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euphie
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Member since: 15.06.2013

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    • Sky Movies Premier / TV Channel / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      22.12.2015 23:49
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      • "Top British sci-fi"

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      • "Bit long"

      EX Machina

      Star – Writer and director Alex Garland
      Genre – Science Fiction
      Run Time – 108 minutes
      Certificate – 18
      Country – U.K
      Awards – 4 Wins & 20 Nominations
      Amazon – £5.00 DVD £8.99Blue Ray
      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

      Alex Garland is one of our most interesting and intelligent writers and El Machina is one of his most interesting and intelligent movies, his first as director. The title derives from the Latin phrase 'Deus Ex-Machina', meaning 'a god From the Machine', a phrase that originated in Greek tragedies, concurrent themes of the movie. Garland is the guy who teamed up with Danny Boyle for the screenplay of the superior horror 28 Days Later and the mind warping ‘Sunshine’, and also rescued Judd Dredge after Stallone trashed the comic book icon in the 1990s. You should check out the new Judd Dredge re-launch as it’s really rather good. Garland did blot his copybook with the rather pretentious ‘The Beach’ though.




      ===Cast===

      Domhnall Gleeson ... Caleb
      Oscar Isaac ... Nathan
      Alicia Vikander ... Ava
      Sonoya Mizuno ... Kyoko
      Claire Selby ... Lily
      Corey Johnson ... Jay


      ===Plot===

      Twentysomething bright–eyed Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a coder at an internet search engine company, has won a staff competition to spend a weekend with Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the charismatic chief executive of the company inviting him up to his mountain retreat.

      Caleb is a big fan and helicoptered in to the woodland retreat and looking forward to meeting his idol and cracking a few beers. But there won’t be much time for R&R as Nathan has other plans for the intelligent young man and offers him the chance to make history. Nathan has been working on something big and he needs someone to test it.

      Ava (Alicia Vikander) is that project, a fully functional and lifelike android robot, able to talk and walk and hold conversations with humans. Nathan wants an independent person to run the ‘Turin Test’ on AVA, the conscious moment where a human believes a robot is so life like they couldn’t tell if it’s human or not and the robot likewise.

      Caleb runs a series of session with AVA and it soon becomes clear that AVA is highly cognitive and has many human tendencies in the robots silicone gel brain. AVA appears to be flirting with Caleb and the young man drawn to her/it. The two are monitored by Nathans complex CCTV system 24/7 as the session stack up over the week. But during brief power outages when Nathan can’t see or hear Ava and Caleb the robot warns the kid that he is in danger and Nathan is a bad person and not all he seems to be. Is that ability to interpret emotions a robot passing the Turin Test or is something else going on here?


      ===Results===

      This is an interesting and engaging movie folks. It’s full of good ideas in the best tradition of British Science Fiction in the way Sunshine and 28 Days thrilled us. Garland again writes a winner. The boy can direct to and his film looks great, and on just $15 million bucks, which pulled back $37 million to date. Although classed and presented as an indie it’s much better than that. The android looks extremely realistic and the CGI never obvious. Alicia Vikander (The Royal Affair) deserves her Golden Globe nomination. I suspect this film will also feature in the Oscars for screenplay and acting.

      What I like about Garland is he makes Sci-Fi credible on screen and explores inventions and ideas that are almost contemporary. After the Ebola warning we know western government’s apathy means a deadly virus could possible spread around the world and the Sun is the most likely threat to the Earth’s extinction as its right there and always angry. Artificial Intelligence is racing on and our big tech giants could invent any day soon, if they haven’t already. I still can’t work out how Cortana knows how to turn our search requests into results. How does a computer understand speech? Whether Apple are close to invented a thinking android in a secret billion dollar location is up for debate but Ex Machina really works in an engaging drama around that scenario.

      The talented Domhnall Gleeson as the sparky Calab puts all the practical questions and ideas to Eva to try explain the science of the Turin Test and how browsing internet algorithms work and we are always engaged in the film, however complex it all is. Oscar Isaac projects the God complex well with Nathan as the megalomaniac IT zillionaire. His ambiguous bearded look adds the required menace to the film and this allows a rather clever twist that sets up the dénouement. This film needs that big twist and it delivers.

      On the whole a really enjoyable and intelligent movie and well worth your time over the holidays for a DVD rental or on your movie package. It’s nice not to have a robot film where they are clumping each other and the camera is on the star all the time. This is a smart little movie with some great ideas and I’m pretty sure you will all love it.





      makes it credible like no other.

      If you want smart
      ===RATINGS===

      Imdb.com –7.7 /10.0 (201, 456votes)
      Rottentomatos.com –92% critic’s approval
      Metacriitc.com – 78% critic’s approval

      ===Trailer===

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0470752/

      ===Special Features===



      ===Critics===

      The Baltimore Times –‘As the film tests you, you're left to sort out whether you pass’.

      San Francisco Herald –‘
      It's just a story of four characters in a secluded location, shot on an obviously small budget. But deep inside of it is a fully imagined idea of where humanity is headed -- and what evils we're capable of’

      TV Guide Magazine –‘The dazzling directorial debut of Alex Garland is a can't-miss sci-fi thriller’.

      The Guardian –‘ Ex Machina is one of the year's best films because it's smart, entertaining and disturbing, and also because it never underestimates the viewer, creating a perfect balance between entertainment and deep ideas’.

      Cinema Crazed –‘A consistently enigmatic and stunning science fiction tale of humanity, and the god complex...’

      Kansas City Star –‘Ex Machina piques our curiosity, lights up our imaginations and sets our nerves a-tingling in ways that few other "robot" movies can match’.

      The Telegraph –‘Ex Machina is a disquieting power struggle waged in terms of human weaknesses, refracted through gender’.
      ===========

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      04.10.2015 21:11
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      Tasty, low calorie snack

      The individual pretzels are quite small, and I would describe them as bitesize. Each pretzel is a pale golden colour, with small green flecks on some of them, to denote the chives. They also look as though they are covered in a pale coloured powder, I thought it was salt at first, but after seeing one of the ingredients was sour cream powder, I am assuming that's what the pretzels are coated with. The occasional pretzel looks slightly more golden, which seems to indicate that these are baked rather than fried.

      These do taste quite similar to the sour cream and chive Pringles. I do find that these are slightly strong in flavour, but at the same time, there is something moreish about these. After the first few, the chive is the overwhelming flavour, and while I'm not normally a fan of onion tastes, these aren't so strong that the taste is overwhelming. There is, however, a slight garlic aftertaste, but since I don't mind garlic, this isn't a problem for me.

      The pretzels are quite crunchy, but wouldn't be quite as crunchy as eating crisps. I would estimate there are around 40 pretzels in each bag, so while this is a slim fast product, the result is a satisfying snack, and I find that one bag is enough to satisfy any hunger pangs, particularly if I eat the bag slowly.

      Price and Availability

      I bought mine from Superdrug, and they cost me 59p. I have also seen these in Poundland where you can get two packets for £1 and also in Savers at a cost of around 39p so if you want to try these, it pays to shop around.

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      31.08.2015 20:13
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      So what does pink smell like? Vanilla, apparently

      I don't normally use body sprays as I tend to just wear perfumes as I find them more long lasting but this was something that I had received in a gift set from my mum so thought I would give this a go. I received a 50ml can of this along with 3 other Charlie scents in a gift set and this was the first one that I have used.

      About this body spray

      Like every other body spray that I have ever used, you apply this by squeezing the nozzle of the can and spraying this from about 15cm away from the body, taking care not to use this near your face.

      This is described as a juicy mix of red fruits, tangerine and vanilla on the back of the can and while I can certainly detect the vanilla, I struggle to find any fruity elements, maybe something slightly citrus but it's hard to detect over the stronger vanilla, sweet scent. It is a quite sweet scent but not sickly as the slightly musky element at the back of this perfume stops it from having too sweet a smell. I think that this would be nicer if I could detect the fruitier elements but while there is a tiny hint of citrus, I can't detect any red fruits in the scent of this.

      When you first spray this, it has a quite strong scent but it soon fades to a deeper, muskier scent which is what seems to linger most on my skin. Personally, I find the scent overpowering initially but that fades within seconds to be replaced by something sweeter and softer.

      I was slightly disappointed with the longevity of this body spray though and I could barely detect it on my skin an hour or two after I first sprayed it. It did last slightly longer on my clothes though and I could still detect it on my jumper after 2 – 3 hours.

      Personally, I would say this is a quite young scent and would probably appeal more to the teenage market rather than mature age groups. It does have a quite light, fresh scent with a vanilla hit but while I do like the scent of this, it's probably not something that I will ever repurchase as I don't really tend to use body sprays often.

      Price and Availability

      A full size 75ml can of this normally costs £1.70 from Boots and £1.65 from Tesco but is often on offer so if you want to try it, it's worth shopping around.

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      30.08.2015 17:50
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      • "Good Read"

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      • "Some characters were annoying"

      Surprised me how much I did 'heart' this book

      I had enjoyed the first books in the 'I Heart' series, even though I did have some complaints with it. However, those niggles didn't stop me reading on and when I noticed this one in a pile that my friend lent me, I soon got stuck in.

      In this book Angela has settled down and is loving life. She lives with her rock star boyfriend in an apartment in trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The only fly in her ointment is she doesn't have a job but is optimistic that her next job is just around the corner and she just needs to stay positive and it will happen. In the meantime, she has Alex's homecoming after his band toured Japan and is stunned when she receives a letter from the IRS informing her that as her visa was job related, the fact she has no job means that she will be deported in a month's time unless she gets another job.

      This book is firmly in the chick lit category and having read two books in the series already, I had an idea what to expect and this one didn’t disappoint.  However, the things that did annoy me with the first book have been toned down. The first book showed Angela having incredible luck and always landing on her feet which did annoy me. In this book though, real life has kicked in and the threat of deportation at the start of the book is a real different direction for the series to take. I do feel that as the series goes on, the books are getting better and even if you read the first one and didn't like it, I would recommend checking out further books in the series anyway if you are a fan of the genre.

      I did find that this book was slightly predictable and after the first two or three chapters, I could guess what the ending would be. It didn't stop me reading on though as there was something about the book that held my attention. There was something endearing and compelling through this book that left me wanting to read on and the humourous touches also made this a must read book.

      I do like the character of Angie even if she can sometimes be irresponsible, self-centred and childish. I probably wouldn't be friends with her in real like though but that doesn't stop me appreciating the character. She can be quite funny though and quite caring when it comes to her friends which goes some way to redeeming the character in my opinion.

      My friend lent me her copy of the book so it cost me nothing but if this is a book that you want to read, it is available from Amazon at the following prices:
      £3.49 for Kindle
      £6.39 for a new paperback
      Used paperbacks are also available from 1p although there is a £2.80 P&P charge as well.

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      08.08.2015 15:00
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      • "Really works"

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      • Expensive

      Worth a try of you suffer from acne

      I have suffered from acne since my early teens. Now 34, I still have bad breakouts and tried so many things over the years that promised so much but delivered so little.

      This is a three step system.

      1 is an anti-blemish cleanser to gently remove dirt, excess oil makeup and bacteria that can promote blemishes.

      2 is an anti-blemish toner.

      3 is an anti-blemish lotion to be used after the first two steps.

      My first use

      The first step is the cleanser. I started by wetting my face and then pumped the cleanser onto my hand. The cleanser is a pump action bottle and I did find that one pump was enough to provide me with a rich, creamy lather that felt very luxurious on my skin. I was also surprised at the nice light, almost floral scent of this cleanser.

      The second step is the toner. I put a few drops of the toner onto a cotton wool pad and rubbed across my face and neck. Once I started applying this to my skin, the first thing that hit me was the scent of this – it did remind me of methylated spirits, disappointing after a nice scented cleanser.

      Thirdly, there is a lotion. I found it was quite fresh and I liked the smell and it left me feeling relaxed after use, which was another added bonus in using this lotion.

      After 1 month

      I am really happy with the results that I got from this system. While I have had one or two breakouts, they could be due to ' that time of the month' and they had a very small cycle – they were gone in a day or two.

      The lumps that used to be an almost permanent feature of my jawline have totally gone and while I will never have clear skin due to some old acne scars, they have been greatly reduced and I am very happy with the results that I have from using this system.

      I am particularly happy that the really oily skin that used to really get me down seems to have disappeared with this system as well. This has left me with a lot more confidence and I even used it on some of the areas on my chest and arms that can get acne and I had the same results – overnight my skin looked less red and spots soon dried up.

      The only issue that I have with this is that at £70 for around two months supply it is expensive but it's worth it for clearer skin as I have wasted a lot of money over the years on products which have done nothing.

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      12.07.2015 12:29
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      A great book but won't suit everyone

      This is another book that I got the lend of from a friend. I didn't know much about the book when I started to read it which was probably a good thing as I may not have bothered otherwise.

      The Book

      The main character in the book is Nancy Astley, an Oyster-Girl from Whitstable in Kent. While she is happy with her life, she has a love of the theatre which provides her with an escape from her day to day life dealing with seafood. On one of her trips to the music halls, she discovers a new act called Kitty and almost instantly captivated by the act of Kitty who was a masher – a male impersonator.

      After visiting the theatre on an almost nightly basis just to see Kitty, Nancy is almost instantly captivated by the spectacle of Kitty. Finally, she is invited backstage and a new career beckons for Nancy as Kitty's dresser.

      My Thoughts

      A quick google of the book revealed to me that the title of the book comes from a term for cunnilingus which should give you an idea what the book is about.

      I wasn’t entirely sure what this book was about when I first started reading it as the blurb didn’t give much away.  However, everything was well explained throughout the book and when I got to around halfway through the book, everything made a lot more sense and I knew a lot more about the story and the characters.  As this book was set in the late 1890’s, some of the terms used have largely fallen out of daily use which had confused me when I first read some of them, but since most are explained, it makes it a lot easier to understand the point that the characters are making.

      This book gives you a glimpse into an era that is very different from what we are used to.  For example, the reaction of Nancy’s sister Alice when she realised that Nancy had cut her hair would be unheard of nowadays.  The fact that both women also had fake plaits to wear in public shows how society was suspicious of women without long hair.

      I feel that this book was very well researched to use terms and experiences that someone who would have been familiar with the music-halls and theatres of that time and even the language used gave a real sense that there was a lot of attention to detail throughout this book.

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      03.07.2015 23:08
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      The Secret Keeper

      This is another book in the pile that my friend lent me which I am starting to get through slowly!

      About The Book

      It is 2011 and actress Laurel Nicholson is finding thoughts and memories from her teenage years are overwhelming. With her mother seriously ill, time is running out and she needs answers to the mystery of what she remembered one afternoon when she was 16 when she witnessed her mother stabbing someone. It was reported and widely believed that it was self-defence but Laurel is haunted by what she witnessed that afternoon and no matter how hard she tries, she can't outrun her memories. As Lauren tries to delve further, she may find out that the past might not be what she thought and that by the end of her journey she finds out things that will rock her family to their foundations.
      My Thoughts

      I had kind of put off reading this as while it sounded good, I was worried about all of the sections that were set in the past. However, I felt as though these flashbacks were sensitively done and throughout the book, I looked forward to these as it unravelled more of the lead character's back stories.

      At 588 pages, this isn't for a casual reader, although it really doesn't feel that long as it doesn't drag on anywhere and each page is packed with information. This is one of the best books that I have ever read (and that isn't something I say lightly). There were so many twists and turns through the book that meant it really held my attention and I couldn't wait to read on so I could understand more of the story. When the full story is revealed, it completely threw me, although thinking back now, there were some hints through the book that gave clues towards what would happen but I didn't quite put them all together. I really loved this book and would recommend this to anyone who is wanting an intriguing read that keeps you guessing all the way through.

      At only £3.59 for the Kindle version, I feel this book is worth it. Even at the full paperback price, it's worthwhile as I feel that this is well worth it as it was such a fantastic read.

      Although a lot of books that I read and review are mainly aimed at the female populations, I feel that this is a book that isn't limited to just female readers and a lot of males would also enjoy reading this book. This is the sort of book that I would recommend to any serious reader as I felt it was very well written with an interesting story woven throughout.

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      13.06.2015 12:19
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      Great at relieving cold and flu symptoms

      Just before Christmas, I was a little annoyed when I started to feel a cold starting. Knowing that work was going to be busy, I wanted something that I could take that would stop the effects of the cold getting in the way of work and also the Christmas festivities! I went into the Eurospar near work and while they had a very poor selection of cold remedies in tablet form, I bought these, mainly as they were the cheapest and I think of Benylin as a decent brand.

      Ingredients

      These capsules contain the following ingredients which are said to help with the symptoms of colds and flu.

      Paracetamol
      Caffeine
      Phenylephrine

      Effectiveness

      I didn't have a very heavy cold when I first took two of these capsules but I did have a slightly scratchy throat, my eyes felt heavy and I had a very runny nose. Within around 15 minutes, I started to feel the symptoms easing slightly and was surprised at how effective these capsules were.

      Price and Availability

      I bought mine from the Eurospar near work and they cost me £3.49 for 16. This is more than I would normally spend on a cold remedy but since they had a poor selection and the Lemsips were almost £5 for 16, these were the next best alternatives.

      Summing Up

      While these were more expensive than what I would normally buy, the relief that I got from these capsules was well worth the £3.49 that I paid. I would recommend these capsules for anyone who is looking for some relief from the symptoms of colds and flus.

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    • Lush Snow Fairy / Bath & Shower / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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      13.06.2015 12:16
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      • "Leaves skin feeling soft and moisturised"
      • "It's pink"
      • "Gorgeous scent"

      Disadvantages

      • "Only available at Christmas"
      • Price

      I love snow fairy!

      I have bought this shower gel for others before, as I have some friends who love it, but it was only when a friend kindly bought me a 100ml bottle for Christmas last year that I realised why this is such a popular shower gel.
       
      This shower gel is a limited edition item from Lush and is only available around Christmas time.  I do occasionally buy this throughout the year on eBay though for birthday presents as well, but it does work out slightly more expensive doing it that way. 
       
      It is a very girly shower gel – it smells like candy floss and pear drops and is a bright pink with a slight shimmer running through it.  It’s a thick shower gel and you only need a tiny amount to produce a rich lather. 
       
      I would really recommend this shower gel as it has such a lovely scent and it lasts ages as you only need a small amount each time.  The only downside is that it is a limited edition product, but I guess there are some smart people in Lush marketing and know part of the charm of this is that it is a Christmas special. 
       
      Ingredients are:
      Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Propylene Glycol, Synthetic Musk, *Lactic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Polyester-3, Methyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Colour 45410, Colour 45380, Methylparaben

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      13.06.2015 12:14
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      Fantastic Mascara

      I have been using Benefit’s They’re Real mascara for a while and really rated it but when I received this mascara in a Glossybox, I was excited to try it out. I used to use Rimmel mascaras when I was in my teens and really rated them but as I got older, there were so many other brands and mascaras to try and I sort of forgot that I’d liked the Rimmel ones so much.

      The Mascara

      This mascara is very chunky and is a lot bigger than my usual mascara. The tube is a chunky curved tube with a large lid which you can unscrew. When you take the brush out, the brush fits in with the rest of the packaging and is a chunky hourglass shaped brush. Compared to most other mascaras I have used, the brush on this one is about twice the size. I did wonder how effective this would be in giving my lashes the effects that it claimed. It did take a couple of attempts for me to get used to the brush but now that I have used the mascara for a few weeks, I actually like the brush and think it makes applying my mascara easier. The large brush does seem to make it easier to cover all my lashes including the smaller ones that my usual mascara misses.

      My thoughts

      I was pleasantly surprised with the effects of this mascara. It left my eyelashes looking bolder, thicker and more defined and I only needed to use one coat to get the result I was looking for – although adding another coat did give a more dramatic effect as well.

      I don’t have many complaints about this mascara but one little niggle is that it does seem to take a few seconds to dry and I do occasionally find that I have to remove some of the mascara from around my eyes when I have blinked before the mascara is properly dried. I did find that it clumped slightly the first few times I used this mascara but now that I am used to it, this hasn’t happened.

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      25.04.2015 14:50
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      • "Good read"

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      • "Quite long "

      Bad Behaviour

      About the Book

      Although the book is mainly written from the viewpoint of one character, the book messesntially has two main characters and the book is told in the third person from the point of view of each character. The two main characters Darcey and Nieve were best friends all through school and after school, were both living on the Spanish coast where they were having the time of their lives. When a family emergency meant that Darcey had to return home to Galway, it was the beginning of the end for their friendship and when Nieve comes back to Ireland, it changes Darcey's life completely.

      My Thoughts

      When I first read the blurb on this book, I almost felt as though I could guess what would happen, but I was wrong. It seemed so obvious what would happen in the story yet Sheila O'Flanagan took the story in a totally different direction.

      I felt that the characters were very well described and there was enough detail about the two main characters that you felt as though you knew them. There was a lot of information about other smaller characters as well which enriched the story. I liked the character of Darcey even though there was an effort through the book to paint her as vain and selfish, particularly in her dealings with her ex-husband. However, there was enough of a back story to the character that ensured that my own opinion was more of understanding why she felt and acted as she did rather than thinking she was self absorbed.

      Yes, there was that slightly evil part of me that had hoped that Nieve would get some comeuppance as it just seemed that she had managed to use and abuse people for so long without considering that people had feelings. However, the fall from grace wasn't what I had expected it to be and that threw me. I found that this book played with my emotions as well, as when I realised that Nieve was finally having some karma, I felt sorry for her rather than feeling pleased that she had got what was coming to her.

      Although this book is firmly in the chick lit category, I felt it was very well written chick lit and there was a lot of detail about the characters and their lives which made you feel more involved in the book that some authors that expect you to fill in the gaps in the story in their books.

      At almost 600 pages long, it's not a book for a casual reader but to be honest, it didn't feel like a long read and there were no parts of the book that dragged on.

      There aren't many reviews online for this book that I have found but the ones that I have seen are mainly positive.

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    • Lindt Lindor Chocolate Bar / Chocolate / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
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      12.04.2015 17:15
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      Yummy Chocolate

      Lindt chocolates are a definite favourite of mine, but it can be expensive.  When out recently, I spotted these bars on offer in a shop, so decided to treat myself to a bar.
       
      The bar itself comes in the red packaging that I have come to associate with Lindt chocolates.  Each bar is 38g and there are six segments in each bar, each with Lindt embossed on the top of each segment. 

      As soon as you tear open the bar, the sweet, chocolatey scent is very strong.
       
      The milk chocolate melts as soon as you put it in your mouth and the combination of the very sweet milk chocolate and slightly more bitter truffle interior is perfect, stops it tasting too sweet, but remains very rich.  I do find that after a few segments, it does become slightly sickening
       
      I would definitely recommend this bar, particularly considering that I found that one or two segments were enough to satisfy my chocolate craving.  One small bar of this lasted me two days, which is unheard of in my house.  

      The ingredients are
      Sugar, vegetable fat, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, coca mass, lactose, skim milk powder, milk fat, malt extract (barley), emulsifier (soya lecithin), flavourings. Milk chocolate contains: Cocoa solids: 30% min. Milk solids: 14% min.
      These chocolates may contain traces of hazelnuts and almonds.

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      12.04.2015 15:18
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      • "Cheap if bought second hand"
      • "Good Read"

      Disadvantages

      • "Some parts that dragged on "

      Worth a read if you want chick lit with a bite

      I was in a charity shop a few months back where they had 3 books for £1. As I had read this book around 15 years ago and enjoyed it, I knew it would be worth the 33p or so that it would cost me.

      About the Book

      The title alone gives you a massive clue as to what the book is about. Alix Callaghan is a Head of Dealing at a major Dublin bank. She is a real career woman and the idea of marriage and children isn't one that has really crossed her mind. She had thought that her partner Paul and her were on the same page and had the same goals in life. She was then stunned when Paul announced that he does want to settle down and have a family. To make matters worse, he thinks he has met the person that he wants to settle down with and it's not Alix.

      Alix is devastated although she tries very hard not to show it, especially at work where she feels that her male colleagues are snapping at her heels and hoping for her job. It becomes clear to Alix that being single in your early 30's is very different from being single in your early 20's and there are other things that she now has to contend with.

      My Thoughts

      This isn't just a book about being dumped, there is another story interwoven through this story which gives the book an added dimension. It's not just another 'woman gets dumped, takes it badly but lives happily ever after' style chick lit style book.

      I liked the character of Alix although I probably wouldn't get on with her in real life. She is very self contained and I would feel frustrated that she maintained she was okay when she clearly wasn’t. I did admire her determination in her professional life though and was slightly envious of that quality in her.

      A slight niggle that I had remembered from the first time that I read this book was that there was a lot of (what I felt was) unnecessary detail about what Alix did for a living. It was very easy to skim read through these sections though so I don't fell as though I should mark this book down on this point.

      Price and Availability

      I got my copy from a charity shop where I got three books for £1. This book is one that I have often seen in charity shops over the years so it's worth checking out charity shops if you want to read this book.

      Comments

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      • More +
        21.03.2015 20:08
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Nice scent"
        • "Leaves skin moisturised"

        Disadvantages

        • "Takes a long time to be absorbed into the skin"

        Cien Shea and Almond Hand Cream

        I’m not sure why, maybe it’s just because I’m getting older, but as last few weeks, I have noticed that my hands have been feeling quite dry, particularly when I’m in work.  One day when my hands were feeling particularly rough, I thought I’d go out at lunchtime to see what I could buy to help.  I was in Lidl and I saw this cream for 65p for 125ml of cream, I thought I’d give it a go, especially since if it was rubbish, I’d only wasted a few pence.
         
         There were two hand creams available but I noticed the other was for mature skin, and I’m not quite mature yet (though if we are talking mental age, I doubt I ever will be mature..).  The fact that this contained almond oil and Shea butter was another bonus for me, as well as the packaging which promised intense hydration.
         
        The Cream
         
        The cream is a white colour and I feel the cream is a perfect consistency for a hand cream.  I also thought this cream had a lovely smell, you can detect the almond scent, as well as a hint of Shea butter.
         
        The cream does take a few minutes to feel completely absorbed into my skin though and my hands feel slightly greasy to the touch until it is fully absorbed.    
         
        My thoughts
         
        I’m quite undecided abut this hand cream,.  It has a nice consistency, nice smell and it really does leave my hands feeling softer and moisturised.  The scent does also linger for a while after using this cream, which is another bonus.  However, I did feel that the fact that it takes a long time for it to be absorbed into the skin is a negative factor, as I was using it mainly at work, and I can’t really sit around for five minutes for hand cream to totally soak in, and I did feel as though my hands were slightly greasy while it was absorbed fully.  Once absorbed though, my hands felt really soft and looked slightly more moisturised.
         
        I would recommend this hand cream for those occasions when you want some intensive moisture and are planning on putting it on before bed and you won’t be using your hands too much as it does have great results for the price. 

        Comments

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      • More +
        14.03.2015 18:30
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Not recommended

        The Book



        Agatha Raisin is a retired PR Executive who has moved from London to the sleepy village of Carsely in The Cotswolds.



        The neighbouring village of Ancombe has a wellspring that provides villagers with a constant source of spring water. However, The Ancombe Water Company, a bottled water company wants to tap into the supply and sell bottled water. This has caused a division amongst the villagers – some think this is a great deal while others thing it will ruin the village.



        There is a slightly more sinister development to the story when the village council chairman is found murdered, his body being dumped at the wellspring that has caused so much discussion around the village. The race is on to find out who murdered him and just to complicate things for Agatha – she has been hired as the PR for the firm. Will this be good or bad for the water company and as Agatha finds herself getting more involved with one of the directors, is she literally sleeping with the enemy?



        My Thoughts



        Sometimes I wonder if I am maybe younger than the target audience for these books and that's why my opinion differs from a lot of reviews that I have read. Maybe I will enjoy them more in a few years time as I feel that these books were aimed more towards a middle aged audience?



        I did wonder at first of these books were a parody series and even after reading two books, I'm still unsure if I should be reading these as parodies or as a serious read. These books are firmly steeped in fantasy though. I can't imagine that the police would allow amateur detectives to question potential suspects and happily discuss the case with them.



        One thing that I did really like was how there was an introduction to the character of Agatha at the start of the book and her life up until the present day. This meant that I was starting the book already knowing something about the main character rather than being thrown hints throughout the first few chapters which I find can sometimes leave me feeling that I don't really know much about the characters at all.



        To be completely honest. I wouldn't actively seek out this series of books but if a book came my way, I would read it. It is a fairly quick read and to be fair, I had worked out the culprit quite early on in the book. It's the sort of book that you can unwind with or that you can read in the bath. Despite covering murders in villages, there are very few gruesome scenes so it's not the sort of book that you want to avoid before bedtime.

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