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emma_ski

emma_ski
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Member since: 03.06.2009

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      08.10.2010 11:48
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      would highliy reccommend a visit!

      We headed to White Scar Caves after constantly hearing about the place on our road trip around the Yorkshire Dales. It was highly reccommended by other travellers and locals alike!
      White scare caves is basically a massive natural underground cave, with waterfalls, natural rock formations and stalactites, which hang from the roof in great clusters. The tour takes about 80minutes and there are quite a few steps so be warned! It is well worth a visit and i'll go into more detail below!

      **Tickets**
      Adult £7.95
      Child (3-15 yrs) £4.95
      Family (2+2) £22.00
      We felt the prices were very reasonable and definitly value for money! You can pay by cash/card.

      **Getting there**
      We were lucky enough to have a Sat-Nav so we arrived in the general area really easily, although it did try send us into a field, so common sense is needed is relying on the sat nav as it takes you about 200m before the actual caves.
      If you're without a sat nav, there are plenty of signs for the Caves and it's the only building for quite a while so you cant miss it!

      **First impressions**
      When we first pulled up it was quite busy so we were worried as we had not pre-booked, however we were fine and the majority of people had not pre-book. There is plenty of parking and the staff all seemed nice and friendly!

      We were given a safety helmet and safety instructions about the cave as well as advised to wear warm clothing/coat as it was chilly in the cave!

      **The tour**
      The tours lasts around 80 minutes and is about a mile's worth of walking. The paths inside the caves are all very safe and there is plenty of lighting in the cave. There are lots of low bits where you relly appreciated being provided with a safety helmet!

      You are taken around by a very knowledgeable guide. They give you the history of the cave, such as who found it as well as point out some very interesting natural formations in the cave, as well as the waterfalls and interesting facts. I found the guide very very firendly and seemed to have an honest love about the job! Our particular guide was exceptional at adapting the tour for the kids and slighter older adults so everyone had an enjoyable visit.

      We saw some amazing things insdie the cave, which writing about can not do justice to! There are plenty of natural rock formations, many of which have unusal names and unaturall look like everyday things, such as a shark/sword/judge. We also saw a couple of waterfalls, which were very scenic and unexpected! The Stalactites were awe-inspiring to view! The amount of amazing things to view was astounding in such a short space of time.
      Photography is allowed in part of the cave although the tour is quite fast paced so stoping for photos was a little difficult at times. The only section you could not take photos in was the stalactites, which hang from the roof as they are damaged by the flash/lights.

      I really enjoyed the tour, although fodun it quite fast paced i would have liked to spend a bit longer admiring the cave. There are loads of steps so be warned!

      **other features at the caves**
      As well as the tour, there is a little cafe and shop on the site. The cafe is quite nice selling a selection of fresh foods, although we didnt eat there so can not offer an opinion of the quality!
      The shop sold a variety of little gifts such as kiddies toys, stones, crystals and candles etc. These were all reasonably priced too.

      The caves are surrounded by the open national park,so it have amazingly beautiful scenary and walks and is very close to the town of Ingleton, which is also worth a visit for the Waterfalls walk.

      There is a little area on the site for picnics with some beanches and plenty of fields if you want a bit more space!!

      There were a few animals for the kids to look at including some shetland pony's and chickens! Added a nice touch for the kids as well as a natural feel to the place.

      **overall**
      It was a natural wonder of the north! Well worth the admission price with friendly staff. The tour was a little fast paced but we saw alot in 80minutes! Would highly reccomend!

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        02.06.2010 15:51
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        well worth the money, lots of creases in the spine!

        I purchased this book on Amazon for £21 a few years ago, although it is now a few ££ cheaper.
        The Early Years book is aimed at any one working with children in early years (0-8years) on an Early Years course. Although the book is 'BTEC NATIONAL' level, it contains practical information for anyone on a child related course or career.

        Specifically related to the BTYEC NATIONAL Early Years Course, the book contains dedicated chapters' related to each 'module' on the course. This includes,
        *Equality, Diversity and Rights
        *Communication and supportive skills
        *Research and Project
        *Safe Environments
        *Protecting Children
        *Professional Practice
        *Learning in the Early Years
        *Childcare Practice
        *Human Growth and development
        *Child Health
        *Play and Learning Activities
        *Developmental psychology
        *Special Needs.


        My Opinion...

        Each chapter is easy to read, with plenty of subheadings, illustrations, photos and diagrams. The book is in black and white, but I don't think this takes away any value or interest from the content.
        The actually content is very informative and during my course was essential reading. The content was important to relate to individual assignments as well as to link into my practice with children. I have found the theories very easy to understand and relevant to my work with children.

        I found that the book is excellent at breaking down points into easy to digest pieces of information and regularly uses bullet points effectively. There are also plenty of tables to describes the different stages of child development, which make it ultra simple to quickly find out if a child is working towards the 'average developmental milestone'.

        At the end of each chapter there is an 'end of unit test; which includes a brief set of questions to test whether you have fully understood the chapter. The questions generally start basic with more challenging questions towards the end. I found this useful to an extent as I could re-read any sections I had not fully understood. However as there were no 'sample answers' to the test, the questions were only useful to a certain extent.

        Each chapter includes a reference list, where you can read further on a specific topic area. These references are very useful if you want more in depth reading into a specific topic, such as Psychology. I found that the references used throughout the book are very up to date.

        At the very end of the book, there is a Glossary of terms, which is across 4 pages. This has been EXTREMELY useful in clarifying individual terms, which I have often used to extend on my learning from a classroom lesson. The list includes some complex terms as well as terms such as OFSTED or SIDS. This list is in alphabetical order and is simple to quickly find a specific term with an easy to read explanation.

        Overall this book has been extremely valuable during my college study of early years and was used in all of my assignments. I still used this book today on my University course as a refresher or introduction to a specific topic as it is so easy to understand! I would highly recommend this textbook to anyone wishing to pursue a career with children. 5/5

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        10.05.2010 18:40
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        money to a good cause!

        I first came across Save the Children years and years ago t school during a fundraiser and have being supporting them since!

        **What is the charity about?**

        The charity works with children across the world, with the overall aim to ensure children get proper health care, food, education and protection.

        The charity participates in many projects to meet these aims including protecting children who are at risk of sexual abuse by campaigning for their rights; promoting basic health education and skills; providing food for children suffering from malnutrition; ensure children can access free education.

        Save the Children also support children during emergencies, such as the Haiti Earthquake, where they set up child safety fun zones, ensuring children are not unlawfully adopted out of Haiti and setting up temporary schools. They also provide ongoing support for emergencies including China Earthquake, Afghanistan emergencies, Mongolia deadly winter and the Sudan food crisis.

        The charity also funds research into various areas like poverty and child disability, with the aim of finding out what works best in the interests of children around the work.

        Save the Children works with schools in the UK to raise awareness of child poverty around the world, promote child rights in the UK and provide volunteering and fundraising activites for young people.

        **how are funds raised?**
        In every way imaginable! People participate in fundraising events, such as sky diving, sitting in a bath full of beans and many more creative (and sometimes weird) ways!
        The charity also has 'fundraising groups' around the country, where a local group of people will raise funds throughout the year for the charity.

        Some companies support the charity by fundraising and offering a percentage of their profits. These include Barclays, British Gas and more!

        You can shop online at the website for a huge range of items and gifts, such as toys, clothing, food etc. All profits go directly to the charity.
        High Street charity shops - donated items from the community are sold on to help raise funds and prevent good been thrown away when they still have life in them!

        **can I help??**
        Yes please! You can fundraise, shop or donate online; every little helps and goes to a good cause!

        **my personal opinion of the charity....

        I find the charity is very open and honest about its aims and objectives and that it is fighting for a very good cause! I feel the charity really fights for children's rights and to improve the lives of children in the UK and around the world.

        I have approached the charity for some research and found the staff extremely helpful and willing to bend over backwards to support the project without asking for anything in return!

        I now run my own Save The Children Support group and have found my community very happy with donating for this good cause. Again the support of the organisation is fantastic, they always keep in touch and offer loads of support including balloons, banners, t-shirts, leaflets etc.

        The only down side is that the charity is losing support as it has being around for many many years and a lot of the fundraisers and supporters are the 'older generation'. Unfortunately the charity is raising less funds and is in need of new support from a new generation, which it is attempting to do by re-vamping the charity and making it young people friendly!

        I think this charity is a well worth cause, fighting for the rights of children who can not fight for their rights themselves. The done amazing and life-changing work for children around the world and I hope people will continue to support them to do such an amazing task!

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          07.04.2010 19:57
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          very useful book for students, nursery workers and social workers alike!

          I bought this book from Waterstones for around £12 as I had started working with Children and wanted to do some reading around Child Protection.

          ***who is the book for?***
          The book is aimed at any one working with children including nursery workers, child minders, social workers and teachers. The book itself is written by Janet Kay who teachers Early Childhood Studies at Derby University.

          ***About the book itself***
          The book contains 8 chapters which are;
          1-awareness of child abuse
          2-types of abuse
          3-indicators of abuse
          4-responding to suspected abuse
          5-the legal framework
          6-working with children who may have been abused
          7-protecting children from abuse
          8-conclusion.

          Each chapter is helpfully broken down into digestible sections with clear subheadings. The language used is clear and understandable whilst gently introducing you to the terminology relating to child protection.

          Included in each chapter are sections titled 'a chance to think' these are really useful for keeping you engaged in the book and i have personally found them to be helpful in digesting the information rather than skimming over the words.

          Another useful section included in each chapter is the 'exercise' boxes. These contain questions related to the information you have previously read. These are helpful in applying the reading to the real world as well as testing whether you have really understood a section of the book. What I LOVE about these is that there are answers in the back of the book, so you can really test yourself. This really makes the book stand out from the other 'text books' as it is interactive and not simply reading over the words, it enables you to grasp and understand the topic and apply it to real life situations.

          Each chapter contains plenty of useful information, giving you real insight into the topic of child protection. The section relating to legislation is also very easy to understand yet informative!

          ***The best thing about the book***
          The huge variety of information which is actually useful in the real world! The information is clear, making this book approachable and reader friendly.

          ***any bad points?***
          No, it's a great book for child care workers through to child protection social workers as well as for students on child care related course!

          ***would I buy it again?****
          Yes definitely! I've definitely had my money's worth!

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            27.03.2010 17:44
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            a great book for students and social care workers alike!

            I first bought the old edition of this book at the university book sale for £1 and it is so good i bought the new edition from amazon for £18.

            Although this book is rather 'thin' it has being one of the best books i've used as part of my course!

            The overall layout is very clear and the language is understandable yet academic enough to use for direct references. Each chapter is broken down into specific sub-heading and there are plenty of example in order to link the theory into direct practice.

            My favourite chapters realtes to communication, listening and interviewin skills. I have used these for a range of assignments as the chapters contain a range of information and useful examples! I have found the infromation the author writees about very understandable and have being able to apply it to my everyday practice with chidlren and adults alike!

            Another chapter which is well worth a read is Empowerment. This is a fantastic chapter which i have found a great introduction to empowering practice as well as for in depth theory to really analyse my practice to ensure it is truely empowering to people!

            At the end of the book, the book contains specific information ondifferent types of interventions such as task-centred work and crisis intervnetion. These are quite short but effective in gaining an overview of the intervention.

            This book is a little pricey, yet if you take time to read into the chapters, you'll find you are able to link it to assignments and everyday practice with ease! It's suprising how much information is contained in this little book!

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            27.03.2010 17:35
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            well worth the money, lots of creases in the spine!

            I was reccommened to buy this book before starting my Social Work course by the University as it is a simple book which introduces you to a wide range of topics relating to social work. I bought it from Amazon for around £20 a couple of years ago.

            The book itself is edited by Martin Davis who is a professor of social work, therefore the content is all relevent to students on the course. As well as this a huge list of other individuals contribute to the book, including researchers, child protection workers,sociologists, counsellors, ethicic minority right works and many many more (4pages more!).

            The book begins with an introduction for the reasons for social work, including child abuse, disability, mental illness etc. This section is very very useful for individuals new to social worker as it gives you valuable insight into the wide diversity of areas social workers will work in.This chapter is very easy to understand whilst gently introducing you to the terminology.

            Chapter 2, is about applying knowledge to practice. This is a more complex chapter including a range of theory you use in assignments as well as every day practice. These are broken down as far as possible into readable chunks and are well worth a read to gain a general understanding of a particular theory.

            Chapter 3 relates to the practice ocntaxt. I particularly found these chapters useful before heading onto my placement to gain an idea of the day to day workings in each area of social work. I personally found these a great introduction but for more in-depth understanding and theory have to refer to more detailed books.

            The next chapter is around social work and its Psychosocial frameworl. This is a fab' chapter in introducting to the the subject, which i found hard to grasp at first. I was often able to link sections of this chapter to my university learning and often found it easier to understand!

            Chapter 5 is around the life-cycle. I have not really referred much to this chapter, apart from a general read around child-hood theory. This chapter is probably more beneficial if you have an essay realing to a part of the life cycle as it is useful in that sense!

            The final Chapter is 'perspectives on social work'. I have found this chapter very useful personally, to gain an honest insight into different areas of social work, including how things have changed over time. I have recently needed this chapter more and more when writing assignments realting to evidence-based practice as it contains a variety of useful infroamtion.

            Overall i have regularly referred to this book and is always the one i pick up first when needing information on a new topic or before starting an assignment. The book covers a huge amount in such a small space and is a great introduction to social work in general. I have easily got my £20 worth out of the text book and would reccommend it to any social work student for their course!

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            25.02.2010 22:01
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            a great book for students and social care workers alike!

            This book is part of the very popular and very useful 'learning matters' Series and cost me around £13 to buy new online.

            The book contains 11 different types of social work methods of intervention including;
            *Psychosocial Approaches
            *Person-centred approaches
            *crisis intervention
            *Task-Centred work
            *Cognitive Behaviour approaches
            *motivational interviewing
            *Family Therapy and systematic approaches
            *brief solution focused therapy
            *life story work and life review
            *mediation approaches
            *integrative and ecletic models

            My views on the book....
            I found this book VERY easy to understand as it breaks down each type of intervention into digestable chunks. Each section generall begins with the history/theory behind the method of intervention then extends on this by describing a case study and how the method of intervention can be linked to the case study.
            Throughout there are also activites so you are activily invovled in learning about the theory rather than skimming over the sections. Each task is different so you never get bored of challenging yourself in each section.
            A particularly useful part of the book, includes research summaries, which is very useful for including in essays, especially if you use this as a starting point and reference the origional research document, any way wandering off point a bit here....
            The interventions are all used in social work in one area or another, yet having this book enables you to keep updated with the range of interventions as well as compare and contrast them. I have been able to read and implement some of these interventions only using this book, although some of the more in depth interventions are only 'touched upon' and may need further reader to gain a complex understanding of the intervention.

            Overall i have used this book extensivly for essays as well as linking interventions used in practice to the theory. It is a fantastic introduction to a wide range of interventions in social work and is well worth investing in!

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            19.02.2010 16:43
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            a fab place to visit with the kids or as a BIG kid!

            This museum is great for adults and kids and is a place i've visited many times growing up! the museum always has something new and exciting to see and lots of interactive areas!

            What is there to see and do?
            with 8 floors, there is definitley something to every ones taste! there are 3 cinemas, a cafe, special exhibition galleries, an interactive radio station, bar and a shop.
            Overl the eight floors, there is everything and anything to do with tv, photography, media etc. such as painting, colour and lights, photography, cameras through time etc. Each level is clearly marked, so its really easy to navigate around the museum.
            it is fantastic with the kids and most things are at child height which is even better! most days there are workshops going on for the kids, such as making things or taking part in radio sessions.
            the IMAX cinema, is well worth a visit, but worth booking in advance as it is VERY popular. lots of new movies are available to watch on a 15meter high screen alot of the time in 3d too!

            There is some much to see and do i wont list them all, but its worth checking out the website before going, so you can plan to visit your favourite sections of the museum!

            location:
            Finding the museum is very easy and it is well sign posted. Very simple to find with a satnav if your visiting from afar.There are lots of palces to eat around the museum as well as the town of bradford, which is full of shops, restaurants etc.

            a fantastic museum, full of interactive and education displays for adults and kids and best of all its FREE so you'll happily spend hours exploring all the wonderful things on show

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              25.01.2010 15:23
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              a great satnav i would easily reccommend!

              I bought the TomTom for £119 from Tesco's just before Christmas 09. The satnav includes maps for the UK and the Republic of Ireland and free updates are available online. Thesatnav includes an in car charger, computer lead and sticks to the window/dashboard in your car.

              I use the tomtom on a daily basis to find my way to clients addresses for buisness as well as for pleasure, such as day trips to scenic towns or specific locations such as parks.

              I live in a small town, which sometimes struggles with mobile phone receptions, so i expected seom issues from using the satnav in a remote location, however i have had no problems and the satnav quickly locates my locations within a minute or two.

              Typing in a destination is simple. you can type in a postcode, town or street name and the satnav quickly configures a route. You can play around with this part and change the route by quickest route or shortest route, but i have always used the first route it has given me. 99% of the time, the sat nav takes you directly to the door of the typed in location, only once have i been 'delivered' to the street behind my required destination, so I have always been extremely pleased with relying on the satnav to get me from A to B.

              When the satnav is 'directing' it gives you plenty of notice before you need to turn or what exit to take on a round about. I personaly find it very accurate and easy to follow, even during busy traffic. Again there are occassions when you shopul keep an eye on the satnav for turnings as sometime unmarked roads are not on the satnav and you may turn too soon, although i very rarely have this problem.

              If you do take a wrong turn, or miss your junction on a motorway/roundabout, the satnav re-calculates a new route within seconds, meaning you can carry on driving and still quickly arrive at your destination.

              There are lots of little features on the satnav, such as displaying your estimated time of arrival, your speed, highlighting points of interests such as petrol stations and warnings of speed camera. These are all easy to use and useful little tools!

              This model is wide-screen 4.3" and i would reccomend a wide screen for easy use, as its important to be able to glance at the satnav quickly so you can keep your eyes on the road!

              The satnav also includes traffic information, i havent used this feature, but have noticed if there is an accident on the planned route or roadworks, the majority of the time, the satnav will divert you around the accident.

              In addition, the satnav includes 'help me' feastures, which contact emergancy services as well as first aid information and car maintenance. This is a section of the satnav i have yet to explore, but have heard it contains useful and understandly information.

              I am very pleased with this satnav, i find it easy to use and stress free! I definitley get my moneys worth out of it and know this is a model used by alot of police officers so it must be good!

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                23.12.2009 12:43
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                a fab baking book for beginners and experts!

                As a keen baker, when i picked up this book and flicked through it, i was instantly impressed and paid £9.99 from a local bookstore.

                Baking essentials:
                The book begins with a guide of basic baking essentials, including photographs and descriptions of various ingredients, such as sweetners, spices and fruits. This is useful especially when adapting reciepes, as you can find more readily available ingredients from the super market which will do the same job in teh cake recipe. The photographs are also useful, for identifying new ingredients.
                In this chapter, the book carefully descibes baking skills, such as layering, rolling and storing cakes. It is a very useful chapter for beginners as well as old-timers!

                The Cake Recipes:
                There are over 100 cake recipes in this book, each with easy to follow step by step instructions as well as freezing and storage guidlines for each. The majorty of the recipes are accompanied by a large colourful photograph, which is helpful when making the cakes!!

                Other recipes in the book:
                As well as the main recipes for the cakes, there are recipes for making icings, filllings and homemade decorations. This is useful when you cant buy a decoration from a supermarket, ort you wish to customise a cake. This chapter also includes a step by step guide for icing, which i found really useful!

                Additional information:
                The book is a favourite of mine, and i have found it really useful especially for the step by step technique of decorating and icing. The instructions are easy to follow and the photographs are wonderful!
                In addition, there is a 'what went wrong' guide, which helps you rectify mistakes in future baking!

                I love this book, it really does have everything you need to make loveley cakes for all the family, which are all easily customised to suit individual needs. At almost £10 it was a little pricey, but i feel i definitley got my money's worth and it is a guide i regularly refer to for old and new ideas!

                Hope this review is helpful, and enjoy!

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                27.11.2009 15:26
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                a really useful book, worth investing in!

                I bought this book, as i'd been out for education a few years before heading to university and wanted to 'swot up' before starting the course.

                The book contains LOADS of useful information, including developing your writing, speaking, reading etc. The book also goes into each topic in detail which is very helpful, yet it is an easy to read and easy to follow book.

                This isnt the sort of book you read from cover to cover. Really it is more beneficial to read chapters you are interested in developing or refreshing a topic area before starting revision for exams.

                Throughout the book, there are many 'real life' example, such as student's experiences or written reports. Activites are provided alongside these, so you can really grasp each topic area, such as sentence structure or punctuation.

                I think the book is useful for all students, whether your heading to college or university for the first time or you havent been in education since the use of chalk boards! It's aimed at everyone, without been patronizing or too complication. The book aims to develop a range of essential skills, so there is something for everyone in it, as sadly we are not all perfect!!

                This book is well worth investing in and is definitley one you'll tend to pick up little bu often, just to keep your skills up to date. My only tip is, ensure you check with your college/uni that they approach essays/referenceing in the same way, as each uni will have their own preferences.

                A fab book!! 10/10!

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                  09.11.2009 17:23
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                  good and bad, but for the money you cant go far wrong!

                  Easy-cut up cakes is by Melissa Barlow, who originally studies for a journalism degree and became a freelance writer and editor. Melissa has some formal training in cake decorating in America.

                  My first impressions of the book were that there was a wide selection of cakes, from lions, to igloos, to frogs! They also looked pretty good on the cover!

                  The book starts with an introduction which includes two frosting recipes, but sadly no cake recipe. Both frosting recipes taste great and the instructions are pretty simple to follow, so you cant go wrong here!

                  The book get's straight into the cakes, which makes a change from the other cake decorating books I own, where half the book is dedicated to every kinds of cake recipe under the sun! Not sure if this is good or bad, I suppose it depends if you already have some cake recipes to hand when you use this particular cake baking book!

                  Anyway, each cake contains a nice large photograph of the finished cake and little diagrams of how to cut up a baked cake to form the different shape character cakes. Each page also includes a list of ingredient for DECORATING the cake, but not a cake recipe.

                  In my opinion, the step by step instructions are easy to follow, but are not easily broken down, so your reading a paragraph of instruction, per step. When decorating cake using this book, I have found it useful to create cakes which pretty much resemble the photograph in the book.

                  The follow cake designs are in the book, with a few words of my personal opinion...

                  *Freddy the Froggy - an easy to make simple cake, though a little 2d for me

                  *flutterby - uses lots of sweets to decorate the wings, which can be adapted to suit any cake designer! However I find the design very amateur and 'blockish'

                  *clown fish- NEMO! This is a brilliant cake! It is so easy to decorate and looks fantastic! Great for little ones and one of my favourites!

                  *slow poke- a turtle, a cool looking cake, which looks pretty realistic for a turtle!

                  *teddy bear- a teddy bears head to be specific, a cute looking shaggy bear, which is very easy to make and pretty effective!

                  *chilly igloo- very easy to make, but it never seems to turn out as good as the photo! Would look great with some little penguins!

                  *watermelon- such a random cake, I've never actually made it! Looks interesting though...

                  *gumball machine - a very unique style cake, which is great for kids. Super easy to make too!

                  *quacky the ducky - honestly is looks like a baseball cap, I think this cake is a little creepy but my niece loved it, so great for simple minds lol

                  *football - or to us British, a rugby ball. This is another favourite of mine as it is extremely easy to make and looks amazing! It is easy to look professional and writing can be added to suit the recipient of the cake! Yum!

                  *little ladybug - another easy make and very good looking cake!

                  *baseball cap- this suspiciously looks like the duck cake! Looks cool as a hat though and can be customised such as to suit a football team!

                  *rocket blastoff- this cake is great for little boys and looks great! Its very easy to decorate and can be customised to suit!

                  *Christmas tree- yum yum! Easy to make and easy to decorate!

                  *caterpillar- this creepy crawly looks really good when completed and is pretty easy to make.

                  *hoppy the bunny- a little more complicated as to cut up the cake to make the ears the same size, but a very good looking cake to make, especially for Easter!

                  *Slithers the snake- similar to the caterpillar but with big marshmallow eyes!

                  *choo choo train- a easy to make and simple to adapt cake! You can easily add more 'trucks' to pull along all those candles!

                  *pirate ship- a very simple and good looking cake for all those pirates!

                  *slug bug- a mini-car, looks very sweet and cute, maybe not for those boy racers though

                  *dragonfly- not so impressed with this cake, as it doesn't much resemble a dragonfly, but another easy to make cake.

                  *Dandy lion- AMAZING looking cake which is so easy to make and looks fantastic and very professional!!

                  *sweat heart- cute look and easy to decorate cake, which can be made without a heart shape tin.

                  *creepy crawly spider - looks a bit random on the book photo, but looks great for Halloween surround by scary sweets!

                  Overall I found the book really good in some ways, as it has a range of ideas and great photographs! However in other's I found the cakes a bit armature, so would probably suit beginners of one-off cake makers rather than hard-core bakers!

                  The book cost me £6.50 from amazon and it is definitley worth the money as cake decorating books can be very expensive, this book covers a range of easy bakes great for kids!

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                  • More +
                    03.11.2009 13:35
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                    a fab hotel! well worth the stay

                    We stayed in Agapinor Hotel in Cyprus for 1 week during September 2009, which we booked through an online agent for £420 each half board.

                    CHECKING IN THE HOTEL:
                    After a long day travelling to get to Cyprus, it was lovely to be able to check in to our room quickly and smoothly! Check in is from 2pm, although we checked into our room at 1pm as we were early and the room was ready (lucky us!).

                    During check in, the helpful staff gave us a sheet of paper detailing the meal times as we were half board, as well as the opening times of the hotel café, bar and swimming pool. They also gave us a detailed map, pinpointing where the hotel was and a few interesting sights near by the hotel. We were also given the time our rep would be visiting us the next day.

                    Overall checking in was an easy, stress-free process, with a very helpful welcome from the staff!

                    OUR ROOM:
                    Our room was a twin room, with an ensuit bathroom, with a balcony facing in-land, which if booked directly costs £57 per night half board. The room was cleaned 6 times a week, with fresh bedding/towels when needed. The room included a TV, large wardrobe, a table and two chairs, a safe, air conditioning, a large mirror, a telephone and a hairdryer.

                    The room was pretty large with plenty of space for our very large cases two single beds! The room décor was basic but very clean and well maintained. We found that although we had a in-land view, we were able to sit on the balcony and catch the morning sunshine and watch the world pass by. We were next to a main road but honestly found it very quiet, only once been woken by early-morning bin men!

                    THE STAFF:
                    Upon arrival I was really surprised to find the majority of the staff in this hotel were English! Saying that the staff who were not English had amazing levels of English skills and were always happy to have a chat about everything and anything! All the staff were so friendly and helpful! They always greeted you with a big smile, which didn't seem forced but an honest nice to see you smile! The staff were all very knowledgeable about the areas such as the local bus time, good times to visit the tomb of the kings and cheap tasty restaurants! I couldn't have asked for nicer or friendly staff and they definitely deserve a 10/10 for the outstanding service they provided during our stay!


                    HOTEL LOCATION:
                    The hotel is located about a 45 minute walk from Paphos Harbour front and 5 minutes from Paphos market. We found walking around very easy as well as easily catching the local bus into town on a couple of lazy days! I wouldn't recommend walking all the way into town if you have young kids, as it is a bit of a trek and the roads are a bit awquad to cross as there are only a few pedestrian crossings. The local bus is only 2Euro's and is very frequent.

                    We found the area very quiet, away from the main night-life area, although there were a few bars within walking distance. The hotel itself put on entertainment most nights, such as a disco and a guest singer, although these are not aimed at 'teens'!
                    There are a range of cafes/restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotel, although we tended to stay in the hotel for meals as we were half board and grad a light lunch from a bakery down the road!

                    HOTEL FOOD:
                    We stayed half board, which included the breakfast and evening meal. If you wanted to swap your evening meal for a lunch voucher, the hotel were very open about this so long as they had 24hours notice. Tap water was not drinkable, so if you wanted water at breakfast/lunch/tea, it cost you extra, also drinks in the evening meal were not included.
                    Breakfast: Breakfast was from 7am to 9.45 and there is always a table to sit at, looking out on to the pool area.
                    Breakfast was a buffet style event, with tea/coffee/juices. Also there was cereal, hot English breakfast items, bread roles, ham/cheese, cake and fruit salad. The breakfast was always well stocked up! Only problem I found, was the milk for the cereal wasn't ice-cold by 9oclock, but im just fussy!

                    Evening meal: The Evening meal was from 7-9.30.
                    Every evening there was a large selection of starters, including salads, rice dishes, pastas, soups, breads etc. This was buffet style again and you could go back for as much as you wanted. The salads were always freshly made and all the starters were topped up regularly. The starters varied slightly night to night, such as potato salad to chicken salad etc.
                    The main course changed every night and was always freshly prepared by the chef! Generally these consisted of two different mains and a selection of fresh vegetables. Some of the evening meals included, fish, lamb hot pot, mosaka, BBQ, Greek traditional meals, Sunday lunch etc. The only downside is that the main meals could be a bit limiting if you are vegetarian!
                    Desert! YUM! Always around 5 different desserts to choose from, including jelly's, cakes, and fruity crumbles! These altered depending on the day and were always very tasty!!

                    HOTEL ENTERTAINMENT:
                    I've already briefly mentioned this, so I wont babble on! The hotel had a range of in-house entertainment, which changes day to day so you can't be guaranteed the same night twice! Entertainment whilst we were there included a disco night, a DJ night and a guest singer. These were good entertainment although we never stayed the entire evening at the entertainment event! Other events at the hotel have included bingo-nights, quiz's, 60's theme nights and a range of guest singers.

                    THE POOL:
                    When we first saw the photograph on the website of the pool, it honestly looked rubbish! But when we got there, it was much larger than the photo and caught the sun in the afternoon perfectly! The pool was kept very clean and there was always a sun bed (or 5) to sit and relax next to the pool area. There was also a pool-bar/café, although we honestly never saw this open/staffed so I'm not sure how good the food/drinks are from there!

                    MY OVERALL OPINION:
                    I found that our holiday was very cheap in comparison to other's as it included half-board and many others had paid the same price for self-catering. I was surprised at the high standards of the hotel, as I was expecting a bit of a rundown hotel for our money! The hotel was classes as 3* which I would agree with. I found the hotel brilliant, very clean, helpful staff and brilliant food! The atmosphere was very friendly and was very close to the local market and shops. It was a bit of a trek from the Paphos Harbour front, but was a lovely walk on the way down, or an easy bus ride. The only downside was that drinks were not included in the evening meal and you had to purchase bottled water for breakfast, but for the price we got it, we still saved plenty of ££! I would definitely return to this hotel and happily recommend it to other's visiting Paphos!

                    A FEW OTHER FACTS ABOUT THE HOTEL....
                    Single inland-view room~ £35 bed and breakfast...£40 h/b...£44 f/b
                    Twin room-inland view~ £46 bed and breakfast...£56 h/b...£66 f/b
                    sea-view supplement £6perday

                    Meal prices: Breakfast £5
                    Lunch:£7
                    Dinner:£8
                    Buffet Nights:£10

                    Check in~ 2pm
                    Check out~12 noon

                    website: www.agapinorhotel.com.cy
                    Email: agapinorhotel@cyanet.com.cy
                    Tel: +357 26933926

                    Address: 24-28 Nikodimou Mylona Street, Pafos, CY 8047


                    Hope this review is helpful!

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                    • More +
                      26.10.2009 16:27
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                      a great easy to follow cake book for beginners to experts!

                      I bought this book from amazon after search for general cake decorating books. It has quickly become one of my most used baking books and i've bought a selection by this author as i've enjoyed using them so much!

                      Hope you enjoy reading this review and it is helpful!


                      The Author:

                      Carol Deacon has produced a selection of cake books, including children's party cakes, two hour cakes, sporty theme cakes and Christmas decorating cakes. Carol Deacon trained in Graphic Design and came across cake decorating after been asked to make a birthday cake for a friend. She went on to make several cakes and soon began winning cake decorating competitions and went on to release many cake decorating guides as well as appeared on TV and radio!


                      Introduction:

                      The book starts with a guide to baking basics and some simple cake recipes. These are both accompanied with colourful photographs and a troubleshooting section if anything does happen to go wrong! I found this section very useful when I first started making birthday cakes, as finding the perfect recipe for that perfect cake is essential! The photographic step by step guides are also very helpful in lining the cake tins.

                      There is a page dedicated to basic equipment, which of course includes a labelled photograph, so you can identify each tool with the real life item. I think this is a useful page for beginners as it also describes briefly what each item is generally used for in baking.


                      The cakes!

                      Each cake page includes a large photograph of the completed cake, step by step instruction, ingredients, step by step written instructions and a box full of 'tips'. I have made the majority of the cakes listed below following the step by step instructions and have found them very simple to follow.
                      The ingredients list is very specific and directs you to a page in the book if you're making that ingredient from scratch, for example if making butter cream.

                      Some of the cakes have a stencil printed in the book, for example a baby's face. It is very easy to photocopy and use to create the baby's face in proportion.

                      Included in this book are the following cakes...
                      -alphabet and numbers
                      -silver wedding cake
                      -chocolate teddy bear (aimed at kids and easily adaptable)
                      -pretty butterfly on a love heart
                      -train (this is made not only with cake, but with biscuits and sweets! YUM)
                      -butter cream flowers
                      -puppet on a string (again made with biscuits and sweets)
                      -candy house
                      -butter cream summer flowers
                      -baby face (includes a stencil in the book)
                      -bouquet of hyacinths
                      -spring blossom (includes a stencil in book)
                      -butter cream beauty (angel)
                      'who's looking at you? (Pretty box with cheeky eyes peeking out)
                      -party balloons
                      -fearsome dragon (my personal favourite)
                      -frosted flowers
                      -scary Halloween cake
                      -hearts and ribbons
                      -Christmas Parcel
                      -Happy Gardener
                      -Christening cake
                      -wedding star shape cake
                      -Christmas stars
                      -baby's cradle
                      -piped flowers circling a cake
                      -snowflake cake
                      -chocolate
                      -marzipan chocolate box
                      -chocolate box
                      -chocolate feathers
                      -chocolate shapes
                      -monster size cupcake
                      -chocolate extravaganza box
                      -white chocolate ring
                      -choc n nut

                      Alot fo the cakes are easy to alter to suit who you are baking it for, for example colours, facial expression and sizes. They are very adaptable for kids and grown ups!


                      Other points:

                      In between the cake pages, there are some technique style pages, for example how to melt chocolate and make chocolate shapes, before it shows you the chocolate cakes. These are very useful although a little hidden, so well worth a read before starting a cake!

                      At the end of the book, there is a large list of suppliers, personally I've never used this section and doubt I ever will: P

                      Carol Deacon also has a website where you can see her other books and some recipes!
                      http://www.caroldeaconcakes.com/



                      My overall opinion:

                      I love this book! I found it is useful for beginners, with the easy to follow step by step photo guides. My favourite thing about this book is the amount of photographs!! It makes choosing a cake easier and also gives you a reference of how your cake should look at the end! This is a book I use regularly as it's so easy to pick up and start any type of cake! I would definitely recommend Carol Deacons cake decorating books as they are all full of easy to follow guides with plenty of colourful photographs!
                      10/10

                      I Hope you enjoyed reading this review and it was helpful!

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                      • Babycham Rainbow Lace / Shoes / 47 Readings / 46 Ratings
                        More +
                        12.10.2009 16:18
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                        a fab pair of shoes i'll probably wear for another 5 years!

                        I bought these shoes for £30 and I love them! I find the design very unique and have yet to spot anyone else wearing the same pair!

                        I wear these pretty much every day and I've got to say they have stood up to hot sunshine as well as downpores of rain! They have got soaked a few times and i find they easily dry out without falling apart! Although because i wear these so much I have found they have the usual wear and tear and have slighty faded, but i feel this is the same with all shoes you buy.

                        The shoe comes with two sets of laces, and I personally removed the orange one's as it was a bit of a pain with the lace rubbing inside the shoe. I'd rafer be comfortable than fashionable lol!

                        These shoes are extremely comfy and I think at £30 they should be, but they are worth the extra pennys as they last ages and I've defintiley had my money worth out of these!

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