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Wellington boots are a necessity for me as I live in a rural area and regularly trudge through wet fields and mud when taking the dog for a walk. As I wear wellies quite often I decided to upgrade my old basic ones for a better quality pair of Hunter wellies. I brought the short gloss boots for £59.00.
-- HUNTER BOOTS --
These wellies are made by a well known brand called Hunter which have been making wellies for over 150 years. Hunter was founded in 1856 in Edinburgh. The company started off with only four workers but by 1875 had expanded to over 600 staff. Hunter designed the famous Green Wellington over 50 years ago and now produce a wide range of Wellingtons to suit everyone from working farmers to festival goers. They remain one of the most popular brands for Wellington Boots.
-- THE LOOK --
The design of these wellies are a very stylish take on the traditional wellington boot. They come in several colours including black, violet, pillar box red and fuchsia. I chose the violet as I thought they looked most appealing. The outer material is made from vulcanised natural rubber. It is smooth and glossy with the Hunter logo displayed prominently at the top. One of the most attractive features is the silver buckle which can be tightened to give a firm fit or you can just wear it loosely. The sole consists of rubber with a series of deep groves to add grip. Inside the boot the lining is made from knitted nylon with quick dry properties with multiple layers of cushioned sponge in the insole.
-- FUNCTIONALITY & USAGE --
So far I have found these boots to be incredibly useful and practical as well as looking amazing. I use them almost everyday in winter to walk the dog and have also taken them to Glastonbury with me. Hunter state they are also suitable for working on farms, outdoor sports, country pursuits and even walking to the shops (although I think I'll stick to pumps for this last one). The rubber creates excellent grip when walking over slippery surfaces such as wet grass.
-- COMFORTABLENESS --
They are one of the most comfortable pair of wellies I've owned. Unlike most wellies there is no rubbing or friction at all and I've never had any problems with blisters although it's worth noting that I do tend to wear them with thick socks, especially in winter. They come in sizes 3 to 9 and my size 6 pair fit perfectly. These wellies apparently have an orthopaedic fit to give all round comfort. The toe area has a slightly thicker layer of rubber to give protection while the foot area is cushioned so you can wear them for long periods and still remain comfortable. The opening is quite wide making them easy to slip on even over thick socks or trousers while the buckle allows you to pull them tight once on to protect your clothes and give a firmer fit. The fact that these are cut shorter than most wellies makes them easy to slip on and gives the leg a bit more flexibility although it also gives you less protection against splashing mud or water.
-- QUALITY & LONGEVITY --
I have had my pair for about 3 years now and they have lasted brilliantly. The boots are very well-made and high quality. The only sign of wear is that the glossiness of the shine has faded slightly although Hunter advise that this can easily be remedied by buffing with a soft dry cloth so I'll have to try this.
-- CONCLUSION --
Overall I absolutely love my Hunter wellies. I would never go back to a cheaper alternative after these and although they are expensive I think that the price is justified by the high quality, comfortableness and the fact that they will last years and years even with regular use. I would definitely recommend.
The Guerlain L'Instant was bought as a gift for me some time ago and is not something I would buy myself due to the price. Although it is at the lower end of Guerlain's price range, like most Guerlain products it is still expensive at about £20 from retailers such as Debenhams.
This product is a woman's moisturiser with golden glitter which is part of a Guerlain range called L'Instant. It is designed for a romantic evening with the glitter creating a feminine and sexy feel and a sophisticated, feminine scent. It comes in a tall 200ml bottle which is packaged in a plain white cardboard box with gold lettering. The bottle consists of clear plastic through which you can see the brown coloured fluid with clusters of golden glitter. On the top is a large lid which covers a gold dispenser. The size of the lid makes it quite flimsy. The overall look is quite basic and even a little tacky given the price of the item.
To use you simply apply a small amount to whichever area you wish to sparkle or moisturise. I usually place it on my chest, shoulders, arms and wrists straight after a shower so that it sinks into the skin easily. A small amount goes a long way although it comes out in quite large quantities from the dispenser which can be annoying. The fluid has quite a thick, gel-like texture. The brown colour is a bit alarming at first but it does become clear as it absorbs into the skin so that only the glitter is left visible. It doesn't absorb straight away due to the thick consistency and feels a bit heavy at first.
I was impressed by how well the fluid moisturises and hydrates the skin. Almost immediately after applying the skin feels much softer and has a smoother more radiant look to it. The glitter is also very effective and shows up even in low light. The golden sparkle looks really pretty without being over the top. It sticks well to the skin and doesn't get dislodged by brushing the skin or taking clothes on or off. However it comes off straight away in the shower so is easy to remove.
One of the best things about this product is the gorgeous scent which is made up a unique combination of citrus honey, magnolia and honey. The scent has a sweet and slightly floral, girly feel to it which is ideal for me as I love sweet smells. The honey and orangey citrus are the most prominent scents. It lasts for several hours although the smell itself is not very strong and you do have to be quite close to someone in order for them to notice it.
Overall this is a good product which does exactly what it says it should. It is ideal for a party, a girly night out or a romantic evening in. Having said this I believe there are cheaper alternatives which can do an equally effective job and so, although this is a great product, it isn't something I would buy with my own money due to the price.
I was recommended this product by a friend although put off buying it due to the hefty price. I then came across it by accident for just £39.99 when it was on offer and snapped it up. I was lucky to get it at this price as it usually costs anywhere between £60-80 which I personally think is a ridiculous price for a 30ml bottle however good the results are.
Midnight secret is part of a skincare range by Guerlain called the "Guerlain Issima Specialist Skincare" range. The range includes a selection of luxurious products all of which contain a unique antioxidant complex that improves skin quality. They are supposed to result in smooth, luminous, radiant skin with unparalleled luminosity like that of an angel according to Guerlain.
This particular product is actually a soothing night time recovery and repair treatment cream which is designed specifically for people who get little sleep whether due to excessive partying or just working late (I fall into the latter category). Midnight secret contains ingredients such as Vit E and rice extract to eliminate free radicals, Hydronoctine which is supposed to replenish moisture and oxygen to the skin cells and yeast extract to improve oxygenation to the cells. It is suitable for all skin types and I've never had any problems with irritation despite having sensitive skin.
Midnight secret comes in an attractive 30ml bottle that looks impressive and reflects the expensive price tag. It has a deep purple covering with gold lettering and matching gold pump at the top. The pump is easy to use and produces small amounts at a time so as not to waste any. However when you come to the end you have to take off the lid in order to get all the product out.
It is simple to use by applying 2-3 drops directly onto the skin of the face and neck up to 3 times a week. The cream comes out smoothly with a light texture that absorbs easily and quickly into the skin and doesn't feel too heavy. As the name suggests it is designed to be used at night. I apply mine just after cleansing and just before I go to bed. You can use it both on its own or combine it with other skincare products such as moisturiser which is what I do.
The treatment is meant be effective after only a few hours of sleep although I find the best results occur after a full night sleep of 7-8 hours. In the morning the first thing I noticed after using this was how soft and smooth my skin felt. It certainly does a good job at hydrating and moisturising. However Guerlain claim that it removes every trace or tiredness and fatigue such as redness. This is not entirely true as I was still left with redness on my cheeks although the usual circles under my eyes were very much reduced. My skin looked more healthy than normal and definitely felt brilliant and fresh to touch. I was genuinely impressed by the results and it is one of the best night creams I have ever tried.
Overall this a high quality product that really does an excellent job at eliminating the dullness and signs of tired skin. Despite this I still think it is way overpriced and would not recommend buying it unless you see it on offer.
I brought this freezer as a replacement for our old one a few years ago. It cost me £275.00 although i believe you can now get it quite a bit cheaper.
This freezer is a tall, freestanding model. It is available in two colours; white or silver. I chose the silver as I thought it looked a bit more sleek and stylish. On the inside are 5 separate clear plastic drawers. All of these are pull-out drawers except the topmost which has a pull-down door. These are sizable and hold quite a lot while the transparency allows you to locate food quickly. There is also a slim-line ice tray for storing ice cubes. It takes up quite a bit of room, measuring H145.5 x W54.5 x D59.5cm and weighs 50kg so you do need a decent sized kitchen to accommodate it.
There are three people in our household and this freezer provides ample room for all of our food. The door opens and closes easily with just a small amount of pressure. The ice tray comes in very useful over the summer months although the design makes it quite difficult to remove and replace without tilting it at an angle causing some of the water to spill. The drawers can also be a little annoying as there is nothing to stop them from being pulled all the way and falling out. When filled with food the drawers are very heavy and so putting them back again is quite difficult. The plastic of the drawers is also rather flimsy and cracks easily.
However aside from these design flaws the performance of the freezer is pretty good. It has some useful features including a frost-free function. This is one of the main things that attracted me to this freezer and basically means that you don't have to keep regularly defrosting it which saves a lot of time and effort. Another feature is the fast-freeze setting which allows up to 14kg of fresh food to be frozen in under 24hrs. Although this is very useful if you like to cook things in bulk it also uses more power than normal and so is not very economical. Furthermore it doesn't automatically switch off and so you need to remember to do this. The freezer door is reversible with curved handles making it ideal for both left and right handed users. Like most freezers it has a freezer guard and adjustable thermostat controlled by a knob at the top. The freezer can function effectively down to a minimum ambient temperature of -15 degrees C and so you could use it in a garage if required.
Overall this is an effective freezer with plenty of storage space. It has been very reliable and although it does have some minor flaws I would still recommend.
I had been looking at getting a juicer for quite a while when I came across this one. It seemed to have excellent reviews and had also been awarded a Which? Best Buy and so I decided to give it a go. It cost £59.99 from Argos although is also widely available from many well known retailers such as Amazon, Tesco, Dixons etc.
The juicer came packaged in a box along with a juice jug, a recipe book with 10 recipes and dietary tips, an instruction manual and a 2 year warranty. The design is simple with a glossy plain white plastic covering and transparent pulp container and tube. On the side is a large handle which is easy to grip and carry with a silver dial underneath to adjust the speed settings. On the bottom are non-slip rubber feet for grip. It's both light and compact, measuring H38 x W42 x D22cm and weighs 3.6kg. It has a long cord length of 1.2m and cord storage.
This juicer is simple to use and the fact that it can handle large pieces of fruit and even some whole fruits greatly reduces chopping hassle. This is a centrifugal juicer meaning that it extracts juice by spinning rather than crushing. You simply place dispense large chucks into the nozzle tube and the stainless steel blades make short work of the fruit or vegetables as they are squeezed through a filter. Juice is collected into the juice jug while pulp is collected into the pulp container. The pulp container has a large capacity of 2L and is located on the side making it easy to remove and empty. It works fairly quickly and produces a good yield of juice, managing to squeeze both fruit and vegetables effectively which is largely due to the micro-mesh filter and ability to juice continuously. Like most juicers when this machine is running it is quite noisy. This is made worse by the fact that the noise it makes is quite annoying, particularly when running for long periods.
Some of the features include the extra large feeding tube and powerful 550W motor which reduces the amount of preparation needed beforehand. Philips claim that no pre-cutting is needed at all although I find larger items still need to be cut slightly to fit in. There are two basic speed settings depending on whether you are juicing soft fruits or hard vegetables. I mainly use the lower setting to make fruit juice although the higher setting is effective even for hard vegetables such as carrots. The juice jug holds only 700ml although it does have a foam separator for making clear or cloudy juice and the jug itself does a good job at keeping the juice fresh.
Cleaning is reasonably straightforward as all of the removable parts are dishwasher safe although it is a bit of a hassle having to take it all apart and reassemble it. The white colour can get a bit messy and discoloured but after a quick wipe it comes up looking as good as new.
This ice cream maker was given to me as a gift for my birthday last year. I love ice cream and so was really excited to receive this. They cost about £30-40 and come with a 2 year guarantee.
The design is simple and yet modern and it looks slightly different to most ice cream makers. It has a plastic black base with rubber grips underneath to prevent slipping. On the top is a clear transparent lid. It has a generous capacity of 1.5L which is more than enough for when we have a large group of friends round.
It is easy to use although does require a bit of preparation beforehand. The ice cream maker comes with a double-insulated bowl which can be stored in the freezer. Once you have placed the mixture into the bowl you need to freeze it for at least 5 hours although you can store it in the freezer indefinitely so you always for have it on hand for making ice cream straight away. When you remove the bowl you must be careful not to touch the inside as it gets extremely cold. You then simply add the ingredients you want into the top. It has a large spout so can accommodate most ingredients and the transparency allows you to see exactly what you are putting in. Once everything is in place you then simply press the button. The bowl has an automatic mixing arm and motor which makes light work of churning the mixture. The lid locks easily and securely for peace of mind so you can just walk away and leave it to it. It does make a fair bit of noise while mixing so I normally go into another room until its finished. It's important to note that certain ingredients such as soft fruits or marshmallows etc should only be added after mixing to make sure they don't get ruined. Once the mixing is complete you can then remove the ice cream into a container and leave it in the freezer for a few hours.
So far I have made tons of different ice cream flavours by searching for recipes on the internet. Some include chocolate ice cream with chocolate drops and nuts, vanilla with little pieces of chocolate, fudge and cookies and many fruity flavours using real fruits such as strawberry, cherry and even banana! The ice cream made by this machine always comes with a lovely creamy, smooth texture and has a much richer and fresher taste than supermarket ice cream. You can also make sure that additional ingredients such as chocolate drops are scattered throughout the ice cream rather than just a feeble layer on top. Aside from ice cream you can also make sorbets, sherbet, frozen yoghurt and frozen drinks although I haven't been very adventurous and have only ever made ice cream.
The ice cream maker is pretty easy to clean by giving it a wipe down although the bowl can be a bit of a pain as it can't be placed in the dishwasher. However after a wash and rinse it comes up as good as new.
This was our toaster for many years until we had to reluctantly replace it with a new one with 4 slots rather than 2 due to an expanding family although we have kept it in the cupboard as a spare. I brought it from Argos for £25.99 which is a reasonable price given the quality of the toaster.
This toaster is made by a brand called Prestige which have made small domestic and household appliances for over 50 years in the UK. They have traditionally made a range of cookery items including cookware, bakeware and kitchen utensils and have now branched into making electrical items as well.
The design is very stylish with a glossy covering and metallic silver detail. It is available in two colour varieties; red and black. I chose the black as it looks quite impressive and definitely adds a bit of style to the kitchen. On top are two slots for accommodating two slices of toast at a time while underneath are non-slip rubber feet. There is a central silver panel with numbers 1-5 down the middle and a button either side. It fits nicely on the kitchen worktop with dimensions of 31 cm x 19 cm x 20 cm so doesn't take up to much space.
As with most toasters it is very simple to use. You simply place the toast into the slots, select the settings such as browning level, push the lever down and wait. Once the toast is done it automatically pops up. The toaster is very fast which is ideal if you are in a rush in the mornings. It produces excellent toast which is evenly toasted on both sides and comes out a lovely golden brown with no pale or dark patches unlike some toasters. I have never had any issues with burning.
This toaster has a wide range of useful features. The first of these is the high-lift facility. As the name suggests this feature lifts the toast higher so that you can easily reach smaller pieces of toast. To do this there is a lever at the side which can be pulled up. This is great for me as I love toasting the crusts of bread which often tend to be much smaller than the main slices.
The second feature is slots which are both deep and have adjustable widths. This comes in very useful for allowing effective toasting of both thick and thin slices or toasting larger items such as bagels, pitta bread or crumpets.
The toaster also has a 5-position electronic browning control. To use this you press the silver button marked "browning" and the number of times you press it determines the level of browning. For example if I wanted a lightly toasted slice I would press the button twice and a blue LED light would turn on next to the number 2 on the central panel. You can select from 1-5 were level 5 toasts for longest and gives the brownest result.
Another feature which you will find on most standard toasters is the cancel button which allows you to stop toasting at any time even in the middle of a cycle allowing you to rescue toast if it is burning although I have never had to use this. There is also a defrost button located to the left of the silver panel which increases the time spent toasting to ensure frozen bread is adequately toasted.
Finally this toaster also has a crumb tray which is removable to allow easy cleaning by simply tipping the crumbs into the bin and giving it a quick wipe before replacing it. It slots in and out smoothly from the front.
Overall this has been a brilliant toaster which gave me many years of use and I never had any problems with it. If this toaster had 4 slots I would happily have continued to use it as it makes perfect toast every time. I would definitely recommend.
Our family has always cooked homemade chips using a deep fat fryer as they taste ten times better than frozen oven or microwave chips (although we make a point of eating them sparingly). This De'Longhi is our latest fryer and cost about £55 from Curries which I thought was fairly reasonable.
The fryer came securely packaged in a box along with the frying basket and a fitted plug. There is also an instruction manual and a 1 year manufacturers guarantee although chances are that you won't need either of these last two. The appearance is fairly basic with a glossy white plastic covering. On the front are the controls which consist of a lower dial for adjusting the temperature and an upper silver button for releasing the lid. The fryer can accommodate a maximum of 1kg of food and 1.2L of oil. The fryer is quite large and measures L24 x W31 x H36cm and weighs 3.46kg according to Amazon. It has a longish cord which can be stored inside the fryer.
USAGE AND FUNCTIONALITY
This fryer is one of the most straightforward I have ever used. You simply place the oil inside and then use the dial to select the appropriate temperature. It ranges from 150-190 degrees C depending on what you are cooking. I tend to use 180 for cooking chips and find this cooks them very quickly within minutes. When the fryer has reached the required temperature a green indicator light on the front will illuminate to let you know and you simply place the basket filled with food inside and close the lid firmly. You can monitor the progress of the food using the viewing window in the lid and can also adjust the position of the basket without opening the lid using the protruding handle with a rubber covering. Once the food is done you just press the release button to open the lid and lift out the basket. I have never had a bad experience with this fryer and the chips have come out a rich golden colour with a crunchy texture on the outside and smooth on the inside every time. The results are brilliant, particularly when you compare them with oven chips. I also occasionally use my fryer for things like meat, french bread or onion rings and these are equally delicious.
This particular fryer has some great features that our previous ones never had. The most useful of these is the angled, rotating basket called the "rotofryer" system. As the food fries the basket turns to ensure the food is evenly fried and most importantly uses only half the amount of oil that a standard fryer would use making it quite economical. The second feature is the "easy clean system". The fryer has a drainage tube from which the oil comes out and allows you to easily collect the oil into a container. This makes cleaning very easy, particularly as the lid also detaches allowing you to reach all areas. The lid of the fryer has a filter which prevents greasy odors from spreading around the house. This can be removed and either washed or replaced. Also like most fryers it has cool-touch walls so that the external surface remains cool despite the heat from the metal layers. This allows you to move it easily and is particularly vital for those with children in the kitchen.
Overall this fryer has been very reliable and produces amazing homemade chips that taste great. I would definitely recommend this fryer.
I like Biotherm and have a small collection of Biotherm products which I have accumulated over the years. Once you get past the fancy title of this particular product it is actually just a moisturing lip balm with SPF. The product is part of range called the sun radiance collection by Biotherm who have been experts in sun care for over 30 years. It cost me £12 from Debenhams which is one of the lowest priced Biotherm products I have seen as most cost around the £30 mark.
It comes packaged in a brightly coloured summery yellow 15ml tube. The text is displayed in light blue which is slightly hard to read against the yellow with a shiny golden band across the top. The tube has a white screw lid which covers a small central hole from which the lip balm comes out.
The lip balm aims to provide the lips with protection against sun damage from both UVA and UVB rays due to its SPF of 15. This sounds very low to me and I would have liked a slightly higher SPF, particularly as I am very pale and tend to burn easily. According to Biotherm the ingredients are made up of Vitamin E acetate which helps to hydrate and moisturise the lips, high-performance sunscreens for sun protection and pure thermal plankton, a classic Biotherm ingredient. Biotherm also warm that the product does not give 100% protection and the prolonged sun exposure is dangerous.
It's easy to apply by simply squeezing the tube gently and either applying the gloss directly to the lips or by applying it with a finger. The cream comes out easily and has quite a thick texture so goes onto the lips smoothly. It feels nice on the lips and a little bit goes a long way so you don't have to use too much. It has a slight scent and taste of sun cream which you get used to after a few uses. It is recommended that you apply the lip balm immediately before going out in the sun.
I was impressed with the results. It's really great at moisturising and keeping the skin from drying out. Although the shine of the gloss doesn't last long my lips felt moistened and healthy several hours after using it. I didn't have any cracked lips which I almost always get in hot weather. However Biotherm claim that the product plumps and highlights the lips which I definitely don't think it does.
Overall this is an effective product and is excellent at hydrating and moisturing the skin. My skin definitely feels more healthy after using it. However it is very expensive and I feel that there are other lip balms with SPF such as Nivea which do an equally good job for half the price and so I would recommend a cheaper alternative rather than getting this one.
I like Biotherm and have a small collection of Biotherm products which I have accumulated over the years. This one cost me £27 from Debenhams which is certainly overpriced for the amount you get although the product itself justifies the price a bit.
The cream comes packaged in a simple yet expensive-looking 50ml glass bottle. The glass is a deep purple colour which reflects night time with a white screw lid and text on the front. The bottle is small and given the price I would have expected more product but then again you only need to use a small amount so it does last a while. The screw lid allows you to get the product out easily and lets you get every last bit out when it gets low.
According to Biotherm the ingredients are made up of 5 tea and seed fractions which include tea, buckwheat, ruscus, soy and cranberry. Of these ingredients 97.5% have natural origins and Biotherm warn that this means the color, fragrance and texture may change over time but that this doesn't affect the cream's functionality. The cream is also free from paraben, mineral oil and synthetic colorant making it great for sensitive skin. I have never had any bad effects from using it and have found that it feels quite soothing.
It's easy to apply by simply rubbing it in small circular motions into the skin. The cream comes out easily and has quite a fluid, liquidy texture so is absorbed easily and quickly. It is not greasy at all. As this is a night cream it should ideally be applied every night. I tend to apply mine just before going to bed after taking off my make-up.
I was really impressed with the results. After a few weeks of using this I noticed that in the mornings my skin felt lovely and soft. It's really great at moisturising and keeping the skin from drying out and it gives it a slight glow when you wake up. Before I started using it I had a few patches of dry skin but these have quickly disappeared.
Overall this is an effective product and is excellent at hydrating and moisturising the skin. My skin definitely feels more healthy after using it. However it is very expensive and so I would recommend using it quite sparingly or only as a treat.
I bought this as a replacement for my old light. Many of the roads I cycle down in the evening are quite busy and so a light is essential to make sure drivers can see me. It cost a very reasonable £7.49 from Amazon. The light comes equipped with 2AAA batteries which are a good addition given the price and full instructions about how to fit the bike although I managed to do this myself without having to look at these.
The LED light has 3 different modes; constant (the light remains on permanently), flashing (the light flashes on and off rapidly) and rotary. All of the lights are very bright and can be seen for up to 600m. When holding the light it is difficult to look directly at but from a distance its fine. I use the flashing mode most often as I feel it is the most eye catching and makes me feel safer than the other 2 modes. The constant mode uses up the most power and lasts for 80 hours, the flashing mode lasts for 160 hours while the rotary is the most energy efficient and lasts up to 260 hours before having to change the battery. In addition to this light I also have a white light attached to the front of my bike for added visibility.
The light fits nicely onto the frame at the back of the bike with a belt clip to secure it. The light also has a mounting bracket with a quick release function to take it on and off rapidly which is useful if you're in a rush to get somewhere. It fits seat posts which are between 25.4mm and 31.8mm so will accommodate most bikes. The circular ring which fits on the frame is adjustable so you make sure it is attached securely with no risk of it coming loose. The light is also shockproof so will take a lot to get damaged. I remove the light when I'm not using it to prevent it getting damaged or stolen outside.
Possibly the most important feature of this light is that its waterproof. I have cycled in the rain many times now with this light and it has been absolutely fine. I usually bring it inside and dry it with a towel when I get home.
Overall the light makes me feel a lot safer when it's dark out and it's definitely worth getting. It's a small price to pay for a bit of added safety and visibility when cycling at night.
I'd been looking at getting an iPod dock for ages when I came across this speaker tower. It looked really impressive and so I bought mine from Amazon for about £95.
The speaker tower came securely packaged along with a remote control, an instruction manual and an audio cable. The instruction manual was really easy to follow although I managed to do most of the set up without them as it is fairly straightforward.
The tower has a very modern, stylish design. The front and top is black while the sides are a glossy red plastic which looks great against the black. At the top is a slot for holding the iPod along with the buttons. All the buttons are clearly labelled with white coloured text above each and a symbol on each button. On the left is input and time, on the right are the volume control buttons and in the center are the play, rewind etc buttons located directly below the on/off switch. The speakers are quite large and measure 30.5 x 30.5 x 91.5cm so do take up quite a bit of space. They weigh 7.1 kg so aren't that easy to move around.
The speakers are very easy both to install and to use. They can be turned on and off with a simple press of the button. Most functions can be controlled with the buttons at the top including fast forward, rewind, skip, repeat, search, mute and volume. There is also a standby function although I try not to use this in order to save electricity. All of these can also be controlled by the remote control which is very convenient and the speakers are very responsive to the remote.
These speakers have a wide variety of features and are more like a multimedia system than just speakers. While your iPod or iPhone is placed in the dock the speakers will charge the device while it's playing so you don't have to worry about running out of charge. The speakers have numerous connections including USB, SD and AUX as well as the iPod interface which allow you to use them a laptop or computer, an iPod and also CD's and DVD's to play music making them highly versatile. These are all located at the top of the speakers on the side so are easy to access. The USB also allows data to be transferred rapidly. The speakers pick up FM radio and have a FM wire antenna and 60 stations preset so you can tune in straight away. The signal is really clear with a good sound. There is also a sleep timer which allows you to decide when you want the speakers to stop and ranges from 10mins all the way up to 120mins.
The sound quality is absolutely brilliant and by far the best thing about these speakers. There is an equalizer which allows you to adjust the bass and treble although it takes a bit of trial and error. Overall this a well-made and high quality item which is excellent value for the price paid. I have had no problems so far and would definitely recommend.
I received this as a novelty gift last Christmas. After a quick look on Amazon I've found that it's available for the incredibly low price of £4.00 with free delivery so a fantastic bargain.
It has a very cute if not slightly strange design. The radio is shaped like a pig as the name suggests. It has a rounded shape with two triangular ears protruding from the top that act as buttons and small black eyes below. The body is supported on four short legs which provide a stable base. Attached to the head is an oversized snout which acts as the speakers while at the other end is a curly tail that acts as an on/off switch and twists to control the volume. The radio has a shiny, pale pink plastic covering with silver mesh to protect the speakers. It weighs hardly anything (300g) and is fairly small making it easy to store when not in use.
It is very simple to use by simply connecting it to a computer or laptop via the USB port. There is no software or installation needed so you can just use it straight away. The pigs ears are actually buttons used to control the radio. To choose a radio station you press the left ear down to flick through them or press the right ear to restore the default radio. It has a frequency response of 82-107MHz. It takes a bit or trial and error to get the pig in the right place for a clear signal as with any radio but once it's positioned correctly it receives radio signals very well. Although you can listen to the radio through this while it's plugged into the computer I have never really used it as I just find it much more convenient to find a radio station directly from the internet. The pig is powered by the computer battery when plugged in but also has a slot for batteries in case the computer battery is running low.
The pig also functions as a standalone speaker. There is a separate cable which you can use to attach the pig to a computer as additional speakers. The sound quality is fairly average which is probably expected given the price. The sound has quite a grainy, tinny quality which gets worse as you turn the volume up. The pig is not very high quality or particularly well-made. I have knocked it off my shelf a couple of times and have noticed some chips and scratches on the surface.
Overall I think this product is most definitely aimed at children. It has a fun, unique design and perhaps makes a good talking point on the shelf but as a useful product I don't think it is something worth having. It is well priced at £4 though so might be an ideal gift for a child.
When I noticed that my work shoes were looking a little worse for wear I figured it was time to invest in some shoe shiner. I noticed the Kiwi shine sponge in Tesco and brought it for the reasonable price of £2.00.
This review is for the neutral shine sponge although you can also a black or a tan/brown coloured shine sponge. It comes in a small teardrop shaped plastic container which narrows towards the top and holds 6ml of shine liquid. The side of the case has small groves allowing you to effectively grip and open the lid. The case is small, lightweight and flattened so can easily be stored either in a draw or in a handbag if you need it on the go.
It is very simple to use by brushing any dirt off of your shoes and then opening the lid to reveal the sponge. The sponge should then be wiped directly across the shoes applying a light amount of pressure and then leaving the shoe to dry for a few seconds before wearing. All this can be done without ever taking the sponge out so that you can avoid getting the polish on your skin. The results are immediate and shoes really do come up looking nice and shiny. The liquid itself is non-greasy and there is no mess involved. It is a really effective product and the quickness is ideal if you are in a rush to get out the door. The glossy shine lasts for about a week or 2 depending on how regularly you wear the shoes and also does a good job at protecting the shoes from further wear. It is important to note that you should never use the product on any kind of suede, fabric or canvas material as this would be damaged by the liquid.
The kiwi shine sponge is a little different to other products as it has a dosage reservoir system to prevent the sponge from drying out and to indicate when the sponge is about to run out as you can see the liquid level so you know when you need to buy another. The reservoir is located at the top of the plastic case and works by allowing small amounts of liquid to moisten the sponge. This is most effective when the case is stored on its side as otherwise the liquid cannot flow into the sponge. This is a really great idea and makes the sponge last a long time, about 2 months, making it great value. Overall a fantastic and convenient product that really works.
Someone got me these last Christmas as a bit of a joke present. After I got them I put them away and forgot about them for many months as they looked more of a novelty item than something I would actually use. However when my feet started getting really cold in winter I remembered these and decided to give them a go. They cost £12.99 from Amazon.
The fuzzy feet slippers belong to a bestselling range of aromatic slippers by Aroma Home all of which have a different animal design. There are 12 in total including Rudolph the reindeer, pig, ladybird, lamb, bumble bee, purple butterfly, pink butterfly, frog, koala, panda, cat, dog and white westie dog (very cute!).
The Rudolph slippers have a very cute design. The main part of the slippers is made up of rudolphs face with the characteristic red nose, antlers and ears sticking out. A big smile is stitched under the nose. The muzzle is made from smooth beige material and surrounded by chocolate brown woolen tufts which make up the fur into which the small black eyes are buried.
The slippers are available in only one size which is supposed to fit all adult feet from sizes 3 to 8. My feet are a size 5 and they fitted nicely with room to spare. Initially I thought they would be impractical to walk around in but they are not only incredibly comfortable for relaxing in but also fairly easy to move in. They do a brilliant job at keeping the feet warm thanks to thickness of the soft wool material inside. Rudolphs muzzle has thick padding which feels nice and warm on top of the foot without being too heavy. Another bonus is that I have raised quite a few laughs walking into a room wearing these!
The slippers themselves are not heatable unlike other microwavable slippers you can get. My only problem is that the layer underneath the foot does not provide much support or bounce. As you step down you can slightly feel the hardness of the floor underneath although they are still comfortable.
The slippers are made from tough corduroy material making them quite hard-wearing. I have been using mine for several months with no sign of wear. The whole slipper seems to be very well-made and good quality so I all in all I am very happy with them. They are perfect for a cold winter night and I would definitely recommend.