- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
I am a massive Jodi Picoult fan and have enjoyed every book that I have read of hers. I did sway away from her books a while ago (as I was started to get a little too obsessed) but started reading them again recently. The first one I picked up was Change of Heart.
= Change of Heart =
Change of Heart is the story of a death row prisoner, Shay Bourne, who believes his only way to redemption is to donate his heart to the sister of his victim. However, death by lethal injection does not allow for organ donation. Can Shay have his sentence changed to another form of death?
I was surprised at how quickly Picoult jumped into this story, usually there are a few pages before something drastic happens and you get what's going on. But with Change of Heart everything pretty much started from the first page and I was instantly gripped!
I love that all of Picoult's books are captioned with 'What would you do?', every story gets you thinking the same question. Change of Heart had me thinking 'What would I do' in so many different ways.
Firstly, we meet Shay's victim's mother and sister. Her sister is desperate for a new heart and time is running out. However, when they are offered Shay's heart, they begin to battle with themselves and each other to make a decision. This man owes them something, as he has already taken the person that they love away from them, but at the same time, does she want his heart in her body?
We also meet Shay's legal team, who struggle with their conscience throughout the story, and other inmates on Shay's wing, who reflect on their own crimes.
I don't want to give too much of the story away, but there are twists and turns all the way through and, as always, a massive twist towards the end that gets you second guessing everything you have already read.
I would definitely recommend any of Jodi Picoult's books to someone who loves reading and getting lost in a good book. I can never put her books down!!
Since the release of the first E-Reader, I have been adamant that I will not jump on the band wagon and dispose of my trusty paperbacks! But, after come careful consideration, I decided it might be time to ditch the books and do it all electronically!
I purchased the Sony PRS T1, which cost me around £150 from Littlewoods, and eagerly awaited its arrival!
When it arrived, I charged it for the 2 hours that the instruction manual recommended and then had a play. The E-Reader came preloaded with a couple of 'classics' (I think Treasure Island was one of them) that I wasn't particularly interested in so I went online to purchase a few books to download onto it. This was when I realised my first mistake, the books for E-Readers are quite pricey, considering you don't even get them in paper! But, after a little searching, I found that you can download them for free from some places.
I loaded up my E-Reader with a couple of hundred books that I knew I would love and away I went!
The first thing I noticed about my new book was that it was not in colour, I had assumed that they all come with colour screens now but apparently this isn't so. But when you think about it, what do you need a colour screen for when all you're doing is reading? Plus, the fact that it does not have a colour screen and it not backlit gives you the feeling that you are actually reading a book, not a book on a computer screen. The 'pages' of the book do look like actual pages!
Also, as the Sony reader is touch screen, I found it really easy to skip through the list of books I had available to me and find the one that I wanted. The touch screen also makes it easier to flip the page when reading a book and to hold the book in one hand comfortable to read.
Since buying the E-Reader, I have read atleast twice as many books as I normally would. I think this is because it is so small and lightweight, it is easy to throw it in any handbag and carry everywhere with me.
Aswell as being able to read on the Sony PRS T1, you can browse the internet via Wi-Fi. Although this is a great feature, it does drain the battery life. However, if you do need the internet, it is a handy feature. (We recently went on holiday and used it to send our family a facebook message when we arrived).
The battery life it is brilliant. When you originally charge the reader, the instruction leaflet tells you to charge for 2 hours to full battery life. Once you have done this, the battery usually lasts 4 weeks (if you have only used it to read books) and then only needs another 2 hours charge to bring it back to full battery. This is great for holidays or when you just have the reader thrown in your bag, as you don't tend to get any nasty surprises and a dead battery at the most inconvenient time!
Overall, I am now a full convert to the electronic book! Although the price of most books is quite expensive, if you know where to look you can find many great reads for free! Also, the actual Sony Reader store seems more expensive than the other sites, which has put me off even browsing there for books!
If you read alot but find it a bit of a pain carrying around heavy books in your bag, this is definately the way forward! I will never go back to paper books now!
I have received so many different make up products as birthday presents this year that I'm starting to think people are trying to tell me something! But I'm not going to complain as it saves me paying out for new things.
I received a few mascaras this year and one of those was Miss Sporty Studio Lash. I have heard of Miss Sporty products before but have never tried them or thought of trying them.
The Studio Lash mascara claims to be the 'ultimate eye opening mascara' with instant lash sculpting and a 'perfectly separating next-generation applicator'. If you can understand the last part then please explain it to me! I don't understand all these different applicators that mascaras have!
Miss Sporty also claim that with this mascara lashes are lifted up to 70% and longer up to 60%, with no clumps.
The mascara comes in an 8ml, bright green tube with silver writing describing all of Miss Sporty's claims. The tube is long and thin and has a screw cap that releases the mascara wand, as the majority of mascaras do.
The packaging is nice a bright and stands out next to other, more boring, products but doesn't look as expensive as the boring ones.
The packaging states that this mascara has a plastic brush and, when you pull it out, it is obvious that the brush is plastic. It is very thin, with lots of little 'spikes' all the way around it and is quite sturdy on the end of the wand and only bends very slightly.
To be honest, when I first tried this I didn't think I was going to like it at all, as I prefer thicker mascara brushes. However, once I had applied it and looked at my eyelashes properly, I could instantly see the difference between using a thin and thick mascara brush.
Usually, my eyelashes look very long but can look quite clumpy. With this mascara my eyelashes were longer than they usually are and were all completely separated, with no clumps at all. It is also very easy to apply to your bottom lashes, as the wand is thin and does not smudge across the bottom of your eye.
I have applied this mascara before going on a night out before, come home and collapsed into bed and when I wake up the next morning my eyelashes still look perfect!
From a quick look online, I can see that the Miss Sporty products are quite cheap. Considering the fact that I would usually pay £12 for a mascara that leaves my eyelashes clumpy, I don't think I can go wrong switching to this mascara from now on!
Despite my hesitation, this has turned out to be a great product and I would highly recommend it to anyone!
* NOTE: the eyeshadows that I have have a different packaging to the one shown above, but have the same name *
I received the Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad as part of a Clinique set for Christmas. I have never really worn eye shadow and considered giving it away but decided to try it out and save the eye shadows for nights out to achieve a different look.
The casing for the eye shadows is a small square that is roughly 6cm x 6cm and 1cm thick. The packaging is very pretty and cute; white with green and pink flowers and leaves on the top and the pink 'Clinique' logo. It is subtle but really does stand out and looks quite expensive.
To open the case, and reveal the eye shadows, simply put your nail inside the small gap in the casing and lift the lid up. This reveals the four eye shadows, which are in simple little squares surrounded by white casing.
In this eye shadow 'quad' there are four different shades; purple, pink, beige and brown. The back of the case says 'single shade from beach, plum, strawberry, fudge' so maybe these are the names of the shades.
The gift set that I received came with a small eye shadow brush, however, if you were buying this eye shadow on its own you would have to buy a brush to apply it.
The eye shadow is very easy to apply, as most eye shadows are. Simply gather a small amount onto your brush and stroke over your eye lid.
I have only ever used the beige and brown shades out of this set, as the other colours don't seem right for my skin tone. However, the purple has still managed to fall out of the casing (onto my cream carpet and leaving a huge stain!). I'm just glad it was a shade that I don't use that fell out.
I have started wearing eye shadow every day since I opened this and tend to apply it around 6am and it is still there when I come home from work at 10pm, so it really is long lasting!
I'm not sure how much this costs, as it was a gift, but have heard that Clinique products are expensive. To be honest, although it is long lasting, I wouldn't pay a lot for a set where I wouldn't use all of the shades and where the eye shadows that you haven't used are going to fall out of it.
I do think that these eye shadows make a lovely little gift though and would be happy to receive another one or give one as a present.
Another empty foundation bottle, time to try out a new foundation! This time, I decided to go for Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam. The Airfoam cost me £8.99 from Boots, however, you can always pick these products up on some kind of offer in Boots or Superdrug.
The foundation comes in a short, 50ml, cylinder bottle. It has a click on/pull off cap, with a pump underneath to dispense the foundation. The bottle is beige in colour with white and brown writing stating what the product is. On the back are your basic warnings (do not leave in direct sunlight etc) and the instructions for use.
Before dispensing the foundation, shake the can well. I have forgotten to shake the can before and the foam has come out a lot lighter in colour that it usually would. Dispense a small amount of the foundation onto your hand and take small dabs out of this to apply to your face. Blend well with circular motions.
As you may be able to tell from the name, when dispensed from the bottle the foundation is a light foam, rather than a cream or powder. When I first saw this, I was a little sceptical as it didn't make sense to me that you could use a foam as a foundation. But I was wrong!
The foam itself it very lightweight and feels quite wet when you first start to apply it. It feels as though it is not going to blend into your skin and will just sit as a wet layer on the top of your skin. However, once you start to blend it in properly, it does dry out and leave you with a flawless look.
Maybelline claim that the lightweight foam is easy to apply and will leave you with a flawless finish. To be honest, I cannot dispute their claims at all. The foundation is easy to apply and you can hardly see or feel that you are wearing it once it has been applied to your skin.
The foundation comes in 9 shades, which vary from very light to dark. I have the 'nude' shade and have quite pale skin but it blends in perfectly and you can hardly tell that I am wearing it.
The only problem that I have with the foam is that, if I get it too close to my eyes, my eyes start to water and the foundation seems to find a way of running into them so I have to wash my face and start again. I do try not to get it near my eyes but it is difficult and I have to remember to wash my hands as soon as I finish applying it before I touch my face again. This really is the only issue that I have with the foundation and if it wasn't for this it would be perfect!
I always seem to struggle with deodorants. If they smell nice, they dont seem to give me enough protection. If they give me long lasting protection, they leave white marks.
I try to change my deodorant every few months, as I have heard this if the best way to avoid your skin becoming to used to them, and usually stick to roll on as they never leave me with white marks.
So when I asked my boyfriend to pick me some up and he came home with a 99p spray deodorant, I was not happy at all because I had no faith that it would work.
Palmolive Lavender and Patchouli -
This deodorant cleains to give you 24 hour protection to help you stay 'fresh and dry' all day. They know 'how important it is to be protected and feel confident' but also seem to understand that the fragrance of a deodorant is just as important.
The back of the deodorant can states that the 'new anti-stress anti-perspirant with it's relaxing essential oils of lavender and patchouli is fabulously feminine' and the white can with pink flowers and pink lid completely support this statement.
Availability and Price -
I have seen this deodorant in several different stores, including; Boots, Asda, Spar and out local newsagent, so it is obviously widely available.
I have never paid more than £1.50 for a 150ml can.
Direction for use ... -
...if you need them!
As with most sprays, shake the can and hold it upright. Hold roughly 15cm away from your underarm and spray.
The can states not to apply to sore or broken skin. Also, as we are all taught in school. this is not likely to work if you havent washed before application.
Soft and Gentle -
So, to round it up, Palmolive claim that this deodorant smells 'fabulously feminie', is 'soft and gentle' and will provide 24 hour protection. Doesn't seem likely for a 99p deodorant, right?
After using slightly more expensive deodorants for yours, I felt robbed when I realised how good this one is.
I work 14 hour shifts and walk 45 minutes into work, if I spray myself with this just before I leave, I feel completely protected throughout the day and find that I don't have to re-apply at all!
Also, the scent is extremely feminie. I don't know what patchouli is supposed to smell like but definately pick up hints of lavender. The best way that I can describe it is a mix of flowers and soap, which sounds strange but is very fresh and sticks throughout the day.
As well as this, when spraying the deodorant onto my underarms, I realised why it was called 'Soft and Gentle'. Some deodorants can leave a stinging sensation after spraying, even if you hold it 15cm away. Even if I am rushing and end up holding this 2cm away, it feels gentle and doesn't leave me with any discomfort at all.
I always keep this in my handbag, in case of emergency, but have never had to use it out of the house. However, I don't mind leaving it in there as it is so feminie looking that I don't care if anyone sees it.
Unless my skin starts to get used to this, I will be sticking with it from now on! I have never come across a deodorant that ticks all the boxes at such a low price!
Even though, after a lot of pestering, my parents had only brought me a Blackberry Curve in May, when my contract ran out in September I had to get a new phone instead of going sim only. I didn't even have to think about what brand I wanted, I was sticking with the Blackberry! And after minutes of looking at fake handsets had decided on the Blackberry Torch 9800!
BB Torch 9800 -
The BB Torch has a large touch screen which slides up to reveal a buttoned 'qwerty' keypad, giving you the best of both worlds; touch screen and normal buttons. There are also buttons on the top of the handset (lock and mute) and down the side (volume and camera).
The phone measures at roughly 11cm in height, 6cm in width and 2cm in depth, making it quite big and bulky compared to other handsets. I have the BB Torch in silver (it is available in silver, black and red) however, this does not make it look feminine, it is definitely a 'manly' looking handset.
Unlike my previous BB phone, this one comes with a decent camera! The camera is 5mp and has a flash and face recognition. My previous phone had a 2mp, non flash, camera and the difference between the two in incredible. The photos on this phone come out very clear and bright and look as if they have been taken on a digital camera. The face recognition feature is obvious when used in crowded areas as faces clearly stand out more in the pictures.
As with most phones these days, the internet is built into the handset and can be accessed using either 3G or wifi. The internet is very basic and easy to use and always seems to load pages that I want quickly. Most of the time, writing on the internet is very small and difficult to read, however, if you tap the screen it will zoom in and everything becomes very clear.
If you are, for example, on your local bus services website and wish to view a timetable, the phone will give you the option of viewing the webpage or downloading the timetable. If you opt for the download, it will be stored in a documents folder do that you can access it in future without searching again.
I find the whole internet feature on phones to be a lifesaver in many situations and don't know how I ever coped without it! I am always Googling something, whether it be directions or who that actor is! I also have every bus timetable I will ever need downloaded, incase of emergency.
Aswell as internet explorer, Blackberry App Store is pre-installed. This allows you to download and install apps and games onto your phone. Most of these apps come at a price, but some are available for free. A lot of the free apps are trials and not usually worth paying for anyway, but you can find the odd gem hidden in there. For some reason, the app store doesn't seem to have many popular apps that you see advertised (for example, Special K or Weight Watchers) but I'm hoping they will update it soon.
There is also a built in music store but I have never used this so cannot comment.
Other built in features include:
*Windows Live Messenger
All of these can be activated by either logging into an existing account or creating a new one. You can also uninstall any of these if you do not require them and reinstall them if you ever feel the need to.
It is also worth mentioning that 'What's App' and 'Kik' messengers are compatible with the phone, as these seem to be quite popular at the minute for socialising and allow you to message and send photos to anyone for free.
Another key feature on the BBT is Blackberry Messenger, which seems to be the reason why Blackberry phones have become so popular. BBM is basically a 'free' (you have to pay £5 a month on top of your contract to activate it) instant messaging service that allows you to communicate with other people who have a Blackberry and whose 'pin' you have. BBM is preinstalled into the handset, however, you must be paying for 'Blackberry Services' on your plan to use it, if I remember right, Blackberry Services includes BBM and internet services.
Despite this being a new phone, by a company that seems to be taking over the world, it is quite basic (which is why I love it so much). The above features are pretty much the main features of the phone and everything else that comes with it have been included in all phones for the last 10 years! Other features include:
However, you can use the App Store to update the phone and add modern features, up to an extent. I recently downloaded a Kobo reader (for free) which has made the phone slightly more beneficial as I don't need to carry books around now!
Although I love this phone, and feel as though I couldn't survive without it, I have come across one major issue which has forced me to take it back to the shop twice already. Almost every time I am on the internet for a long(ish) amount of time, or playing a game that I have downloaded, it will turn itself off and reboot. This gets very annoying when your phone has turned itself off 5 times in the last hour! But I can't bring myself to take it back completely.
It can go through spells of doing this and, sometimes, it can be 2-3 weeks without it happening, but then it will happen every couple of hours the next day. I would say, if you are thinking of getting this phone, it would definitely be worth researching into this and finding out if this is a common problem.
Overall, I do love this phone. The main reason that it attracted me was because it had both a touch screen and buttons. I find this beneficial as I can type faster with the buttons but quieter on the touch screen when working nights. Also, as touch screens have a tendency to break around me, I can still use the phone if this happens.
Also, I love that I can check my Facebook or Google vital information wherever I am, and do it quickly. And the size of the phone means I will never lose it in my huge handbag as it is really bulky and difficult to miss.
My only real issues with the phone are that there isn't much of a selection on the App Store, but I can live with that, and the problem with the phone turning itself off all the time.
A phone that I would recommend a 100000% if the turning itself off is not a common problem. If it is, I wouldn't bother.
*Movie only review*
Looking at my last 3 reviews, it's starting to look like I am not happy with anything I watch. So I thought I had better review something I rate higher than 3 stars!
The Experiment -
The Experiment stars Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker and Maggie Grace. It was released in 2010, straight to DVD and is based upon the real-life Stanford Prison Experiment.
In the movie, a group of 26 men are chosen to take part in a psychological study. Some are given the role of 'prisoner', the rest 'guard'. They must spend 14 days in a prison following a list of rules. If anyone is hurt, the experiment will end and they will not be paid. If anyone leaves before the end of the 14 days, no one will be paid.
Everyone has a breaking point -
And I didn't reach mine watching this! Nothing annoyed me!
I first watched this on TV at work and we had missed all of the build up to the actual experiment. Despite this, I still really enjoyed it and found that it actually interested me. I remembered reading about the Stanford experiment in college but the movie made me see the experiment in a whole new light.
After watching it, I convinced my boyfriend to rent it with me and watch it from the start. In a way, I wished after that I hadn't and that I had just been happy watching it from where I did. Not that there was anything bad about the beginning, it just makes you think about it even more and actually made it quite upsetting to me.
When I explained myself after, my boyfriend completely understood how seeing everyone's life before the experiment made such a difference to me. But I don't want to give anything away so will leave it there!
Aswell as having a great storyline, the acting is great and you really do empathise with both the prisoners and the guards. Forest Whitaker gives an amazing performance, especially in the before and after scenes!
None of the movie feels as though it has been rushed or dragged out and I found myself hanging onto every word and every movement!
I would definitely recommend The Experiment, it is one of the first films that I have watched in a while where I actually don't have any criticism!
*Movie only review*
For some reason, when I saw adverts for 'A Nightmare on Elm Street', I felt like I HAD to see it. Why I would do this to myself, I don't know. The original is my favourite horror movie ever and I knew that a remake would just wind me up. But I watched it anyway!
A Nightmare on Elm Street -
The remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 2010.
In the small town of Springwood, a burned man with knives for fingers seems to be stalking a group of teenagers in their dreams.
After one of these teenagers dies in his sleep, Nancy (Rooney Mara) begins to investigate who this man could be and why she is having the same dreams as her friends.
It soon becomes clear that is they fall asleep this lives are in danger and it becomes a race against time to work out how to stop him and to stay awake.
I knew it! -
When I pressed plat on the DVD remote, I had convinced myself to watch this as if it was not a remake and not to let myself get wound up over it. This lasted all of 10 minutes!
And after this, everything about the film annoyed me and I found myself wishing it would hurry up and end.
If they had actually followed the original story, I think I would have been less annoyed. However, there wasn't much of the original storyline included. The only original characters were Freddy and Nancy and they seemed to have tried to but a bit of a prequel at the start (I could have this wrong).
I didn't like the way that the new Freddy was portrayed, his lines were even cheesier than the original and he just sounded like he needed to clear his throat. Fair enough, he looked more like a burns victim than the original Freddy, but didn't look half as scary as the original!
Nancy still had a boyfriend who stood by her and worked just as hard to solve the mystery. Yet his name is now Quentin, not Glen? Their friend is still arrested for murdering his girlfriend. But his name is now Jesse instead of Rod! I didn't really get this as the only reason I could think of for it was that they wanted more modern names, yet Jesse and Quentin seem just as 80s to me as Rod and Glen?
I just didn't get it!
I know I would hate it before I watched it. Especially the new Freddy as I adore Robert Englund! But I thought they might have given some justice to the original story, which they definitely did not!
I would definitely not recommend! And I will never go there again!
Wes Craven and Robert Englund all the way for me!!
*Movie Only Review*
When I rented this out, it was one of those impulse rents. I had heard nothing about it, had only seen one advert and hadn't even read the back of the case. So I really didn't know what to expect.
When James and Renai move into a new home, with their three children; Dalton, Foster and Cali, is seems as though they have a fresh start. However, when tragedy strikes, strange things start to happen in the house and Renai starts seeing people that her husband does not.
When she convinces him to, again, move it, it looks like they have left their problems behind them. That is until she starts seeing people again and it seems that whatever was in the house has followed them.
Now they must work out what it is and what it wants!
I watched Insidious with no information about it so that I wouldn't expect something great and be disappointed when I didn't get it.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed the first 2/3s of the film. The storyline was interesting and didn't give anything away so that you felt just as confused as the family did. There were plenty of moments where something just popped up and made me jump out of my skin and, after about 20 minutes, I was cuddling up to a pillow to try and protect myself (something that I do very rarely with movies).
It seemed like Insidious was going to be great! Now I just wanted to know what was haunting the family? And why?
Sadly, this is where it all went wrong!
I don't really want to give anything away and don't really know how to explain my disappointment without doing so, so just imagine this:
'You've watched up to now. Something is haunting them. You've spent the last hour or so sympathising with the mother, wishing you could help her, hoping someone is going to come and rescue her. And BAM! She wakes up and it was all a dream!'
Imagine the disappointment!
This doesn't actually happen but it may aswell have!
And now, after such a great start, Insidious has suddenly jumped onto my 'disappointed list'. I'm gutted!
The ending felt very rushed, which I wouldn't have minded if it was decent as the build up was so intense and just seemed so unbelievable that anyone would even think of it!
However, the very last scene does drop a great twist which slightly pulled it back for me!
I have never heard of any of the actors in Insidious, however, they all gave great performances. Especially the mother who really did make me empathise for her!
I don't know if I would recommend this or not and have given it 3 stars because I don't want to rate it low, but also don't want to rate it high. If I could, I would recommend the first hour or so then say turn it off and assume they all die to avoid disappointment.
*Note - This is a movie only review for the 2D version*
I absolutely loved the first 3 Final Destination movies and was so excited when they released a fourth. However, having an unexplained fear of the cinema, I never got around to seeing it. So with my free Blockbuster rental (see previous review), I decided I would finally find out if they could pull off following on from an amazing trilogy!
The Final Destination -
Released in August 2009, 'The Final Destination' is the fourth instalment in the Final Destination series and if the first to be presented in 3D.
The movie opens as a race track where, after a fatal accident, everyone in the stands is killed. In true Final Destination style, we then rewind back to the start of the movie where our main character, Nick, 'wakes up' and starts to realise he has just seen all of this and trying to convince people to leave. Soon after they leave, everything that we have already seen happens and they realise that they have cheated death.
However, when the survivors start dying in a series of freak accidents, Nick soon realises that they were not supposed to survive the accident and that they must, again, cheat death.
Okay, I understand making a fourth movie after the trilogy did so well. And I understand presenting the movie in 3D because everyone seems to be doing it these days. I even understand that, because it is in 3D, some things are going to have to fly out of the screen at you.
What I don't understand is why every single death in the movie was done in 3D. Why the clues as to who was next were no longer subtle hints but, again, random objects just flying out of the screen. And why this didn't really seem like it had anything at all to do with the previous 3 films?
There was no Tony Todd, who has appeared in all of the other movies (even Final Destination 5). And there was hardly any mention of the previous accidents; the only reference being a few '180's here and there that you had to really look out for!
Despite my disgust at this movie, I watched Final Destination 5 after and came to the conclusion that this one was released simply because it was a good idea for a 3D movie and the name would attract more people to see it.
I do believe that if this did not have a 'Final Destination' title and give you hope of it following the story from the previous 3 movies, it would have been a good 3D movie. However, in 2D it looked terrible; everything that was supposed to fly out at you just looked like a bad cartoon.
Also, there seemed to be too much of a build up between the initial accident, survivors starting to die and Nick realising that they were all supposed to die. So that when it got round to people actually being killed, everything seemed really rushed. Even the way that people died was rushed, which made some of them really unrealistic (I can't really say much more without giving them away).
To add to all of this, the acting wasn't great and I found myself hoping that they wouldn't work out who was next on the list, just so they would hurry up and die!
Overall, I was not happy with this movie at all and felt as though I had wasted an hour and a half of my life watching it.
I would not recommend any Final Destination fans watch it as it just ruined the whole idea of carrying on from the originals for me!
However, I feel like I have to say, I would recommend Final Destination 5 and, if I were watching them all again, would watch FD3 then go straight to FD5 and just skip this one.
We recently moved, again, and are now living above a row of shops. I thought that we would spend most of our time stuffing out faces on the numerous takeaways that are below us, however, a different shop has caught our attention and, pretty much, become a home from home... Blockbuster!
Blockbuster is a nationwide store that allows you to rent new and old DVDs, Blu Rays and Games at low prices for a number of nights. They also sell pre-owned DVDs and Games at competitive prices.
To rent DVDs and games, you must become a member at your local store. Membership is completely free and, if you sign up to their online store, you can earn rewards for renting. Online membership allows you to watch movies through their website, on your computer.
Our Store -
Due to the praise I am about to give the staff, I think it is only fair to point out that our nearest store is in Sherwood, Nottingham. It is a very small store, yet, somehow, they seem to have developed a way of fitting hundreds of DVDs in for us to choose from.
The staff in the store are so friendly and helpful and always seem as if they actually enjoy their jobs! They are always on hand to give you advice on movies that they have seen themselves and, if they haven't, will pass on other customer reviews. If we ask for recommendations, they always have several and a good description, without giving anything away about the movie.
Even when we return our DVDs, they will ask what we thought about it and will go into a detailed discussion about the movies with us!
I honestly do not have a bad word to say about them and the only way that they could make the store better would be to stay open 24 hours!
Our Membership -
The main reason that we were attracted to the store was because they had posters in their windows promoting '2 weeks free rentals for new members'. On enquiring, we were told that membership is free and if we joined we would receive a free rental every day, for the next 14 days.
All we had to do was fill in a form and they handed over our cards. It's that easy! My name is even on my boyfriend's account so I can rent from them without him being there.
As soon as we had our card we could start renting and have had around 18 movies out in the last 8 days!
As we only ever rent DVDs for 1 night, I do not know how much 3 night or games rentals are. A new release DVD for 1 night costs £2.99; an older release is 99p for 1 night.
Sign up! -
Even if you do not want to pay for rentals, it is well worth joining Blockbuster at the minute for the free rentals. We have not missed a day on ours and have watched most of the new releases that they have in store.
Even without the free rentals, if you hold on for a few months, the new releases go onto the 99p shelf. At 99p you can't even argue if the movie is terrible and it has saved me from spending a fortune on DVDs that I will only ever watch once, which is what I usually tend to do.
I can't really speak for other stores but the staff in ours are so helpful, you always walk out feeling as if you have made the right choice. Plus, it's always nice to have a little information on a movie before you watch it.
I would definitely recommend anyone goes and joins their local Blockbuster, especially while they have this free rentals offer on. It's free to join and if you are not impressed after 2 weeks you don't have to go back and you've seen 14 movies for nothing!
Don't you just hate it when you go into a shop, manage to really control yourself and budget and then you get to the tills and they have little things on display that you just cant resist? Whoever came up with this idea is an absolute genius! It gets me every time!
** Lipsmackers **
Lipsmackers lip balms are designed to moisture and hydrate your lips. The range always comes in bright coloured tubes and a large range of flavours.
Although I have seen the basic range many times in Boots and Superdrug, I have never seen the Cherry Cola one before until I was paying in Primark the other day. These were displayed in a tub at the checkouts and being sold for £1.50 each, along with Sprite and Coca Cola Vanilla versions.
** Packaging **
This lip balm comes in a 6cm tube, similar to a lip stick tube. It has a red, pull off lid and, at the bottom, a red base which is twisted to push the balm out of the top.
The rest of the tube is covered in a shiny purple sticker, this has the Coca Cola Cherry logo on it, in white, and the Lipsmacker logo in red.
** The Balm **
The balm is a deep red in colour and is extremely soft from the first application. When applied, it feels quite wet on your lips and only needs a small amount to leave your lips feeling hydrated.
Once applied, you are instantly hit with the scent of Cherry Cola drink and you can taste an exact replica of the drink, which is extremely sweet and has a very distinct taste.
I have been using this for the past 3 weeks and found that I have to reapply after 3-4 hours because my lips are beginning to feel dry. The taste and scent of the balm usually lasts between 1-2 hours.
** Smashing **
I only picked this up because I wanted to see if it actually tasted like Cherry Coke, so anything else that came with it was going to be a bonus.
Lipsmacker have got the Cherry Coke taste to this absolutely spot on, so my initial queries for this were answered. But after using it, I found that my lips felt so great that I carried on using it and have fallen in love in a matter of days. For great tasting and moisturised lips, I would have expected to pay stupid amounts from a more mature make up range, but I now know that I can get all of this for £1.50!
The only downside to this lip balm is the packaging. Although it comes in a nice, small tube that will fit easily into any handbag, the sticker with the logos looks really cheap and tacky. This really disappointed me as it is such a great product but I think I will be able to see past it now that I love the balm so
I always find it difficult to pick up a shower gel that I am completely satisfied with. It may not smell good enough, lather up enough, leave me feeling fresh - there is always something wrong with it. I spotted this shower smoothie in the bathroom the other day and thought it would be worth a try, even if it just got added to my review list.
** Pampered Shower Smoothies **
As I found this in the bathroom, I'm not really sure what this range offers in availability price and choice. However, I am pretty sure that my mum got this quite cheap in Wilkos.
The smoothie that we have is advertised to be 'exfoliating and enerising' with a 'zingy blend of green tea, lemon grass and gingko'. Just from reading the descirption, I couldnt imagine how this would smell, but once lathered up there was a strong scent in the air which reminded me of tea tree.
** Packaging **
This shower smoothie is packaged in a clear, 250ml, squeezy tube. The smoothie itself is a pale green colour which gives the clear bottle this colour and a refreshing look. On the front of the bottle is a picture of the ingredients, again all green, and green writing describing the product. The packaging is very basic but looks smart and the green really grabs your attention.
Also, the squeezy tube is very easy to open and release the smoothie for application. All you have to do is simply flick the cap open and squeeze to release a generous amount, which can be done easily with one hand.
** Treat Yourself **
The main thing that I love about the smoothie is the fact that it has little beads in it to exfoliate your skin. This allows me to double this up as a face wash and removes all of my make up easily whilst still leaving my skin extremely soft.
Also, once the smoothie has been lathered up and applied to the skin, it feels extremely soft as if applying a cream, even when using a shower puff to wash. I adore the way this feels on my skin as it makes me feel like I am moisturising at the same time and as if I am only using natural products.
The scent of this also adds to it plus sides as it is extremely fresh and strong. The scent reminds me of a weaker tea tree oil, which is a favourite of mine anyway.
You really don't need a lot of this to wash because it lathers up so well and one small squeeze of the tube provides more than enough for one wash. I have been using this for 2 weeks now and am still less than 1/4 of the way through the bottle!
I honestly cannot see any downsides to this shower smoothie and will definately be stocking up!
Go on, treat your skin!
When we moved into our new home, we looked everywhere for a bin for our kitchen. It seems like the simplest thing to buy and you should just pick up the first one that you see, but they're so expensive and I didn't want to pay £20 for something to put rubbish in!
Whilst picking up our last few essentials in Wilkos, I spotted this bin and went to check the price, convinced it would be atleast £20! So when I saw that it was £5, I brought it without even thinking because I had to rid myself of this bin stress!
The bin is a light grey colour and comes with a matching lid that sits on the top. I didn't care about the colour when buying it as it was only going under our kitchen counter anyway but the grey actually looks quite smart in our black and grey kitchen.
Size-wise, the bin looks quite small, however we have found that it holds a lot and does not get full too quickly. The website says that this holds 25 litres, which seems a lot to me but I'm not very good with measurements.
The lid has a flap on it that has to be lifted to put stuff in it, as strange as it may sound, I love this part of it! With bins that have push down lids, my boyfriend will sit his plate on the top to dispose of leftovers, resulting in the lid getting covered in food and me having to clean it. With this one it is impossible for him to do this.
When we brought this, we said that if it broke too easily we would pay for a decent one. However, we have been using it for almost six months now and it is still going strong.
For £5 you cant go wrong and it beats paying £20-£30 just to keep your rubbish in your kitchen for a couple of days