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kellylouj

kellylouj
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Member since: 08.11.2005

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    • Zero Dark Thirty (DVD) / DVD / 25 Readings / 25 Ratings
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      11.11.2013 01:34
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      A good film, maybe slightly too long in places

      Scanning the tv listings on a Sunday night desperate for something to watch I stumbled upon this movie. Now please note this is a film only review.

      Having watched documentaries on the capture of Osama Bin Laden, I was unsure about whether this film would be good or not but when I saw it was by the director of Hurt Locker I decided to give it ago. Within the first 5 minutes I was bored and all for turning it off and putting something else on but hubby persuaded me to leave it on despite it being almost 9pm and the movie having a duration of over 2 hours.

      The description of the film is that one lady "Maya" is posted to Pakistan to track down Bin Laden we begin the film with her witnessing a colleague, Dan a CIA Intelligence officer questioning Ammar a suspect they believe to have knowledge of one of Bin Laden's trusted courier. We witness her appearing disturbed by the actions of her colleague and his ways for obtaining information, so she persuades him to try a different tact to leak information from Ammar. This works and sees Maya discovering the name of the said courier and a hunt for his location.

      The main part of the film is Maya trying to prove her theory and getting other members of the CIA on side to investigate her theory. With more attacks occurring Maya struggles to overcome the challenges from JOseph her boss, so leaves him with an ultimatum to try and get him onside to work with her theory which ultimately may lead them to Bin Laden.

      We all know what the outcome is in the film but I found it interesting to watch and gripping in parts. The best part of the movie has to be the raid despite it being very dark in places it did make you feel the tension of those seals taking on the challenge, obviously still nervous from previously failed attempts.

      The camera work is excellent on this film and it parts you really felt as if you had slipped into the movie. I found it frustrating in parts when the filming was in the dark but then this just depicts the real life scenario and gives you a true appreciation for what those seals did on that night.

      The film although slow to start with soon had me gripped and the storyline kept me interested. The beginning of the film made me feel some what uncomfortable and it is said that this part of the film is fiction as it cannot be confirmed that torture was used to obtain information from prisoners. Other than that the film was surprisingly entertaining. I felt it was a little long in parts and unlike other films we learnt very little about the main characters as it just featured heavily on the actual storyline which ultimately is the search and capture of Bin Laden.

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      25.07.2013 16:52
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      A great time saver that any busy person should own

      When it comes to washing my hair, sometimes I just cannot be bothered. A busy working mum it is sometimes hard to get time to have a nice relaxing bath and pamper myself drying my long hair for the next day, it is more a "grab and go" when getting ready for me!

      As a Bzz Agent I was recently provided with a Batiste Kit including the dry shampoo to try out for myself. I have used dry shampoo products in the past but not that much. When it came as chance would have it, I had to get ready for an afternoon shift and I hadn't had chance to wash my hair and it was starting to look a little on the greasy side so it was a perfect opportunity to put this product through its paces.

      I read the instructions on the can which said to aim approximately 30cms away from my hair and spray a light mist and then massage in with your fingers. At first there is a large mass of white powder on your hair so it is important to work it into your hair by massaging it through and to ensure that you do not spray too much on.

      As I now tend to tie my hair up this is ideal for that updo in ensuring it looks fresh and not greasy.

      It is quick and it certainly takes the greasiness out of your hair if like me you have dark hair that suffers with greasy roots this is the quickest way to freshen them up without having to give your hair a full wash.

      I have often found that my hair can look greasy as quickly as 24hrs after washing so this is ideal to freshen your hair up even if you plan on tying it back.

      Unfortunately after just one use of the spray the can had discovered a fault and I was unable to continue using it but I have decided to go and purchase a replacement can for myself as for someone on the go this is a must for your toiletries.

      I am going away next year and plan on having one of these in my suitcase to freshen up as who wants to be washing and drying their hair every day on a hot sunny holiday...not me! I do however want my hair to look at its very best.

      Within the kit I also received a dry conditioner and a dry XXL powder and I still need to give them a whirl.

      This can be very expensive to purchase and as I received this as a sample I am unsure as to how much this currently retails at but I have a voucher within the kit for £1.50 off when purchasing from Boots and taking a look a 200ml can is currently £2.99 and a 400ml can £3.99 and I assume that if my can hadn't been faulty it would last a good while.
      I have decided to go and buy a replacement this weekend and try the brunette version for my hair and see how I get on.

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    • CDA FW223 / Fridge / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
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      25.07.2013 16:38
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      A great integrated fridge that is still going strong.

      When we decided to have a new kitchen fitted in 2009, my husband and I made the decision to have all the appliances integrated and to install a kitchen that looked appealing when it came to sell.

      We purchased the kitchen and had the option of choosing the appliances and we opted for the basic CDA FW223 undercounter larder fridge.

      The fridge itself is pretty spacious considering. There are two sunken drawers at the bottom of the refrigerator that is designed for your fresh fruit and veg to be stored. This area is then covered with a narrow glass shelf to allow you to store products on top.
      I have found this to be a bit of a pain at times as I have to take the products off this shelf to access the drawers underneath but none the less it is making the most of the space.

      Above this there are two more deep shelves and you can adjust the height of the shelves to suit the products you have in your refrigerator.

      The door has a reasonable amount of storage to fit 2 x 4 pint bottles of milk and maybe a bottle of ketchup. A shelf above comes complete with an egg tray, which we removed and this offers enough room to store jars of sauces/jams and butter/spreads.

      Overall for a compact refrigerator this has suited our needs for almost 4 years now and with a 5yr guarantee it offered us the reassurances that we needed with a not so common brand in the market place.

      The fridge is easy to keep please and all shelves and trays can be removed for cleaning easily.

      To the top right corner of the refrigerator is the temperature dial which can be easily adjusted, a little too easily as I discovered last week in the hot weather that my son had turned it right down and the products were getting just a tad warm.

      When installing the fridge the door is reversible meaning that it will fit into any kitchen layout, adjustable feet to ensure it means the correct height.

      The fridge has an A+ Energy efficiency rating.

      In terms of noise generated, it can be quite noisy at times and we notice it more as it backs onto our partitioning wall in our living room.

      Overall this has been a good, reliable purchase that has suited the requirements of a couple then a family of three.

      My only main gripes have to be the frustration to access the sunken drawers and the bar on the door to restrain bottles as that does tend to pop off every now and then but that is about it, I would definitely purchase the same refrigerator again if it still met my current requirements.

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      08.05.2013 22:38
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      A reliable anti perspirant that will protect you from work and play!

      For me finding a reliable anti perspirant deodorant is a must, I have a manual job and I also do intensive Zumba classes twice a week so I need something that will keep me fresh but also dry without leaving stains of obvious deodorant use.

      As a Bzz Agent I was provided with 2x150ml cans to sample and offer my feedback on.

      The design itself is quite eye catching with its black can and striking pink design. In all honesty if I find a deodorant that I like I tend to stick with it and I have been using Garnier for the past few months and had no reason to complain about it, other than the dirty stains that I found would be left on my work blouse, so when I received this sample I decided to try it and see if this improved as much as it promised too.

      The fragrance is nice enough and not too overpowering, the only thing I did not really like was the xtreme blast I received when I applied it to my underarms.
      I have used Right Guard in the past but have never really been all that impressed with it as I found that after a high level of activity I would not smell all that fresh but as this was a free sample I was willing to put my hygiene to the test!!

      I have now been using the product for a full week and have been really impressed by the performance, having put it through its paces at 3 intensive Zumba classes and the recent hot weather we have been experiencing and of course my day job where I have to do a lot of lifting which causes me to sweat a lot, particularly under arm.

      My blouses have been considerably better in terms of the amount of residue left behind. I also really like that when the product is applied there is no powder residue that flakes off the skin leaving white marks on my clothes. A big tick in my box on this factor.

      Since using this product there has been no unpleasant smell from my underarm and I have remained dry and fresh all day through. Even going the next day without having to reapply, another tick in the box for me as there is nothing worse than having to carry around a spray to freshen up halfway through your night out or exercise class.

      I feel that as far as anti perspirants go this is now top of the list whereas before I would have avoided purchasing the Right Guard Brand on the future, now I think it will be a firm favourite as it certainly does what it says on the tin.

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      08.05.2013 22:22
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      A great skin product that requires only a little each and every day.

      As I work in a large supermarket there are so many products on the market it is really hard to know which one really works. I work on the shop floor and as a result suffer from really dry, chapped hands which almost nothing seems to work and have tried numerous hand creams to no avail.

      Last month I was fortunate enough as a BZZ Agent to receive a sample of the E45 cream and the E45 Nourish and Restore lotion, which was the cream I mainly used as it was recommended for maturer skin.
      Within the pack I received numerous samples which I passed onto my friends and family to sample.

      From as long as I can remember whenever I have had a skin complaint E45 has always been recommended to me but funnily enough I never tried E45 with my dry skin patches.
      I decided to look into E45 a bit more and learned a lot about the skin and how important it actually is to have a good skincare regime. Something I have never had on any part of my body.

      I received a full size sample of the E45 Nourish & Restore Lotion suitable for maturer skin, I am 31 so I suppose I must be a little late at introducing a skin care regime but the fact that the product claimed to be a 24 hour moisturiser certainly appealed to me.

      I began using the product immediately, concentrating on my dry hands and I was suprised to see results straight away and that the dry skin patches reduced in size. I decided to also use it on my elbows, knees and my feet which also suffered with severe dry skin.
      I decided to use the lotion before I began work and also after I finished work and I saw a considerable difference to my hands, even during my shift my hands remained moisturised and after using harsh chemicals and abrasive scratch pads to scrub shelves my hands were taking quite a lot of punishment and yet the dry patches remained considerably reduced.

      On application the lotion felt a little greasy but it was very easily absorbed into the skin and instantly left my skin feeling refreshed and moisturised.
      The lotion is only lightly fragranced but it is still a fairly pleasant scent and does not linger too long.
      At times I even found myself applying it to my son's skin which suffers from severe dry patches and I was surprised that the results were better than when we used prescription moisturisers.

      I am still using the product and can honestly say that the results have been incredible, my skin is softer and in a much better condition than I can ever remember it being. Never before have I used a product that has had me so convinced that it is doing something good and not only have I decided to use the junior version on my son but I will continue to use the E45 lotion for the foreseeable future in my new found skincare regime.

      If you want to try it for yourself then pop over to the E45 website where you can request your own sample.

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    • The Clinic (DVD) / DVD / 31 Readings / 30 Ratings
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      24.12.2012 12:50
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      Easy to watch thriller

      Looking for Christmas films on Sky I came across this film in the early hours of the morning and as I quite enjoy horrors I thought this might be a good one to watch.

      The Film is set in Australia in the late 70's and we are introduced to Beth and Cameron a young couple clearly in love and expecting their first baby.
      They are in the Australian Outback travelling to Beth's mother's home across the state for Christmas, they are chatting away in the car as Beth is wondering what to write inside the christmas card when Cameron spots a vehicle fast approaching on the desserted roadway and warns Beth to sit up in the car as the vehicle what appears to be a old ambulance run them off the road before continuing on its way.

      Beth and Cameron are both fine and continue on with their journey but decide to stop off in a motel for the night for a rest as they are obviously shaken by the incident.

      They pull up to a motel and check in, after a few hours at the pool side they decide to return to their room and get some sleep, Cameron can't sleep and rather than waking Beth he decides to go and look for something to eat, leaving Beth asleep in the room.
      He finds a chinese restaurant nearby but it is desserted and he decided to return to the motel but as he returns to the car he realises he has run out of fuel and has to walk back to the motel but when he returns Beth is gone.

      Frantic Cameron calls the cops who quickly attend to the call but Cameron doesn't trust the motel owner and lashes out on him stating that he knows he has something to do with Beth's dissapearance and a fight breaks out and Cameron is arrested.

      We then move onto Beth as the scene takes us to her lying in a bath filled with ice cubes and her stomach has been opened and the baby taken, she is distraught and in pain but finds herself climbing out of the bath and getting dressed into the clothes provided in the room, she finds it strange that nobody is around and as she leaves the room she sees several other rooms all with the same set up containing a bath and a chair, to her amazement she spots a way out and makes her way out through the old building and across the wasteland only to find a fence trapping her in, she soon discovers she is not the only one this has happened to and meets up with three other women in the exact same scenario but Why are they still alive? Where are the babies? What has happened to Cameron?

      You will have to watch the film to find out as there is a real story to the film and it has been very cleverly done.

      My Opinion
      When we sat down to watch the film we did not know it was Australian, although to be honest it didn't make that much difference, I was a bit anxious as to how gory the film would be and as it stated at the beginning of the film that it was based on true events I was a bit concerned on how upsetting this would be as a mother myself.

      Despite it having the title of a horror I did not find it all that scary or gruesome but it did have a twist in the tale and was not one I was expecting. The film kept me interested the whole way through and I did not manage to guess the story until well into an hour of the film.

      It was a thrilling story and it was nice for it not to be filled with gruesome scenes and a real story to follow, which to think it was based on true events is quite chilling.

      The actors were not as bad as my husband and I thought they would be although there were parts in the film where we both asked ourselves how they could do a lot of physical moves after recently being involved in major surgery, but then this is a film after all.

      I don't think I would watch this film again as it wasn't brilliant but for something to watch when there is nothing else on I would recommend giving it a try.

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        09.12.2012 01:04
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        A good attraction but a little overpriced.

        Despite living 20 minutes away from Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port I have never ever been there so when our son turned 2 we decided to take him there for the morning.

        ~*~Where is it?~*~

        Blue Planet Aquarium is located right next to Cheshire Oaks Outlet Factory in Ellesmere Port and just off Junction 10 of the M53.

        It is well signposted and easy to find.

        ~*~How much?~*~

        You can prebook online to save or pay when you arrive;

        Adult £15.50/ £13.50 online
        Child under 12 yrs £11.50/ £9.50 online
        Concession £13.50/ £12.25 online
        Family 2 Adults, 2 Children £52.00 / £46.00 online
        Groovy Grandparent 2 Senior Citizens, 2 Children £48.00/ £43.50 online
        Children under 90cm are admitted free of charge.

        Booking online you will however get charged an additional £1.50 per transaction.

        Open weekdays 10am - 5pm and weekends 10am - 6pm.
        Closed on Christmas Day.

        We decided to purchase on the day as we were visiting during term time in the week so when we arrived there were only a few people in the aquarium.

        When we arrived we walked over a small bridge into the attractions

        Coral Cave - A wide selection of fish and a place where my toddler could get up close to the glass to take a look, he was actually very good as he just stood and looked at the various fish in the tank.

        Amazing Amphibians - A selection of frogs to view and read up on. Due to the height of the tanks we had to lift our son up to take a look but he was amazed to see the brightly coloured frogs as they crawled up the front of the glass to the top of the tank.

        Aqua Theatre - Although we did not see any shows during our visit our son enjoyed sitting in the aqua theatre and watching the sharks and fish pass the window. He could get up close to the glass and be really close to the sharks and fish which he absolutely loved. At the back of the room there were a set of electronic scales where you could compare your weight to the weight of the sharks contained behind the glass.

        Underwater Tunnel - This was fun as there was a pathway as well as a moving walkway which was ideal for little legs to take a rest as you are transported through the tunnel and able to get closer to the various sharks and fish on display. For me it brought back memories of snorkelling in the Maldives when we swam with the triggerfish and the reef sharks. Our son loved the Sand Sharks as they were quite often compared by him to Bruce.

        Reef Magic was another firm favourite from our son as he loves "Finding Nemo" so he was quickly able to recognise Dory and Nemo and decided to shout it all over the aquarium, there were plenty to see and the large displays are ideal for when it is packed to still get a good view.

        The Rock Pool Area was a little too old for our son and for me I just did not fancy getting my hands wet! Here you could really get up close to rays.

        ~*~Feeling Peckish?~*~

        There is a restaurant at the Aquarium however the prices seems a little high. With a burger, fries and drink costing over £6.
        There are light snacks available such as crisps, chocolate, muffins and cookies and various hot and cold drinks if you just want a light snack to keep you going.

        We had decided to go and eat elsewhere and take advantage of the numerous restaurants just a few minutes drive away.

        The restaurant was very clean however and there was plenty of tables and chairs to sit on.

        There are numerous ramps throughout the attraction making it easy to use for wheelchair users and parents with prams and buggy.

        There is a large baby changing room with the facility for two babies to be changed at any one time. Again the facilities were spotless.
        There are also facilities for heating baby food and milk at the restaurant.

        ~*~My Final Word~*~

        We spent just under 2 hours at the aquarium and we would have struggled to have gotten a bit more from there. I was a little disappointed that when we purchased our tickets we were not informed of any feeding times or activities taking place so we just took our time taking in the attractions.

        It was nice to visit on a quiet day as we were able to spend plenty of time uninterrupted at the attraction without feeling like we had to move on, which was nice for my son to really take in the fish and especially the sharks.

        The restaurant was quiet so he was able to walk freely about with his dad and enjoy riding on the rides that were strategically placed by the toilets!

        There is a lift taking you from the restaurant up to the entrance/exit.

        I do think that the price is a lot and that the discount for booking online is not really that great and we would not visit here a lot but for a one off visit it was nice but I think that we exhausted the attractions fairly quickly and after visiting an aquarium in Cape Town where there was an interactive area for children where they were able to draw while they visited was a nice feature as this didn't really offer all that much for younger children and it could definately be made a bit more fun to keep them interested.

        I found that the attraction lacked something and although I enjoyed my visit I doubt I will be returning any time soon.

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        08.09.2012 18:59
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        A stylish appliance that looks good in any kitchen

        When it comes to kettles I have only had to buy 2, one was when we bought our home in 2006 and the other was when we got married 2 years later and wanted one to match the new toaster we had as a wedding gift. Last week I discovered that the lid on our Morphy Richards Kettle had broken, if I am honest it had been on its way out for a while and we had struggled to open the lid for a good few months now so when my husband went to make me a brew the lid came off in his hand and it was placed in the bin.

        Now going back to our very first kettle we had purchased which was a Russell Hobbs we had no problems at all so I specified I preferred to have a Russell Hobbs once more.
        After a little bit of research I tried to find a kettle with the keep warm facility something we liked on our previous Russell Hobbs kettle but the Morphy Richards didn't have, I struggled to find any and decided to just opt for a kettle I liked the look of as we had recently redone our kitchen so wanted something with the stainless steel look and some black as I was planning on getting a new microwave in the next few months.

        ~*~The Kettle~*~

        I managed to pick this kettle up from Asda during the Big Home Event for the reasonable price of £31.50. The packaging was not too much, just some strong cardboard inserts to prevent the kettle from moving around in the box, two small bags, one to protect the base of the kettle and another which contained the plug.
        The instructions are also provided, something I think nowadays are a waste and should just be on the internet as a kettle is pretty straightforward.

        The kettle has a stylish stainless steel corded base with a black power lead and plug, something some people may not be interested in but for me with appliances on the worktop I liked that they were now all black.
        The centre of the kettle is glass which has a ring at the base which when boiling illuminates a bright LED blue colour.
        The kettle rotates all the way around the base which is ideal if you have a lefty and a righty in your house like we do!

        I was suprised at how sturdy the kettle feels compared to others and how you really have to tip the kettle for it to poor out of the relatively shallow spout. Apart from getting used to the pouring in this kettle I have found it to be a great buy.
        We do have to descale the kettle reguarly but this to me ensures it is kept hygienic as our last kettle we didn't descale at all and there was a nasty build up of limescale that I discovered when throwing it out!

        There are not many downsides to this kettle, the main obvious one is with it being glass it gets very hot and remins hot for some time afterwards.
        I do wish this had a keep warm facility but we can't have everything. The kettle boils very quickly which is what I need with a toddler in the house and I am trying to grab a brew first thing in the morning. The maximum capacity is 1.7l but we rarely fill it more than enough for 2 cups as it is.

        I feel I got a real bargain with this kettle as it is stylish and I have to admit I do enjoy being in the kitchen waiting for it to boil now!

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          17.05.2012 15:55
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          A compact hoover that could take on most full size hoovers and win hands down.

          Dyson hoovers - you either love them or you hate them. Me? I get on ok with them as far as hoovers go as long as they do the job, but when our DC08 Carpetpro stopped with the suction I moaned and moaned at my husband until he gave in and shopped around for a hoover to best suit our needs.

          Before I go into the review I will tell you a little about the needs I had for a hoover. I live in a relatively small house so space is not freely available and with a toddler running around I needed a hoover with good suction. Our house is mainly carpeted with two rooms being a stone floor and the other laminated so we needed something that could manage both types.
          My husband did a lot of research before making the decision reading review after review and comparing with other brands along with comments I made about what I would need it to do.

          As our home is relatively small our previous hoover a Dyson DC08 Telescopic Wrap carpetpro, did take up more room that we thought but when we bought it 5 years ago we liked its style and the fact that it would probably suit us and last a long while. This time I wanted something more compact and easier to use. Trying to hoover with a toddler following you around is not the easiest of tasks and when the hose kept coming out of the cylinder unit enough was enough.

          My husband narrowed it down to two models and asked me which I preferred. Having always preferred to having a cylinder style hoover I was a bit reluctant to make the change to an upright hoover, until we were fortunate enough to trial the hoover as a family member had just purchased one.

          DC24 Multi Floor features

          Root CycloneTM technology
          BallTM technology
          Ultra-lightweight and compact
          Reversible wand


          I found it a lot easier to set up and get on with the hoovering and was able to get the rooms done in half of the time. We have a large wool rug on our living room floor and the DC24 has a rotating brush that really pulls up the carpet leaving it looking like new.
          The main challenge for us was whether our toddler's carpet would come up looking like new as it was the worst carpet we had in our house and everything appeared to stick to it. After hoovering the room it was as good as new and bits that I had tried to remove for the past 12 months simply got sucked up with ease so we decided to go ahead and purchase the DC24 from the Dyson Outlet on ebay for £174.00 a great price and it even had a 2 year parts and warranty despite it being refurbished.

          Our order arrived within 48 hours and as the delivery driver pulled out the box I was amazed at how small it was. As I opened the box the hoover was vitually brand new. I pulled out the main cylinder section out of the box and attached the rotating head to the bottom. This was easy to do I simply had to line up the two clips, one at the top and one at the bottom and wait until I heard it click into place.

          Next I had to insert the handle into the back of the hoover, again this was relatively simple to do and was a case of simply slotting into the extension hose and gently pushing together until I heard the click.
          Finally the multi tool simply slotted onto a space on the right of the hoover and the assembly was complete.

          The dimensions of the hoover are: 746 x 349 x 281 mm (HxWxD) or 1100 x 280 x 349 mm (HxWxD) when handle is extended

          To use the hoover simply pull up the handle until it clicks and the red footbar you simply press on and the wheels move out of the way to allow you to glide over your carpet with the minimum effort required.
          The ball design makes it so much easier to manouvere around your home. As we have lots of small spaces to get into the slim designed head and easy steering makes hoovering a quick and easy job.

          As the hoover is compact in size I have found that after hoovering 1 room it is close to the maximum fill and I have to empty the cylinder much more often but to be honest I don't mind as it is so simple to do. By clicking the red button in above the cylinder you simply pull away from the hoover unit hold over your rubbish bag and press it in again and the bottom of the cylinder will open and the contents will fall freely into the rubbish. Easy!
          The actula bin capacity is 0.85 litres.

          The hoover itself if a massive improvement on my previous model and suits my needs perfectly but if you were to purchase this for yourself I would recommend you check out your requirements first, the extension hose itself is not very long and to reach high places the wand on a DC24 machine reverses to reach awkward areas more easily and with a better grip. Tools click-fit to the end of the wand to give more options for cleaning high or hard-to-reach places. You may find that you will need to lift the main body of the hoover up in one hand and use the hose in the other, my husbands grandmother has this hoover and whilst I am sure that she does the main part of the hoovering herself, I do not thing that she would use the extension as she would not be able to manage lifting the hoover and hoovering at the same time. Personally I do not find it a problem for my home.

          Hoovering the stairs is easy as the hoover is so compact it simply sits on the step as I hoover the first few at a time before moving it along. DC24 machine weighs just 5.4kg meaning it's easy to carry.

          The brush bar is invaluable to our home as our son is forever crumbling bits of food into the carpet and the stiff nylon bristles spin at up to 90 times per second which really pull up the carpet pile and remove the crushed in dirt, leaving it looking like new. You can turn the brush bar on and off easily to suit your floors needs by simply pressing the button next to the red power button. As the floor tool is clear you will see the brushes spinning and when you turn the function off you will see the red bristles remain still.

          The cord length is only 6.1 metres so for some people this may not be long enough but provided you have a plug socket in each room you will not struggled to hoover your entire room. The cable stores away on the back of the hoover wrapping around two small plastic hooks just as it would on your traditional upright hoover.

          The additional tool we do not find to be that great and are looking at purchasing some additional tools to enable us to fit into narrow spaces etc, but overall this hoover is compact but powerful and it certainly is giving our home a new look with nice, clean floors something we haven't seen in a long while.

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          • More +
            15.03.2012 23:57
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            A fun filled exercise game

            When my friends introduced me to Zumba classes I was instantly addicted and thought it would be good to invest in the Zumba Fitness game to allow me to learn the steps and therefore spend the actual hour in my class doing the workout rather than playing catch up.

            *~*Requirements of the Game*~*

            To be able to use this game you will need to have the Playstation Move, this consists of the Playstation Move Motion Controller and the Playstation Eye Camera.
            All playstation move games have a blue band underneath the Playstation logo at the top of the boxes and it will also say on the back of the box.

            You will also need the fitness belt to be able to follow the routines properly. The motion controller slots into the belt and therefore needs to be positioned correctly on the hips to ensure you complete the moves correctly.

            *~Using the Game*~*

            Once you fire up the PS3 you will need to set your player up, this is just adding your name so that you have a profile to set up exercise routines, for me I didn't really need to do this as I was the only one using this game, my husband only agreed to me purchasing it so that he could get entertainment watching me struggle to follow the steps and try to be a latina!

            Once you are set up you can launch straight into the game or learn the steps.

            Unlike most of the games I purchase I actually started this game from the beginning, learning the different dance styles: Reggaeton, Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, Hip-Hop, Mambo, Rumba, Flamenco and Calypso

            You learn the moves via a computer generated character and the idea is to mimic the moves as accurately as you can, if you get it right it goes green, if you are not quite there it will go amber and if you are nowhere near the character will go red.
            I found it frustrating that I was trying my best to get the moves done yet staying amber most of the time, maybe that is me not letting myself go completely or maybe I am just getting it wrong and with no verbal feedback or accuracy guide I still am unsure on how I can improve other than keep doing the routines over and over to try and perfect the moves.

            The graphics on the game are a far cry from what I was expecting with bright burred out images and a limited number of phrases that get repeated at certain parts of the game.
            The music however is great, you find yourself following the beats quite easily and this helps to pick up certain moves.

            The main purpose of the game is to follow the routines by filling up the energy bars which then progresses you onto harder routines. The one thing I have found about Zumba is you are having so much fun that you only realise how much you are sweating when you are almost finished but that depends on how much you put into it. There is no real push if you slack off on the game to keep going something an instructor would do so you have to be motivated to turn it on and use it!

            You can compete against other players and have "Zumba" off or you can all dance together, although I only use this game alone so cannot really state how good this function is but I can imagine its a laugh with a few good friends to participate.

            One thing I have noticed and it has been mentioned by other users, that the Playstation Move Controller cannot really accurately gauge how you are able to mimic the instructer's movements. I have even found when I was walking into the kitchen to get a drink that it praised me at how well I was completing the moves! Yet when I was trying to mimic the moves I was barely getting any praise for getting the steps correct. Something I think that Sony need to address.

            I purchased this game for £27.99 and this included the fitness belt. I do think this is a reasonable price to pay as long as you ensure that you keep motivated to do the routines.
            In terms of a fitness game it does have a journal for you to track your weightloss and even breaksdown your performance on routines to ensure you have the most suitable workout I found this ideal for me as I wanted to track my weightloss and be able to complete Zumba as and when I felt like it along with my weekly fitness class.

            Zumba Fitness will not be for everyone and I think the developers have a long way to go to get it on par with lots of other fitness games as the graphics are somewhat poor and an accuracy guide in my opinion would be much more beneficial to ensure that I get the most from my workout.

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            28.01.2012 10:32
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            An essential first learning toy.

            When it comes to toys for my little boy I have to say that I don't normally choose what he gets as my husband tends to find the toys but at Christmas this was one of the gifts that our son received.

            The pig is housed in cardboard packaging with those awful plastic coated wire ties to keep it secured in the box. The coins are housed in the box via a plastic covering but that all said the toy was relatively easy to remove from the box and as batteries were already included there was no assmbly required and our son could play with the toy as soon as we had removed it from the box.

            Contained within the box is;

            10 Colourful coins (Red, Yellow, Orange, Green and Blue)
            1 Pink Pig suitable for ages 6-36 months containing 3 AAA batteries.

            *~*What does it do?*~*

            The pig contains a slot at the top to help with your child's co-ordination so they learn to push the coins into the slot. Each time a coin is placed into the slot of the piggy it makes a depositing sound and the piggy oinks and depending what mode you have selected for your child it will either play a song or count up to ten.

            There is a door to the side of the piggy that when opened it says open and makes a chink chink noise. The door is translucent so you can see the coins inside the piggy and is easy for your child to open and close all by themselves. When your child closes the piggy it will say closed.

            Located close to the slot on the top of the piggy, is a small switch. If you slide the switch to the left you will select the counting game mode so each time a coin is entered into the slot the piggy will state the number of coins you have entered so far and play the tune of "Old MacDonald". If you slide it to the centre this will turn the pig off. Slide to the right and this will activate the music mode and teach your child colours.

            When your child presses the pigs nose it will sing various songs to help teach colours, numbers and counting. This is my favourite thing to do with the piggy and some of the phrases and songs it will say are:

            Put some coins right in the top, clink clink clink, hear them drop. Open up the door again and play again.

            Oink Oink

            Atchoo, excuse me

            Giggles and Oinks

            Now Im a piggy bank I have a piggy snout, you can put coins in my slot and you can take them out. The coins go in the top can you hear them drop come on and open up the door so we can play some more.

            The pig is pretty durable as our 1 year old tends to carry it around with him and drop it on the floor many times and there is no signs of wear or damage which is always a good sign in my book.

            The pig is easy to wipe down if messy fingers get a hold, overall this is a great learning toy and despite it not being something my husband and I would pick for our son it is one of his favourite toys and he loves the little songs that come with it.

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            09.01.2012 01:10
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            A great gift for a coffee lover.

            Since becoming a stay at home mum I have got used to popping into coffee shops to feed my son or meeting up with other friends but £3-£4 a go for a coffee soon saw me spending quite a lot so I mentioned ot my husband that I should look at getting a coffee machine to have latte's, cappucino etc and he agreed it would be a good idea and in the end of November last year we saw an advert for a Cream Dolce Gusto for £49.99 in Currys so we reserved one for me to collect later that day and I have never looked back!


            The box is pretty large and houses instructions, the machine, 2 boxes of pods, the drinks tray and that is about all.
            It was easy to set up so I designated a space on my worktop for it to have pride of place and after a small amount of assembly which was to attach the tray and we added water and ran it though the machine before making a drink.

            The machine has long appealed to me for its style and it just looks so cool on your worktop and the fact that there are various colours available makes it even more appealing.

            *~*Machine features*~*
            1500 watts.
            15 bar pressure pump.
            Pressure automatically adjusts depending on the drink being made.
            Thermo block technology which heats water as required.
            Wide variety of pods available.

            For me ease of use was very important as with a 1 year old running around I wanted to be able to make a drink quickly and enjoy it.
            The machine does look somewhat daunting with its levers but it is so very simple to use.

            The water is added to the rear of the machine and then simply press the power button and wait for it to stop flashing red and turn green and add your chosen pod.
            The pods are inserted into the machine by lifting the silver Dolce Gusto embossed lever and pulling out the small try big enough to just fit your pod.
            Insert the pod and slide back into the machine and push down the lever.
            Place your cup at the required level and simply push the lever to the right for hot drinks and to the left for cold drinks.

            Depending on your choice of drink you may need to use two pods.

            *~*The Pods*~*

            There are a wide range of pods available for the Dolce Gusto ranging from £3.68 up to £3.96 depending where you purchase them.

            Cappucino
            Skinny Cappucino
            Espresso
            Espresso Intenso
            Espresso Decaffeinato
            Espresso Ristretto
            Caffee Lungo
            Caffee Lungo Mild
            Caffee Lungi Decaffeinato
            Chococino
            Cappucino Ice
            Latte Machiato
            Latte Macchiato Vanilla
            Latte Macchiato Unsweetened
            Skinny Lattee Macchiato
            Nestea
            Americano
            Caffee Crema Grande
            Caffee Grande Intenso
            Chai Tea Latte
            Caramel Latte Macchiato

            As I mentioned before you may be required to use 2 pods to create some drinks. Each pod is coloured white for the milk and brown for the coffee/chocolate.

            On the lid of each pod is a guide as to how much should go into your mug out of fifths. This is to ensure that you get the correct balance of your coffee.

            The boxes contain 16 pods but if you require 2 pods for a drink you will only get 8 drinks so that is something to remember when making your purchase.
            It may seem expensive that you only get 8 drinks for this price but it works out a lot cheaper than a costa or starbucks and if you invest in some syrups like I have you can have a whole variety of drinks at your fingertips!

            If you love coffee then this is a great machine that can be picked up for a great deal from time to time and I can honestly say I am not disappointed.

            The machine comes with a pod dispenser so that you do not have leaks in your bin or across your worktop and its relatively cheap to operate and looks so stylish.

            A selection pack was provided with the machine giving you the chance to sample, cappucino, latte macchiato, caffe lungi, americano, mocha and choccochino which in my opinion are the most popular items.

            There are plenty of accessories that you can purchase via the dolce gusto website such as glasses and mugs, spoons and storage. If you register with them and order a box of pods they will send you a box of americano pods for free and you can also enter the code from each box onto the website and go into a draw to win pods something I make sure I do!

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              07.01.2012 14:31
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              A great bargain buy for your child.

              When we had our son's 1st Birthday Party this was one of the gifts that he received.
              I remember having one of these many, many years ago when I was a child the only difference was mine was made from wood.
              This toy is from the Fisher Price Brilliant Basics range which over traditional themed toys at reasonable prices.
              As this was a gift I cannot be sure how much it was purchased for but I have seen them in my local B&M store for £4.99.

              This toy must have the least amount of packaging for a child's toys, the phone was simply covered by tissue paper and was placed in small box so an ideal gift to get out and play with straight away.
              The main body of the toy is a white square mounted onto a bright blue base with red wheels and a red telephone received with the words Fisher Price embossed on.

              The top of the phone has a yellow dial that when it is turned clockwise it generates a ringing bell sound familiar of an old fashioned telephone. Underneath the dial are bright colours.

              There are numbers on the telephone and these are printed onto a bright coloured background which encourages our son to look through the circles on the dialler to view the numbers and the different colours.

              To the front of the phone are two eyes that when the phone is pulled along using the red thread, which isn't too long so there is no worries of your child wrapping it around and choking themselves, they roll around and make a funny little noise. My little one loves it when we pull the phone around him in a circular motion as he tries to chase it and he giggles along.

              The front of the telephone has a smiley face and our son loves smiling back at it!
              Our son loves this toy along with many of the brilliant basic toys and with this he lifts the receiver and places it to his ear which shows he understands what it is for. He also has learnt to spin the dial to generate the sound that it makes and we enjoy playing with this toy together pretending to phone one another and chasing the phone around the room.

              The toy itself is not too bulky and is easy to take out with you when visiting friends or relatives to have a toy to keep your child occupied.
              I think that this toy really is a brilliant basic toy that should be in any child's first toy box!
              The phone itself is very robust, it has been lifted up and flung, stood on, kicked, and chewed and it still looks as good as new.

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              10.12.2011 10:39
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              A toy that could do with some improving,

              When it comes to purchasing toys for big occasions I leave it up to my son to choose his birthday and christmas presents and I just get the little stocking fillers.
              My husband has always preferred to purchase the Leapfrog toys as they tend to use British voices which we thought it would be better when our son begins to learn 1-2-3 and A-B-C.

              After browsing the internet to see what my son would prefer for his First birthday my husband came across this toy and thought it would be ideal for him to use as it teaches colours, sea animals and numbers.
              The toy itself does take some assembling so the night before our son's birthday we took it out of the packaging, as let's face it we all know how ridiculous the packaging is when it comes to children's toys and we wanted to capture him playing as soon as he unwrapped it.

              The shoes simply needed to be clipped onto the purple body of the octopus and batteries also need to be purchased before hand as they are not provided in this toy. So stock up on AA batteries as this toy will need 2.
              The fairly large purple octopus has a centre hole which is hidden in his hat, simply drop one of the 5 colourful balls down his hat and dependent on which mode you have selected it will ask your child to state which shoe the ball is hidden under. The main purpose of the toy is for your child to lift the shoes of the octopus until they locate the coloured ball.
              It will state "not under the xxxx shoe" or if baby finds the ball it will state " Peek a boo you found the ball under the xxxx shoe"

              On the blue collar of the octopus there is the power on button and slide it to the right one more time and it will move it to the loudest volume. To the right hand side of the toy you can choose which play mode you would prefer, counting or colour recognition.
              By pressing the centre of the collar where there is a music note you can play 2 lyrical or 4 instrumental songs along with your chosen game mode.

              The age range for this toy is 9 months to 36 months but in all honesty our son doesn't really concentrate on playing this even at 12 months so I certainly think from 9 months would be asking a bit too much. When our son first had this toy he just kept turning it upside down rather than playing with it as it is designed.

              In terms of ease of use I am 30 years of age and I cannot get this to work properly, it states it has to be on a flat surface and we place it on our sons bedroom floor and it still plays up and he is not at the age where we can place it on a table as he will just swipe it off!!

              The toy will not always state the same colour of that you pick up to locate the ball so this could cause some confusion when teaching your child the colours and numbers as they learn to recognise them.
              The toy itself is pretty well made and even if the shoes are a little flimsy when hooked onto the octopus they do life up quite securely.

              The toy cost us £17.99 and it was reduced down from £24.99. This is a reasonable price for a toy of this size but I am slightly disappointed in how inaccurate it can be.

              I like the fact that his has british voices and that it is bright and colourful and with a bit of tuning up from the manufacturer this could be a really good toy.

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                10.12.2011 10:24
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                A great entertaining toy

                Having a nephew that is 3 months older than my son, I tend to see what my son enjoys playng with and when he turned 1 my son took an interest in one of his toys the Bounce and Spin Zebra by Fisher Price.
                My son however really likes turtles, I have no idea where this has come from but when I saw this advertised on Amazon for £19.99 I decided to invest in one for his forthcoming birthday.

                As we live in a relatively small and cosy house I was a bit nervous about how much space this toy would take up as most children's items are bulky and take up a lot of room but with this toy I needn't of worried.
                The turtle introduces a bounce and colours theme offering 2 modes of play (music and learning) and teaches shapes, numbers 1-3 and colours.

                When our son was given this he was just 1 year old so he could not really reach the floor to bounce properly and activate the motion sensor, activated by bouncing, however we did find that it build his confidence and encouraged movement as he was able to swing his leg to get off the turtle and tried to bounce with the turtle even though his little legs were too short.
                The turtle has 2 sing-along songs which include my son's favourite if you are happy and you know it and the bounce song which also got him very excited along with the 7 melodies.

                The toy operates on 2 x AA batteries which are included with the item.
                To operate the toy the power button can be found on the handle, it is on the reverse to allow your child, as they get older to select which mode they would like as they bounce along.
                Straight away our son was pressing the colours which were found on the hat of the turtle and stated colours, shapes and numbers as they illuminate.

                The turtle is a friendly looking thing and our son just loves him and can often be heard babbling away at him as he plays.
                The turtle is mounted onto a large yellow base which is very solid but I do have to say if your child only has socks on then it can be quite slippery and many a time we have had to ensure our son cannot play with this toy unsupervised as he gets on and off as he could very easily slip and hurt himself.

                The handle has a large orange light which flashes as the tune plays along with the other 3 coloured lights found on the turtles hat. There are two rings on the handle which spin around.
                The toy is suitable from 18 months which would be probably the main reason our son can't get on it by himself but he does enjoy sitting on it and pressing the buttons or he often stands over it to press the buttons so it definately keeps him occupied which was one of our worries when we purchased it but with it being a turtle we knew he would show some interest.

                It is recommended that this toy is not used past the age of 3 years so we hope it will get some use and what is great about it, is that we can also use it outside in the nicer weather as well as it being compact enough to use indoors.
                A great purchase that has a really fun voice to keep your child entertained.

                The toy is easy to maintain, I just clean it reguarly with anti bacterial wipes and this has caused some damage to the sticker that displays the play modes on the reverse of the handle but this is only cosmetic.
                It is very sturdy and our son is yet to be able to lift it or push it over which is always a good thing where he is concerned!!

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