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We have a Kia Rio 2 which is the same as the Rio with additional extras. We bought the Rio 2 mainly because it was cheaper per month than the car we previously owned and comes with a great 7 year manufacturers warranty, which no other car manufacturer offers, to the best of my knowledge. This gives the owner piece of mind.
The Rio is a fairly spacious 5 door hatchback and comes with a good sized boot, which includes a luggage net to keep your items in place. The vehicle is spacious and has plenty of headroom, front and rear. The seats are velour trimmed and fairly comfortable for longer journeys.
It has a manual gear box which has smooth gear selection. There is also a gear select indicator above the instrument cluster, as gear changes in this vehicle are lower than most vehicles, eg 5th gear is around 38mph. This function is designed to give the most efficient fuel economy.
In car entertainment includes an mp3 auxillary usb portal and a radio/cd player with clear sound. There are storage pockets behind both the drivers and front passenger seats to store items such as kids books, magazines, umbrellas etc. There are also two spacious front door pockets to store cd's etc, as well as a large glove box.
The Rio is an easy drive and after owning one for 2 years, i can honestly say we have not had any problems with it. It is a good family car and very nippy in my opinion. A good buy, and very efficient.
Candles make a room seem cosier. Add a fragrance to the candle, and the room becomes cosy and welcoming. Fragranced candles are an essential in my home, and my mother and brother, always buy me a Yankee Candle for Christmas and birthdays, which i consider a special treat.
I was lucky enough to receive a Large 623g jar Warm Spice Yankee Candle for Christmas. The candle comes in a thick sturdy jar, with a thick bulbuos lid, and has a grip tight rubber ring inside the lid that firmly holds it in place, when not in use.
Warm Spice combines vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar together to give the most wonderful wintery, christmassy smell which fills the room with a homely smell, akin to a nice cinammon and vanilla loaf. I normally light the candle for about an hour, because the fragrance fills the room and lasts a good while after the candle has been put out.
I have had my Warm Spice candle since Christmas day, and i have lit it on about 8 different occassions since then, and there is still about 50% of the candle left. They do last a long time and provide hours, and hours of beautiful scent. My family and friends always comment, as soon as they step into my living room, because the strength of the fragrance is evident on entering the room.
The glass jars do become very hot though, especially as the candle wears down. Because the jar is large, the candle is constantly burning inside it so please keep them at a height where children cannot reach them whilst they are burning, and later cooling down. You will need long lighter, maybe a gas cooker style lighter for when the contents have gone below half full.
Yankee Candles are expensive in my view, but well worth it, because the fragrance is strong and long lasting, and the candle lasts so much longer than most makes, and with the Warm Spice Candle, it is a warming and homely smell that gives off a sense of calmness. This candle can be used all year round. Treat yourself.
Last year, I joined a certain slimming club which meant i needed to re-visit my eating habits. Alot of the recipies included soups, made from a variety of vegetables. I like a smooth soup, and decided to buy a blender.
Never having used a blender before, I decided to go for a reasonably priced one and opted for the Tesco Value Hand Blender, at around £8 when i bought it. The blender comes in 2 parts. One part is the motor and the other is the attachment. To assemble, you simply push the attachement against the motor and rotate the motor to lock them together. There is an arrow on the base and when it is opposite the lock icon, the blender is then locked into position.
Three speed switch.
The speed you choose will depend on the volume of food to be blended, and if the food you are blending is very soft or a little harder. I normally use it on th 1st speed setting, which blends about 2 litres of soup in about a minute. If the blender is run at full speed, which is speed setting 3, then it can only be used for 1 minute. After each use, the blender should then rest for 3 minutes before using it again, to give the motor time to cool down a little.
On Off Switch
This speaks for itself. It is located just under the 3 speed switch at the top of the blender.
The Motor is central in the top half of the blender
The Blender Stem lies in the bottom half together with the blade
Voltage Rating 220-240V, 50Hz
Power Consumption 200W
Net Weight 0.75kg
As this is hand held, it is important that the food is placed in a large bowl or pan etc to avoid splashing over the top of the container. Also make sure that the container is on a steady, even surface. It is very easy to hold. I simply place the belnder in the food before switching it on and hey presto it turns my bowl full of cooked vegetables into a smooth soup within a minute.
The blender does what it says on the box and is a good way of saving money on a cheaper product, if you don't tend to blend food all the time.
Full instructions come with the blender on how to assemble, use and clean it. The product is covered by a 12 month warranty from the date that it is purchased.
The product is a good buy for light use.
I came across L'oreal Infallible foundation one afternoon in work. A group of us were going for a meal after work and I had cleansed my face, ready to pop on my foundation, only to found I had forgotton it. My colleague very kindly lent me her Infallible foundation.
I am usually quite fussy about what i put on my face, because my skin is very sensitive and i do get numerous red, blotchy patches on my skin. However, choice was not an option this particular day. The foundation comes in a pump action glass bottle and is very easy to get out of the bottle. It comes in a variety of shades and currently retails at about £12.99, and is available in high street shops such as Boots and Superdrug. Quite often, L'oreal have 3 for 2 offers in stores, so worth stocking up on. It comes in a 30ml bottle.
L'Oreal say it lasts up to 16 hrs but it does need touching up during the day. What i love about this make up, is the fact that it gives a very even finish and gives the skin a bit of a glow and a smooth feeling. Coverage is very good and it doesn't transfer on to your clothing, which is an added bonus. One complaint. Because it is a pump action foundation, you will never be able to use 100% of the contents unless you break open the bottle, which is nigh on impossible, so there will be some wastage at the bottom of the bottle.
The label on the back of the foundation is very difficult to read, as the writing is extremely small. All in all, this is a great foundation, which i would recommend.
Christmas has come and gone and like so many homes in Britain, ours has the obligatory tin of Quality Street, which is always bought for for visitors, but mostly eaten by myself.
Quality Street is made by Nestle. The Quality Street tin which is Hexagonal in shape, comes with an assortment of milk and dark chocolate and toffees inside, with different coloured wrappers for each kind of goodies, together with a small leaflet showing the variety of sweets contained within the tin. The wrapper gives a brief description of the contents. The great thing about the tins, is the contents being so plentiful. There are plenty of sweets to share around with all your friends and family and most people love chocolate. They are great value at Christmas with a tin being bought for around £5 in most supermarkets as they always seem to go on special offer around this time. They are perfect for gifts for mums and all chocolate lovers alike.
The chocolates and toffees inside are:
Milk chocolate block, Caramel Swirl, Green Triangle, Orange Creme, Coconut Eclair, Toffee Finger, Orange Chocolate Crunch, The Purple One (my personal favourite), Strawberry Delight, Toffee Deluxe, Toffee Penny and Fudge. Each of the different delights are recognisable from the colour of the wrapper. There is normally an even amount of each of the treats.
Quality Street contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and no hydrogenated vegetable oils. The tin and the contents of the tin can be recycled, but the tin can always be saved for storage purposes. I tend to use mine to house my first aid box.
The base of the tin contains lots of information on how to recycle, together with nutritional information and even contact information and the web address for nestle. All in all, the tin is great value and let's face it, chocolates, especially a variey, make people very happy.
Before HTC, i had never used a touch screen phone, and when purchasing the HTC Desire S on my vodphone contract, I relied totally on my partner to show me the ropes. It didn't take too long for me to discover the joys of the HTC Desire S. Firstly, it is a handy size to fit into my bag, which is important for a woman. The phone comes with a full user guide built in to th phone and there is more than one home screen so applications can be kept on the home screens of your choosing for easy access just by swiping left to right.
All the contents of the HTC can be accessed through the settings application, where the phone can be personalized to your liking, including a range of wallpapers, skins and widget to show your favourite content on the home screen. Wireless and networks, call, sound, display, accounts and sync, location, search and privacy sections are all within the Settings app.
The screen is sharp and crisp and the brightness can be adjusted to your liking as well as screen timeout and a flash LED light for notifications, all found within the Display section of the Settings app. It comes with an inbuilt front facing, 5 mega pixels camera with auto focus and LED flash, and a camcorder which gives excellent picture and sound quality, with sharp clean video footage.
Numerous apps are included, such as flashlight, fm radio, news, navigation, soundhound, and reader, amongst many others. The reader is fabulous, because it includes books already built into the phone. Downloading new applications is an easy process and they do download fairly quickly. With built in GPS it is excellent for people on the go.
I downloaded double twist onto the phone for playing my Mp3's and the sound quality is excellent. Ear phones are provided which are of suitable quality.
I do like that the phone can store not only contacts phone numbers, but offers easy editing to change numbers etc. I have a couple of gripes with the HTC Desire S. One is the battery. I find i am charging it virtually every day. If accessing the internet, the battery runs down very quickly. When switching the telephone off, it can take up to 4 minutes for it to turn back on to the home screen.
All in all though, i enjoy this phone. I am sure there are lots of aspects of the contents of the phone that i have not covered in this review as i tend to use only those i need, and have not delved into alot of the contents of the phone. I would, however, recommend it.
This review will also be available on ciao under flashjules123
I received a KitVision 7th Digital Photo Frame as a Christmas present and was very chuffed to receive it. More often than not, we like to display family photos around the home, but with little space, and with me liking a minimalist look, this present is ideal for showing your favourite pictures digitally all on the one screen.
The photo frame allows you to select one static image, or a continual slide show of all the images you have uploaded to the frame. There is a built in memory card reader so just pop your usb drive or a card reader in the side of the frame and upload the pictures you want. A camera, internet connection or computer is not required. Select how you would like the pictures to be displayed. A selection of buttons on the top of the frame will allow you to select pictures in a thumbnail format. From here you can select them individually and follow the instructions in the user manual provided to save the picture to your frame. It is wise to follow the instructions carefully because at first it does seem a little complicated for saving etc but after a few practices it does click in the mind.
Kitvision comes with a stand and a mains adaptor. I love this present as it displays lots of my memories in one place and the photos can be changed whenever you feel like it. The pictures are very clear and colourful and it is a talking point when visitors come. They make an ideal present for anyone and i understand they are available from many retail stores, including Argos and online on Amazon and other websites.
7" TFT panel
Resolution: 480 x 234
Input voltage: AC110-240V (50-60HZ)
Compatible with Jpeg file format
3 in 1 card reader supports SD/MMC/MS Pro/Duo/Pro Duo (Mini/microSD & Memory Stick micro (M2) are also supported when used with an adaper (not supplied)
Supports up to 8 Mega Pixel jpeg files
Slide show display mode
I Bought this shaver for Christmas for my partner who insists on a very close shave. He previously had a shaver that involved pouring conditioning cream into it and this was so costly as the cream was costing more than the shaver itself in the end. He wanted a wet/dry shaver which was easy to use and gave him a close, easy and comfortable shave. I chose the Philips Senso Touch 2D because it seemed to fit the bill.
It has lived up to my partners expectations and so far he is very happy with it. The shaver has 3 pivoting heads which also tilt in and out, perfect for following the contours of the face. It is ideal for someone with sensitive skin as my partner does have this type of skin. It offers smooth, low-friction skin glide which minimises skin irritation. Fully sealed it can be used for a dry or wet shave. It has dual precision cutting slots and holes to catch the shortest of hairs.
The product is cordless and requires 1 hour of charging time, with up to 50 minutes shaving time from 1 charge, providing about 12-15 shaves per charge. It comes with a precision trimmer for sideburns and a goaty. There is also a travel pouch and a charging stand.
The shaver comes with a 2 year world wide guarantee and is recommended by Colin. I bought it in Boots at hafl the recommended price. The cost to me was £74.99, well worth it because he loves it! This review is also available on doyoo under flashjules123
When a person lives to eat, rather than eating to live then a variety of the World's cusine under one roof is always a good thing. I recently visited the Red Hot World Buffer and Bar in Liverpool whilst on a christmas shopping trip with my daughter.
Based in Liverpool One, in the city centre, and tucked away in a corner of the main restaurant/eatery section of the area, i have to say i was most impressed. It is a large restaurant, and it was about half full when we arrived at about 5.45pm on a Wednesday evening. As soon as we arrived, we were shown to a table and the very helpful waiter asked if we had been before. My daughter had, but i hadn't, so he provided me with lots of information on where i could find all the different foods and how i could help myself as often as i wanted to all the delights on display. He also explained that there were chefs behind some of the areas so if you wanted a dish cooking fresh, just ask and they will do it. They wer called made to order stations and include pasta, noodle bar, fish grilled counter, chargrill and made to oder chinese stir fry.
The restaurant was bright and airey with lots of room. My one complaint would be that the toilets were upstairs so not good if you have a disability! However the toilets were extremely clean and fresh. We sat quite a long way from the food stations but that was fine because there isn't anything wrong with some exercise between courses and with so much food on offer, a walk or two is wise. Now on to the food itself.
On offer was a range of starters which included salads, sushi, fresh meats and cheeses and fruits, as well as chinese, indian and italian, thai and mexican starters. I opted for sushi with salad and some fresh ham slices which was delightful washed down with a good crisp white wine.
I then chose to visit the Italian section where i had a good slice of peperroni pizza and then chose mexican chilli pork and meatballs in the most delicious sauce. I felt relaxed because i could eat when i wanted to and wasn't pushed into rushing through my meal. The food was warm enough and there was plenty of it so my idea of heaven.
After a break for a good chat and another glass of wine, we chose from a great selection of cakes and puddings including a Sundae Counter where you make your own ice cream sundae. My favourite is Apple Crumble which i ate with much vigour whilst my daugter chose a sundae. We both finished off with some fresh fruit. Prices range from around £9.99 for lunch up to 4pm then 5pm to about 10.30pm it is £12.99 but i understand prices are under review. These prices do not include drinks. All in all, a great place when you feel like a variety of foods. Gift vouchers are available from £20 if stuck for an idea for a present.
This review is also available, with alterations on Ciao under flashjules123 (this is me)
My hair is fine, flyaway and almost like baby hair so it is very unruly. I do have naturally curly hair, and like most people, i would rather have a different hair type i.e. straight. I have straightened my hair now for many years and besides my first pair of straightners many years ago, i have always used ghd's because i feel they provide the best finish for your hair. The ghd gold which is the one i have now comes with a protective plate guard which keeps the two parts of the straightner plates together after use, preventing burning if you place it down when finished.
I have had my current GHD's for about 3 years and the pair before this lasted a good 7 years. As i use them most days, i feel i want reliablilty and i do get this. The styler has a very long cord so can be used without fear of having to be right next to a mirror. They heat extremely quickly and a red light will appear and will flash until ready. When ready the straightners make a tweeting noise to let you know they have reached the desired temperature. The product is very easy to hold and the ceramic plates provide a very smooth finish. They also give the hair a great shine. GHD's are more expensive than most with an average pair being about £99 but are well worth the extra as the quality of the ceramic plates and the lifetime use is far more superior to all other makes in my opinion.
Be warned though, hair straightening is addictive (at least in my case) and therefore can cause damage to the hair by thinning it and also burning the ends so use a good heat defense spray when using any hair straightners.
In life, two things are harder than anything. One is giving birth and the other is going to the Dentist. All human beings have to do things they don't like and other things they love. I defy anyone to say they like to go to the dentist. I don't want to write about any particular dentist, just the experience of it.
As a child i remember being marched in, kicking and screaming and insisting that i be knocked out before the man in the white coat dared approach me with his 'mirror on a stick' as i called it. Of course my insistence to be in a state of oblivion was met with a harsh look over the thick rimmed glasses of the dentist and an offer of a lollipop when he had finished, which defeated the object of going at all, if i was going to get something to further rot the teeth at the end of the visit.
I know now the importance of healthy teeth and gums but as a child you don't relate to what is good for you, even when it is drummed into you. A visit when i was about 9, stuck in my mind because i had a tooth that was growing at a very strange angle and had to be removed. It was then that i first had the experience of being put to sleep. I remember distinctly, flying in a hot air balloon and looking down on a village full of dentists, running around with mirrors, trying to find me. Every time i go to the dentist now, i still envisage this and i see myself in the balloon whenever the mirror heads towards my open mouth.
Most of our fears when visiting the dentist are irrational because products numb our mouths ready for the work that has to be done. However, i see the needle that is going to numb my gums and think of the pain it causes before the numbing takes place. I cannot bear the noise of the drill and the packing in of the filling into the tooth. Most of all, i dislike myself for feeling so scared and child like when it comes to my dental visits. I am an independant woman who has always had to make alot of important decisions in life but i quiver at the thought of sitting in a dentist chair. I do have to say though, that i regularly visit the dentist, at least twice a year for a good cleaning and look after my teeth. If the alternative is being gummy and watching my teeth in a glass next to the bed, then i will continue to deal with my fear.
Being a fan of Dean Koonts, Intensity is a book i read about 10 years ago, and it has always been one of my favourites, so i recently re-read it. Koontz himself is quite an intense writer who i feel delves in to the psychy of the characters in the books he writes.
Intensity is based around two main characters. Chyna Shephard who is a 26 year old psychology student, who has had a brutal upbringing and has learned that she had to adapt and stand on her own to feet, relying purely on her own wits from a very early age. Edgler Vess is a sociopath whose actions can only be described as Intense, hence the title of the book. He lives his life wanting to experience more and more sensations in life and believes that this is what life is about. Edgler views himself as a higher being in some respects. His love of the darker side of life, and how he views humans and life itself, is both complex and fascinating.
Chyna is staying at a friends house with her friends family, only to discover that they are to be the next victims of Edgler Vess. Edgler enjoys to kill his victims in many differing ways and relishes his actions. He views himself as a higher being in some respects, and his love of the darker side of life, and how he views humans and life itself is both complex and fascinating.
Chyna's aim, after escaping the carnage at the house is to follow and catch Edgler, after she discovers a secret lies within his house that she must free. Chyna analyses Edgler and it is evident throughout the book that she is analysing his thought processess and movements in order to avoid capture herself.
She is finally captured, but to disclose the rest of the story, including the fabulous twist near the end, would ruin a fabulous read which i have to say i couldn't put down on my first and second reading of the book.
Dean Koonz is a master of intrigue and delving into the very nature of the characters he builds into his books. Intensity is as the title states.
Chocolate is one of life's pleasures and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Thorntons is a chain of shops, established in 1911, specialising in all things chocolate, toffee and fudge, sweets and even wine and champagne.
Over the years, the range offered has grown, so wether you like milk, dark or white chocolates, pralines, mousses or truffles, there is something for everyone as Thorntons stock a wide range of different boxes to cover all tastes and box sizes. This christmas, i received a 460g box of special edition milk, white and dark Continental chocolates which featured a myriad of tastes and fillings and is my idea of heaven.
With the digital age ever expanding, Thorntons offer a range of gifts that can be bought for all occassions, either online or by visiting one of their shops, offering a range from birthdays, anniversaries and valentines day, to celebrating a wedding or a birth and wether it be chocolates or sweets or even a hamper full of goodies, Thorntons range is so diverse, you will find something for everyone's taste including a range of sugar free chocolates, suitable for people who have to watch their sugar intake and a vegetarian and gluten free range of products.
Special times of the year, including Christmas and Easter, means that you can buy chocolate santa clauses and reindeers and easter bunnies and certain items for sale can be personalised with somebody's name on them in white chocolate to make the gift extra special. Some of the range of Thornton's chocolates are now available at supermarkets where you can pick up a bargain or two, but for the full, extensive range of goodies it is best to visit one of their shops or go to their website as it is a pleasure in itself to view all the wonderful things on offer.
We visited Edinburgh this week in 70mph gales, wearing waterproofs and determined not to let the delights of being blown across the road dampen our spirits.
The Holiday Inn in Picardy Place, Edinburgh was a delightful hotel to stay in and kept us smiling. It is situated on a busy main road in the Leith area of the city centre, just a 5 minute walk to Princes St. Considering it's position, it is nice and quiet in the hotel. It is directly opposite the Omni Centre, which houses a wide range of restaurants and a Cinema and also the Playhouse Theatre is opposite.
The reception area is bright and welcoming and when checking in, we were dealt with promptly and it was pretty painless. To the left of the reception area, there are a couple of computers for those who wish to go online. This is a paid for service. However, there is free wi-fi connection in the room. To the right of the reception is a very comfortable bar area, which not only serves alcohol, but coffee, tea and snacks such as paninis, with a variety of fillings. They are reasonably priced for a hotel within a capital city.
We booked our room over the telephone, after seeing their website online and as we avoided the weekend, as prices tend to be more expensive in most hotels of a weekend, we paid just £125 for a double room, with a sofa bed, for a two night stay. This included a complimentary breakfast. Not a bad deal considering the room rate was £133 per night, which was clearly displayed at the entrance.
Parking is very limited in the hotel with only around 9 spaces available. We were lucky, as we checked in fairly early and managed to get a space. However, the hotel does charge £10 per night for a space, and if none are available, there is a car park near the Omni centre, opposite the hotel.
I was very pleasantly surprised at the plush room in which we stayed. It was larger than average and the bed even had a choice of soft or firm pillows, clearly marked with a ribbon around them. This was a nice touch, and my partner and i each had one soft and one firm pillow. The bed was extremely comfortable and soft, with fresh, crisp white linen. Above the bed, there were two reading lights and a light that ran across the top of the substantial head board.
The lights are operated by a key card, which is the card used to enter your room. Once in the room, it is inserted into a box near the door, and this then operates the lighting. It was a very clever idea, as once removed it turns off all the lights, saving on energy.
The bathroom was the cleanest i think i have seen, and consisted of a lovely power shower, complete with body wash, nice deep basin, surrounded by granite and complimenary body wash, mounted on the wall. The good sized towels were fluffy and new and a box of tissues were also provided.
You will not find a wardrobe or bedside cabinets, but there is ample hanging space within a fixed unit, which houses a fan, hairdryer and empty open shelves to place your bits and bobs on. The television was HD and even a pen and paper were provided by the bed. A desk is also provided, where the television is housed, for business people visiting the hotel.
Breakfast is on the first floor and is served between 6am to 9am. It is self service and has a good selection of cereals, juices, fresh fruit, yoghurts, croissants and pan au chocolates, toast, egg and bacon, or egg and sausage, bacon one day, sausage the next. There is plenty of coffee and tea to be had and you can help yourself. It can get busy as a lot of business people stay at the Holiday Inn.
I slept well, and actually enjoyed being in the room. A wonderful hotel for a few nights break away and in a great position, handy for all the main attractions that Edinburgh has to offer. I will stay again.
As a lover of all things Chocolate, but being aware of the calorific value of most bars, i came across Weight Watchers Jaffa Cake Bars and decided to give them a try. Weight Watchers do a range of cakes and desserts but i have never noticed these bars before picking them up yesterday.
I was pleasantly suprised. The cakes come in packets of 5 bars and are individually wrapped so are ideal for lunch boxes or just for a quick snack when the chocolate monster strikes.
Each bar consists of a light vanilla sponge and is topped with a jaffa sauce which is tangy. All of this is surround by milk chocolate.
When i first tried it i was suprised by the creaminess of the chocolate which melted very quickly in the mouth and almost had a caramel taste to it. The jaffa orange sauce breaks through the chocolate and the combination of both of these ingrediants is delicious and a pleasure to the taste buds. The sponge is very light and sweet. Three bites and it's gone but what do you expect from a low calorie chocolate bar!
If on a Weight Watchers diet, the Jaffa Cake Bar has 2 points value, 2.4g Saturated Fat and 105 calories per cake bar. It is suitable for vegetarians and the wrapping provides allergy advice.
If you need a chocolatey fix and like the taste of tangy orange, then this full flavoured bar is worth a bite or 3.