50

                          HOMEMADE LASAGNE. -Al forno or vegetarian £5.25 / 8.50

                          GUY'S PIZZE. Freshly prepared & baked before your eyes. From £7.50

                          Some examples from the A la Carte Menu:

                          Starters.

                          MUSHROOMS £5.20
                          We stuff'em with butter, parsley, breadcrumbs, sherry & garlic.

                          CROCK OF MINESTRONE SOUP £3.20
                          Homemade, served with Parmesan.

                          STILTON AIGRETTES £5.20
                          Tasty cheese fritters - homemade.

                          SALADE NICOISE £5.25
                          Tuna fish, peppers & tomatoes.

                          FARMHOUSE PATE WITH ALE
                          Served with Swiss Toast. £4.90

                          Mains.

                          SCOTTISH SALMON STEAK £12.95
                          Grilled or poached with parsley butter.

                          HALIBUT & PRAWNS £14.95
                          White wine, cream & prawns.

                          ABERDEEN ANGUS RUMP STEAK. Succulent & sweet, chargrilled to perfection, Prime Aberdeen Angus Scotch Beef £14.95

                          ABERDEEN ANGUS RIB EYE STEAK. Certified Scotch Beef £13.25

                          PENNE PAESANNA £6.95
                          Tomato, ham, mushrooms, peas & cream.

                          PENNE CON ZUCCHINI £6.95
                          Courgette, tomato and cream.

                          LASAGNE AL FORNO £7.95

                          They also provide a late night menu with some meals from the menus above and a selection o alcoholic and sofft drinks.

                          ***Rooms***

                          The room rates are as follows:

                          Standard rooms with shower en-suite are:- £55.00 Sunday to Thursday and £59.50 Friday and Saturday night and Bank Holidays.

                          Executve rooms with spa bath en-suite are £68.50 Sunday to Thursday and £75.00 Friday and Saturday night and Bank Holidays.

                          Deluxe Executive rooms with double spa bath & Aqua TV en-suite are £79.00 Sunday to Thursday and £85.00 Friday and Saturday night and Bank Holidays.

                          All rates are per room per night with Breakfast an additional charge of: £6.35 Full English or £4.75 Continental.

                          They also have offers on such as Friday Feeling and Champagne Weekend.

                          The rooms have also just had a £200,000 make over on them to bring them up to date.

                          ***Overall***

                          This is a lovely place in a gorgeous location, but I am afraid that the location is the only plus for me.
                          I will give you my opnion of the accommodation when we stayed on a weeked.
                          They say they have been given a make over, well I must have missed them rooms. I thought it was all gruby, dated and didn't even have more than 2 small towels in the very small bathroom.
                          I have stayed in many hotels and payed less for my rooms and got alot more. Breakfast wasn't included and when we got it, well, my son could have done better.

                          The actual village is cute looking and the shops are really nice to walk around. The eating astablishments are standard. I ordered a buger and it was cold and tasteless. The pub is cramped and old fashioned. It all seems so messy and the staff are running around like headless chickens.

                          My experience of the ice skating isn't that much better. We went on a Saturday at the start of half term and when we got there it was really quiet. We paid £20 for 4 of us (including skate hire) for 45 minutes. The rink was really small and was really rough to skate on so we were falling about all over the place.
                          The guys that were running it were really nice. They let us go back on when my son needed the toilet (probably because it was so quiet.)
                          When we paid we got 2 tickets for the pub so the kids could eat free with a paying adult. But when we had ate and went to pay, the lady said we could only use these on a week day, so we had gone in there for nothing.

                          Overall, this is a lovely place to sit in Summer with a pint or glass of wine, but I wouldn't bother any other time. The food is quite expensive, the layout of the pub is cramped and the service is messy. The accommodation is basic and charged at Hilton prices and there aren't many facilities worth doing.

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                          • More +
                            18.02.2010 18:47
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                            Fur is for animals...you have your own skin.

                            NO.
                            That is all I wanted to put but I have to write a bit more.

                            ***Brief History***
                            The fur trade began in the 1500's as an exchange between Indians and Europeans. The Indians traded furs for such goods as tools and weapons. Beaver fur, which was used in Europe to make felt hats, became the most valuable of these furs. The fur trade prospered until the mid-1800's, when fur-bearing animals became scarce and silk hats became more popular than felt hats made with beaver.

                            By the late 1500's, a great demand for fur had developed in Europe. This demand encouraged further exploration of North America. The demand for beaver increased rapidly in the early 1600's, when fashionable European men began to wear felt hats made from beaver fur. Such furs as fox, marten, mink, and otter also were traded.

                            ***My opinion***

                            Ok I am not a vegetarian, but I almost everytime order a vegetarian meal in a pub or restaurant, and only on the odd occasion will order steak or chicken.
                            I am also not a hypocrite. I wear leather belts and have leather seats in my car. But this is about wearing fur not leather products.

                            ***Fur Facts***

                            *Each year, more than 40 million animals are killed for their fur.
                            *Fur-bearing animals include foxes, minks, rabbits, beavers and raccoons.
                            *To kill animals without damaging their fur, trappers will strangle, beat, or stomp them to death. Animals on fur farms are gassed, poisoned, electrocuted, or have their necks snapped.
                            *Ranch-raised animals live in cages about 2 feet square, with up to four animals per cage.
                            *There is no federal law that regulates the killing of animals raised for fur.
                            *It can take up to 40 animals to make one fur coat.

                            I don't know about you but I had a lump in my throat when it says about how they are killed.

                            ***Celebrities who wear fur***

                            *Naomi Campbell
                            *Katie Price
                            *Nicole Riche
                            *Paris Hilton
                            *Jenifer Lopez
                            *EVE
                            *Eva Longoria
                            *Mary J Blige
                            *Sienna Miller
                            *P Diddy
                            *Kayne West
                            *Goldie Hawn
                            *Jessica Simpson
                            *The Olsen Twins
                            *Kelly Rowland
                            *Beyonce
                            *Kate Moss
                            *Lindsay Lohan and loads more

                            And some of the above have been known to support PETA and yet they then wear fur? Im confused.

                            Naomi Campbell famously posed naked for a anti fur campaign saying 'I'd rather be naked than wear fur', yet she was seen wearing fur on the catwalk. Paris Hilton is a fan of animals and Peta, yet is pictured wearing a fur shrug. Katie Price (I do not like this women at all, see other review!), looks an idiot wearing a beaver ring around her head and raccoon boots. What does she think she is doing? She is not keeping warm, just exposing her vile personality to all that will snap a picture and put her in the papers...again!

                            Celebrities are supposed to be role models for young people. It is their responsilbility to be good examples to others and not show them this.
                            They only wear it to blow their egos even bigger than they are already or to show others how rich they are. We know you are rich and sucessful. We can't escape that fact. But do you really realise what you are wearing?

                            Sophie Ellis Bexter posed with a foxes carcus in her hand for Peta, saying, 'Heres the rest of your fur coat'. I thought this was really sucessful as it made me realsie what is left over after the fashion accesorie has been made.
                            Essentially, you are walking around in the skin of a dead animal, that didn't have a happy life, nor did it die in a humain way.

                            If you are still not convinced, check out Peta's website, www.peta.org.uk. They show videos on how the animals are slaughtered and also some more celbrities that are campaigners against fur wearing. Twiggy has asked 'Would you wear your dog?'. Well it is fur but would you find that acceptable to walk around with your family poodle over your shoulder? I certainly wouldn't.

                            They also give loads of information on the latest 'Save the Seals' campaign.
                            According to Peta, 'each year, the Canadian government allows sealers to beat and skin hundreds of thousands of seals. Baby seals, many of whom are only weeks old, have their skulls smashed in or are shot for their fur. Many of these gentle animals may not even have eaten their first solid meals or taken their first swim before they are slaughtered'.

                            ***Conclusion***
                            I wouldn't wear fur. Nor would I wear fake fur. It is still simulated fur and still is the same texture and overall the same effect as real fur.
                            I think its over priced and ugly. And to see people drowned in an animal just to inflate their egos is not only disgusting but makes them look stupid.

                            Originally fur has been used for trade and for Eskimos to keep warm. The Eskimos used every last bit of the animals. Nothing was wasted and they used it for survival.
                            Katie Price is not an Eskimo. She is an idiot. Naomi Campbell is not an Eskimo. She is also an idiot.

                            Wake up and get with it. Fur is for animals. You have your own skin.

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                            • The Works / Highstreet Shopping / 26 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                              18.02.2010 17:00
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                              All round top quality, friendly staff, great prices and good choice.

                              This has got to be my saviour at half terms and holidays for the kids. We have just recently come back from a trip to this shop, the Freeport branch, and came back with loads of goodies.

                              ***Background***
                              The Works is a discount book store also that sells the following:

                              *art materials
                              *toys
                              *games
                              *audio visual products.

                              They have a website www.theworks.co.uk and also various branches across the country.

                              ***The website***
                              The website is set out really well. It isn't conusing and I find it really helpful. Along the top are the catagories and also down the left hand side there is the selections of books or games etc.
                              You can also input the ISBN number or title of the book/game you want in the right hand side.
                              In order to shop on line you have to set up an account but it doesn't take to long to do. I would also recommend signing up to the news letter so you can receive updates and information about offers.

                              ***The Branches***
                              So as I was saying, we have just come back from the Freeport branch and Ive got to say, they are great. My kids always want to visit as they have a wide range of products that they love.
                              As you walk in the shop, there are stalls all of the shop floor and sections at the back and round the edges.

                              The sections are clearly marked:
                              *Poetry
                              *Health and Wellbeing
                              *Art Books
                              *Audio Books
                              *Biography
                              *Childrens Books
                              *Collecting
                              *Craft and DIY
                              *Entertainment
                              *Fiction
                              *Food & Drink
                              *Gardening
                              *History
                              *Music
                              *Nature
                              *Sports and loads more.

                              They hold the books in racks that are easily accessible. You don't have to reach up too high or stoop to low to get the copy you need. The prices are clearly marked up so you don't have to ask a member of staff for help.

                              The stalls are also laid out in the same way. They have the toys and games in the middle and some more books laid out. On the odd stall, they tend to have stationary and calenders. Again, they are all labelled up clearly and offers are normally at the front.

                              The tills are situated in the centre of the stores and are jammed with great little trinkets (I normally come out with something from there). All the staff wear bright blue tshirts that normally have the logos on and are always helpful.

                              ***Prices***
                              I have got to say that these are the best prices that I have found. I have always been a fan of reading and try to pass this onto my kids. I never allow the kids to write in their books or mistreat them in anyway and always top their book case up as much as possible.
                              I begrudge paying so much for story books at places like WHSmith and Waterstones when you can get them for 60% cheaper here.

                              For example: Horrid Henry books are normally around £9.99 in WHSmiths and you can get them here for £1.99, thats over 77% saved. I think that these are on the kids offer of 4 books for £5.

                              They also have an offer of 3 books (£1.99 each) for £5.00, this includes authors such as Patricia Cornwall, Ian Rankin, Dean Koontz and loads more. These books are normally around £7.99 and you can save up to 75% off at The Works.

                              When we went in yesterday, they had the offer on for 4 kids books for £5.00. I purchased 2 Mr Men books and 2 story books that we can read at night. You would have thought that they were rubbish quality books or just picture books, but they weren't. They are great quality and full of words.
                              I am that impressed, I will be returning to get more for the kids.

                              Following my book sucess, the kids ventured over to the games and toys. I ended up with a handful of arts and crafts, bubbles, some sort of pumping goo, a huge rubber spikey ball with a face on, a DVD of Dinosaurs, a puppet, 2 jigsaws and a plastic model skull complete with brain! You would think that this would cost a fortune, but including the books, this came to just under £20.00!!

                              Now I would pay £20.00 any day just to get some peace and quiet during half term, so this wasn't a problem for me. I haven't seen my kids since then, they have been in their bedroom playing with it all.

                              They have also asked me if we can go back to buy some Easter supplies. They sell plain polystirine eggs that you can decorate yourself and other
                              Easter activities.

                              ***Overall***
                              I am really pleased with this shop. My only negative is that it is always cramped and a bit messy sometimes. I have knocked books off the shelves with my bag loads of times. I have also ended picking up crafts off the floor, after the kids have picked one up and knocked the rest off like dominoes.
                              But with prices like this, I will put up with cramped aisles and knocking stuff off. This shop has saved me a fortune in books. I have attended College and used this shop for my resources and it has never failed me and it has always come out on tops for the kids at half terms.

                              All round top quality, friendly staff, great prices and good choice.

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                              • Stop & Grow / Make Up / 37 Readings / 34 Ratings
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                                18.02.2010 10:05
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                                A last resort to serial nail biters!!

                                My 5 year old son is a nightmare for biting his nails. Whenever and wherever he is he will find a way to put his fingers in his mouth and eat them. I don't even know what he is biting anymore as they are so badly worn down to the cuticles and have on some occasions bled.

                                I have tried everything. Currently, he has asked me how to click your fingers together, and I have told him that only people with long nails can only do it (a lie I know!!). He is gutted he can't do it, but that doesn't last long as I look to my left and he is gnawing on his nails. I have tried sticker charts but he has just got into the habit and doesn't even know he is doing it.

                                So on the advice of my mum, apparently I was a serial biter, I went off in search of 'Stop & Grow'.

                                ***Background***
                                The company that brings you Stop & Grow is called the Mentholatum Company, Inc, and was founded in 1889 in Wichita, Texas, by Mr Albert Alexander Hyde together with his pharmacist friends to produce medicines. It started with "MENTHOLATUM Ointment" and now they produce several other products such as:
                                *Deep Freeze
                                *Deep Relief
                                *Deep Heat
                                *Oxy
                                *Vapour Rub
                                *Soft Lips and many more.

                                ***Product***
                                This product is colourless and discrete and does not stain the nail or finger. The formula produces a bitter taste to immediately prevent nail biting and the taste lasts even after washing. It helps to make nails longer and more attractive within 3 weeks.
                                This can be applied over nail varnish and doesn't effect the colour of efect of the nail varnish.

                                It has been known to help with thumb or finger sucking in most children.

                                The unique formula contains two powerful ingredients to make it doubly effective. It produces a very bitter taste to stop you biting your nails immediately and the taste is supposed to act as constant warning and reminder. Within three weeks your nails will be longer and more attractive. It is said that Stop and Grow is willpower in a bottle!!!

                                You can buy this from most Pharmacys and Boots always has this in stock. I bought mine from Ebay for £2.95 for a 7.5 ml bottle but you can get these from Amazon, Masters Direct, Pharmacy2u and Express Chemist.

                                ***Ingredients***
                                Main ingredients: Alcohol denat, Aqua, Polyvinyl acetate, Sucrose octa acetate, and bittering agents.
                                Highly Flammable and not recommended for children under 3 years of age

                                ****Application***
                                Just apply a thin coat on the nail plate and cuticle and let dry. This can be applied over nail varnish and doesn't stain your nails. Apply after washing and before bed time.
                                Add extra coats if needed.

                                ***Overall***
                                I have found that this is the best option for my son. I have been using this for 4 weeks and although, on the odd occasion, I have seen his hands creep to his mouth, has a couple of millilitres of growth starting to appear.

                                I tend to only put one layer on at bedtime and then reapply if needed. My son gets mad because it tastes awful and when he has put his fingers in his mouth, he cringes. I actually tried this myself to ensure it wasn't that bad, and the taste was like gone off bitter fish!
                                Like I say, I have been using this for around 4 weeks and still have loads left in the bottle.

                                I do recommend this to serial biters but do try some other options first as this really does taste foul.

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                                • envirophone.com / Internet Site / 33 Readings / 30 Ratings
                                  More +
                                  17.02.2010 21:51
                                  Very helpful
                                  (Rating)
                                  3 Comments

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                                  All round great company.

                                  I have often wondered about these sites and if they really work or are they going to take your phone and give you no money, so after receiving a tip from none other than Martin Lewis the Money Expert, I decided to give it ago. Routing through my cubaoards I found 3 phones that I had hidden right at the back. These phones were the result of mine and my boyfriends upgrades on our contract phones so we didn't need then anymore and could definatly sell them.

                                  www.environphone.com

                                  ***Background***

                                  Envirofone is the UK's best mobile phone recycling site. They have currently paid out over £20 million and more each week. Envirofone is free to use, pays you cash for your old mobile and helps the environment.

                                  ***Facts***

                                  *£20 million paid out and rising
                                  *6 million page views per month
                                  *17,000 unique visitors each day
                                  *£500,000 in donations made to charities
                                  *Over 2,000 phone models listed
                                  *Working and non-working phones accepted (lower value offered for non-working)

                                  ***Process***

                                  It is as simple as this:

                                  1. Open an account - This is free and takes 2 minutes to do.
                                  2. Once the account is open, search on the left hand side of the screen for your make and model and then you can see how much it is worth.
                                  3. Fill in the details and then you will be sent an envelope with a free post label. Pop the phone in it and send it back.
                                  4. Wait for the payment.

                                  ***Recycling & Payment***

                                  When they receive the old mobile phones they test them to ensure that the old mobile phones are working correctly and then they grade the mobiles as to whether they can be re-used immediately, require minor refurbishment or are not suitable for reuse and need to be recycled.

                                  An email is then sent to confirm the price of the phone because in some cases, they may need to re-value the phone if it has been damaged or isn't working.

                                  ***Payment***
                                  Payment can be made by the following:
                                  *Bacs
                                  *Cheque
                                  *Paypal or
                                  *Argos

                                  This is normally issued after the phone has been checked and approved and you will be contacted by email to inform you of payment.

                                  ***Overall***
                                  This has been a pleasant and straight forward transaction to do. I have nothing but praise for this company as they dealt with me quickly and effeciently. I put in 3 phones that were a bit scratched and didnt have chargers as I couldn't find them anywhere. I received a quote from them of £60.00. I was so pleased that I posted them off straight away in the envelope they provided and awaited my emails to see if they had passed their tests.

                                  I received the email after 3 days and they had passed. I then received a cheque from them 4 days later.

                                  I would recommend that you remove all sim cards, pictures and messages from your phone before you send them and you also send the phones recorded delivery (or special if they are worth alot of money), as then you have proof of postage.

                                  It is so simple to do and I am so pleased with the results. I would recommend to anyone.

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