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staceymylove

staceymylove
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Member since: 30.07.2013

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    • One Day (DVD) / DVD / 29 Readings / 28 Ratings
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      16.03.2014 22:10
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      It was ok, but I'm in no rush to watch it again. A forgettable film

      I remember this film coming out in 2011 and getting panned at the time. I read the book and quite enjoyed it, so when the film was on TV last week I recorded it.

      Cast
      Emma - Anne Hathaway
      Dexter - Jim Sturgess
      Sylvie - Romala Garai
      Ian - Rafe Spall

      Director - Lone Scherfig
      Running time - 108 minutes
      Based on the novel by David Nicholls

      Plot
      This film follows Emma and Dexter, two students who meet on the night of graduation. What happens is an ongoing will they, won't they love story, wondering if the pair of them will get together. The thing that makes this film a bit different is that we see them on the same date every year - the date they met, July 2015. It's really easy to pick up and we see both of them as they grow up, live in different places around the world, meet other people but still end up getting drawn back to each other.

      The good - This film is very sweet, Anne Hathaway is a delight as usual and the film follows the text quite faithfully. Hathaway has lovely hair.

      The bad - I didn't feel this worked as well in a film as it did as a book. The film was a bit boring to be honest. It felt like a long time to get anywhere, and then the last half an hour was really good. To be honest I kept getting a bit fed up and found myself checking facebook on my phone.

      Anne Hathaway was lovely, but she didn't quite get the accent right. Her character is supposed to be from Yorkshire. She could do the British accent pretty well, but every now and again she'd remember she was supposed to be a Yorkshire lass and she'd give it a go but it didn't quite work. Hathaway was also that 'pretty-ugly' they use in films, she was obviously supposed to be a bit bookish and awkward but obviously she's a complete stunner so she looked like a character in an American high school film who becomes the swan when they change clothes and take their glasses off.

      There is a bit of a twist in this film, but having read the book I knew it was coming so it lost the impact on me. It was a sweet little film but it was a bit boring for the first hour, and it was fairly forgettable. I finished the film mainly thinking I'd like to look like Anne Hathaway and have her lovely hair, which probably isn't what the director had in mind!

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      • H&M Beige Striped Skirt / Clothing / 31 Readings / 29 Ratings
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        15.03.2014 22:52
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        Can't complain for £2!

        H&M is my fail safe shop. I know I can always find something in there to buy (in fact just yesterday I got a dress and three tops!) My local store is medium sized, but I do find it can be a bit of a jumble sale in there and difficult to find things.

        I went shopping in the sales after Christmas 2012, and I found the above skirt in the sale for £2. I believe this style of 'jersey skirt' is usually £3.99, so they're pretty cheap even at full price. That being said, the jersey skirt is very no frills. It's basically a tube of jersey-type material!

        This skirt is quite short, although I have something of a rounded bottom so skirts often come up short on me at the back! However it's not obscene short and I have worn mine to work (with tights) and I feel that it is appropriate. The skirt has an elasticated waist and so is easy to pull on and off, and I've had the skirt for over a year and it hasn't gone baggy or out of shape. The other jersey skirts I have from this range has been the same. It washes well, I have chucked it into a 30 and 40 degree wash and it comes out fine.

        The main problem with the striped skirt is that you have to have a fairly plain top with it, as the skirt has the pattern to it. I usually team with a black tshirt or long sleeved top. The skirt is pretty clingy, so if you hold your weight around your hips it might not be too flattering.

        Overall I would highly recommend any of the jersey skirts from H&M, and the stripey one is a nice addition to my collection. As I have a rounded bum and a small waist I really struggle to get trousers/jeans to fit me, so I often opt for skirts. This is a great casual skirt which you can throw on with tights and plimsolls or boots, and it can be dressed up or down as appropriate. The H&M jersey skirt is an absolute staple in my wardrobe, and the stripey version is a nice jazzy version which looks really smart teamed with a long sleeved black top (also from H&M of course!)

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        • Never Let Me Go (DVD) / DVD / 29 Readings / 29 Ratings
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          10.03.2014 23:34
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          Worth a watch

          One of my volunteers text me over Christmas to tell me her favourite film was on TV, and that I should watch it. I recorded it on TiVo and only got around to watching it last night (it was very strange watching all the Christmas adverts in mid-March!)

          Never Let Me Go is a 2010 film based on the book of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro. I'd seen adverts of Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan and some gormless looking bloke walking around some picturesque moors and assumed this was a love triangle story, the usual kind of middle of the road will they won't they love story. How wrong I was!

          The story picks up at a boarding school, where we meet the main character Kathy H at the age of about 8/9. Things seem fairly normal, Kathy has a best friend called Ruth who likes horses, they go to assembly and sleep in dorm rooms. Kathy watches a boy called Tommy from afar, who seems sweet but is bullied by the other children and prone to fits of rage. She befriends him and sticks up for him against the bullies. However, some things at the school don't seem quite right. The children write poetry and do art work instead of more traditional classes like maths and English. They are checked over by doctors on a regular basis, and the headteacher goes crazy in an assembly when cigarette butts are found on the grounds. The children soon find out that they are clones who have been created to harvest human organs. BOOM. Was not expecting that!

          The story follows the three main characters as they laugh, love and fight in a world where their time is running out much sooner than it should. The characters are shown in their late teens and early 20s, they have hope and dreams for the future, all of which are tainted with the fact that they know they will be donating organs soon and will not have long lives.

          Carey Mulligan is perfect for the role of Kathy, cute, sweet, understated and wholly believable. A complete star. Knightly does her usual duckface pout for two hours, but carries her character off well. I didn't recognise Andrew Garfield, who has since gone on to play The Amazing Spider Man. He was ok as Tommy, although he looked a bit lost and bewildered for most of the film.

          The film was shot beautifully and was very slow, considered and clever. As you would expect this is a very bleak film, however it was also very though provoking and deep. It really made you think about life and love, and the priorities we all have. I wouldn't suggest this film for a casual chill out piece of escapism, this film is bleak, hardhitting and bittersweet. You have to be in the right mood for it or you'd end up very very depressed!

          I enjoyed the film as I thought it was an interesting subject and was shot and acted very beautifully. The Young Adult dystopian fiction of young people coming up against their own mortality is not exactly new or different, however I think the time of this film set it apart from other stories. In Never Let Me Go the science behind the cloning/harvesting is discovered in the 1950s, and the story of Kathy and co runs from the 60s to the 80s, which was quite different. I did however feel that there were some parts of the story not covered fully. For example the cloning was not fully explained, and I had questions about the origins of it all. I would imagine more of these questions would be answered in the book, but these kind of things can be hard to get across in a film.

          This isn't a film I would watch regularly as it's too depressing, but I really enjoyed this film and the beauty and subject matter were a pleasant surprise to somebody expecting an forgetable romantic drama.

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            09.03.2014 18:01
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            A good short term fix, I just wish they lasted longer.

            Over the years I've bought several pairs of Primark jeans, and I quite often buy the ultra soft skinny jeans. The jeans sell for around £9-11 (usually depending on the colour usually) I've bought them in black, dark blue and light blue but I'm sure there's a much bigger range of colours to chose from. I usually buy a size 10.

            The jeans are very soft, and very stretchy. I think this is why I like them, as I have a small waist and a large bum and I find it hard to find jeans that fit - usually if they fit my bum they have a gap at the waist. These jeans stretch nicely to cover my bum but stay snug around my waist.

            These jeans also come in small, regular or large length. As a shorter girl I do struggle to find jeans that are short enough to fit me, but the small length is perfect for little 5'3" me!

            So far so good, the jeans are reasonably priced, fit well and come in a range of sizes. However, I do have some issues with them.

            Firstly they're quite thin, so they are not great for all year round. The stretchy-ness is good at first, however I find that over time they stretch out of shape, particularly at the knees. They start to feel too big after a few months and the lovely tapered shape I bought them for starts to go away and they get resigned to gardening jeans.

            However, my biggest bugbear is the zip. I have easily bought 5-6 pairs of these jeans over the years, and with at least 4 of the pairs the zip has broken and it won't stay up. I find myself checking my fly all day and zipping myself up, which makes me very self conscious at work.

            The reason I buy these jeans is that they fit me well at first, and being a curvy short girl I do struggle to find jeans that look good. Whilst they only last me a few months, they are so cheap it doesn't really bother me too much, and after that time I keep them for gardening or take them to the car boot. It does feel a bit wasteful sometimes, but until clothes designers make better jeans for short girls with some junk in their trunk, I will continue to buy the superskinny jeans from Primark!

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              06.03.2014 21:19
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              Clean in a flash!

              When it comes to household cleaning I tend to buy whatever is on sale in the supermarket or Wilkos. I can't remember how much I paid for my Flash with Febreze but it currently retails at about £2 a bottle which is fairly standard for a branded product like this.

              The bottle is see through with a lovely pink liquid inside. The nozzle can be clicked to on and off and there is a spray as pictured above. The spray is really easy to use and fits in my hand fine, I've never had any problems with it jamming.

              I use this product in the kitchen, I usually spray it onto surfaces and then use a sponge soaked in warm water to wipe down whatever needs doing - the sides, the hob, the draining board, the fridge, the washing machine, the outside of the microwave/kettle/toaster! Whilst the spray is pink in the bottle it goes on as a frothy spray with no colour, my hob is white and it hasn't been stained by this at all. The spray is chemically but has a slight scent of febreze. All cleaners smell of chemicals but this does has a less pungent aroma to it, and it leaves my kitchen feeling very fresh smelling.

              In terms of cleaning, I find it cuts through any dirt or build up, from that horrible mush you get on the draining board to the grease that you get on the hob after cooking. The spray removes it really quickly and easily. I've never had any problems with the performance.

              I usually use kitchen gloves when I do a full kitchen wipe down, however I have used the spray and a sponge without gloves to clean up the odd spill and it hasn't caused any adverse reactions to my skin. However as with any product like this you obviously want to avoid breathing it in or getting it on your skin, and keep it away from any little un's.

              I did find that when I got to the end of the bottle the tube inside wasn't quite reaching the last bit of product but this is fairly standard for this kind of bottle in my experience. It's easy to twist the full lid off and use the product neat on the sponge to make sure you get your moneys worth.

              Flash with Febreze cleans easily and doesn't smell as chemically as other cleaners. I found my bottle has lasted me quite a while, so overall I don't have any complaints. I would happily buy this product again

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              02.03.2014 20:56
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              A lovely product made better by being free!

              I recently took five clean pots back to Lush and got a free facemask as part of their recycling deal. The sales lady pounced on me, but it was helpful as I wasn't sure what to buy for my skin as it's fairly normal and most of the masks seemed to be solving a particular problem. Whilst I got mine for free, the usual cost of this product is £5.95

              This mask comes in a small pot and it's a blue/purple colour, which isn't surprising given that the main ingredient is blueberries! It also contains calamine and chamomile, rose, and almond oils so all very soothing and calming ingredients.

              Now my pot had separated, so there there was a thick product on the bottom and a layer of blue water on top. Nothing a quick mix up with my index finger couldn't sort out but it was a bit of a shame that it had gone like that (I had kept it in the fridge as required)

              The product is lovely and thick and similar in consistency to other Lush facemasks. It goes on lovely and thick and the smell is neither nice or offensive, it's slightly fruity. There are some 'lumpy' bits in it but that doesn't bother me. I apply to my whole face, avoiding my eyes and lips and the area above my lips as personally I find my skin there to be very sensitive. It is advised to leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes before washing off with warm water. It's comfortable to use and you look a bit crazy with your blue face, but it doesn't dry and get uncomfortable. I usually splash off with water and then use a makeup remover wipe to remove the rest and apply some moisturiser.

              After use, my skin feels lovely and soft and really cleansed deep down. I've never had any adverse reaction and it's a nice little product. Other reviewers say it's good for spots but I can't answer this as my skin is clear at the moment.

              I probably wouldn't buy this full price - it's expensive although it makes my skin lovely and soft it's an above average product. I see face masks as a luxury so at this stage in my life this product is only for me when it's free!

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              26.02.2014 22:38
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              It works for me

              I get quite a few headaches, but I try not to take too many tablets to get rid of them. I spend most of my time at work on a computer and the rest sorting out staff issues so my head can often end up aching by mid-afternoon! I bought some 4head as an alternative to tablets a few years ago.

              4head comes in a fairly wide twizzle stick, a bit like a lipstick. It's easy to twizzle up and down, with plenty of product tucked away inside. The stick is clear and looks kind of crystallised. As soon as you take the lid off there's a very strong smell of menthol! If you don't like the smell of menthol you will hate this.

              The idea is to apply the 4head to the forehead when you feel a headache coming. A gentle swipe across the forehead is more than enough, you can't feel it on your forehead it's not wet or anything. The smell is very strong, and it lingers for quite a while. Whilst you can't feel the product on your head, it does feel quite fresh and tingly. My biggest advice would be to make sure you apply sparingly and apply extra if needed. I have over applied before and the menthol was too strong and my eyes stung and were very watery.

              If I have a really bad headache I find the 4head doesn't do anything. However, if I have an irritating tension headache it sorts it right out. I think the menthol scent is very relaxing and it helps to calm your senses and relieves the headache.

              At £5, this isn't a cheap product but I've had mine for several years now and there's still plenty left. It doesn't work for every headache but it's easy to carry around in your handbag for use when a headache is irritating you and you want a quick and easy way to relieve the symptoms. The only bad thing is I find my foundation comes off in the crystals, so you might not want to share mine!

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              25.02.2014 18:52
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              It's good to be decadent sometimes :)

              Cheese spread is one of those products that can be disappointing depending on what brand you buy - it can be bland, salty and have a weird texture. I do love a bit of cheese spread, and I bought a pot of Seriously Strong Spreadable a few years ago when it came out. It has ruined all other spreads for me and I will only buy this one now!

              Seriously Strong comes in normal or smoked flavours, a 250g pot costs about £2.50 and a 125g pot is around £1.50, although both sizes can often be found on offer. The pot comes with a foil wrapper which you remove and a clip on lid - although I find the lid a bit flimsy and it doesn't always stay on the pot after the initial opening.

              The cheese spread is very thick and dense. The texture is much smoother than spreads such as Philadelphia, which I do like but I find the texture quite grainy. As you can imagine, the taste of this cheese spread is very strong. It's like a mature cheddar but creamy and salty. A little bit goes a long way with it being so strong.

              There is no diet version of this spread so it's full fat or go home! As you would expect from a spread made of cheese mixed with other dairy there are a lot of calories and fat - per 100g there are 304kcal and 26g of fat (of which 18g is saturates) There is also 0.9g of salt. This isn't a healthy product, but it is tasty and everything in moderation!

              I've used this spread in a variety of ways - on bagels, bread, crackers, breadsticks. It always goes down a treat. Apparently you can heat it up and use it as a cheese sauce but I haven't tried this.

              As a product, this is expensive and unhealthy. But it tastes delicious and is a cut above the other spreads on the market. Even when other spreads are on offer, I'll still go for my Seriously Strong to get some taste on my bagel!

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                24.02.2014 15:23
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                A rare miss from the Aussie brand

                I'm not particularly brand loyal to shampoo, I tend to buy whatever is on offer. I bought some Aussie recently as it was on offer in Wilkinsons. Having tried the Aussie range before and liking it, I thought I'd be safe with these. I got a shampoo, a condition and a deep conditioner for £10.

                This shampoo is for volume, I picked it up without paying too much attention and apparently it's for dry thin hair. I have thick normal hair - oops! The first thing I noticed on picking the products up was that the Real Volume Shampoo was 300ml and the Real Volume Conditioner was 250ml. I have no idea why, especially as I always find conditioner runs out way before shampoo (hence I bought two conditioners!)

                The bottle is a decent size and has a button lid so it's really easy to use in the shower/bath. No problems with packaging at all (other than the random different sizes) This shampoo has a picture of some hops on the front, and the bottle explains that the shampoo contains hops to add volume to hair. Anybody who has tried Aussie products will tell you about their lovely scent - I always smell it as a lovely, rich gummy bubblegum flavour. I was looking forward to it as I haven't used an Aussie product in a while. This doesn't smell like that at all. The best way I can describe the smell is like an old lady's armchair! It's an old fashioned floral kind of smell, I imagine it's the hops but it does nothing for me at all. I'm usually ambivalent to shampoo smells but the smell of this as it lathers up and as I dry my hair is horrible.

                The shampoo lathers up well, although I find it makes my hair somewhat plastic-y and squeaky! As I rinse it off my hair squeaks in my hands, which makes me worry that there are plastics in the product. After drying, my hair looks lovely and shiny, and it does feel volumised and lifted. I have no complaints after drying, my hair feels strong and lovely.

                The results of this product are good but the using of it isn't working for me. I hate the smell and the plastic feeling when washing is horrible. I'll finish the bottle but I won't be buying the Real Volume products from Aussie again, even though I am happy with the end result

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                  17.02.2014 23:00
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                  Perfume is very personal, this one works for me

                  One thing I don't have is the perfume gene. I don't get different scents or smells. I've used the same perfume for years and I use it for any occasion that I need perfume. I can give you a breakdown on most mascaras on the market but perfumes... I just don't GET it!

                  In my teenage years I used DKNY, and when I ran out I asked my dad to get me some for Christmas. He bought me the DKNY Red Delicious and I've used it ever since. 50ml costs £31.99 from Boots, but look out as I usually buy it on offer or use advantage card offers.

                  Red Delicious comes in a round bottle, which is supposed to look like an apple. The bottom of the bottle is clear red and then the top is silver, with a button on top to spray out the perfume. The button works really well and never gets stuck, I've also chucked it in a suitcase whilst traveling and it never goes off by accident or leaks. The bottle fits really comfortable in your hand, the only downside is that when it gets to the end you can still see product in the bottom of the bottle but the spray doesn't reach it anymore.

                  I've looked up the notes as this isn't something I'd be able to pinpoint myself;

                  Top notes: Champagne, lychee
                  Middle notes: Raspberry, apple, rose
                  Base notes: Amber, musk, vanilla

                  To me, this perfume smells very fresh and fruity. It feels quite flirty and is quite sweet but not sickly - kind of a sweetness for grown ups. I can certainly smell the fruitiness of the apple and raspberry, but I'm left with a lovely musk which I really like.

                  I find that the scent goes on nicely, I can smell it for a good few hours. If I wear it all day, by the end of the day I can still smell it it if I raise my wrist to my nose, so I guess it depends on how close people get to you! I don't wear perfume every day, when I do wear it my partner always notices and comments that it smells nice. I've sprayed it on clothes/scarves etc and it doesn't stain fabrics in my experience.

                  Overall, for a perfume novice like me this is a lovely fruity flirty fragrance, which ticks my boxes. I wish it was less expensive and lasted a bit longer, but the bottle looks nice and it smells lovely, which is the main thing.

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                • Tampax Lites Tampons / Sexual Health / 46 Readings / 46 Ratings
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                  16.02.2014 22:14
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                  A staple for my bathroom cabinet

                  I remember when lite tampons became a 'thing' a few years ago, they're now a product I can't imagine living without. I remember when you got to the end of your period and a regular tampon was too much, and it had to be the panty liner route. Lite tampons are great to use for a much lighter flow at the end of your period to feel comfortable and protected, I always find sanitary towels/panty liners to be uncomfortable as I can feel them and they don't always feel the most secure.

                  Tampax Lites are a slimmer, less absorbent tampon, designed for very light flow. I buy the applicator version out of personal preference. The tampon comes in a paper wrapping. This is great as it keeps the tampons clean and hygienic, but I do find that the paper can come off in the jumble of my handbag. The tampon is a thin card, which is good for the environment but not quite as smooth as the plastic tampons. I find sometimes that I manage to pull the applicator apart and then I have to 'thread' it back together which is irritating!

                  Once inserted the tampon feels safe and secure and is easy to remove. For me it is ideal for the last day or two of my period. It's always advisable to use the most suitable absorbency for your flow as using one that is too absorbent is linked to TSS, a rare bacterial infection which has been linked to tampon usage and can be fatal. In order to avoid your chances of getting TSS you need to make sure your absorbency is right and make sure you change your tampon every 4-8 hours

                  Personally I find I need a range of tampons, starting with super, going to regular and then finishing with lites! Lites can be bought on their own or can be bought as part of a multipack with super and regular tampons. The regular Tampax feel a bit basic these days with their card applicators and paper wrapping, but they do the job and are comfortable and secure. A must have for me.

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                  11.02.2014 23:06
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                  As good as the leading brand but saving you a few pennies every month

                  Warning: This review may contain period talk!

                  Tampons have got steadily more expensive over the past few years, and the leading brand Tampax can now cost around £3-4 a box. I decided one day to try the Boots own brand tampons and I've never looked back!

                  I currently have a box of Boots Silky Smooth Tampons, these are applicator tampons in the regular absorbency (eg, the yellow ones). Personally I've always bought applicator tampons as I find them quicker and easier to use than non-applicators.

                  The Silky Smooth tampons come in a blue box with the usual information printed both on the box and inside. This includes info on insertion, safe and hygienic usage and toxic shock syndrome, which has been linked to tampon usage. Nothing new here if you've used tampons before but worth a read if it's your first time using them.

                  Inside, the tampons are individually wrapped in a plastic wrapper. Whilst the plastic wrappers are less environmentally friendly than the paper ones, I do find that they last better if you're carrying them around in your handbag (the paper ones always come undone in my bag!) The tampon is easy to remove by tearing along the perforated edges, and the wrapping keeps them clean and hygienic. The applicator is also plastic, which I really like. I find the plastic is smoother and easier to use than the traditional cardboard applicators, although again probably less environmentally friendly.

                  The Boots tampons are wide at the top and much thinner at the bottom - the only way I can think to describe it is like a giant sperm! Sorry for that mental image! The cotton and rayan mix is tucked away, and the tampon is really well designed and is impossible to fall apart. I've never had a problem with using the applicator and they have all worked smoothly and easily. My biggest bugbear is that there is a flower design on the bottom of the tampon. I know sanitary towels and tampons are for women but we really don't need hearts and flowers on them. I don't need my sanitary protection romanticising.

                  The tampons are absorbent and last as well as the leading brand, they are easy to remove and I can't say they are any worse quality than any other tampon I've used before. The string feels very secure and I feel adequately protected. I'd say they're as good as the Tampax Compact or Tampax Pearl, and they're definitely better than the regular Tampax with the cardboard applicator and paper wrapper.

                  At £2.39 for a box of 20 they are slightly cheaper than the other brands, and work just as well. I will usually pay a bit more when it comes to quality, but there is no need when these tampons are so good. 5 stars from me!

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                    09.02.2014 20:28
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                    Will make you question what is important to you

                    The plot of Revolutionary Road is quite tricky to describe. This is a book without a lot of action, and is more of an exploration of human nature with the odd event, until the last 30 pages or so when the pages are completely action packed.

                    Revolutionary Road is the name of the street where lead characters April and Frank Wheeler live with their two children. They are in their late 20s and are living the 1950s American Dream - married, house in suburbia, two children, he works and she stays home, friendly neighbours. However, this isn't enough for Frank and April.

                    Frank and April are not likable characters. For me, Frank was worse. He is selfish and pathetic, and is totally wrapped up in himself and his own interests. Everything he does he contrived and calculated - this includes manipulating his face for hours on end to make his wife feel guilty and concerned for him. April isn't as bad as Frank, but she is still selfish and self-absorbed. Whilst she does show some ability to be able to relate to other people and seems to be lost as to who she is, she is so difficult and pig headed throughout the novel that it was difficult to warm to.

                    The book is set into three parts, in the first part the Wheelers are not getting on. The hate seeps from the page, this is a couple which are highly dysfunctional. In part two things improve when they hatch a plan to leave everything behind and move to Europe. I'll leave the third part so as not to spoil it for future readers! There are also some side plot lines involving other neighbours on the street which were really interesting.

                    ~My Thoughts~
                    This book was fantastically written. To say this was a debut novel for Yates in 1961, he is a master storyteller and you feel that he was born to write this book. This novel might not be to everybody's tastes due to how subtle it is, but to me Yates was a wonderful storyteller, delicately weaving the story and then hammering it home on the last few pages. He never tells you how to think, but presents the characters to you for analysis.

                    I'm amazed that I enjoyed a book which characters that were so awful to read about. Frank in particular made my skin crawl with his self absorbed prattery. I had more sympathy for April, but she was still far from likable. Both characters felt like they were special and deserved more, and they were just waiting for their lives to get better and turn into what they expected it to be. This was obviously supposed to be juxtaposed with the reality of them having a very fortunate and well-off lifestyle with two children, a nice house and plenty of friends. It was hard to feel sorry for them when they had so much.

                    This novel covered lots of tough topics such as parenthood, progressing at work, abortion, mental health and neighbourhood gossip. We often hear about the Wheelers through the gossip of their neighbours, showing the uglier side to suburbia with all the judgmental comments.

                    Although this book was incredibly bleak and I HATED Frank so much, overall I loved it. The characters were so believable and the topics covered were interesting. It felt like a very subtle book but I enjoyed it, it felt very beautiful and delicate. It really made me question my own life and the things that are important to me. What do we do because we want to and what do we do because we're expected to do it? At least we have more choices now in 2014 than they had in the 1950s, particularly in relation to women. April may have had a very different life if she had been a 21st century girl. I'm going to look out for the film version to see how they adapted it to the big screen.

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                    08.02.2014 22:12
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                    • Reliability
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                    You have two choices, bright photos or blurry photos

                    I'm reviewing my digital camera, the Sony W710 Cyber-shot today, but firstly I just want to say this will be a very non-technical review. I'm not a technical person myself so I can't even make this stuff up, but I'm hoping this review will be useful for people like myself who are looking into a no-frills digital camera where you can point and click and get some nice pictures.

                    My partner bought me this camera about 3 years ago and I think he spent about £100 on it. With technology moving so fast I was surprised to see it is still sold, but has gone down to around £50-60, so quite an affordable piece of kit.

                    First things first - the camera came boxed with a USB wire, battery and battery charger. The charger is square shaped, you have to remove the battery from the camera and slot it into the charger. It only takes a couple of hours to charge and automatically switched itself off when it is fully charged, but the wire is very short and doesn't stretch far at all. When inserted the battery in the camera lasts quite a long time. Surprisingly, this camera didn't have a case included, which I thought was a bit poor. Digital cameras are meant to be taken out and about, and I'd expect a high-quality brand like Sony to provide a case. Luckily the case from my last camera fitted so I could protect my camera when I'm out and about. There is no memory card included in the purchase but they are not usually included so that wasn't a surprise.

                    The camera is a slinky looking thing, mine is black with silver detailing. There is a wrist strap which can be removed. There is a slide compartment at the bottom which you can move to access the battery and memory card which is really easy to access.

                    The camera is easily turned on by pressing a button on the top and it turns on very quickly. The button to press to take a picture is fairly large and on the right hand side so quite standard. It is quite sensitive and I can easily lend the camera to friends and it's as simple as point and click. Photos taken can be seen by pressing a button on the back with a triangle next to it, photos can be scrolled through but it's quite slow and the photos take a few seconds to get into focus so it's not ideal. You can also see photos on a grid and zoom in and out of photos, you can also delete from here but they take a few seconds so this isn't a quick process.

                    There are quick buttons on the machine to do things like change the flash and display settings. There is a 'smile detector' setting which I haven't heard of before, we used it once for a laugh and it actually worked really well! My partner held it up and I smiled and it took the photo and it was actually a really lovely photo - Facebook profile picture worthy for a while!

                    The screen measures 6cm/5cm so it's a decent size and easy to look back at photos on. The zoom function is apparently 'optical zoom 4x and 28mm wide-single lens'. As I said this means nothing to me, but might be useful to some people reading this review! There are buttons on the back to zoom in and out for photos which I use quite regularly - can be useful for weddings etc where you might be a bit far back but want a nice photo!

                    In terms of quality, when the flash is off the camera takes very blurry photos. The shutter speed seems to be very slow, and if you don't keep deadly still the photo is a blurry mess. When the flash is on, it's very very bright. It totally washes out anything you take a photo of. I've had my partner look through all the settings and there is nothing to turn down the brightness. It is genuinely a problem and stops me from using the camera. I sell on ebay and if I have the flash off the pictures of my items are blurry and if I have it on you can't see the items as eveything is too bright. I either have to use my partners (much nicer) camera or wait for natural daylight and take a photo very carefully without moving with the flash off - this can be tricky in winter when it's always dark!

                    The camera came with a wire to plug the camera into the computer to get the photos off, I lost this fairly quickly so I just take the memory card out and whack it in the computer.

                    Overall I'm not a fan of this camera and I barely use it. It looks great and the settings/buttons are really good, it's very straightforward to use and is the definition of point and click. It should be ideal for somebody like me who just wants to take photos for ebay and photos of family/friends/holidays etc. However, in terms of taking photos there is much to be desired. I can get by with this, but the photos are not very good and I find myself asking to use my partners camera most of the time, even for boring things like ebay. Although this camera is a great price, I would recommend shopping around to get a camera which takes better photos. Memories are important and you need a decent camera to take photos of special moments.

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                      07.02.2014 09:43
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                      Works for me!

                      I've been using Rimmel Match Perfection foundation for about three years now. At £6.99 per bottle it's affordable, and can often be bought on offer or as part of a 3 for 2 at boots.

                      The bottle is clear glass but you can never quite see how much is left as the thickness of the product means that the inside glass is always coated. There is a lid which snaps off and there is a pump inside, personally I like the pump as it means a less messy application, although the pump never quite gets the dregs at the bottom so I always end up leaving the bottle upside down towards the end to make sure I get all the product out.

                      The foundation is a thick liquid. I usually pump onto the back of my hand and apply with a cosmetic sponge. Being a pale type, I use the 'True Ivory' shade. My skin is normal and I'm lucky in that I rarely have problems with blemishes. Being 27, my skin is quite young so I am conscious of being 'caked'. This foundation goes on quite thin. However that does well for me - it evens up my skin tone and gives me a touch of colour with added SPF 18. However, I don't think it would be effective for people who had skin blemishes or discolouring which they wanted to cover.

                      This foundation meets my needs and if you have similar skin to me I highly recommend it. However I appreciate that people use foundation for different reasons, and this foundation might be too light for some people. If you just want a bit of even colour which is affordable and goes on easily, you could do a lot worse than Match Perfection foundation.

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