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This Sizzix big shot is the first manual die cutting machine I owned. I paid around £50 for it from my local Range store.
When you purchase this piece of equipment it contains the plates you need to use the machine and the machine itself, you have to buy the dies separately and can range from anything between £5 to £50.
A die is a metal 'shape' that you sandwich between the plates with your paper/card and roll it through the Big shot using the handle at the side. When it comes out of the other side and you remove the top plate you will find the metal has cut through the paper leaving you with the required shape cut-out.
As a cardmaker and general creative person I find the Big shot invaluable and I really couldn't imagine it not being a part of my crafting kit.
The possibilities with this machine seem endless and there are so many variations of dies you can buy and use.
Sizzix is a well known and established company within the crafting world and as you'd expect from a company of their standard, the machine is well built and robust. It is quite heavy though so I wouldn't recommend that it be carted about if at all possible, it has little pads on the bottom of the 'feet' so it doesn't scratch the surface and the weight of the machine is what keeps it steady on a table top for instance.
For the first few uses when you roll the plates through the machine with a die and paper in them you will probably think it's too hard to push through and you may be scared of breaking it but as long as you have followed the correct guides for the die 'sandwich' then don't worry- the pressure and the cracking noises are all normal and is just the result of the metal pushing onto the new plastic plate!
I live across the road from a small Co-op and as I don't drive I find it invaluable for everyday essentials like bread and milk which I prefer to buy as fresh as possible rather than stocking up lots at my big weekly supermarket shop from another supermarket.
I must admit the base price of a lot of the products in the Co-op are overpriced in my opinion so I wouldn't like to try and get a full shop in there, I do however, find that they usually offer good promotions and deals on items that you are likely to buy as part of a bigger shop- cereal, bread, crisps, snack food and for this reason I will continue to pop over the road and buy a few top up bits of shopping from them.
I am also a member of their loyalty card and when I remember to take it with me I use it even if I only buy bread and milk, the points add up and at the end of the year I get a little voucher for maybe £2- I know this is a small amount but I really don;t use the card a lot as I always forget to take it with me! I do believe you have so many days to present the receipt with your card next time you're in the shop but to be honest I have never bothered with this so I don't know the full rules.
Opinion World is definitely my favourite survey site, I am a member of quite a few sites and I really like this one.
I only occasionally get emails notifying me of a survey but regardless, I normally log on daily or every other day to check if there are any available surveys.
My favourite thing about this site is that when you reach 1000 (equivalent to £10) you can redeem it by using PayPal and it immediately deposits the funds into your PayPal account without waiting 10-28 days like some survey companies do. This makes it more of an incentive to complete the surveys as you know you are guaranteed to be payed your reward straight away. I have never encountered a problem receiving my rewards and they build up quite fast with surveys being anything from 50 points to sometimes 300 points. The surveys can be monotonous (like most surveys can) and sometimes I have encountered a problem on the last page of the survey and not been paid my points. I have contacted Opinion World when this happened on a couple of occasions and they have looked into it and put the points into my account
This is definitely one of the better sites to join
McDonalds has been around FOREVER (well- it seems like it!) I am 30 years old and remember when I was young a meal from McDonalds was a treat, nowadays maybe because I'm older it seems much less of a treat and leaning more towards being a waste of money!
I think the value of food from this restaurant is not great- for your money you don;t get a great deal of food and it doesn't seem to be of the highest quality.
Granted- sometimes a McDonalds cheeseburger or Big Mac is delicious and really fills a hole but sometimes it also can leave you feeling like you just wasted the best part of £3.
It seems to me that the place has what can only be described as 'off days' when the staff feel tired or grumpy and literally throw your burger together just out of view. The adverts on tv are absolutely and totally mis-leading as not once have I ever had ffod from McDonalds that resembles the pictures I'm shown in the ad.
Disappointing when you look forward to a little midweek treat and you waste £4-5 on a meal only to get served soggy unsalted fries, a 'big' Mac with limp lettuce and lukewarm burgers served with a flat coke minus the ice.
Hit and miss.
I have been a member of Valued Opinions for about 6 years or more now. It was one of the first survey sites I joined and it obviously works for me since I am still an active member many years later.
I get emails notifying me when a survey becomes available and it always gives the estimated length (in time) of a survey and what the reward will be for taking part. It also tells you which category the survey is in enabling you to decide if you would like to participate or not.
The rewards are generally not credited to your account straight away and can range from 50p-£2 (on average) when your account balance reaches £10 or more you can choose to receive one of the many voucher options available. I used to always get Tesco or Boots vouchers as I knew that there would be plenty of use for them, but now, I always get an instant Amazon voucher code which is emailed straight to me within minutes and ready to use on Amazon straight away.
I find this the quickest way to get rewarded and enjoy spending my vouchers there. If you order a paper voucher it can typically take 28 days to arrive (and I'm rather impatient!)
Overall I think this is quite a fair survey site, you can see exactly how much your balance is and also the whole of your survey history and how much each was worth etc. If you enjoy surveys then I think this is a good site to join
My main supermarket to do my weekly shopping about 5 years ago would have been Tesco. Where I live I can easily reach Asda, Tesco or Morrisons and whilst Asda is nearer to my house, I used to prefer Tesco.
I'm not sure why I ended up at Asda but sure enough I slowly started doing more of my weekly shops there until it became all of my shops there!
I personally think Asda has the cheapest supermarket prices overall. It's own smartprice brand on most products is very good but as with all stores/supermarkets there are some things that you don;t want to compromise on. (Smartprice chicken soup is really not that nice)
There are always good value offers on and also 'rollbacks' lowering the price of some goods. I find that quite a lot in Asda is generally on some kind of offer/promotion for a round figure like £1 which makes it a bit easier to add up your shopping as you go round if you want to stick to a budget.
One thing I don;t like though- at the checkout you can't see the subtotal on your shopping as the cashier scans it through, the tills only show the price of each individual product as they are scanned meaning that sometimes the final bill can be a slight shock! I would much prefer that I could see the running total as I went. Overall though a good reliable supermarket with low prices on everyday products
I had the HTC Wildfire S from May 2011 to Feb 2012.
In the end I swopped it for my husbands old iphone 3GS when he upgraded.
Initially I absolutely loved the HTC phone, it looked very stylish in white, didn't look cheap like some phones do in white and it was a lovely screen to use.
The camera quality was very good- I actually preferred it to the iphone camera. It was easy to navigate, texting was fine, calling was easy although it was quite a common occurance that it would be a bit fiddly to end a call and sometimes by accident you might end up ringing someone back because you'd touched the wrong part of the screen- that was slightly annoying but I could live with it.
The biggest and main thing that eventually led me to swop my phone was the internal storage. I like to use a social network on my phone and also got in to playing a scrabble game with friends! This meant that I could hardly have any other apps or features installed because it took up too much memory. There was an sd card fitted into the back of the phone which would have solved this issue if it wasn't for the fact that most apps/features didn't have the option to move onto the sd card!
This was very frustrating for me and I constantly (almost every day) found I was having to go into the settings and clear the cache as sometimes I didn;t even have enough memory to read a new text message.
I would double check the storage next time I get a phone but I really like the HTC brand so it hasn't put me off using the brand again, just not this phone.
Facebook is an online social networking site giving everyone the opportunity to make a profile and interact with other friends/businesses who have also made a profile.
I think Facebook is a great concept- I do however think that whilst everyone expects technology to 'keep up with the times' Facebook are constantly changing things around and adding things much to the annoyance of lots of their users! I wouldn't mind if Fcebook worked smoothly through the changes but it seems that as soon as something new is brought in, one or more features stop working correctly. I think they would encourage more people to be loyal and use it more if they could trust that Facebook would ensure smooth running and blip free networking on the site.
There are many good features on Facebook- private messaging (like email) a chat option (like MSN and similar) a place to store countless photos, and one of the major things it has going for it is the ability to advertise and even operate a business within the site.
It is major advertising for a company and the sheer numbers of people you can reach through Facebook is quite phenomenal.
Yes there are a few issues sometimes (not receiving notifications, issues with uploading pictures, posts disappearing) but on the whole it is generally a good place to meet and interact with people and small (and large) businesses and companies. And best of all IT'S FREE!!!
I LOVE Quavers!
Ok..so first of all these crisps (I think) are aimed at children. When I buy a packet or multipack that's initially who they are for but when you have one of theirs just to taste (!) you immediately want another and another and another!
The cheesy taste of these crisps is quite unique, they are rarely too over-flavoured for me and while they are crunchy they also melt easily in your mouth.
I would say that the shape of these crisps can sometimes be slightly awkward in your mouth but I have never seen a huge quaver so I suppose they keep them quite small for that reason.
You can definitely tell the difference between the shop brand 'cheesy curls' and original Quavers- with Quavers coming out superior every time, proving that they are worth a little more money than other brands.
I do worry though that they are a little salty to be giving children (or adults) as a regular snack but that's just personal taste I guess.
I first bought this powder foundation from Avon about a month ago, since then I have ordered two more pots, one in a darker shade (shell) and the other two are ivory shade.
Firstly, I do like the little pot it comes in, it doesn't seem to hold much powder at first glance but when you apply you realise that in fact it will probably last quite a while. I'm not overly keen on the mirror placement inside the lid only because you have to tip it upside down and shake it to release some powder to use and inevitably the powder goes onto the mirror resulting in a dirty mirror! Whilst it's not ideal- I don;t think there could be an alternative really unless they found some way of separating it from the powder completely and in such a small pot I doubt it would be cost effective to do so. Anyway- I digress, the actual powder itself is light and very easy to apply.
I like to put a towel on my knee when applying just to catch any loose particles that fall off the brush instead of my clothes catching them! You swirl your brush into the powder and I rub it in circular motions all over my face -I do like putting foundation on all areas of my face without getting a 'caked on' look, I know some people prefer just to put on the areas needed so you could apply that way if desired.
You can go back over all areas with more powder until you achieve the look you want and I find it gives a lovely moisturised effect with almost like a sheen, but still looks really natural.
I never thought I'd feel comfortable with powder foundation as sometimes my skin can dry out but as soon as I tried this I instantly loved it. I probably would wear normal liquid foundation for a night out but the mineral powder is perfect for every day use and I would highly recommend!
Ok, so Natwest has been mine and my Husband's bank for almost 5 years now. When we first opened an account they were all over us like a rash because we had sold our house and and had a large amount of money to deposit in an account!
The money was mainly for renovating our next house and 5 years later, surprise surprise, they don't really have the same time for us anymore!
I suppose they would compare to some other high street banks such as Barclays, Lloyds TSB, etc. The account we have at the moment is an advantage gold account which is a fee based account, I think it's currently at £13.50 per month. It comes with it's own benefits for this extra money- most of which we don;t need/use apart from travel insurance and mobile phone insurance. Althgouh considering we haven't been on holiday since we opened the account the travel insurance is kind of worthless!
I don;t think anything really sets it apart from other banks, one thing I will say positively though is that the online banking facility Natwest have is very helpful and easy to navigate.
If I had to choose again a bank to open an account with I;d have to say Natwest wouldn't be my first choice.
Ok.. maybe they are technically not 'goodness' but they taste great!
I bought a multipack of these last week (12) all pickled onion flavour intending to put the occasional packet in my 8 year old sons packed lunch. So far he has had one packet and I have eaten about 9. I'm not proud of this fact but I must say- I don't regret one single crunch!
They haven't got a particularly strong flavour but they are so more-ish and because they are quite small packets, quite frankly you feel a bit cheated if you don't go and help yourself to another.
All in all I would say do NOT buy these if you are on a diet or have an addiction to crispy snacks, but if like me at this moment in life are not really bothered by putting on an extra 2Ib by eating a multipack in 2 days then go, go now to buy these delicious morsels!!!
This Nikon D300 camera is my first ever DSLR camera. I got it at the end of March 2012 and am still learning about it and finding new things to do with it. Firstly, the body is perfect (to me), it is of a substantial weight so that you can feel it's sturdy and not flimsy but not so heavy that it makes your arms ache!
The lcd screen is crystal clear and the colours are perfect on it. It has many different settings so you can change it to whichever one you want with the dial on the top, but one of the best and most useful features is the 'GUIDE' feature which when you turn the dial to this, it comes up on the screen and step by step takes you through what kind of picture/look you want to achieve then explains a little about what settings you need but automatically sets it to the correct setting you need to capture the shot you want. It's very very simple to move off this feature too and manually set the camera- you literally just turn the dial to something else.
The shots are crisp, clear and very professional, they upload to a computer very well and so far I haven't noticed any grain or pixellation on my pictures.
I used my camera late at night to take some pictures of my flowers using the flash and the colour was perfect even though it was dark outside and I was shooting in artificial light.
So far I am extremely happy with my purchase, and even got a £30 cashback card from Nikon a couple of months later! Bonus.
I am actually quite a fan of these cookies, I tend to buy other biscuits for the general household (custard creams, bourbons, gingernuts) but when my 11 year old daughter started wanting to take snacks into school for her break time I began getting these when they were on offer in my local Asda supermarket.
You get 6 small individual packets within a bag and they are the perfect size to take in a school bag or in a packed lunch, or taking on a picnic. Basically they are good for going anywhere when you need convenience food!
I think you get about 8-10 mini cookies per packet which probably is the equivalent to 2-2.5 full size biscuits, so I don't really mind my children eating them a few times a week.
Sometimes with small packets like these, they end up kind of 'crumby' but these actually stay quite crumb free and the chocolate chips are sufficient in the biscuit (not too small to see like you might imagine!)
My kids mainly enjoy them but I must say- I've sneaked the odd packet and I don't mind them either!
I purchased this printer (Canon Pixma MP280) late 2011 to replace my previous printer (also a Canon) which had decided to break down on me when I desperately needed to print something!
Because I was pretty desperate I went to my local Currys and basically chose a printer from what they had in stock- one of which happened to be the MP280 model. The pre loaded ink cartridges it came with lasted me a good 4 months and while I don't print photographs with it I do use it quite a lot for my work (and my kids use it for homework).
I found it very easy to set up and install in my computer using the instructions provided and was up and running pretty quickly. The inks aren't cheap but I do believe they last for a decent amount of time before you have to replace them (i always buy the genuine inks, never the compatibles as I have heard bad things about them). I possibly would say I replace my inks twice every 18 months.
I find the quality of printing fine and up to standard for what I need and it also prints on card up to 300gsm which is imperitive for me.
All in all, a thumbs up from me.