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This smoothie maker was given to me as a birthday present by my parents and since then I have whipped up an impressive number of deliciously blended creations. It has definitely become an absolute essential kitchen item.
This blender has a very slick design; smart and shiny and compact, it's easy to store away in a cupboard when not in use and if you have a big enough kitchen, it can be easily be kept on a work top without occupying much space.
I'm not going to describe exactly how to use it as this is meant to be an opinion based review and not an instruction manual. However I will say it disassembles and reassembles quickly and easily. The blades can also be cleaned without fuss as the blade unit is detachable from the main components. It is also dishwasher safe for those lucky people who possess them.
This smoothie maker is very easy to use and is specially designed for the lonely smoothie enthusiast as it measures out make one large glass of smoothie. That said, on my birthday party I used this genius creation to make up many different styles of milkshakes for each guest and not one complained that their friend got more than the other.
There are two speed settings on the base unit as well as a 'pulse' option so you can blend your ingredients to different degrees for thick or thin smoothies and milkshakes.
It comes with 2 'travel goblets' and two flip lids so that you can whip up a smoothie and if needs be, take it out with you. While this is a brilliant idea, the size of these individual glasses (0.5L worth) is still rather bulky to carry around unless you happen to have a large bag with you.
What it can blend:
It can blend together ice and a number of dry ingredients with fruit and liquid. However, it is important to note that this blender should not be used just for dry ingredients.
One of my favourite combos is vanilla ice-cream with bananas, oreo cookies and milk. Absolutely luscious!
This smoothie maker also comes with a recipe book included just in case you aren't someone who can just chuck things in a blender and just know that the end result will be fantastic.
As far as I'm concerned at £24.39 from Sainsbury's and a 1 year manufacturer's guarantee, this smoothie maker is a bargain.
In my experience with this smoothie maker I have yet to have any problems whatsoever; no drips, no leaks, no breakages, no cleaning problems.
I would definitely recommend this product to any smoothie and milkshake lovers, especially during the summer seasons!
This perfume is put in a bottle deigned to look like an apple, presumably this is due to the inclusion of a toffee apple scent to create this lovely concoction. On the other hand, it may be due to the 'fairytale' nature this scent is promoted as, perhaps resembling the temptation of the irresistibly red apple in Snow White. Connotations aside, the design is perfectly pretty whilst being easy to handle, unlike some other perfume bottle designs.
Scent and Use:
The aroma is lightly sensual, sweet and long lasting. The flowery basis of the scent makes it a perfect summer and spring fragrance.
I have found that two sprays of this scent will give you a gentle day to day fragrance, but on special occasions I tend to splash out with three sprays from the bottle to give a slightly more intense and confident scent that lasts the whole day.
This fragrance can be bought from John Lewis for £29.99 for 50ml or £45.50 for 80ml.
Although I do not use this perfume every day I believe that the product may be a little too pricey for those who would. However, as this was given to me as a present, I fully encourage those who can afford or are at a loss for present ideas to buy this perfume.
Buy Nina by Nina Ricci for an irresistible aroma to surround you for hours.
Little Big Planet may look like it is designed for children but in reality it seems to be enjoyed by people of all ages. This puzzle platform game takes you through how to play the game in a series of increasingly challenging tasks, accompanied by the dulcet tones of Stephen Fry. Who doesn't like Stephen Fry? You can play through a series of story levels in the game or access the online community levels which have been created by other players.
This game is probably rather easy for those who have decent experience as gamers, but I rather embarrassingly found even the starting levels a bit of a test. The basic gameplay involves employing your sackperson to hang onto, grab, drag or swing items. But sadly my gaming skills are not the best in the world and when it comes to hanging and swinging off items I tend to need a lot of practice and someone else's patience in order to not just huff and puff and give up.
That said, once you get the hang of it this is a fun game to play. Although it does tend to get a little tedious if playing long sessions. I find that playing in short bursts keeps the game interesting and adds value to the skills in each level.
The customisable sack person is lots of fun to create, and a wireless capable PS3 controller allows you to tilt the controller and move your sack person, as well as the controller allowing you to change the expression and hand movements.
I would say that this game is probably a better choice for the casual gamer and those with a more childlike enthusiasm.
I went to Frankie and Benny's for a friend's birthday party expecting full on flavour and value. When trying to decide on meal from the menu, all options look appetising and satisfying. For around £10-£14 for a main meal, I expected a fairly decent result.
However, the leap from paper into reality proved difficult. Firstly, our party was left waiting for our order for almost an hour, granted we were a large group of people on a busy night but I still found this unacceptable, especially as none of the waiters came to check or reassure us.
The food itself when it arrived did not look so spectacular. The sides of chips that most people had were tiny and the main portions themselves did not seem worth the price. My own choice, a meaty calzone the 'Chicago Grinder' was disappointing as I expected a soft, creamy and spiced dish. What I ended up with was meat covered in barbeque sauce and barely any cheese. All the pepperoni was in a clump at the centre and clearly little thought had been put into its preparation. Also, the side of salad was piddling, with a grand total of one cucumber and tomato slice with about three leaves of salad.
The only real redeeming feature was the decor which was funky with large blown up playing cards and retro designs whcih kept the eye at least partly amused during the lengthy wait for food to arrive.
In essence I was extremely disappointed with the poor quality of the food and the service did not really make up for this. I would advise against going to Frankie and Benny's as TGI Friday's is a much better option.
This is one of my favourite restaurants in Nottingham. I normally go there for lunch, which runs from 12 till 3pm, as they have an offer whereby you can get three courses, a starter, a main and a drink such as tea, coffee for around £7. This normally fills my belly quite adequately and I don't feel the need to get dessert.
I generally go on a weekday and it is normally very quiet and cosy at these times so you could probably go in a small group without needing to book a table.
The starters are quite tiny and the trick is to go with a few friends so you can mix and match the three or four portions given in each starter. If you want my personal favourite, go for the 'See Kroong Moo Ob', scrumptious marinated pork ribs!
My favourite main meal is the 'Gaeng Phed Ped Yang', which is a red duck curry. The duck pieces in this are absolutely sinfully moist and succulent. There are also figs, pineapple and lychees which add a brilliant sweetness to the curry that somehow works perfectly.
The staff are always very friendly and polite and on a quiet day don't seem to mind if you loiter for a little while after eating.
The decor in the restaurant is amazing. There are waterfall features and beautiful dragon motifs on display. So if you run out of conversation, you will certainly be entertained by the sophisticated surroundings.
If you fancy going there for Christmas and truly pigging out then there's a fantastic menu on offer for £26.95 per head for parties of 4 or more. For this you get an astounding array of starters and mains to share as well as an assortment of icecreams for dessert.
I recommend this restaurant to anyone in Nottingham who loves brilliant and loud flavours!
This is a great place to do a wide variety of online shopping. Amazon itself hosts on the website their own vast array of products as well as other reputable sellers that host their goods on Amazon.co.uk
I completed my Christmas shopping a week and a half ago on Amazon and the final few items arrived through my door this morning, I'd say that's a pretty good result considering that it is so close to Christmas and the complications with the postal service of late.
The website has an easy search function and category selection in order to narrow down the search of a particular item you want. You can adjust search settings according to many different categories such as; price, seller, average customer review. The items you view and buy are stored in your account so that Amazon can provide personalised suggestions for you.
What I love about Amazon is their 'Free Super Save Delivery'. This sends your shopping to you as soon as possible in as few parcels as possible, for completely free!
For those looking for a bargain, there are regular sales and email updates and the 'Deal of the Week' section is an extremely good part of the site where you can grab many items for a laughable price.
The site also has a 'Wishlist' section whereby you can add items you want and family or friends can search via Amazon for exactly the right presents you want or need.
I recommend Amazon to everyone, especially for those special occasion shopping needs.
This is an American style restaurant with a bar that has the usual suspects such as burgers and fish and chips on the menu.
As far as the main meals and appetizers go, I have yet to sample many items that are truly noteworthy, most are simply bland and ordinary. However, I do heartily recommend the Jack Daniel's ribs for a main course. These ribs are succulent and juicy and the Jack Daniel's sauce is something I yearn to recreate myself.
In general, he best items on the menu for me are the desserts. Sometimes my friends and I treat ourselves with a trip just to greedily much away on the desserts, sometimes even having a dessert made to share for just one rather decadent person. I particularly enjoy the popcorn brownie sundae. A dessert made for two with delicious chucks of brownies topped with icecream, popcorn, fudge sauce and whipped cream. How can anybody resist that!
The staff have always been friendly and courteous whenever I've been to any TGI's restaurant and seem to bear well the Happy Birthday songs and trials they are put through when a customer requests such. They are also well decorated with extravagant badges and stripes which I suppose are to either represent their personality or to show how good an employee they are, either way it makes being served a lot more interesting.
You could probably feed yourself a good meal of a starter, main and dessert with around £20 depending on how extravagant your main meal is.
This drink is easy to make, just pour milk into a glass and then add 3 heaped teaspoons of powder and stir. There is no need to go crazy with the stirring as there is usually no powder residue left on the bottom of the glass even if you stir gently.
I recently bought this gorgeous banana powder and the first sip took me to childhood flashbacks of hot summer days after school where the first snack of choice would be this wonderful milkshake. After creating this milkshake, the banana taste is powerful and delicious, unlike many premade milkshakes that you get in bottles, for instance, Yazoo.
The powder is also available in other flavours such as strawberry and chocolate but I much prefer the banana.
You can currently get a 500g box from Sainsbury's for £2.00 (was £2.69), an offer which you'd do best to take advantage of as the 300g box is £1.71.
For those who may be put off by the idea of this sweetly luscious milkshake, you can rest easy as it has added vitamins to provide some healthiness at least.
I would recommend this as an easy fix and the closest alternative to a milkshake that tastes like a proper banana shake.
This is a children's fantasy movie.
When the Grace family are forced to move into their crazy old aunt's house strange and magical things seem to happen.
The trouble maker in the family typically notices this first but it takes some time before his siblings also eventually get clued up that this is not some elaborate practical joke.
The children soon discover that there is a book which comprises all the combined knowledge of these fantastical creatures. However the evil ogre Mulgarath is after this to further his own rule over the land.
Like most movies with a reasonable budget these days, the special effects are, well, not so special. There's nothing truly unique about them but they are well crafted and of good quality.
The pace of the film is quite fast, considering this is a kiddie movie but with plenty of clichés to help younger children keep up with the story.
What I found appealing about this movie is that characters of the children are certainly most realistic, none of them are perfect or out of the ordinary, they are merely participants in an extraordinary tale.
Quite honestly, this movie left me feeling rather bored and I ended up multitasking with it just running in the background, but I suppose it's worth a watch if you need to entertain the younger generation.
Dexter is a forensics expert at the Miami police department and is an expert in blood splatter analysis. He has a sister who's a cop and a lovely girlfriend Rita who has two charming children. And oh yeh, he's a serial killer.
But Dexter is also a serial killer with his own strange moral code. He plays by a certain set of rules and regulations.
This show is certainly unlike any other, it somehow makes the murderous side of Dexter more of a sidenote that fits into his life, but it soon becomes apparent that this life has been very carefully crafted to hide and facilitate his darker needs.
You slowly begin to develop a strange affection for this character and perhaps even try to understand his justification for killing. His mysterious background and the reasons for his sinister personality are very slowly revealed series by series as his past catches up to and threatens to unravel his code and his existence.
Michael Hall is exceptional as Dexter. He manages to convey the darker side of this character with perfect little intonations when Dexter is playing his 'normal' role and the more sinister monologues which only the audience can hear. He gives Dexter a wry and appealing sense of humour, making the audience truly confused as to whether or not they are supposed to sympathise with or even like the character.
The majority of the supporting cast play a fine role in being oblivious to Dexter's true nature, they often hinder his shady projects but occasionally accidentally offer him insights into what it would be like to be a truly normal suburban human.
Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards) is forced to live with her gruff and mysterious uncle, Sir Benjamin Merryweather (Ioan Gruffudd) after the death of her parents. As she begins to read the mysterious book her father has left her, the history of Moonacre is revealed and its magical wonders are soon apparent to Maria.
However Maria discovers that she must undo the curse unleashed by the betrayed Moon Princess that is soon to fall upon the two feuding families of Moonacre or they will all be plunged into a world of darkness.
As it is a children's movie, much of the plot is flawed when looked at closely and there is greater focus on spectacular costumes and magical special effects.
The characters are stereotypical of ye olde fairy tales and apparent from Maria's nanny (who is the only thoroughly amusing character to provide comedic relief) they are not all that interesting. There is too much confusion between the revelation of the characters' past as well as their current dilemmas. You end up with a horrible mish mash of attempted far too rapid character development that never quite goes anywhere leave alone its believability.
The script and plot is predictable which may perhaps disappoint clever children as well as the adults who must also watch this movie.
This is very much a children's movie and I would its best feature is most definitely the artwork and delicate details that go into forming the Moonacre Manor, there is a sense that this home alone could have inspired an entire series of unbelievable and magical items to delight and amuse.
In essence this was a mildly entertaining film but not really worth an adult's full attention or time.
How I yearn for a Krispy Kreme store in Nottingham. The closest one is Manchester and b though some enterprising young students do drive down and back up to sell these on the Nottingham campus - by that point they've lost some of their freshness and there are only the original glazed ones on offer.
Sometimes I do miss the days of being in London and having the leisure of grabbing some of t he gorgeous donuts while out shopping in Brent Cross.
These are the fluffiest, sweetest, lightest puffs of donut heaven that you will ever have. But they come with a hefty price tag. They cost around £1 each, but as with most things, the more you buy the less cost a piece.
I can prove that these are amazing because even the simplest version of the original glazed will taste better than any donut you've had before.
There are however, oodles of option on offer:
Chocolate Dreamcake - topped with chocolate fudge and shavings of white and dark chocolate.
Caramel Dreamcake - filled with caramel, covered in caramel and chocolate and caramel shavings on top. Delicious.
Chocolate iced and custard filled - pretty self explanatory I think.
Glazed chocolate cake - this is a donut cake! Yes, a donut cake! Covered in original glaze and oh so moist and sweet.
These are all the ones I can remember trying and loving. The next ones for me to test out will be Rocky Road and Key Lime Pie. I'm certain that they won't disappoint. Now... to think of an excuse to get down to London or Manchester. Hmnnn.
Millies cookies can usually be found on many train stations or shopping centres.
If you become a member on their website there are usually vouchers available for you to print off. Currently the promotion for cookies is 'Buy 6 cookies get 6 free'. But there are also other vouchers for smoothies and icecream.
The cookies are absolutely delicious and chewy and best of all - freshly baked. My current favourite cookie is the toffee chocolate which has milk chocolate chips with sections of toffee mixed in to add an extra delicious crunchy.
The oatmeal and raisin is also a yummy cookie, whilst being a bit more hearty than the others and so may fill you up slightly more.
Each cookie is 99p, which is very pricey, but if you get 6 for £3.99 and use the voucher, the heavenly taste of these cookies is a bit more affordable.
Millie's cookies also offer a selection muffins, which are nice enough, but at £1.85 per muffin there are other shops which have ones that taste much better.
Millie's is also associated with Baskin Robbins and so have their range of icecream on sale.
Personally I usually ignore all the other items on offer and head straight for the choice of cookies. Yum.
This is a small and handy book for novice bakers addicted to sweet treats. The recipes are easy and simple to follow and mostly do not require any equipment that you wouldn't already have in the house.
The book is well presented with a picture of the final product on the right page and the list of ingredients and simple recipe on the left. The pictures are realistic and I've found that if you practice enough, your end result should look pretty much as advertised.
There is a large section of recipes for tarts and pies as well as some warm puddings and desserts that are useful for the upcoming cold wintery nights. One thing this book does lack is recipes for cupcakes, I believe there is only one cupcake recipe, which is a shame as this are usually something I love to bake.
The book also has a small but useful nutritional guide at the start so that you keep in mind that you should probably eat healthily and not get too carried away in just making the desserts from this book.
Imagine what it would be like to hear your best friend's thoughts, to hear the thoughts of your boyfriend, the thoughts of everyone around.
This is what happens to Freya McAllister (Navi Rawat). But the power overwhelms her and with nobody believing her, she ends up in a mental hospital. But one day a man comes to recruit her and her ability for a special operations group as part of the NSA. Freya is given a purpose and a life once again, an opportunity to control her gift and try to save people with it.
Brendan Dean (Joe Flanigan) is the highly intelligent cop who has difficulty in believing that Freya has this gift.
While Freya learns to control her gift, she hears things that she's not meant to, private and ludicrous thoughts that yield to comedic moments. There is a lot of character development for Freya, we learn how what happened to her affected her family and the difficulty she has making amends with them.
There are a few shoot-outs and big bangs to keep the thrillseekers interested, but this movie is more 'lets run-around and read peoples' minds' to get to the bottom of the situation and less randomly
blowing things up.
I think this movie would have been much better as a series, as there could be so many more secrets uncovered by using Freya's talent. It is also hinted that there are other people out there that also have strange unique abilities. A new xmen style series would have been fun.