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kavics17

kavics17
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Member since: 16.10.2009

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      09.12.2009 14:32
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      I commute by bike every day, it's a good 30min journey one way and over the winter I really need good waterproof gloves. 4 years ago I walked into the first bike shop in Herne Hill and ordered the first pair of gloves they showed me,just because those were the only ones in size S.

      They turned out to be Altura Shield waterproof gloves, and I loved them from the beginning. 4 years on I needed a new pair as the old ones had holes everywhere, so it was an obvious decision for me to go for the same one. I googled them and found it on Evans website for half price, so placed the order and got them within 2 days. Size S though turned out to be too big for me, a trip to my local store made me realize that I ordered man size rather than woman. They took them back and ordered the woman size for £9.99 (that's 60% discount as they originally cost £29.99), I recieved them next day. They are still on sale on www.evanscycles.com, but for half price only £14.99, man size costs £19.99. You can get them on wiggle or any bike shops as well but you might need to pay the full price for them.


      The gloves are fully waterproof and breathable,they have a hard wearing multi layer Amara palm, and also has Teflon coating for water repellence and an X-static antibacterial lining. They are not very thick meaning that I can easily hold my keys and lock the bycicle without taking them off (the most annoying thing is when it's freezing cold and you need to take your gloves off just to lock your bike!), and they don't disturb me of changing the gears or using the breaks. One of its best features is that you can adjust it around your wrist, especially useful if you have as thin wrists as mine. I used to get really upset that the gloves just fall off my hands everytime I needed to take something out from the back packet of my coat, but with the Altura Shield I never need to worry, I can reach the back pocket, take stuff out (like locker key or tissue) and they still stay on. When it's freezing cold I always put them on inside the house,they keep the temperature inside so my fingers are never cold at the end of the journey. They are waterproof and also they dry very quickly.
      They have the Altura logo on the side, it's reflective,useful when you cycle in the dark.
      It has added padding on the palm and on the thumb (for changing gears I guess), and the material is very durable, my old pair lasted me for 4 years cycling from October till April in them every day.

      I ordered the graphite/black colour, I thought they would look the same as on the picture but I'm afraid they are more black than graphite. Nothing wrong is with that but I'm more into girlish colours so would have appreciated of more choice of colours (anyone reading this review from Altura?). Girls would like to look still girlish even though riding the bike but sometimes practicality takes over. Overall I am very happy with the gloves and the prize I paid for them, if they would not have been on sale I would have still bought them-for me quality is really important.

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      • More +
        06.12.2009 19:48
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        A good product from Pampered Chef!

        I am seriously addicted to muffins so my boss last year presented me with this muffin tray, it doesn't just look fantastic, it really is the new way of making muffins!

        About Pampered Chef

        The tray is from Pampered Chef, the american company was set up in 1980 by Doris Christopher, a teacher and stay-at-home mother who recognized the need for time-saving kitchen tools. Nowadays the company is worth appr. 700million dollars, and it has 60.000 consultants selling the products through food shows set up in your own home. They demonstrate the products and at the end you can taste what you cooked-simply as that. The easiest way to learn more about the company and earn some extra money is to attend one their cooking shows, than offer to host one. If you host one than you can choose an item for free to keep (but you need to make sure that your guests have purchased at least £200 worth of products before), and also get 30% discount from the products demonstrated on your show and a further 10% discount for a year to purchase any products. You can also become a Pampered Chef Consultant, the more products you sell the more gifts you are elligible for. If you are interested in attending a show, you can find the nearest consultant close to you through their website.

        The products

        You can choose from the following products:
        ~Bakeware
        ~Bamboo
        ~Cook's Library
        ~Cookware
        ~Cutting Edge
        ~Entertaining
        ~Kitchenware
        ~Stoneware

        You can buy any of the Pampered Chef product online on www.thepamperedchef.co.uk or find a consultant and order it from her/him.

        The silicon floral cupcake pan is quite big (34.3 cm) when you look at it and not very useful when putting it in the fridge/freezer/dishwasher. There are 12 rose, daisy and sunflowers designs to make your muffins-I really really love them when they are ready, they look beautiful, stylish and everyone is happy to take one more, you don't come across with something like this every day.

        It has a round shape and a steel rim adds stability to it around the edge although it can get really warm when taking out from the oven, so please be careful and use a cloth to touch it. One of the advantages is that you can put it straight on an oven rack, no need to have an extra tray. You don't need to use any muffin paper in it, the muffins come out very nicely once they cooled down. I found it previously when I used normal muffin trays and papers that the bottom and the side of the muffins don't turn brown-they remain cooked but white, when using the silicon tray you will see that it browns and cooks evenly giving you pretty and very delicious muffins. The tray itself can be stored easily as it is silicone,the muffin holes can fold up. I still have the original paper box it came in, and always put the tray in there when not in use-avoiding dusting! They are not cheap, the cost of the tray is £23.25 and although you can come across cheaper silicone muffin trays I would still recommend these ones,for me quality worths every penny. I tried Asda and Woolworths silicon muffin trays previously (cost about £3 each), but they lost their shape after a while due to high temperature. The tray is temperature safe between -20 and 230 degrees. I did make jellies and icecreams in it when I had a bigger fridge, they looked lovely after taking them out from the tray-the perfect desert when you entertain your friends and family.

        Overall I would really recommend them, a great christmas present for every woman/man who loves baking. Here is my favourite recipe for really delicious muffins:

        Oatmeal and Raspberry Muffins (makes 12 flower shape muffins)
        Ingredients:
        125g oatmeal
        375 ml milk
        250g plain flour
        1 tablespoon baking powder
        115g soft brown sugar
        1egg
        90g honey
        60g butter
        150 g raspberries

        Instructions:
        Turn on the oven on 190 degrees.
        Pour the milk over the oatmeal and leave it for 5 min, meanwhile mix together all the other ingredients except the raspberries. Add the oat and milk to the mixture than carefully turn the raspberries in it. Scoop it in the muffin holes and leave it in the oven for 25 min. Serve and enjoy. It's yummy.

        Off to make some and enjoy my muffin tray...

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        • More +
          03.12.2009 22:15
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          Might be expensive but worth every penny

          I bought my Fit Flops in June after reading a lot about them,I was seriously in need of a lighter but not so expensive shoes for summer. I use MBTs over the winter so it was an obvious choice to go for the Fit Flop Walkstar III. Mine are black and got them from Sweaty Betty online (used a free delivery code+20%off code, costing me just under £30).

          It claims to provide relief from plantar fasciitis, heels spurs, chronic back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, from lower limb oedema and RLS (restless leg syndrome) (from www.fitflop.com), also heard that reduces cellulite on thighs and it's good for posture. I have cracked heel when wearing open shoes so it really appaeled to me that they are higher than normal flip flops-it definitely didn't make it worst and I found them really comfortable. It never caused me pain between my toes, no blisters, nothing I can complain of.

          From day 1 my feet felt that I was still wearing my MBTs, and loved the fact that I looked taller than I am (when you are 5 foot 5 than the extra cm or two can make a huge difference). I was wearing them with skirts/trousers/ on the beach, you can't go wrong with the black colour, it goes with everything. I looked casual when I wanted, and smart when I put on nice clothes, the shiny leather goes together with all the clothes I have. I went on a beach holiday 2 weeks after I bought them, and that's when I realized that they might be doing something for my leg-I had painful legs every day after walking in them for miles and miles. I just didn't want to take them off believing my cellulites will be gone by the time the holiday is over....They weren't... But I still love them.Health benefit or not.

          I would really recommend them if you walk a lot and want to feel comfortable, I would definitely buy them again.

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            03.12.2009 13:50
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            I have been going to my local Fitness First (Walworth road, Southwark) for 3 years now and my initial expression has dramatically changed about the club itself. It's hard to see outside the circle but have been to a couple of branches recently and it just made me reassured that Fitness First is really not first anymore.

            3 years ago it was a club where I thought only posh people were going, membership was costly (mere £48 for a full-time membership) and everyone was wearing really nice fitness clothes. Staff was friendly and the gym seemed very well equipped with nice new machines and had lots of group classes. I decided to join because I moved house and the nearest gym (Fitness First) was 7 min away from my house. I wasn't impressed by the joining fee and the amount I had to pay but as a student I got a discount meaning I paid the same amount as in my previous gym. I've been going to Fitness First regularly, at least 3 or 4 times a week, trully enjoy the classes (oh,well,not all though), and the sauna and steam room when it's not out of order (which does seem to happen quite often).

            Fitness First was launched in 1993 in Bournemouth, there are 160 clubs in the UK at the moment (550 worldwide). They have blue or express clubs, platinum and black clubs-depending on the location you are, and whether they have swimming pools or not. You can try any of their branches for free before deciding to join, you just simply need to download a voucher from their website and book it at the reception in advance. Once you decided to join, a membership advisor will take time to ask you lots of questions and suggest you the best plan you should take out, it usually includes a session or two with a personal trainer and a full BUPA healthcheck. You do need to pay joining fee but nowadays they have promotions and let you join for free or for a minimum amount.

            Fitness First is proud to have new-ish equipments- yes, they have done a great refurbishment in the gyms I have ever been, no complaints about that. You will be able to use cross-trainer, rowing machine, weight training machines as well as treadmill, step machine, etc. They have separate area for floor exercises and a studio for all the group activities. Membership includes free drink from the lounge and free newspaper every day you turn up at the gym (FT and Daily Mail), you can also hire a towel for £1. The lockers are big enough to keep your clothes in, there are enough shower cubicles and always shower gel and shampoo as well. Hair dryers are very powerful, and are always working.

            You do need to book for the classes as it gets full very quickly, but it's just a short phonecall early in the morning .Make sure that you ask your local branch for their local number rather than their 0845 nr,as it can be costly to call them from your mobile. There are always (more) than enough personal trainers and membership advisors in the gym- if you need advice,they are there for you.

            So why am I saying that Fitness First is not really first anymore? I have troubles with the management itself, after talking to them several times the same problems seem to occur. Management seems to think that they know everything better and for this reason they decide to change things without asking their members-thinking it mostly the group exercises and also the layout of the gym. They seem to have forgotten that they are for their members not the other way round-my local gym has experienced a decrease of the number of their members for this reason. It seems that their main aim is to get more and more members into their clubs but forget about their existing ones. I trully enjoy doing exercises and going to the gym-but really thinking about taking out a bit more expensive membership in a further away club just because I know they are there to please to members, for me that's as important as the equipments of the gym!

            Overall: If the management would listen more, I would recommend them-until than - well, you decide!

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            • JML Ped Egg / Beauty Accessories / 37 Readings / 36 Ratings
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              29.11.2009 12:02
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              Save money and buy more simple products

              I have cracked heels over the summer hence I use open shoes rather than closed ones. It used to irritate me a lot and got so obsessed that I was watching everyone on the street whether they had the same problem as me. I tried different products, and know what works for me - the PedEgg doesn't.

              I bought PedEgg in Boots, waited till I had enough points on my boots card to purchase it as I thoght that it was rather expensive for £9.99. Mine are white, and has the shape of an egg-that's how it got the name for. It has 135 stainless steel micro files to remove excess skin, and claims to disappear callusses as well. There were 2 emery pads included in the package which you stick at the back of the egg and use it to smooth your feet at the end. It supposed to collect the dead skin in the compartment - NOT QUITE. Most of mine still falls on the floor. The micro files first seemed to me that they would just "grade" the dead skin off from my feet and was vary whether it would be painful or not, but after the first use I realized I haven't felt anything. You need soften your skin before using PedEgg, just soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes than start moving smoothly on your heel up and down. It is small, fits into your palm and easy to clean, doesn't need much space in your bathroom.

              My experience:

              I was curious trying different other products beforehand- this one is definitely not the one. Yes, it did get rid of dead skin but not all and found it very irritating just rubbing it to my heal for minutes and minutes and not achieving the effect everyone was talking about. I have a callus on my right foot and although it made it smaller it did not make it disappear. I am so glad I haven't paid any money for it and feel sorry that I used up all my boots points purchasing this item. I should have just bought a simple foot polisher for £1.50, or a foot file for £3.49.

              The manufacturer of PedEgg claims it is a 5 star product-wonder who rated it. Overall I would not recommend this product, it is overpriced and definitely not worth it. My advice is if you have cracked heel-put lots of vaseline on your feet before going to bed,than put warm socks on, the next morning it will feel soft and smooth. Also try to use closed shoes with soft bottom, for me wearing MBT shoes made a huge difference, no more cracked heels! Also over the summer try to choose flip flops with higher sole-i can recommend FitFlops, I still had cracked heels but it wasn't as bad this summer.

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              27.11.2009 13:48
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              Good product-try them

              I have good teeth, I go to the dentist twice a year and also make sure I brush and floss them in the morning and evening, also I use mouthwash as well. My dentist is abroad, I fly there on holiday and book the appointment beforehand. She is very thorough, always checks everything and suggests what products I should use. Plane tickets and examination cost me just under £100, worth every penny. I have not flossed for the first 25 years of my life mainly because I was not interested, and also I did not heard/saw anyone using floss- shame?Maybe, mind you, really my teeth were really good, last time I had a filling was at the age of 18 - 12 years ago.

              When I first went to her, she was really pleased with the state of my teeth but recommended using a floss as my teeth are really close to each other. She showed me how to use them and gave me a free sample - it was a normal dental floss, not with the handle. I struggled to hold the floss between my fingers, also couldn't reach the back of my teeth properly. It was slippery and had to tear of quite a long bit so I could wrap it around my fingers to hold it tight. When I returned to the UK, I had a conversation about the floss with my boss who said that she found an excellent product in Boots and I should really try them - the next day she brought me one and I have not looked back since.

              Advantages:

              It is all about getting rid of the bacteria. The bacteria attacks not only food but your gum and the bones of your mouth, they will weaken the attachment of the teeth to the bone - causing you gum disease. If you get rid of the bacteria,than the disease is reversable - so everyone should start brushing and flossing as soon as they have any signs of the disease. Flossing prevents tooth decay, keep your breath fresh, prevent bleeding gum, and keep your teeth strong and white.

              Disadvantages:

              It says on the back that the first time you might experience gum bleeding - if it carries on, do go to see your dentist as it might be something more serious.
              Also it is not really environmental friendly, my local council doesn't recycle them.

              The disposable dental flossers come with an integrated toothpick to clear any traces of food and plague, and with the handle you can reach the places which you couldn't before- especially the back wisdom teeth-mine are really hard to reach!

              How to use them (see back of the package):

              1)guide the flosser between your teeth
              2)using a gentle sawing motion, run carefully up and down
              3)gently use the pick to remove stubborn debris or to stimulate gums
              4)dispose of each flosser after use

              There are 30 flossers in the package and currently costs £1.99 (not cheap I'm afraid), they often have 2 for £3.00 offer on them-it's worth to stock up. I know that it says at the back that you should dispose each flosser after use but I don't do it-I usually dump them into boiling water and reuse them until the floss becomes really thin - it saves you quite a lot of money. One pack can last you up to 3 months, using the floss twice a day. Once it came with a handy travel packet - it was I think one Xmas- which I keep in my handbag with one or two flosser in it so wherever I go and need to use them,they are handy and still hygenic. The back of the package is recyclable, simply tear off the plastic bit at the front.

              I did try other brands, once I bought a huge pack from the 99p store-it had around a 100 in it but had to throw them away as the floss was really thick and it hurt me every time I used them. Superdrug own brand's handle seemed to break every 2 days, and Sainsbury's were thinning even after one use (I know -I should have only used them once,so shouldn't complain). I think you need to experience which flossers suit your teeth-my OH has bigger gaps between his teeth so for this reason he likes Tesco brand - every make is different.

              Overall: this is a really good product, an another good point for Boots own brand!

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            • M.B.T Trainers / Health Product / 31 Readings / 28 Ratings
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              27.11.2009 00:01
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              Worth to buy them, can just recommend them!

              I love my MBTs. I basically live in them. Have bought them last August on Ebay for £72-beforehand I did try them on in a specialist shop in Brighton, so knew which style and size suited me perfectly. Be aware of the sizes-you will end up probably getting a different size one from your normal shoe as the sizes go up 1/3 rather than 1/2.

              The reason I bought them:

              My posture has never been great, I did make the effort to walk straight, head up,etc-but according to my OH I was walking like a camel. What this means exactly I do not know but it definitely does not sound right for a 30yr old. Saw the shoes advertised on the internet, read about them and was keen on trying them on. The shop in Brighton was fantastic, different styles, colours,etc, they measured me there, made me walk around in them, up and down the stairs and it felt really good. The price at £149 was not convincing though so OH suggested we went back home and did search on the web. Ebay can't be beaten on prize. Mine are black and red and grey, they do go well with jeans and even with skirts and tights too. Shoelaces are red-I don't mind them but some people prefer plain black ones to make the shoe look like more black than colourful therefore not so visible for everyone. I am proud of my MBTs and do show them off all the time.

              What are MBTs about?

              ~It claims that they help them solve knee and back problems ( I used to have lower back pains-still do sometimes so don't really know if it is true or not)
              ~relieve tension in the neck (for sure-I'm not tense anymore)
              ~easy joint pains
              ~helps to tone your body - YES!
              ~burns more calories than any other shoe - kind of agree, you do want to go for longer walks in them meaning that you will burn more calories

              You can read about the principles and history of MBTs on www.uk.mbt.com-pls do take your time reading it through, it has lots of useful information about the shoes and ideas.

              My first day...
              It is suggested that you start to wear them gradually, increasing the time by hour each day. Well, if you know me than you know that I am not that kind of person-I put them on at 8 in the morning and took them off at 6. Had a hell of a day. Everything hurt me-my legs, my back, my neck, surprisingly my stomach too. Next day the same thing happened. And the next day, and the next day. By week 2 I was getting used to them, and was looking forward going for long walks, wanted to ban those cellulites.

              And the rest...

              is history. I have been using them day or night, all year round. They can get too warm at summer time but as English summer is not very hot anyway, it did not bother me. My posture indeed improved, my legs and stomach became toned and there are fewer cellulites-long walks/ MBTs/ gym worked. I look taller in them,meaning skinny jeans do suit me finally, and my cracked heels became smooth. Yes,they should put it on the website, it does really help to get rid of those cracks.

              Would I recommend them?

              Yes. They are expensive but worth every penny. Many of my friends are proud owners of MBTs now because of my experience and they can give you the same feedback. The shoes are durable, I just found it out that if the sole of the shoes are getting worn,than you can send them off to a company who would exchange the sole for £35- even if you have to do that every year,still worth doing it,rather than buying a new pair. You just need to pop into any MBT retailer shop or to Sweaty Betty and sort out for you everything, within 2 weeks you have your shoes back. Mine are nearly a year and half old and they are still in good condition, have a very careful owner!

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              • Ugg Boots: Classic Tall / Shoes / 30 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                26.11.2009 23:25
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                Style doesn't mean practicality

                I'm still in doubt. Can't decide whether I love them or hate them. I think I will go with the second one...My Ugg boots are on Ebay, currently reaching the £30 mark, mind you there is still a day and half left. I only bought them a couple of weeks ago in TKMaxx, mainly because I wanted something to wear with my skinny jeans. I did try. I gave it a go. Than it drawned on me - I will never ever enjoy them 100% and for that reason they have to go.

                Yes,they are comfortable- your feet/toes can spread as widely as you wish. Yes, they look stylish (or you can argue that they are not). Yes, they do look great ,especially the dark brown long ones. Yes, it looks like everybody is wearing them - so you must have them too. And they are really warm too-sheepskin is lovely!

                But they are not practical at all. They don't give you any support, they don't hold on to your ankles, they are not suitable for long walks in the park or next to the sea on pebbles. They look awful even after a little bit of rain and yes, the sole of the boots are getting thinner from day one. And maybe I am the only one but I felt that walking in them required more effort than walking in my MBTs. And they are expensive. Even in TKMAxx.

                Ugg claims that the boots are the highest quality but I would argue with that, wherever I go I can see the heels turning outwards supporting my theory that the boots do not give you enough support. I had 2 operations on my ankles when I was 15, sadly lost feelings and controls of the right part of my ankles so I really need support from a shoe-the Uggs are comfortable but within two days my toes were hurting as I put more pressure on them and I was missing my MBTs. This could have been enough reason for me taking them back to the shop but at that stage I was still not convinced that they weren't for me.

                Light bulb moment came a week later when went out to the park for a walk- it started to rain and within 5 minutes the boots/my socks were all wet - it wasn't a pleasant feeling at all. Later they dried but there were visible water marks on the top. It took me an another 2 days and several wet wipes later to make them look like new. I just knew than that they had to go, I couldn't/can't afford using 2 pair of boots on a rainy day,not to mention I can't carry 2 pairs with me- I commute by bike!

                I wore my Uggs for about 15 days, the sole already started to show signs of wear, they definetely still look newish but not new at all. Should I have returned them to TKMaxx? Tried but I bought them 6 weeks earlier so they did not offer refund. I know they won't go much higher on Ebay and I will lose quite a lot of money on them, and I just wish I would have listened to my mates who did not recommend Uggs at all. One can never stop learning from mistakes.

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                • Advent 4211C / Laptop / 16 Readings / 16 Ratings
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                  26.11.2009 14:42
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                  A user friendly netbook-can recommend it

                  I bought the Advent 4211C netbook nearly a year ago and also it has some bad points, I still love it and would recommend it. Rather than going into details what the netbook can do and can't do/specification/product description, I would just give you my opinion about it in general.

                  The best thing is the size, it has a 10" widescreen and weights 1.2kg- I carry it with me everyday on my bike in a side bag, lots of other things have to go in there so the size and weight was extremely important for me.
                  I was in a doubt whether I would be happy without having a dvd drive on the netbook but believe me, it is not important, most of the programs you can download from the internet, or put it on a USB key (just invest in a min 4GB one).
                  The built-in camera is ok quality, not the best but does the job I'm using it for (which is skype).
                  I store lots of pictures on the harddrive, it's still not full-so pleased with the 120gb.


                  What I don't like about it:

                  The plastic bit at the bottom which keeps the laptop even on the table fall off a month after I bought the laptop, so it's wobbly on the table - I usually keep it on my lap anyway.
                  Battery doesn't last long - went on a flight of an hour and 30 min and could not finish the movie I was watching, battery died after about an hour - it does not overheat though if you charge it.
                  Wireless network driver is not great-you need to download a different one as it keeps jumping off-very annoying when you are in the middle of publishing your review on dooyoo.
                  The sd card reader does not always work, I need to push the card in and out a couple of times before the computer recognizes it.
                  Button combinations are annoying-if you don't know what the signs mean on the F1-F12 buttons than you might get confused - and can take a while to set back the original settings- I am useless at them, it also doesn't help that on my old laptop the ctrl button was right under the shift, on this netbook it's the Fn button-a year on, I still press it and waiting for miracle (like ctrl-ins would highlight information for me, but fn-ins changes into NumLk).

                  Overall the netbook is a great for someone like me-using it only for writing assignments, browsing on the internet, talking on skype or watching video, it's user friendly and easy to carry around.

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                  • More +
                    25.11.2009 21:01
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                    We booked it for next year-this says everything

                    Hotel Mont Park in Benidorm is a 3 star hotel and is about a 150m from Levante Beach. We went there in June, and had a great time. We booked our room on www.travelrepublic.co.uk after searching for the cheapest option, and paid £260.37 for 7 nights for 2 which comes out as £18.6 per person per night including breakfast and dinner, to have full board would have costed us £20 more.

                    About the hotel:
                    We enjoyed our stay there as all we wanted is to relax and rest, the staff was great and really helpful. The hotel itself has 147 rooms on nine floors with two lifts working 24hrs. The bar is located next to the reception, and has doors to the swimming pool, prices were reasonable but we haven't felt comfortable there, it seemed that only a close group of friends were using it mainly because it had a huge flat screen television with sky sport tuned in. The outdoor swimming pool is quite small, perfect for families with children as you can easily keep on eye on them, sun beds are set up in the mornings but they get full by 9 o'clock. Twice a week they have some unratable music played, but it is not very loud so you can still rest in your room (I slept through it - did not bother me at all or we were out anyway watching the sky on the beach). We went for half board simply because of the package we got and have not regretted it at all. For breakfast you had plenty of choice, usually rolls,toast, jam, ham, eggs, beans, and you could eat as much as you wanted, dinner was always even better with at least ten different types of meals. Yes, there were chips, sausages, and all kind of food from England but they also had every day Spanish food as well, seafood, paella,salads etc. You also get pudding, can choose from fruits or ice cream. The waitresses are very efficient, as soon as you finish,they change the tablecloth and clear up the plates, and within a minute an another guest enjoys your table.
                    The hotel had 2 rooms next to the reception, one is mainly for entertaining children (billiard, PAYG internet), the other one is a quiet room with newspapers and books which you can borrow from the hotel for the duration of your stay.

                    The room:
                    We had a room with a sea view, it was lovely getting up every morning and hear and see the sea so close to us. The room has air conditioning, television (cabel tv) and en-suite bathroom with hair-dryer. They change the towels every day, make your bed and clean the bathroom,and every room has a good size balcony. We were on the 7th floor, the lift was always available. They do not have double beds, so be prepared to push together the beds if you want to sleep next to your loved one-but this is not a problem.

                    Getting there:
                    We flew to Alicante from London Gatwick, from than we took a bus to Benidorm central. Turn left at the first street, walk along (a good 15 min walk) till the end, than turn left again just before Macdonalds. Very easy to get there. Local buses stop at the bottom of the road, if you wish to explore old town, or want to go to the zoo/mundomar/aqualandia but these are all in walking distance.

                    Advantages of staying in Hotel Mont Park:
                    ~hotel is 150m away from the sea
                    ~lots of things are very nearby: water ski, diving course, aqualandia,mundomar all in walking distance
                    ~staff is friendly
                    ~food is great, haven't eaten the same food twice
                    ~room is clean, lift is working
                    ~they have everyday newspapers in different languages

                    Disadvantages:
                    ~I guess this might be true for every hotel but the staff do not like to speak in English. They can but say only the mere minimum
                    ~There are no supermarkets relatively close to the hotel, you need to walk at least 20min -I'm not against walking but when it's above 30 degrees and no cloud or shadow anywhere,than it's a pain!
                    ~there is no fridge in the room so no point keeping water in the bedroom
                    ~evening entertainment is rubbish, the lady can't sing in tune
                    ~the hotel is on a hill,so you do need to climb-not good if you have small children with pram, or if you have any mobility problem
                    ~there is no car park
                    ~air conditioning only kicks in twice a day at certain times

                    Overall we really liked the hotel, and already booked it for next year as well as we've had the most relaxing holiday of our life. Although we are in our early 30s, we work hard and this holiday gave us the push to look forward to next year. Travelrepublic currently has sales for this hotel, this time we booked full board for next June (just because the local supermarket was so far away and you need to spend 10 euros for lunch anyway), the difference between half and full board was £22 for the two of us. We paid slightly more than in March, 7 nights for 2 was £305, still really good value for money.

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                      25.11.2009 10:27
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                      Recommended for little and big girls, very useful toy.

                      I bought this wooden furniture set for my goddaughter last Christmas as the father made a wooden doll house for her and her sister but didn't have time to make any furnitures in it. I made a research on the internet about wooden doll house furnitures and this is what I found.You could buy them:
                      on Ebay: £16.99 (found one whole set for £9.99 but it was for ages 7+)
                      on Early Learning Centre website: £16.99
                      on Toys RUs: £9.99

                      Toys R Us has a store very close where I live so I went there to check the product out before I bought it. They have a range of Toys, Baby care, Video Games, Multimedia PCs, Bikes and Outdoor fun products. As i have never bought anything from them it was reassuring to know that Toys R Us is the proud winner of the Tommy Parent Friendly Award no fewer than 9 times.

                      You can buy toys online, on www.toysrus.co.uk but under £150 the delivery charges are £4.95, not worth it if you only buy an item worth only £10.

                      The kitchen set is £9.99 and I think it is good value for money. It has a sink, washing machine, freezer, oven and even a hoover so you can clean up! It is packed in a box of 18x23x6cm, and the box is definitely too big for the set but at least is cardboard and you can recycle it. The set itself is wrapped individually in paper inside the box,and is high quality. It was made in China, it is not suitable for children under the age of 3 due to small parts.

                      It says it on the box that the colour may vary from the one on the box but mine was exactly the same. The sink, washing machine, and oven had purple colouring on the doors and top surface, the fridge was pink and the hoover as well.The buttons on washing machine had 4 colours: red, yellow, pink and green,the same as on the oven. The furniture set is easily cleanable with a wet cloth, the wood doesn't expend. You do need to be careful when invite other people around, as the small parts are really small, and can be easily swallowed.

                      My goddaughter and her sister clearly enjoys playing with the set, it's great design allows little fingers to practice to be more precise, the buttons are tiny and if you're engaged in a role play than you know how important every single detail is. Looking back now I think it is a great product but would have not paid £9.99 for one room set only, to furnish a wooden doll house cost you approximately £100, way too much for young children to appreciate for.

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                        25.11.2009 10:15
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                        Very good quality, girls are enjoying playing with it

                        My brother-in-law made a 1m high wooden doll house for his 2 daughters for last Christmas and asked everyone in the family to buy only wooden doll house furnitures for the girls as a present. I spent a great deal of time on the internet searching for the best quality on reasonable price and the only contender I found was Toys R Us. On Ebay you can buy plenty of furnitures (bathroom, kitchen, living room,etc -all come separately) for £16.99 buy it now, and there are a couple of used one coming up time to time but not very often, always reaching the £10 mark.I found a whole set for £9.99 but after reading about it I realized that it wasn't suitable for a 4 and 3yr old, the pieces were too tiny. Early Learning Centre does wooden doll house furniture for the same price, quality is excellent, I even went to the shop to have a look at it, and really liked it. At this point I was still very vary about the price,so did further research and found Toys R Us doing similar one to the ELC ones.

                        About Toys R Us

                        Toys "R" Us is Britain's and the World's leading Family Leisure, Baby Care and Toy Megastore with 75 stores in the UK and over 1500 stores worldwide in 33 countries. Toys "R" Us was founded in the UK in 1985 with the opening of 5 stores and have grown rapidly through new store openings in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

                        They have a range of Toys, Baby care, Video Games, Multimedia PCs, Bikes and Outdoor fun products , and they have new store opening programme continuosly, recently they opened new stores in Exeter, and Toys RUs is one of the most successful retailers in the UK and across the World. The stores are open 7 days a week to provide the easiest, most convenient shopping opportunities, their friendly, helpful staff teams are trained to offer jargon free, practical and specialist help to all of our customers to compliment the convenience of our stores, free parking and baby changing facilities. Toys R Us is the proud winner of the Tommy Parent Friendly Award no fewer than 9 times.

                        You can buy toys online, on www.toysrus.co.uk, it commenced trading on-line in 1996 to make the great Toys R Us range and fun available to millions more customers across the UK. . Customers can also select from a range of Babies R Us, Outdoor fun and wheeled goods for quick convenient delivery, direct to home. Delivery charges are £4.95, they deliver from Monday till Friday , they have Saturday delivery, next working day delivery, names day delivery for extra charge, you can also track your delivery on your account. Overall the website is well designed, and easy to find the toys you are looking for, unfortunately you can't search whether specific toys are in stock in your nearest toysRUs shop.

                        You can purchase gift card from Toys R US.

                        Toys R Us has a reward scheme, called gold card, the more you spend the more discount you receive from them, they send out vouchers and you can collect points after every pound you spent. If you spend over 500 points than you receive a total value of money-off coupons of £150, between 300 and 499 points the value of the coupons is £125 and if it is under 300 points than it's £75 (you need to have a minimum of 100 points on your card though).

                        I used the store finder on the website as I wanted to avoid paying delivery charges (was looking for a code but couldn't come across with any), and for my biggest surprise there was one in London, on Old Kent Road, only a mile away from my house. We went there one Sunday to buy this product and the shop was really big,offering a huge range of toys. It wasn't very busy (it was in November) and the staff was very helpful,they directed us straight to the wooden toy areas where we found the bathroom set.

                        The bathroom set is £9.99 and I think it is good value for money. It has 7 pieces, including toilet, shower with stripy curtain,sink and mirror, bath with towels and bathmat. It is packed in a box of 18x23x6cm, and the box is definitely too big for the set. The set itself is wrapped individually in paper inside the box,and is high quality. It was made in China, it is not suitable for children under the age of 3 due to small parts. It says it on the box that the colour may vary from the one on the box but mine was exactly the same.

                        Toys RUs offering wooden doll house kitchen, living room, bedroom, study, children's bedroom, computer room, dining room as well from the same range.

                        The girls were very happy with the doll's house furniture and have been spending lots of time playing ,washing dolls, putting pretended make up on in front of the mirror, using the toilet, etc. It was a great buy and would recommend to anyone who is thinking about buying wooden doll house for their children/relatives. I think it also really helped the younger girl to use her finger more efficiently, as the small wooden buttons are quite tiny on the bath set. It is catchy and colourful,the only disadvantage is that if you are looking to buy the whole set than you need to spend around £100 not including the doll house itself.

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                          24.11.2009 14:26
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                          A good investment if you commute by bike

                          I started cycling in London about 5 years ago but haven't invested in cycling gears at the beginning. First I bought cycling shorts,than helmet, than shoes and finally about 3 years ago a good quality waterproof and windproof Altura Hi visible jacket (since than I got lots of other cycling gear essentials!). I commute by bike and cycle about 10 miles a day. In London it is very important that you are visible as drivers are not careful. I also do lots of babysittings in the evenings so the bright yellow colour is essential during the night.The Altura Ladies Nevis Jacket is very popular, and very comfortable. It is an ideal entry level cyclet jacket to keep you warm and dry, it is breathable.

                          Top features:
                          Female specific cut
                          Waterproof, windproof and breathable Altec fabric
                          Airflow underarm/back vents
                          Internal front storm flap with rain gutter
                          Dropped tail
                          Velcro adjustable cuffs
                          Drawcorded hem
                          Fleece lined collar
                          Stores in own rear pocket
                          Altura's most popular women's cycling jacket has been improved. As if it wasn't feature-rich already, it now includes a useful chest pocket with water repel zip, a water repel front zip with closure and increased tail reflectivity for low light visibility.

                          Material:
                          Constructed from Altek fabric for excellent levels of durability, waterproofing, wind proofing and breathability for all round performance good enough for any rider. The pit and back vents will keep you cool and comfortable at all times whilst the waterproof zip with storm flap provides protection. This jacket is easily stored as it folds up into its own back pocket for convenience. The reflective trim is sure to get you noticed in low light conditions allowing you to enjoy your ride with peace of mind.

                          I absolutely love my altura jacket, mine is bright yellow so extremely visible for everyone, I use it from end of September till about March, when I change it into a high visibility Karrimor vest. I bought mine on Wiggle for £50 but nowadays you can get it for £44.99 on the same website. I am a size 10 and their sizing is spot on.

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                          • Asics Gel Nimbus 10 / Sports Shoes / 15 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                            24.11.2009 13:46
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                            A perfect pair of running shoes for women

                            I have been going to the gym regularly for years but I am one of those people who could never run longer than 5 min without stopping. This March, panicking about turning 30 at the end of this year, I enrolled for the Greenwich half-marathon and decided to train properly -learning how to run first of all. I have been owning asics shoes in the past, and have used Asics gel-nimbus 9 in the gym. After reading a lot about running, I decided to get new running shoes but as I was already happy with the nimbus, I wanted to go for either the same or nimbus 10. Went to the local sportsdirect outlet and tried on nimbus 10 for the first time, I completely fall in love with it. It was comfortable, it gave me the right support (realizing that my nimbus 9 really needed to be changed). I went for the red colour and after searching on the internet back at home for cheaper prize, I ordered them online on www.startfitness.co.uk for £59.99, £40 less than the original price.

                            The footwear type is neutral and cushoning (you need to measure your feet in a proper running shop to decide which support you need).

                            Material:
                            Upper:-
                            - Air Mesh
                            - Synthetic leather
                            - A-symetrical lacing
                            - Biomorphic Fit
                            - Personal Heel Fit
                            - 3M Reflective
                            Sole:-
                            - I.G.S.
                            - Solyte midsole
                            - Visible Rearfoot GEL
                            - Visible Forefoot GEL
                            - Space Trusstic
                            - AHAR+ heel
                            - DuraSponge rubber Forefoot
                            Features:-
                            - Solyte 45 lasted
                            - Removable Duo Density molded Ortholite sockliner
                            - Gender specific midfoot design
                            ** Replaces Nimbus IX for Autumn/Winter 2008 **

                            I started to wear them gradually, and have never got any blisters. I trained for the half marathon for about 3 months and finished it within 2 hours, was really proud of myself. I am sure that part of the reason I started to enjoy running in the park was because of the shoes I was wearing, and although the nimbus 10 is a last year model, i am very happy to recommend it to anyone.

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                          • Sony NWD-B103 / MP3 Player / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
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                            24.11.2009 13:09
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                            Buy it if you are on the budget

                            I have bought my sony mp3 player about 2 years ago on amazon, as it was a bargain price (£45 for 2gb). I read reviews about it there and then and even though many people said it was quite slow to upload, it appaeled to me that I can just drag and drop my favourite songs on it. I still have it, and use it sometimes, but has fallen completely out of it, I do not like it anymore and I have a feeling it will go on ebay rather soon.

                            The sony NWD-B105F digital music player has 2gb, fm tuner, usb connection (that's how you charge it), auto transfer mode, voice recorder (have not figured it out why it has and what is the purpose of it) and colour lcd.

                            System Requirements:

                            ~Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic/Home Premium/Business, Ultimate, Windows XP Home Edition/Professional/Media Center Edition/Media Center Edition 2004 & 2005 with Service Pack 2 or later, Windows 2000 Professional with Servie Pack 4 or later (Excluding 64-bit OS Versions)
                            ~CPU:Pentiu III 450 MHz or higher (Pentium III 800Hz or higher for Windows Vista)
                            ~RAM: 128 MB or more (512 MB or more for Windows Vista)
                            ~USB port (Hi-Speed USB Recommended)

                            Supplied Accessories:
                            ~headphones/Auto transfer Software and Operational guide (it is stored in the built-in flash memory of the player)/quick start guide

                            I have the black version of the mp3 player, it's quite small but you can't attach to your gym top/trousers as it does not have a clip on. You can make folders on it, and put your songs but navigating between folders is really time consuming. It has a radio and you can preset 20 channels- I used this all the time, the radio is the best feature of the mp3 player. You can drag and drop songs, without worrying of putting them into the right format, although it can't play MP4 format and it took me a long time to put the songs from Itunes to the player itself. When you switch it on, it takes at least 10 seconds to load the menu, sometimes even longer, and to be honest with you I really don't like it. I bought an Ipod after i started to run in the park, and you can't compare the two. I had to change the earphones about 3 months after I bought it on amazon, as they weren't the best. Overall I can recommend it to someone who doesn't want to spend much money on an mp3 player, or for someone who has never had an mp3 player.

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