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Coke Zero may appear to be another way of Coke making money. I originally thought so. Normally my taste buds are not as in tune as other people's who can work out if a soup contains a single peanut or not but I tasted the difference between this, Diet Coke and Original Coke.
Coke Zero comes in 375ml bottles which are absolutely adorable, 500ml bottles, 330ml cans and 2 litre bottles. Diet Coke has a silver label, red label is normal Coke and Coke Zero has a black label.
I cannot believe the amount of sugar in normal coke. And if you don't work it off it becomes fat. Full sugar Coke is very sugary, refreshing and has a prominent Coke taste.
Diet Coke tastes like fizz with a mild coke taste, barely even there. Not sweet. Tastes of nothing.
Coke Zero has a slightly less than prominent Coke taste, not overpoweringly sugary but sweet and yet sugar free.
1 calorie in 375ml bottle
0 for everything else
0 for everything else
The last 375ml bottle I bought was 89p. 500ml bottles are about £1.25.
Available everywhere Coke is available. Newsagents, supermarkets, WH Smiths.
We've all suffered chapped lips, and we all know what Vaseline is. It's the one and only, the original intense moisturiser.
Since the old fashioned plastic tub of what looked like pure grease, Vaseline have gone onwards and upwards to produce a whole range of products. Now there are small tubs about double the size of a two-pound coin available in lots of shops. These tubs are about 2 cm in depth and weigh in 20 g net weight (excluding packaging).
I am reviewing the cocoa butter tub. It comes in a toffee and white coloured tub which is plated steel and there's plenty of info on the packaging without it looking too cluttered, including a freepost address. On opening the lid you can see the tub is almost full to the brim with Vaseline and it has a hint of a greasy smell with a hint of creamy cocoa butter.
Sorry to disappoint but this product to not smell intensely of chocolate, nor does it taste anything like it. A thin layer on my lips smells a little like creamy sherbet. It fits easily in your pocket as it is a very handy size for the pocket, clutch and handbag. You could even stuff it down your cleavage on a night out. I know a few women that use their chest in such a way (well, if you've got it). I wouldn't know as I don't have cleavage!
It can be applied in one of two ways, with the fingers (I hate this as residue sticks to the fingers for a while) or by 'kissing' the tub (with the lid off, you mavericks). In other words, pouting, sticking your lips in the product, removing them and doing the lipstick smush. This method does not really work for me because it leaves the corners of my mouth free of product so I have to push it around with my tongue which then tastes mildly of grease. Also, with the kissing method, it is hard to avoid smearing it a little around your lip line. Its staying power from application is so-so. The intial top layer comes off with kisses and drinking, etc, but the product penetrates very fast and the under layer of moisture stays for a couple of hours.
I purchased this from Boots for £1.99 which I think was a little steep, but not enough to put me off as Vaseline is reputable. I remember the Aloe Vera and original pots of this costing 99p, which was really handy and kind to the purse - the Rosy Lips tub was then released which costed a few pence more (about £1.20-£1.50, if I recall) but now they all retail at £1.99. You are almost guaranteed to find a range of these tubs by the till in Boots.
Available in Aloe Vera, original, cocoa butter and rose with almond oil (that one creates a gorgeous pink sheen and it by far the best). There is currently a limited edition Pink Bubbly (enriched with champagne grape) tub available for £3.49. These can be found in large supermarkets and Superdrug and Boots.
Well done to all of us - the reviewers and readers who didn't pull apart the first book right to the root of the binding! There may be some MINOR SPOILERS of the first book in this review, as the Fifty Shades series is a trilogy it is hard to tell you even a basic plot of this one without spoiling a little of the first.
Ana is the female main character and has just finished and graduated from college. She is an English student and has just got a job at a publishing company. She's fairly dainty, slender and has long brown hair. Until the beginning of the first book, she was a virgin.
Christian is a copper-headed self-made billionaire with a helicopter, private company jet, property all over the place and a look of indifference or 'darkness' permanently on his face. He has weird sexual preferences but he is soft at heart.
Fifty Shades Darker is the second book in the Fifty Shades Trilogy and it begins with a prologue. The prologue that explains everything we've wanted to know from the beginning of the first book - why Christian is the way he is. E L James has done a great job in the way that she drip feeds us enough information to keep us ticking over. I learnt this technique whilst studying creative writing and I was unaware of how often it is used in almost every genre - but more heavily used in mysteries. Ever read a book that holds off all information and dumps a conclusion on you (if you haven't been bored enough to shut the book and give up through lack of information)? No? That's because they don't get published. (Only self-published.)
Aforementioned prologue is a page long and is a flashback - a recurring nightmare flashback Christian has in his sleep. It explains a lot of his childhood.
The main story begins with Anastasia feeling sorry for herself and getting on with working life because she walked out on Christian at the end of the last book. She wasn't sure she was what he wanted and she wanted more than a formal dominant/submissive contract and everything to became too much. I must stress that Anastasia is not comfortable with the rich lifestyle. Some people claim that is part of her attraction to him and it most certainly isn't, and it is also stressed throughout the story. She's uncomfortable that she cannot shower gifts on Christian, she wants to pay for meals and he won't let her (rich male pride) and she doesn't want his connections to help her get a job. She has always worked and that's the way she likes it.
The story starts with her at work in the publishing company from which she got an offer. Ana is now the assistant to the editor, Jack Hyde. She's cried a lot over the monumental three days she's been without Christian and the fact Jack is coming on to her most certainly does not help. Christian sends her some flowers congratulating her on her first day which doesn't help the break-up, and her best friend Kate is in Barbados, so Ana is on her own. She's not eaten in three days and she manages some yoghurt when she receives an email at work from Christian. He's offering to take her to her friend's art show. Ana had forgotten about it and hasn't had time to buy a car (Christian sold her 'unsafe' Beetle and bought her a sports car that she left with him when she broke up with him). She accepts his offer and it all spirals from there...
Christian bugs her, demands to know why she's so thin and turns into himself again and pretends none of the last three days ever happened. Ana plays along for a bit because she's in love with him and misses him a lot. Patches of the book have emails exchanged between Christian and Ana and they are enjoyable to read. Ana comes out of her shell because Christian is at arm's length when corresponding through email. Eventually they reconcile but their relationship is not without its trouble. The woman who introduced a rebel teenage Christian to the submissive lifestyle is introduced. She keeps appearing throughout the story. The reader can tell Christian is not interested and this woman appears not to be, but this air of suspicious concern for Christian wafts around her and she claims to be the only one who knows what he needs. Ana tries to be civil, but Ana cannot shake the feeling she gets with her. It's not long before Ana is provoked and gives her what for. We've all had to suffer a person interfering like this (and possibly become one) and I couldn't help but feel triumphant when Ana stood up to her. There is a HUGE air of mystery in this book.
One day, in the beginning of the book, when Ana has finished work, a bedraggled young woman who looks surprisingly like Ana approaches Ana in the street. This encounter is brief and innocent and Ana thinks nothing of it, until Christian gets news about an ex submissive having a breakdown and Ana's car shows up with a lovely new paint job. Ana's mind even starts playing tricks on her when she surfaces from sleep - alone in bed -and senses a presence in the room - she even swears she saw a shadow, or did she? We all see things when we wake up abruptly. Christian has security follow her around, everywhere. She's not allowed to go anywhere alone, not even to the toilet. Christian also gets very protective of Ana because Jack is toeing the line. Ana believes Jack is a little inappropriate but thinks Christian is overreacting - that is, until Christian tells Ana to ask him what happened to his other assistants...
Ana is blissfully in love until the bedraggled woman shows up again in person, and this time Ana sees how this woman and Christian interacts. Ana becomes convinced having a submissive is what he needs to function mentally and that she cannot fulfill the role. This revelation results in a huge debate (not quite an argument) where Christian gets very stressed, turns into the opposite of himself and asks Ana a very surprising question. She doesn't know the answer to it and it takes Christian's near-death experience for Ana to realise that she cannot live without him and she would try anything to keep him. So they come to a negotiation.
As ever, there are sex scenes thrown all over the plot like hundreds and thousands and I found myself skipping them. It is pretty much the same sex scene on repeat. As I mentioned in my previous review, the female area is referred to as 'my sex' throughout the book and it really stops me taking the sex scenes seriously - the ones I forced myself into reading. A lot is pulled over from the first book: we are told on every page what Christian's demeanor does to Ana's 'insides', we are told how sexy he is on every page, she is not allowed to bite her lip because it turns him on yet she does it accidentally whenever she thinks and rolling her eyes makes Christian want to whip her, etc. You'll see:
'...his face darkened'
'...his mouth pressed into a hard line'
a lot in this book. The same as the first, but it is fantastic reading.
The book had a fantastic plot with characters you will fall in love with. They all go through experiences to which we can all relate and it is lovely to see a red-head (Christian) as the sexy main character instead of what is classed as typical handsomeness. Red-heads are gorgeous and there should be more red-headed main characters in books!
The trilogy in order:
Fifty Shades of Grey £3.78 book, £3.02 Kindle (if you buy it directly ON your Kindle I believe it is cheaper)
Fifty Shades Darker £3.86 book, £3.09 Kindle
Fifty Shades Freed £3.99 book, £3.19 Kindle.
The prices are correct on Amazon at time of writing. These books are also available in supermarkets at a discount price. You'll be hard pushed to pay full price!
Having studied creative writing at degree level, I know what makes an excellent story. This is an excellent story, but it has some pitfalls.
A few weeks ago I saw one of my male friends update his status: he was complaining about the popularity of this book. He was sick of everyone flocking to it like flies. I had a look at some reviews on Amazon and decided I may not like it, but for £2.70 on the Kindle I couldn't complain if I didn't like it. I read online that E. L. James is English, but this book is set in the US. I cannot shed anymore light on the situation but she seems to know Seattle very well.
The brief plot of the FIRST book (as to truly enjoy them all you need all three: more on this later) is that the book is written in first person from the point of view of Anastasia Steele. Ana is an almost-graduated student of English (English Literature, if I remember correctly) and her best friend Kate, a student of journalism, works on the university newspaper. Kate has, unfortunately, been taken ill on the day she is due to interview Christian Grey, a multi-millionaire CEO with striking red hair. It has taken her months of bugging him to get the interview and she does not want to reschedule so she sends Ana with a list of questions to ask him. Ana then tumbles into his office all flustered and interviews him less than smoothly. Ana is a virgin and has never really felt an attraction to anyone until she meets Christian. She is very mature and level-headed and hasn't found anyone that's particularly done it for her, until now. The next thing she knows she is bumping into him at her workplace and being asked out. They address each other as Mr Grey and Miss Steele, with their given names chucked in every now and then. They accidentally start having a relationship. The relationship just 'happens' after Ana gets offended by something Christian says and rings him partially tipsy a while after. He demands to know where she is so he can rescue her and he turns up just in time as Ana's best friend tries to come onto her, not taking no for an answer. Christian miraculously turns up, having never been told where Ana is, and saves the day. Christian showers her with gifts (mostly technology so he can get hold of her any time, any where) which Ana is a bit uncomfortable with. At the start of their relationship, Christian oddly mentions paperwork and formalities. Ana then finds out about Christian's past (just snippets of it which unfold more in the next book) and his odd yet intriguing sexual habits. Ana gets adored by Christian's family, scowled at by women who want Christian, flown in helicopters by Christian, chauffeured around, wanted by men whom she doesn't want, showered with Christian's attention and, ultimately, sucked into a life she never thought she'd never be part of. Christian can be happy one minute and very mysterious the next. He's very doting but also serious - he's quite jealous, too. Ana is bubbly and innocent and smart and wants for nothing, but she gets caught up in a lot.
The book ends right in the middle of a situation. It quite literally forces you to buy the next one. By this time the book has you well and truly hooked.
Ana and Christian meet at the interview scene early in the book and from then on we are told on every single page how sexy Christian Grey is. This is no exagerration, every page to every other page includes a sentence to a paragraph of how attractive Christian is. You will also see these lines repeated A LOT:
'...his brow furrowed.'
'...his face darkened at my question.'
'...his lips pressed into a hard line.' <---Very common.
Another thing that really stops a reader in their tracks is the word used in reference to female genitals. The author refers to it as 'my sex'. I had a debate with my husband's friend for years because I believe there is no erotic word for the female area. There are plenty for the male area, but none for the female area as they all sound vulgar. Sit and write a list. You'll be very surprised. My guess is that the author had the same idea and stuck with that one word which makes me take the sex scenes less seriously. The erotic scenes do powerfully take you away with them, however. The sex scenes are well written but they are thrown around like grass seeds. I am a keen reader of romance and erotica and, regarding the erotic scenes only, this book is very amateur in comparison with word play. The scenes, however, are believable, whereas in most other romance books the romance is very Prince Charming and no one can relate to it. A lot of adjectives and adverbs are repeated quite soon after the previous use, but the story runs fairly smoothly on the whole.
The plot and character development is second to none. You really fall in love with these characters. Every single character is different and has their own life. This, for the non-writers out there, can be very difficult when writing a novel. Writing around ten different characters each with their own personality and problems and ways of interacting with the other characters is no easy thing to do. There is always a mystery or conflict in the midst to keep you hooked. As most writers know, every story needs to have a conflict (or one big one and loads of little ones) otherwise it's like watching someone live their daily life - boring. Christian's loveable character unfolds more in the second book and I started to feel like I would miss him and Anastasia when the third book ends. I have only ever had that with two authors; J. K. Rowling and Stieg Larsson.
The trilogy in order:
Fifty Shades of Grey £3.79 book, £3.03 Kindle (if you buy it directly ON your Kindle I believe it is cheaper)
Fifty Shades Darker £3.86 book, £3.09 Kindle
Fifty Shades Freed £3.86 book, £3.09 Kindle
Amazon website prices.
They are very cheap on Kindle right now so I would grab the first one if you are even a little bit curious. It costs less than your average magazine. The prices were correct at the time of writing.
The first MIB film showed too much that caused me to wretch and the second I can barely remember. This one has a new angle: it is more about emotion and back story than cramming in as much gunk and goo as possible (although we do see some purple alien blood). Better yet, it's memorable.
The basic gist of the story is Agent J finding out why Agent K is the way he is...and it tugs at the ol' heart strings.
I believe (but don't quote me) that Rip Torn (Agent Z) was in prison, or had made himself such a bad influence, so he was unable to feature in this film. His replacement is just as good if you're a fan of Harry Potter actors. Nicole Scherzinger makes a wonderful appearance at the beginning but is soon 'blown away'.
This film focuses on one villain that changed the course of K's life and career, so much so that K smiles like this, (-_-). You will find that <-- funny. K's arch enemy breaks out of a prison built especially for him (this is how mean the guy is) with the help of his prison pen pal (Nicole Scherzinger's character). He is the last of his kind and K blew off his arm in '69 and had him arrested instead of killing him. Now he's broken out of prison and he wants his revenge. In fact, he doesn't want revenge as such: he wants to go back in time before it all happened, retain his arm and invade Earth with his own kind. He succeeds in jumping back in time which J thought wasn't possible. After getting a little mardy because he's told his senior agent status doesn't get him information from K's file and it doesn't get him alerted to the fact that time travel exists he sets about changing the past because chaos has ensued. J is the only one that knows K existed after his supposed death 'in the past'. Everyone else believes he died at the showdown with his arch enemy in '69. He did as it happens because his enemy went back and changed the past, but it never originally happened like that... Agent J fights through the past to get young Agent K (played by Josh Brolin) to believe him as well as try to save his life. With the help of a griffin who can reveal many possible future outcomes and after dealing with two of everybody, Agent J eventually finds out K's secret past and finds out exactly how big of an influence K has been on his life.
I think I found a hole in the story when I was in the cinema but I cannot remember what it was and I believe my husband set me straight. Other than that the story was water tight and the plot was easy to follow. We all know how time travel films can be very hard to follow sometimes, even for the most logical of us.
Josh Brolin plays an amazing younger K. You have to believe it to see it.
The film is funny, mildly scary in places and upsetting yet englightening. The acting is, obviously, fantastic - it's Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for crying out loud (in roles they've played twice before). Everything is believable, except the positions in which Nicole Scherzinger stands at the beginning of the film during the fight scene. You'll see she is very over-posed.
I have to disagree with most of the previous reviews: it is the best of the lot. The main title intro is fantastic: the opening tremlo arm wobbling of the notes makes the intro sound like an 80's police film. Music by Danny Elfman, I believe.
3D and 2D.
Shame it costs over a tenner for two adults to see it!
They're convenience stores with items priced the same as a small corner shop, but they're the size of small big name supermarkets.
I have never walked into a dirty or untidy Co-op. Usually they are small enough and well-staffed enough so this doesn't happen.
My local Co-op is a fairly large store, but a large Co-op is usually the equivalent of a small big name supermarket.
They accept all major cards and there is no minimum spend to pay by card.
They have their own loyalty scheme. Spending in Co-op gives you a share in their profits.
As mentioned above, the stores are staffed enough so they never seem to have run out of anything on the shelves and the whole place looks tidy. However, when the staff work the tills they are anything but welcoming. They seem to have an attitude of being there because they have to. I always have to ask for a bag when I need one, instead of being offered one. I know some stores have a policy of only providing one when the customer asks because most people accept them without needing them just to pay and get going. I don't mean to say they are completely awful and insulting, most of the time they are pretty neutral, but they're not very customer orientated in the two or three I have been to regularly. I also seem to have ID demanded fom me, as opposed to being asked nicely. I do not speak for all Co-op staff, as I am sure most of them are dedicated to their jobs. I am fully aware people have bad days, but not every day.
THEIR PRODUCTS AND LABELLING--
Their own products are fantastic. I bought some of their light cheddar cheese the other day for a pasta bake and it was very nice. They label all of their own products very well regarding nutrition and suitability for people who have allergies. Thyi also label their products very clearly about suitability for vegetarians and vegans. Most branded products and other supermarkets feel that vegetarians are the only people who need notifying. As an ex vegan I can tell you life was very easy to be told I could eat something at a glance. I can understand the fact that no one other than vegans understands what they can eat, but their lives can be made so much easier by simple labelling. Some companies may even sell more, do you know the Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle is vegan? Their own lemonade is so inexpensive and it is amazing. They have got the balance of fizz and lemon just right. Their bombay chips are not very nice at all. They're quite dry and not very fluffy: I would prefer a little more spice on them, however.
I believe my local store has a greetings card section attached onto the end of the magazine aisle. The magazine selection is very good for both male and female.
The availability of products could be better. For example, I was looking for original Marmite in the glass jar last month, all my local store stocked was the more expensive squeezy bottle at around £3.50. I did not have much of a choice when trying to find grated cheddar cheese at a low price. I was looking to spend around £1.50 - no such luck! I ended up spending over £2. They have a wide range of own brand products in the cereal section - these products are a lot cheaper than branded cereal and taste just as good. The other day I was looking for frozen prawns (the small ones) and I could not find any. I could only find king prawns. Only on my way around again did I move a bag of king prawns and find a couple of hidden bags of small prawns.
Co-op currently offer free home delivery on orders over £25 which is fantastic. Most people who order online will do it for a medium to large shop, thus spending over £25 easily. My husband and I used to order our big shop online on or after payday; sometimes you forget to allow up to £5 for delivery and this makes a difference.
Despite my very unbiased review on original Marmite (see my reviews) and concluding I hated it, I am reviewing Marmite cheddar bites because I like the Marmite taste but it is far to overwhelming in its original form. I decided that I may be able to get my nutritional yeasty fix this way instead.
I picked these up at my local Sainsbury's for £1.32. They are with the cheese and come in a bright yellow net with a black label stating the nutritional information:
Calories (all info is per cheese) 81 (4%)
Sugars Trace (<1%)
Fat 6.7g (10%)
Saturates 4.4g (22%)
Salt 0.4g (7%)
They're not the worst cheese in the world - I would personally recommend no more than two in one sitting. They keep quite a long time. The date is 27/05/12 and mine are dated to the beginning of August.
They cheeses are individually wrapped and look a little like mini jars of Marmite. The packaging is in two parts - a black platic bottom piece and a cling film/clear plastic top piece that appears vacuum packed onto it. Both the top and bottom meet at the lower end of the circumference of the cheese in a rounded off point. They are loose and are peeled apart. The packaging can be fiddly. Having read other reviews, I have not seen anyone else have a problem with these, but my attempt in opening them resulted in me losing the lose tab at the end and having to get my nails in to pry it open. I got in, however!
What you are greeted with is a cheddar cheese a tiny bit bigger in diameter than a two-pound coin. It is quite thick (maybe 1.5cm) and the cheese gives off a cheesey smell with a hint of yeasty beef. It is off-yellow in colour, kind of like mustard.
The texture of it is weird, but not unpleasant. It is soft yet solid and it crumbles nicely but doesn't fall apart and it is gooey. The taste of Marmite is not quite faint but it is most definitely not strong. I hate original Marmite as I find it bitter, but I enjoyed my cheese.
Obviously these cheeses are not suitable for vegans like original Marmite, but I believe these cheddar bites are vegetarian (not all cheese is, believe it or not). One Dooyooer mentioned she frequently gets through an entire net in one sitting. I do not advise this even slightly because that's 110% of your RDA of saturates right there. Try not to get addicted!
I bought Philadelphia Light when I saw the Philadelphia recipe for macaroni cheese with ham and sweetcorn on TV. I researched the recipe and was taken to the Philadelphia website that is packed to the rafters with Philadelphia recipes. I gathered up the ingredients and set to work.
Despite the current photo (19/05/2012), Philadelphia Light is in a fairly shallow oval tub. It is 200g in weight and currently costs about £1.97, which isn't expensive but I wouldn't consider it cheap. The silver lid pops off to reveal a silver foil lid that tears back. This is designed to keep it fresher for longer. A larger tub at 300g can be purchased for around £2.32.
It is a much lighter option than the original, but it is at the expense of the cheese taste. The texture is quite fluffy, creamy and fairly light (as light as spreadable cheese can get) but it only has a hint of cheese. You have to have it in your mouth a few seconds before you get the taste of cheese. It doesn't give you the tang of cheese from the off, but I suppose this is the price you pay for a lighter product.
It is advertised as a medium fat soft cheese. This product can be used to make sauces, to make cheesecake or make pasta bake. It is great as a spread for toast, rice cakes, crispbreads and other staple surfaces.
The product itself lasts as long as you want it to. The 200g tub can be consumed in five or six days (easily) if you use it solely for spreading it on two slices of toast every morning. I used half of the 200g tub making a pasta bake that served four people (but there's two of us - so, two of us twice).
Each 30g serving
47 calories (2% RDA)
1.2g sugar (1% RDA)
3.5g fat (5% RDA)
2.3g sat fat (11% RDA)
0.3g salt (5% RDA)
I am writing this with the fresh taste of Marmite in my mouth, so you can rest assured you'll be getting a good description.
I have read multiple reviews on Marmite and Marmite products lately. I was reeled in and decided to give it a go. I tried something like it years ago, but everything deserves a second chance, right?
The only original Marmite product available on the shelves at my local co-op was Marmite squeezy. There wasn't a single glass pot in sight. The squeezy tub was priced at £3.50 and I was very reluctant because I think that is extortionate. I bought it anyway!
I got home and unpacked the aforementioned squeezy bottle and examined it. It looked very premium and could be mistaken for the original glass jar if it weren't for the yellow lid being on the bottom instead of on the top. The entire bottle is black with a yellow lid. It is not resistant to being squeezed, as some so-called squeezy bottles are and there is no plastic film over the nozzle after unscrewing the lid. You open the yellow flip lip at the bottom (in the process you tear the yellow sticker to show it's sealed) and squeeze. You can get your Marmite as easy as that. You can easily adjust the amount coming out by squeezing harder or applying less pressure. I squeezed a medium width wiggly line down a slice of crispbread and I then spread it thinly across with a knife. The consistency is intriguing - kind of like a gel toothpaste.
On biting into it I got an overwhelming whiff and taste of yeasty bitterness. The first bite was the most pleasant because it got worse after that. I am under the impression it is an acquired taste, but apprently not. The only way I can describe the taste is a bitter tang. Concentrate a pint of bitter and you've got it. The bitter fans out there may think that sounds great, but it really isn't.
Something odd happened after my first few bites. Once the concoction had gone down, I grabbed some cloudy lemonade to wash it down so I could get get the taste out of my mouth. After cleansing my palate, I wanted more Marmite. I hated the taste but I wanted more: kind of like the effect fizzy pop has. Some pop doesn't even refresh/quench you, but the fizz keeps you drinking. Witchcraft.
Marmite's health information is fantastic, however. This is great news for anyone wanting to lose weight. It is packed full of natural vitamins. It was one of the reasons I bought the crispbread and the Marmite. The crispbread is 20 calories per slice and Marmite is 10 calories per 4g with trace fat.
Word has it Marmite is great underneath the cheese on cheese on toast. Maybe it is better with other ingredients as opposed to on its own, but on its own is not for me.
You can love it or hate it (one reviewer can take it or leave it) but respect it for what it is. It has been around a long time and it is very healthy for you. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans and available in every supermarket and most corner shops.
Despite finding it awful I am going to give it three stars on the basis that it IS a love or hate product. It is not a badly manufactured or researched product of crap quality. It is in fact a popular product that is decades old and very healthy for you. It provides vegans with the B vitamins they do not get from animal flesh and it lasts a very long time (even if you like a thick spreading).
I have been an avid reader since I was young. Lately, I have moved around a lot and there's two of us, but most of the boxes we heaved from house to house before finally settling were of MY books. Books from my childhood, books I loved, books I thought I needed but never read...
I was dubious about readers at first, but now I wouldn't be without mine. They are big space savers. I do not like becoming reliant on technology and a book is a book, the entire world has used them for centuries. You cannot just usurp books!
I have the Kindle 4 WiFi. My first reader was another popular make, but connecting my reader to download a book after browsing multiple sites for ages got a bit tedious - I rarely used it. I remember people whining on about how a person is tied to buying from Amazon after buying a Kindle. That was the only reason I did not buy one before. I can tell you, at Amazon's prices you will not give a monkey's that you have to buy from them only.
It comes in a box made of recycled cardboard - a quick start guide, USB and the Kindle itself are what's inside (and possibly something about warranty). To save paper - the user guide is on the first screen you will see when the Kindle turns on. The Kindle 4 is the same size as your average paperback book - 16.6 cm by 11.4 cm by 0.87cm (not even a cm thick). As far as I am aware the Kindle 4 is only available in its neutral silvery grey - kind of pearlescent. You will even be asked to name your Kindle. In the top corner it will say 'Bob's Kindle' or 'Louise's Kindle' - depending on what your name is.
The function of the screen is quite hard to describe. The battery lasts so long. The readers do not use battery life when displaying a page. They use battery when connected to the internet, downloading or page turning. If you were to be reading with the internet off, for example, and you left your reader on for a week, no battery power would be used. The screen uses a similar principle to displaying a picture on an Etch-a-Sketch. The text is just as sharp as on a book and the text can be enlarged for those optically challanged.
The Kindle sports a square main button at the bottom. The top, bottom, left and right outline of the square button is used as a directional button. The centre is a selecting button. To the right side of the button is the home screen button which takes you back to your list of books. Also on the right of the square is a menu button: press this and it gives you the option to turn the internet connection on, shop in the Kindle store, read the book description, search the book, add a bookmark, change the font size and view the notes and marks. To the left size of the square is the keyboard button, use this button for inputting text to write notes, search for something within a book and search for books within the Kindle store. Further to the left is the 'back' button. If you've selected a few fuctions after another, simply press this button to work your way back to a particular page.
The page turning is very fast - there's no time to wait and it is faster or, at the very least, the same length of time as turning an actual page yourself. The page turning buttons are up the side of this Kindle. The right side has a forward and back button, as does the left side. This is great if you are laying on one arm and are reading with the other and cannot be bothered to turn the page with your obviously numb arm. You may automatically think the corresponding button on the right to the one on the left will turn the page the opposite way to the button on the other side. I did this at the start and I found myself three chapters ahead when I thought I was going back pages! You do get used to it, though. The page turn buttons are also used to flit backwards and forwards through your pages of books (not the directional buttons).
The usability is incredible. I did not have to consult the manual or the quick start guide - EXCEPT to turn it on properly using the correct procedure that first time.
The memory is 2GB, or up to 1400 books - but who has that many?
The battery life boasts a whopping month without WiFi on. Remember, when you are not downloading a book TURN THE WiFi off! The battery is not half as impressive with it on!
Amazon have a huge and ever-expanding library of books. You will not be limited for choice. The Kindle store is self-explanatory and it is very easy to download 300+ page novels for 99p each. If you finish one book and love it, buying the second one does not require waiting for the post or trip to the shop. Simply download the next book, or any book!
Compare these prices (KINDLE PRICE FIRST) -
Sick Notes (Tony Copperfield)- a GP's account of the true stories from within a surgery - £1.75 OR £6.56 brand new paperback/hardback with free postage OR £2.64 used paperback/hardback with £2.80 postage.
Writing a UCAS Personal Statement in Seven Easy Steps (Julia Dolowicz) - £3.42 OR £6.79 brand new paperback/hardback with free postage OR £4.79 used paperback/hardback with £2.80 postage.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson) - £2.70 OR £4.49 brand new paperback with free postage OR £0.01 used paperback with £2.80 postage.
The only problem I have encountered so far is getting the screensaver off. The screensaver is an e-ink photo that appears after a period of non-usage. Simply press the small rectangular button next to the USB port to return to the page your were reading or the screen you were on. It is as simple as that, but I had one episode of trouble getting it off the screen. I pressed it and the light at the bottom flickered to show I pressed it but nothing happened. I tried again with no luck. I started to worry but the screen took me back to my book, eventually. I have only had this problem once, and I hope it was the last.
It also takes about 3-4 hours to charge the battery from flat.
Currently priced at £89 for the WiFi version with a 6" display. Insurance for this gadget on its own can be from as little as £2.50 a month. They are available nationwide - from Amazon and a lot of electronics shops.
My husband and I started using Just-Eat a couple of years ago. There were only a select few of our local takeaways on the site but it has now expanded a LOT.
The idea is that you visit their website (just-eat.com) and type in the first half of your postcode. Their database will then either ask you to confirm that you live in a certain area (due to similar postcodes) or it will take you directly to the menus of your local area.
You have to sign up to Just-Eat, but this is very handy because it doesn't require some useless profile of your favourite takeaways to share with the world. It remembers your address and previous takeaways AND previous orders. This is a great feature because you may think you liked what you had last time, but not remember what it was or where you got it - you just remember that it was the very last takeaway you had. You can also gain points by ordering takeaway through the site. These can be exchanged for rewards at a later date.
I live in a medium-sized area made up of three quaint villages. My village is quite sparse without many useful shops. We have a few takeaways, one bank (not a popular bank), a co-op, a newsagent, a five-star chippy, a physio, a bookies and two hair salons. Up until two months ago I lived in a village that had a newsagent's and a post office, but we still got plenty of options for takeaway from the surrounding towns and the same for where we live now.
I believe Just-Eat provides you with all the takeaways registered with them that are within ten miles. I could be wrong, but we have ordered from a takeaway about eight miles from us. It may depend on how far each takeaway is willing to deliver.
One downside is that there are plenty of Chinese takeaways around (one or two in most towns and villages) but I have only seen a Chinese on Just-Eat ONCE, despite ordering using Just-Eat from three different locations.
The website is very easy to navigate and it is not cluttered. A list, with picture icons and logos, of your local takeaways is displayed after the input of the fist half of the postcode. Under each listing is the type of food available, for example, Indian. Click on a takeaway to display their menu. At the top of the menu it will display their opening times, address and delivery charges. To the left you will see a list of categories enabling easy access to various parts of the menu (we all know how irritating it is when we cannot find the desserts). In the top right corner is the tab to bring up live chat with a member of staff.
The menu displays prices very clearly on the same line as the food item. Next to each price is a plus sign: click this and it will add the item to your order. The list of things you've added to your order is displayed on the right.
When you have completed your list simply click 'order now' and you will be taken to a screen giving you the option to choose how soon you want your food. You will be given a drop down menu with times. You will then get a payment option screen. You can pay by credit or debit card or cash on delivery.
When ordering the first time we were a bit dubious. We didn't think many people used the site and we were worried our order would be spat out of a age-old fax machine in a store room and never get read. Fear not, as it turned up!
We have only ever had one problem, but it was with the takeaway direct and not with Just-Eat. Just-Eat was involved, however, because we paid through them. We ordered from a place that had fantastic food. We'd ordered on a weekend night and delivery was estimated at 45 minutes. An hour later we rang them and we were told he was on his way. Yeah, right. I hung out of the window in the summer night air hoping to see him turning onto our street. No such luck. After an hour and a half I believe we tried ringing but didn't get through (I am 80% sure we did this, or we did this first and rang a second time and got fobbed off). We ended up ordering from Domino's and the food was with us in twenty minutes. Whilst we were waiting for Domino's our first order showed up. We decided to ignore the door because neither of us like confrontation. He persisted and we answered. The delivery guy simply said, 'We're busy,' flattly, after we said he'd been over an hour and a half. He stalked off when we said we'd ordered from somewhere else. We contacted Just-Eat and got a refund at easy as that.
They are good option if you have no cash to hand and are starving and want all your options in one place! Some takeaways have engaged phonelines and some staff members have heavy accents (be it Geordie, Scottish, Yorkshire, southern, Chinese, Indian and so on) that make it hard for them to be understood above the kitchen noise. Some people without accents cannot be heard above the noise, anyway! This site is a great way of sorting those problems.
Website correct at the time of review.
I am a big fan of supermarket-branded products, as they are sometimes made by the same factory that manufactures the branded products. The only difference is the packaging. Sometimes that is not the case. Some supermarket-branded products are truly rubbish, so you have to find the decent stuff by trial and error - but it is always fun finding out!
For those that don't know, a jaffa cake is a soft biscuit/cake base (more of a cake base) with a small circle (usually a few mm in diameter smaller than the cake base) of orange jelly-like substance. Now, I don't like jelly - at all but this base only resembles it slightly. I have no idea what to call it! It is sticky, jelly-like and wobbly. Covering the cake base and jelly circle is a coating of plain chocolate.
These are currently a 12 pack and are available at 69p. The branded version is currently (early May 2012) £1.19. The branded version also containes 12 cakes.
The nutritionalvalues for the supermarket-branded pack are:
43 calories per cake
7% RDA of sugar
1% RDA fat
3% RDA saturated fat
The plain chocolate is of reasonably high quality. It snaps when you bite into it and it has a lovely plain chocolate taste, though not too bitter. The jelly is soft and is easily bitten into. I have not noticed a taste difference between this pack and the branded version's orange jelly. The cake base is the only difference, really. It is not stale as such, but it is a tini amount 'stiffer' if you will. It doesn't feel as soft and fresh, but this drawback is small and barely noticeable.
The packaging is currently orange, being all nice and prominent on the shelf. It opens at the end easily by ripping the end flap and the twelve cakes are packaged on top of each other (cake base to chocolate) within a noisy plastic pack that you open like a crisp packet at one end.
Not bad for a sweet nibble! Be careful, it is very easy to get through an entire back in one sitting!
I am writing this in 2012 - this product is now available at 12 for £1 a box.
These little eclairs are about the length of a woman's little finger. They are about half the width of an actual eclair.
They come in an elegant box - it does not say whether or not it is recyclable (unless I have ripped the symbol off, but I do not think so). A previous review on this product from a few years old states that the box and tray are recyclable, but the materials could have changed by now. The colour scheme is purple with stars and they are advertised as party eclairs - they are fit for this purpose, but we keep them as a light dessert option.
They are a frozen item and have to be defrosted for 45 minutes at room temperature. 45 minutes is the time it takes, not a minute sooner. I think I tried to nibble one at 40 minutes and the cream was a little dense and icy.
The choux pastry is, naturally, not as light and fluffy as you would expect from an eclair as it has been frozen and defrosted, but the quality of the product is not compromised much at all.
44 kcal per eclair
2.4 of which saturates
These eclairs have a generous filling of cream. It does not have much of a sweet or cream taste to it, but the texture is nice, nonetheless. There is also a thick spreading of semi-solid chocolate on top that is not too sweet nor too bland.
A great party dessert, emergency dessert or light dessert option.
Debbie Stoller is a well known stitcher, and this is a well-known and fat book. The idea of it is to teach you to crochet from scratch, and it makes a fantastic reference book for when your skills reach their height.
Voulez-vous crochet avec moi?-
This section of the book includes a brief history of crochet; why it is so much fun to crochet; crochet vs knitting, oh - don't go there. The last bit in this section gives a guide to crochet terms.
Hook, line and sinker-
This section is about hooks, types of yarn and reading yarn labels. It also helps with substituting yarn by providing a yarn weight table. This helps because we cannot get many brands of yarn over this side of the pond. You don't just get balls of yarn - you can get skeins and hanks. Hanks are long twists of yarn that have to be unravelled and rolled into a ball. There is a section within this book showing you how. It is not as easy at it sounds.
I have a minor problem with this section. The Americans and British have different terminology for the stitches:
American - British
Slip Stitch Slip Stitch
Single crochet Double crochet
Double crochet Treble crochet
Treble crochet Double treble crochet
Double treble crochet Treble Treble Crochet
The above terminology is correct. However, Debbie states in her book that the American slip stitch is called a single crochet in British terms. THIS IS WRONG! Britain and American both call it the slip stitch. Never have I come across the single crochet term in a British pattern.
This section also starts you off with the actual act of crochet! Making a slipknot, how to hold the yarn, how to make a chain, how to work stitches into the chain, what a turning chain is, what tension is and why it is important, slip stitches and finishing off your work.
This sections is about the other stitches. The various basic stitches just vary in height. For example, if stitch a scarf in the smallest basic stitch (double crochet) then you would be a long time. If you use the treble then your scarf will stitch up quick.
The shape of things to come-
This sections shows you how to shape, increase, decrease and how to get a small hole within you circle. When I started to crochet my flowers the middles used to be huge. There's a technique to getting a small hole that appears non-existent.
Hooked on a feeling-
This sections shows you all about different stitches:
crocheting around the post (this can create the waffle stitch, I believe)
making a granny square.
This section is pretty small, but it touches colour work using tapestry crochet, working filet crochet and learning the Afghan stitch.
Off the hook-
This sections explain what blocking is and why you need to do it. It also goes into detail about sewing your pieces together and crocheting your own buttons and button holes. Creating tassles, fringes and pom-poms is all in this sections.
Then comes the patterns:
FORTY expertly written and designed items for men, babies and women (mostly women than men). The patterns vary from a scarf made of giant crocheted flowers, a scarf you can make from one skein, a cowboy hat that's rigid and retains its shape, a skirt, a professional looking cardigan, a bikini to sun yourself in, small bags and big bags, a shawl, a shrug, a short-sleeved top and many more. Each pattern comes with a full-colour picture (sometimes a few of them) and plenty of information: yarn and tension.
The book itself is very colourful and written in humour. It is 292 pages long and worth every penny. The back of the book says $15.95, which is about a tenner. It can be bought online (the newer version has the mistakes correct, and that is important to get the product you want and not get frustrated with the craft) and can be bought for £6.92 and is eligible for FREE delivery. Second hand copies can be bought for less than £5, but postage is £2.80.
I always check reviews online before I buy this book and it has phenominal ratings on Amazon.
I get shot every time I review something for other than its original purpose, yet some people truly do appreciate finding other uses for products to get their money's worth out of them. I will be reviewing these for adult body use, not for babies.
These come in the standard Sainsbury's Basics packaging - white with and orange logo and a reason as to why they're just as good as the branded type. This packaging states that they offer 'everyday design, everyday use' which is good enough for me.
None of the plastic is recyclable, so please consider this is you try to be environmentally friendly. The packaging has a film lid that you peel back to reveal the circular incision from which you pull each wipe.
They are not expertly cut, but they are a basics item: some of the wipes can appear a little wider at the top than the bottom. They are a fraction over 17 cm by 17 cm. They are quite thin but they do not tear when in use. I recently used another supermarket branded pack of wipes and they were 2-ply. The top ply stayed still on the skin and the bottom ply moved, so nothing got wiped. I do not have this problem with these wipes.
They are a great alternative to using deodorant after exercise. I use them after a run when a shower isn't available or an option. They leave you feeling fresh and leave a light 'baby product' smell behind that is by no means overwhelming. They are gentle on my 'delicate' areas when I use them and they can be used for the back and the front because they are not heavily scented. With this in mind, I imagine they are very fit for purpose for baby use, after all, they are baby wipes.
Each wipe isn't like other cheaper brands, where each wipe is dry with the minimum amount of moisture so they're able to get away with calling them wipes. The balance of moist and dry is fantastic with this product. I have had some wipes that have little bubbles on the surface they were that wet!
These wipes contain minimal ingredients, all of which can be pronounced. I do not have sensitive skin, but I haven't built up a callous layer, either! They do not cause any irritation and they do not have any drying effects. On the odd occasion, I use one to wipe my hands and they feel slightly moisturised afterwards as well as clean and lightly scented.
In this particular pack, there are wipes-a-plenty: 80 per pack. They are available at the bargain price of 51p (current online price).