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Its September at last, Hayfever season is officially over and believe me it hasn't come a day too soon. I've had Hayfever since I was seven and this summer was one of the worst I can remember. Usually my Hayfever has cleared up by August (having started in May!) but not this year, apparently it was because of the foot and mouth. According to those that know, because of the F&M cattle were unable to move around as much and there was less grass eaten and as a result loads of feildsleft ungrazed and therefore more pollen. I was also told the crops were cut later this year which can't help. Whatever the reason, Uk pollen counts have been very high this year, which is bad news as most Hayfever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen. It’s been a rotten summer, for the huge percentage of people that suffer from Hayfever, about a 1/3 of the population I think. I'm lucky enough not to suffer from very severe Hayfever, which can make life impossible unless you get steroids, but its still like having a constant cold all summer. A major symptom of Hayfever is swollen, red eyes, when my parents first realised I had Hayfever it was because I'd been playing in a field near our house and come home because my eyes had swelled so much I could hardly see! One of the reasons Hayfever is like a cold is your constantly running nose, this is always worse as soon as I get up, because I haven't had my medication and late at night because my tablets are wearing off! Other symptoms include an itchy pallet (horrible when you are trying to sleep), itchy hives, headaches, sore throat and lets not forget constant sneeze. You get the picture, Hayfever involves a lot of scratching. I also think it would be unfair on my boyfriend to leave out irritability. Sorry, mpeh :) The most common defence against Hayfever are anti-histamines, however, they are a prevention not a cure :( The tablets I take are Neoclarityn, and you take one tablet once a day. The tablets are quite effective although they were off by the end of the day. They are also tiny-weenie and easy to swallow!! There are a huge range of anti-histamine tablets on the market so it all depends what your doctor prescribes you. You can also get anti-histamines over the counter, although they tend to be weaker and you have to take about four a day. Because I suffer really badly with my itchy eyes and runny nose I also have a nose spray and eye drops. When I was little I hated putting the eye drops in, but you get used to it and they really do help. The nose spray (Flixonase) is also quite good, when I remember to take it. Another option are steroids, which usually take the form of a course of injections. Although the steroids work really well and practically eliminate Hayfever I didn't fancy the idea of lots of injections. Unfortunately for some people steroids is the only answer. When I was littler I got blood tested to see exactly what I was allergic to, which turned out to be grass and cats most strongly. This is always as a good idea, so you can try to avoid whatever it is that you are most allergic to. I should take my own advice but I love cats too much. However bad Hayfever may seem it does have its advantages, like being a great excuse for not wanting to do exercise things with your sports mad boyfriend. And its not the end of the world, even if you are stuck inside its a great opportunity to write Dooyoo reviews and such. And there are places you can go to escape the curse of Hayfever, the coast being one, my Hayfever is never so bad at the seaside! Other helpful tips: If you think you are suffering from Hayfever, go to the doctor as you'll get the best advice there and the best medication for you. Avoid cuddling cats, no matter how cute they look, and if you can't resist always wash your hands and don't touch your face after playing with them. Avoid going outside in the early evening as that is when pollen is at its worst. Avoid plantations of oil seed rape. Don't let Hayfever run your life. So in conclusion, yes Hayfever sucks, but there are medications available to make it better and its not the end of the world, there are much worse things to be burdened with and as far as I'm concerned it gets easier as you get older. Its not exactly something you can change so you just have to get on with it and make sure it doesn't wreck your summer. I will leave you with the always inspiring words of The Divine Comedy.... I fall for this season every time When it's hot and everybody smiles I can't help myself I'm in love with the summertime Laugh at the tears you're crying Smile while your head explodes You don't have to take this lying down So blow your nose, baby And just get your fingers clicking To the rhythm and the rhyme Otherwise you'll just be kicking around And that's a crime How can you talk that way On such a lovely day? When sunshine comes your way It's time to make some hay I fall for this season every time When it's hot and everybody smiles I can't help myself I'm in love with the summertime Even when I get hay-fever I find I may sneeze but I don't really mind As long as I'm in love with the summertime Oh stop your belly-aching We all know what it's like There ain't a pill I haven't taken, I guess But that's alright baby 'Cause your daddy's car is waiting To take us to the sea She feels like celebrating life And so should we How can you talk that way On such a lovely day? When sunshine comes your way It's time to m ake some hay I fall for this season every time When it's hot and everybody smiles I can't help myself I'm in love with the summertime Even when I get hay-fever I find I may sneeze but I don't really mind As long as I'm in love with the summertime so true Laura xx
I'm not exactly a Dooyoo guru or anything even close but I've been here long enough to know what gets good ratings and what doesn't. Firstly, and probably most importantly churning doesn't work. Believe me I've tried it. I look back at my first reviews and cringe, I wish I could delete them, as to be honest they suck. The reason they suck is because I churned them out in a vain attempt at getting-rich-quick. But people don't like churnings, they're not good to read and most of the time they are not very helpful. Most people want to read stuff that you've spent time thinking about and have actually but some effort into, not something you pulled out at the last minute! Trust me the more time you spend on an opinion the more reads you will get and the more very usefuls you will get. (At least that’s how it should work..) Don't rush your opinion, take your time, look at all the aspects of what you are reviewing and you will reap the rewards. If you want to write a good review, write about something you know, whether you love it or hate it. Its always easier to write reviews about the things you are passionate about. Its usually better to take a firm stand on whatever product you are reviewing, even if you exaggerate the good or bad points a little its better than a wishy washy opinion. For some reason the middleground is not popular on Dooyoo. Be honest, tell the truth, let people know exactly what you think. That's what Dooyoo's about, its your opinion and opinions are supposed to help people make better decisions. If you can make your review original, I know this is hard if you're writing the 56th review on dog shampoo but a fresh and personalized opinion will always get good reads. Give all your reviews personality, there is nothing as boring as a list of facts and figures. Personal stories and humor always make reviews better but don't ge t too carried away and forget what you are reviewing. Plan your review carefully, give it a beginning, a middle and a conclusion...I sound like an English teacher. Weigh up the pros and cons of the product and give an honest evaluation. Advertising in Dooyoo is forbidden so don't put web addresses and such in your reviews or advertise personal sites. ** I've been informed useful web addresses that relate to your opinion are allowed but not links to other money making sites or personal profit making schemes etc. Hope this is less confusing :-) Dooyoo has very high standards so watch out for spelling and grammar. It’s always a good idea to put your review through a spellcheck before you post it. I've had a review locked because I didn't capitalize my i's or add inverted commas. But it was unlocked as soon as I corrected them. Reviews are also easier to leave if you don't write huge, unbroken paragraphs. Break up your review and leave spaces, much easier on the eyes! Its probably good advise to say don't swear as you will probably offend more people than not. I don't think it’s a Dooyoo rule although I'm not entirely sure. The all-important question - how to get crowns. Its not really us humble Dooyooers that decide which opinions get crowns, that is decided by the gods of Dooyoo. We can nominate reviews for crowns but if your opinion does not please the powers that be, no crown for you, as simple as that. Follow the advice in sections like this and pray is the only advise I can give you. Its not the size of your opinion that gets you crowned. Writing pages won't necessarily get you a crown. As they say it’s not the size of your boat but the motion of the ocean. (I have no idea what possessed me to write that) If you want big ratings, read around the site, make lots of comments, get your name noticed. Its that simple, the more you rate the more reads you will get. Happy Dooyooing!! Laura
Hello, my name is Laura and I'm a Dooyoo addict. It all started about six months ago, when I discovered Dooyoo by chance on the internet. It sounded like a great idea, write opinions about things I love or hate and get paid to do it. Could there really be a catch? It didn't seem so at the time. At the start it was only about the money, and so began the dreaded churning. One review after another. I should have seen the signs even then but I didn't, staying up late writing opinions, neglecting homework and my friends, only stopping to eat. But soon, before I even realised, I was checking my points every time I was online. I had to know how many times my latest review had been read, I needed to read my comments, to make comments... After a month I couldn't even walk past a computer without getting an urge to sign in to Dooyoo. Of course all this seemed perfectly normal at the time, eventually even the hair loss and my twitching right eye seemed normal. Dooyoo was all that mattered, writing opinions was what I lived for. It wasn't about the money anymore, I was simply addicted to the whole thing, writing reviews, reading comments, reading other peoples review, and of course the quest for the all-hailed crown. **Disclaimer** Ok so maybe some of the above account of my Dooyoo addiction is fictional but you get the point. Although I haven't lost any hair (yet) and my right eye doesn't twitch, I'm still an addict. It was about the money to start with but now I just love to write opinions and enjoy seeing them be read by lots of people (not enough people). Not that I don't enjoy thinking about what I'll spend my points on when I cash them in. The problem with dooyoo is that the more you do it the more you'll earn and there are so many things to review or just be opinoinated on. I'm good at being opinionated so th at doesn't help either. Dooyoo should definitely carry some sort of health warning - very damaging to social life or something similar. I'm lucky because I have an understanding Dooyoo addict for a boyfriend. I dread to think what I'll be like when I go back to uni and I have 24 hour access to the internet and Dooyoo in all its glory, I may have to be forcibly dragged away from the computer (repeatidly). Such is the life of a Dooyoo addict. Dooyoo started as another get-rich-quick scheme but now its just a hobby, something to do when I can't be bothered studying and I get paid to do it! i only wish I could do this full time!
I got my naval pierced last November, and I suppose I'm writing this op to give advice to any one who's considering getting it done or anyone who has just had it done. So I hope this helps...... Firstly and most importantly make sure you go to somewhere reputable. Make sure wherever you go has got certificates and a license and all the other stuff that qualifies you to stick holes in people. You will regret it if you go somewhere cheap and nasty and end up with an infection or worse. We all know how dangerous infected needles can be, especially in today's society. Ok now enough with the parent stuff, everyone's heard the horror stories, here's the truth. My piercing cost about £35, with a double jewelled bar, that's one with a stone at both ends, the one in your belly button and the one above it. Most places charge around about this much, give or take a few quid. When I arrived at the piercing parlour I was given a consent form to fill in, on which I had to give various details about my health. They ask about heart problems, if you're pregnant etc. all standard things. I was also asked if I'd had any breakfast, of course I said no as I'd been too nervous to eat. So I was packed off to the nearest shop to buy some food as apparently you are more likely to faint if you have an empty stomach! When I came back (having wolfed a chocolate bar and some coke) I chose the naval-bar I wanted. I was disappointed that none of my friends could come and hold my hand but the parlour weren't insured for that and it’s not very hygienic. So I had to face the needle alone..... Of course I was petrified, having had people tell me it was worse than childbirth, but the lady who did it was so nice, she never stopped talking to me. I simply lay down and opened my shirt and in five minutes it was all over. I was sprayed with freezing c old anaesthetic (always make sure wherever you go offers this too), my stomach was clamped and before I knew what had happened I had a new attachment. Honestly it was that simple, I was flat on my back so I could see nothing which I think helped a lot. No one ever believes me when I say this but it really didn't hurt any more than having my ears done. It was done so professionally that I hardly felt a thing. Its great to have someone to talk to as it really takes your mind off what's happening to your stomach. I think that's what separates the professionals from the amateurs, they really know how to make you feel relaxed. Now apparently there are bleeders and people who don't bleed. I was a bleeder, and every time I sat down for the next few hours I bled, but having said this, it didn't hurt and it was easy to ignore the mild uncomfortableness. My friend who got pierced at the same time didn't bleed at all, so I guess it just depends. The important thing of course is that it looks really cute and I love showing it off. AFTERCARE If you want a healthy piercing aftercare is really important!! Included in the price of my piercing was a bottle of antibacterial hand wash, which I was told to use on my belly button at least once a day. This stuff was great, it kept my piercing clean and I could also use it in the shower. I would recommend something like this for use in the shower as it's dead handy. You can pick them up in any decent chemist. As well as the hand wash I would recommend Savlon antibacterial spray. It’s about £2.99 and I got mine in Boots. It’s easy to use, spray on, leave for a bit and worked around the piercing. I try to clean my piercing once a day with this stuff, but sometimes I forget :( For a while I used TCP and a shot glass....Let me explain. Fill a plastic shot glass with TCP and water, bend backwards, attac h to stomach and jiggle. Remember to lock bathroom door as you look very stupid and never let anyone drink for the shot glass again. This works well too (probably better than the Savlon, which can resemble fancy water) but it smells awful and I couldn't use it in the morning as I'd smell all day. Lately I've also been using an aloe vera gel, because I'm lazy and its handy just to rub in and leave. Generally its just really important to keep it clean, if you can't afford anything fancy just use salt. Apparently sea salt is better than ordinary salt for this and you should clean twice a day if only using salt water. To avoid infection in the very early stages it is wise to keep the piercing covered, except when you clean it. Don't use a plaster because if you leave it on all day it sets like concrete by bed time and it leaves uggy plaster marks that stay on for weeks. You try to clean it off but you don't want to scrub too hard as it's tender, and you're newly pierced so there it stays, a damning tide mark to the uncleanliness of student living. So use medical tape and an antiseptic patch or just some lint, the type you put over burns, that comes off easily but keeps the area well covered. Also you should avoid getting it in contact with bodily fluids, such as saliva, as this can cause infection, strangely enough. Now I know one of the things you've gotten your belly button pierced for is that but patience is a virtue and infection really is something we want to avoid. If you don't want to agitate your piercing wear loose trousers and hipsters so that they don't rub against your belly button, which believe me is horrible. Or keep a covering on it so things don't get caught up, which can be painful. Healing time should be about a year, and you shouldn't change bars until it's properly healed over, just like your ears. Mine has been in about ten months and there's no way I'd try to swap bars yet as I still have trouble with it now and then, especially when I've stayed in the same position for ages, like bus journeys. I would recommend that the first time you change bars, if possible, you go back to the same place that you originally got pierced at, they should change it for you and then you'll get to see how it's done and be an expert the next time you want to swap them yourself. New bars cost from about £6 all the way up to diamond studded gold plated (only kidding) £50 ones but a decent one will be about £20. This seems quite costly but for a piece of jewellery that you wear all the time, 24/7 of good quality (and believe me it's worth getting none rust titanium, don't eat your tummy away tummy bars) it's quite good value. I don't regret having my naval pierced, it looks great and most of the time its no hassle but lately its been painful and giving me some gyp - but this is my own fault as I've neglected it a bit over the summer. So take care of your piercing and there should be no problems.
So you're looking for a new mobile phone, why pick the Nokia 3310? I've had my shiny, new 3310 for a couple of months now, since BT Cellnet upgraded my 3210 when I renewed my contract. I've definitely had no complaints so far. The 3310 is compact and fun. It looks nice and if you are not happy with the standard blue and silver cover there is a huge range of covers on the market. If you are looking to compare it to another phone the 3310 is basically a new and improved 3210, smaller and with more gadgets. Apparently it only weighs 133g including batteries (well you find out something new every day). PHONEBOOK. There's room for 90 names and phone numbers, which can be stored as a list of names, names and numbers, or in large font format. You can search for numbers by name or even first letter of the name like most phones. The phonebook is really easy to use and navigate especially when you get used to it. One of my favourite features is the speed dial, which allows you to program your most used numbers (such as home) into the keypad for easy access. You can store 9 speed dial numbers, although 1 is usually reserved for Voice Mail. You just press and hold the number and hey presto! You can assign different tones to your favourite numbers, so you can recognise who is calling without picking up your mobile. This is a fun feature as I can always tell when my mum is calling! There is also a feature in phonebook, which allows you to text phone numbers to people, saving any hassle if the need should arise. The 3310 also has the ability to store VOICETAGS, which allows you to store a voice recording to every phone number, so you can dial it simply by pressing the confirm key and saying the recorded tag. In theory this sounds like a great idea, but in order for the VOICETAG to work you have to say the name exactly as you recorded it, which isn't easy. There is the add ed problem of having to do it somewhere quiet as back ground noise affects the response of the 3310 and of course if your tone is slightly different the phone cannot pick it up. I had fun playing with this feature but I've only used it a few times in practice. The speed dial is much quicker, less effort and people don't give you funny looks for talking at your mobile! However this would be very useful if you had a hands free kit for your car. MESSAGES Nothing much new as regards to messages except that you can send larger text messages, with up to 459 characters, which is essentially 3 text messages joined together but unfortunately this costs three times as much. However, it is handy especially if you've got loads to say. The are also 14 picture messages, including smiley faces, and a birthday cake, which you can send to compatible phones. If you are lazy like me the 3310 also has a range of templates, which you can send if you can't be bothered to type a message, such as "I can't answer right now, call me later at...". There is also space for you to create 3 template messages of your own. To help you personalise your text messages there is a variety of smiley face templates which you can add to your messages, which saves a lot of flicking through the menu to create them yourself. There is space for 3 of your own smileys too. Another handy (but again standard feature) is predictive text input, with enables you to type messages faster. However, its a it doesn't recognise every word, which can be annoying. Its hard to explain how this works if you don't already know but basically you spell the word without worrying about pressing a key however many times to get the number you want - as the phone does that for you! CHAT As a new feature for the 3310 there is Chat Messaging. Essentially its trumped up text messaging, you give yourse lf a chat name, message someone (same as text messaging) and what you typed, along with your name appears on the screen and when someone chat messages you back, what they say appears on the screen too. This allows you to keep track of the conversation easily. I have only used it a couple of times, and I feel it is an unnecessary feature, but please feel free to disagree (that's what comments are for). Its like talking only with messages...is what it says on the Nokia website..but isn't that what text messaging is anyway? CALL REGISTER Nothing exciting here, just lists of your missed calls, received calls, dialled numbers and the option to erase recent call lists. You can also see the duration of your last call and, if you are on pay as you go, check out you balance and cost settings etc. TONES The 3310 has a wide selection (35 in fact) of its own tones but also lots of space for your own ringtones. You can store up to 7 ringtones, which is great as I love to change mine depending on my mood. The Ringtone Composer allows you to type in ringtones if you don't want to pay to have them sent to you phone. It's easy to copy tones in and there are a load of places you can get them for free so why waste the money paying some web site. The 3310 also has a Vibrating alert which you can activate in the Tones section. This is useful if you have your phone on silent but you still want to know when someone is calling or if you get a message. The Message alerts are standard Nokia ones, nothing new there. You can have a standard beep, special beep, beep once, ascending beeping or no beep.... In Tones you can also select a screensaver (which appears when the phone is idle) from a choice of 13. You can also choose after what period the screensaver becomes active. This is a cute feature, which allows you to have nice pictures on your phone but don't get carried away the screen savers don't move or actually do anything that could be called 'screen saving'. You can download or create your own at club Nokia, which is free to join but it costs to have anything sent to your phone :( CALL DIVERT As with most Nokia's you have the options of diverting calls, for example when the line is busy, when a call is not answered or when the phone is off. GAMES I know this is the bit you've all been waiting for... The 3310 as 4 games including of course the legendary Snake II, which totally boggles me. Its like Snake except you can go right round the screen and through walls and it all gets a bit confusing and silly. But there are bonuses and things so you can score quickly but I hate it. My favourite game is Space Impact. You play a little space ship and fly around shooting monsters and other crafts. Its great fun, much better than Snake II and it makes hugely annoying noises. It looks pretty cool for a mobile phone game and its very addictive. There are lots of levels and scary bad guys at the end of every one. If you have the phone set to vibrator (and shakes, which is located in the settings in the games section) the phone vibrates when you get hit or die and when you kill the baddies! Thrilling. There is also a cool feature that when you get a huge high score on any of the games you get a Mexican wave, which makes me feel important despite the fact that my boyfriend has all the high scores on my phone at the moment grrrr. Other games include Pairs II, which personally I don't like as much as the original as the graphics are over-the-top, which I think makes the games harder to play, although the little pictures are cute. There is also Bantumi, which is very confusing and really I have no idea what is going on with this game. I've read the instructions and re read them and it still makes no sense, maybe I'm just dense. Somet hing about beads into pots? In general the games are well designed and fun and the graphics are truly impressive for a tiny phone. Thumbs up there!!! CALCULATOR As you know its always handy to have a calculator with you everywhere you go... Now its not exactly a scientific calculator but it can add, subtract, multiply and divide! It also has a foreign currency converter and an exchange rate thingy. I'm sure both of these are very useful but I haven't spent the necessary time reading the instructions to find out how they work. REMINDERS Nokia call this a 'time management feature', but I call it a kind of phone diary, alarm thingy - much more appropriate This handy feature allows you to save important dates such as birthdays or meetings and sets an alarm for them. You can choose the day and time you wish to be reminded of something. I think this feature is great and I have already used it to remind myself of several things. Great if you've got a head like a sieve! You can store up to 10 reminders at any time, which should be enough for even the most forgetful people. CLOCK I rely on my mobile as my alarm clock most of the time and I don't think this one has let me down yet. Its easy to set and its really noisy, it doesn't make a nice sound. There is a snooze function which allows you to turn it off for about 6 minutes. I think this can go on infinitely, as I have attempted many times. You can set the date, always handy as I never remember a date! You also can chose to have the date and time automatically updated, like when the clock goes forward. There is a countdown timer and a stop watch, which can come in handy from time to time I'm sure. PROFILES Sounds scary but its really quite simple. Profiles are what setting you want your phone on; silent, discreet, loud or general. On the General setting, everyt hing (ringtones, keypad, level etc) are set to normal or standard. There are 2 empty spaces so you can program your own profile, with favourite ringtones and screensavers etc. I think this feature is very handy and allows you to change your profile with your mood, or to suit your environment. BATTERY In general I have been really impressed with the battery on the Nokia 3310. It has a very long standing time between 55 and 260 hours, which is about 11 days!!!! Its talk time is also good, at between 2hours 30mins and 4hours 30mins, although I haven't talked on it for that long as I don't want my brain to turn into a cauliflower. Its easy to recharge and it doesn't take forever like some phones. DISPLAY The 3310 has a high contrast, full graphics display. Apparently this dynamic display layout adjusts automatically for the best viewing. In general the graphics on the 3310 are very good, and this can be seen clearly in the Games Section. Its all very impressive for a small phone. LANGUAGE You can have your 3310 set to pretty much any language you like, which I suppose is great if your first language isn't English. In conclusion the 3310 is a small and cute phone. It has lots of games and gadgets to keep you amused on the bus or train and most importantly it does what its supposed to. Its not by any standards the latest phone, its not connected to the internet and it doesn't have its very own built in TV. stereo or satellite link up but its user friendly and you can talk to people with it. As I got mine as an upgrade I have no idea how much the 3310 cost..sorry. If you not happy with my review, try the Nokia website as they have detailed descriptions of all their phones but they do go in for the hard sell and they're a weenie bit biased, and the cheesy pictures are awful.
To be accepted in modern society us women are supposed be all shiny and hair free, not to mention having the figure of a barbie doll. Since thats how things are and thats how things are going stay we might as well do it right. Now having discovered an exciting new razor (the Venus by Gillette) I needed some equally exciting shaving gel. Luckily enough, my new razor came with some Satin Care, Wild Berry Shaving Gel. Now I'd never tried this stuff before, as being a poor student type I figured soap and water would be cheaper. Its supposed to be an ultra conditioning, rich moisture shave Gel, that gives you a close, smooth shave and soft, satiny smooth skin like never before. Satin care has a special non-soap formula with conditioners, aloe and allantoin, which give you satiny difference you can actually feel on your legs (well thats what it says on the bottle). Also according to the bottle its great for underarms and 'bikini' area. The directions are pretty easy to follow, wet skin, put small amount on fingertips or the area to be shaved and gently rub over skin to produce a rich lather, then rinse off after shaving...hey presto shiny smooth legs. Firstly, this stuff smells great, hmmmmm wild berry. It doesn't smell like surgical cream and its really feminine. The gel is also a cool purple colour. The fragrance lasts a little while after shaving and generally makes the ordeal of shaving a little more pleasant. I would definitely recommend this stuff as it left my legs really smooth and shiny, although I'm not sure if they felt exactly like satin. Of course you only get that all over smooth and shiny feeling if you take the time to shave properly but even if you don't it still moistures your skin. After shaving with Satin Shave I felt a lot less dried out than I normally do with soap and water. However although its good with legs and underarms its not so great with sensitive areas, which is a bit of a bummer especially since its summer and having an irratated bikini area is not something you want. I'd suggest using shaving gel for sensitive skin on the bikini line as I had a bad reaction to the normal one. I've had no problems with my legs though. This stuff is nice but its pricy and probably not worth it as there are other alternatives on the market, which are cheaper and do the same thing - and why buy your own when you can nick your boyfriends every now and then. Great stuff if you can afford it but body lotion works just as well after the old soap and water. Happy shaving.
Well actually there is but I'll get to that in a minute. If you've read my review on World Books, you'll know I'm a bookworm. I have shelves of books, a huge majority of those being history books as I'm one of those boring history type people. Anyhoo I'm also a self confessed shopaholic and when I saw the advertisement for The Softback Preview on Dooyoo, I had to check it out. If you look around the Books and Mags section you'll probably see two chickens throwing books at each other, just click on that link to get to the site. What TSP offer is three books for £1 each plus postage and packaging which is £2.99. And the great thing is NO COMMITMENT! Unlike every other book club you don't have to commit to buy any more books. Just pay your £6.99 and thats it. Honestly, no catches, no small print. However, you do have to remember to cancel the editors choice every week. I suppose they rely on people forgetting to do this, to make up any losses. But thanks to a handy website you can do this online every month and save yourself a stamp. The idea behind TSP is essentially the same as most book clubs. You get a magazine every six weeks and an order form (with return envelope) to make orders. You have to remember to cancel the editors choice every issue too. The only real difference is NO COMMITMENT whatsoever. I couldn't believe it myself so I checked out the club on Dooyoo before buying anything (always a good idea). I joined TSP soley on the basis of the introductory offer. For the grand sum of £6.99 I recieved the new paperback edition of Lord of the Rings, and two huge British History books. The range offered for the introductory offer is not as big as the entire TSP selection, they only offer about 100 or so books, which is fair enough as they are practically giving them away. Otherwise the range is very good and includes so mething for every taste. Even though there was no commitment to buy I have already bought two more books, because the prices are so good and they have a large range of history books. The books are paperback (as the club name suggests) and apparently this exact type of paperback quality cannot be bought anywhere else! This also means the books are cheaper than you will find elsewhere but don't forget to add postage and packaging to costs before you buy! Now I must admit to being very impressed with the quality of the books I have recieved and there have been no complaints regarding quality. My boyfriend also joined on my suggestion and he has been very pleased with his books. The website is designed the same as most book club sites, with pull down menus to search catergories and links to bestsellers and quizes etc. There is also a nice feature which allows you to meet the team who run TSP, there are baby photos of the team and a load of questions and answers (which I'm sure are very interesting if you care enough to read them - which I didn't.) You can pay online by Visa, Mastercard or Delta but not Switch, which is a pain, for those of us without creditcards. In my experience its cheaper to order from the club magazine than the web site. There are also hardbacks,DVDs and videos available on the website. There is a link for people who want to write and moan at TSP, which is handy although I haven't felt the need to yet. The website is easy to navigate, even if you are computer literate and theres are huge help section for anyone who gets lost. As well as the internet, you can use the orderline (an 0870 number) to place orders, obtain account details, make credit card payments, buy labels for book returns and hear a summary of your order. The line is open late (11.30pm) so no problems if you're at work everyday. So its late and I can't think o f what else to say, so if I've left anything out please feel free to tell me in the comments and I'll amend it. Cheers! Umm so in conclusion, you can't really go wrong with TSP, 3 books for £3, and no commitment. Just remember to say no to the editors choice. The books are cheap and good quality and the service is great.
Ok, now just bear with me for a bit, this really is a review of Johnsons baby shampoo. (honestly) So you know when you get a kitten and you buy all those pretty books that tell you how to look after your cat and be nice to them and make them love you... Well those pretty books told me that if you start washing your cats young, they get used to it and eventually don't mind the water. They lied. Now my two cats are pure white and for some ungodly cat reason they decided to forage around in the garage and ended up covered in oil. And also being cats they tried in earnest to lick it off, this started to make them sick and me being the helpful person that I am decided a nice wash was just what they needed. Having buffed up on 'How to make your cat hate you' and 'Other useless cat lies' I attempted to wash my precious cats. Ah to the point of my review, these books recommended Johnson's baby shampoo. So I put the cats in a bath.....and about an hour later there were two clean but very wet and grumpy cats and two not very clean, bloody, equally wet and grumpy people. After a lot of TLC and hairdryers and various cats snacks I think I was forgiven but needless to say that was the first and last cat washing experience I participated in. Of course I don't just use Johnsons' baby shampoo on my poor cats, its good for people heads too. It has a no more tears formula, so it doesn't sting if you get it in your eyes or the eyes of whatever poor thing you are trying to wash. Now I must admit I have never actually tested this on myself by rubbing the shampoo in my eyes but seeing as the bottle doesn't say 'Not tested on animals' in huge letters I assume some poor unfortumate set of creatures has had but that's a different opinion. The no more tears formula is one reason I was happy to use it on my cats, because I was pretty confident that after various battle some shampoo was going to end up in their eyes. According to Johnsons' the baby shampoo is as mild as pure water (I doubt if this is actually 100% true), ph-balanced and mild enough for newborn babies (I'm sure they would have said kittens too if there had been room!). The bottle also claims that the shampoo won't irratate your scalp, its mild enough to use every day and it will leave your hair soft and easier to comb (only if you're a baby). To be perfectly fair, Johnsons' baby shampoo is great....for babies (and cats). Its not meant for big people, who dye their hair and have perms and need conditioner. Its a mild shampoo designed for baby hair, that doesn't tend to need as much cleaning and repair as big person hair. My mum used this on my hair when I was a kid and when I first started showering (because your first shower is always pretty scary, I was terrified of getting shampoo in my eyes - did anyone else wear goggles????) And it was great then, but I've dyed my hair about 50 times since then and I need something a bit stronger...which is probably I'm why I'm in pain for a week every time I get some Pantene in my eyes. So in conclusion (at last) Johnsons' is great for babies as they have sensitive baby hair and skin but not so great for big people with bad hair. Its also good for cleaning dirty cats but they wont thank you for it!
Much as I hate to admit it I am typical book club fodder. I'm a total book worm, I'm (now) a self confessed shopaholic, I love getting things in the post and I like convincing myself that somehow I've saved money instead of buying a load of books I wouldn't have bought in the first place. This summer I've managed to join two bookclubs, World Books (which this review is on) and The Softback Preview. Now lets face it one book club is essentially the same as the next, whether its the Sci-Fi and Fantasy book club or the History Guild or World Books... all replies go to the same place: Guild House, Farnsby Street, Swindon. All the reply slips look the same, the books get delivered in exactly the same boxes, with the same labels and although the web sites look different they are essentially exactly the same. Most importantly they all send you an editor choice to be rejected every month grrrr. But of course none of this has discouraged me from joining two in only a matter of months. I joined World Books because I really fancied their introductory offer, which was buy 5 books at incredibly low prices, ranging from 50p to £2.50, plus postage and packaging. They were offering a number of gorgeous books and, well, I couldn't say no. So for the amazing sum of £13.94 I received the hardback complete Works of A. A. Milne including all the Winne the Pooh and his other stories (I think this might well be the most gorgeous book I own), as well as a hardback complete Chronicles of Narnia, the last two Harry Potters in hardback and the Blackwell Guide to Who's Who in British History. As for most book clubs you agree to buy five more books in your first year, in return for this deal. You also have the added hassle of trying to remember to say NO!!! to the flipping editors choice, but alas this is the same with all book clubs. World Books offers a wide selection of all types of books, whether your interest is history (like myself), fiction, romance, business, biography, health and beauty, religion, railways, art and design, DIY, cooking, gardening, science fiction, erotica or children's books. Worldbooks also claims that every book is discounted, although even with this claim they can still be quite pricey especially when you include postage and packaging. The web site is handy as you can cancel the editor’s choice on line, which saves the price of a stamp and you can order on line too. You can even preorder books that aren't in the shops yet. To use the web site you must sign in with your membership number, name, password and mothers maiden name etc...to make sure no one else can access your account. The web site is easy to use, even if you are not especially computer literate and everything is easy to find. You can search for what you're after by either author, title or order code and pull down menu allows you to browse categories easily. Under the 'Contents' header there are links to best sellers, preorders, multimedia, interviews, editor’s choice, latest news and competitions. There is a wide selection of books on the web site (more so than the monthly club magazines) and if you can't find the book you are looking for, there are web links to bol.com (another online book store) where you can get 10% discount, although buying books from here DOES NOT contribute to your club commitment! The website is easy to navigate and everything is laid out most helpfully in order to make it as easy as possible for you to spend your hard earned cash. You can pay online with Mastercard, Visa or Delta, if you can't be bothered to write a cheque this saves time. You can't pay by Switch or Solo which is a pain when you don't own a credit card but as you can pay by cheque or postal order its not really a big deal. There are online competitions, including this week a chance to meet Jackie Collins and win some Tomb Raider stuff. I haven't entered any yet but I think I might start - I mean some one had to win! Another special feature I like about the web site is that you can read excerpts from books before you buy them - just like a regular book shop. There are lists of most categories to chose from (such as female fiction, non fiction, thriller) and then you just click the link and hey presto. The excerpts are reasonable, as to give you a decent clue to what the books are like. There are interviews with literally hundreds of different authors including Ian Kershaw, Nick Hornby, June Whitfield, Edwina Currie, Jackie Collins and Richard Layman. This is a nice feature especially if one of your favourite authors comes up. The World Books web site also contains a latest news section which is really self-explanatory...its contains the latest news, on not just books but all sorts. But by some ingenious ploy every story somehow relates to a book that you can order by clicking the link below. I don't think people all over the world will start tuning into the World Books web site for the latest news just yet. For those of you not just interested in books there is also a multimedia section including computer games and more computer games. I don't buy that sort of thing at all so I'm not sure how good they are price wise, you are probably better to go down to the high street I would imagine. On the website you can also edit your account details (a very useful option), check out the status of your orders, see how much you owe them and how many books you have left to buy to fulfil your contract. There is also a chunky HELP section for anyone who just gets boggled. Now that I've looked at it again, the HELP section is huge and gives explicit details on how to do pretty much everything. As far as service goes I have had no problems with World Books. My first two orders arrived promptly and were undamaged. The books were delivered by White Arrow Express and were packaged very well. When you first order you get an extra form which details where you would like deliveries put when you're not home i.e. with a neighbour, in an out house, at the back door etc. I found this very useful as our house is often empty during delivery hours. If you are not completely satisfied with your books you can return them, as long as you do so within a certain time period and your money will be refunded. As far as I know you can also return the editors choice if you get it by mistake. There are club magazines that arrive every month packed with offers and all the latest books so even if you don't have access to a computer you won't miss out. There is also an orderline (an 0870 number) on which you can place an order, obtain account details, make credit card payments, order expensive postage labels for the return of books and here a summary of your account. I've only called this number once and I was on hold so long that I gave up, so I prefer to use the internet site. In all honesty I don't have any complaints about World Books except that they are a little pricey. I only really joined because of the introductory offer but I have not regretted it. The books are great quality and they offer a wide range to suit all tastes.
Now usually I'm not a big Shockwaves fan as I find their hair products make my (already dry curly hair) drier and often sticky. Use it once and you hair needs washed almost immediatly. BUT I was surprised by Shockwaves Moussing Wax which adds shine to hair. It comes in the usual shiny metallic blue Shockwaves bottles although its a smaller bottle than the regular mousse ones. Its basically a wax in mousse format that adds incredible shine. The bottle claims to separate individual strands, add texture, give curl deinition and strong hold. Of course it claims that it brushes out easily....although I'm always sceptical about such statements. Oh and some more sciencey stuff... apparently Shockwaves Micro-Diffusion applies evenly to the hair without overloading it, making hair more manageable for even easier styling. Well it sounds too good to be true doesn't it..... So to fill you in...my shortish curly hair has pretty much 2 styles....down and piled on top of my head with a million mini clips. I find the Shockwaves Mousse Wax is great at separating my curls when my hair is down and adding shine and well generally making it look pretty. You have to be careful to apply it all over your hair or missed bits look funny. It also looks great if I pile a bit on and then stick my hair up. It gives your hair a kind of wet look which I really like as it gives my normally frizzing curls definition and body. It also helps to secure my hair in place. Its not sticky on your hair and doesn't dry it out but its not that easy to brush out...but saying that I can't brush my hair anyhow so its not really a fair comment to make. However, I would normally wash my hair after using Shockwaves...its a night out product only I think. I tend to wake up looking like the bride of frankenstein the next morning! I would definitely recommend Shockwaves Gel M ousse as it keeps my hair in place, defines curls, without making it hard or sticky and it adds shine. Of course it smells nice (well these things usually do) and this is always important, you can't going around with your hair smelling bad!!! Price wise, its not too expensive under £2.50 in most places. But I usually buy this type of thing when its on special offer at Boots. Happy Hair Styling :)
Well I must admitt I did by Gillettes new Venus razor based soley on the fact that the comercial sold it to me and well...it looked pretty. It was a bit on the pricey side at £5.99 from Superdrug but came with free shaving foam, a body puff and a cute metal box..so how could I resist? It came with only two blades, (sigh) as the blades are quite expensive at least £1 each! But thats no big deal as for most decent razors the blades are an arm and a leg anyhow. The Venus may seem pricy but it is definitely worth it as your legs will never feel so good...wave goodbye to the old alternatives ...shaving is back on top!!! I was hoping that after a couple of shaves with my new razor that I would soon be looking like the gilrs on the ads, not only hair free but perfectly tanned and toned, blond and a few inches taller..... Well I'm definitely hair free but so far no changes in my hair colour and I'm still only 5'3". I've always been a razor girl, waxing is way too painful and time consuming, hair removal creams smell dreadful and half the time they don't work...nevermind the fact they are hugely expensive. Over the years I've swapped between one disposable razor and the next. I never bothered with decent razors until now..... Aside from looking very pretty and stylish (so you can be the envy of all your friends who havent yet got one)the Venus is also a great razor. It has a long sleek handle (for all those hard to reach places) and the triple blades are mounted on a head that moves, to avoid nasty nicks. The bottom of the blade itself has a honeycomb section so it glides over legs and such with ease, then there are the 3 blades and finally the all hallowed indicator strip. Now I've been using the Venus for a while and my blue indicator strip has never disappeared (when it does this means the head is done) but I've changed the blade a couple of tim es anyhoo. The razor is a great shape too...umm curvy so its easy to hold, and has special grips so its less easy to drop in the shower I guess. Its a pretty turquoise colour, and as we all know its important that your razor looks sexy as well as making you feel sexy, right? ahem I've been using the Venus for about a month now and I am miraculosly cut free. Usually I'm in the shower and shaving in such a hurry I always manage to cut myself. But unless you have some horrible bad luck I'd say its virtually impossible to cut yourself whilst using the Venus. It comes in a pretty case, where you can store your razor and spare blades..but wait theres more, it even comes with an attachment that allows you to fix it to the shower wall. How cool is that? Umm bit tacky to stick up although it would save bending over in the shower (sorry that was a lazy thought !) I haven't actually tried to do this yet so I'm not sure if it works or not but its a great idea. On to the important stuff...because the Venus has 3 blades you get an extra close shave which leaves your legs beautifully soft and hair free. I find using the Venus I don't have to shave as often as I do when I use a disposable razor. Plus the blades last a lot longer than other razors such as the Ladyshave. Every one hates the de-fuzzing routine but sadly its what society demands of us ladies and well the Venus makes it a little bit easier. Its easy to use, does a stonking job and it looks great into the bargain. So if you want to your legs and underarms to feel like a godess, give the Venus a try, you won't regret it.
My hair is a disaster area and I must admitt I probably own every product that has ever claimed to restore bounce to curls or make curls last longer or get rid of frizz....in reality I'm a hair product junkie. Even though I still buy new products all the time I have consistantly used Frizz-Ease Corrective Styling Mousse for sometime now. Frizz-Ease is by John Frieda and promises to instantly revitalise tired perms,restore bounce to curls, and smoothes away frizz. It is prescribed for dry, frizzy or colour treated hair...which it pretty much my hair! Heres the science....Frizz-Ease contains special silicones that smooth away frizz and add incredible shine. To encourage ringlets and wave pattern, a unique blend of panthenol and polquaternium revitalises curls and restores elasticity. Apparently it also provides professional holding power without sticking and contains a sunscreen which is always good. Now I don't know about all the science rubbish but it is darn good. My hair is always frizzy especially because I blow dry it and Frizz-Ease helps to calm it down and define curls. Now I wouldn't dry my hair without using Frizz-Ease. Its non sticky and doesn't leave any residue or make my hair dry and dull. You only need a little bit to give your hair new definition and shine, which is good as it is about £5 a bottle. Most importantly in my opinion is that it makes my hair less frizzy and makes it so much easier to style and control. Its simple to use, just shake the can, turn upside down and dispense and rub evenly into damp hair with fingertips. So if you are stuck for a frizz solution give this stuff a try, its definitely great for your hair whether its permed, coloured or just plain tired out. Thumbs up.
I've just started using Neutrogena Clean Balancing Shampoo and I must say I'm hugely impressed. Having mad curly hair I usually stick with my favourite Pantene Pro-V Perfect Curls but in a hurried packing job I forgot to bring it to my boyfirends house. However, whilst groping in the shower I came across the Neutrogena balancing shampoo. On the bottle it promises to give you the special 'first time you use a shampoo feeling' every time. It also claims to leave no residue like other shampoos, which can lead to dull lifeless hair. Its genlte enough to use every day and is formulated with UV protection, which is always good especially in summer time. Neutrogena Balancing shampoo contains panthenol for strength and shine and other special ingredients which moisturise and leave virtually no build-up. Well enough of what the bottle says...whats it actually like.... First of all, it smells great, really fresh and clean and the fresh smell lasts too. I totally agree that its gentle enough to use every day, as it contains few chemicals than most shampoos and its also not coloured or strongly prefumed. I must admitt I do hate changing my shampoo but this was a pleasant surprise. Neutrogena left my hair soft and shiny and unusually tat free! I havent used the balancing conditioner yet but my hair felt so nice afterwards I didn't feel the need. My boyfriend even noticed that my hair looked good....so it must be something special! I usually need to wash my hair every other day to keep the curls looking...well tight and curly and to keep the shine but with Neutrogena I don't need to wash it quite so often as it keeps it looking good for a couple of days. Of course its no miracle shampoo by any means and I'm sure most of the stuff on the bottle is rubbish but it works for me. I would definitely recommend it to anyone as its a lot better than many sha mpoos I've tried, plus its gentle and pure. Its good for all hair types too as my boyfriends entire family use it with out any complaints :) So finally, worth a look if your hair needs something natural and not packed with chemicals and colourings.
Angelas Ashes is the winner of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize, The National Book Critics' Circle Award and The Los Angeles Times Award and in my humble opinion it desrerves them all. Sure there are many books that dont deserve such high praise but Angelas Ashes by Frank McCourt certainly does. It is a witty, moving and truely remarkable memoir of childhood in the poverty stricken streets of Limerick. Almost every page contains an unforced laugh but at the same time almost unbearable misery and hardship. The narrative style is wonderful, its not like reading at all more like being talked to in a smokey bar long after closing. Every detail is explicit, every scene set perfectly. Nothing is left to the imagination. Having read the book I feel like I know Frank McCourt and his family, I feel like I know the places they lived, worked and played. If you read Angelas Ashes you will come to understand the significance of the title and beleive me you will grow to loathe his father. It is always a sign of a great book, when you have actual feelings regarding the characters. Whilst I was reading it, my boyfriend was telling me not to get so worked up, he'd say "its only a book" but thats the thing its not only a book, its a memoir, its real. Its amazing to think that the author survived his childhood at all,nevermind triumphing against the odds to become such a success. I could hardly put Angelas Ashes down, it was like having to say goodbye to an old friend. The writing flowed effortlessly and in the end turning the last page was such a hard thing to do. I think one of the reasons Angelas Ashes is so good, is because it is written through the eyes of a young boy - with all the confusion and misunderstandings that come with that. It is pure, unadultered childhood innocence and growth and experience. As you read the book you see Frank McCourt grow up, and struggle to underst and his life and all its trials and as a story it is truely mesmerizing. There were tears and there was laughter. I couldnt stop myself nudging my boyfriend in bed and reading him bits. It is full of typical Irish humour and character, which is probably another reason why i loved it so much (being Irish and all that). At times it was difficult to read, there was so much suffering and misery that it was hard to see how there could be any light around the corner, but there was always a laugh not far away. Frank McCourt has a wonderful style, that is original but at the same time homely and warm. It is almost more like poetry than prose, its just so well written! Its one of thoses books you know you'll love after you've read the first page. But its not just the writing style that appeals but the story, the people, the atmosphere...everything. I can understand how it would appeal less to people who don't understand the 'in jokes'(for want of a better word) about the Catholic church or the North or Presbyterians but I would definitely recommend to anyone.Its easy to read and very, very entertaining. Of course there is no rule that says all Pulitzer Prize winning books are great, it all depends on your tastes but you never know until you try...and Angelas Ashes is well worth a try even if you just want to prove my wrong!! The sequel to Angelas Ashes is 'Tis, which I have just finished reading. After I'd read Angelas Ashes I was gasping for more. 'Tis is also a great read but not quite as good as the first. And if you've read Angelas Ashes you should definitely see the movie, which stars Robert Carlisle, and is a stunning adaptation. But don't just take my word for it: "A masterly and at times heartrending account....prodigiously detailed and frequently poetic. The suffering and intermittent joys McCourt recounts have produced an unexpected classic of reminiscence, brilliantly evoking a worl that was sour and hostile to change." Walter Ellis, Sunday Times "Outstanding.....a bittersweet and grimly comic narrative of grwoing up dirt-poor in rain-sodden, priest-ridden Limerick." Boyd Tonkin, New Statesman. "The unbearable bleakness of this haunting childhood memoir is redeemed by the author's genorosity of vision and the vibrant quality of his writing." Terence Blacker, Mail on Sunday.
"Few will be able to resist this pacey and fluent sequel....In post war New York, McCourt moves through work as a longshoreman, a spell in the army, to night-school, to become a creative writing teacher encouraging kids to 'write about what you know' - the same policy that has led him to belated international celebrity....McCourt's gift lies not simply in having lived through interesting times, but in having developed his skills as editor and narraotr to produce two fine and moving slices of a past that is not simply Ireland's but everyone's" Guardian (back cover of 'Tis) After I'd read Angelas Ashes, I couldn't not read 'Tis. I loved Angelas Ashes so much and I desperately wanted to know what would happen to Frank McCourt when he reached the States. I just finished it a couple of days ago and I was disappointed. I was expecting big things from the sequel. In 'Tis the magic that made Angelas Ashes an award winner just isn't there. What made Angelas Ashes so great was that it was written from a childs perspective. The reader was able to see Limerick through the innocent and often misunderstanding eyes of a young boy. Where as in 'Tis we see America through the eyes of a disillusioned, angry, young adult. 'Tis is much more gritty and graphic than Angelas Ashes and in places it can make you wince. Although I enjoyed it immensely I did find it hard to read in places as at times it was just one complaint after another..... At times was unbroken misery and gloom. The book, a memoir of McCourts life recounts his time in New York, his spell in the army which took him throughout Europe, his struggles to get through college whilst keeping up various jobs and of course his love life. One of the things I loved most about Angelas Ashes and 'Tis was McCourts writing style, its not like reading at all, more like listening to some one talk to you, telling you their life story. But the more i read, the less I liked the author. No matter what happens he is never happy, never satisfied and always moaning about something and the older he gets the more like his father he becomes. I was angered by the way he treated the people in his life and his attitude in general especially his drinking habits. There are a lot of redeeming features to 'Tis, its very funny in places and moving and despite its faults I couldn't put it down. The book is not only about McCourt but tracks the lives of the rest of his family, his brothers and his parents. I think another reason I enjoyed both books so much is because I'm Irish and a lot of the humour and settings were very familiar to me. I think they are books for any one but it is possible you would enjoy them more if you were Irish, as they do contain a lot of 'in jokes'. If you have enjoyed Angelas Ashes I think you won't be able to stop yourself reading 'Tis. Although its not as good as the first, its definitely worth a read, even if you just need to know what happens. By the time I'd finished 'Tis I felt like I knew Frank McCourt, almost like he was an old friend...it was a strange feeling when I turned the last page and the adventure was over.