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black_gold
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Member since: 04.11.2011

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    • redspottedhanky.com / Internet Site / 33 Readings / 31 Ratings
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      21.09.2013 18:52
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      Good service overall

      I've been a fairly frequent train user over the last 3-4 years and I've been using redspottedhanky for around two of those. The site acts as a third party for booking travel and accommodation. Booking a ticket It is easy to search for your required journey. First you need to provide details of your to and from points, day/s you want to travel and before/after time. From here the site will provide you with a range of journeys which suit your criteria and various different ticket options with the corresponding price. Special requirements like first class, no changes in train and railcard options are available. It is then up to yourself to select specific trains for each leg of your journey. If you book early enough there are often advanced singles available which can reduce the cost of your journey. Where the train operator provides it you can book a specific seat on the train. You have the ability to request window or aisle seats as well as facing a forward or backwards direction. Once you have chosen your tickets they appear in a box on the right hand side of the screen, similar to a 'basket' you would find on amazon or the like. This is one point where I think the interface could be improved. When I book several journeys at once it seems to make you go through the checkout process individually. I don't see why this is but I was booking tickets for three different days this week and had them all in the basket but I couldn't just click a single button which would allow me to purchase them all simultaneously. Just a slight grumble but I did find it slightly annoying. Delivery Now you have the opportunity to choose your delivery option. There is post (first class which is free or special delivery) or you can collect your tickets from a self service machine (at available stations). They recommend booking 5 working days in advance for first class however I have found they arrive after 3 at the most. Special delivery will deliver your ticket by 1300 within one working day provided it is booked on a weekday. Loyalty Redspottedhanky also operate a loyalty scheme where you gain 1 point for every pound you spend. With the price of train tickets these points accumulate fairly quickly if you are a regular train user. Each point is worth 1p. Redspottedhanky now also operate their loyalty scheme in conjunction with various online retailers. By accessing the retailers through Redspottedhanky you gain loyalty points on your purchases (like a cashback website). The points per pound varies based on the retailer. Offers At the moment it is possible to exchange Tesco Clubcard vouchers for redspottedhanky e-vouchers. This gives you e-vouchers double the value of your clubcard points. This process is usually pretty quick, the e-voucher is usually in my redspottedhanky account within a couple of days of exchanging. In order to do this your clubcard and redspottedhanky account do need to be registered to the same email address. Overall I have never had any problems with Redspottedhanky. I usually check train times online before a journey anyway and this site operates the same search function that the train operators do. Ordering tickets before the journey is handy as it is one less thing to do during that early morning commute. The loyalty scheme is an extra bonus, if you're buying the tickets anyway you may as well get some money back on them. The real value is gained from the Clubcard exchange which has been running for a while.

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      • Beats Solo HD / Headphones / 33 Readings / 30 Ratings
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        14.09.2013 00:31
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        I love them but they could do a better job

        I purchased a pair of Beats Solo headphones about three months ago. I primarily use them with my iphone and on occasion with my Samsung laptop. Solo are currently the smallest of the Beats on ear headphones. The Look Solo headphones currently come in 9 colours: black, dark blue, light blue pink, purple, green, red, white and futura-atom (white with sort of paint splattered). After much deliberation, as I liked many of the colours, I went for purple which is grape purple shade. There is a 2.5cm wide band which goes over your head connecting the two earpieces. There is also a hinge on either side which allows the earpieces to fold inwards and the headphones become fairly compact (considering they're on ear). On top of the band 'beats by dr dre' is written and the Beats logo features on each earpiece in silver. The inside of my headphones are black, this may be white depending what colour you buy. The inner band in lined which rubber to provide some comfort from the plastic band and the actual earpieces have large soft black cushions. Each earpiece also pivots to allow for extra flexibility and comfort. On the inside of the band just below the hinge there is a R or L to show which way round to wear them. Solos come with a detachable red wire for connecting to your music device, it connects to the left headphone. The connecting wire also includes in-line control talk. This allows you to control your music (increase/decrease volume, pause, play, next track or previous track) as well as using the headphones as a handsfree device. This is really handy as it saves you digging your device out your pocket. The Sound The sound is good but considering the price and comparing them to cheaper headphones the sound isn't £100+ difference in sound. A common comment on Beats is the bass level, this is definitely more noticeable however it obviously depends on the particular track you're playing. It's up to the individual user if loud bass is your thing. For overall volume I've found it's not particularly loud. Again this depends on the volume of the track/video you are playing. For example I use the youtube app and I've found some videos are quiet but then others are louder than playing 'normal' music on the iphone even though I haven't touched the volume level. Noise cancellation could be better as well. Leaving the headphone on without any music playing it takes the edge off outside noise but you can definitely still hear it. What really disappoints me is the amount of noise that leaks out of the headphones. From about half volume the person sat next to you can hear your music. I do like my music loud but I also don't want to annoy other people with it. Durability As mentioned I have only had the Solos for 3 months so I will update this review later to give a proper durability verdict. I can see one potential problem being the hinges, these many loosen over time, we will see. The main covering on the headphones is plastic which I don't imagine will take much battering. I am also a bit worried they may scratch. The Carry Case The headphones come with a padded carry case. This is black with a red version of the beats logo on it. The case is a great addition to the product however I've already stopped using it. The headphones only fit in if you fold them up and you need to detach the wire so it becomes a bit tedious putting them away and getting them back out if you use them a lot. I would probably only use the case now if I was travelling. However even though the case is padded it's not enough to withstand a weight or dropping. It would protect from scratches but would only cushion slightly so probably not enough to prevent damage to the important parts. Overall I love the look, they are comfortable and the sound quality is good. However I can't quite get the volume I would like when out and about. It remains to be seen how they last over time. I'm not the first and won't be the last to say you pay the money for Beats for the name and the look, as mentioned the sound isn't really an upgrade. I bought them as a treat for myself as they're not something you buy regularly.

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        • How I Met Your Mother / TV Programme / 33 Readings / 33 Ratings
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          06.06.2012 23:52
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          Can't get enough of this.

          How I Met Your Mother is an American sitcom based in New York about 5 friends. Sound familiar? Yes, over the years it has drawn many comparisons to Friends. I was a huge Friends fan and I've seen every episode several times, in fact I can quote most lines to you but I am also a huge How I Met Your Mother fan. I'm not going to go into specific details of the storyline over the seven (so far) series. I want to avoid spoilers hence will just provide an overview of the show and my thoughts on it. As I said it is based around five friends Ted (main character), Barney, Robin, Marshall and Lily. The show is a very long explanation of how Ted met the mother of his children, several episodes begin with his children on the couch in 2030 listening to him tell the story. Ted is an architect trying to fulfil his dream of designing a building that will become part of the New York skyline at the same time as finding his future wife. Barney is a ladies' man/playboy who ......... well we've never really worked out what he does for a living but he makes a lot of money as his apartment (which is specifically designed scare away his one night stands) and his suits show. He is also famous for is catchphrases which include "suit up!" and "legend ....... wait for it ........... dary!". Robin is a career driven news anchor who has no plans for marriage or children. Robin can sometimes be a bit mysterious as her character does tend to hide her feelings. Marshall and Lily are a couple who have been together since meeting at college (where they also met Ted). Lily teaches kindergarten but also has an ambition to be an artist while Marshall is a lawyer with dreams of saving the planet. Whilst the show is about Ted the writers manage to give each character their share of time in each episode. At times you can actually forget the show is about Ted search for a wife at all. I feel this is good as on the face of things a show based around that could get pretty repetitive. Barney often steals the limelight as he is that kind of person in the show. Barney is my favourite character, he is probably the funniest. His humour (and at times the whole show) can be pretty risky, the kind of humour that makes you laugh because it's funny but also because it's kind of shocking. I personally don't find it too shocking and I've never felt they've gone too far however I'm not very easily offended, I wouldn't watch this show with my grandmother though. I also like Robin she is a very strong character and is often pointed out as being quite a tomboy. She's quite different to the usual female character however I have noticed there is more of a tendency to create female characters like her these days. Marshal and Lily are your slightly boring couple I guess to give a bit of balance to the rest of the group but they do get their own chance to shine at various points. Since the show began in 2005 there have been several big name guest appearances including Britney, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Enrique Iglesias, Jorge Garcia, Nicole Scherzinger, Rachel Bilson, Sarah Chalke, James Van Der Beek and many more. Overall I love How I Met Your Mother, I've had several laugh out loud moments throughout all series. It's got everything you'd want in a sitcom. New episodes are shown in the UK on E4 however we have just reached the end of series eight and are awaiting the ninth and final series.

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            06.06.2012 21:17
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            Excellent pain relief

            I tend to try and avoid taking too many painkillers these days. As a child I used to suffer from really bad headaches which would last for days and doctors just told me to constantly take various painkillers (whilst abiding by instructions on the packet I must add). I feel your body can become too used to the same painkillers and now I take fewer of them I find them more effective. Nurofen Plus is what I use if I have any kind of ache or pain which is quite severe or if I need it gone in a hurry. I find Nurofen Plus works really well for this. If for example I have pain which is stopping me from sleeping I always use Nurofen Plus as it is really good at getting rid of pain quickly. In fact I find Nurofen Plus so effective I only take one (instructions allow one or two) where as normally I would take two of any other kind of painkiller. As I mentioned before I prefer to use painkillers sparingly so being able to only take half the allowed dose but still eradicate the pain is really good in my opinion. They are easy to swallow as they are small and smooth coated so you can't taste the medication inside. They also come in liquid capsule form which slightly bigger but still smooth, easy to swallow and no horrible taste. Nurofen Plus are more expensive than other painkillers but for effectiveness I definitely think they are worth the extra. For weaker pain I would use regular Nurofen or sometimes supermarket own brand Ibuprofen. This allows a packet of Nurofen Plus to last longer and I would feel it was overkill to use it on only minor pain. Only having to use one at a time also helps to get your money's worth. I always have a packet of Nurofen Plus around for times need.

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          • The Mooncup / Sexual Health / 24 Readings / 22 Ratings
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            04.06.2012 16:34
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            Will never use anything else ever again.

            First off I was pretty apprehensive about using a mooncup and if you are one reading this trying to decide if the mooncup is for you I felt the same way as you do now not so long ago. I read reviews not only on Dooyoo but on several different online sites and the majority of verdicts are really positive but there are the odd bad experiences which do put you off. Just to give a small description of the product it is a cup (in the name!) which you place inside you to collect all the menstrual fluid during your period. It is soft so it folds quite easily, you don't put insert it in the shape it is in the picture. There are a few different ways of folding and it all depends on your personal preference which way you use. My first worries were 'how will I get it in properly?' and 'how is it going to come out?'. The first one is dealt with by folding and being quite comfortable rummaging around inside (I would also recommend running it under the tap first). On your first couple of goes I wouldn't worry too much about it being in exactly the right place, I would wear a pad to begin with as it is difficult to get it exactly right. Once it's inside it's best to use one finger to feel round the edge of the cup as once it's inside it will expand and be back in its original shape. This creates the seal everyone talks about which should stop leaks. Now the steam, again this is something you won't get right from the off. I've had to cut a couple of rings off it so I don't feel it once it's in. The steam should disappear once the cup is fully in and you shouldn't be able to see or feel it on the outside. It's a bit of trial and error, I'd cut one ring off at a time until you feel it's comfortable. One thing I definitely recommend is persistence! It will feel a little weird when you first use it and it's not something you're used to. Once you've got it in leave it there and try to forget about it. I remember being really conscious of it at first. On my first period using it I didn't use it all the way through, just a few times to get used to it. It will leak on your first few goes but it's a case of practice getting it in the right place. Now the tricky part, trying to get it out. You probably will have a few moments at the beginning where you panic and start to picture doctors stood around you working out how to remove this thing. However if you do struggle you can always leave it in a while longer and try later (you don't have to worry about TSS). Best thing to do is relax, squat as low as you can go and push down from the inside. Yes it has a steam and it is there for a reason but that reason is not to pull on it to drag the mooncup out! The seal needs to be broken first to allow it to come out easier. To do this you need to squeeze the bottom of the cup and try to get one finger up round the rim. I then squeeze the cup together to get it out, sort of folding it a bit like when putting it in. Yes there is blood and it is messy! Personally, blood doesn't bother me but if you are someone who is a bit squeamish the mooncup isn't for you. My only problem is I wouldn't really like to use it in a public toilet. Partly because of the mess and it being unavoidable getting blood all over your hands but also it still does take some time to remove and reinsert the cup. However I do find it much easier than I did to start with. I'm now five or six periods in and I've only in the last couple have I exclusively used the mooncup. I am someone who was happy using tampons (never really felt dry like some people complain about) except I always leaked when I did use tampons. This often meant using a pad as well as a tampon which kind of made the tampon pointless! I hated using pads as you're always really aware they are there. I'm really glad I tried and persevered with the mooncup as I think it's a great solution. Definitely happy about not having to buy or use tampons and pads anymore. Whilst the mooncup isn't perfect from the start it does take some getting used to. I would definitely recommend it! Coming back over a year later (and after just over 18 months of using a mooncup) I'm now even more convinced by it. Whilst I wouldn't recommend giving it to a girl who has only recently started her periods I do think it should be something every woman considers at some point.

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          • Ryman.co.uk / Online Shop / 19 Readings / 17 Ratings
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            03.06.2012 17:53
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            My new place to buy all stationery

            I'd never heard of Ryman until maybe 5 or 6 years ago when I heard Theo from Dragon's Den owns the company. However my first visit to a store was only a couple of months ago, I've been living near one for about 4 years but it never occurred to me to visit. Other than who owned the company I didn't know much about them for example price, quality etc. I usually go to WHSmith for stationery as it never occurred to me to go anywhere else. Since my first visit to Ryman's I have been converted! On first impressions the look of the store does have a slightly cheap feel however it is neat and tidy and well organised. They stock everything you would need for any sort of office type task/need including: furniture, computer accessories, printers, arts and crafts materials, basic catering facilities, school books, flipcharts as well as the expected paper, pens and pencils etc. As I've said I didn't really know much about the company so I was a little sceptical about the quality of their products. One of the first things I bought was a pad of paper. When you buy paper anywhere it can range from really cheap feel, look and thickness so I think this would provide a good benchmark. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the paper, it is actually better than the WHSmith paper I've been buying during my years at university. A4 plastic wallets are also something I've found can vary hugely depending on where you buy them. If you buy them too cheap sometimes you can't even get A4 paper to fit in them! I found Ryman's own brand to be just the right size and also quite thick. For the price I think it is especially good quality. Which leads me on to another point. Whilst there isn't a huge difference in price between the two shops I have found Ryman to be cheaper, even before using the student discount available. Obviously I haven't compared the price of every single item available in both stores but I found it to be true looking at my recent purchases (pens, paper, plastic wallets, diary). A discount of 12.5% is available to students with a UCAS or NUS card. Although depending on who is serving your university ID or even saying you are a student may be enough. I'm moving house soon and I hope there is a Ryman store nearby as I'm now wondering why it took me so long to go there in the first place.

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              03.06.2012 16:30
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              Does as it claims

              First I'll tell you a bit about why a bought this product so you have an idea of a before and after. I've always been lucky in the respect that I've never suffered too badly with spots (just the odd one every now and then which I manage to get rid of using a concoction of various things) however my problem is blackheads. These appear all over my nose and chin. I've used a few products and never really noticed much difference. Although I will admit to not being the most dedicated when it comes sticking to a facial routine. I read a few reviews on Simple Kind to Skin Pore Minimising Toning Cleanser and thought I'd give it a go. First Impressions The product is a clear gel consistency. The bottle is clear so you can easily see how much you have left. Originally I used cotton pads to apply the product but on the odd occasion where I didn't have any I just put some on my fingers and then applied it to my face. I now think it's better just to use your hands as it means you don't use as much of the product as it's not absorbed by the pad. It feels cool when you apply it and is quite refreshing. One of the things I like about it is how quickly it dries in. My skin doesn't seem to absorb products very well (moisturisers, etc) but this toning cleanser absorbs in less than a minute. The bottle suggests applying it day and night so I need it to dry in quickly so I can get on with other things. I tend to apply it straight after my shower in the morning and then last thing at night before going to bed. Does it work? The bottle claims Simple Kind to Skin Pore Minimising Toning Cleanser will 'visibly reduce the size of pores and leave skin feeling refreshed and clarified.' I would agree with the refreshed and clarified as I mentioned before, it does feel cool on application. It feels nice to apply something which isn't a cream which I sometimes think feels like adding a layer to your skin. As this product dries so well it feels like it has actually worked into your skin rather than just sitting on top, if you understand what I mean. I also support the claim it reduces the size of pores. On beginning to use this product I made a real effort to keep up using it twice a day to see if it actually worked, I managed this for a couple of months or so. When I did start to forget to use it I did notice a difference. When I wasn't using it so much I did think my pores were more noticeable. Overall My reason for buying this product was to help with blackheads. I realise this product on its own would not deal with them as its main purpose is to tighten pores, not get rid of blackheads. I used this product in conjunction with a facial wash to tackle the whole problem. Overall I felt this product did more to help the appearance of the blackheads than the wash did. As mentioned before I do feel the product does as it claims. It doesn't work miracles but it is one of the cheaper products on the market for this purpose so I'd say it is worth it.

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                23.12.2011 16:18
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                If you're a fan you should own this already!

                Lady Gaga's huge Monster Ball tour which lasted for over a year and a half and played over 200 dates comes to DVD. The footage for the DVD was filmed over two shows at Madison Square Garden in New York in February 2011. The main footage begins with a 5 minute intro which features Lady Gaga arriving at the venue and getting ready. The show itself is amazing and I think the DVD really does make you feel involved with the show. The filming and quality are great, some of the shots are ones which are unachievable for a fan in the audience so these add a little extra. Gaga sings all her hits up to and including Born This Way. There is a storyline running through the show of Lady Gaga and her friends trying to get to the Monster Ball. The set goes through several changes beginning in a downtown New York scene which moves onto the subway followed by a dark forest and finally arriving at the Monster Ball. There has obviously been a lot of effort put into the show, nothing has been forgotten about. The show is more than simply a performance of the albums. Also included in the main footage between set changes are short clips of the action backstage during the show. This includes not only Gaga but her dancers. It is only a small part of the DVD but I really like this as it's not a part you get to see normally. Of course Lady Gaga is the star of the show but I feel the dancers play a huge roll and they feature prominently in the DVD. My only minor disappointment with the DVD is the extras. There is an a cappella version of Born This Way, a photo gallery and a 12 minute 'Backstage at the Monster Ball' feature. The backstage feature gives an insight into what happens prior to the show and also includes Liza Minnelli meeting Lady Gaga. These bonus features which are there are good however my disappointment is about something that is missing. Anyone who saw the show live will know that during set changes there were several videos made specifically for the tour played. I hoped that these would be included in the DVD but they are not. Instead this is where the backstage footage is shown. The videos were long so they probably thought it would be better not to put viewers through the long wait that set changes take. However they could have included the films as extras. Like I said this is only a very minor thing and anyone who didn't go to the show wouldn't know about them. For any Lady Gaga fan the DVD is a must own. I went to see the show live, have spent many many hours both before and after on youtube watching clips and despite that I've still watched the DVD numerous times since buying it a few weeks ago. Pretty sure I'll still be digging out this DVD in years to come.

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                18.12.2011 00:58
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                Nice pictures but nothing you can't find on the internet

                As with my previous review I'll state now that I am a Gaga fan just so you know the background. I'll keep this about the book and not wax lyrical about the lady herself. Another thing I must state is that Lady Gaga was not involved in the making of this book. The make up of the book is good quality. It is paperback but has a good think cover and the paper inside it quite thick and wouldn't be easily damaged. The content is good but not brilliant. The quality of the pictures is great, the pages are colourful and design gives a nice look. The pictures begin pre finding worldwide fame and the most recent is from the Jonathan Ross interview in March 2010. Pictures are included of all her big performances and famous looks up until this point. For those wondering there is one picture of the second version (the main) of the Monster Ball Tour and a few from the first version. Given the type of person Lady Gaga is with her many interesting outfits and rarely wearing the same thing she does lend well to making a book full of pictures. However despite this I feel there is still a slight lack of variety in the book. There are often several pictures from the same appearance. As the title of the book is 'Extreme Style' having several pictures of the same outfit doesn't really add anything. Another disappointment about this book (which is probably due to Lady Gaga not being involved in the making of this) is that all of the looks in the book aren't anything I've never seen before. Being a huge fan I do spend large amounts of time on the internet reading about, watching videos and generally looking at anything to do with Lady Gaga. Perhaps that is why this book doesn't contain anything new to me. Someone less fanatical would learn more from this book. But I don't think someone who isn't much of a fan would be interested in buying this kind of book. That raises the question of who exactly this book is good for? The author does include a large amount of commentary throughout the book so whilst it is a picture book there is a fair amount of text as well. Another gripe I do have is about the commentary. The writer does refer to some things Lady Gaga has previously said but a large part of it is commentary so the writer's view of her. On reading this I do feel sometimes like the writer doesn't really know what they are talking about, her interpretation of things can seem a bit off. This is based purely on my knowledge and views of Lady Gaga as I don't know anything about the writer. Personally I would ignore the text in the book and only look at the pictures. Overall the pictures are nice but that is it. It's not a book you look at very often. If you're looking for this kind of book I would look into getting the more recent Terry Richardson book. This book is a collection of pictures by various photographers at various public appearances. However Terry Richardson is a friend of Lady Gaga's and followed her around the world to take the pictures himself and hence gets some shots no one else has seen.

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                26.11.2011 18:05
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                Does all the basics well with a few little fun extras

                I had my ipod nano for about two years before the battery wore out and needed replacing. For me it was my upgrade from the 2nd generation mini which lasted me about 3 or 4 years (can't remember exactly). I opted for a nano with 8GB capacity as my 4GB mini was almost full but I knew I wouldn't need the capacity any of the classic ipods offered. For some info on my use: ever since my first MP3 player about 6 years ago I go everywhere with one, use one daily and use one constantly when on the go as well as frequently when in the house. My main priorities were obviously playing music, playing videos, ease of use and having enough storage space. This nano is capable of playing music, videos, podcasts and games as well as displaying photos. The ipod is operated through the click wheel. It is also the first nano to feature a motion sensor. This feature rotates the display if the user rotates the ipod. This is a cool feature but I only really used it when looking at photos or playing a video (the nano automatically converts to a landscape display when a video is playing). When scanning through the track menu if you hold the ipod horizontally the screen changes to a view of the album covers of each track which you can scan through using the wheel. The motion sensor also works to shuffle the music you are playing. Whilst playing a track if you shake the ipod it will jump to a new track and shuffle the playlist. This wasn't a feature I really used. There is a shuffle option in the setting menu which I permanently left on and if I wanted a different track I just pressed the next button. This generation is thinner, sleeker and lighter than previous versions meaning it fits really nicely in your pocket and isn't at all bulky like an ipod classic. It features a 2inch screen, the same as the previous generation but taller and thinner. I always found this to be a good size, a bigger screen would obviously be a benefit for playing videos but it is large enough to provide sufficient detail. The clarity of the screen is great (also depends on the quality of your video though) and the colours in videos and the general menus really stand out. I found it has a good battery life (until it died completely) and I would use it every day for long periods and often watched videos. As with most Apple MP3 players it is very easy to use and sometimes I wish I still had one for this reason compared to what I use now. The itunes software is excellent and I definitely long to use that compared to what I use now. Transfer of music etc to the nano is very easy and quick. I replaced my nano by trading it in at an apple store in exchange for a refurbished nano of the same generation for about £40 however it only lasted about three months. I assume that was due to it being a refurbished ipod but I won't be using that service again. I feel the nano is a good compromise for those who don't need masses of storage space and like a small compact device for daily use. If you want a device that stores music, photos and videos and is straight forward to use then go for a nano. It comes with a few little added features which you can choose if you want to make use of them. Both this generation and the 5th generation are similar however the newest (6th) gen does not play videos. Overall I was very happy with my nano and planned to buy the newest gen when my second one broke but not being able to play videos was a deal breaker for me.

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                18.11.2011 21:43

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                An easy, exciting and enjoyable read

                Somehow I managed to completely miss the whole Twilight hype until just after the first DVD was released. When I heard about I watched the DVD and after seeing it bought this book. I don't read books often (an understatement) partly because it seems to take me so long to read them and I lose concentration easily if it's not interesting. However I discovered very quickly Twilight was the exception to that rule. Without including too many spoilers, although I'm sure if you've heard of Twilight you know what it's about. Twilight follows the love story between human teenager Bella and a vampire called Edward. This book tells the story of how they meet, getting to know each other and coming to terms with the obvious differences in their lives. Even though I'd watched the DVD so already knew the story I was still hooked on reading. The book includes much more detail as the story had to be cut a little for the film. Nothing major was cut but it shows their journey in a bit more detail and possibly makes it a little more believable (as believable as a love story between a human and a vampire could be) as things don't happen quite so quickly. This is a love story aimed at teenagers and reflects that in that it is full of tension and will they won't they moments. For me it was definitely one of those books you don't want to put down and I was up till the small hours at times reading it. I've heard some comments that it's not very well written but I think (although I'm not literature expert) for the type of book it is it gives you everything you would want. I'm slightly older than the stereotypical Twilight fan but I found myself hooked on it all the same. It's a nice, easy, pleasant read which is good for a bit of entertainment if you don't want to get yourself stuck into something too complicated. I loved Twilight and went on to read all four books and watch all of the films so far.

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                18.11.2011 18:40
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                The finishing touch

                I'm a huge fan of the Toni & Guy range and I primarily use the products for straight hair (aqua coloured products) but I was given Protein Protection Mist as part of a Toni & Guy gift set. This particular product is part of the styling range. I have long thick hair which I regularly blow dry and straighten. The can instructs you to spray onto towel dried hair. It is a heavy spray which would make dry hair quite wet so I find it's best to apply before blow drying. I prefer sprays which you use prior to drying rather than straightening. I feel unless a spray is fairly light although straightening will dry your hair again I still think you can sort of feel it in your hair (maybe that's just me). If I was only straightening my hair I wouldn't use this product. Protein protection mist has a nice smell, like all Toni & Guy products I think, it's quite a fresh smell. I don't use it every day but I do make sure I use it on days I am both drying and straightening my hair. It's a quick and easy to use. I spray it a handful of times all over my hair and give it a minute or two before I blow dry. I've been using it for several months and it feels as though there is about half of the can left so it lasts for ages. With all the things we do to our hair these days (styling, colour, etc) we should really do something to look after it or else the things we do to look good will end up having the opposite effect. The can says 'essential protection from styling damage'. Prior to using this product I can't say I ever suffered from particularly dry hair or anything like that but I did start to think about the damage that drying and straightening was doing. I'm not a scientist so I can't give you a definitive answer on whether it really truly protects your hair but I do feel it gives a little extra smoothness (possibly moisture) to my hair when I use it. It's not the be all and end all to smooth, straight and sleek hair as I do feel the Toni & Guy shampoo and conditioner contribute more to that (see my other reviews). I usually buy my Toni & Guy products at Boots however as I have mentioned in my other review Toni & Guy seem to be changing their range. This particular range only seems to be available on their website (possibly at their salons, I haven't checked) these days and the product availability seems to be reducing so it appears they are phasing it out. I am disappointed at this as the products I currently use really work for me and they don't seem to have like for like replacements for them. However based on my opinion of their current products I will be trying out their new ones. Overall on Protein Protection Mist it wasn't something I worried about needing prior to using it (although maybe I should have been) but it has become part of my routine which I do feel is necessary. Like I said before it's not everything but it's that little extra. **** I have since tried their new Protection Mist and I believe it is worth the extra star that this product is missing.

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                04.11.2011 23:19
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                Worked for a while

                I've used a handful or so of gradual tanning products and the odd 'proper' tanning products. I've got really a light skin tone and normally just want a light tan or just something that stops me looking so pale! So far I've found Palmer's Natural Bronze to be the best that I've used. My main issue previously was that I could never find a gradual tanner that dried in properly after applying no matter how long I waited. Palmer's is the first that I've found which dries in really well. Most importantly it produces a really nice colour. It is darker than most other products I've used which on the odd occasion does make it noticeable if it goes patchy. However that doesn't happen too often, just make sure you wash your palms properly after applying and give it a few minutes to dry in. People with darker skin than mine would probably find that anything patchy would be less noticeable. I normally put it on a few days in a row and that gives me a very light tan. Like I said my natural colour is extremely light and I'm not going for a look like I've been in the Mediterranean on holiday. The smell is nice as well but I find all tanning products have a certain distinctive smell (maybe it's just me). The only bad thing is that I seem to go through it quicker than I have with other brands. However that may be a trade off for a product that dries in quicker. Overall it's the best I've used. **** More recently I have found that I have had more of a problem with the colour being patchy. This is particularly on my hands. This may be due to a lack of moisturising prior to application but as a result I have changed to another brand.

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                04.11.2011 22:37
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                Brilliant

                I will begin by saying I'm a huge Lady Gaga fan and that was my primary reason for buying these but I'll keep this strictly about the product. Heartbeats by Lady Gaga are part of the beats by Dr Dre brand from monster. The fit Heartbeats are in ear headphones and come with several different size buds to suit your ear. It can take a little while to get used to the headphone as you need to work out which size is best for you. They made fit in your ear fine but you need to walk around with them in for a while to make sure they don't fall out when you're moving. The outer triangle part of the earphone also takes a little getting used to. The sound The sound is really good. I've used them with a variety of devices and all produce good sound. As they are in ear headphones they are really good at blocking out outside noise. This means you only hear the music which is great. I've previously found I had to have the volume up really loud to block out traffic noise when I'm walking along the street but with heartbeats you can have the volume really low and still hear the music clearly - probably better for your ears. The look I've got the red heartbeats and I think they look great. The style of them is different from other headphones which I really like. They are slightly bigger than regular headphones but still discrete. The cable is flat and designed to prevent the cable getting tangled in knots which it does - I've never had a knot in them in nearly two years. Heartbeats also come with a case to keep them in. The case is in the same triangle shape and colour as the headphones. I find this really useful as it protects from other things in my bag. Overall I love heartbeats and wouldn't want to use anything else again. Great sound, great look and great to use. What more could you want? **** Since writing this review I have had problems with the reliability of the headphones. For the amount I have spent these headphones seem to be faulty. I have had problems with the sound in one ear. At times there is no sound and when there is sound in the left ear it is much lower than that in the right. This isn't due to poor treatment as I have tried my best to look after them. This is unfortunate as other than this problem I love these headphones. Having done further research it seems this is a problem amongst Monster/Beats headphones, fragile cables seem to be the blame. A negative for the brand overall, not just these particular headphones. To their credit though I have found customer services to be helpful and provided a new set of headphones. I have adjusted my overall rating and the reliability accordingly.

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                04.11.2011 22:33

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                Worth it

                Update: Sainsbury's now have this product in stores. I've got long thick hair which I dry and straighten regularly. I've been using Toni & Guy Straight and Protect for a few years and now I don't like using anything else. Straight and Protect makes my hair feels softer and smoother after straightening. If I run out and have to use something else my hair never feels as nice. The downside is that it is a bit more expensive than other products but I often buy it when it's on offer at Boots. Another is that it isn't very widely available. You can only buy it direct from Toni & Guy (or until recently Boots). Boots have recently taken this range off the shelf and it has been replaced by a new Toni & Guy range which doesn't feature a shampoo specifically for straightening. I have bought some of the new range which in my opinion is still good but it isn't quite this shampoo. Both are good but in slightly different ways however I given the choice I would rather have this version.

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