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Member since: 28.06.2008

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    • Innocent Smoothies / Soft Drink / 69 Readings / 68 Ratings
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      05.05.2009 14:27
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      Innocent smoothies are a healthy alternative drink to buy when you're confronted with coca cola, sprite and the like. I love these drinks and buy them on occasion despite the high price.

      The drinks are available in different sized bottles. If you want to drink them at home it is probably best to get a large carton which is one litre, but if you need a quick drink then I would suggest one of the smaller bottles, such as those pictured above, which are 250ml.

      The drinks are available in a variety of places, and I have seen them in petrol stations, newsagents and supermarkets. As I said in the introduction, they are expensive. The larger cartons are usually £3.00 each but at the moment, and several times in the past, there is an offer in Sainsbury's where you can get two cartons for £4.00. I think this is a good offer and makes the smoothies seem more comparable in price to other similar drinks. It also means they are not that much more than buying two large bottles of coca cola (although admittedly you get more with carbonated drinks).

      The packaging is quite simple and the Innocent brand is recognizable on all of the packaging. One difference between the bottles and the cartons is that on the cartons you can't see what is inside, and I like to be able to se what is inside so I prefer the style of the bottles. I think the character with the halo is taking the brand a bit too far. They do go a long way to make sure people know that there is nothing unnatural in their products. The fact that they are so good for you is great (and the only ingredients are fruits, it's true) but I do get fed up of their marketing.

      They have some really nice flavours and some of the fruits used are unusual. For example, one of my favourite flavours is the blackberry, raspberry and boysenberry one. I didn't no what a boysenberry was, but I found out that it's related to raspberries and blackberries. I would never have tried anything like this before so these smoothies have introduced me to some different fruits. The flavour is delicious and I recommend it!

      The smoothies are very thick but they are the right consistency to be poured from a carton or drunk from the bottle. I like the fact that I can taste all of the different flavours in the smoothies and I think most of the flavours have a good balance. They have a natural sweetness and I think people who reject 'healthy foods' on grounds of taste would be surprised at how tasty fruits can be. If you are one of those people I really encourage you to try these.

      The smoothies have tiny bits in which I know is not to everyone's taste but it adds to the thickness and also makes them even healthier, because of the fibre content.

      One 250ml serving or bottle of Innocent smoothies gives you two of your five a day, and most of them have about one fifth of your daily fibre. This is a lot for a small serving so it is an easy way to get some fruit and fibre in to your diet.

      I thoroughly recommend these healthy, delicious drinks. They're expensive but to me they're worth it, even as an occasional drink when they're on offer. Don't be put off by the marketing, just try them!

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      • The Dave Channel / TV Channel / 42 Readings / 41 Ratings
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        04.05.2009 11:48
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        Dave is a television channel that is available to people with Freeview, Sky and Virgin TV. It is one of the UK TV channels and was previously one of the UK TV Gold channels.

        Dave is marketed as being 'the home of witty banter' so for those that like their middle class comedies it sounds promising! I started to watch the channel a while ago after hearing this advertisement (because I like comedy!) and I haven't looked back since. Dave is now probably the channel I watch the most.

        The television programmes that the channel shows include QI, Top Gear, Argumental and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. This is quite a mixture, but obviously some of those shows are originally BBC TV series. This means that the programmes available on Dave are usually re-runs. However, with so many episodes of shows like Top Gear and Mock the Week, I think most people will find that Dave shows episodes that they have not seen before.

        One of the things that really annoys me about this channel and other similar channels is that the repeats are repeated! Sometimes in one day they will show the same episode of one series three times, separated by three hours or thereabouts. Then the next day they will show that episode at least one more time! This means that if you want to watch one particular series then you can't sit and watch a 'marathon' but can only see one or two different episodes every two days! On the other hand, new shows such as Argumental are not shown very often. I know that there are not so many episodes of this new show but I think it emphasises the fact that the channel needs to find balance.

        The channel is not just about comedy, but includes programmes such as Fifth Gear. This has perhaps found a home on this channel because of the presence of Top Gear.

        The channel has a lot of breaks in the programmes and it seems sometimes that no sooner has the programme begun that there is a break. The breaks are quite long, at least three minutes, and the cuts in the programmes can be awkward and I saw one once where Jeremy Clarkson was cut off mid-sentence (not necessarily a bad thing) so the channel could go to a break!

        I don't know why they called the channel Dave but it is more catchy than UK TV Gold 2.

        Overall I really enjoy the programmes on this channel. It is a good choice if you want to watch something that will make you laugh or if you like cars! However if you've seen many of the episodes then you might find yourself watching repeats, or not watching at all.

        Dave is channel 19 on Freeview, channel 111 on Sky and channel 125 on Virgin.

        If you miss the show you had hoped to watch, you can watch it an hour later on Sky channel 158, which is 'Dave ja vu'. On Freeview, the channel is Dave +1 and is on channel 25.

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        • Cadbury Double Decker / Chocolate / 48 Readings / 47 Ratings
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          02.05.2009 16:21
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          Recommended for occasional snacking only.

          The Double Decker is a chocolate bar made by Cadbury. When I want something sweet I'll often buy one of these.

          Double Decker's are packaged in a plastic wrapper that, as you can see from the picture above, is purple and orange with the Cadbury logo and the name of the bar on the front. I think the packaging is very simple but normally I would say that orange and purple are not good colours to put together. In this case however, I think it is effective because it catches my eye and also because the Cadbury logo is clear and is something I know and represents a brand I trust. All of this makes me likely to choose this chocolate bar over several others.

          Why else do I choose it? Because it is delicious! When I open the packet I am greeted with a rectangular shaped bar that is covered in milk chocolate. I can't smell it as soon as I open it but if I put my nose to the bar I can smell the chocolate and the nougat inside. It doesn't have a strong smell but is subtly sweet.

          When I bite in to the chocolate bar I notice the milk chocolate coating on the top, followed by the soft nougat and finally the crispy chocolate layer on the bottom, also coated in chocolate. I like the contrast in the textures and I think this is what really makes this bar special. The nougat layer is soft but firm and the crispy layer is not too hard, so although there is a definite difference in the textures it is not so pronounced that it makes it unpleasant to bite in to or chew.

          As I said, this bar is delicious. The chocolate coating is thin but it is very chocolatey and it is the familiar, delicious Cadbury milk chocolate. The nougat is sweet but not overly so and has a creamy aspect to it. At the bottom, the crispy layer has a mostly chocolatey taste, and again it is that great Cadbury chocolate! I can't really taste the crispy bits.

          This chocolate bar is a whopping 60g, and there is an 80g version! I have to say I struggle with the 60g. However, it does make a very filling snack. There are 275 Kcal in the bar, which is not as many as I had expected considering you get 60g for that! 32.4g of sugar seems to me to be an awful lot, and I'm surprised that it is this sugary because it doesn't taste overly sweet. There are 11.3g of fat, of which 5.9g are saturates. A tiny 0.04g of salt is a relief are having such a high sugar and fat count!

          Figures like these make it clear that this bar has to be an occasional treat only ad although it is a filling snack, should not be relied upon as one.

          The bar is vegetarian but contains nuts, soya, gluten and wheat.

          Overall I would recommend this filling, chocolatey bar as an occasional treat or snack.

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          • Tesco Value Apple Juice / Soft Drink / 39 Readings / 39 Ratings
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            01.05.2009 21:33
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            Recommended during the credit crunch.

            If you like juice and you're trying to save some money during the credit crunch then there's a chance that you've taken a look at own brand fruit juices. Whilst shopping for juice in Tesco recently, I saw this one litre carton of Tesco own brand apple juice and I decided to try it.

            This one litre carton cost me just 56p, which is less than half of what some of the alternatives cost. Juice can cost as much as £3.00 a carton so I considered this a significant saving.

            The packaging carries the familiar Tesco Value range colours of red, blue and white, and it says in the top corner 'Tesco value'. I think most people think that the value products are not very good and would be put off buying value products, but I have tried a few value products and the packaging does not put me off. In fact, in this case I quite like it. As you can see from the picture there is a picture of an apple and the carton just says 'pure apple juice from concentrate'.

            For those that don't know, juice 'from concentrate' is not the same as freshly squeezed juice so that will explain part of the price different. (Juice from concentrate has the water taken out of it, is shipped and then has the water added back to it.)

            The carton is easy to open by lifting one of the tabs at the side and cutting across it. This makes a spout from which you can pour the juice without spilling it. I think this is a very important feature because it is annoying to buy something and then waste it and make a mess by spilling it!

            The apple juice inside has a light brown colour and it is quite an attractive colour. The juice looks quite thin and pours a lot like water. When I open the juice carton I can smell a smell of apples and it is very much like I would expect apple juice to smell. It smells slightly sweet too.

            I have to say I really enjoy its taste. It is sweet but in a quite natural way because fruits are sweet. The taste of apples is very apparent. It is not bitter or very acidic nor is it too strong. I think they have got the taste just right with this.

            However one thing I think could be improved is the texture. As I said, the apple juice pours like water and it has a consistency only very slightly thicker than that when I drink it. I expected and would have preferred it to be thicker because the thinness of it makes me think it didn't come from apples!

            Each 100g only has 47 Kcal and only has a trace of fat, of which 0.0g are saturates and there is only a trace of salt. There is 11.4g of sugar, which is high but as I said fruit naturally contains sugar.

            I would recommend this value range apple juice if you are looking to save quite a lot of money buying juice and you don't mind a slight drop in quality from the premium brands.

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              01.05.2009 13:22
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              Not recommended.

              I bought these cereal bars on a recent trip to the supermarket, thinking they would be a light snack for between meals or a treat after lunch.

              I was attracted to the packaging because it is bright red and in each corner there is some writing. For clarity, the box I have is slightly different to the one in the picture and in the bottom right corner it says I 'heart' chocolate chip, in the top right corner it says Packed with wholegrain goodness, in the bottom left corner it says 9 cereal bars and in the top left corner it says that each bar is 22g, and has a small chart telling the customer about the nutrition information.

              In the middle of the box is a picture of the bars and the name of the brand, and the ingredients list and nutrition information, as well as some more information about the nutritional content can be found on other sides of the box.

              Each 22g bar contains 91 calories, which I think is very suitable for a snack or a treat as it is not too many and not as much as a typical alternative, like a chocolate bar. Each bar contains 6.2g of sugar and 3.1g of fat, of which 1.5g are saturates and there is 0.1g of salt in the bars. They are suitable for vegetarians.

              I should say that these are aimed at children which might be obvious to some when they look at the box, and is probably reflected in the fact that the bars are only 22g.

              Inside the box there are 9 cereal bars. When I opened the box for the first time I was quite surprised at how small they are. Each bar is individually wrapped in a red wrapper, with a 'Woweee fact' on the front, such as 'Dolphins sleep with one eye open'. I didn't know some of the things on the wrappers but obviously again this is designed for children and I think many children would find them interesting, especially as a lot of the facts are about animals.

              The packet is easy to open but I think young children would need help with this. Again once I opened the packet I was very surprised at how small the bars are. They are only about three inches in length! I don't think the appearance is attractive. I can see the chocolate chips but there are also some orange rice krispie type pieces in it and these are very off putting. I can also see that the bar looks very sticky and is shiny. So not a good start.

              The bar tastes very sweet and I can taste the chocolate but not much else. Although there are grains in the bar these really cannot be tasted and the overall taste is a syrupy one. I think most children would enjoy the taste but I find it very boring.

              The texture is soft when I bite in to the bar but there is some crunch to the bar when I start to chew. Then the bar becomes quite chewy and sticky in my mouth.

              After I've eaten one of these I don't feel full or satisfied so they are not really good enough as a snack.

              Overall I would not recommend these.

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                30.04.2009 13:45
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                Recommended for those who like blackcurrant.

                I bought this tea recently because I was keen to try an alternative tea for the evenings. I was attracted to the packaging because it was brightly coloured and stood out on the shelf, but also wasn't too 'in your face'! As you can see from the front of the box, the Twinings name is predominant. I like other Twinings teas and I trust the brand, and I like their adverts on television so I thought I'd give this a go!

                Inside the box the tea bags are individually wrapped in paper packets. I presume this is to keep them fresh and I always recycle the packets (although I don't know if you're supposed to, I don't see why not!) so them being individually wrapped is not a problem for me.

                When I open the packet, and even before then when I open the box, I can smell the tea. The first and most predominant smell is the blackcurrant. It smells very fruity and slightly sweet. When I hold the bag to my nose I can smell vanilla but I can't smell the ginseng.

                When I make this tea I pour boiling water on it and leave it to stand for two minutes, and then I take the tea bag out. I sometimes add a little honey if I want some more sweetness. The tea turns the water to quite a dark colour with a hint of red. It is not a very attractive colour to be honest but that didn't realy put me off because the smell is so nice.

                I thought that three flavours might be too much for one tea, so I was a little apprehensive about the first time I tried it. However, I thought it was delicious and since then I have had many more cups and almost finished the box! Like with the smell, the first taste I can taste with the tea is blackcurrant. The blackcurrant tastes very fruity but the sweet smell I notice when I open the box is not really apparent in taste. The vanilla can be tasted but not strongly. I think the vanilla is more apparent in the smell. The ginseng seems to be even less predominant than the vanilla, and is only really a hint. I think this works well because the tea feels very balanced and there are not three different flavours competing for the attention of my taste buds!

                The taste of all the flavours is very subtle and the overriding impression you get is something like that of drinking flavoured water. The water retains its consistency, unlike that of tea or coffee once milk is added, so the consistency is very thin. This is another reason why I sometimes add honey. It makes the tea a little bit thicker as well as a bit sweeter. However I would recommend trying the tea first without honey because the honey can affect the other flavours and I think the taste of the tea itself is better without honey.

                I recommend this tea if you are looking for a fruity drink and like blackcurrant.

                Thanks for reading.

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                  29.04.2009 18:23
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                  Recommended gameshow.

                  Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is a television game show hosted by Chris Tarrant in the United Kingdom. I think it is one of the best game shows on television. If you haven't seen it, where have you been?

                  On each show there are ten contestants all competing to sit in the chair to play for one million pounds. To get to the chair, the contestants have to answer a question correctly, and in the fastest time. The questions are of the structure 'Put these four years in order starting with the oldest first'. The contestants have a few seconds to answer then Chris reads out the correct order. Then we are shown the times of the contestants and who got the question right and the one that got it right in the fastest time goes to sit in the chair to play for one million pounds. This round is called 'fastest finger first'.

                  It sounds like a simple round but you would be surprised at how many people get the questions wrong at this stage or take a very long time to answer them. Some of the questions are harder than others I admit and sometimes you would need an interest in something specific to answer them but generally they are very easy and I think if the contestants can't answer the questions at this stage they are either very nervous or shouldn't be on there.

                  The contestant is introduced and has a chat with the host and then they begin trying to win as much money as they can! The show has been on our screens for several years now but in that time there have been two different paths to one million pounds. The first path began with the first question being worth £100, then £200, £300, £500 and £1000, where the contestant would be guaranteed to go home with £1000. However in the new format the first question is worth £500 and I think (although I am not sure of this) the second question is worth £1000 and is where the contestant is guaranteed to go home with that amount. The path to one million continues in this way with slightly different milestones.

                  The good thing about the newer path is that the contestants are more likely to go home with something and the really easy questions are eliminated. On the older shows the questions for £100 or £200 would be so easy and it wasn't really interesting to watch contestants answer them.

                  The contestants are asked questions and are given a choice of four answers. They have to choose one of the four to go to the next question. If they don't know the answer they can use one of their three lifelines. These are Ask The Audience, Phone A Friend and 50/50. The first two are self-explanatory but the third one means that the computer takes away two wrong answers and leaves the contestant with one wrong answer and the right answer.

                  The contestants all seem to use the lifelines in the same order, they ask the audience, then phone a friend then do 50/50. The first two lifelines are more interesting because the third one still leaves them in a situation where they have to choose between two answers.

                  The best thing about the show is that Chris adds to the tension by leaving us waiting for the answer when the contestant has a chance to win a lot of money!

                  There have been a few millionaires made from this show and I think it's great that normal people can go on there and have a chance to win a lot of money. If they don't win a million they might win a lot and for many people this can make a big difference.

                  The show has been so successful that it is shown in other countries including America, but they have their own hostess!

                  I recommend the show if you like gameshows and seeing ordinary people have a chance to win a million!

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                  • Cadbury's Mini Eggs / Chocolate / 35 Readings / 32 Ratings
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                    29.04.2009 13:47
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                    Easter is now over but let us not forget the delights of so much chocolate and at the fore of that for many people are Cadbury's Mini Eggs. In the description above it says that these come in two sizes, but of course they also come in Easter Eggs! I had a Mini Eggs Easter Egg this year and with it came a small bag of mini eggs.

                    Mini eggs are solid milk chocolate egg shapes covered in a crispy shell. The shells vary in colour and can be purple, white, brown, yellow or pink. There is quite a lot of detailed decoration on the shells and they are speckled. I like the decoration and it makes me feel that more care has been taken in producing the product.

                    The packaging of Mini Eggs is either in the type of bag you see above or in an Easter Egg (in which case the box resembles the bag above). I think the packaging is attractive and the predominance of yellow emphasises the Easter theme. I think the packaging is too simple because with both the bags and the Easter Egg box there is only a couple of words and some pictures of eggs. I think more information about the product should be put on the front of the packaging, and I think they should have a picture of the inside of the egg. Many chocolate packets show the customer what is inside the bar, for example and I think Mini Eggs should be the same.

                    Mini Eggs are sweet and I think should only be eaten as a treat and not used as a snack. The eggs individually don't contain many calories but for 100g there are 460 kcal! This is a lot and it is much more than any normal bar of chocolate.

                    When I bite in to the Mini Egg the first thing I notice is the crisp texture of the shell. It is a very thin layer but the texture is very different from what is inside, which is much softer chocolate. Although the chocolate is softer than the shell, it is still quite hard and even more so if you leave them in the fridge. The shell has a sweet taste that doesn't resemble anything I can think of but the chocolate is the familiar delicious Cadbury's chocolate!

                    Mini Eggs are very small and most people could probably eat several. I think the 43g bag is plenty for one person and might be enough for two people because the eggs are very sweet and the chocolate is very thick.

                    I would recommend these to anyone who likes chocolate!

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                      27.04.2009 22:02
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                      Recommended for Muller lovers.

                      After trying so many new varieties of Muller yoghurt and enjoying them, I thought I would pick up a couple of their fruit corners. I used to eat these but then I stopped eating yoghurt. That was until Muller brought out all those tempting flavours and so I decided to buy some old favourites!

                      It says in the introduction to this piece that there are over twenty flavours! I had no idea and I doubt very much if I have seen them all in the supermarkets. However, I enjoy the strawberry and the cherry ones especially but I have also seen a blueberry one and a peach variety mixed with something else.

                      These yoghurts can be bought in all of the main supermarkets, including Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons. They are in the chilled section (as you would expect). I bought my two yoghurts from Tesco and they were about 50p each.

                      These yoghurts come in a tub that is divided into two parts. One part is small and contains the fruit and the other part is about three times as large and contains the yoghurt. Both parts are covered in the same piece of foil. On the top of the foil is the information about the yoghurt, including the weight (175g), some information about the ingredients (e.g. no artificial colours) and of course a picture of what you expect to get when you peel back the foil lid! There is also some information on stickers on the sides of the fruit corner, including a full ingredient list.

                      The packaging is attractive because it is brightly coloured and contains some important information that they haven't tried to hide on the bottom, such as the weight, as I mentioned. The tub however is quite unattractive because it is plain white plastic in an awkward shape.

                      The yoghurts are easy to open by peeling back the foil lid. Underneath you will see the yoghurt in one side and the fruit in the other. The smell that immediately reaches my nasal passages is one of the sweet fruit in the tub. I particularly like the cherry smell of the cherry variety.

                      These first came out many years ago and people seemed to add the fruit to the yoghurt and mix it in, but I think a better flavour is obtained by adding the fruit gradually as you eat the yoghurt, and not mixing it in. This allows two distinct flavours, the sourness of the yoghurt and the sweetness of the fruit, to be more apparent, as opposed to having a tangy taste which is achieved by mixing the tubs together.

                      The yoghurt on its own has a sour, bitter taste which seems overwhelming and if this was sold by itself I would not buy it. I also find the pale colour quite off putting. If I eat the fruit on its own, I find it very sweet but delicious. They only provide a small amount of fruit but I don't think I could eat all of that in one go if it were by itself.

                      When I put the fruit on top of the yoghurt, the sweet flavour contrasts nicely with the sourness and the taste seems very balanced. The textures are also well balanced, with the bitty fruit in its thick syrup offset by the thinner yoghurt. Also when I eat it like this I don't notice the colour of the yoghurt!

                      I think yoghurt is very refreshing in the warmer weather that we are starting to enjoy here in the U.K. and the fruit corners are especially good because they have a summer taste to them! I recommend them if you like the other Muller yoghurts and if you want to have a taste of summer!

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                        26.04.2009 21:33
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                        Happy reading.

                        I thought I would try to contribute a little bit to Speakers Corner because since I have been on dooyoo I have only written one review in this section! I enjoy reading and I might be able to suggest places for books that people have not thought of so I thought I would write this review!

                        I buy my books in several different places, including charity shops, supermarkets, book shops and online.

                        Charity shops
                        I think charity shops are great places to buy books! I mentioned in my charity shops review that I buy books in them and there are lots of reasons for this. Firstly, the books are very cheap! This means that I can read a book and then donate it again. I like doing this because the charity makes money and I only have to spend a little bit to read! Also the books are recycled by doing this and not just thrown away. Finally I think you never know what you will find in a charity shop and that means I might find something old that I wouldn't have come across in any other place.

                        Supermarkets
                        Supermarkets are good places to buy books because they bring the recent books in and sell them very cheaply. I think they are a good place to buy chick lit and general non-fiction books like cookery books. It is also convenient to shop in supermarkets because I go to them anyway. Finally if you use a loyalty card you will get points on your book purchase!

                        Book shops
                        Book shops are a good place to go when you are looking for a lot of choice and you want to walk away with the book on the same day. The prices are higher than in the above two categories but there will be a greater selection and you might find something you had not expected. They will stock most of the popular books of the moment. Add to this the specialist staff and I think the only negative of shopping in book shops is the price!

                        Online
                        There are several places to buy books online, including Amazon, Ebay, Green Metropolis and Play. The main disadvantage that these places share is that you can't have the book on the same day. Most people will be familiar with Amazon, Ebay and Play, but might not be with Green Metropolis, so I will take some time to explain this one.

                        Green Metropolis
                        The great thing about this service is that you can buy and sell your old books and every time someone buys a book they donate money to the Woodland Trust. When I started using this site it was very small and there were not many books available but it has grown considerably. There are now a lot of books available and it is very simple to join the site, buy and sell. It is more expensive than charity shops but it means if you can't get to a charity shop then you can still take part in this! Their website is www.greenmetropolis.com

                        Happy reading!

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                          24.04.2009 20:56
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                          A must for all Muller fans.

                          Just when you thought you had tried all of the Muller Light yoghurts available, they bring out some more! I like chocolate so I was very happy to see this vanilla yoghurt with chocolate sprinkles and picked one up to try it. It was so delicious that I have since eaten several (not in one go)!

                          I paid £0.54 for this in Sainsburys but they are cheaper if bought on offer at supermarkets like Morrisons and it is possible to get them for thirty something pence each!

                          I like the packaging of this yoghurt. It is in the familiar size and shape tub that Muller puts their yoghurts in. For those that don't know, the tub is flat on the bottom with sides that slope in from top to bottom. There is a silver foil lid. For this variety the lid has a rim of gold which I think makes it look like an extra special product. Of course, that is what they want their customers to think! So, was it an extra special product?

                          When I peeled the lid back the first thing I noticed was that there did not seem to be as much in this yoghurt pot as there normally is. The level of yoghurt was quite low which I found disappointing and in subsequent pots I have found the same.

                          The yoghurt does not seem to have a distinctive smell but smells generally 'yoghurty'! The smell is not strong or over powering.

                          The yoghurt is a grey/white colour. This sounds like a strange colour for a yoghurt. After all, most of them are slightly yellow but for this one I think it looks really nice. There are sprinkles of chocolate in the yoghurt. They are dark and there are a lot of them but they are very small so the first time I bought this yoghurt I wondered if I would be able to taste the chocolate in it.

                          I'm happy to report that I could taste the chocolate! The flavour is well balanced I think because both the vanilla and the chocolate flavours are apparent. They go well together as I had expected them to. The chocolate is quite rich and strong but the vanilla complements that by being a softer flavour. The yoghurt is a little bit sweet but it is not over powering.

                          I can taste the texture of the chocolate pieces despite the fact that they are so small but I don't like the texture very much because I think it is at odds with the smoothness that I expect from yoghurt and makes me question whether I should be chewing this!

                          I really enjoy the flavour of this yoghurt. It is very different to other varieties that Muller make and I think it is nice as a treat, especially with the warmer weather we are enjoying now. Despite the fact that I initially was not keen on the texture of the chocolate pieces, I have got used to them now and they are not a reason for me not to buy this product.

                          I recommend this to anyone who likes the Muller Light yoghurts and especially to those that also like chocolate and vanilla flavours.

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                          • The One Show / TV Programme / 57 Readings / 57 Ratings
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                            22.04.2009 21:03
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                            Only watch if you're bored!

                            The One Show is a television programme on BBC One. It is presented by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley.

                            The show is a magazine programme that features guests and reports from other presenters about current affairs. In a normal show they will have two guests and maybe three reports. The reports last about five minutes and in between the reports the presenters and the guests discuss what they have seen. There is almost always a connection between at least one of the reports and one of the guests, and sometimes one of the guests is the person that presents the report.

                            I like the presenters. There is an obvious chemistry between them and there was speculation about them being in a relationship. I don't think this matters as long as the show is well presented, which it is. The show is filled with laughter and the presenters seem to enjoy it, but particularly Christine. I think it is her that brings the show alive and without her I don't think it would be as enjoyable. Adrian is more reserved and to be honest I don't think he adds very much to the show, other than the fact that he very obviously gets on well with Christine. I think a different presenter would add more to this show.

                            The guests on the show are usually very famous people and have included Michael Parkinson, Dominic Littlewood and Chris Moyles. The guests are not really interviewed which I think lets the show down because they just seem to chat to the presenters. The guests often seem to be brought on to the show at a time when they are plugging a new album or book but unlike on other shows there is never much interesting talk about the guest that is not about the plug! This emphasizes the fact that the show has a very casual and relaxed feel. I think this is good to a certain extent but in the case of the One Show, I think it is taken too far and more concentrated content would improve it.

                            The reports often include consumer items, such as those covered by Dominic Littlewood (at the time he was promoting his new show), and nature items. This means there is no real structure to the show and it is a bit of everything. I think this makes good relaxing viewing but for anyone that wants a consumer show, or a nature show, this will not meet expectations.

                            The website has a very small amount of information about the show, including video highlights, a gallery of guests and a place to contribute your own stories. The interactive aspect of the site is very good but other than that it is, like the show, quite uninformative!

                            Website www.bbc.co.uk/theoneshow
                            BBC One, weekdays at 7pm.
                            If you miss an episode you can see it on BBC iPlayer for up to seven days after.

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                            • bview.co.uk / Internet Site / 52 Readings / 51 Ratings
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                              18.04.2009 19:46
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                              Recommended!

                              BView is an internet site that is similar to dooyoo and which might interest some readers. It is another way to make a bit of money on the side!

                              I joined BView after reading some reviews on there for shops that I wanted to visit. The sign up process is quick and easy. You have to provide your email address and name and create a password. To be eligible for a higher reward scheme you have to also upload a profile picture. This was quick and hassle free for me.

                              Initially you have to write ten reviews of shops or businesses in your area. Once you have done this you can apply to be a 'local expert'. To do this, send an email and ask for your reviews to be checked, and ask if you can become a local expert. If you are told yes, as I was, then your previous ten reviews and all reviews you write from then on will be paid at £0.30. If not, the reward is quite paltry (about £0.10 I think).

                              When I first joined, to write a review you had to fill in several boxes to state whether or not you would recommend the shop or business, what rating out of six you would give it for quality, value and reliability, and then write a title and the pros and cons of your experiences (to at least one hundred words). Then you had (and have) the option to add tags and photos. To be a local expert you must add either tags or photos, or both, to your reviews.

                              Now the system has changed and when you fill out the quality, reliability and value sections BView automatically calculates whether or not you recommend it, or are neutral. I think this is a shame because even if a business does not have excellent quality and value for money does not mean I won't recommend it. However this is their system and it's the one reviewers have to follow.

                              Also the pros and cons section has now just become one section for you to write about your experiences with the business.

                              I have had two payments from BView so can confirm that it is legitimate. You can get paid by cheque or by Paypal. I have had Paypal payments which have all been processed fine.

                              You can edit information for businesses and you can vote for other people's reviews. However, none of this earns you or them any money.

                              Like dooyoo's Circle of Friends, BView allows you to follow people, so you get alerted when they write another review. They might choose to follow you back. BView says that this creates a community but I don't think it does because there is not very much interaction between members; you don't get messages, people don't write on each other's post board and there is no way to write a comment on other people's reviews.

                              It is always possible to contact Simon at BView if you have any queries, and his email address is on the website. I have found that it takes him about three days to reply but he always does reply.

                              The payments are not calculated on the same day each month which I find a bit annoying but I like the fact that you get your money each month no matter how much you've earned.

                              Overall I would recommend BView as a way to earn some extra money for those who enjoy writing reviews.

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                              • Weetabix Alpen Cereal Bars / Snacks / 70 Readings / 68 Ratings
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                                13.04.2009 12:46
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                                I won't be buying these again.

                                Those that have read a few of my reviews (thank you :) ) will know that I am always trying new cereal bars and similar snack type products. On a recent trip to a Tesco superstore I was browsing the cereal aisle and at the end was a range of cereal bars so I thought I'd stop and have a look, as I often don't buy such products from superstores.

                                There was quite a range available but one that caught my eye was a box of Alpen bars. For clarification, I am reviewing a packet of five, not six as the description says, and the variety I have here is Strawberry & Yoghurt.

                                As I said, the box caught my eye, and it is not surprising because it is bright red! On the right hand side of the box the word Alpen is printed from the bottom to the top of the box (i.e. to read it you have to turn the box clockwise). There is a picture of one of the cereal bars on the box, with a few fresh strawberries around it and a grain, which I think from the ingredients is meant to be wheat. At the top of the box it states that the contents are 'even tastier' and have '30% more fruit'. I like the bright box, the picture on the front and the fact that it is not cluttered with words. I think that simple packaging like this is good because it makes clear what is in the box without ambiguity.

                                On the back of the box, the information to note is that there are now a total of six flavours, and there is a long list of ingredients, nutrition information and allergy advice. The product contains wheat, barley, oats, milk, soya and sulphites, and may contain traces of nuts.

                                I note that each bar is 29g and has a miniscule 121 Kcal! However, there are 10.3g of sugar in each bar but only 1.8g of saturated fat (of a total 3.1g of fat) and 0.03g of sodium. Overall I think this is not too bad but in my opinion the sugar content suggests that in part this has to be viewed as a treat and not just as a snack or a substitute for a healthy breakfast!

                                Inside the box are five bars which are individually wrapped in sealed packets. I assume that they have done this to keep the bars fresh and can confirm that the packaging does its job! The individual packets have the same style as the box. They're red, with Alpen written across them and a small picture on the left hand side where the manufacturers restate the flavour. The ingredients and allergy information is printed again on the individual packets.

                                The packet is easy to open and inside there is a medium sized bar of about four inches in length. It is just over one inch deep and about the same in width. I think the bar is very attractive as it has a yoghurt coated base and then has yoghurt drizzled over it in a zig zag pattern. You can see the light brown colour of the cereal and the bright red of the strawberries.

                                When I bite in to the bar the first thing I notice is the texture, which is a combination of smooth yoghurt and crunchy cereal. When I chew the bar I become aware of the texture of the strawberries. I don't like this texture because the strawberry feels very fake and seems to dissolve on my tongue, almost like a fruit pastille or other fizzy sweet. I thought the strawberries were freeze dried and a look at the ingredients list confirms this. However, there are not many strawberries in the bar and the pieces are very small so for me this is a good thing. If you like freeze dried strawberries, it is not a good thing!

                                The bar tastes very sweet and has a syrupy flavour to it. I think it is too sweet and would be better if it was less so. Interestingly, most of the sweet flavour seems to come from the cereal part of the bar, or, presumably from the glucose syrup and sugar that binds the cereal together, not from the strawberries.

                                The yoghurt does not seem to have a taste of its own and the layer on the bottom and zig zags on the top are so thin that this is not surprising.

                                At 29g the bar is surprisingly filling but I didn't enjoy the taste as much as other cereal bars so I won't be buying these again.

                                I paid £1.61 in Tesco and they are the same price in Asda.

                                The box is cardboard and is recyclable. I always recycle the packets as well, although I am not sure if you are supposed to! (We haven't had any problems.)

                                Thank you for reading!

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                                • Mini Babybel / Cheese / 47 Readings / 42 Ratings
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                                  11.04.2009 21:13
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                                  Babybel (cheddar).

                                  I started buying Babybel for a light snack in between meals. I like cheese and I thought this would be a good way of having something that was small and tasty but would hopefully be enough to fill me up!

                                  There are a few varieties of Babybel and for clarification the one I have here is the Cheddar flavour.

                                  When you buy Babybel, you get a packet of six individually wrapped 20g cheeses (i.e. 120g of cheese in each packet) held in a netted 'bag', to which a purple, in this case, tag is attached.

                                  The tag tells you about what is inside, and the relevant points on this one are the description of the flavour, which is 'mild', the best before date, a very short (in my opinion) ten weeks on this one (but others may differ) and the nutritional information.

                                  Nutrition wise, it says that the Babybel are made with natural cheese, are free from aritificial colours and flavours, and are a natural source of calcium, and high in calcium! Each Babybel cheese has 75 Kcal in it. I think that the saturated fat count is high, at 21g in every 100g!

                                  As I said above, the cheeses are individually wrapped. With the cheddar flavour I have here the cheeses are wrapped in a purple wrapper, and under the wrapper is what I first thought was a rather strange wax 'case'. This is easy to open because there are two white 'tags' to pull and when you pull one it opens half of the cheese, and when you pull the other it opens the other half of the cheese. Then the cheese is easy to get out by slightly squeezing the bottom half of the wax case.

                                  The cheese is disc shaped, round but flat. I think they are about 3cm in diameter and about 1cm thick. I think they are very pale in appearance and when I first bought them I find this quite off putting as I am used to a darker colour for cheddar cheese. I also found off putting the fact that there were a few little droplets of water on the outside of the cheese. I assumed this to be condensation and it no longer bothers me.

                                  These cheeses are very small and each one is probably three smallish mouthfulls. When I tasted the cheese the first time, I noted it's smooth and creamy flavour. I could taste the cheese but it was not prominent and so these cheeses certainly are mild.

                                  I think the overall impression I get when I eat these is of the texture, which is almost rubbery. When you bite in to the cheese the texture is very soft and the bite is 'clean'. Unlike mature cheddar, there are no crumbly pieces. I think this would be good for children (or for parents who would prefer their children not to make a mess!) because there will be no bits on the floor, for example.

                                  Although these aren't really cheesy, I keep buying them because there is something more-ish about them, because I like their smooth texture, and because one is surprisingly filling and is a nice mid-afternoon snack!

                                  Sometimes Babybel cheeses are on offer and you can get two packets for the price of one which is a good. Otherwise they seem quite expensive, at £1.58 for a packet of six.

                                  Overall I recommend these cheeses if you are looking for a light snack or for someone who does not like a strong cheese.

                                  Thank you for reading :)

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