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I bought this camera for my husband for his birthday 2 years ago. I wanted one that was compact and transportable. It's great, the picture quality even under water is fantastic. It's easy to use, I'm a point and press girl myself and even I can work it. However if you do want a bit of a challenge it has some really great functions. It will even show a slideshow of all the photos stored on the camera with music, not particularly good music, and a choice would be nice, but hey, it's an interesting feature.
It has a good range and is capable of taking photos in all levels of darkness. He did have trouble getting a decent shot of the Northern lights but that could be lack of practice with the time lapse facility.
If I have one complaint, I find the screen somewhat difficult to see in sunlight. Fortunately it's such a good camera, if I point it in the right general direction and press the button it usually turns out OK.
In my view it's biggest asset is the fact it is waterproof and it is completely waterproof. We've taken it snorkeling. We have some lovely photos of fish. This also means you can feel confident taking pictures in wet weather.
I have always been an avid reader. I was committed to the paper book and never thought I'd enjoy an ereader. Then my dad bought a kindle. It wasn't as bad as I expected. After some research I decided the sony PRS 350 (in pink , obviously) was the one for me. My husband bought me one for my birthday last year.
I'm a ebook convert. It's amazing. I always have it with me. I can carry 1000 books in my bag. I can keep my favourite books with me all the time. The screen isn't back lit like a computer and the text used is designed to be comfortable to read. It is a convenient size to fit in a handbag. It comes with a cable to connect it to your computer. This is how you download books and also how you charge the unit. When reading you can mark pages or make notes, either using the on screen keyboard or the stylus which fits neatly down the right hand side of the unit. There are various online dictionaries in different languages. So you can translate a word if you want to. I can see it being a valuable resource for students as you can make as many notes as you want and easily look them up.
There's a zoom button so you can alter the size of the text. This is useful if you want to make use of the millions of free or very cheap ebooks available as the text isn't always a readable size. On the subject of free ebooks. There are a lot available, but be warned, some of them aren't great. I read a lot of real rubbish. I've come to the conclusion that you generally get what you pay for with ebooks. Some libraries will lend out ebooks. Check with your own library. It's a brilliant way to borrow books as there is no possibility of an overdue fine. You have a licence to use the book for 2 weeks (at our local library it's 2 weeks anyway) After that the file automatically becomes unreadable. You can't renew it but you can always borrow it again if you haven't finished. You have to do it online, it's quite simple though.
There is the facility to save your books in collections if you prefer to.
The unit has a clock, but I haven't found a way to display it easily without coming out of the book you are reading.
You can also alter the orientation of the pages if you want to. You turn the page either by pressing one of the buttons on the bottom left of the unit, or swiping you finger on the screen similar to flicking the page of a book. It is possible to alter this facility so the page turns the opposite way to that expected. I have no idea why you would want to do that, but you can.
There are covers available for the PRS 350. The cheaper version is just a cover, they are available to match the colour of your unit. The more expensive option (about £45) has a light so you can read at night without waking your partner up. There was an international shortage of pink covers with lights when I got my unit in March 2010. I eventually found at Stansted airport in June 2011.
In short, my Sony PRS 350 is probably the best gift I have ever received. If you are a book lover, and still not convinced, give one a try.
If you want a dishwasher but only have 50cm then this is the one for you. Firstly it looks great in the graphite colour. I bought it to match my washing machine. I love it.
There are 7 different programs. Intensive, Normal, Daily 60, Prewash, Eco, Speed and Delicate.
I've tried them all. For general daily use I favour normal. I like to be eco friendly so I started off using the Eco setting but it doesn't dry anything which means you need to dry it all by hand, which is a bit pointless in my opinion.
There is also the option for half load. This is only useful if you use powder rather than tablets.
The full cycle takes around 3 hours which might be awkward if you need the stuff quickly. The speed cycle takes about an hour, which might still seem a long time if you are waiting for clean plates.
It is a slimline dishwasher so it won't take as much as a full size one. There are only two of us an there's plenty of space. It could accommodate dishes for a family of 4 quite easily. The cutlery tray is removable and it's position can be adjusted within the machine which makes it very flexible. It copes very happily with sauce pans and crystal wine glasses alike.
It has a timer so you can delay the start. I'm not sure why you would ever want to, but you can. The instructions are clear and simple and it's very easy to use. It's also easy to add salt and rinse aid and there are indicator lights so you know when you need to refill.
It has filters which need cleaning out from time to time. Again they are easily accessible and easy to clean.
Your body works in exactly the same way as your bank account. If you use more than you put in it gets smaller, if you put in more than you use it gets bigger. That part is quite simple. Having said that, to say that a person is fat because they eat to much is like saying a person is dead because their heart has stopped beating and they have stopped breathing. It may be factually accurate but it doesn't actually explain very much.
So, there are some medical conditions, for example having an underactive thyroid, which might make you more likely to put on weight, but then you need to eat less.
Diets, as we understand them in the Western world, don't work, they can only ever be a temporary fit. This is because if you "go on a diet" then eventually you will come off that diet, possible when you have reached your goal weight. You will then revert to your previous eating habits and you will very quickly revert to your previous weight.
The only thing which does work is making permanent, sustainable, lifestyle changes. Look at the things which are causing you to be fat and change them.
Society does tend to give the impression that being fat is some kind of sin. It's not a sin and you don't have to pay penance to absolve yourself. Losing weight has to be at least as much fun as putting it on was, and it can be. You just need to find something that works for you.
Unfortunately we are biologically and psychologically predisposed to overeat when we have the opportunity and to store that additional energy in the form of fat. It is what has made us successful as a species. When we were competing for food, it's the ones who were most successful who survived and produced offspring. So it's not surprising, now food is in plentiful supply obesity is becoming and increasingly serious problem.
Learn to fight nature what comes naturally:
Ensuring your supply - Have you ever wondered why you feel compelled to eat just because somebody around you is eating? You are ensuring your supply. You body is telling you this is a limited resources therefore you must ensure you have your share. Remind yourself that there's plenty of whatever it is available. So your brother might be eating the last of the chocolate chip cookies, but there are more in the shop. You can buy chocolate chip cookies whenever you want and eat them to your heart's content. Only eat one if you genuinely want one. I would suggest if your brother started eating them it was him that wanted them not you.
More means more- Given a seemingly endless supply of food we will almost always eat more than we actually need. Again we are ensuring our supply. Feast today could mean famine tomorrow. Before you go back for seconds, ask yourself are you really hungry? or just preparing for a famine that won't come?
Variety is the spice of life - We are biologically predisposed to enjoy variety. Being able to eat a variety of things has made us more successful. Be honest, if somebody gives you a box of chocolates, you want to try every flavour don't you? Offered a choice of 16 different types of sandwiches you are going to eat as many different ones as you can. This is probably the hardest one to deal with. This is actually a good thing. Our love of variety is the key to successful weight management. So be selective, only pick the thing you really want the most. Don't think of it as depriving yourself, think of it as treating yourself only to the very best of what life has to offer.
Waste not, want not.
You can hear your mother saying it can't you. Now we are all encouraged to be considerate of the environment wasting food is being frowned on anew. Be sure of this, it is every bit as wasteful to eat something you don't want or need as it is to throw it in the bin. What's more it will annoy you for a lot longer around your waist than in the waste. The key to avoiding waste food is to buy less than you think you will need and put less on your plate than you think you want. You aren't going to starve, seriously, there's no need to panic.
Don't expect instant results. It took you a while to put on the weight, don't expect to lose it overnight. Don't get downhearted if it seems to be taking a while. If you have adopted an eating regime you can live it for life, it doesn't matter how long it takes.
Finally don't forget to love yourself. Weight problems often go hand in hand with self loathing and low self esteem. Your size is only one thing about you. There are lots of great things about you. Focus on them.
My experience with Nat West has not been great. My husband and I separated. We had both been living in Spain and had a Nat West account in joint names. We closed that account and each opened separate ones when I moved back to the UK. I funded it with £1000 from the joint account. That was all the cash I had at that time. They told me my debit card would arrive in a week to ten days. It was a Saturday so they couldn't order it immediately but assured me they would order it first thing on the Monday. I phoned on the Monday to check this had been done and was told yes it had been ordered. A week later I went to see if it had arrived, it hadn't. Another week passed and then they realised they had forgotten to order it after all. I was not very happy about that.
Worse was yet to come though. I changed my address shortly after opening the account. It appears that the signature on the form I had signed didn't match the one they had on file. So they wrote to me. They couldn't write to me at my address in Spain as they knew I was living in the UK. They obviously couldn't write to the address on the form in case it was fraud. So they wrote to my estranged husband's new girlfriend's address. That was uncomfortable.
I made an appointment to see somebody as I was unhappy with the service I had received. The appointment was for 12.30 on a Saturday. The person I had arranged to see wasn't available. She was with another customer. I explained to the customer service representative why I was unhappy. She said somebody would be able to see me at 13.15. I said I would come back then. Apparently that wasn't possible as they close the bank doors at 13.00 and can't reopen them. I did ask what happened to all the people still in there. Were they stuck until Monday morning?
I would have liked to close the account then but only having been in the UK for a few weeks opening one with another bank would have been difficult. So I gave them another chance.
The final straw occurred when I went abroad on holiday to Mexico. I informed them the dates I would be away and the towns I would be visiting. The first transaction I made was fine then after that the card didn't work. Fortunately I was able to use my Spanish card. When I got back to the UK I found a letter from Nat West regarding a potentially fraudulent transaction. I called the number on the letter only to be asked a serious of fatuous questions about the transactions leading up to the one which caused them to cancel the card. It seems they were deemed to be suspicious, even though they were all in shops which I regularly used.
I bank with HSBC now.
I am going to Norway shortly and needed new boots. I was looking for something comfortable but reasonably stylish. I found these in Debenhams reduced from £125, to £100. I felt there were a bit expensive at first, I also wasn't entirely sure I liked the style. Then I tried one on.
I fell for them then, they are so incredible comfortable. I still wasn't sure about the £100 price tag so I didn't buy them straight off. I looked on the internet for similar products hoping to get them a bit cheaper. I couldn't find them online for any less than £100. Even the just sheep skin website had them for £125. Products with a cheaper price tag seem to be poorer quality as well. I also found myself missing them, even though I'd only tried one on for a few minutes. I kept wishing I had them on.
A day or two later I was back at Debenhams with my daughter in tow. She started off saying £100 was expensive for what looked like a pair of slippers. I suggested she try them on and she instantly changed her mind.
In short your feet will feel like they are in foot heaven. They are so comfortable. They claim to keep your feet warm down to -32 degrees and up to + 25 degrees. I haven't tested the entire temperature range yet but so far I'm convinced. My feet are always a comfortable temperature.
Only one down side, they are sock swallowers! I have found that they have a tendency to cause your sock to slide down and off the foot which is quite uncomfortable. The solution may be to wear better socks. Personally I have chosen to wear tights which them which solves the problem. They are actually comfortable enough to not bother with socks at all.
So a word of warning, if you try them on, you won't want to take them off again. So don't try them on in the shoe shop unless you are ready to part with the cash. The choice available in Debenhams was black or tan. I believe they are also available in chocolate. They are reportedly washable but I doubt it's something you'd want to do very often. You have to hand wash them in cold water with wool detergent and then allow to dry naturally out of direct sunlight. I think they might take a very long time to dry and spend several days dripping in the processes. I decided to go for black as I thought the tan might look grubby after a while.
Update, I have now been to the Arctic circle with these boots. They coped with temperatures of -16, snow up to my knees, and I never once got cold feet. They are waterproof, once or twice the lining around the very top got slightly damp but that's all. They still look as good as they did when I bought them. They are brilliant!
Garlic can be something of an acquired taste. It has a strong flavour, not dissimilar to onion. It has been widely used in continental cookery for centuries but has been a more recent introduction in the English diet. Eating it can result in the breath becoming smell. The smell can also be released in sweat. Some people believe that parsley will counteract the effect of that smell.
It is believed to have a great many health benefits. One of these is lowering cholesterol. It is also know to have antiseptic qualities and could possibly act as an expectorant.
Garlic is widely available and relatively cheap to purchase. It cost around 30p for one bulb which will keep for many months in the correct conditions.
If you have a garden it is also very simple to grow. There is no need to purchase anything special, just split a bulb you bought in the supermarket and plant the cloves, pointy end up just below the surface of the soil. You can plant and harvest it throughout the year and ensure yourself an endless supply.
It can be used in a wide variety of savoury dishes and will compliment almost any meat or vegetable. It is easily preserved either by drying, freezing, or storing in oil.
In short it is an extremely versatile and useful herb.
Being a middle aged mother of two does take it's toll on the midriff. So even though I'm not overweight sometimes I like a little help to smooth the lines a bit.
Top tip, make sure you buy the correct size. You can try them on at M&S over you own pants. Do that. Make sure the pants you have on are a reasonably good fit but don't hold your stomach in. If they fit well you will have less problem with roll down and VPL.
They work well at smoothing the lines and holding in the flabby bits. They are reasonably comfortable. They are advertised as high leg. It's not particularly high though, which is probably a good thing as they sit quite nicely around the hips. I like the detail around the leg. Other similar products I have bought have had a more lacy effect which I find can be irritating and can also show under very sheer material.
They go right to the bra line which helps maintain a smooth looking shape. Roll down can be a problem though, depending on what you are doing. The main disadvantage is that going to the toilet can be a time consuming affair. They don't have a hook and eye at the crotch so definitely aren't suitable for wearing under a bodice unless you want to get completely undress to go to the loo.
One dress I have tried them under I also had a problem with the fabric riding up which was a bit annoying. Maybe it was just the style or fabric of the dress. Another tip for general underwear purchase, if you are buying to go under a specific outfit, take it with you when you go to try them on. There's nothing more annoying that discovering when you get home that they won't do. At around £30 this is quite and investment in underwear and you don't want to get it wrong.
I have very sensitive skin which clogs easily and I'm old enough to have obvious wrinkles now. So skin care is a tricky business. I first bought this product when I lived in Spain. I have to be careful what I use, and I'm allergic to aloe vera, which is very popular over there. So I wanted a product I knew I wouldn't react to. I was not disappointed. The cost out there was about 3 euros.
It comes in a small glass jar, which seems more environmentally friendly compared to all the plastic bottles we get. The lid is pink which is a lovely girly colour. It also has the advantage you can get every last bit of product out of the pot. The cream itself is smells pleasant and not overpowering. It's light and easily absorbed it leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised. It has an SPF of 15 which was sufficient for a Spanish winter. It is also sufficient for your average day in the UK though on sunny days, sun cream is advisable.
It's great for using under make up as it doesn't clog the pores. Foundation is easy to apply afterwards.
Probably my favourite thing is that is doesn't make any ridiculous claims to "improve" the look of your wrinkles like some of the more expensive brands.
I stopped using this when I came back to the UK but for the life of me I can't think why. Possibly so many more choices distracted me. I think I will go back to it though.
I got this phone as part of my virgin contract on the £10pcm package.
It's OK. I remember the days when phones had dials and were attached to the house with wire on a table in the hall. So mainly I want to phone people, and you can do that quite successfully.
The touch screen technology is very unpredictable. My husband has the same phone, he is a gardener and keeps his in his pocket. He frequently finds he has accidentally phoned somebody, deleted the all the A's in his phone book, or it's trying to log onto the internet. Even keeping it in my bag I had some problems. I bought a cover for mine in the end which has helped.
Apart from doing things you don't want it also sometimes fails to do the things you do want to do. It's particularly temperamental when it comes to switching off the alarm in the morning. It can take several attempts to do that, which is particularly annoying.
It has lots of functions, most of which I don't use. I find the diary very useful though. If you spend a lot of time surfing the net from your phone this probably isn't the one for you. On the rare occasions when I have wanted to access the internet from my phone I've found it extremely difficult to use. A smart phone it is not! Having said that a lot of smart phones seem quite large by comparison so if you mainly want to phone people and want something neat and small this is better.
The radio is good, the camera is reasonable for the money. It's got things like an image editor but to be honest if you are that keen on fiddling with your photos, buy a proper camera.
All in all it's not a bad phone for the money but if I'm offered an upgrade at the end of this contract, I will be seriously considering it.
I love this fridge freezer. I bought mine from Curry's online. The delivery service was brilliant. I paid about £350 for it which I thought was extremely good value. I like the silver one and we have other silver grey appliances but it is slightly more expensive, and our fridge freezer is in the utility room. So I decided against the additional expense and went for white.
There is plenty of capacity for two people. I think the fridge would easily be big enough for a family. The freezer might be a bit small for more than two.
The fridge has 3 easy to clean glass shelves, two crisper drawers, and 3 door shelves. All parts are easy to get in and out for cleaning. One of the crisper drawers has a picture of fruit and the other a picture of vegetable. Other than that the drawers appear to be identical so presumably the pictures are just in case you aren't sure what to put in there and need additional guidance.
The freezer has 4 drawers. I have owned it for nearly 6 months and there isn't even the slightest indication of frost build up so I don't know how easy it is to defrost. I suspect I won't know for some time to come. It may even be a genuinely frost free freezer.
The door is a little stiff to open. I think this is because it has a very effective seal so it's not really a complaint.
It's quiet and energy efficient. Brilliant value.
There are few things more depressing than having teenage spots and wrinkles, it's really not fair. I bought this product because it claimed to treat spots immediately and make an immediate improvement.
The container is very convenient, it fits easily in a handbag so it's available to use at a moment's notice. It is applied by roll on which is extremely simple and controllable, and it's clear, so nobody know need know you've applied it.
Does it work? It certainly makes the spot feel better. It's very cooling. I can't say I noticed an instant reduction in redness. It claims to have anti inflammatory and antiseptic effects so speeds the healing processing. It did seem to dry the spot out more quickly than letting nature take its course.
It is quite an expensive product considering the size of the container. Having said that you don't need to use much, so unless you have loads of spots, in which case you might want to choose a different product altogether, it should last quite a while.
Good for people who want to treat the occasional spot. At least you feel like you are doing something.
I can't really make up my mind about fake tan creams. I can't help feeling we're paying for designer dirt. This product offered the advantage of being a moisturiser as well so I felt justified in buying it. It comes in a lovely sunny container which will brighten up any bathroom. It is considerably more expensive than products just designed to moisturise.
My main complaint, it stinks. It's far too chemically and the smell seemed to linger. Perhaps my application technique left something to be desired but I also ended up with what looked like dirty marks in areas round my ankles. It wasn't too bad if I only used it once a day but if I applied it more often it looked like I'd been standing in cold tea. Perhaps I should have moisturised that area first to prevent too much being absorbed by any areas of drier skin. However, having paid over the odds for a combined moisturiser and tanning cream I don't really want to have to moisturise before I use it. Otherwise I might as well just get a separate tanning cream.
Having said all that I could see a bit of a colour change and in most places it looked fairly nature.
On the whole I don't think I'll be buying this regularly.
I have weak nails which tend to split easily so I was looking for something which might help strengthen them. I haven't noticed it has made much of a difference to them. It is quite a light moisturiser which sinks in easily. I keep it in my desk drawer at work and use it each time I wash my hands so I need something that doesn't stay greasy for too long. No complaints there. My hands feel soft after using it. I only use a bit about the size of a pea each time so a tube lasts a long time.
The container is a handy size and would be easy to keep in a handbag. Also being soft plastic, if you are a penny pinching sort like me, it's easy to cut the end off when the tube is practically empty to make use of the very last bit. I usually find I can get at least another 5 days out of it like that.
I have read some other reviews where this was described as an expensive product. I felt it was good value but quite likely it was on special offer when I bought it. It was around £1.50 for the tube.
I have very sensitive skin and a lot of products cause a reaction. I also don't like anything heavily perfumed. This product was fine, it smells pleasant but not overpowering. It doesn't contain aloe vera which for me is brilliant news because I'm allergic to it.
Nice hand cream. OK for the price, doesn't strengthen nails despite its claim. I will probably be continuing my search for a solution to weak nails.
I particularly wanted an induction hob but only had a 500mm space to fit it in which is why I opted for this hob.
The price range is between £400 and £450. I ordered mine online from Taps4less. It was the cheapest place I could find. It cost £399 including delivery and came very quickly. Unfortunately they emailed me at 8am on the day of delivery to tell me it would arrive at 12. I was already at work by then. I decided to collect it from the depot because I happened to be going that way the following week. The depot was a 40 minute drive so it would have been inconvenient if I hadn't been in the area.
It easily fitted into the space available. It is only 300mm wide and extremely simple to install. It works on a standard 13 amp socket. It came without a plug which was surprising but easy enough to resolve. Presumably they would normally expect it to be hardwired into a circuit breaker. You need a qualified electrician to do that. My husband put a normal 13amp plug on ours. My husband also fitted it, the instructions were very straight forward. Anybody reasonably competent at DIY should be able to do it. Our work top is quite thick so we were a bit concerned that it might cover to cooling vent but in the end we didn't have a problem.
There are only two rings on this particular model of hob. There are only two of us in the house so that's plenty for us but may not be sufficient if you have a big family.
As with all induction hobs it's essential to use the right sort of pans or it won't work at all. The guide is if you can't stick a magnet to the pan, it won't work on your induction hob.
It heats food very quickly whilst the pan remains relatively cool so it is very efficient. There are 8 heat settings so it is very controllable. It works fast though so you have to keep an eye on what you are cooking. Previously I've used a gas hob so this seems slow to cool down if you suddenly discover your pasta is boiling over. It also cuts out if there is no pan on the ring so it's not sensible to remove the pan during the cooking process. Food directly on the surface of the hob can cause damage so it's essential to clean up any spills as soon as possible, which can be difficult if the hob is hot.
When the hob is cool cleaning is incredible simple though it is important to follow the guidelines in the manual for the type of cleaning products to use. This avoids damage to the surface. Damage to the surface may affect the working of the hob and if you have ignored the manufacturer's guidelines you will have invalidated your guarantee. The comes with a scraper to remove food which has set or is sticky. I've never needed to use that yet.
The controls are integrated and touch sensitive. Fortunately, as the hob won't work without a pan on it, you can't accidentally switch it on whilst cleaning. The rings will remain hot for a while after the unit is switched off. This is indicated on the control panel with an H. If you are efficient and well organised you can use the residual heat to finish cooking.
There is a timer facility but I haven't found that very useful. You can't use it to preset the time the hob switches on, only the time it is running for. I suppose if you are in the habit of putting stuff on to cook and forgetting about it that might be handy. Generally I don't use the hob unless I'm there to keep an eye on it. So I've not made much use of that option. You can also lock the controls during cooking. Again I don't bother with that much as I have no children in the house who might fiddle with them
Whilst it will heat food very quickly it seems to take quite a while to heat water. If you are boiling food I recommend heating the water in the kettle first.
I've had a Smeg range cooker in the past which was very robust and good quality. This hob also seems to be well made. I am slightly concerned that damp will eventually work its way past the seal between the work top and the hob and get into the unit which may cause damage. So far I see no sign of that though.
On the whole I'm very happy with this product.