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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first book of seven in the very popular Harry Potter series. These books have got to be my all time favourite reads, despite being aimed at 9-12 year olds, they are adored by children and grown-ups alike.
Harry is a very special boy, he just doesn't know it yet. He certainly doesn't feel very special amongst his 'family', Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and cousin, Dudley; The Dursleys. As a baby, Harry was left on their doorstep having becomed ophaned, as if this wasn't enough the Dusleys make it quite clear that he isn't wanted and pretty much treat him like a servant. Poor little Harry, he lives in the cupboard under the stairs with only spiders as company whilst the rest of the family act as if he is invisable. Things suddenly change when letter upon letter begins arriving for Harry, but who would be writing to him, why are they so desperate to reach him and why are the Dursleys so desperate to stop Harry from getting hold of one of them? So desperate in fact, that Uncle Vernon forces the family to flee the house and go where no one could find them; a shack on a rock in the middle of the sea!
Who could possibly find them there.....and who is banging on their door? A huge giant of a man with a big, bushy beard, Hagrid thats who. Hagrid has a special suprise for Harry, a secret that the Dusleys had longed to keep from him....cue the famous line "you're a wizard Harry". Knowing absolutley nothing about his past, it is down to Hagrid to inform him. Harry learns about his parents and how they died in an attack from the dark wizard, Lord Voldermort or 'he who must not be named', which up till now, Harry believed to be caused by a car crash, much to the aggravation of Hagrid! He also learns of how he survived this attack, leaving behind nothing but his famous lightening bolt scar!
Having been accepted to Hogworts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hagrid whisks Harry off to London to buy everything he needs for his first term at Hogworts, a secret place full of magical goodies, Diagon Alley. Which is where, to his suprise, he learns just how famous he really is! Fully equipped and with instructions to take the Hogworts Express from platform 9 and 3/4 on September 1st, Harry is eager to go!
Harry has a great life at Hogwarts and he finds some really good friends, at long last! Ron Weasley with his tradmark ginger locks and freckles, is part of a very large, poor wizarding clan, living in the shadow of the success of his many brothers. You can't help but love Ron's character, though you do tend to feel slightly sorry for him. Hermoine Granger is a muggle born witch and lets face it, a bit of a know it all. You see her character develop throughout the book, revealing a more softer side. They are both very loyal friends, ones which you wish you had for yourself! We still see plenty more of the friendly, lovable Grounds Keeper, Hagrid along with meeting many of the Hogworts professors, including Albus Dumbledore, a great Wizard and Headmaster of Hogworts.
The three of them discover many secrets to Hogworts, which they are detimined to get to the bottom of. The main point of interest being the mysterious 'Philosopher's Stone', which they find holds great power and in the wrong hands could cause great havoc! Along their journey to save the 'wizarding world' they encounter a three headed dog, the deadly 'wizard's chess' and a blast from Harry's past, 'he who must not be named'.
J.K.Rowling has an excellent imagination and the book is written with such passion. The books are so addictive as you get gripped from the moment you read the first chapter. You can instantly relate to the characters and some of their experiences, it's not just a story about magic, it's also about growing up and coming across difficult situations. We've all had experiences like Harry and the gang have, just in a different context, which is another reason why I think they are so popular.
On a more lighter note, it is nice to drift away in a story of magic and secrets. Every time I read it, I feel like I'm 10 years old again with no worries, I can just let my imagination run wild! I just wish that I could have gone to Hogworts! It is so easy to picture the whole of Harry's world as the descriptions of the castle, the shops and the characters are just superb. I was so shocked when watching the film, that it turned out exactly as I had imagined it.
I always find my jaw dropping as I get to the end of the book, even though I know what happens, as I love the fact that there is always a twist in the tail to every Harry Potter book, and they are all really fab and completely unexpected at that!
I have just finished reading this book again (I don't actually know how many times I've read it) and I love it just as much now as I did when I first read it. Despite the following books going into more depth, I still think that this one is my favourite as I really love the introduction to the wizarding world. From the descriptions of Hogwarts, the game of Quidditch and also the character developments. I just find this one to have a slightly more magical touch.
You can buy the book from Amazon at around £4.49 or the full collection boxset containing all seven books for around £44.99.
I have mid length, fine hair which quite lacks in volume. Now I normally use volumising shampoos, however, I have just recently had my hair highlighted again and my ends were feeling quite dry. Having watched the advertisment for the Beautiful Ends shampoo, I was quite entrigued to try it out for myself. Anything to make my hair feel healthy and managable again! Plus the girl's hair in that ad is absolutley gorgeous, now I know mine is never going to look like that, but you can only dream....'fantasies may vary'.
A BIT ABOUT THE PRODUCT
Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends shampoo from Clairol is part of their new range 'The Great Escape'. It claims to "daily defy and defeat split ends and breakage" with their luscious, velvety formula. This combines the help of Red Rasberry and Silk extracts to "help your hair stay long and have a happy life".
The shampoo comes in an opaque red bottle which slightly curves towards the top. If you hold the bottle up to light, however, then you can clearly see how much shampoo you have left, which is always useful. The shampoo is dispensed through a bright green press down cap at the top of the bottle. Located on the back of the product are 'HerbalHead' games which tell you little facts. The questions are on the shampoo bottle and the answers are on the conditioner, however these are only featured on the 400ml larger bottles. The bottles are made from plastic and are fully recyclable.
The shampoo itself is pink in colour and the formula is quite creamy and very luxurious. The shampoo lathers up really well from only a small amount of shampoo which makes your hair and scalp feel beautifully cleansed. The formula rinses out really easily, leaving no residue build up in its path.
The smell is in a word, divine! I can't think of a nicer smelling shampoo. It has a beautiful summer fruit scent and you can definately smell the rasberries in it. This shampoo will certainly put you in an uplifting mood in the mornings and for a quick fix throughout the day just take a whiff of your ends as the scent will linger all day long, it smells good enough to eat!
I was really happy with the result of my hair following the use of the Beautiful Ends collection. I was half expecting my hair to feel limp, lank and lifeless, as using moisturising shampoos normally means that my volume suffers. I can never find the right balance and it drives me mad! I was really suprised by the result as my hair still felt like it had some weight to it and my roots weren't as flat as a pancake! It managed to moisturise my lengths and ends, leaving my hair beautifully soft and shiny without weighing it down. I have noticed that my ends do look a bit stronger, so would probably do wonders for long term use.
My hair, being coloured and fine, is easily prone to breakage so it feels nice to know that there is some added protection there. I normally alternate this shampoo with the Uplifting Volume shampoo, also from Herbal Essences, to avoid my hair from becoming overly soft and limp (a bit of a nightmare for fine hair).
Rinse hair with warm water thoroughly and massage in the Beautiful Ends shampoo (about the amount of a 10p), rinse well and repeat if neccessary. For best results, follow with the Beautiful Ends conditioner.
Beautiful Ends shampoo is available in a 400ml bottle for around £3.59 and in a smaller 200ml bottle for around £2.09. They often have promotions and special offers on the Herbal Essences range in supermarkets and chemists, I got the smaller bottles on offer for £1.00 and the larger bottles for £2.00, so look around and stock up while you can.
Also avaliable in the range:
Beautiful Ends Conditioner 200ml - RRP £2.09
400ml - RRP £3.59
Beautiful Ends Leave in Cream 150ml - RRP £4.99
Beautiful Ends Mask 200ml - RRP £3.99
I was so impressed with this shampoo and would definatley buy it again, even for full price! The formula feels lovely, rich and luxurious, despite the low price tag. My hair feels in wonderful condition and my ends look stronger. I would reccommend giving this shampoo a try, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Beautiful ends, beautiful smell and beautiful price... what more could you want?
I began using these wipes just under a year ago as the Johnson's range was on a buy one get one free offer. I used to use the normal facial wipes (the ones in the pink packet) but came across these night facial wipes. Any beauty product with the word 'night' on it really attracts me as I know the smell will be lovely (in most cases, lavender) and that it might help soothe me to sleep.
The Dreamy Skin Night wipes come in a squarish, violet packet which contain 25 wipes, each of them being 190x185mm in size. The packaging, like all facial wipes, is made of plastic so don't forget that this can be recycled. The packet has a peel back, sticky film to remove the wipes, which helps to retain freshness and prevents them from drying out. The film does, however, tend to lose it's stickiness towards the end of the packet which always makes my last few wipes pretty dry. When I reach the end of a packet now, I always place something on top of it, like a moisturiser tub, to keep the film down.
The good thing about these wipes is that they are 3 in 1, perfect for lazy night time cleansing when you're half asleep! The wipes effectively cleanse, tone and remove waterproof mascara in one simple 'swipe'. The formula is really gentle for use around the eye area, which means that you never get that horrible stinging which normally comes from removing mascara.
These facial wipes contain Johnson's trademark 'Aromasoothe' technology which contains the relaxing Moonflower aroma "known to help calm your senses".
Dreamy Skin 3 in 1 facial wipes are suitable for all skin types.
I normally buy these wipes in Tesco, but I believe they are available in selected Boots and Superdrug's also. They retail at around £2.99 for a pack of 25, which works out at 12p per wipe. This is about the average price for most brands. They are quite often on special offer, so keep your eyes open for money saving deals. I often buy these wipes at Tesco on a 2 for £4.00 offer, so I stock up while I can.
There are also other dreamy products in this range:
Johnson's Dreamy Skin Night Normal/combination Skin (50ml) RRP £3.99
Johnson's Dreamy Skin Extra Care Bath (400ml) RRP £2.70
Johnson's Dreamy Skin Body Lotion with Moonflower (250ml) RRP £2.88
Of all the facial wipes I have tried, I have found these to be by far the best.
I normally use my Origins cleanser in the morning but I really don't want to be fussing around with all that when I'm tired, my goal is to get ready for bed as quickly and as easily as possible. Which is why I use facial wipes for night time. Johnson's facial night wipes remove make up so quickly and effectively and I was amazed at how good they are at removing really stubborn waterproof mascara. Most wipes are never able to remove it all, leaving you with panda eyes in the morning or worst, they end up pulling out a few eyelashes in the process! These work so well and my skin always feels so fresh and clean afterwards!
I have quite sensitive, combination skin but I find these wipes suit my skin really well. They never cause my skin to become red or itchy , plus they do seem to be able to balance out my oily and dry areas. My skin always feels amazing afterwards, cleansed, toned and beautifully soft and supple!
Now lets face it, these wipes don't send you to sleep, but they never claim to do that anyway. What they do say is that the Aromasoothe with Moonflower will help to calm and relax you. As soon as I open the packet I am greeted with this really lovely, calming bedtime smell, which puts me in the mood to snooze! It smells quite fruity with a hint of lavender, it is just dreamy!
Another thing which I love about these wipes is that they are very moist. I only need one wipe to cleanse my face and remove all traces of make up. I don't find that this is the case with most other facial wipes and I have had to wet them down in order for them to do its job, which I'm sure would dilute the cleansing properties in them. Anyway, I have found these wipes now and I am determined to stick with them, I think they are just great!
I was wandering down the 'baking' aisle in Tesco last week as I have developed this sudden interest in bakery. Whilst having a good old browse, I noticed this pancake mix bottle. I normally dislike pancakes, especially the shop bought ones, as I find them really stodgy, but I got a unexpected craving for them.
HOW TO USE
To start with, shake the bottle to release the mix from the bottom first. This will prevent the pancake mix from becoming weak. Simply add milk to the bottle, until the liquid is level with the top of the label and shake well for a good minute. Leave the mixture to settle for a couple of minutes before cooking as this will allow it to thicken up.
Typical of me, I didn't read the instructions properly the first time and I began cooking as soon as I finished shaking the mixture, I'm really impatient plus I really wanted those pancakes!! Anyway the mixture was really runny and the pancakes just merged into one big one, ok in theory but really hard to flip!
I says on the bottle to fry with a little oil, but I much prefer to use butter. I know it may increase the fat content, but they taste so much better and I find them a lot less 'sickly'. But that is really down to personal taste.
Fry on both sides on a medium heat until golden brown or, as I like it, for about 5 minutes each side until they are slightly burnt (they go really sweet and crispy, yummy).
Now for the fun part, the filling or toppings! My favourite topping is Canadian maple syrup which you can buy from most supermarkets, including Tesco. I absolutely drench my pancakes in syrup until I'm just mopping it up at the end, it's soooo good! I recently tried them with added chocolate chips which were really, really good. A little tip though, pour just enough mixture for one pancake into a bowl and then stir in some chocolate chips otherwise they'll all just sink to the bottom of the mixture, leaving the first few pancakes without any chocolate. My boyfriend likes them with eggs and bacon, as they are good with sweet or savoury accompaniments.
Now they are quite high in calories, especially the way I make them, but all good things are. Each 79g pancake contains:
200 calories - 10% daily allowance
8.8g sugar - 10% daily allowance
3.9g fat - 6% daily allowance
0.9g sat fat - 5% daily allowance
0.1g salt - 2% daily allowance
This is based on a pancake cooked as directed and using semi-skimmed milk.
Wheat flour, Sugar, Cornflour, Dried egg, Modified Maize Starch, Natural Flavouring, Salt.
They are suitable for vegetarians and come with an allergy advice of containing: Wheat, Gluten, Egg. The recipe does not contain nuts but may contain trace from ingredients and factory.
Tesco Pancake Mix is roughly around £1.31 for a 200g bottle making around 6 pancakes depending on the size you want to make them. They are slightly more expensive compared to the ready made pancakes from Tesco, which are roughly around 89p for 8. However, they are worth the extra money as they just taste much better, less synthetic and more fresh. As there is just me and boyfriend, the price doesn't work out so bad, but I image for a family of four you would have to buy another bottle to feed everyone.
Having never made pancakes before, I found the mix bottle really simple to use and the instructions really easy to follow (when I decided to read them that is!) . The pancakes themselves have a really great taste and since trying them for the first time, I have loved them and make them every Sunday for breakfast now. They have re-developed my love for pancakes!
I began running about 3 years ago and I absolutely love it! For me it is the best form of exercise and is the only thing that keeps me really hooked. I don't know about you, but I find going to the gym and running on a treadmill really boring, not to mention expensive. I love the fact that I can get some fresh air, have some time to myself and make every run different.
To get started all you need is a good pair of running trainers. I would recommend going to a running shop which tests the way you run in order to find the perfect shoe for you. This will be based on what type of running you do, the shape of your feet (normal, low arch, high arch) and your gait (overpronator, supinator, neutral). The three main types of shoe are stability, cushioned and motion control. When I first began running, I wasn't aware of how important this was and just went to a sports shop to buy a pair of trainers. Big mistake, my simple running trainers had a sole which curved upwards at the heel. I managed to get a really bad ankle injury three weeks before my first 5k race and learned from my local running shop that my trainers were the culprit! So take it from me, invest in a good pair of shoes and try to find a running shop which offers this service (try sweatshop, he runs she runs, runners needs). I have Asics trainers at the moment and they are absolutely great.
When you have your trainers (and a good sport bra for the ladies, try shock absorbers), you are ready to go! When you first start off, take things steady and try not to get impatient, you'll be amazed at how quick your stamina will build up. You can set yourself new targets and try different routes to keep your motivation going. That's another thing I love about running outside, as you can run to different places and keep it interesting for yourself, I simply hate running on the spot which is all a treadmill can offer.
Before you go running, I would recommend not eating or drinking just before you go out as you will be uncomfortable and you will probably get the dreaded stitch. I like to have a protein bar or a banana about 1 hour before my run to keep my energy levels up. Also remember to re-hydrate yourself after your run.
To warm up before my run, I normally walk for five minutes. I read in Runner's World magazine that you shouldn't stretch before a run, but that is still debatable. Studies have shown that stretching 'cold' muscles (before any exercise) can cause more injuries than they prevent. After your run, it is best to wait about 30 minutes before stretching to cool down, as the sudden difference in muscle movements can cause a shock and may lead to injury. Again, after my run I like to walk for the remaining five minutes to cool down gradually, rather than running and finishing with a sudden stop.
Some people may prefer running in pairs or groups to keep momentum going, however, I much prefer to run by myself, try both and see what works for you. Running by myself means that I can set my own pace, route and get a bit of 'me' time in the process. Whenever I come back from a run I always feel so chilled out and happy, I find it so very therapeutic. I always have to run with my ipod, I don't I could run without it actually. I think it's the best thing to keep you motivated. Whenever my favourite song plays, I get this sudden burst of energy that keeps me going for longer, trust me you should try it!
I love to run first thing in the morning, there is nothing like it to wake you up! It is also really quiet and chilled out without a lot of traffic around (handy if you have a lot of main roads about). Other than that, I love to run in the rain!! I know it may sound horrible and that it would be the worst sort of weather to go out for a run in, but it is sooo refreshing and lovely.
I also like to keep track of how far I've run and in what time, seeing your improvements is a real boost! You can get watches for that, but I find them so expensive. A cheaper form is to time your run and then track your route when you return on www.imapmyrun.co.uk. If you have an iphone, you can also download the RunKeeper app for free, which will track your run as you go.
As you can probably tell from my review, I love to run! It makes you feel fantastic and is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, not to mention completely free! It will tone your legs, bum, abdominals and arms. I don't know about you, but I love that burn the next day!! I always try to have a rest day the day after to allow my muscles to fully recover as I just find that this works for me. Most importantly though, enjoy it! Enjoy getting fit, enjoy the outdoors and enjoy a bit of 'you' time!
Oh my god, what can I say about these cakes...I absoultley love them, they are my favourites, I just can't get enough!! I probably eat way too many of them though, but never mind.
I remember having these all the time when I was little and recently found them in the chiller section at Tesco for £1.00 for two slices, so couldn't resist. Well since then, I have become an absolute addict, I think my boyfriend may be getting slightly sick of them by now as I bring them home almost every shopping trip, and I'm not ashamed to say that I ate mine and then finished his aswell (I should be slightly ashamed really!)
They come in a newly designed light pink card box, that looks quite 'old fashioned bakery' but modern at the same time, with a square of clear film in the centre of the box so the slices are clearly visable. They really do attract you. Inside the box are two slices held in a plastic container. This container has a bend in the middle so the cakes can be easily removed, just push down on one side of the plastic and the end of the slices will be revealed.
The slices are rectangular in shape and comprise of a layer of flaky pastry topped with a rich, fruity strawberry jam, on top of that is a generous layer of fresh dairy cream topped off by another layer of pastry and a layer of deliciously sweet icing decorated with chocolate swirls. Yummy, my mouth is watering, I do have some in my fridge now so I'd better not get too carried away!
Now, there is a knack to eating them and they can get slightly messy, being that it is like a sandwich, if you take a bite then the cream will splurge out of each side. Out of the many (understatment) that I have eaten, I have found two ways of not making a mess. Saying that, I do find that sometimes it is quite nice to just delve in!! Sometimes I split the slice in half, but always save the icing part for last (that's the best bit) or take a bite from the top then the bottom. I make it sound like a science to eat them, but trust me it is much more enjoyable!!
Now for the bad news, the dreaded nutritional information!! Each slice contains:
295 calories - 15% daily allowance
16.8g fat - 24% daily allowance
9.3g sat fat - 24% daily allowance
19.3g sugar - 21% daily allowance
0.3g salt - 5% daily allowance
Now I'm not really one to worry much about calories and fat because I do a lot of exercise, but these are definately not diet friendly! My view though is 'everything in moderation', I don't believe you should deprive yourself of the good things in life, especially not these!
I would recommend trying these cakes if you have a sweet tooth, they are absolutley delicious, they are highly addictive though! You have been warned!!
I have really fine, flat hair that lacks any sort of volume or body, it drives me absolutely nuts!! Those of you with hair like mine will be dreaming of thick, bouncy locks in abundance....we're not talking miracles, but Uplifting Volume from Herbal Essences can help to put the oomph back into your hair and put that extra spring back in your step!!
Those of you who read my review of Aveda's Pure Abundance shampoo will know how much I love it, but this month I simply couldn't justify spending around £30 on shampoo and conditioner (yes, I have saving to do). While on a shopping trip to Tesco, I noticed that there was a special offer going on the Herbal Essences range at £1.00 a bottle. Having watched the advert for Uplifting Volume, I was intrigued to try it, as soon as I hear the word 'volume' I'm hooked! So I thought I'd give it a go...
A BIT ABOUT THE PRODUCT
Herbal Essences Uplifting Volume from Clairol is part of their new range, 'The Great Escape'. It claims to "defy gravity for fine to normal hair" with their weightless volume formula. This combines white nectarine and pink coral flower extracts to boost your body!
The bottle is clear and pinky, orangey in colour which slightly curves towards the top, the cap has a green press down lid to dispense the shampoo. I prefer having a clear bottles for shampoos and shower gels and things like that, as you will always know when you are about to run out, ruling out any nasty surprises in the morning!! There are also 'HerbalHead' games on the back of the bottles, which tell you fun little facts. The questions feature on the shampoo and the answers on the conditioner (neat little trick to get you to buy both, eh?). The bottles are made from plastic, so don't forget to do your 'green' bit and recycle.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting much as most volumising products don't live up to their claims, I'm used to that now, but at least I'd have gorgeous smelling hair! I always get really excited in the mornings to try out my new shampoos (that may just be me) in the hope that I may stumble upon a remedy to put a bit of life back in my hair.
The shampoo itself is clear, as all volumising shampoos should be, with a hint of orange. The lightweight formula works up a really good lather from just a small amount of shampoo, so your hair feels like it's getting a good and thorough cleansing. It also rinses out really easily, leaving no signs behind of any horrible 'sticky' residue.
The smell is absolutely divine, there's nothing like to give you that much needed boost at 5 in the morning!! It has a wonderful summery, fresh, fruity aroma which lingers delicately in your hair all day long.
I was very pleasantly surprised with the result of my hair, it looks, feels and smells wonderful and wait for it.....I have Volume!!! To be honest, I couldn't really tell any difference between the result of this shampoo and the significantly more expensive, Aveda shampoo. So this is great for a budget buy. Apart from the all important volume, my hair feels soft, smooth and shiny without any need to blow dry. The results last all day, while still maintaining it's clean, fresh feeling.
Uplifting Volume is available in a 400ml bottle for around £3.49 and in a smaller 200ml bottle for around £2.09. They often have promotions and special offers on the Herbal Essences range in supermarkets and chemists, I got the smaller bottles on offer for £1.00, so look around and stock up while you can.
I would definitely recommend this product for anyone with hair like mine, this shampoo will boost your hair's volume and body, without giving you that coarse feeling that comes with most volumising products. I was really amazed to find such a good volumising shampoo at the low cost that it is!
On a recent trip to buy my favourite Aveda shampoo and conditioner, I was really happy to be given a free gift of four travel sized products, one of them being the Aveda Hand Relief.
My hands suffer from dermatitis and my job involves a lot of hands on work, so naturally my hands are in pretty bad condition most of the time. I get through gallons of hand cream to keep them looking the same age as I am!! Most hand creams I have tried feel way too strong on my skin and they actually sting when I apply them, Aveda Hand Relief is different.
Hand Relief is quite a thick, rich cream yet it is very easily absorbed and doesn't feel greasy. It immediately nourishes and soothes dry, chapped skin and gives a long lasting effect. I normally find that applying once a day is enough to keep your hands soft and smooth all day. The cream also helps to relieve the signs of aging, even though I'm only 23 I have found this to be true as before I started using this cream my hands looked they belonged to an old lady! Hand Relief contains hydrating plant emollients, humectants, exfoliating fruit acids and anti-oxidants vitamins A and E which aid in the nourishment and anti-aging of the skin.
PRICE AND AVALIABILITY
The downside to this product is that it is slightly expensive at £16.50 for a 125ml bottle from Aveda counters and their website. You may, however, be able to find the product cheaper at online sites such as Amazon, Ebay and Look Fantastic. Their is also a smaller travel size tube avaliable at £5.25 for 40ml, which is quite handy as you can carry it around with you.
I really love this hand cream, it is by far the best one I have used. Even though it is quite expensive, the fact that you are not required to apply it throughout the day means that the product will last. I normally apply the size of a pea for both hands and massage in, which will hydrate and soften the hands beautifully! The smell is also really lovely and lasts all day without being overpowering. It smells quite herbal and really fresh like lemons, yummy!!
I would highly recommend trying this hand cream as it really is amazing stuff. My hands look and feel great since I started using the cream four months back and those horrible old, dry, chapped, sore hands are a thing of the past (thank god). I would maybe suggest trying the travel sized tube as it is handy to carry around with you and spending a fiver on hand cream isn't as much of a shock as spending £16!! Mine has lasted me 4 months and I still have some left, which isn't bad going really.
Hot Fuzz is a British comedy made in 2007 from the amazing trio of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. These are the same people responsible for the incredible Shaun of the Dead, they work really well together and it comes across in their work.
Shaun of the Dead was modelled on their love for horror films, while Hot Fuzz portrays their love of the action genre. They used over 1,000 action films as inspiration for the film, most importantly Point Break and Bad Boys 2 as featured in the film.
Nicholas Angel is an extremelly dedicated and well serving police officer for the Met based in London. The problem is that he is so good at his job that he makes everyone else look bad "and we can't have that". The solution, make him disappear..... to Sandford that is. Much to Nicholas' dismay, he is forced to relocate and take on the rather simple life of rural policing (that's what he thinks).
On his first night in Sandford, Nicholas manages to round up a number of arrests including a bunch of underage drinkers and his unbeknown partner Danny Butterman, and thats before he has even started his new position! Anyway, it's all pretty quiet and, well, boring in Sandford the 'Village of the Year', the main case for the Sandford police force is getting through a Black Forest Gateaux!!
That is until a number of random deaths occurs which Nicholas believes to be murders. The rest of the team try to convince him that they are all just unfortunate accidents (the best one is "she tripped and fell on her own shears"). Nicholas, however, is convinced that Simon Skinner, the manager of their local Somerfields, is responsible for these murders. He begins to investigate further and becomes increasingly frustrated with the team by their lack of interest and police investigation skills. As he edges closer to the truth, the villagers try to 'solve' the 'problem' that is Nicholas Angel.........
I absolutley love this film, it's sooo funny. I didn't want to give away too much of the plot so you'll have to watch to uncover the mystery (it's really good!). I loved Shaun of the Dead so couldn't wait to watch Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are just so good together. I especially loved watching the relationship develop between Nicholas and Danny and how he tried to teach him how to become a great police officer like his hereos in Bad Boys and Point Break. The acting, the writing and the comedy is superb!
Hot Fuzz boasts a great cast of well known British actors, most of them being admirers of Shaun of the Dead.
Nicholas Angel - Simon Pegg
Danny Butterman - Nick Frost
Frank Butterman - Jim Broadbent
Simon Skinner - Timothy Dalton
Chief Inspector - Bill Nighy
Sergeant - Martin Freeman
Inspector - Steve Coogan
There are also a number of cameos, look out for Stephen Merchant as the farmer who loses his swan, Cate Blanchett as Nicholas' ex Janine and Peter Jackson as father christmas who stabs Nicholas in the hand at the start of the film.
Also, those who watch Shameless will notice a very posh and 'tidy' version of Frank (I was amazed at the difference!).
Another thing to watch out for is the differences between Bill Bailey's character, one a slightly polished version, the other.... well tired, dishevilled, untidy, grumpy... you'll find out why near the end, I found it so funny, but that might just be me!!
DVD PRICE AND INFO
Hot Fuzz is avaliable as a 2 disc special edition from all dvd outlets such as Amazon, HMV, Play and Zavvi. I have found it for as little as £3.99 from Amazon.
The main feature runs for approx 121 mins.
The special Features disc contains commentaries, outtakes, storyboards, deleted scenes, a making-of documentary, video blogs, featurettes and galleries.
Splash Mountain is located in the Magic Kingdom park at Disneyworld Orlando in the Frontierland section of the park. As you approach the entrance to the ride you will hear the music of banjo's and harmonica's giving you a feel for the theme of Splash Mountain and Frontierland.
HISTORY OF THE RIDE
Splash Mountain opened in the Magic Kingdom on 2nd October 1992. It is based upon the Walt Disney film 'Song of the South' made in 1946. There are three versions of this ride, one being at Orlando and the others at California and Tokyo, they all slightly vary. Splash Mountain is due to open at Disneyland Paris between 2012-2014.
A BIT ABOUT THE RIDE
Splash Mountain is a fun, thrilling water flume ride that follows the story of Br'er Rabbit as he leaves his Briar Patch in search of 'the laughing place'.
You will begin by boarding a 8-seater hollowed out log, seating two to a row. If you are with a child they will allow three to a row. For a full soaking experience you can request a front row seat or alternatively sit on the right hand side of the log.
The story begins by Br'er Frog welcoming the riders as you climb the first hill, the log will take a small dip and then enter the water. Watch out as you enter the barn as you may get soaked by the splash of the riders from the big drop! You will then enter the fun, musical adventure of animatronics as Br'er Rabbit outsmarts the Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear as he escapes their attempts to capture him. This is all to the uplifting 'How Do You Do?' soundtrack. This journey will lead you over small waterfalls and through dark caves and caverns until Br'er Rabbit is finally caught. The mood takes a bit of a dark turn as the music changes to 'Ev'rybody has a Laughing Place' and the light dims. You will then begin your steep climb up 'Slippin Falls' whilst hearing the screams from the logs which preceed you, you will then see the vultures above you waiting for your demise (scary stuff!). As you reach the peak, you will see the light from outside before plummiting 5 storeys (52.5ft) at a 45 degree angle reaching speeds of 40mph into the refreshing pool below! Horray, Br'er Rabbit tricked the Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear into throwing him over the waterfall, he has now escaped their clutches and entered the 'laughing place'. You will then enter another cave full of animatronics where you will see the Br'er Fox and Bear trying to escape from a ravenous alligator all to the happy 'zip-a-dee-doo-da' before returning back to the loading station. As you exit the ride you will get your chance to view your on-ride photo which you can purchase.
A LITTLE TIP
This ride is very popular so queues can be immense, either ride early as soon as you get to the park in the morning or collect a fast pass from the machines to the side of the entrance for Splash Mountain. These passes are free, so simply enter you park pass into the slot to recieve your fast pass with the designated time in which you can return to the ride with little or no queuing!!
This is my favourite ride in the Magic Kingdom, it combines a fun story with a happy soundtrack and topped off with the thrill of the drops. The ride lasts for a duration of roughly ten minutes which is nice as most rides are over so quickly. This ride is suitable for children, teens and adults which is what makes it such a popular ride. You have to be at least 40 inches to ride and some parts may be a bit scary for children so use your discretion. Overall, this is a great ride, one not to be missed!!
I first stumbled upon this classic one saturday afternoon, I only managed to catch half of the film and found it so hilarious that I had to buy the DVD to watch it in all its glory. Having watched the whole film, I don't know how many times, I can say that it is one of my favourites. I really love old films, especially the ones starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, I grew up watching their films and I think they make such a great team. If you liked them in Housesitter, then you will love this! This is a remake of the 1970 movie of the same title, written by Neil Simon and starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis.
Henry and Nancy Clark live in Ohio, they have been married for 27 years, both of their children have moved out and, lets face it, they're in a bit of a 'rut'! Henry has an interview for a big advertising agency in New York City having 'secretly' lost his job. Nancy decides to suprise him on the plane by accompanying him on his trip to New York. This is where the fun begins (not for them though!)
Basically, there is just one big disaster after another! Firstly there is the journey to New York; their flight is re-routed to Boston, their luggage is lost and they crash their luxury sedan hire car leaving them with a whopping bill!
What more could go wrong?......
Lots! Once they reach New York they are mugged by 'Andrew Llyod Webber', chucked out of their hotel by their rude and stuck-up hotel manager, Mr. Mersault (played by John Cleese)and chased by an angry rottwieller from their daughters flat.
They are hungry, homeless, bag-less and they have no money!
Their attempts to resolve their predicament, leaves them in even more disasterous situations. They wrongly end up in the middle of a 'sex addict anonymous' meeting in the search of long sought after....food, but in the process, manage to uncover a few truths about each other. They get caught up in the middle of a bank robbery getaway and are pursued by the police following an 'intimate' moment in the middle of Central Park.
Things aren't looking bright for the interview at 10am the next morning!
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Henry and Nancy manage to rekindle their marriage as they fall in love all over again and begin their new life in the Big Apple.
This film is so funny, even after the millionth time watching it, I always laugh out loud! Steve Martin is his usual comic self and Goldie Hawn plays the role perfectly. I just think they are a match made in heaven. John Cleese is hilarious as the cross-dressing, Mr Mersault. The character is quite similar to Basil Fawlty (for the Fawlty Towers fans out there), apart from the dressing up as ladies, obviously. He is snobby, stuck up and rude, he worships the rich guests and spits on likes of Henry and Nancy, that is until Nancy sees something she shouldn't have.....
One of my favourite moments is when Henry becomes 'high' on an apparant asprin given to him by a prisoner after being arrested. This was on the morning of his interview, may I add. His 'walk' through Central Park is blooming hilarious! Also watch out for the 'Give me a break' moments, I find them sooo funny.
All of the situations which they find themselves in are so funny and suprisingly believable whilst being so outlandish at the same time! You can't help but feel pity towards them, while still craving more!
PRICE AND AVALIABILITY
The Out Of Towners is avaliable from most DVD retailers, including Amazon for roughly £9.75.
Theatrical release: 1999
DVD release: 2001
Look out for an apperance by a young Cynthia Nixon (Miranda from Sex and the City)
Director: Sam Weisman
Cert:12 Running Time: Approx 87 mins
I really love The Out Of Towners, it is a classic funny, feel-good movie, perfect for a little pick-me-up moment. If you like Housesitter and Fawlty Towers then you will love this film too. I would definatley recommend this film.
I first started using Baby Doll about five years ago after sneaking a cheeky spritz or two from my sister's bottle when she wasn't looking (well, it was way too expensive for me back then!). I still wear this fragrance to date, however, I now have my own bottle which is handy seeing as my sister has moved out now! I really love this fragrance, it is delicously sweet, floral and very 'girly'.
A BIT ABOUT THE BRAND
Yves Saint Laurent was born in Algeria in 1936, he went on to become one of the greatest French fashion designers of the 20th century. He began his career with Christian Dior, later becoming the Head Designer at the age of 21. During the 1960s, Yves Saint Laurent began his own brand, which is still going strong. Along with the Yves Saint Laurent label, is the very popular cosmetic and fragrance range.
Yves Saint Laurent describes Baby Doll as "The lucky charm of a mischievous, light-hearted young woman who dares to express her desires and changing moods". This perfectly describes the mood of Baby Doll, it fills you with positivity and an uplifting attitude, that leaves you ready to take on anything.
The scent itself is "A fruity floral harmony. A bold, fresh and deliciously sensualist trail". Sounds good enough to eat!
A delicious fruity blend of Gooseberry, Grapefruit and Rhubarb
Delicate floral notes of Wild Rose and Freesia, folowed playfully by Cinnamon, Ginger and Cardamom
Finished off with the sensual Grenadine, Peach and Cedar wood
This is such a gorgous blend, beautiful sunny sweetness delightfully toned down by the delicate floral notes. This means that the scent is very distinctive without being overpowering or 'sickly' sweet.
I really love the bottle for Baby Doll. It is designed to represent a spinning top, the top is quite wide and narrows down to the base of the tip. The bottle is made from clear glass to reveal the bright 'pinky' perfume within. The glass of the bottle is dimpled in order to catch to light, which gives a lovely 'sparkling' effect. The top of the bottle is a spherical gold, dimpled cap which sits upon a black ring, this is the base for the spritzer.
The only downside to the bottle is that it doesn't stand up, but it does look nice and different to other perfume bottles whilst sitting on a tilt.
I really enjoy wearing this fragrance, I say 'enjoy' as it really puts you in a bright, happy mood. Baby Doll is a fun, mischevious, sunny scent and very, very girly.
Some may find the scent a tad too sweet, but I find it suits my skin very well. It is quite sweet as it goes on, but after about an hour it really mellows down into a delicate and soft floral, fruity scent.
I would say that Baby Doll is more of a Spring/Summer fragrance, I find it a bit too sunny and fruity for Winter. I normally wear this during the day and sometimes for a night out, depending on your individual taste, although it is more of a daytime fragrance.
PRICE AND AVALIABILITY
Baby Doll is avaliable at most fragrance and department stores, such as Debenhams. It is also worth looking at online stockists like Amazon, Click Fragrance and Supaperfume. These stores will usually offer scents at a discounted price.
Baby Doll comes in three different sized bottles and a silky body lotion:
30ml Eau De Toilette RRP £31.00
50ml Eau De Toilette RRP £44.00
100ml Eau De Toilette RRP £63.00
200ml Body Lotion RRP £24.00
Baby Doll is such a happy little fragrance, full of fun and character. It has really great staying power, I can always still smell it on me by the end of the day! This is one of my classic, all time favourites, I would definatley recommend it!
Daisy is one of my favourite perfumes, made by my favourite designer; Marc Jacobs.
A BIT ABOUT THE BRAND
Marc Jacobs was born in New York City in 1963 and he is currently the Creative Director for Louis Vuitton. He was the youngest designer to recieve the very prestigious 'Council of Fashion Designers of America Perry Ellis Award' for New Fashion Talent following the launch of his Marc Jacobs line. He then went on to launch Marc by Marc Jacobs, a more commercial diffusion of the brand. Following the success of these brands, Marc Jacobs produced his own collection of fragrances.
This is the first fragrance by Marc Jacobs. The concept for Daisy was based upon 'the way young women think about style, elegance mixed with youthful vibrancy with an unexpected twist'. Daisy is one of the best selling perfumes in the UK, once you start wearing it, you can clearly see why. Marc Jacobs describes this fragrance as a 'radiant and enchanting fragrance with a floral femininity that will captivate every lady who wears it and every man that smells it'. This sums up Daisy perfectly.
'Lucious Natural Freshness'
Wild strawberry, violet leaves, ruby red grapefruit
'Luminous Modern Vintage'
Violet, jasmine, gardenia
'Smooth Softness and Warm Sensuality'
Vanilla infusion, musks and white woods
This blend creates such a lovely fruity, floral fragrance. It has such a distinctive scent, fresh, sexy yet unbelievably soft.
As usual it's Marc Jacobs to the rescue to brighten up your perfume display! The bottle for Daisy is absolutely beautiful. The body of the bottle is a small but wide rectangular shape, with a slight concave indentation at the front and back of the bottle. The 'original' version is made from clear glass so you can see the lovely golden perfume within, Marc Jacobs Daisy is printed on the front in black. The lid of the perfume is just so sweet, the spherical golden cap holds a bunch of white plastic daisies, working from a big daisy through to a little tiny one (really cute!). Again, 'elegance mixed with youthful vibrancy' is beautifully summed up in the design of this bottle. Looks stunning amongst your perfume collection, this one should definitley take pride of place!
Daisy is one of my all time favourite perfumes, I don't know how many times I've gone to buy perfume and come back with yet another bottle of Daisy, I just can't get enough of it! The fruity notes in this perfume are complemented so well by the floral and musky scents, it just has a lovely clean, fresh aroma.
Daisy has amazing staying power, I normally spray over my chest and hair to give a long lasting effect. I can always still smell it on me and my clothes, even by the end of the day! This fragrance is also guaranteed to draw so many compliments, every time I wear it someone will always ask me what perfume I have on, believe me, it always comes highly recommended.
I would say that this perfume is suitable for daily wear as well as during the evenings, it has a deep scent whilst remaining soft and 'floaty' at the same time. The only thing I would say, is that Daisy is more of a Spring/Summer fragrance, I just find it a bit too 'uplifting' for Winter (reminding me of those long summer days during the damp and drizzle of winter months).
Daisy is avaliable at most department and fragrance stores, including many online stores such as Fragrance Direct, Amazon and Ebay. You are best off shopping around as these online stores will normally offer fragrances at a discounted price. These are the prices which you can expect to pay from a retailer:
50ml Eau De Toilette RRP £43.00
100ml Eau De Toilette RRP £52.99
20ml refillable purse spray RRP £27.50
Daisy also comes in a delectable range of shower goodies, including a body lotion and butter and a shower gel:
150ml body lotion RRP £22.00
150ml shower gel RRP £20.00
140g body butter RRP £25.00
Limited Editions of Daisy are also available. Daisy Eau De Parfum Deluxe comes in a black 50ml bottle with a gold daisy top and is available at £48.00. Daisy Garland is a limited edition Eau De Toilette for the summer. It comes in a 50ml bottle, same design as the 'original' but with sky blue plastic daisies on the lid, this is avaliable at £43.00.
Daisy is such a delightful perfume, it fills you with uplifting happiness! It is the perfect scent for the summer, a soft sweetness with a warm floral musk. Gives amazing staying power, you and others around are sure to fall in love with Daisy!
Marc Jacobs is one of my favourite designers, so when he launched his range of perfumes I was really excited. I knew if these scents were as good as his designs, then they would be amazing!
A BIT ABOUT THE BRAND
Marc Jacobs was born in New York City in 1963. He was the youngest designer to win the highly sought after; The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA) Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent following the launch of his Marc Jacobs line. Along with this label, he also has Marc by Marc Jacobs, which is a more commercial line and his range of fragrances. He is also Creative Director for French brand Louis Vuitton.
Now you know a bit about the man behind the perfume, I will get on to what you really want to know about; Lola. Lola is the follow up fragrance to the first perfume and the very successful, Daisy. Marc Jacobs sums up this perfume in the following, very tempting way "Lola is a warm floral bouquet with a playfully alluring and irresistibly tempting fragrance. The captivating heart of the Marc Jacobs Lola Perfume blooms with luscious fuschia peony." Sounds delicious!
The top notes featured in Lola are the gorgeous pink pepper, pear and grapefruit, followed by middle notes of peony, geranium and rose, on a base of vanilla, musk and tonka bean. This a divine blend which creates a wonderful fruity, floral fragrance.
Another exquisite bottle from Marc Jacobs! The body is violet-purple glass and is avaliable in two designs- the narrow, tall 30ml or 50ml bottle or the small, wide 100ml bottle. The top of the bottle is, oh gorgeous, the base begins with gold, weaved bands wrapping and building up seductively to the divine bloom. The plastic flower begins with a green leaf, moving from deep blues, to rich purples and topped off by ruby red petals. I personally, think this is the most amazing bottle, it doesn't in any way look 'cheap' or 'tacky' and looks fantastic on your dresser (puts other bottles to shame, really).
I have to say that Lola is now one of, if not, my favourite perfume (I do think it is even better than Daisy). The fruity notes in this perfume are gorgeously sweet and complimented very well by the soft floral scents. This means that the smell is never 'sickly' sweet or overpowering.
I would say that this this perfume is suitable for all occassions, from everyday wear to a night out. It also blends very well through all seasons, it is not too fruity for Winter, yet not too floral for Summer - it is, quite literally, the best of both worlds!
My only negative ( and this is being very picky, may I add ) is that with the long, narrow bottle, the top is quite heavy for the base. So when my dresser gets knocked, the bottle topples over and carries everything else over in the process (quite annoying). I would opt for the wider bottle for my next purchase. This comment is probably only valid for the clumsy (like myself!)
PRICE & AVALIABILITY
Lola is avaliable in three sizes and their normal prices which you can expect to pay are as follows:
30ml bottle RRP £34.26
50ml bottle RRP £45.00
100ml bottle RRP £60.00
Also avaliable in the range is a silky shower gel and body lotion, both of which smell absolutley beautiful, I love using all three together (trust me, you will smell out of this world)
150ml Shower Gel RRP £22.00
150ml Body Lotion RRP £25.00
Gift sets are also avaliable for around £50.00, featuring the perfume (probably the 30ml or 50ml bottle), a shower gel and a body lotion.
Marc Jacobs Lola is avaliable in most department and fragrance stores and also on many online stores, including ebay, amazon and fragrance direct. You may also find a bit of a discounted price amongst these stores, so shop around!
Lola is such a lovely perfume, it is clean and fresh yet sexy and seductive, therefore suitable for all occassions. It is also guaranteed to draw many compliments! The scent has excellent staying power, I normally spritz over my chest and hair to give a long lasting effect. I would definatley reccommend Lola and would give it ten stars if that was possible.
I bought a pair of Reebok Easytone trainers after watching that catchy advert (as most people did) about 3 months back. I have wanted a pair of trainers that help you work-out as you walk for quite a while, but was always put off by the ugly, clumpy designs of other brands. When Reebok launched these I was really happy, although they still aren't particularly 'pretty', I am happy to wear them and don't feel embarrassed about stepping out in them.
Another great thing about the Easytone trainers, is the amount of different styles and colours to choose from. There are currently 8 different styles of trainers, including Rush (which are the ones featured above), Inspire, Reinspire, Reinspire Lux, Curve, Go Outside, Trend and Smoothfit Sunsaa. Each different style is designed with specific needs in mind, but all feature the same unique sole. Easytone Flip-Flops are also avaliable. Most designs come in either a white or black choice, with a flash of colour across the Reebok logo. I have the Easytone Rush in black with a pink logo, the design and technology of these trainers are what I will be basing this review on.
HOW THEY WORK
The unique balance pod technology featured in the sole is designed to create instability as you walk, similar to walking on sand. This then increases your muscle activity in the glutes by up to 28% and in the calves and hamstrings by 11%. Reebok also claim that the trainers can help to improve muscle activity in the abdominals aswell.
I decided to get a pair of Easytone trainers as I walk 2.5 miles home from work, so I thought I would just make that walk a bit harder for myself. I have been wearing them for three months now and I absolutley love them, they are, without a doubt, the best shoes I have ever bought! After a day of wearing them, plus the walk home, I can really feel my legs aching (especially in my calves), which means they must be working. I must admit though, it does take you a bit longer to walk to your destination, as when you begin to increase your pace, it hurts!! I do love that feeling though, so it's all good. I wear these trainers everywhere; to work, to the shops etc as I just love the fact that they are helping to improve my muscle quality whilst doing everyday activities. They are perfect for those who find it hard to fit in going to the gym with their hectic lifestyles. For me, I have quite a physically demanding job, so I don't always have the energy for my daily run, but just wearing these all day means that I don't need to worry about missing that one training session.
Another bonus to these trainers is their comfort. The SMOOTHFIT technology in the Easytone Rush trainers means that all seams are either hidden or eliminated, making your walk free from any rubbing or irritation. There is also a removable liner in the shoe to add cushioning to the soles of your feet. The positioning of the heel is slightly slanted in order to enhance your stride as you walk. The sole of the trainer is not too large like most of the other brands, it is about an inch deep. I quite like this as it makes me feel a bit taller!! Reebok guarantees that the balance pods within the sole are very durable and shouldn't ever burst or need replacing.
The trainer shown above is the white version, the black trainers I have feauture the same style, with mesh lining for breathability and the pink Reebok logo, however, with just one pink stripe running down the seam at the side.
PRICE AND AVALIABILITY
The Easytone Rush trainers normally retail at £75.00 and range from sizes 2.5 to 9.5. They are avaliable at many outlets including Reebok, JD Sports, John Lewis and many others (too many to mention, in fact). To check stocklists type Reebok Easytone into your search engine. I must say though, finding sizes (especially small or large sizes) is really frustrating. As they are so popular, stockists run out really quickly (even Reebok itself completely ran out).
Overall, I would say that these are an amazing buy. My calves constantly ache now (as I wear them all day, every day perhaps). My bum does feel a lot firmer and I even have a more defined 'cut' down the side of my thigh. I would definatley recommend these trainers, although expensive, they are a great investment.