- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
It's not very often that I only have positive things to say about a Vacuum cleaner but the Vax power 6 is my favourite yet!
We live in a small flat and don't have too much space to store a large upright vacuum cleaner so this cylinder size is perfect for us. One thing I really love about this vacuum is the length of the flex, I find that I only need to change the plug once during my flat sweep as the flex is really long as is the hose making cleaning time takes less time!
I manage to clean two bedrooms, the lounge, kitchen, hall and bathroom before the vacuum needs to be changed and it really does pick up everything. To remove dirt from the device you simply remove the cylinder, press a button and that's the dirt gone. I find it helpful to hold open a black bin bag, placing the cylinder inside and pressing the evacuate button, as I have a dust allergy I like to make sure the process is quick and simple.
There is a handy light on top of the machine that alerts you to a blockage, you can remove the hose easily by nipping the ends together to check inside and the filter is easy to remove to check underneath for and large items that may have got stuck.
The accessories that come with the Vacuum are great as there is one to suit everything, hard floor, corners, curtains, I even do my sofa with the tiny one!
I can't rate this vacuum highly enough if like me you have a small living space and a very hairy pet!
I'm a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong, I've read most of her books and although the trilogy of Darkest Powers books is written for Young adults I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
The Reckoning is the final book in the trilogy, the previous books were The Awakening (2) and The Summoning (1).
I purchased my book from WH smith as part of the buy 1 book get the other half price, the usual price is £6.99. The book is available in paperback and can be purchased in Hardcover. The paperback has 400 pages and is published by Orbit.
The Darkest Powers trilogy is centred around Chloe Saunders, a 15 year old girl who is a genetically enhanced necromancer. (In layman's terms she can raise the dead without trying)
The Reckoning sees Chloe and her friends, Derek (werewolf), Simon (warlock) and Tori (witch) seeking sanctuary in a House lived in by enemy's of the Edison group. (the company who performed the modifications on the children)
Without giving any of the story away to those who have not read this book yet, There is suspense, insecurity, love triangles, family history revelations and new alliances all packed into the final book.
I do hope that Kelley Armstrong writes more as I feel that the ending left a wonderful opening for another book.
Fans of the Trilogy can find more information at a website created by Kelley Armstrong written in the view of Chloe Saunders. http://www.chloesaunders.com/
If you would like a signed bookplate for each of your books you can also write to Kelley requesting one, please send a stamped address envelope for the reply to:
Aylmer, OH N5H 2R3
I ordered an Asda fresh tasted Prawn layered pasta salad (with cocktail sauce) with my asda online order, they are currently on offer 2 for £3 instead of £2 each.
The pack contains no artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fat. Each 1/2 pack 220g (the whole pack is 440g) contains 211 Calories 4.0g sugar, 9.9g fat, 0.9g sat fat, 0.8g salt. The 1/2 pack is 1 of your 5 a day.
The container itself is a clear plastic pot so you can see exactly what is inside.
The pack contains Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Pasta and Prawns, and a plastic fork.
My first job when I opened the pack was to remove the soggy cucumber, very soft tomatoes and Large bits of lettuce from the middle of the lettuce head which I find to be bitter. In my pack there were 3 tomatoes and 13 cubes of cucumber, after removing the parts of the lettuce I did not want to eat I was left with around half left in the pack.
I found the Remaining lettuce to be crunchy and sweet. The pasta had a lot of pepper on and as it was cracked pepper It was quite hot when you bit some. The prawns were nice although some did have bits of shell on. There was just the right amount of sauce although if I had left the other half in my bowl I wonder if there would have been too little?
I wouldn't buy this again as i removed quite a lot due to personal taste. However had the tomatoes been firm and the cucumber not been so watery I would have ate them.
When browsing the snack section of Asda's online shop I noticed Pringles Prawn Cocktail, I had no idea they did this flavour so for 74p I decided to try a box.
The pink colour tube reminded me of Walkers prawn cocktail crisps so I was intrigued to see if they tasted similar.
The tube states you get 90 pringles inside on average, I have to say I was not prepared to count them before eating them so we will have to take pringles word for it.
The small print at the bottom states the crisps are suitable for Vegetarians, seems a bit odd considering most vegetarians I know don't eat fish?
The boring bit: Energy per 100g 518kcal per 25g serving 129kcal
Once you take off the clear plastic lid and peel back the foil top which can be re-sealed for freshness you are greeted by the 3" long by 1.5" (approx) wide crisps. These particular ones had splodges of red coloured flavour but no distinctive smell, I couldn't smell any fishy notes or anything at all to be honest.
When I put the first one into my mouth I could taste the synthetic prawn cocktail flavour that is common with any prawn cocktail snack, to be honest I didn't find them any different at all, I think I prefer walkers prawn cocktail crisps, pringles don't have the same crunch that crisps do so I was left a little disappointed. If I had to compare the pringles to another brand I would say they taste like shops own make crisps, if you have tried Asda's own brand Prawn Cocktail crisps then you will get the same flavour from the pringles.
I'm a huge fan of products that look fancy on the shelf in the Bathroom or on my dressing table and I just love the vintage look of the Benefit Kitten classic box.
If you have never used or heard of Benefit before it is a luxury cosmetics brand, Their packaging is almost always fantastic and looks great displayed. Most of the Benefit products give off a 1950s glamour image. If you are not into really girly packaging and products then Benefit is not for you.
The leaflet advises that the item is a Sparkling powder in a puff. Kitten prowls all night and naps all day! Caress and stroke your body with this glistening powder-in-a-puff. ME-OW.
The cylindrical presentation case material is Card rather than plastic and two shades of pink with gold trim with what looks like a hand drawn kitten, the weight and the product name also wrote in a handwriting style font. The Lid which lifts off with ease is white and pink with the same gold trim, and another hand drawn style kitten picture applying the powder to her back using her tail and writing, Imagine something that would lie on Marilyn Monroe's dressing table and you will picture this box! In my opinion the box is fantastically classy.
Once you have got over the fabulous exterior you lift off the lid and are greeted with the large furry powder puff, which is the softest thing you have ever felt, imagine stroking a mink coat and double the softness.
The puff is pale powder pink with a Black Ribbon Bow which itself just oozes class.
You use the puff to lightly dust sparkling powder over your body, I apply it to my arms, chest, legs and a little on my hair before a night out to give me a subtle glow. you can either use the ribbon to apply or just hold the puff in your hand.
I also own the St Tropez bronzing puff and thought that this one would be similar but I was totally wrong, the Benefit powder does not bronze it just adds a subtle glow. The consistency is like an ultra fine glitter, the aim is not to look obvious but just to add a glow. The colour of the actual powder is gold with a pink tint. I suffer from skin problems and have to be really careful what I use and I can safely say that this product does not itch or irritate when you are wearing it possible because it is so light.
I always apply the product after I have moisturised which I think helps it to last all night, I would spray your perfume before application too as the spray may wash it off if used after.
I would guess Kitten is intended for night wear rather than day wear as you tend to wear more clothing and it would not be seen.
The Kitten Classic costs £19.50 for 10g. You must use it sparingly as the 10g does not last forever we all use different amounts so I wouldn't like to say how long it will last you but one bonus is after it has run out you can still use the puff with other products.
In my opinion this item is the prettiest Benefit item I own, even when the powder has gone I know I will be using the puff and box for other things.
If you are looking for the perfect present for your partner or friend then I would suggest you splash out and buy them this, they will thank you for it!
Because the product only leaves you with 50p change from a £20 note it looses a star.
I purchased my Kitten Classic from the Benefit website at http://www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk but the products are available at most Department stores and Larger Boots stores.
I purchased this book in 2003 and since then I have used it on a weekly basis, I don't cook from it every day but usually one dish a week is from this book (or an adapted version). The book is Hardback and contains 260 pages, one of my favourite extras in the book are the "notes" pages for you to write down adaptations, timings etc. The book is Currently available for £12.00 on Amazon
Nearly every recipe in this book is a "comfort food" recipe therefore the calorie content is probably going to be high, that said one dish a week can't be that bad for you can it? Don't buy this book expecting masterchef style dishes as thats not what this book is about.
I can often be found reading this book in bed, salivating over the pictures planning the next dish I am going to cook. I do love Nigella's style of writing, every dish is personal and the instructions are so easy to follow.
The book is split into the following sections:
Preface (general information about Nigella and her ideas for the book)
Conversion Charts consisting of Oven temperatures, Weights, Volumes
what size eggs to use.
All Day Breakfast: Orange breakfast muffins, Welsh-Rarebit Muffins, American pancakes with wafer-bacon and maple syrup, Asian spiced Kedgeree, Masala Omelette with Green Coriander chutney, A Jugful of Bloody Mary, Apple and Blackberry Kuchen.
Comfort Food: Mashed Potato, Salmon Fishcakes, Double potato and Halloumi bake, Chicken soup and Kneidlach, Lemon Risotto, Stovetop rice pudding, Chocolate fudge cake.
TV Dinners: Mozzarella in carrozza, Chicken with Chorizo and Cannellini, Linguine with garlic oil and Pancetta, Salt and Pepper squid, Thai yellow pumpkin and seafood curry, Bitter Orange ice cream.
Party Girl: Pigs in Blankets, Lilac or chocolate topped cupcakes, Bagna Cauda, The union square Café's bar nuts, Halloumi with Chilli, Spatchcocked birds.
Rainy Days: Pasta with Meatballs, Soft and Sharp Involtini, Pasta E Fagioli, Chocolate cloud cake, Raspberry and Lemongrass trifle, Rainy day biscuits.
Trashy: Ham in Coca Cola, Sweetcorn Pudding, Sout beach Black Bean Soup, Cornbread on the cob, Watermelon Daiquiri, Southern Style chicken, Elvis Presley's Fried peanut -butter and banana sandwich, Deep fried bounties with pineapple, Chocolate lime cheesecake.
Legacy: Italian sausages with lentils, Soft boiled eggs with asparagus soldiers, Whitebait, Liptauer, Granny Lawsons lunch dish, My grandmother's ginger-jam bread and butter pudding, Custard, Chocolate chestnut refrigerator cake.
Suppertime: Salmon with ginger, soy and rice vinegar, Bream with anchovies and thyme, Chick peas with Chilli, garlic and thyme, Egyptian tomato salad, Chocolate pots, Aromatic lamb-shank stew, Couscous, Crème Brulee.
Slow-cook Weekend: Warm shredded lamb salad with mint and pomegranate, Peppers with feta and almonds, Turkish delight syllabub, Slow roasted shoulder of aromatic pork with creamy potato gratin, stir-braised savoy cabbage with nigella seeds, Easy sticky toffee pudding.
Templefood: Prairie oyster, Salmon with greens and shitake mushrooms, Gingery-Hot duck salad, Hot and Sour soup, Vietnamese Chicken and Mint salad, Peaches and blueberries.
Index in A-Z
I have made every dish apart from the Prairie Oyster as it does not appeal to me! My top three dishes are:
Warm shredded lamb salad with mint and pomegranate
Asian spiced Kedgeree
And last but not least Chocolate Cloud Cake
250g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
125g unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
175g caster sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional)
grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
23cm springform cake tin
for the cream topping:
500ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling for the cream topping:
500ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling
Serving Size : Serves 8-12.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Line the bottom of the cake tin with baking parchment.
3. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.
4. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g of the caster sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest.
5. In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff.
6. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.
7. When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're going for here. Whip the cream until it's soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff.
8. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.
20 Questions with Answers you may want to read about me!
1-How old are you?
2-What colour are your eyes?
Brown / Green they change colour which is freaky to some people as you could be having a conversation with my brown eyes and they could start turning green, my mums are the same.
3-How tall are you?
5'10 and a half barefoot
5-Do you have any brothers or sisters?
6-Do you prefer cats or dogs?
Dogs especially Pugs I really don't like cats at all.
7-What is your job?
I'm a full time Jewellery designer and I'm also a part time fashion student
8-Do you like your job?
I love it, I'm very creative so I've picked the best line of work. I work from home which means I get to spend as much time as possible with my daughter who is 9.
9-What is your favorite dessert?
I'm a cheese and crackers kind of girl but if I have to choose something sweet it would have to be Trifle (very retro I know)
10-Food you loathe that should be banned?
Blue Cheese, I have a really bad allergy to it so lets ban it, if I had my way I'd ban all ready meals too!
11- Are you a savory or sweet girl?
Savory although I do like chocolate but I'd choose crisps over it!
12- Last 3 films you watched?
Cyborg, Save the last dance, Fast and the furious: Tokyo Drift
13- Song I can't get out of my head at the moment?
Cheryl Cole - Fight for this love ( I realy can't stand it but its on everywhere!)
14-Favourite programme at the moment?
One Tree Hill
15-Where you going on your next holiday?
I'm in the process of buying a VW Camper van so we're gonna go on a 3 week European vacation (like the Griswalds)
16-Favourite Country you have been to?
17-Favourite Beach holiday?
I don't like Beach holidays, have not been on one since I was 13
Cooking, I used to be a chef so I basically swapped my hobby's round.
19-Last thing that made me laugh?
My daughter's tired face when I woke her up this morning, her hair looked like a birds nest
My favourite Drink is penderyn whisky over Ice
I first discovered the Jemma Kidd Tailored colour powder blush duo in 2007 and have been using it ever since, my favourite colour in the range is 03 Desert sand / plum although it does come in two other colours soft peach/beige and clear pink. The Jemma Kidd range is available in Space NK for £16.64 which sounds expensive for a blusher but it lasts me about 7 months and a little goes a long way!
The compact itself is a matt black almost rubbery texture and the weight is 9g. On opening you are greated with a large mirror that fills the lid of the compact so you get a full view of your face and at the bottom part is the blush. My particular colour is a dark peach and medium pink. The colours can be used together or on their own depending on your personal taste. I have actually used the peach colour as an eyeshadow and it looked great.
To apply the blush I rub my brush along the two colours to get a light covering and I apply the blush to the apple of my cheeks, I find its best to smile when doing this so you apply on the right area. The colour can be built up so don't apply a huge lot at the beginning as you don't want to look like a china doll! I would not use this product over bronzer as I find it has a bit of a slight sparkle to it and I feel that you would look like a fairy on a christmas tree with all the sparkle. The colour seems to last all day and does not cake I suppose compared to cheaper brands this one is worth the money.
I received my NYC City duet eyeshadow in Tribecca Toast (the colour in the picture) as a gift from an american friend. I'd never heard of this brand before but I have since found out that they stock it in Superdrug.
The Duet eyeshadows come in 5 colour duo's which are Eastside Brownstone, Tribeca Toast, New York City Skyline, SoHo Spice, Manhattan Mist.
The Tribeca Toast has a pale pink highlight shadow and a dark brown Contour shadow, the case comes with a double ended brush with a brush and sponge.
I usually start with a creme base then apply the pink highight using the sponge to my eye from my lashes to just below my brow bone, I then apply the brown with the brush to just above the crease. The colour in this duo is suitable for day time use and If I was wearing it on a night out I would just build up the brown to achieve a smoky look.
I think the because of the colours Tribeca Toast would suit every skin colour as you can use less or more as needed, it would be a great first purchase if you have never tried NYC products before. As I said before I received mine as a gift so I've not had to purchase one yet but as they retail for $2.99 on the US website I figure they can not be very expensive to purchase in the UK.
I personally find that this eyeshadow does not crease but that could be due to the fact I use a base before using, the colour lasts from morning until night however I would have to top up to wear on a night out. I find the shadows blend very well.
NYC make up is produced by COTY and is not tested on animals. Each Duo eyeshadow has a Net weight of 1.9g and can be kept for up to 12months.
I first used a Raclette in 1995 whilst at a friends house for tea and I was hooked, Christmas 2006 imagine my surprise when I opened a large box from my other half and there was a Tefal Raclette, I was the happiest person on the planet!
For those of you who have not experienced the delight of the Raclette its basically a cooking experience like no other, its a great device to use at a dinner party as it gets everyone chatting and helping each other.
You have the base unit which houses the heating elements and on top of that you have the grill plate, you get 6 small frying pans to use meaning you can have up to 6 people at your dinner party, i've never had more than four as it can get pretty crowded round the table. Once you have plugged the unit in it takes a few mins to heat up then you are ready to go.
The housing is heat resistant plastic, and the grilling plate and trays are all removable for easy cleaning
At the time of writing this you can purchase a Raclette Grill for £45 from Amazon.
I understand that the traditional method of Raclette is to grill meats and vegetables on the top then melt Raclette cheese in the grill pans and eat together, I've never done this so I'm going to review the Raclette Grill the way I use it!
In my household we are huge fans of Asian Cuisine and we use our Raclette a bit like a Teppanyaki Grill I usually chop various vegetable like Mushrooms, Peppers, Water chestnuts, Okra, Chilli, Beansprouts, Cabbage, onion etc and place in bowls around the table then I have raw meats like steak, chicken and pork and raw fish and seafood. I make Chinese, Thai and Indian sauces to add and I give each of my diners a grill pan.
You are then invited to oil your pan and add the ingredients you would like to eat, we stir the food with chopsticks for ease and watch our creations cook, once everything is done you tip out the contents into your bowl and enjoy its as simple as that!
I use the grill underneath to cook deserts like bananas with honey or grilled pineapple.
Like I said earlier, I don't use my grill in the way you should with vegetables meats and Raclette cheese but I find my way is just as fun! Everyone who comes for a dinner party loves the Raclette and its the best present I've had!
I purchased a bar of the Green & Black's Organic dark chocolate with Mint from Waitrose on 22 September 2009 costing £1.87 for the 100g bar.
The wrapper promised Dark Chocolate filled with peppermint fondant for a fresh soft centre. The cocoa content is 70% It states on the back that the bar may contain traces of nuts & cereal so may not be suitable for everyone.
100g gives you 1996 kj / 478 Kcal
On opening the paper outer wrapper I was greeted with the usual gold foil inside was the sweet smelling chocolate, I love the noise that luxury chocolate makes when you snap it, its almost pleasure in itself.
The chocolate had a faint scent of mint and the luscious spicy sweet smell of the dark chocolate, unfortunately my joy did not last too long as I popped a square into my mouth and was greated with what tasted like a chunky after eight (please note that I do actually like after eight mints I was just expecting something more) I figured that the taste may be due to the fact that i'd just had a cup of tea so I swilled my mouth with water and tried again to no avail, it was sheer disapointment!
Don't get me wrong you do get the spicy dark chocolate aftertaste that lingers long after the mint flavour has died off but I was expecting much more from this bar, I can't quite put my finger on what was wrong with it, maybe it was the fondant, its quite a light taste compared to the aftertaste of the chocolate.
As much as I love green and blacks chocolate I won't be buying this particular kind again.
Chatterswaps was started by 10 ladies who had been swapping on a popular clothes swapping website, they were fed up of rude people and swaplifters ( a term we used for people who said they would swap with you and didn't send their part of the swap).
You can find Chatterswaps at www.chatterswaps.co.uk its a fantastic community of like minded people who can chat about problems or day to day life without the worry of being judged or any prejudice. We basically use the site to chat about tv programmes, movies, books and games along with our day to day life. We review products we have tried and if anyone finds a bargain its shared amongst friends, we know most things about each other which makes the site really personal and if something happens to one of the members we all pull together to help them out.
Once you have been a trusted established member you may be invited into our swapping circle where we basically swap items we no longer want for items we need, each person is given points for the items they send and the site administrator sends gifts out when you reach certain milestones.
If you're looking to meet some new friends who are honest and caring then you really need to check out the website, if you're not interested in swapping that's fine you can just join in with the chat. Since I've been a member I've met some amazing people who would go out of their way to help you. I've been a member of online communities before but I've never found one were everyone gets on, its really something special.
If anyone would like any more information please feel free to send me a message.
I received my Pout Miss England eyeshadow Duo at Christmas as a present with some other pout goodies, i'd seen the brand before but never actually made a purchase as I wasn't sure of the quality, however I was pleasantly surprised.
My Eye shadow is a dark grey Matt shadow and a Dark Blue shimmer, they are very Highly pigmented and should be treated like the MAC and Barry M pigment dusts for eyes, although the pout shadow is in a block rather than loose, once you apply it to your brush it is very crumbly, it can be used wet or dry, and is very easy to blend. I use a base on my eye lid first then I apply the Matt grey with a medium size eyeshadow brush to the eye bone, the colour is quite pale but because of the pigment it can be built up to a darker colour, next I apply the blue shimmer colour on my lid up to the crease and blend in, again it is quite light but can be built up to a dark smoky look. You can wet an eye liner brush and use either colour as an eye liner.
Pout cosmetics are still available in online stores at the time or writing this review and I would recommend you give them a try if you like pigment powders.
I first discovered Bobbi Brown Long-wear gel eyeliner when I was given a sent for Chiristmas a couple of years ago containing a Sepia Ink, Black Ink and a mini liner brush. I personally found the Sepia ink to be too light as it didn't give me the dramatic effect I like from an eye liner. I do however adore the Black Ink.
I usually purchase my Bobbi Brown products direct from the uk website and I currently pay £15 for a pot. The ink is available in 13 different shades but i've only tried 2 of them.
I find the Gel liner is much easier to apply than the regular Liquid eye liner and it doesn't smudge like a pencil does (of course you don't get scratched by the wood either!)
You need to use an eyeliner brush to apply, I find the small one you get free is too little to use properly so I invested in the full size Bobbi brown eye liner brush, you do need to clean it after each use as the eyeliner dries hard if left on. I would also suggest you make sure you have fastened the lid of the Gel tight shut as this will dry out if any air can get in!
I find each pot lasts me about 4 months and thats with everyday use, of course it depends how much gel you apply on your eyes.
I'm a huge fan of all Benefit cosmetics and the Justine Case is the cutest thing ever, I just pop it in my handbag on a night out in case I need to touch up my make up and its great to take on holiday as its so small.
I bought mine direct from Benefit's website at £22.50 and it contains:
benetint: 2.50 ml - a rose tinted lip and cheek stain that looks good on pale and olive skin
some kind-a gorgeous: 2.20 g - A cream to powder foundation that is quite pale but looks fine on olive skin too
california kissin': 2.50 g - A minty lip shine that you only need a tiny bit of
Eyecon: 2.50g - A brightening eye cream that gets rid of dark circles.
I only use this item when I need to, If I can make do with something else I do as its quite expensive for what you get but its fantastic in an emergency so I would recommend all women carry one in their bags Just In Case!!
Inside the box there is a sheet explaining all of the ingredients contained in the products which is really helpful if like me you have really sensitive skin, I suffer fro Eczema and certain things irritate my skin, I find that Benefit products are usually ok but if you have never used any of the products before this set is ideal as you get to try four of the products, if any one causes a reaction you can then check the ingredients and stay away from the ones that contain the same.