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So everyone wants their pearly whites white and I am no exception. I have bought another variation of the Crest strips before which burnt and stung so I opted for the sensitive ones instead this time. The downside was that these are not as good as the ones that are painful but on the plus side they do not hurt! I would not recommend these at all, they had very little effect on my teeth whereas with the stronger ones had an effect in 7 days!
==Price and availability==
I bought these from Vegas and it worked out much cheaper, they are not that easy to source over here however ebay is a good place to start and you can get a box for around £30.
These are designed to be worn everyday for around 3 weeks. The strips come in little foil packets that are easy to open. The strips are coated in a gel that contains the special whitening potion. The gel is smooth and relatively tasteless. The strips wrap around the front and bottom of your teeth. The packet states 10 minutes is all you need, however I wore them for 20 minutes. I find them to be unobstructive and you can get on with your every day to day life.
Compared to the stronger ones these are very poor. The potion is not strong enough and they had little effect on my teeth. I was really disappointed as I had such great results with the other ones. The strips do not hurt or anything but they do not whiten either. The strips are well presented and easy to use, they even stay on the teeth really well but the whitening bleach is not strong enough. I found a very small improvement in my teeth but it was not worth the £30 and it was not worth the effort or hassle.
I want a Hollywood smile and with the other strips I got it. The downside to them is that they are very painful! These have little effect and do not hurt at all. Sometimes I think it is a little bit of "no pain no gain" I would not buy this variety again, but I will certainly buy other crest products. I was very disappointed to discover that I wasted good American dollars on this rubbish product but c'est la vie. I have learned my lesson for next time!
They call Aloe Vera the plant of immortality. It certainly is too because I bought one and then it had babies and now I have about 5 and I have given plenty to friends. Aloe Vera is so easy to look after and it looks pleasant. The best thing about it though is that it has some medicinal purposes. It is a good healthy plant to have in the house and it has a multitude of uses.
==Price and availability==
You can buy a plant for around £1.99 and it will then grow bigger and multiply. The plants can be bought from supermarkets or from garden centres.
The plant looks almost cactus like. It has a number of spikes and the leaves are thick and filled with rich juice. It is this juice which is used for its medicinal purposes. The plant contains six natural antiseptics, which are able to kill mould, bacteria, funguses, and viruses. The make-up of the plant is so powerful that researchers and scientists are looking into its potential as an AIDS and cancer-fighter. The plant needs a bit of water and placed in day light. What you need to do is turn the plant around as it will lean towards the sun if not. After a while it will need re-potting as it will grow too big for the small pot.
There are so many uses for the aloe vera plant, it is even used in some oral medicine but I think you are best buying this from a specialist rather than making it yourself. So what can you use it for, well for starters I always use it on a spot. I cut the leave and squeeze out some of the juice onto a spoon. Using cotton wool I rub it on spots and it helps to take the heat out of them. You can use the juice to sooth burns from scolds to sunburn and not only does this sooth the skin, it is also an anti bacteria.
This is a great product and I think that I will always have a little aloe vera plant knocking around my house. I use the juice regularly, I like how it makes my skin feel and the antiseptics are great for spots and sores! I definitely recommend owning these as they are really easy to care for.
I was tempted to go for a colonic irrigation and like you do, started chatting about it at work. A girl recommended this to me. She said it swelled and sucked everything making you feel brand new. I was dubious as it was only another fiber product in my opinion but it does have an amazing effect. I did not bother with the colonic as it was working out too much money and there was a lot of nasty side effects listed in the internet. This is a safe way of giving yourself a clean out.
==Price and availability==
A large tub from Holland and Barrett costs £15 and this will last a long time but it is quite an expensive purchase. Sometimes Holland and Barrett have offers on and luckily when I bought it I paid around £10.
The idea is that for three or four days you take this everyday and then after that you will pass a lot of the excess waste rotting in your bowl. The product is disgusting and it tastes like cardboard. I have to mix two teaspoons with orange squash as I can not take it alone with water. The longer you leave it in the glass too, the more is swells which makes it even harder to take. Regucol combines psyllium husks with bacterial cultures and fruco-oligosaccharides. Psyllium husks are naturally high in fibre; when mixed with fluid, they act like a sponge, absorbing more than twenty time their weight and forms mucilage. Lacobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are two bacterial cultures included to help maintain a favourable balance of bacteria within the intestinal tract. Fruco-oligosaccharides are natural carbohydrates derived from artichokes. The idea is that the husks swell and the fibre creates a massive bowl movement that makes you feel empty and brand new.
This is a great product and I recommend it. My friend at work kept asking me, " Has it happened yet?" and then on the fifth day I realised what she meant. It is not a laxative but it makes you pass a lot more than usual and it makes the bowl movement feel like a gel. It is very unusual and until you have used this, it is hard to explain. The good bacterial and the husks feel natural and good for you.
This product gets rid of bloating and you feel raring to go. If I feel sluggish at all I take a small course of this and I get my digestion back on track. I completely recommend it.
I regularly suffer from constipation which is not as funny as it sounds as it is very uncomfortable.
My stomach feels swollen and bloated and I can not shift the feeling. It got so bad that I went to
the doctors who told me to look into fibre products such as this.
==Price and availability
30 sachets of Fybogel costs around £4.50 and I am pleased to say that this is a small price to
pay the product. Yes, it tastes unpleasant but I have had worse and the effects are relatively
quick. These are now widely available and sold in a number of different places.
The product is designed to be mixed into a horrific flavoured drink which does not taste amazing
but the orange flavour takes the edge of the cardboard taste. The colour is light orange and
although all the bits do not dissolve, it is quite easy to take. The sachets contain fibre which
can be used to aid IBS and firm stools; alternatively if you are struggling to go, you can use the
fiber to ease the process along. These are not laxatives though and if you take too much you
may end up even more constipated. I would say that these are quick to assimilate and I use
less water as I like to drink it quicker, however you always need to drink another glass of water
I completely advocate the use of this product but as with most things you should probably
consult the doctor. These are available over the counter and I even managed to buy them at
my local supermarket last time I went. I still get the feeling every now and then but I take one of
these and the problem soon works itself out. I find them to be an extremely reliable option and I
recommend them. In terms of flavour, the added orange does make them slightly easier to take
and is a little distraction from the horrible bitty taste.
I have used Bach remedy potions regularly and find that they do (placebo or not) make me feel calmer. It is not helpful having a little bottle floating around your bag though, it may leak and it may be harder to take during public. These chewing gums are much better to take and seem to give a much more steady release of botanicals. They not only taste really good and have the great effect on my that Bach does, the chewing also seems to calm me down.
==Price and availability==
You can buy the packets of chewing gum for around £4-£5 and these can be purchased from pharmacists and online.
The chewing gums are pleasant to chew. The gums have an Orange and Elderflower Liquid Centre. The gums do actually taste of orange and elderflower and I find it to taste quite nice. The liquid centre contains 4 drops of the Five Bach Flower Remedies so you know you are getting the right amount with each piece you chew.
I chew gum a lot and I find that this gum is very pleasant. I can pop a chewing gum at work and no one knows that I am doing. I like the little explosion of flavour and the chewing of the gum is also quite a relaxing thing to do. The gum tastes sweet and orange like and you can also taste the flower remedy. I can tell that these are made by Bach. The flavour of the gum does not stay around for long and after a while the gum goes hard, however at the beginning the gum is very pleasant and juicy. I like Bach products and do find that they calm my nerves and relax me.
The chewing gums are a very inventive way of taking this classic potion. I like the taste of Bach and I could drink it by the bottle. These chewing gums ensure that I do not take too much Bach at once, but the four drops gives you enough of a lift to sooth you when you experiencing moments of tension. I completely recommend them. The downsides of the gum are that the flavours do not last and after a while the gum goes hard and unpleasant to chew but this just means it is time to spit it out! I do not find that this alters my breathe at all, sometime with the liquid, it makes my breath smell a little boozy which can be a bit awkward at work!
I use my deep fryer a couple of times per week and although they are not the "healthiest" ways of cooking things, the foods I like need to be fried. I love to make my own falafel, tempura vegetables and battered mushrooms and I just cannot do this without a fryer. To be honest I have even cooked chicken wings, prawns and other things that taste restaurant style once I have finished with them! I have a lot of dimmer parties and sometimes the best way of making food tasty and cooking for large groups is to use machines like this. Everything in moderation and a little bit of what you fancy will do you no wrong!
==Price and availability==
There are many different machines out there but I wanted a white one and I wanted one that would be easy to clean out. I hate the smell of dirty oil so I need to be able to change the oil quickly and easily. I also needed a machine that was simple to operate, this one fitted the bill. It costs £29.99 and it can be bought from electrical stores, I bought mine from John Lewis at Manchester but even Tesco stock it.
The machine is perfect for dinner parties as it has a large capacity. The dimensions are 27 cm wide by 27 in diameter, this gives the machine a height of 26.5 cm. It is a round, slim machine that does not take up any more room than is necessary. The weight of the machine is 2.5KG. The machine has input power of 1800 W and this can heat a food capacity of 1KG. The machine is modern and features an adjustable thermostat, you do not always need to cook things on high so it gives the chef a little bit more control over what she is cooking in the kitchen and how she is cooking it. I mentioned that smell was important to me before and this machine comes with an anti-odour filter so the food smells are caught and do not pollute the kitchen! It does smell a little when it is on but it is only like having something in the oven and the smell of burning oil and fat is certainly not present. The walls of the machine are cool touch so the whole thing does not get hot so you can handle it easily and the pan actually has a long heat resistant handle. There is an indicator light and a viewing window which again helps you cook better and more accurately. The inside of the pan is coated with non stick Teflon so you do not experience any problems when you are cleaning it out.
The machine is really easy to use and it can be used to cook for large groups of people. With a food capacity of 1 kg, you can fit enough food in for 6 people quite easily. The oil has a maximum capacity of 2.3L and there is a fill indication line to ensure you do not use too much or not enough. I find that the round basket that fits inside the fryer is good quality and strong with a very robust and easy to use handle. The basket is shaped to fit neatly inside the bowl and as it is wide and shallow rather than deep and thin, you can get an even cooking surface for all the food you cook. This ensures that all food cooks evenly and you do not end up with some undercooked products and some overcooked. One of the best things about the fryer is the viewing window which makes it easy to monitor the cooking process without opening the lid as this is dangerous and can ruin the cooking temperature. Different foods need cooking at different temperatures, for this reason the adjustable thermostat is really useful. You can alter the temperature from 150 to 190 °C.
The best thing about the fryer is the replaceable anti-odour and anti-vapour filters, these slot in the top of the lid and can be bought for around £3 per packet. These last around 3 months and ensure the kitchen always smells fresh rather than oily. This lid can be removed and washed so you do not have to endure greasy or oily features and the whole thing just looks really smart. It has mat chromed handle and lid release buttons which look stylish against the crisp white backdrop and the handle is foldable for storage. The machine is set on anti-slip rubber feet which guard against accidents. Cleaning is hard as it is not easy emptying the oil however you will find that the non-stick surface makes cleaning easier than it could be. The exterior gets slightly sticky with use so you do need to clean this on a regular basis.
I have made some lovely food in here, my homemade vegetable patties and falafel are to die for and taste so beautiful. Crispy on the outside and warm on the inside, full of flavour and goodness. I make some lovely chicken wings in here too and first I marinate them in my special BBQ sauce and then put them in the fryer, this seals the sauce and gives them a real sticky feel. They are so good that just talking about them is making me hungry.
There are very little things that I can fault this machine for, my main bug bear is the cost of the filters but overall the quality of the machine is superb. It is an excellent tool to cook with and as long as you dab off excess oil, I find that my food does not taste too greasy. Without much trial and error I have perfected the perfect level of crispness for my batters and it is rare that I have any soggy batter or burnt bits. Making your own food from scratch is much better than frozen food and I love the taste of homemade onion rings, made completely by hand from scratch. I find this to be a very useful tool and I tend to use it frequently through the week. I always use it at dinner parties, especially for starters such as battered mushrooms. No one comes to a dinner party expecting weightwatchers so I am eager to impress!
I like cream foundation as I can just put a small amount on my finger tips and then smooth over my face. I like to buy new products and try out innovative things on the beauty market. This was for sale in Boots and although it has been out for a while it is a relatively new product to me.
==Price and availability==
This is a cheap, cheap, cheap product at £4.49 however it is on offer for half price at the minute. It could be time to stock up if you like it but I personally do not find it that brilliant.
The product comes in a 30ml tube and it comes in a variety of shades. It seems like Maybelline are trying to create a BB cream that is mixed with a foundation. The colour has a slight shimmer to it in the tube but on the skin it just all blends into one. The colour I have is Golden Beige. This is not orange or anything and the colour is actually quite pleasant. The colour is slightly lighter than the colour of the actual cream which is something worth noting but it is better than being too dark.
I find this to be ok but I suffer from uneven skin tone and this just does not give me the matt platform I am looking for. It goes on nicely, its smooth and it is easy to blend in and apply however it seems to be absorbed very quickly. I am not overly impressed with this and I have to use it in conjunction to my powder. It is not a good replacement for a BB cream either as it does not do the whole 'light reflecting' thing that you would expect. I think the advantages of this are that it is cheap and if you are looking for a quick replacement that is of a decent shade then you will find that this is an excellent product for a short term fix. I was just expecting a little bit more however.
I think the packaging, the ease of application and the colour are big plus points but it is let down in terms of longevity. The product does not last long on my skin and it seems to be soaking quickly into my skin. I find that I apply this with my finger tips and rub it over my skin, blending into my skin and then I need to apply powder on the top. This means that it takes longer to get ready and not really what I expected. But... what can you expect for £2.
Cellulite... It is horrible looking and I get it on my bum and the backs of my legs. I read an article about this product which actually sounded quite convincing so I bought some to try. I was sceptical as it sounds a little farfetched to state that Oil can get rid of cellulite. Well it is farfetched, I will not lie to you on that account however I will state that it does improve the condition and look of my skin. In fact, I think that combined with a stricter body buffing routine this oil has really helped my skin. I used it with the Weelda Birch juice and I definitely recommend the combination.
==Price and availability==
This is expensive and it looks expensive. For a bottle you will pay around £17. You need to apply it at least twice a day so be prepared to go through the bottle quickly.
The oil contains birch and rosemary which contain healing properties. Birch protects the skin cells from damage by free-radicals and help support natural purification. The oil has a lovely light lemon scent though which is nice and it lingers leaving me smelling lovely. The oil is best rubbed into damp skin and you will find that it hydrates the skin and keeps it supple. The oil needs to be massaged into the skin with circular movements at least twice a day for the first month of use and then you can start to back off and just use it once a day. The oil applies easily and it feels nice on my skin.
This is a caring product and I really feel like the silky smooth oil cared for my skin. The oil needs rubbing into the skin in order for it to soften and then tighten and this feels nice to do. The oil never caused me any irritation or problems and I found that it rubbed in quickly. This is good as I do not want to get any oil on my clothing. The oil can be used on other parts of the body and the general feeling it gave me was looked after and smooth. I think that the oil definitely helped my skin on my bottom and thighs and they visibly looked better. I combined the oil with a better routine at the gym and I found that my legs slimmed and the skin tightened. I was really pleased with the results and although I still have the odd ripples and sagging skin, I am much happier with my appearance and for that reason when the last bottle finished I did not replace it. I would buy it again and I do thing you should keep using it however life just got in the way of the routine!
This is a nice relaxing oil to use and it has some great health benefits. The oil is easy to apply and it gave me visible results. I would recommend it and buy it again.
I was once brainwashed by a lovely lady who stood by a glowing fish tank who told me an amazing story about the roots of this face cream. The fact that is a LUXURY brand, contains a miracle broth and how it helped a man's face that was covered in burns. I was compelled to buy a pot. (It was these stupid investments that I am not paying back in my 'student loan form') I was impressed with the pot and I used it for around 3 years before deciding it was too expensive. I managed to get 3 months from a pot and at a £105 for a small pot; spending £420 on face cream per year was too much.
==Price and availability==
For £105 you get a 30ml tub and you can buy it from the dedicated staff and the fish at department stores....
The cream is white, creamy and it does not have a strong scent but smells vaguely fresh. The cream comes in a lovely white resin pot and it also comes with a small spoon so you do not contaminate the pot. The cream needs to be spooned on to your finger (pea sized amount) rubbed between your fingers until it goes clear and then added on the skin in dabbing motions.
The cream is thick and feels hydrating on the skin. You do not need much at all however when it is so expensive I was very reluctant to use much anyway. The cream does have a good effect on your skin and my usual dry patches were no longer a problem. I also have the off spot break out on my nose and with the cream, I had much less. Since ceasing using the cream, I have found other products that give me the same results. So yes it worked for me, however I can achieve the same for less. I applied the cream on a morning and night and I found it thick enough to use as a night cream as well as being balanced as a day cream.
This is good cream and if I ever had a serious skin complaint I would be prepared to buy it again. I miss the lovely feeling of opening a green box and discovering the cream with the odd free sample however I will not pay that sort of money for this again. If it was the only product I could find that soothed my skin then I may but so far so good.
I bought this because I like cooking and baking but I am a lazy chef. I have an all singing, all dancing food processor but sometimes it seems like such a waste of time getting it all out and putting it all away again. It is quite a heavy, cumbersome machine. I like to make things fresh myself though so I bought a hand blender to allow me to make things more quickly and easily.
==Price and availability==
This is a Tefal hand blender that Jamie Oliver has put his name to. I do not usually go for items endorsed by celebrity chefs, but on this occasion this looked a really good buy; sturdy, hard wearing, powerful motor and for a good price. This cost £35 and it is available from lots of electrical shops and online retailers.
The blender is black and silver so it looks very smart. The black is soft touch so it is easy to grip and the silver is stainless steel so it is robust and easy to clean. The metal blender is really strong and it run by a very powerful motor. The motor is 700 W so it blenders and mixes in seconds. The hand blender comes with a 500 ml chopper blade and this can cut meat, fish, herbs and vegetables such as onions; raw or cooked. The blender comes with an 800ml basin with a lid so you can blend in here and then store your items in it. The machine comes with a whisker too and you can wall mount it for easy access. There is not a chance I am wall mounting this, can you imagine if you wall mounted al your appliances how ridiculous your kitchen would look? Luckily the machine can be stood up for easy storage.
I am impressed with the build of this and unlike some cheap hand blenders this is built to last. It is chunky yet light and so easy to use. When I have soup on, I can put a tea towel over it and put the blender in the middle of the pan and blend away. It blends so quickly and even with chunky food items, they are blended so quickly. I have used this with the storage pot and blended herbs for curries. I have also used it to blend garlic as I hate to touch it! The hand blender has easy to operate buttons on the top by where you hold it and the metal foot clips out to make it quick to clean.
This is a powerful machine and it was actually much better than I expected. It is still quite a loud machine but the ease of having a hand blender over a big cumbersome machine wins every time. The hand blender is easy to operate and it is easy to clean. I have made some lovely curries, sauces and dips with this useful tool.
An electric hand whisk takes the toll out of baking. If you want Popeye style forearms then go ahead and battle on alone but if you don't an electric whisk can make life much easier, especially if you are making meringue... This is from Kenwood and it is a solid little mixer at just the right weight for day to day use.
==Price and availability==
This is an official Kenwood product and it costs £19. This is a good price, its average compared with other ones on the market but what goes in this one's favour is that it is solid and well made.
* 1 x kMix HM790 Metal Hand Mixer
* 2 x Stainless steel beaters
* 2 x Stainless steel dough kneaders
* 1 x Product instructions
The mixer is white but made in die-cast aluminium so it is very solid. The mixer has two beaters included and two kneaders but you will find yourself using the mixers much more. They are large and as there are two they beat mixtures very quickly. There is a 300 W motor which gives 5 speeds and a pulse setting. The beaters pop out and clip in with ease so you can store it and clean them easily. I put these bits in the dishwasher. The mixer has integral cord storage and a handy grip clip but I just keep mine in the cupboard.
This is a really good solid mixer and it feels comfortable to hold and I feel like I can control it. I have used it with both whisks in and I have used it with just one attachment when I was using a smaller bowl. The whisks are firm and good quality. The mixer does not take long to beat mixtures and if you have egg whites, you will find that stiff peaks are achieved quickly. I love baking and this makes baking much easier as I can get fluffy light mixture with ease. All the bits that come with the mixer are high quality and I was impressed with the build considering the low price.
Despite only having a 300w mixer, this feels much more powerful. It does a really good job with mixing and the large sturdy whisks rotate at a good speed to create an even and light mixture. The pulse setting is useful and overall I think this is a really high quality item. I like how easy it is to pop out the whisks after use and the whole machine is not a hassle to get out like some kitchen appliances. The only annoying this is that the cord does not fully sit in the base so it is not always that easy to stand up.
==May the odds be ever in your favour==
The odds were thoroughly stacked in this films favour, yet I couldn't help but think thay Gary Ross was a brave man taking on this mammoth project. The Hunger Games books; a trilogy sold millions of copies. The books, placed firmly in the teen fiction / sci-fi genre have attracted both intense adulation and fierce criticism. The film was always going to take centre stage in terms of reviews but the weight of its success or failure sits on the shoulders of Ross. It was make or break. We have seen big book trilogies come to the big screen and fail. Philip Pullman's trilogy: His dark materials was a big success; in 1995 it won the Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's outstanding English-language children's book. This trilogy was teen fiction / sci-fi and the first of the books, Nothern lights was brought to the big screen with a big budget. Nicole Kidman was the lead, plenty of money spent on special effects, a loyal audience from the book fans and yet it failed spectacularly, so much so that only the first book was made. A lot was riding on the first Hunger games film and it worked. It was enough for a captive audience to await the second film; Catching fire which is currently shown in the cinemas now.
==From book to big screen==
I really liked the books but Ross has done quite a bit more with the film than churn out a faithful adaptation of the novel. His vision of the world of The Hunger Games is darker, and much more political than the books ever dared to be. The premise for the film is as follows, we find Katniss and her little sister in district 12. In post apocalyptic America, the country is split into districts, each one being known for producing a raw material. District 12 is coal so the place is dark, dirty and filled with ugliness. The country is run by a dictatorship where all the districts are run into the ground, brow beaten and poor with all the wealth in the countries capital. Every year, in order to amuse the people of the capital and show the people of the districts that they are controlled by the regime; each of the Districts must offer up two 'Tributes' - one boy and one girl - to fight to the death in a televised tournament known as the Hunger Games.
Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen, volunteered to take her little sister's place in the Games. Katniss is hard faced, tough and possesses some of those raw survival skills to surivive, however the game is also a bit of a popularity contest and she has to win over the viewers, who can bet on Tributes and even send potentially life-saving gifts to their favourites.
Some of the underlying principals are apparent such as greed, capitalism and dystopia. The film has similar trends to that of 1984 and it creates a bit of warning about what could happen in the future, the fragility of governments and the lengths people will go to to gain control. The disproportion of wealth is a key theme too and we see the harsh poverty of District 12 compared with the riches of the capital. People in the capital take tablets to make themselves sick so they can enjoy more food and yet the people in the districts are starving.
The books are all written in the first person, so the reader can only see the world from Katniss's perspective. As she is very guarded, we do not get to know too much about her till later on. The film opens up that world and we see more of what pulls her and what guides her. The capital and the president made me feel quite uneasy and the "what if" questions still keep bugging me. If you don't want to think too political about the film then you could just watch it for its drama and fast paced action. I did not build up a relationship with any of the film's characters as I knew what was going to happen; we were going to watch them die. No point setting yourself up for a fall! The most intense part of the film is the arena where the tributes face each other for the first time and they have to make the decision to fight or flight. Either decision needs to be thought through quickly before someone puts a knife in your back. Then you need to decide if you are going to head for the weapons and survival tools pile. This scene is almost unbearable and my heart was in my mouth. All the intensity comes down to the acting which is brilliant and each actor is matched brilliantly to their character.
Jennifer Lawrence who plays Katniss is a truly engaging heroine. She's strong and capable but we get to see her vulnerability too. We see her show kindness to some of the tributes and this, occasionally is reciprocated. The audience get the impression that some of the tributes see that she has it in to win and that she is a deserving winner. Is she destined for bigger things perhaps? As with most movies there is a little bit of a love twist we see Katniss in a relationship or sorts with Gale another boy from the district who she shares hunting with. This relationship is stressed much more than in the book which makes it much more interesting when she meets Peeta, the other tribute for district 12. It is clear that she likes him and he obviously likes her but underneath it all she knows that there can only be one winner......
==Blu ray brilliance==
The blu ray recreates the arena beautifully, the brightness of the landscape, the foliage, the gore. The film brings the worlds to life, as the tribute train is rushing around each district; the audience can soak up all the sounds, smells and views of this dystopian world we find ourselves in. The film is well presented and it is a good film but there are some key moments in the book that the film just skims though. The struggle of the tributes in the book is felt much more, the descriptions about how dry their mouths are, their fears, the way they have to sleep in the trees, the way they feel about each other is felt much more. The time in the arena goes much quicker in the film. Days fly by, time is distorted and the film spends far much more time on the build up to the games. The end of the games where some angry demon manifestations come to attack is one of the worst scenes in the film and let down some of the earlier amazing special effects. The ending of the film is good as it keeps us on a cliff hanger but towards the end, the film really loses pace and becomes a little confusing.
As a fan of the books, well one and two anyway I did not like the third; I thought that the film recreated the scenery and the characters really well. I loved all the characters; especially the character played by Lenny Kravis that makes the outfits for Katniss and Peeta and the world of the capital is brought to life. The indulgence and the sheer vulgarity of the capital is portrayed so well. It's tough to criticise a 142 minute film for not spending enough time on things, when it certainly ticks more boxes than it ignores. I saw the film in the cinema and then felt that I wanted to watch it again before the second film so I bought it on Blu ray. I am glad I bought it as it is a good film, I just found that I connected much more with the book. You tend to find this though with loyal book fans; films never get it exactly right but this is an excellent attempt and it gets much more right than I thought it would.
The good thing about owning the Kenwood chef is that you can buy extra attachments. The difference between the juicer and the blender supplied is the pulp. If you want a smoothie with pulp then the blender is for you. If you want a smooth juice drink where all the bits are sieved out, then you will need to buy this attachment. It is much bigger than a hand operated tool and it is just as messy but it is much quicker and it does not make your arm ache as much.
==Price and availability==
This is an official Kenood product and it costs £22. This does not come with a warranty which is a little disappointing but so far so good.
The juicer is designed to fit on the top of the Chef where the blender sits. It is a large bowl with measurements, the juicer and the seize and the three bits lock together. The bowl is designed for large quantities which is a bit funny really as it would take you forever to fill it! It has a lip for easy pouring and a handle to make this an easy task. The idea is that once you turn the machine on and the highest speed works the best, you can push half an orange against the juicing cone and the power of the machine will juice the fruit so that all you are left with is the skin and the pulpy bit. Bits that come away are caught in the sieve and the juice is caught in the bowl underneath.
This is still very messy and you end up with a sticky hand after use but it does the job and the healthy juice is caught in the bowl. The machine is good with oranges (special juicing ones work best) limes and lemons. You can also juice a grapefruit but anyone who can drink this bitter nectar is crazy! Boy horrid stuff. The orange juice will take about 3 large oranges for a full glass and I pour mine over ice as otherwise the juice is quite warm as the oranges are sat at room temperature. The effort is worth the results and the juice is lovely with only a few bits of fresh creeping past the sieve.
The attachment is easy to load and remove, but due to the size it can be a pain to store. All the bits need washing and rinsing afterwards as they get very sticky but overall it is very easy to use.
There are many different juicers but you may as well use the tools that you are most comfortable with and if you can buy attachments then this much better than buying a whole new product. The attachment works well and it is easy to use, the only issue I have with it is that I have to kneel on a stool to be able to keep hold of the orange as my work tops are high and coupled with the height of the machine, it gets a little awkward to use. This ensures I can use downward pressure and get the best out of each orange.
We bought this on eBay second hand as my boyfriend needed a new media player for the gym. We decided to buy second hand as they never seem to last him very long so we didn't want to spend to much money. I had seen this iRiver model a couple of times previously and when I saw a cheap one for sale on the internet we bought it. The iRiver has been out since 2006 but when it came out it was top of the range and retailed at £140. It was the one to rival the Ipods, hence the name I guess.
==Price and availability==
We paid £20 for this second hand which is quite good as the seller was selling it with a case. As it had been cased for most of its life, it was not very scratched or anything.
In many ways this has more functions than needed but it is a cool little device. For starts it is slim and you can buy arm bands for it so it is perfect for the gym. It only weighs 70 g so it is light and it has a very bright 2.2 inch screen which has 320 x 240 resolution. The screen can be used to play flash games on or utilise the menus which are activated by the margin of the phones screen. It has a built in microphone and a radio. It can even record the radio by using the microphone, a nifty trick we discovered.
The player is sleek and with all the buttons on the side or built in, it looks really modern and stylish. The screen is easy to navigate and you can quickly skip tracks and toggle with sound. The player makes life easy as it is intuitive and you don't have to spend ages learning how to use the machine. If you are wanting to get the most from it with games, video and music a quick play around and you will soon navigate it like a pro.
This is really easy and simple to use. In terms of uploading, I found it easy to put music on the machine. I am in chrge of all things digital so I am the one who keeps the music up to date. This player is best used with Windows Media player as you can sync with playlists and drag and drop easily from here. Audio wise the sound is really good and it emits a loud, clear sound. If you are watching a video, the low frame rates make it a little jerky but the function of this player is for music to be listened to in the gym. As it was second hand it did not come with headphones but the sound with my boyfriends preferred headphones are really good. The machine feels light but it also feels quite robust which is good for the gym. The machine's battery lasts for a good 6 hrs before it dies and for an older second hand machine I think this is quite reasonable.
I think that this is an excellent buy for the price we paid. I probably would not want to spend £140 on it but 7 years ago this was an amazing price for the money. My boyfriend loves this and thinks it is brilliant. I suppose for £20, having a 2GB player with facility to play music and videos is quite good really!
This was a beautiful Cafetiere bought for me as a gift and if you are searching for a Christmas present then this is a real gem. It comes in a lovely presentation box with a scoop and although quite expensive it features a beautiful screen printed feminine design that makes it look extra special. Cafetieres make fresh coffee that has a lovely rich aroma and only need emptying in terms of cleaning.
==Price and availability==
This is a a large cafetiere and it costs £19.99. Amazon are selling it for this price and offering free delivery.
The product comes in a presentation box and it comes with a scoop. The cafetiere holds 8 cups of water and it is made from stainless steel. On the side is a lovely butterfly, plants and flowers design that makes it look very attractive.
This is a lovely piece and although a cafetiere is not something I use on a day to day basis, I have used it a couple of times. It is quick to use and involves filling the pot with cafetiere coffee, adding hot water and then plunging. The plunge has a strong stainless steel filter on it that pushes all the coffee grains to the bottom and just leaves the coffee in the middle. I have used it with the wrong coffee before and ended up with a very bad cup of coffee that tasted like watery with grains of coffee bobbing around in the top. The correct coffee makes a very pleasant drink though. As a rule, I tend to find that cafetiere coffee goes cold too quickly as you need to pour the water just before it boils or is could break the glass. This then needs to stew in the pot and I find all this time reduced the temperature of the coffee too fast and makes it cold. This is not a reflection on this product though as it does an excellent job of making a cup of coffee.
I think that this is an excellent buy and I love the way it looks. It is such an attractive arty piece to put in the kitchen and if bought a gift, it would make an excellent present. The product is well made with good quality shiny stainless steel and good solid glass. There have been no problems in terms of workmanship and my only issue is with cafetieres in general. The pot has a good spout for pouring the coffee and there are no spills or drips! It would be full marks for this one but it drops a star for the cold coffee.