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Bruno Mars has to be one of the BEST artists to hit mainstream music over the past year or so! For those of you who are unfamiliar with who he is (however shocking that statement may be), a quick Bio... Bruno Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez (Bruno Mars is his stage name) on the 8th of October 1985 in Hololulu Hawaii. Although I find it difficult to believe that this performer who has been active since 2005 didn't achieve commercial recognition and success until 2009, before this time he was a relatively successful song writer writing for the likes of Alexandra Burke, Sean Kingston and Flo Rida. However the world was graced with the incredible singing voice and talent or Mr Mars in 2010 when he featured on B.O.B's Single 'Nothing on You' and Travie McCoys ' Billionaire' and realeasing his first debut single the extended play 'It's better if you don't understand' which featured Cee Lo Green and B.O.B these singles propelled Bruno to his mainstream success and led him to becoming a recognised solo artist releasing 'Just the way you are' on July 20th 2010. 'Just the way you are' did incredibly well reaching Number 1 in the UK single chart and Number 1 on the US Bill Board Top 100 and having recorded sales of over a million in October 2011. Bruno went on to release the album Doo Waps and Hooligans on October 4th 2010 and better the world for it! This album has an incredible sound, a sound that can be appreciated by absolutely anyone, whether 3 years old like my little one Harry who is in love with it and can sing every word (still can't make it through the alphabet though), or my Grandad who to my astonishment has it in his glove box "I like to listen to it on long journeys" he said, my point exactly! The album features a mixture of music, for the most part about love or loss, however even with those songs that are primarily focused on rejection or loss are not so much depressing unlike some music that is focused on these topics can be, instead it provokes a kind of relatable emotion and you somehow begin to empathise with Bruno, whether the songs are based on real scenarios or not! The album begins with 'Grenade' this would be one of the songs that is focused on rejection, Bruno sings about all the things he is willing to do for a girl, including catching a grenade and jumping in front of a train, the guy shows some devotion, and I can appreciate where he is coming from, as it is the same with me and the mrs (don't tell her that though, I can't lose the cool cockney bravado) sadly for Bruno though this girl doesn't share the same sentiment, not too good for Bruno's love life, or his health if he is going to go round catching grenades but brilliant for music lovers around the world as the final result is an incredible song, one which has earned countless awards, reached number one in countless countries and has gone platinum in quite a few countries! The album goes on with other incredible tunes by the Genius that is Bruno Mars, including The Lazy Song, Just the way you are (as earlier mentioned) and Marry You, now I don't know you, but I can safely assume that you have heard one of these songs at some time or another, and if you haven't you have to be living under a rock! I could go on forever talking about each of these songs individually as they are all absolutely phenomenal, but I honestly believe the only way to truly appreciate this album is to buy it and listen! The songs are all relatable, emotion provoking and easy listening, I think you can listen to this album no matter what your mood, if you are feeling sad its the perfect pick me up, if you are happy, its just really good easy listening! I often think about the music I listen to now... will my boys listen to it in years to come as I have done myself with music my parents listen to such as Queen or Elvis, and I honestly believe this is music that will stand the test of time and I will still be listening when I am in my 50's (i'm only 23 now). Bruno has been compared to Elvis relating to his appearance and stage presence and I am sure like the king him self, Bruno will go on to achieve incredible things and his music like the music of musical God himself Mr Presley will be around for many many years to come! Keep it up Bruno! I can't wait to see the next album! (Sources include Wikipedia, The Official Chart Company and US Bill Board)
Being the typical British man I am... I have to say I am not the biggest fan of the French, however David Guetta is the French's gift to the musical world, and what a gift it is! So a little about David to kick us off! As you can probably guess by now David Guetta is indeed French, he was born in Paris on 7th November 1967, his full name is Pierre David Guetta, I was pretty surprised to hear myself that he has been active since 1884 realeasing a few singles here and there... But his first major hit was his single "Just a Little More Love" in 2001. (source of info: Wikipedia) Since then he has been popping out hit albums and singles galore, however for me Davids fifth studio album "Nothing but the Beat" which made it to Number 1 in the UK Dance Album Chart and a respectable Number 2 in the UK Album Chart... is his best yet! David has collaborated with some incredible artists, just to name drop a few... Tiao Cruz, Usher and will.i.am. So the music... This album in my opinion has a tune for every mood, my favourite has to be his collaboration with Usher... Without you, which made it to UK Dance Chart Number 1 and although I personally feel it should have made it to number 1 it reached Number 6 in the UK Singles chart. The album also has his latest realease with up and comer Sia the song Titanium was released early December, I believe that the song was originally written for Mary J Blige, but following the Demo David chose to keep Sia as the main artist and for obvious reasons, she is amazing and I am guessing we can expect to see a little more from her over the forthcoming months, and she will be pleased I'm sure to see that this single reached Number 1 in the UK Dance Chart and a fantastic Number 3 in the UK Singles Chart! So David Guetta is famously known for his dance / electro music which each of these songs features, but the addition of the various artists creates such a wonderful mix of sounds which are perfect for every emotion or mood! I have this album on my phone which I listen to when on trains and buses etc but I also have the CD in my car, its the perfect music to drive too and I have heard songs from the album played in virtually every night club and pub I have been in. Take it from me, if you like your music, if you like a dance or something awesome to drive to, you need this album, plus there are some seriously awesome hidden gems on the album, like most albums some of the best songs are the ones that don't get released mainstream, this album is no exception! Thanks again France! You did good here! Facts from Wikipedia and Official Charts Company respectively.
My best friend and the perfect bribe. I am not here to give parenting advice but I am not a big fan of my little ones eating sweets, however I do think they deserve a treat every now and again (I'm not an ogre). These over the last 2 years have become my best friend. I have twins and they have very different personalities and often clash or chose just to be awkward. Neither of them like to eat their vegetables like most 3 year olds, so I am surrounded by children that wont eat healtily, like to argue and well are frankly a pain in my behind! So thats where these little pots of bribery, sorry I mean Jelly come into play, all I say is eat your veg and you can have a jelly, knock off the bickering and you can have a jelly it works wonders. Plus they taste pretty good too, I have had a few of these in my time and pinched a spoonful when the little ones aint looking. They come in a range of flavours, I am aware of Blackcurrent, Strawberry and Orange, I personally prefer the Blackcurrent. They are not too sweet, but they are a nice little treat as Harry and Owen my twins will tell you. I buy them from Tesco and they cost just 46p a pot which makes them the perfect addition to your kids lunch boxes or even your own, I have been known to take one to work before now. Your typical nutritional values look pretty good too (information taken from tesco website): NutritionTypical Values Typical values per 100g - Energy 340kj / 80 Kcal Protein Nil Carbohydrate 20.0g Sugars 18.6g Fat Nil Sats Nil Fibre 0.3g Sodium 0.1g In my opinion this has got to be better than feeding your little ones chocolate bars or something filled with e numbers. Enjoy!
Despite my headline Drive like Mr R.Pattinson I would like to point out I did not purchase this car because I saw it on Twilight, however I have spoken to a few people about my car and they have all mentioned seeing it on Twilight and said that the cars placement in the film would possibly influence them to buy the car. Ok so my model is: 2006 (56 reg) Coupe Manual 2.0L Petrol I own this vehicle in Black with a black & white leather interior. The newest models can set you back anything from around £15000, personally I think buying a car brand new off a forecourt is daylight robbery, as you can almost guarantee that by the time you reach your first round about your shiny new car has lost a few thousand in value. I chose to bargain hunt and after a few weeks of hunting I managed to lay my hands on one for just £6000 for a 2006 model, this was the first vehicle I bought that was not a shed with wheels, I have had the pleasure of driving around in cars that are almost as old as me. Early in 2011 I started my own business and I strongly believe that company appearance, my appearance etc can have either a positive or negative effect on a clients impression of a company. So I figured it was high time I scrapped my 15 year old fiat punto and buy something that is professional looking but not too "flashy". For me it was a toss up between the C30 and a Mini, as my office is in a very busy area of London and a large portion of my clients are in London I wanted something a little smaller, anyone who has ever tried to find a parking space in Westminster will understand this! After some careful consideration and a couple of test drives I settled on the C30... Why? Well the deciding factor for me was that the Mini was all to common and since it was part of BMW I figured it would cost me an arm and a leg everytime I need so much as a bulb replacing. So the C30 it is... Its small-ish (although I wouldnt call this the smallest compact car), I have since learned that it is incredibly cheap to drive, it looks professional yet not too much of an older persons car (I am only 23 and the TV depicts the Volvo as something that the 40 something year old soccer mam drives) so for me it does have a (for want of a better word) a cool aspect, however I think that this is helped by the fact that Robert Pattinson did drive this in the Twilight movies. Inside the quality of the interior is good, the seats are a faux leather and a black and offwhite mix, the dash and the handles are all plastic, however it is a good quality and looks really good and even though this is only a 3 door compact it is deceptively roomy, I manage to get my twins in with their car seats, a full weeks shopping, me and my partner and occassionally our dog comes along for the ride (she is only a tiny terrior though, so don't expect to get your St Bernard in) and it is still a comfortable ride! Its been kindly pointed out to me I have not really mentioned the actually drive so I will, the drive is relatively smooth, however I would like to point out its very rare that I venture outside of London, the furthest I did venture was to my parents house, they live in a small village in the north, and the lovely comfortable ride that I have on the streets of London didn't radiate to the dirty rough country roads. On the rougher terrain the car seems to struggle and believe me, you can feel it! So if you are an off road kind of person this is not the vehicle for you, since I spend my time driving inner city this is perfectly acceptable to me. In terms of the cars safety my model came with all the things you would expect to come as standard in any modern day car, it features an anti-lock break system (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP) an array of airbags including front, side and curtain and a traction control system. I was also influenced by the fact that the C30 was awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - Top Safety Pick Award. One feature I found particularly frustrating was the cars Electronic Stability feature, I was under the impression that this was designed so that the car can help you the driver reduce the risk of skidding, the way that it does this is monitoring your steering, the pressure you are applying to your pedals and the position of the wheels themselves, it will then make adjustments to the car if it believes that you are skidding or about to skid, the problem with this is (as I noticed during the winter) that sometimes it will mistake your evasive actions as potential problems and attempt to rectify your driving for you, which can actually lead to you skidding in the end anyway! Sadly I don't know much more about the Electronic Stability control and aside from during the slipper months it has not caused me a problem, however I would recommend doing your homework on this before you buy the car, and familiarise yourself with its features! So I will wrap it up here and summarise, Exterior is stylish and professional, its economical and cheap to run, the interior is roomy and looks really smart and quite the comfortable drive when on smooth roads and it has won an award for its safety so not a bad car in my opinion! So to sum up, if you need a professional car but don't fancy driving around in something that takes up 6 parking spaces, this is the car for you. Drive safely!
I have recently written a few reviews for the things I have in my office and although these are products I use everyday I wouldn't say I have a huge passion for them. These headphones on the other hand... OMG! I actually received these as a gift from my partner at christmas, my first reaction was blowing the roof off in shock, (i knew how much a pair of these cost) despite never using a pair I was aware that they have an awesome reputation, but I would never have considered forking out almost a hundred quid for headphones... I usually spend around £25. Anyway my music habits are very much like may other 20 somthing year olds, I have my headphones in whenever I am not doing anything thing that requires me to take them out! I often sit in my office at work with music playing in the background through the speakers of my pc or have the radio playing (I am one of those strange people who cannot concentrate in silence, I need a bit of background noise). So after blowing the roof off and gettting at the mrs for spending a fortune on something I could get for £20, we come to a compromise.... I keep them and shut up (you have to love the compromise). So they stayed in their box over Christmas, although if I had have known how much background / external noise they actually cancelled out, I think they would have remained in my ear the entire festive period, it would have saved me a few headaches from my hyperactive toddlers. So the first time I actually used these would have been a couple of days after Christmas, I took the Tube to work (I was a little worried about my alcohol consumption from the night before... better safe than sorry) now I am not a fan of the Tube, busy, noisy place but with these things in my ears, I was in heaven, they pretty much cancel out most of the external noise and I don't mean when you have your music cranked up to ridiculous volumes either, I played the music through my mobile (just a mid range blackberry) and I had the volume at about half way when I first put them in... when I pressed play I think my eardrums nearly exploded... The quality and level of sound is absolutely incredible! I turned it down to about a quater and comfortably listened to my music, minus the hustle and bustle of central london during rush hour! I kept the headphones in for much of my day, rather than play my music through speakers I figured I would just keep them in, about half an hour into my work day, I look up to a member of my team, stood infront of my desk trying to get my attention and pointing at the phone, I hadn't heard her shout me or the phone ring... Marvellous, I have finally found a way to hide from the awful sound the phones in our office make! So I guess for me these headphones are without a doubt the only headphones to buy. You have incredible quality, you actually hear little bits in songs that you have never heard before, you have the unbelievable noise cancellation, however this is also a negative or a slight concern for me, I think this could be a little dangerous if you have them in when walking the streets of somewhere busy, they block out the sound of traffic etc and you may run the risk of walking innto the road and not hear the speeding bus beep its horn, might be a wise idea to walk around with just one in! Anyway thats my two cents on these, I would recommend them to absolutely anyone who listens to music regularly, whether it be during your commute, at work (beware of the noise cancellation though if you work somewhere a little dangerous like a building site) and finally just for relaxing, I am sat at this moment writing the review with them in, and about 6 feet away are my toddlers fighting over the television remote and I cant hear a word.... HEAVEN!!! Well done Dr Dre... and THANK YOU!
The Epson Stylus was recommended to me by a member of staff in PC World, at the time I was purchasing computers for my office and somehow the conversation turned to photocopying / printing / faxing etc, this conversation was pretty much me complaining about costs... the cost of the hardware the print costs etc, I am a little tight fisted to say the least. The guy in PC world asked me what it was that I have in the office (we were discussing my office / business printing costs, not general home use) and I told him I have quite an old copier / fax and that I was looking to update, however the one I had seen was in the region of £600. He then showed me the Epson Sylus. Wow. I couldn't believe this little guy did all the same things as my current copier (the one that is the size of a small car and taking up half my office). So for £200 I thought it was worth a shot. I got it back to the office easily, its a little on the heavy side, but for me thats always a judge of quality, I was confident that it wouldn't some flimsy piece of equipment that that is going to need replacing the second it gets the slightest knock. So when I arrived back at the office my IT guy was not there so I figured I would start setting it up. We have a network in the office to which connects all the PC's together, I didn't want to risk trying to add it to that, so I thought I would just connect it to my Laptop which is not connected to the network. I cannot believe how simple, it was literally a 2 minute installation and the click of a button, the ink which was reasonably priced (I have managed to find cheaper by not using Epson ink and I still get the same good quality) was incredibly easy to put in (this is something I found almost impossible to do on my old copier). The print quality is brilliant, its a little slower than it says, I believe it says it can print 38 ppm... I think its closer to about 30, but thats still pretty quick. When my IT guy got back he managed to connect it to all the other PC's in the office within about 5 minutes, and lord knows how he did it but also managed to connect it to my phone. I have since got rid of the old system and an office of 6 people uses this and this alone, I have also been advised that within the month I have had it, I have actually saved money on Toner which is always good to hear, unlike the printer which makes virtually no noise at all. Plus it looks good in the office, we have a little more space than we had before which is always a benefit to small businesses. I would recommend this to anyone who has the need for a solid printer, I would say though that if you have more than 5 - 6 people in your office it might be a good idea to buy two of these little beauties, it saves having 3 people standing around one machine waiting for their jobs to come through, makes things much more efficient! Good job Epson.
The great debate... Apple vs Blackberry, always a difficult one for those that have professional jobs. For me Blackberry wins EVERYTIME. I am currently in the process of updating the Computers and Phones for the staff in my office, each member of staff (there is 5 of them) was using the Blackberry Pearl 3G and I felt that it was starting to become a little dated, after having a chat with the staff, we agreed that we would go for another Blackberry since the BBM (Blackberry Messager) has proven to be quite an asset and has become the foundation and the choice of communication between staff members when out of the office. So after a little research into the new Blackberrys available I fell upon the Blackberry 9360. I chose to update the office phones with the 9360 because for me it has everything anyone could possibly need from their phone at a great price, a number of Blackberrys on the market had price tags in the region of £400 - 500 and when you are buying for yourself and 5 other staff, the bill is soon going to cost me an arm and a leg. The 9360 was reasonably priced with all the functionality of some of the more expensive Blackberrys. Since receiving them, we have all been really pleased, the phone is slim and stylish (we were a little concerned about the size since we had grown accustomed to the sleek and slender size of the Pearl) however this was perfect, infact just a little bigger, we were also a little concerned about going from the standard 0 - 9 keys to a full keyboard, but this has proven to be a big hit. The phone is fast, has a number of features, the ability to view e-mails on there (I had our IT guy set up the e-mail as we have our own e-mail server and domains and it got quite confusing to try and set it up, it did however look really simple for those of you using Yahoo or Gmail etc). I would recommend this to anyone, it is a really good Blackberry without the ridiculous price tag, it has a decent sized screen, despite cramming a qwerty keyboard onto a tiny phone (this has always been a bit of a problem for me as I have quite large fingers) I have not actually had that much of a problem, I do catch a few keys at once from time to time, but the phone seems to recognise your errors and correct your spelling for you. There are a number of apps available too, ok maybe not as many as Apple, but you can pretty much find anything on there, I just downloaded an app for buying plane tickets and I actually found an app version of my CRM (customer relationship management) software, which was a real surprise. Oh and finally, the battery is fantastic, I use my phone for around 3 - 4 hours talktime and send approx 50 - 75 text messages a day sometimes more, and the battery lasted 3 days without having to turn it off or recharge! Overall I am really pleased and would recommend this to anyone looking to update their phone!
I had originally purchased the HP pavilian DV6 for business use (I am a recruitment agent) however I was disappointed with the item after returning it I chose the Toshiba Satellite Pro and I couldn't be happier. I have yet to have any problems with it, I am the type of person who is regularly switching between programs and often run 5 or 6 at a time and the Toshiba has no problems managing this, with the HP the laptop was a little slow to react when switching between programs and required a few seconds "thinking time" this however does not, it is smooth to switch without freezing or stopping. I use this both within the office and out and about, the only thing I would say is that if you are looking for a laptop that you can throw under your arm and run out of the office with, this is probably not the ideal choice as with its 17" screen it is a little on the large side and once in a bag does become quite bulky and is a little on the heavier side, I wouldn't recommend this for someone who is looking for something ultra mobile and convenient to carry around. I usually only have to walk from the office to the car with it, in which case it is absolutely fine. I appreciated the quality of this product so much that I have recently replaced two office desktops with this for space saving and the staff using them have reported no problems and I feel that it has improved the appearance of the office, no more bulky towers and trailing wires. My opinion this product is worth its price tag and ideal for some one who needs a reliable Laptop. - Oh and finally to add, the 17" screen makes it easy for presentations within small groups... no need for hooking up to projecters etc.
I am a self employed recruitment agent and I purchased this for my everyday out of office use, I was looking for something that stood out but wasn't too expensive, I think this product ticked these boxes, it has a good look, its modern and stylish. However I was also looking for a computer that I was efficient and kept up with my pace (I tend to work very quickly). Unfortunately this product didn't meet my needs in this area, I found that it has slightly longer "thinking time / reaction time" than other Laptops I have had and others that my staff use. What I mean by this is that when switching between windows or programs it has a tendency to freeze for a few seconds, this can became quite frustrating in my first couple of days, one would expect that the first few days of a Laptops life it is sharp and efficient, sadly this product was not, therefore I chose to return it. I feel this is a computer that is better suited for a teenager or children, not the working professional that relys heavily on their hardware.
I recently purchased the LG 42LK530Twith the intention of using it as a PC monitor, I am a self employed recruitment agent and have been using a white board to organise my staff. However I have now decided that I will go electronic, the TV was mounted on my wall and connected to a PC, this is done by HDMI connection, this allows me to organise my staff using an online program and view the information at a glance. The quality of the TV is much better than I had originally expected, I was looking to save a few quid so went for a cheaper option, however I have been pleasantly surprised. The image is crystal clear, there appears to be no delays, even when I use it to stream videos or view complex websites and programs. It looks good too, I can't imagine returning to an unsightly white board, this TV has certainly improved my office appearance and quite possibly my companies' appearance, for the sake of a few hundred quid I have now created the impression that my company is larger than it is. For those of you purchasing this item purely for TV use, I have also used it to watch a few movies that I streamed from my PC, the quality is brilliant, crisp and clear and provides a wonderfully bright picture. I think the only slightly negative thing that I have to say about the LG 42LK530T is that it is a dust magnet!! I am having to wipe it over at least twice a day to remove unsightly dust. Definitely an A - in my eyes and a bargain.