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No-one likes rain, obviously! I'm not going to write a review on how rain is made magically better by this umbrella! However, in my opinion, it makes rain a little more fun!
Forget your average black totes umbrella, this is the way forward. This umbrella works in the same way as all umbrellas; keeping you dry! It's main selling point is the dome shaped top that is see through, meaning you can bring it down right past your face and still see where you are going. It also has a shapely sturdy handle unlike most normal unbrellas so its easier to hold onto in that gust of wind. Speaking of wind, its very hard to blow this umbrella inside out which is a major plus as most of the umbrellas I have had to throw in the bin have been due to wind induced damage!
The umbrella is bigger than your usual umbrella yes and you probably can't fit it in your handbag. But the handle makes it easy to carry and knowing you are going to keep mega dry and have an awesome umbrella is worth it!
They do come in various colours if you shop around and you can get a good price. There's hundreds on ebay!
I love my dome umbrella. Next up for me it's the umbrellas that have lights in them!! Imagine how cool you would look on firework night with one of those!
Thanks for reading :)
I've said before I'm a fan of audiobooks to make a nice change to actual reading a book. I'm especially a fan of mp3 audiobooks because they can often be a lot cheaper and there's nothing to actually carry, install or have to wait for delivery for! They come automatically.
This audiobook is the, now ridiculously popular, story of the human who falls in love with the vampire. If you don't know the story; where have the been the last few years!?! I'm not recapping!
The characters in the book are American and this narrator is a young American girl who fits in with how I guess Bella would sound if she were reading her words aloud. I wouldn't say she has the most comforting or best voice for audiobooks but considering I think Bella is whiney anyway it makes a good fit for this particular one!
The audiobook I have, remember its an mp3 version, is broken into two parts and then into chapters so both parts have chapters 1-27. Quite annoying if you were looking for an actual point in the book but only a small thing. Each chapter is announced by the narrator and they do have some mood music at the beginning which, if it was the whole way through would be super annoying but as it is only during the announcing of the title and reader's name, is quite a nice way to get into the book I think. The best thing in my opinion about audiobooks if that they remember your place for next time. You just get to click resume which is great. I envitably have to go back a few minutes to find when I dozed off but that's the price I pay for listening in bed!
Overall I think this audiobook is great. I am a fan of them in general so that could play a part but I think this narrator captures Bella's nature pretty well and I am looking forward to reading the rest in the series this way!
I am a fan of audiobooks because I think they make a welcome change to listening to music on your journey or watching a film/reading a book. You can have the involvement of reading a book without actually having to make the effort of reading the book! Result! Like a bedtime story only better!
Depending on whether you have the US or UK version your narrator will either be Jim Dale (US) or Stephen Fry (UK). Now I have listened to both versions and both are excellent. These two narrators have a natural way of story telling and really engage with what they are reading and liven it up to make it the Harry Potter we know and love. If I had to pick a favourite I would go with Fry simply because Harry Potter is English and therefore it adds a little more to the authenticity of the readings.
I'm sure you know the story of the Prisoner of Azkaban so I won't rehash it but it's the one with the Dementors, Lupin, the discovery of who really is Sirius Black and a bit of time travel thrown in too! Not one of my favourites in the series but as always JK Rowling provides great writing which is done justice by these audio books.
You can get them as cds but I prefer to download them off Itunes because then they are straight on your itunes and easily transferred to your ipod. The books remember where you were last upto even if you don't, although they can't pinpoint the exact moment you fell asleep, more's the pity!!
The Harry Potter series is for adults and children alike. Same goes for the audiobooks! A great addition to any collection.
We use Countdown at work for any international shipping we have to do. They also do UK and national courier services but we do not use them for this so I can only review their internation services.
Once you have an account set up it is very easy to order. You can do it by phone or online and we do all our services online. They give you a username and password and the form is very easy to fill in. You specify where its going and who is coming from, there is space for a reference and you can write a delivery contact. Everything you would expect really.
We send documents every week to Canada (from London) which costs us about £16 for 1kg and arrives usually on Tuesday if we send Friday. The same man comes and picks up from us every week which I prefer. He doesn't speak English and if you want something changed you have to phone the office because he will not understand you. They used to always come too early so our packages weren't ready and it took me several weeks to get them to understand that I was putting a certain time on the form for a reason but now they come at the right time, sometimes!
We also send bulkier packages such as suitcases for conferences. These always come back in the same condition as we sent them and on a pretty good time scale coming from all over Europe. On the odd occasion we have had things turn up late or arrive late but usually we leave an extra day lee-way for things like that.
Whenever they have a problem, for example they don't deliver to P.O Boxes but forgot to tell us that when I ordered, they call you and try and solve the problem for you. It doesn't always work; for example one hotel lost our packages and the courier had to charge us for a failed pick up attempt. However this was later reclaimed from the hotel. They are prettygood at keeping you informed over what is going on with your items.
Overall I'd say Countdown are a pretty reliable service. They are a good price, they have lists of how long it will take to deliver anywhere in the world and as long as you know how much time you will need your package will arrive no problem.
I bought this perfume back in 2007 when I was looking for a new summer fragrance. Because of the time of year I wanted something light and fresh, a bit fruity, but not over powering. I wanted to be able to wear it for a night out or during the day.
I bought it in Boots for about £20 which I think is pretty good considering the bottle was 100ml! The bottle is green, orange and red and pretty simple but I liked how it looked. It reminded me of summer and seeing as I was looking for a summer perfume it was a hit.
I really like this fragrance ans it suited exactly what I was looking for. I have read some reviews saying it's for men which I wasn't aware of and I don't think it smells like it's for men! I have been complimented many times on this perfume by my female friends so I really don't think, even if it is for men, that it's an issue.
As far as I am aware you can't really get it any more as it was a special edition summer fragrance which is a shame because I would definitely buy it again.
Continuing the healthy eating theme; a couple of days a week I like to have soup for lunch, espsecially if I know I'm going out for dinner that night.
I've tried the general heinz tomato soup, cup a soup etc but this one is only 1 weight watchers point so I decided to give it a go.
Its not too bad on the wallet, at the moment Tesco have a deal on where its 57p instead of 66p for a 295g can. Their 4 pack is actually £2.91 making it cheaper to buy them on their own.
The cans are 295g which contains 74 calories and 1.4g of fat.
To cook you can either warm it on the hob or put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Its very easy to do, not exactly rocket science.
My main issue with healthy eating, especially soup, is thinking it won't fill me up. This soup is pretty thick and while I wouldn't say it fills me to the brim (it is only soup after all) it does a pretty good job of satisfying me. If you have a piece of wholemeal bread or something with it, and a snack in the afternoon, I'm usually full until dinner.
I really like the taste of this soup. I tend to go for the plainer soups as I'm quite fussy, but if you like branching out they have quite a wide range and I think some of those may be even more filling due to their extra ingredients.
Sometimes I do wish the can was a bit bigger. Its only soup and its pretty good for you so they could get away with making biggers tins. I would probably prefer that. Failing that you could always have two, but that's quite a lot of soup! Hear my plea Heinz, make bigger tins!!
Being on the health kick I am on, and hearing only good things about Special K I decided to pop to the supermarket before work and check out some cereals.
This appealed to me as the box is quite nice (book/cover and all that yes I know) and it clearly states less than 3% fat and they are running a "love your shape for summer" campaign so I though yeah, why not!
At £3 a pop for a 425g box I wasn't that impressed. It says you should get 14 30g servings out of it but really I don't weigh my cereal at work in the morning and am clearly having way more than 30g as I find it lasts about a week and a half.
Now I don't have milk with my cereal, which most people will find crazy, but anyway it means I can't comment on how soggy it goes/stays when milk is added. However I have heard that it is pretty good, but check out other reviews for more on that as I like it dry.
Perhaps having it dry means I get a better sense of the taste, which I actually really like. I've never had special K before but I like the mixture of the flakes puffed rice pieces and honey taste. The honey taste was not overwhelming and the ratio was just right.
For a healthy morning breakfast option I would definately recommend this cereal. For a 30g serving theres 114 calories, 6g of sugar, 0.8g of fat and 0.2g of salt. You can do the 2 bowls for 2 weeks thing on this and it would probably fill you up, I have my breakfast at 8.30am and am not starving at midday (an 10.45 apple snack is included!)
I hope they are on offer sometimes as I did find them quite expensive for a relatively small box, but I guess thats just the brand.
So buy (on offer) and enjoy!
Coming ever closer to summer I am trying to be good and cut out some of the rubbish from my diet. A friend suggested a no wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol and no carbs after 6 detox which; while sounding crazy hard, only lasts two weeks and I decided to give it a go.
If I was going to do it as properly as possible (which, to be fair, I didn't entirely) I knew my two sugars in my morning tea would have to go. I started off just having no sugar but that was AWFUL so someone suggested sweetners.
These were on offer for 2 for £2 in Sommerfield so I decided to give them a go. You get a hundred tablets in the pack so 2 cups of tea a day using 2 sweetners at a time means the pack should last about a month. Not too shabby. The pack works by pushing in a release button and they drop out of the bottom one at a time.
I don't know about using them in baking etc. You can get them in granules which would be ideal for baking but in something that usually requires a lot more sugar than a cup of tea the taste difference may be more noticeable.
Obviously you cannot fake the taste of sugar. However for a zero calorie substitute I think sweetners are fab! I have finished that crazy detox now and will be using sweetners for the foreseeable future as I see them as a compromise. Gaining back calories on something as simple as your morning tea means you can indulge somewhere else!
I visited this pub recently on a Friday night for their live music and thought it was a really good venue. Nice atmosphere, not too pricey drinks, good music and good entertainment. Below I'll explain this in more detail.
The pub is really easy to get to. It's 5 minutes from Camden Town tube station, 8 minutes from Kentish Town Tube station and close to both those overgrounds as well. I got a bus here from Holborn and the buses around Camden are really good and many of them run 24 hours.
The pub is open everyday and is always free entry. There is live music every night and it is still free entry and you can't say that about many places. There is no dress code and the atmosphere is intimate yet relaxed. There is free wifi and a bbq at weekends. Its not a very big place, capacity is 200, and there's not a whole lot in the way of seating but that's what makes it such a gem.
They have live music every night but only one band per night. This is to ensure they get top quality bands and not just people to fill slots. Alan Pownall, The Kooks and Mumford and Sons are just some of the people who have played here and when I went I saw John McIvor who is a brilliant up and coming singer. The music is, if I had to classify it, I guess mainly folk and indie music.
The bands play for about 40 minutes and they have guest DJs playing around this. I wouldnt take the start time as set though as when I went the artist came on much later than billed.
I was on the cider when I went down there which, if I remember correctly was around £4 a pint but maybe a bit less. They have drinks deals on, cheap sambucca and lots of shots. I wouldn't knock their selection and the cider was cold which is all I'm after :)
They are open quite late BUT if you arrive after 11pm you have to be a member to get in. Being a member is free, you can do it online, and it allows you to bring two guests with you. This isn't really a problem if you know you are going to go there or go there a lot but it does mean you can't just turn up late one night and get in. Being a member means you will also get special drinks discounts, bbqs and shows. It's really not a hassle if you know its somewhere you are likely to visit. You have to do it 24 hours before you are going to visit. You can do it at the pub aswell. You DON't need membership to see the bands. You don't need membership to visit the pub. You need membership if you are rocking up after 11pm.
M. - 5pm - midnight
T. - 5pm - midnight
W. - 5pm - midnight
T. - 5pm - 1am
F. - 5pm - 2am
S. - midday - 2am
S. - midday - midnight
Bands are supposed to go on at 9pm.
Weekend barbecues start at 1pm.
The best bit:
In my opinion the BEST thing about this pub was the fact they have table football that you can play on!! I can't remember how much it was, maybe 50p or £1 but it was AMAZING and it made the whole night!! Maybe you don't like table football but it was great; and we made new friends to play against.
Bascially this pub was just what I was looking for.
It has live music
It has good priced booze
It has a nice atmosphere
It's free to get in ALL THE TIME.
I would definitely recommend this place. You never know when you're going to see the next big thing!!
Not being a massive cereral fan (hate milk!) I was looking for something I could eat for breakfast. Ideally it would be something quick, easy and I could eat on the go as I don't really have time for breakfast in the morning. With that in mind I thought I would try these special K mini breaks.
I knew special K did the cereal that you can do the diet on but didn't really know much beyond that in terms of how healthy they are. These snack bags are only 99 calories per bag (24g). They come individually sealed in a box of 5. I have never seen them sold separately but you may be able to get them as such. 5 is perfect for me as thats one pack every day of the working week.
There are several flavours you can get; a lemon flavour, a chocolate flavour and an original flavour. I would have thought I would like the chocolate flavour as it would give me a bit of the chocolate fix I always crave but surprisingly I didn't enjoy those very much. The taste was nowhere near as nice as the original, which is the ones I now buy weekly.
The mini breaks themselves are small squares of multigrain cereal. I think they are the perfect size and taste really nice. I'm not really a grains and oats person but I like them. Sometimes I dip them in yoghurt too which is also very tasty! You don't get a huge amount in a packet (they are only 24g) but I usually find its about the right amount.
At £2.10 for a box of 5 (this rises to £2.29 if you go for the chocolate ones) I do find them a bit steep in price. If they are on offer this makes them a little better but they rarely are. Sometimes you can find things like this in your local poundshop so I will have to look out for these although, as always with those shops, watch the expiration date!
Nowadays I find I don't just have them for breakfast, I may have them with my lunch or as a snack between meals. I find them a versatile snack which is useful.
I do enjoy reading the classics and when I saw this at my local bookshop I picked it up during the Easter Weekend for something to read. Obviously that means I got it on loan free but a quick seach of amazon shows me you can get it for £1.99, which is a total bargain!!
About the author ~
D.H Lawrence was an English author poet and playwright who's work was published at the beginning of the 20th century. He wrote a lot about subjects that were considered taboo, such as human sexuality. This book is said to be based on events from Lawrence's private life.
The book is about a young woman, Lady Chatterley, whose husband is paralysed and therefore cannot give her a child. Her husband encourages her to have a child by another man. However she embarks on an affair where a child may not be all she is looking for. Once she begins her affair she starts to wonder whether she can go back to only being alive mentally and not physically.
The book deals a lot with the class system and sexual relationships. The man Lady Chatterley embarks on her affair with is from a lower class system and she is relatively insecure compared to her upperclass husband.
I found the book quite difficult to get into and quite difficult to enjoy. Although I see how it was an important book at its time if release I thought I would have enjoyed it more as it is said to be such a classic. My favourite classic books (Pride & Prejudice) are probably my favourite because we studied them at school and went really in depth to understand everything about them, and wrote numerous essays on them.
With no one to discuss this book with I couldnt really explore my thoughts on it and go over passages I might not have fully understood. To fully enjoy a classic I think you do need some level of discussion.
I wouldn't read this book again but am glad I have ticked it off my "classics still to be read" list. And now I'm lending it to a friend.
I love bowling but haven't been in a long time since the one closest to me closed down (North Harrow if you know the area). A friend told me about this one so we decided to check it out. Its easily accessible by train (jubilee line - stamore station) or on the bus (h12 or 340). Its on Stanmore Broadway just opposite the spice rack.
We weren't sure we were definitely going but we booked on Friday afternoon for Friday night. You almost always have to book as they only have 4(!) lanes and it will get booked up. I wouldnt suggest turning up without a booking. You have to pay an extra £5 for the booking which is a non refundable deposit. Doesn't sound too bad but the bowling itself cost £45 for an hour, which I considered a lot!
The prices are :
1 hour games: Monday - Thursday £35, Fri - Sun £45.
1/2 hour games: Monday - Thurs £20, Fri- Sun £25.
I wouldnt reccommend getting a half hour game unless there is like two of you because we played for an hour and it didnt seem like enough!!! That may be something to do with us not actually getting on our lane until 10.15 (despite getting there at 9.45) and having to move lanes to allow a group who booked two lanes to be placed together! When it got to 11pm and they turned our game off we complained and they acted like they were doing us a favour letting us play a litttle more.
The actual bowling itself is pretty fun as most bowling is. The venue is SUPER hot though. They have lava lamps everywhere and pretty cool lighting but it was so hot it was nearly unbearable.
I think the main attraction here is not the bowling but the fact it has a bar and seated area and music as well. People come just for that really. The drinks are expensive though! They also have a restaurant and a snack menu if you are sitting at the bar or bowling
While you are bowling waiters hover around incase you want a drink or anything to eat. It was pretty cool to start a tab and order food and drinks while bowling as it meant we didnt have to walk through to the bar and therefore miss playing time. Plus they messed up our tab and didnt charge us for some of the drinks so that was cool too!
Overall I would say you should go and experience this place but its not for hardcore bowlers! I enjoyed the bowling although I wished it was longer. I probably wouldnt go back again due to the price and the heat but it was a fun night out
After Christmas I was looking for some cheap perfume bargains and I saw a gift set in the perfume shop of Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely. It contained a 50ml bottle of the perfume plus a soft body lotion and a bath and shower gel. Now I have my usual scents and often stick to them but I was looking for something I could have on my desk at work. The set was £14 which I thought was amazing value so I snapped it up!
The body lotion comes in a light pink tube with relatively little writing on it. It simply says Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker and states its soft body lotion and how much is in the bottle. The writing is in gold and I think this nice simple style makes it look classic and quite upmarket. Some garish bottles and packaging can just put me right off.
The lotion itself is, well, body lotion. I can't say its immensely different from any other body lotion although I do quite like it's smell. I probably wouldn't buy this body lotion on its own as I find dove or johnsons just as good and they would be a cheaper price. However for having on my desk it is useful. It is also a handy size if I were travelling I would probably want something a little bit smaller than the bottles I have on my shelf at home so this would do perfectly.
The perfume itself is also fine, the scent is not particulary strong but it smells quite fresh and for a day perfume you don't want something too overpowering. The bottle again has very little writing on it which I like.
This gift set was exactly what I was looking for at the time. A bargain at £14 for perfume, lotion and shower gel, I cannot complain. I probably wouldnt buy any of the items separately as I have favourite perfumes and lotions but for what I wanted it was great.
I have friends who are obbsessed with the wonder of Vitamin Water. Today I was in the newsagent pondering what drink to buy on a relatively warm day during my lunch break. I had almost decided on sprite when I saw Vitamin water. It looked tasty. It looked refreshing. I went for it. I was going to pick the yellow one but I thought no, branch out, I'll pick the "lemonade" version.
According to the bottle it is "still lemon flavour spring water drink with vitamins and minerals". Well I can't really argue with that description. The lemon taste was quite strong but not too much so that it makes it horrible.
I guess the good thing about this drink is that it has vitamins and minerals in it! You are putting some goodness back into your body without really thinking about it. Its 19 calories per 100ml so thats 95 calories per bottle which I think is okay.
I don't think this drink was as amazingly refreshing as I was expecting. However I think this was down to two things. Firstly me hearing so much about it made me think it was going to be this AMAZING sensation. I guess it wasn't going to live upto the hype! Secondly I think I chose the wrong flavour for me. I do like citrus drinks but I think I should have gone with the orange one as this is my favourite flavour of most drinks. I think that one would have been awesome!
One other thing was the price of this drink. I paid £1.58 for this, which I think is a little steep. It was in an independent newsagent in central London and I don't know how much it would be in a supermarket. You may be able to buy in bulk to get them cheaper, or this may just be an expensive product! Either way if you find the right flavour for you this would be a very refreshing drink.
I tried the citrus flavour. Wasn't impressed!! Lemon was nicer. Perhaps I was expecting too much from this product.
I have recently started a new job and am one of those people who likes to have useful things on their desk. Aside from moisturiser and nurofen I wanted some hand gel as my hands were getting pretty dirty and I'm not really supposed to leave my desk incase the phone rings.
I knew of Carex hand gel but saw this bottle in Tesco and as it was smaller and cheaper (48p!!) I decided to try it out.
The bottle is clear so you can see what is inside and not much labelling on the front. It promises to kill 99.9% of bacteria.
The lip has to be pushed in so the other side pops up and then you squeeze out what you want. I would prefer it if the lid simply had a hole in it but for 48p I can't really fault that.
If you use it quite a lot I don't think it would last more than a couple of weeks as it is only a small bottle (50ml) but like I said for 48p I will happily buy another one when needed. It is a very convienient size for your handbag or if you are travelling.
The only drawback is that sometimes my hands feel a little dry after use! Luckily I'm one of those people who likes to have useful things on their desk. Including moisturiser.