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Hope in a Jar
Unfortunately l do not have the funds to spend a fortune on moisturising products, and even if l did l probably would choose not to.
I often think that cheaper alternatives often seem just as good, and in some cases better. However l do like to look after my skin and l moisturise daily.
A while ago now, someone l know went to New York, and on their return, they gave me a lovely gift set from the Philosophy range.
Inside were various items, but the item l love most is Hope in a Jar.
On the Jar it says, Philosophy: where there is hope there can be faith, where there is faith miracles can occur
So should l have faith in this product?
This product is not cheap, and my jar is only a 1oz jar, so its not really very big at all. I think my jar is slightly smaller than the standard product.
A 2oz jar from their website costs $38.
Hope in a jar is award winning and there is something different about this facial moisturiser, which compared to other products has an extra special something, that makes it a step above most others l have tried.
Apparently the product has many antioxidants and is designed to reduce wrinkles, re-hydrate and create smoother skin.
Firstly it smells really nice (well l think so). It is an indulgent smell, a scent that is hard to define, but it has a fresh, light, feminine scent. There appears to be a 'herb' fragrance, (which some people may not like) l think this is the lavender oil in the product. The product is a mix of smells though, so don't be put off if you don't like lavender.
I find that you really don't need to use too much of this cream. If you just dab a little bit on the tips of your fingers, a little will go a long way. The cream feels quite thick and heavy on your fingers. But its not, when you blend into your skin, it seems to glide along your skin nicely without dragging at your skin. The texture isn't too watery, or too thick, it's a nice consistency and its not sticky, and its very easy to apply. In fact its so easy to apply that l just want to keep using it. Its such a nice product to use.
The size of the jar also means it is very easy to pop it into your handbag and to take away with you.
When applied you instantly notice a freshness to your skin. Your skin feels dehydrated and refreshed. It feels a little like when you have cleansed your skin, or put a face mask on, you feel all clean and your skin feels healthier. It actually feels like l have been for a facial!!
The cream doesn't feel greasy but its not drying either. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and silky. My face isn't left all shiny but noticeably refreshed, and rather soft. The cream also absorbs into your skin rather quickly.
My skin type is a combination. But l suppose it tends to be more oily. What l found with this product is that it tends to find a balance and create even skin which isn't dry or greasy but a healthy blend.
As it suggests on the Jar, this product reduces the effects of the harsh environment.
Its definitely a worthy buy, even if it does cost a little more than l would wish to pay, this is a product ld like to continue using.
Why not have a look at their website....
Nokia Express Music 5530
When my mobile phone contract came up for renewal recently, l decided that no longer would l be locked into a contract for a ridiculous amount of time. So l bought a phone and went on to a sim only contract.
I am quite picky when it comes to phones. I didn't really want a touch screen, but l wanted an affordable phone with wifi.
There didn't actually seem a lot available to meet my criteria, actually there was nothing! But l searched and searched and came accross the Nokia 5530 express music, for a reasonable price online.
I must admit the look of the phone didn't really appeal and It was a touch screen which was rather annoying. l find it easier to text with buttons, other than that, it was a perfect match. I also had a friend who had this phone and loved it!
So l decided to get this phone and give it a try.
So what did l think?
When the phone arrived, lt didn't really look like l imagined at all. I liked the shiny black finish on the phone and rather than a boring dull design that l expected, it was quite stylish. It was Black with a red stripe around the edge, giving it a bit of originality from other phones. There are a variety of other colours available to choose from.
The phone did look quite different to other touch screens, and it had a definite 'Nokia' look and feel.
The phone was a handy size, that could fit delicately in the palm of my hand. The screen measures 2.9 inch and 640x360 pixels. These figures don't mean a whole lot to me. But what l can tell you is the screen is quite big and the quality of the picture is good. The picture quality is clear and concise.
Weight wise, its heavy enough not to feel too flimsy, but not too heavy that it makes my hand aches, it is 107g.
The home screen is really quite funky! It has boxes at the bottom for different applications ( the programes you use most). And at the top it displays your favourite contacts. There is also a clock and it displays the time and date.
I Knew the 3.2 mega pixel camera with its 4x digital zoom was never going to be the best feature on the phone. But it is okay as a standby to my compact, and when tested, it seemed adequate. It has a LED flash and adequate settings options.
I couldn't believe how easy the wifi was to set up, l was expecting to have problems, as l had with other phones. But no problems at all. Very simple to set up, and easy to use the internet.
One of the great features with this phone, which l was soon to discover, is that you can add applications from the Nokia Ovi store.
I have spent time in the store and found many great apps to use. I absolutely love this function. Its so good being able to customise your phone, with new themes, games and applications for webpages etc.
My reservations at buying another touch screen phone, l previously owned the Samsung Tocco, proved to be unfounded. Because the accuracy of this touch screen actually seemed much better, or is this just my imagination? Whatever the case, the qwerty keyboard certainly helped make texing easier! But if your not keen on the qwerty keyboard you can use the standard alpha numeric keyboard too. Infact held upright the keyboard is alpha numeric, turned on its side its qwerty.
That's another great function with this phone, if you turn the phone around you can view the screen and its contents at a different angle with a wider screen. Yet turn the phone back upright and you have your standard display.
It was only a matter of time before l truly loved this phone, it was so uncomplicated and easy to use, yet it had all the advanced abilities that l wanted and needed.
The phones web browser was easy to use too. Pages loaded quickly. But if you don't like the web browser the phone uses you can easily add a new one. What a phone!!
The music and entertainment facilities on this phone are pretty good. It has a great music player, and with the 4g built in memory it can store a lot of music. You can also down load music through the Ovi store. The sound quality is pretty good too. Have to admit l haven't used the headphones that were included in the box, but l have played various albums through the loud speakers and the quality is not bad.
Its been suggested that you could use this phone as opposed to other MP3 players. I am not ready just yet to give up on my creative Zen, but it's a great little alternative!
Apparantly you can even assign a song to a contact, although l haven't tried this yet.
You can also put your own ring tones on, in mp3 format, polyphonic etc
What is great about this phone is that it is practical, functional yet affordable.
It is great as a personal phone. If you were looking for a business phone then there are probably others on the market with software to suit your needs that would be more appropriate.
But for the everyday phone user this phone is perfect.
The phone has a side button to lock the phone. It has a variety of profiles - silent, meeting etc. With the vibration function. It has the benefit of Bluetooth, video recording and many more functions.
Okay so this phone maybe awesome, but its certainly not faultless. I did have a few problems at first with my phone turning itself off and coming straight back on. I changed the keypad lock features and have never had a problem since.
My friend who bought the phone has also had a similar problem, and a problem with the latch on the back casing.
These problems have seemed quite minor, and although annoying l would not let it stop you purchasing this phone.
The phone also lacks 3G, l can imagine this might put many customers off!
Sometimes the phone has a creaky plastic feel too. This doesn't bother me at all, it just feels a bit fragile sometimes.
Probably the biggest drawback for me is the phones battery life. I currently need to charge my phone daily, l consider myself as an average user, so whilst l don't use my phone heavily l use it a fair amount. If l do not use my phone lt will stay alive for a few days. Its not a huge problem as the phone charges remarkably quickly, but l would suggest considering this if you wish to buy this phone.
The phone also has handwriting recognition software, l don't really think much of this software, it gets easier with use, but l think its much easier to use the keyboard.
I cannot imagine being without this phone. I love it! I was dubious at first, but as soon as l started using the phone, l couldn't believe how much l liked the phone, it has so much character. I loved the ease of use. It took me no time at all to be able to use all the great functions and whilst there is some margin for improvement, nothings perfect, but this is near perfect in my eyes, and l would highly recommend it! For me Nokia are really leading the way with their mobile phones at this moment in time! I managed to grab this for about £100!!! Worth every penny and more!
Lily Allen - Its not you its me
Who is Lily Allen?
When Lily Allen first came onto the scene, l don't think l really took her seriously. I thought she would be a one hit wonder. But her music was catchy and rather likeable and soon she became a household name for her pop music.
What is great about Lily Allen, is that she doesn't conform to general stereotypes. She is her own person, who does her own thing. Lily Allen is Someone who doesn't appear to have had an easy life, but she is someone who gets up and gives it her best shot.
She is a bit of a livewire, perhaps sometimes has too much to say and who wears outrageous clothes, but if you accept this as part of who she is, you will actually see that underneath she is just a normal 20 something having fun.
Born in 1985 to actor and musician Keith Allen, and film producer Alison Owen, Lily Allen is a star in her own right now. She has even tried her hand at TV with her own show - Lily Allen and friends and recently made an appearance on the Aussie soap Neighbours.
The hit 'Smile' was Lily Allens first Uk number one. Lily Allen has since become known for her witty lyrics and her unique style, a pop star and song writer with a difference.
Myspace the social networking website, seems to have been influential in her success and in her ability to become recognised.
The album- Its not me its you
This particular album was released in February 2009.
What is noticeable about this second album is that there is a completely new flavour to this album, with new influences and styles throughout.
Lily Allen has grown up, and her music has matured with this second album. Don't get me wrong, this is still Lily Allen. Many of the lyrics are still 'extreme' 'explicit' and controversial. On the album cover there is a parental advisory sticker, because of the nature of the lyrics in her songs. So this is an indication of the adult themes the album covers.
Sometimes you find yourself listening to the lyrics and thinking, 'l cant believe she just said that'. It seems Lily Allen dares to venture on territory that other artists steer away from. Perhaps this is one reason her music is different from other pop stars.
Her lyrics are actually even 'funny' or at least amusing at times.
However her music, old and new, will not appeal to everyone. For some she may offend, and it might not be music you would want your children listening too.
Lily Allen co writes this album with Greg Kurstin. Except for the track 'who'd have known' which is written by Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Mark Owen, Howard Donald, Steve Robson, Lily Allen and Greg Kurstin. Apparently there were some issues about whether she would be able to include this song as the chorus is similar to Take That's Shine, but with their permission, she was able to.
There are twelve tracks on the album.
1) Everyone's at it
Straight away, from this first track, you notice that her music has changed. It's a nice track to begin the album with. You notice that she seems to be 'singing' more in this track than on her previous debut album.
I like the instrumentals in this track. It's a nice track, easy to listen to, and fun.
2) The Fear
One of my favourites tracks on the album. Probably a song you have heard, as it was released as a single. This song didn't instantly appeal when l first heard it, but it's a song that grows on you.
Its noticeable that these songs are more dance inducing, as she intended to make an album which was more dancey, so that her gigs were a little more 'fun'.
3) Not Fair
This song is catchy, although possibly not a song you might like to be singing down the high street. It talks about issues in the bedroom. Her lyrics are never going to be inspirational... but they are catchy. I notice the elements of country that she has added to the album in this track. Its not hugely obvious, but if you listen out carefully you can hear it.
Another nice song. Catchy and easy to listen to.
5) I could say
A nice track. Its okay, l find it a bit bland. Its listenable, but quite dull really. Lyrically l quite like this track.
6) Back to the start
I like this song, its quite a fun, dancey, lively track. Possibly another favourite on the album.
7) Never gunna happen
This song reminds me of tracks on her previous album. But its catchy like many of her songs are.
The instrumentals are quite different in this track, but other than that this track offers the listener nothing new.
8) F*** you
Is it wrong to like this song? I think this song works quite well. The main lines seem to be 'f**k you', but it's a nice song. I think its one of those songs, when her voice actually really comes through.
Again this song is annoyingly catchy. Apparently its an anti George Bush song.
9) Who'd have known
This is the song which caused a bit of a fuss with legalities. It is pretty obvious that the chorus sounds like Take Thats song 'Shine', but it's a nice song and she sings it well.
When Lily Allen sings properly she has got a really sweet and gentle voice.
Quite a nice chorus to this song. I didn't really like the intro, but when it gets going it gets better.
A track l like. In the second half of this album I've noticed the songs have been 'quieter' and softer. I think this suits Lily Allens voice well, and this is one of her typically quieter tracks.
12) He wasn't there
I don't like this song at all. I think this song has elements of jazz, and l don't think it works at all. Possibly the song l like least on the album.
Well the album seems to start quite differently, but then you notice that the album hasn't lost the old Lily Allen. The second half of the album is quieter and less dancey. I really like some of the livelier songs.
What l notice about this album is that it's a really nice album. Its not an album that l would say l love, but its nice.
Its nice to see Lily Allen bringing different styles into her music, and trying new things - some of which seem to work, others dont. I really liked Lily Allens first album, but l do think she needed some different ideas if she was to continue her success. She seems to have achieved that with this album.
Unfortunately some of the songs are a bit samey, and don't really have the ability to be instantly recognisable unless you have listened to the album quite a bit.
I think this album probably takes a bit of getting used to. You need to listen to it a fair few times before you enjoy the album to its full capability.
I like this album, and l would recommend it to those of you who liked the first album, l think you would like this one too.
Mullion Cove Holiday Park
We booked two short breaks from the sun newspaper, and joined them so we had a weeks long break. We put a selection of holiday parks down, but our first choice was Mullion Cove for its location and this is the park we took our break.
Mullion Cove is set in Cornwall. It is about a 10 minutes drive from the Lizard, which is the most Southern land of England. It is a truly breathtaking region.
The Caravan Park we stayed in was a Park Dean Caravan site. We had never stayed with Park Dean before so didn't know what to expect.
On arrival after the long 5 hour drive to Cornwall, we found the park easily. It is located off the main road, and there are big 'Mullion Cove- Park Dean Signs, so you can't really miss it.
We parked in the car park, and we all got out of the car to check in. We were glad to finally be able to stretch our legs after the long drive.
Reception, was a small room, fairly modern. Luckily there weren't too many people checking in, so we were seen too quite quickly. The Staff were pleasant enough, and their was a wealth of leaflets on local places to visit. Which we eagerly picked up.
Check-in is only available after 4pm, due to the cleaners cleaning out all the caravans. But this wasn't a problem.
At reception they gave us a map of the park, directions to our caravan, our park passes, so we could use all of the facilities onsite, and various other leaflets about the site, and local attractions. They seemed helpful, and there was no problems.
The caravan park, had many, many caravans (luckily we had a map to find ours). The site also has Bungalows, which lm told were actually cheaper - which is useful to know. Apparently you can buy caravans on site too.
We however rented a 3 bed roomed caravan that sleeps 6, between four of us, so we were not short on space. Obviously it was a caravan, so the bedrooms were rather small, so we used the extra bedroom to put all our luggage in. It was rather handy.
The living area was an adequate size. There was a small television with a DVD player. Lots of seating which was fairly comfortable.
The Caravan, wasn't the most modern caravan l have ever been in. The Décor looked rather dated. But there was everything that you could need.
The living area, combined into a dining area, with the kitchen just off the dining area. Their was a nice dining table to eat at.
There was a gas fire available. We didn't think it worked at first, but with the cold evenings we had in September, we persisted and it did work. However it is quite difficult to get a light.
But once on it warmed the Caravan up in an instant.
Unfortunately it didn't really seem to reach the bedroom areas, they were still quite cold.
The Kitchen was well equip, with a microwave, cooker, fridge, small freezer, kettle, toaster etc. Their was plenty of cutlery, and plates, cups, glasses etc and everything worked. Not luxurious by any means but certainly adequate.
The bedrooms were as l said, rather small, but suitable.
The first bedroom from the dining room, had two single beds, and limited storage. Our friends stayed in this room. They told us there was a heater on the ceiling which was quite effective.
The second room, was a room with bunk beds, obviously a room for children, but as we didn't have any children with us, this is where we stored all our belongings.
The third room had a double bed. Quite a lot of storage space, and it was the bigger bedroom in the caravan.
Unfortunately it was the room that was probably the coldest. Their was a small wall heater, which got warm, but it didn't seem to give any heat out. So l spent most nights asleep with my feet against the side of the heater, which helped a little.
When we arrived at our caravan, inside was a bag full of our linen. It was all nice and clean though, and didn't take a minute to sort out. Their were extra blankets and pillows in the caravan.
The bathroom was the down fall of this caravan!
They left us one toilet roll, (we bought our own anyway). There was no soap, but l didn't really expect there to be.
Their was a 'tiny' shower cubicle. But the shower worked fine which was good, unless someone turned on the tap in the kitchen.
There was also a very good towel radiator. Possible the hottest radiator in the Caravan.
As the bathroom was rather small, (what you would expect in a caravan) some of my friends ended up burning themselves on the heater. So we tended to keep the radiator off.
The toilet looked clean and sufficient enough.
However there was a constant stench of stale urine. Which was horrible. Everything looked clean. But what we noticed was there looked to be some kind of leak in the toilet. We didn't realise at first. We probably should have asked to be moved. But we put up with it, partly due to the fact we didn't want the hassle of moving. But if there was any complaints about the Caravan, then this would be it.
What would have been nice, is if the caravan had provided some kind of chairs so we could have sat outside, but there was nothing. So l resorted to sitting on the grass, on those hot September days we had.
I've only ever stayed at Haven sites before, or a couple of times, John Fowler. So Park dean was a bit different. Although it had many similar features and facilities.
On arrival we were given passes so we could use all of the facilities and the entertainment. However the only time we ever needed them, was once, when we played bingo (we didn't win).
On site, there is an indoor pool, it was a lovely large pool, suitable for all the family, and open daily. An outdoor pool which we couldn't use, because it had to be cleaned because of vandalism.... This was a bit disappointing, but generally it is open July - September and there is sun beds around the pool.
There was an amusement arcade, which got quite busy and noisy. There was often security guards in this room. This room linked on to the Stargate Entertainment bar, where there was a variety of entertainment scheduled. Entertainment for children and adults. Nightly bingo, and cabarets, discos, all lasting throughout the evening. I believe this went on until the early hours of the morning.
This entertainment room was actually huge. We went out of season, so there was plenty of seating available.
Drinks at the bar were a little on the pricey side, they also sold a variety of cocktails.
Next door was a games room. It had a mini bowling alley, pool tables, and free use of the dart boards. We spent quite a bit of time in here, playing pool. The room is nice enough but nothing special.
To be honest most of the facilities looked okay, but sometimes they looked a little old and dilapidated, in need of refurbishment, much like the caravans.
There was also a take away. You could get a burger and chips for under £5, but the food really wasn't that great. If your stuck for food its an option, but l wouldn't really recommend it.
There was also another Bar and restaurant -Kyance bar and grill. The bar had free wifi, which is useful. I think there was use of some computers too.
The restaurant was really nice. It looked like the restaurant had just been done up. We didn't go in for a meal, but had a look round, they had a good menu and did a carvery. The prices were moderate, but not totally unrealistic.
There was also crazy golf on site, and you could hire bikes. Again we didn't use many of the site facilities, as we didn't spend a huge amount of time on site, but what we did use, was fairly good.
There was an onsite cost cutters which was useful. There was a Children's play room, 'Crazy Caves indoor soft play area, there was also a kids club, the kids clubs catered for children 4 -15 years. There was also an outdoor play area for children, and tennis courts.
So there was always something to do, especially if the weather was good.
Things to see and do
I would say Mullion is a perfect location. Its set in a small village. Which has a small local shop. Around and about there is a nice beach and there is also a working harbour in Mullion. There are some great coastal walks locally and the harbour is a lovely working fishing harbour and has a nice café. There isn't a lot to do in Mullion but it is very quaint and pretty village.
If you choose to stay in Mullion you need a car, but if you have a car there is lots to do.
I highly recommend a visit to Kyance cove, it is spectacular here, and if you go in the evening you don't have to pay to park. Here we watched the sun setting one evening -magical. But it is quite a walk down to the beach from the top of the cliffs.
Penzance is also not too far, this is probably one of the biggest local towns. We took a lovely boat trip from here, which took us around st Michaels mount and seal spotting. It cost us about £10 each but it was worth it and we thought this was a reasonable price when the boat trip lasted a couple of hours.
As l mentioned previously mullion cove is really close to the southern most tip - Lizard , which is definitely worth a trip. Its beautiful, and has a couple of nice cafes where you can get cream teas, and there's a gift shop.
I think your only about half an hour away from lands end too, so this is worth a visit.
There really is so much that you can do.
I've never been this far south in Cornwall, and would highly recommend a trip. Absolutely stunning.
There are lots of other things to do, but these are some of my favourites.
Things we didn't get to visit were, flambards theme park, Falmouth, National seal Sanctuary, local mines, Cider tasting factories, Chocolate tasting factory etc.
If you don't mind a drive, St Ives and the Eden project are definitely worth a visit also.
Overall this site has much to offer the family holiday. Location wise, although Mullion itself doesn't have a great deal to offer, the fishing harbour is stunning, there are lots of attractions locally, including local beaches. However this means having a car, and even if you do have a car, driving in this part of Cornwall is a slow process.
The area really is beautiful and l highly recommend a visit.
The holiday park itself isn't the best l have ever been to. But it has lots of facilities to keep the whole family entertained. it's a big park, so caters for lots of people.
I cannot speak for all caravans, but ours seemed a bit rundown. It was practical, and as we had paid next to nothing to stay, l wasn't complaining.
Parking the car next to the Caravan wasn't a problem either.
We had a great holiday, and l think that this is definitely a park worth considering. Its not luxurious, but its practical and functional and l would definitely go back again!
Mullion Holiday park
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (15)
Film only review.
If you liked 40 year old virgin and knocked up, then you may just like this 2008 film....
Peter Bretter( Jason Segel)
Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell)
Rachel Jansen (receptionist and hotel worker) (Mila Kunis)
Aldous Snow(Russell Brand)
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Forgetting Sarah Marshal is a pretty average romantic comedy. Boy gets dumped, goes a bit mad, meets new girl, old girl wants him back.... What does he do?
That put rather simply is about the extent of the story line. With a few additions.
The film is essentially about Peter ( Jason Segel), Who has been dating pretty film star Sarah Marshal for the last 5 years.
The film begins when Sarah comes home, to end their relationship, telling the heart broken Peter that she has met someone else. .... Poor Peter!
Peter is a loveable character, who is very much 'the lad'. We see him slobbing around his flat eating cereal.
Its apparent right from the start of this film, that it is going to be a comedy that focuses on sexual innuendos (too many sometimes). I couldn't help but laugh at the crudeness of this film, even though its another one of those films that we have all seen before, that focuses on silly laddish behaviour.
The film gets into its stride from the word go. Its very easy to watch, and from the onset you can pretty much guess the ending. But that's okay. Even though the plot is predictable, it is by no means a boring film.
I really did get into this film straight away, which is quite unusual for me, it usually takes me a while to get into a film, and if l don't like what l see l usually give up and turn it off.
But straight away this film attracted my attention. I think its because there's not a huge build up to the story line, it jumps straight in to the story.
The films strong point is not its plot, but it is a film that will make you laugh and keep you entertained. Possibly most appealing to teenagers and young adults, or anyone that can just laugh at it and not take it too seriously.
There may be some people who find some instances a little offensive, if you think it might offend, then don't watch because it probably will.
There seemed to be a lot of clips of Peter standing around naked, this is supposed to be funny.... I think. And it kind of is.. In a rather predictable annoying way. You laugh at Peters stupidity and silliness. I don't think viewers needed to see Peter naked quite as much as they do, but it didn't ruin the film for me.
The film is rather similar to that of other films such as, American pie, in the strength of the humour.
However the film does compel you to keep watching and perhaps is slightly more mature than American pie, although l did only say slightly.
When Peter escapes his heartbreak by going to Hawaii, and meets the young attractive receptionist - Rachel, feelings grow.
This is where the story line gets better for the girls amongst us, and a bit of a love story is created. Straight away, you know there is going to be some kind of relationship between them. I really wanted Peter to get together with this girl. I wanted him to be happy.
But life is never that simple.... Sarah Marshal is also staying at the hotel with her new lover Aldous (Russel Brand).
You will have to watch to find out what happens from there....
The acting was pretty good.
Russell Brand actually played his part rather well, perhaps too well.... I think it was too realistic. I imagine that is what he is exactly like in reality, but this also made his character more believeable.
Jason Segel also played his part really well, l felt like l knew the character from somewhere before. Perhaps this is because we all know someone like the character Peter in our own lives. Its pretty impressive that he is also the writer of this film, perhaps this is one reason he managed to capture the character so well.
All the other acting was pretty good. Most of the characters were likeable and played the parts well.
This film is a good film. Its not the best l have ever watched. It isn't a film that will leave a lasting effect. But its funny, light hearted and worth a watch.
Jason Segel is the lead of the film and he does this well.
There are some funny lines in this film... but the film can be explicit at times. Its not a film for younger viewers. It is a 15, but there are a lot of scenes of nudity, sexual scenes, and adult themes, so beware.
Sometimes its nice to watch a film, that isn't about violence, and doesn't have any really deep and meaningful plot.
It's a 'simple' film, it doesn't require a huge amount of concentration and its easy to watch. It's a film that both men and women will enjoy, so it's a film couples can sit down and watch together. It may be a romantic comedy, but l would say there's more comedy than romance.
So if your wondering what to watch, and this is the type of film you are after, l recommend it. Just don't expect life changing material.
ICS -International correspondence course
Unfortunately l was rather ill throughout my last few years at school, so l missed learning a lot of Maths and never managed to do my Maths GCSE. So about a year ago l decided to start a home study GCSE maths course. I had high expectations because l have studied with the Open University before and found the learning experience pretty faultless.
Around a year ago l signed up for a GCSE Maths course with ICS. I Chose ICS because they appeared to have the most cost affective courses available.
Apparently they are the worlds largest and most experienced home study school, it tells me this in my learning pack.
I paid nearly £300 for my course, which is quite a lot of money, but l felt it would be worth it, if it helped me get through the exam.
l understood that this fee included:
* course materials
* progress checks (test papers)
* access to the member area of the website - includes submitting tests, putting a request in to speak to a tutor, and access to student forums
I was aware that l would have to find my own exam venue and pay the fee for that separately, this seems to be the case with most home study schools.
Registering with ICS
Registering with ICS was the easy bit. Once ld had a look at their website - which was generally easy to navigate clear and concise, l registered online. It was a quick and easy process (almost too easy). You can however register by phoning them 0800 056 3983 and they will then send you a form to fill in and sign. I paid in full, but l believe it is also possible to pay in instalments, which might appeal to many people.
If you request or download the prospectus it has a list of the courses available and what is involved. Courses range from GCSE's, A levels, degrees and work based courses.
After l registered for my course and it was all accepted, it wasn't long before my pack arrived (a couple of weeks max). I was quite excited at all the new materials and eager to begin.
I wasn't sure exactly how it worked, and it all looked rather complicated, but l thought ld figure it out as l went along.
The GCSE Maths course, is mailed in 3 different lots. It comes in a very attractive ring binder, with rather confusing instructions to how the course works at the beginning and then your course materials further in the pack.
There seems to be only one maths course for both tiers, foundation and higher tier. This means that some of the work in the pack says for higher only.
I know that other home study courses provide separate courses for each tier, which l think is probably more practical.
The course materials themselves aren't explained very well at all. The materials follow the AQA syllabus. The course is flexible and you can take however long you like to complete the course, but be aware of the constant changes with the examination board, which may mean your course becomes outdated.
I have, on several occasions become so confused with the way the course materials are explained. Every time l pick the work up l am constantly having to ask my other half what they are talking about, which is very frustrating. Together it takes us so long to work out exactly what they are saying. My other half is really good at maths, but the materials are really poor, so it takes some time to be able to digest the information and make any learning progress.
Unfortunately l have never particularly enjoyed maths but this course has destroyed the little confidence l had in the subject and its become a stress rather than something l expected to enjoy.
The materials seem to touch on one subject briefly and then it skip to another subject... not helpful in the least.
Also their seems limited learning exercises to do. So l have had to spend a fortune with buying other books, just so l have more practice. When you think l have already spent nearly £300 on the course, its not really acceptable.
One of the good things is that the materials are well laid out, pretty clear - in the ability to read it clearly. There are pages to write notes and generally the presentation of the course is very good. The course is easy to find your way to different sections, and at the end of the sections are the answers to the exercises.
The online facilities are pretty poor too, the forums aren't really focused on your particular course so if your looking for help you can look again. I've had a look at them, but haven't really used them because they don't seem helpful. Their seems no particular forum for particular courses.
If your looking for a tutor, well forget being allocated a personal tutor who you can call upon whenever you need. It seems you have to contact ICS direct and they will then put you in touch with a tutor. This can be done online or with a form to post. To me it seems hard work, and rather complicated, just so you can speak to someone and ask for a little help. I've found that its easier to ask family and friends.
Of course the benefits of this course are that the course is flexible. One of the reasons l decided my best option was a home study course. But remember you only get a set amount of time where you are able to contact a tutor, for me this is 12 months.
After every block you have a little test. This requires you to fill in the paper and send it off. You don't get pre paid envelopes or any such luxuries. After l sent my test away to be marked, it was some weeks before l got my result. When l did get the result it was marked and the only comment on the paper was 'put a request in to speak to a tutor if you need'. Yes well they were very unhelpful as you can see.
It was then a couple of months later, when l received a random email telling me my test result.
The tests are merely to help you along with your learning, they do not reflect any final result. But l can honestly say l was not happy with the way they went about the test process. I already knew my mark because ld worked it out with my other half anyway, so l actually got nothing from sending my test result away, a waste of a stamp really.
In my opinion they were unorganised, took too long and were not at all helpful, what would have been nice would have been if a tutor had marked my paper and provided some useful feedback on the mistakes ld made.
To me it seems you are paying £300 for a ring binder full of information, where as you might be better buying a GCSE book from Waterstones. Because it seems this is all you really get for your money.
ICS have generally been efficient (other than my test paper) but not particularly helpful. It seems they do as little as they possibly can. It seems to me that its about the money and not about the learning experience which is rather sad. Rather than calling themselves a college its more a business.
In truth l really don't have a good word to say about ICS. However these are just my experiences, but I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole again. The materials are pretty poor and ICS in general seem rather hopeless.
I would not recommend studying with them. How anyone manages to study for a degree with them l will never know.
It seems a shame, because l think ICS have the potential to provide an excellent service. If only they put that bit more effort into helping their students.
I am not really shocked to see the negative reviews on Dooyoo with very low ratings. Im just sorry l didn't read them first, before l parted with the money to start the course.
The bucket list - (rating 12)
Last night l sat down with my other half to watch this film.
This is a film only review, l cannot comment on any of the other dvd features, just the film.
Jack Nicholson (Edward)
Morgan Freeman (Carter)
This is a film about how two lives collide. There are times in our lives when we meet someone and it changes our life for the better. This is the tale of two men Edward and Carter.
The film is a comedy drama, that is inspiring, sad, and has a highly emotional tale.
The story is about two very different people, with two very different characters. It is the differences between the two men that make their journey through the hardest time a person can face, so incredible.
The plot is quite simple, it tells the tale of two men from different walks of life, both are terminally ill, thrown together, quite unwillingly.
The film begins by giving us some insight into their different lives, and shows us how they both cross paths when they become ill.
The moment Edward is carried into the hospital and is put in a bed next to Carter, their lives cross, and the story begins.
Edward is not very happy to be sharing a room in hospital, and its interesting to see how he feels as a patient and not as a business man running the hospital that he owns. Edward is a bit of a bachelor, and always seems to have things his way, but when he gets sick everything changes and lessons have to be learnt.
Edward is a hard working wealthy man. His character is somewhat selfish, quite abrupt and in many instances down right rude, . (Im just glad l don't work in that hospital) Yet he appears somewhat vulnerable, and a loveable rogue.
In the beginning of the film we see how Edward fails to come to terms with his illness and shows a great deal of anger and we see how Carter offers some comfort.
Carter is quite the opposite to Edward, a gentle and polite man who has been married for many years, he has spent his life working hard to provide for his family, mean while missing out on dreams and opportunities.
It seems that in the lives of both these men their appears to be something missing, there is a deep sadness and it seems they only really have two options, to die wishing they had lived their last days to the full or to die with their heart open, knowing they have lived a fulfilled life.
Together they compile a bucket list -things they wish to do before they 'kick the bucket'.
The film is quite funny in places, and it sometimes feels wrong to laugh at their misfortune. But the film is supposed to be humorous. This is obviously completely intentional of the script writers and its actually quite inspirational, because it shows the spirit of the two characters. On many occasions the two characters are laughing at themselves.
Whilst the film covers some very deep and distressing themes, the films main focus is about 'living' This was touching to see how the script writers had combined such a distressing film with such enlightenment.
Anyway back to the plot.... together the two men take off, and set about crossing all the things they want to do off their bucket list. We follow them on their adventures, doing the most outrageous things, seeing the world and doing all the things they never thought they would
Its really nice to see how the friendship between the two men grows, and how they both become a little more like each other.
Its not all lightness and joy, some of the things on the list are tough to achieve. But together they seem to direct each other and show each other the way.
They learn about what is important in life and in those months they spend dieing they achieve so many wonderful things that some people never manage in a life time. For every thing that they accomplish, it seems to make them a little happier inside.
The good points and the bad
Ive mentioned quite a few of the good points, the fact its an inspirational and moving story. Other good points were the way Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman played the parts of the dieing men. Now l wouldn't think that this part is a particularly easy role to play, but they played it with such ease. There was a lot of emotion and even when Jack Nicholson tried to play the role of the big tough man, he showed the vulnerable Edward beneath. I think it was a very good performance from both characters and l applaud them for their roles, they showed such strength and depth to the characters.
There are a few gripes l have with the film. I found the film rather predictable and the material didn't really seem that new. I've seen other films with similar plots, and whilst l thoroughly enjoyed this film, nothing out of the ordinary really seemed to happened. My only other concern was that it seemed to deflect on the seriousness of cancer. I can understand that this really wasn't intentional as such, but l think for some viewers they might not find some of the scenes funny at all.
Even though l have seen films with similar plots, l think that this is probably the best of its kind. There were lots of sentiments throughout the film, and the film prompts viewers to question their own priorities in life. I like that... l like a film that makes you think.
Even though there are many humorous lines throughout the film, it is no doubt an upsetting film. The film deals with death, family relationships, grief, friendships and cancer.
I'm not really sure if anyone could watch this film and it not touch them in one way or another.
For my few little niggles lm going to give this film 4 stars!
Options Belgian hot chocolate
Why l chose Options Belgian hot chocolate?
I came across these individual hot chocolate sachets on a visit to Tesco's. I noticed that they were selling them four for a pound or aprox. 26p each and each one was less than 40 calories per drink.
I'm not sure why l chose the Belgian choc variety when l could have had a variety of other flavours. I suppose l was just drawn to this particular flavour, and l rather like Belgian chocolates.
The taste test
The great thing about these sachets is that all you need to do to prepare your drink is to boil some water.
When you have boiled your water simply add it to your cup/mug with your hot chocolate powder and make sure you stir well! You may find you need to stir for a couple of minutes.
Instantly you become aware of a very chocolaty aroma. Mmm it smells divine and rather strong and powerful.
Its advisable to let your drink cool a little before you drink it as you may end up burning your mouth. Its actually quite difficult to take time to let it cool, as it smells so good that you want to drink it straight away. But l recommend you wait.
On the taste test it is remarkable how creamy it tastes (remember we only added water, no milk). It really does taste as good as it smells. The taste is so chocolaty, in a milky chocolate way. Its not at all bitter, and perfectly sweet.
The mixture is quite thick which l like. It doesn't taste thin and watery like other brands l have tried in the past.
I am very impressed. It is better than l expected.
The colour of the drink is a milky chocolate colour, that looks, smells and tastes yummy. Best of all l can have one of these drinks and they are less than 40 calories each. This means that l get to fulfil my sweet cravings for a fraction of the calories that l would otherwise use on a chocolate bar or an alternative hot chocolate. Needless to say l am very happy to have found this little find.
So a couple of weeks later.... I am back in Tescos looking for my little sachets of treasure. I hunt and hunt and it seems they have all the other flavours, but not the flavour l want! Typical! So l settle for the double chocolate.
So again l try the taste test.... And l have to say it does not live up to the Belgian chocolate. Its much less creamy, much more watery, not so thick, doesn't smell so divine and if lm truly honest it's a bit of a let down. Its not horrid by any means, and if l hadn't tasted the Belgian chocolate flavour perhaps l would really like it, but no its definitely not in the league of the Belgian chocolate flavour that l now officially love.
So on my next shopping trip l go back to buying the Belgian chocolate flavour. I still have the double chocolate flavour in the cupboard, and every time l reach for a hot chocolate drink, l reach for the Belgian chocolate flavour.
For a real chocolately treat l would choose the Belgian chocolate flavour every time. Maybe l will get brave enough to try out some of the other flavours in the range.
My biggest criticism about my chocolaty treat is that because they manage to keep the calories so low, but still deliciously sweet, they use Aspartame. Aspartame is a sweetener that has been liked to a whole host of illnesses such as cancer. It doesn't hugely surprise me to find it in this product, but it is a little annoying, and means that l wouldn't want to drink this product too often.
I don't always list ingredients but in this case l thought its worth letting you know exactly what you would be drinking should you choose to buy this product.
Fat reduced cocoa powder
Dried glucose syrup
Skimmed milk powder
Whole milk powder
Salt (seems to get everywhere)
This product is gluten free and does actually contain.... REAL Belgian chocolate. Must be why its so tasty. But unfortunately its not suitable for vegetarians.
Other flavours in the range are:
Outrageous orange, wicked white, tempting toffee, cracking hazelnut, ooh la la vanilla, mint madness, Caribbean coconut, double chocolate and go bananas.
I bought this product because l wanted something low calorie but sweet too, l found what l was looking for and was pleasantly supprised. I highly recommend this product, it makes a superb drink.
(Apparently you can buy this flavour in a big jar, but lm yet to see it)
Hot uk deals
I am reviewing the website www.hotukdeals.com
A few years ago l stumbled upon this useful website.
Hot Uk deals is a website that lists all offers seen and heard, around the UK. It relies on us (the public) to list offers that we have seen. This might be an offer you have seen online, in the paper or somewhere else. If you think you have seen a good offer then hot uk deals is the place to list it . Consumers can then take advantage of the offers seen and save some pennies. Best of all... its free to use!
I have used this website on several occasions now and it has helped me to receive some fantastic offers.
Some of the offers we have used that we have seen listed on the site, have been free tickets to a local cinema screening - Law abiding Citizen. This was a lovely little freebie, giving us two free tickets to the cinema.... Great stuff.
We were also contemplating getting a new TV when we saw that Sony were selling 40'' Sony Bravia LCD hd ready TV's for £499. It was a limited deal.... But we snapped it up right away.
Then a friend told us that Sainsburys and Morrisons were selling the latest call of duty for £26 on the PS3 (Im not a gamer, but my other half is). Not only did this help us but also our family and friends who also wanted the game... and it was all thanks to Hot uk deals.
Using the site and registering
The site lists deals, freebies, items to sell and competitions. The website is pretty easy to navigate by your interests, for eg. electricals or home items. It's a simple case of clicking by your interest at the top of the page and navigating your way to your chosen subject.
If you were to click onto 'deals' or any of the headings, then the latest listed deals will be listed first.
To list offers you have seen you need to register. It works as a forum, people list an offer and you can then submit your thoughts and tell them how useful the offer was and if it works etc. You can also rate each offer as hot or cold, you can instantly see how hot or cold an offer is, which helps you to decide whether or not to take advantage of that particular offer.
Most people using the site tend to be genuine, and l've never noticed a lot of trouble on the site, although lm sure they have their share.
There also appears to be a place to sell things or trade items. I cannot really comment on how well this area works as l have never used it. But its worth a look.
To register onto the website, and post offers or comments, you have to agree to the forum rules, then it's a quick process of giving username, password, email address etc. Its quite a simple and a standard process to sign up, you then receive an email and need to follow the link (l received the email instantly) to activate your account.
When you have logged in to your account, you have a few more permissions, such as sending private messages, a bit like you can here on the wonderful dooyoo. You can pick an avatar, make an interesting profile, all the usual things you may do on a forum.
The website also has search facilities so you can search for something particular. I often check the latest offers on this website because they can be really handy. Its also useful to search the website before going out and spending a fortune on an item, you never know when there might be an offer on that little something that you need to buy.
The website itself is pleasant enough in appearance, its pretty simplistic to be honest, its basic and quite dull, but it does the job, and its easy to navigate.
There 'shouldn't' be any spam on the site, and there doesn't tend to be any annoying advertisements, which is always a bonus
This website will be of particular interest with the start to the run up to Christmas. All kinds of things are listed, food offers, restaurant deals, offers on cds, dvds, sometimes free tracks, Offers on games, electrical goods, the list is endless. I will continue to keep checking back. I am always keen on a bargain!
I wouldn't say the website is the greatest in terms of appearance. But its functional and pretty easy to use. You may check the site and find nothing of interest, but it seems it is worth keeping your eye on this website as you never know what offers might get listed. They often give you codes for certain offers. So all in all l highly recommend this website, and if you do visit the website then l hope it proves as useful to you as it has been to us.
The Brave one
(Rating 18) (2007)
(film only review)
Jodie Foster as Erica Bain
Terrence Howard as Sean Mercer
Naveen Andrews as David Kirmani
Jodie Foster is the leading character in this thought provoking film. She plays a very happy and successful woman, called Erica Bains, who is madly in love with her partner, David Kirmani who she is about to marry.
Everything seems perfect for the radio presenter who lives in the centre of New York, and it seems life couldn't be any better, that is until the events of one fateful day unfold.
Walking through a city park with partner David and their dog, they enjoy an evening stroll, when the dog disappears out of sight.
After some time shouting for the dog to return, the dog appears along side a gang of youths holding the dogs lead and shouting abuse. At first it appears that perhaps the youths just want money or material goods, but then you realise that all the youths are really interested in is a fight.
Erica and her partner are both fiercely attacked by the gang and are both seriously hurt. It is some weeks later until Erica finally awakes up in hospital, there she is to be told that her beloved David is dead. As one would imagine this is unthinkable, and how does anyone get past this and return to living their life?
It is when Erica wakes that the real story begins. Erica has to learn to live again. Petrified of the outside world and of her own shadow, every slight noise or movement leaves Erica in a state of sheer panic.
Erica decides that the only way she can move forward is to protect herself with a gun. I don't think it was her intention to get drawn into a world of crime like she does, but the story follows her as she decides to take the justice system into her own hands.
Becoming this new person gives Erica a new confidence to survive, and shuts away her fragile inner self. Prehaps this is easier than facing the real demons inside.
Erica is confused and ashamed of who she has become, but finding it difficult to break the cycle, traumatised by the events that have happened to her, she finds herself in a twisted chain of events.
Erica spends her time on her radio show, a show where she is able to air her fears about the city. She finds herself interviewing detective Mercer on the show. Slowly a friendship forms between the two, as events unfold and the truth reveals itself.
This film can be pretty horrific at times, possibly not a film for more sensitive viewers. There was plenty of blood and gore in the beginning of the film, and the attack was rather graphic. To the point l had to turn away (l will point out that l hate violent films), however this part of the film was short lived and it was probably the emotional issues that were most distressing.
It was quite distressing and rather a depressing film throughout. It's a film that preys on the viewers vulnerability to capture and grip the viewers attention. I think the attack was particularly well filmed, its easy to imagine something similar happening locally, to someone close.
The film has an interesting way of helping you to understand the difficulties Erica faces. The film allowed you to put yourself in Erica's shoes and to feel her pain. So it's a highly emotional film. This is why it is an 18 rating, definitely not suitable for younger viewers, because it needs to be viewed with maturity and empathy that younger viewers cannot give the film.
I'm sure there are times when we all feel that the Justice system isn't enough, but Erica goes one step further and takes it into her own hands. Erica doesn't believe her attackers will be caught, and if they were to be caught would the punishment be enough?
I thought Jodie played the part really well, she showed lots of varied emotion. She also demonstrated a cold demeanour that her traumatic experiences seemed to create, but there was still a weakness within her, l never felt that she was a really bad person, just very mixed up and confused. It felt to the viewer, like a huge part of her being had died with the death of her partner, this came across well.
My only criticism would be that it seemed a little unrealistic that Erica should find herself involved in the chain events that occurred. She seemed to have a string of bad luck, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This seemed a little far fetched.
On the whole the film was rather good. It was fairly gripping throughout. It's a film l would highly recommend and will probably watch again.
(2 hours 2 mins long)
The Kite runner - Khaled Hosseini's
The kite runner is a sensational read. Had l not had this book bought for my birthday, l would never have read this book. In reading this book it has opened my eyes and quite possibly broadened my scope of reading material.
This is the first novel, written by Khaled Hosseini who was born in Afghanistan, and sought political asylum in the USA with his family in the 1980's. The author has used his knowledge and experience to write this book and in doing so, much of the story feels very real indeed.
The story is fiction. At first l was worried the book might be too political for me to enjoy. How wrong could l be. Whilst the book covers some very complex issues, the story is less about the circumstances and more about the impact it has on the lead characters, and the relationships between the characters.
When l received this book as a gift, ld heard the title before. Id heard the title because it has been made into a film, which l havent yet seen. I didn't know a huge amount about the story line, but l decided then and there that l would read the book and then watch the film. A friend had told me how good the film was, so l just hoped the book would be as good.
The plot is simply mind blowing, it really is, it covers so much in such a small book. Having said that, the book isn't particularly small in size, but the events that happen within the book could easily be contained within a much bigger read lm sure.
The story follows the childhood of a young boy by the name of Amir living in Kabul. Amir lives with his wealthy father, after his mother died after childbirth, and they live on a big estate, with their servant ( a friend of the family) and the servants son Hassan.
Amir and Hassan grow up almost as brothers but never on equal terms. Hassan is a Hazara and lives a very different world, not the life of luxury that Amir experiences. Hassan can never receive the respect that Amir gains. But together they play and grow, share a happy childhood and a special bond, with Hassan always looking up to Amir and Amir always wishing he was a bit more like Hassan.
Amir is jealous of the relationship between Hassan and his father. A jealousy that seems to put great tension on the relationship Amir has with his father.
Things go wrong one fateful day, and the idyllic relationship between the two boys goes dreadfully wrong. After the events of that day things change forever.
Can Amir ever leave his past behind? Tortured by that dreadful day, the truth tears Amir apart, but there is no time for pitying oneself, the Russians invade, and Amir and his father flee to America. But Amir is haunted by his past, and cannot seem to escape the life he left behind.
Betrayal, lies, love, war, suffering, friendship and redemption are the key themes within this book. Any reader would find it very difficult not to shed a tear.
The emotion l felt when reading this book was immense.
Of course the story does not end there, but l will not divulge any more information. You will just have to read it and find out for yourself.
At the beginning of the book l admit l was unsure if it would be a book for me, but then l got hooked. So l suggest if your not sure at first keep reading.
I was soon gripped by the powerful story-line, the depth of the story and the way its written, getting a sense of life in Afghanistan.
On occassions l felt like l wanted to know more, that some of the issues were not given quite as much time as l felt they needed. On the whole I would say the book is written very well, and their were several points in the book that left me guessing what happens next.
I think over recent years western society has become rather interested and intrigued into life in Afghanistan, and l think, this book helps to give us the opportunity to understand their culture and customs.
This is a book l shall not be throwing away, it's a book that l expect will sit on my shelf for quite a while. I could not part with this book. Its inspiring and without a doubt it has hit a chord within me, it has touched my life and just changed my perspective a little.
If you are someone who gets very upset, then it might be best you avoid this book. It is very powerful. The book is generally pretty easy to read, although there are a few bits refering to customs and war etc, that l wasn't always hugely familiar with.
However the more you read the more it all seems to make sense.
I cannot recommend this book enough, however this is not a light hearted read, so a word of caution to younger readers and those easily upset.
*I would think that you would be able to buy this book from all good book stores.
Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day. It's the fuel to get you started in the morning, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. But the benefits of breakfast doesn't end there, it apparently starts off your metabolism, so helps your body eat away at those calories. Most breakfast cereals are quite filling, because they contain huge amounts of carbohydrates. This allows them to stop the hunger pains, and makes an ideal snack.
Having said all this, l shall confess, l am not a great breakfast eater. I usually wake up feeling nauseous so facing food in the morning is a no-no. But lately l've tried to be really good, and face my cereal demons. The main reason for this is due to the fact lm trying to lose a few pounds, too many treats has led to my weight slowly creeping up.
So my chosen cereal was Wheetabix, which l got on with quite well, but then we decided to try Tesco's value brand of their similar product - Wheat Biscuits. We decided to try these mainly because they were a little cheaper, infact , they cost about 75p which is quite a bit cheaper than we usually pay, especially price versus quantity.
Packaging and nutritional info.
The packaging of the product is like all of their value products, it is less than desirable, basic and rather boring in a simple cardboard box.
But personally the packaging is not a huge problem for me. It allows Tesco's to keep costs to a minimum, which is fine with me.
This box contains 36 wheat biscuits in a relatively small box.
On the front of the packaging it has nutritional contents, 2 biscuits with 125 ml of semi skimmed milk contains 170 calories, 7g sugar, 2.9g fat, a.5g saturates and 0.3g salt.
The product contains, wheat, sugar, salt, Barley malt extract. So it's a rather simple and the product is best kept sealed and in a cool dry place.
On appearance these look rather different to other similar products l've tried and tested. They are much smaller than Wheetabix. Two of these would not feed me for a significant amount of time, whilst two wheetabix probably would. Each biscuit looks flaky and the flakes of wheat are much bigger than l am used to. They are much more crumbly and break very easily. As l dip my head to look in the box l see a large amount of wheat crumbs, which are completely useless..... Where's my wheat biscuits? It appears that half of them are missing because they have fallen apart.
They wont be getting top marks from me on appearance.
The taste test
So my usual ritual of eating this type of thing is to add my cereal, heat the milk, add a little sugar (naughty l know) and there you go... sorted.
With this cereal however, what looked like a decent enough sized breakfast disappeared into a small brown sticky, lumpy mess.
The big crumbly flakes seem to absorb the milk and make it into some kind of sticky gluey mess, so gluey in fact that l need to add more milk.
The taste is okay, but the taste is not what l am used to, perhaps this is due to the texture, and the fact the product is highly diluted in milk, due to the fact l needed to add so much. They seem a lot more lumpy than other brands, and whilst in some respects the taste is largely similar to other similar products, the fact that the texture is all wrong just ruins my breakfast. I end up just eating it for eating its sake, l do not enjoy this cereal, it becomes more of a hassle to eat and prepare, because l am unsure of how much milk is too much and how much is not enough.
Would l buy again?
The product probably is cheaper than alternatives, but its not as cheap as you may think. The size of each individual biscuit is much smaller to alternative brands, so when you read 36 biscuits for 75p at first you may think, bargain, but when you actually see how small they are, and how flaky and crumbly they are you realise that they are probably not as good value as you thought. For me, l definitely think paying the little bit extra for a product you will enjoy is worth it.
Both me and my partner do not like the texture at all. They taste similar to other wheat cereal, but as l said l needed to drowned mine in milk before l could eat it.
Im not saying l could never eat these ever again, but l am saying next time l visit the supermarket l will pay the extra for something l know l am going to enjoy.
In my opinion this is one of Tescos value products which lets their value brand down.
After a really busy summer, l am finally finding the time to sit down and write a review.... Its been a while and l've missed you guys.
Myself and my other half have had birthdays, another year older now, but trying not to think about that. But we are richer in CD's, so l may have a few music reviews for you lined up.
This is the first one La Roux, this was a birthday gift for me. So here l will let you know what l think...enjoy....
This CD comes in a fairly attractive plastic case, featuring a picture of Elly Jackson from la Roux. You can see from the picture that Elly Jackson has a pretty unique style, and funky hair. You know straight away from just a glance at the CD that this CD offers something else for the listener, and it's quite nice to see music a little different and someone venturing on new territory.
My copy had a couple of stickers on the case. The first sticker tells me which hits are on the disk and the second tells me the CD is Barclaycard mercury prize album of the year, hmm so does this mean it's a good album?
Well having listened to the CD a fair few times l like it, ld go as far as saying l love it!! Having said that, the hit Bulletproof is always going to be my favourite track on the album. This track is catchy and rather superior to anything else on the album in my opinion. But l love this song, so the album has a lot to compete with this great single.
I have a friend who cannot stand La Roux, apparently it's the squeaky voice. For me this just adds to the quirkiness of the album. l cannot dispute the fact her voice is a little squeaky at times, but l like that. This album is a bit 80's (actually a lot 80's), or it at least has elements that remind me of music in the 80's, not that l remember much about the 80's, lm an 80's child!
What l absolutely love about La roux is its different! It has an element of fun and light heartedness to the album regardless of the content of the lyrics.
It's a fun album to listen to. The lyrics are catchy and flow together well, lines like, 'lm going in for the kill, lm doing it for the thrill, lm hoping you'll understand and not let go of my hand'. Catchy, and some of the songs you only have to hear once and you will feel like you've known the song forever. Possibly annoying when you hear that song and simply cannot get it out of your head.
There are a couple of disadvantages to the album, a couple of perhaps weaker tracks like there are on most albums, and l suppose a lot of the songs on the album are very similar. Personally it didn't bother me with this album, as l enjoy the unique sound. For me it didn't spoil it. Its possibly an album l will listen to again and again until l get bored of it and never pick it up again. However for now lm loving the sounds of the album.
The electrical sounds of the bouncy quirky music go perfectly with the unique sounding voice of La roux.
La Roux are a London based group with the sounds of electro-pop which are very distinctive. Possibly sounds that wont appeal to everyone. Its never going to be voted most sophisticated album of the year. But theres definitely talent there, most of the tracks are written by the Elly Jackson and Ben Langraid, both of which make up La Roux along with supporting band members.
There are 12 tracks in total
Tracks listed are:
In for the Kill
lm not your toy
Cover my eyes
As if by magic
Reflections are protection
Armour of love
Growing pains (bonus track)
My favourite tracks on the album are *in for the kill * *quicksand* *Bulletproof* *lm not your toy* and *Cover my eyes*
The first half of the album appears to have all the hits and is probably the better half of the CD the second half is growing on me.
It may be different, but l like it, its well worth a listen!
Check out www.laroux.co.uk
I am no expert when it comes to Dooyoo, and whilst we have some extremely good professional writers on Dooyoo, l am certainly not one of these and never will be.
However, l don't really think that you need to have this standard of review for it to be a good review that will be useful to other people.
I would say that l have read a fair few very poor standard reviews on Dooyoo, l've read some average reviews, and l've read some pretty amazing reviews.
So now l thought l would highlight in my opinion what makes a good review... so sit tight and l hope this may help someone out there, particularly new members.
* Remember this is just my opinion
[Use your opinion]
Okay well firstly and probably the thing that annoys me the most, is when reviews have hardly any opinion in a review. Of course we need some details about the product. But be analytical, tell us how it felt, why you liked it, why you didn't? whether you would use it again.. Etc. I think in a decent review you need to tell dooyoo why we would or wouldn't like the product, to help us decide whether we should or shouldn't buy this product. I would prefer too much opinion rather than too little.
[ Be critical]
Majority of the better reviews detail both the good and the bad points of a product or service.
So you really liked the product and you'd buy it again, but were there any bad points at all? If so tell us... they may not matter a huge amount to you, but to another consumer it may mean they hate the product. So give us as much information possible so we can make an informed decision as to whether or not we wish to buy the product.
[Length of review]
No one can possibly make an informed decision about whether to buy a product if they have read a review with a couple of sentences with hardly any information and detail in the review. Likewise reviews that are too long, and are repetitive, are unlikely to hold the reader. Please do not think because you are writing a really long review that its automatically going to be good review, because it doesn't work that way. Length doesn't hugely matter if everything needed is included. Different reviews will require differing amounts of information, so some may be expected to be longer.
[ reviews the reader can understand]
Using language and grammer no one understands makes it difficult for it to be a good review. I have read a few reviews with great detail in the review, but its such hard work to actually read the review, that the review cannot possibly be very useful. I understand some people choose dooyoo to help with their English, and whilst it's a great idea, any review which is hard to understand may not be rated very highly. So expect lower ratings.
Also we all make mistakes, so l recommend using a spell checker and reading through your work before posting. I don't expect to read a perfect review, but whilst l don't others do unfortunately.
[ reviewing a product you know little about]
I hate reviews people write of a product they tried and tested once 6 years ago. How can you possibly remember accurately? Besides products change, so these reviews are really not useful to me.. Sorry!
[Badly structured reviews]
Its important to write a review that flows properly and a jumbled review which goes from one thing to another and then back to another can get really confusing. So l think its important to have some kind of layout and order in your review. A lot of the better reviews are very well structured into sections, and this makes it a lot easier for the reader to read and understand.
[put effort into your reviews]
There are people on Dooyoo that put a lot of effort into their reviews, and it is noticeable. There are others that write a quick review that shows little thought has been put into the review. Whilst l doubt anyone on dooyoo expects you to put days and weeks of work into your review (most of us have lives outside of dooyoo), it is expected that reviews show at least some effort has been made with reviews. Its not a bad idea to research your product, so you can offer consumers a little more information on a product. Think about the things you would like to know about a product before buying, what would you like to have known before testing the product.
[Have a little fun]
Personally l like a review with a bit of character. I say have fun on dooyoo, you will never please every reader, so just do the best you can. If it's a review you think you would enjoy reading, then lm sure others out there will too!
Im sure l could find more to add to my list, but for me these are the essentials for writing a good review on Dooyoo. I hope this might help someone think about how they might be able to improve their reviews.
Handle with care
I think l could probably write an essay on this book, but l won't. There are so many controversial issues within this book and overall l would say Jodi Picoult handled them with care and dealt with the very sensitive issues this book deals with, incredibly well.
Many of the issues in this book were highly researched, and you can tell this by the incredible detail and accuracy that Jodie details in the story.
I've never read a huge amount of Jodi Picoult. But the themes surrounding this book intrigued me. What l didn't expect was to be gripped quite so much. I think most people would find this book a highly engaging read.
The book does have faults, its certainly not faultless, but l think behind the faults there is a point to why things happen the way they do, for this reason this book challenges your beliefs, it questions your morals and helps you to understand why things happen the way they do and essentially what is important in life.
The book is written in chapters that are spoken by each person involved in the story. One of the main characters Charlotte, is fanatical about cooking. Jodi Picoult decides to use recipes as an analogy for the story. This worked okay, and l can see her point, and the relevance, but l got a bit bored by some of the recipes, especially towards the end.
I will attempt to be brief here, l do not want to ruin the story, l just want to give you an idea of how the story flows, if you wish to know what actually happens you will just have to read this book for yourself.
The story follows a family. Charlotte has one daughter from a disastrous previous relationship, when her best friend Piper sets her up with a police officer called Sean. Immediately they click and a relationship begins.
Charlotte and Sean get married. They then decide to try for a baby and after a few problems, they turn to Piper, Charlottes best friend to help. Piper is a obstetrician, she seems a little nervous at helping Charlotte and Sean- that careful divide between personal and professional relationships. But as a close friend Piper is desperate to see them both happy, so she agrees.
Before long Charlotte finds herself pregnant, she is over the moon. She later finds out that her daughter has a rare condition OI - osteogenesis imperfecta.
This is a condition that causes a persons bones to break very easily, without much cause, breaking can occur after a sneeze or even a cough.
At this point charlotte is really too late to have the option of aborting the child.
Willow is born broken... a beautiful child, that needs a lifetime of gentle care. Whilst Sean is out making enough money to support the needs of his family, Charlotte is full time carer to Willow. Her other daughter Amelia, is in the sidelines often getting neglected and wishing desperately to be noticed.
Charlotte and Sean discover that if they sue Piper for wrongful birth, not noticing that there was a problem sooner, they can put an end to the struggle and give willow the life she deserves. In doing this they have to say that given the option of abortion Willow would never have been born. Whilst charlotte believes she could do this if it meant giving willow a better life Sean cannot.
The family breaks and breaks until it seems impossible to break anymore and friendships are put to the greatest test.
[Important themes within the book]
The story focuses on each individual person in each chapter. Charlotte can seem cold and calculated at times, but l think essentially l understand her. She simply wants to give everything she possibly can to Willow. As the only person with Willow all day every day Charlotte understands willow better than anyone else can.
Willow is a lovely character, desperate to have all the things she cannot have. Willow is the only one in the family able to deal with her disability.
She manages to see all that glitters in life when no one else can.
The story deals with
So there are some really intense issues surrounding this book.
This obviously isn't a happy story, and although its fairly easy to read, its certainly not a light read. I got very upset and emotional at one point. it's a very involving read that really pulls at the heart strings, you really want to jump into the book and help the characters. Certainly not a book you can put down and forget about. I also wouldn't recommend this as a holiday read.
I like the way you are able to identify with each individual character and you are able to relate to each individual person and how they felt at each given time.
The story was rather sad, having said that there were a few hints throughout the story that the ending might happen the way it did. I think the author ended the story in such a sudden way for a reason, and whilst to some extent it worked. It left you with many unanswered questions, and it left the reader wanting more. I didn't like the ending very much and think that it could have been dealt with in a better way.
I get the impression that this is what Jodi Picoult wanted, she wants the reader to go away and answer the questions ourselves, but l still felt l wanted more from the ending of this book.
Regardless of the poor ending, l really enjoyed reading this book, it gave me many questions to answer in my own life, l like that. I like how the author made the reader think, question and challenge their own thoughts.
I'd definitely recommend this book to other readers, and l think that this is a book that many different people could read and learn a great deal from.
I would imagine that you could buy this book from most good book shops.
Highly recommended read!!