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This is Fall Out Boy's 2013 album, and I can most definitely hear some of their older music in here as well, but at the same time, I feel they have gone more mainstream in their music, to be honest, since their older stuff. I can understand that, given that they want more money out of their career, and I do think their music is good. I just feel it is a shame that they are now so much more mainstream than they used to be, aiming their music more at pop lovers, as opposed to their more punkier sound that they started out with, with Folie a Deux.
1. "The Phoenix"
2. "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)"
3. "Alone Together"
4. "Where Did the Party Go"
5. "Just One Yesterday" (featuring Foxes)
6. "The Mighty Fall" (featuring Big Sean)
7. "Miss Missing You"
8. "Death Valley"
9. "Young Volcanoes"
10. "Rat a Tat" (featuring Courtney Love)
11. "Save Rock and Roll" (featuring Elton John)
The first song on this album, "Phoenix", immediately screams 'pop' to be honest. It still has that FOB feel that other songs have had by them. It does still sound like them. But it has a distinctive pop feel to it as well, which was somewhat disappointing for me. I like the song, it just isn't quite like their older style, which I did prefer. I feel that this song is quite repetitive for an opening song as well. The chorus just seems to go on and on at times, and while it's alright to listen to once or twice, much more than this and you do get bored of it, I'm afraid to say.
However, the second song on the album, "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark", is a complete contrast to this, and I love the song so much I've probably listened to it 100 times in the last couple of days alone. For me, this is by far the highlight of the album, and I could listen to it over and over again without having any issue with doing so. I love the instrumentals and the lyrics, and it just all seems to come together so nicely.
The other main song that I do love on this album is "Rat a Tat". I am something of a Courtney Love fan anyway, although I am rather selective with her songs. This is one that I do like, however. The guys in FOB work well with her style, I think. Her introduction to this track just immediately gets you hooked and makes you want to listen to more of the song. I think this is a good use of Courtney Love, because she does get you hooked right away.
I do also like "Save Rock and Roll" because of the meaning behind it more than anything else. The slower tempo of this song would normally put me off, I must admit, but in this case, I could listen to this song a few times before I would get bored and switch the station over or whatever. I think the inclusion of Elton John on this track does work really well, though, and it really adds something to the track that otherwise wouldn't be there. I like the references to some of their earlier work in this song as well; "going down swinging" being a good example of this.
I'm sad to say though that really, the rest of the songs on this album are more or less just mediocre in my opinion. They're alright. And I wouldn't change the radio station or whatever if on of their songs did come on. I must say I do miss the old FOB though, so I can't really give this album any more than a 3 out of 5. I wanted to like it a lot more than I do, but I just don't. The few good songs are good, but I just feel there's something missing from this to be honest.
If you can pick the album up cheaply somewhere, do so and it wouldn't be so bad. I paid £12.99 for this, and I'd say that was too much, personally.
(For the record, I have the 23 track deluxe edition of this album, rather than the standard version which I believe has 14 songs on it.)
Anyone that has ever listened to a song by Pitbull has probably gathered from that song alone that all of his songs are about sex, and that really is about the extent of the subject he covers in his songs. And yet, oddly, I really like his songs. There's no rhyme of reason to it. I normally find that kind of music to be rather distasteful, to be honest. I think it's more the fact that the majority of his songs are really catchy, though, and you end up singing along before you realise exactly what you're singing about. And that just isn't a good thing at times with some of his songs!
Global Warming is the seventh studio album by Pitbull. It was released towards the end of last year, so I'm sure you've probably heard some of these songs playing on radio stations or in shops. I know I've certainly heard many of his songs this way.
I'd normally list the tracklisting here, but even the tracklisting contains explicit terms, so for once, I'd rather say "If you're that interested, go to Amazon and look for yourself" because I don't wish to be removed from the site for excessive bad language! For the same reason, I will only mention some of the songs - I'm going to focus mainly on the ones that everyone ought to know, and a couple that aren't so commonly known.
"Don't Stop The Party" is the first song on this album that you'll probably recognise. It's one of his more recent releases from the album. I don't think it was quite as well played as certain other tracks, though. I do like this song. It has a party feel to it. I think this is why this song became fairly popular, even without being played much on radio stations. It's the kind of thing you'd expect to hear at beach parties or pool parties (not that I've ever been, for the record!) but the video certainly backs this up in that it's actually set at a pool party. Something I do like about Pitbull is the fact that he does use Spanish in many of his songs, reflecting his Cuban heritage. (His real name is Armando Christian Peréz, which shows his heritage as well, in fairness. He was, in fact, born in Miami, though.) This is one of those where he utilizes his Spanish in lines such as "no pare la fiesta"; don't stop the party.
If you've never heard the previous song, you'll most probably know "Feel This Moment" which was a much bigger hit than "Don't Stop The Party" was. Some of this is probably due to the fact that Christina Aguilera also plays a massive role in this song. It will, undoubtedly, have convinced more people to give this song a go. Fans of either of the artists would probably like this track. It's a pretty catchy song, much like the last one, and that certainly adds to the draw of the song. I, personally, actually prefer "Don't Stop The Party", but I can see why people would like this one better. Christina Aguilera does provide a nice contrast with Pitbull, admittedly.
If you like "Men In Black" (particularly the third one!) you're going to recognise the next song; "Back In Time". It was part of the "Men In Black" soundtrack, which instantly made it a big hit. Again, I personally prefer "Don't Stop The Music" but it does fit "Men In Black" pretty well as a song, to be honest. And this is probably the least sexual song on the album, to be honest. It's more about the things happening in the film, rather than anything else, so it works well in that respect.
"Rain Over Me" is one of my favorites from this album, but as far as I know, it has never actually been released, and was only available on the Deluxe edition of the album. Pitbull does use Spanish more within the track than he does in some of the other tracks, and I think this may have contributed to why it was never released. As a fluent Spanish speaker though, I suppose this doesn't bother me much at all. The somewhat obvious sexual connotations of the title probably didn't help this either, to be honest. And the lyrics. Yeah. There's probably a reason this wasn't released. But I still love it. It's a catchy song. And I like Mark Anthony, who also sings on the track, as well, so this obviously helps.
"International Love" is another of the tracks on this album that everyone has probably heard at one point or another. I do like this song, again, but I prefer some of the others on the album more, to be perfectly honest. I'm not much of a fan of Chris Brown, and he is very prominent on this track. Pitbull is great, as usual, but the use of Chris Brown was what has made me dislike this I think. It's not that I hate it, I just don't like it as much as I could have if, say, Mark Anthony had sung it instead. I know it is one of the more well played tracks on the album though, so I can't really complain.
"Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)" is one of the more obviously sexual songs on the track, more like "Rain Over Me". Again, I think this is most probably why it was never released. There really isn't any lyrics I could even post from this song, to be honest, it's just that bad. It explicit, but it is very obvious with what it's talking about. It's a very catchy song though, and you have to stop yourself from singing it out loud, to be honest.
The deluxe version of this album costs £8 on Amazon. The 'normal' version is £6. Buy the deluxe version. It's so worth it.
I'd definitely recommend this album as a whole. I'd give it 4 stars out of 5 though because of the subject matter, and the fact that you have to be so careful where/how you listen/sing along to this song.
Bullet For My Valentine are a heavy metal / rock / screamo band from Wales. They are made up of Matthew (Matt) Tuck (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Michael (Padge) Paget (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jason (Jay) James (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Michael (Moose) Thomas (drums). They've been together as a band since 1998, and are still going strong today.
Scream, Aim, Fire was the first album that I actually bought by Bullet For My Valentine (and I then went out and purchased the others after I had purchased this one, actually). I had been a fan since their previous album, The Poison, which was released three years earlier. For whatever reason though, I had never actually bought The Poison until about 2009, a year after I bought Scream, Aim, Fire when it was released in 2008. I don't recall exactly how much I paid for this album but it can currently be bought for around the £5 mark on Amazon. Believe me, it's worth every penny of that, and I'd happily pay three or four times that amount to have this album! (And I probably did, to be honest!)
Tracklisting for this album is as follows:
1. "Scream Aim Fire"
2. "Eye of the Storm"
3. "Hearts Burst into Fire"
4. "Waking the Demon"
6. "Deliver Us from Evil"
7. "Take It Out on Me"
8. "Say Goodnight"
9. "End of Days"
10. "Last to Know"
11. "Forever and Always"
I think it's safe to say that I love every track on this album. This is one of many albums that really did help me to get through a pretty rough time, especially the death of my best friend which happened only a couple of months after this album came out. It had some of his favorite songs on it, so it helped me to think I could listen to something that he loved. It allowed me to feel as though he was still here in a way, even if he wasn't physically with me, so it helped an awful lot in that respect. And then when my mother became ill, I didn't really have anyone to talk to and just had to do my best to look after her, so being able to turn to music was something that become very important to me. I therefore listened to this album even more, along with many others.
"Scream, Aim, Fire" is the first track on this album, and it does provide an excellent introduction to the album as a whole. The fast drum beat in the background really makes you get into the song. I always find myself tapping my foot at least if I hear this song. Admittedly, the bad language used in places isn't ideal, but this doesn't overly bother me here given the subject matter of the song being somewhat war-like, and centers on the idea of killing. It does rather fit the subject, in fairness to Bullet For My Valentine. Parental Guidance is advised in this album anyway. The main part that I love about this track is the instrumentals because they just grab you immediately, and you know right away that this is a Bullet For My Valentine track.
"Eye of the Storm" has to be one of my favorite tracks from this album. I love the instrumentals again, as before (and to be honest, the instrumentals are probably my favorite part of most songs by Bullet For My Valentine) but I do love the lyrics as well. With lines such as 'All that's left are just bodies to mourn' I found that the track was pretty apt for the time after my best friend passed away, but somehow, knowing I had the songs on this album as well really helped.
"Hearts Burst into Fire" is a much slower song compared with the two that come before it. This is evident right from the introduction, where you immediately notice the change in tempo. This track is one that would appeal to anyone that has recently split up with someone, or has split up with someone and misses them, anyway. Or even for someone that has been away for a long time and is going home, for that matter. It talks about being away from home, with lines like "I've been gone for far too long; do you remember me at all?". This track really doesn't have a lot of screaming in it at all and is predominantly made up of Matt singing, which is why I really like this track. I like the screaming, admittedly, because he doesn't do it in a way that makes it hard to understand, but it's nice to see this change here.
"Waking the Demon" is a track that I actually didn't like much initially. It does have a lot of screaming in it though, especially compared with the more gentler tone of the previous track, so I think this may be why it took me a while for this one to grow on me. Now I love it though. There are parts of the track that don't contain any screaming though, which I think actually does create a nice contrast with the screaming parts of the track. If you like screamo type music then you'll probably like this track. If you don't, you may really dislike it. It's one of the few tracks on this album that I've found to really be controversial at all in that respect.
"Disappear" is a track that I love. It talks about bullying, essentially, and getting revenge on the bully. I like the way that Bullet For My Valentine have done this track though because it even includes lines that show that even though they got revenge, they then feel bad for what they've done. I was bullied throughout school and I have to say that I can completely relate to this in that I allowed it to go on for a long time, then I finally reacted in something of an outburst. I felt bad about it, really bad. This is captured perfectly in the chorus of this song, and some of the other lines in the verses as well;
"So what's wrong, tough guy? Why the tears? You drove me to this, now you disappear! Now all those acts repaid! Your turn to be afraid! Not longer, almost done. Oh, God, just what have I become?"
"Deliver Us From Evil" is the longest track on this album at a little under six minutes long. This song is much gentler again in comparison with the previous track. The subject matter is somewhat similar in parts as well, but more about the effects of what happens in negative situations. I love this track so much, and listen to it all the time. It could feel very much as though it fits a number of situations though, which is what I think makes it such a great track.
"Take It Out On Me" is another really great track. In contrast with the previous track, this one is much faster and louder in general, but it isn't particularly full of screaming. I like the fact that it's just one of those tracks that you pick up really quickly, and the lyrics actually appealed a lot to me at the time when my best friend passed away. Much like with "Disappear", it helped me to deal with the way certain people were around me as well. I think this album as a whole helped me a lot, but this was one of the tracks that was especially good for that.
"Say Goodnight" is my least favorite track on this album, simply because it is so much slower than all the other tracks and feels like it has been shoved in there to fill a space more than anything else. It's a decent track by itself, I suppose, but it simply doesn't sound like Bullet For My Valentine. I tend to find myself zoning out a bit, or changing the song, when this one comes on. It isn't as good as the others in my opinion, and I don't feel it deserves it's place on the album as much as the others either.
"End of Days" is a track that I was initially uncertain about, but as I listened to it more, I found that it was one of the ones that helped me through everything the most. Lines like "No more I care to live when I'm just born to die" you would probably expect it to have done the opposite really, but it made me sort of realize that everyone dies in the end, and you have to make the most of what you've got or you'll end up dying before you've accomplished anything worthwhile. And it made me think of all the things that my best friend would never get to do, and it made me realize that if I didn't do things and take chances more that I'd end up the same, dying having never done things. This song was one that helped me to accept the idea of moving hundreds of miles away from 'home' (not that it ever felt much like that) and move to where I live now, and that was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
"Last To Know" is another good song on this album. I do really like it. I must admit though, it's one I've listened to a lot less than some of the others. I think it's just one of those songs I really like but because it doesn't hold a lot of meaning for me, I rarely tend to listen to it much. I like it, but it's not my favorite.
"Forever and Always" on the other hand is probably my absolute favorite on this album. It reminds me so much of my best friend. We used to live about 50 miles from each other, so we rarely saw each other anyway, but whenever we did see each other, "I wanna stay here forever and always". I know the song is technically about being in love with someone far away instead of just friends, but it does still remind me of him. I've listened to this song so many times, I really couldn't tell you how many. Over 500 times I would think. It's probably my favorite Bullet For My Valentine song of all time to be honest.
As I'm sure you can tell by this point, I absolutely love this album, and would recommend it to anyone. Even if you're not really into the metal/rock/screamo sort of music, you'll still find something on here that you like, I'm sure.
As I love listening to music (and unfortunately everyone in my household dislikes the music I listen to!) I end up having to use headphones a lot. And this has resulted in me trying an awful lot of different types and styles of headphones from a number of different brands. This was one of the brands that I tried recently.
I bought them from Tesco for £5, which I thought was a reasonable price, especially considering that they are made by JVC, which was what originally drew me to these headphones. Normally I wouldn't consider this type of headphone (the ones that are flat on the end like this) as I find that the soft buds that go on the style of headphones I normally buy is more comfortable. Given the price though, and the fact that they were by a good brand, I thought they would be worth a go.
They came in a little plastic tube that resembled a miniature glasses case, but I didn't keep them in this for long. I simply threw it away and kept the headphones with my MP3 player instead. However, the case was small enough that you could've kept them in there without it adding much bulk to whatever you were carrying or wherever you were storing them if you wanted to do so.
Inside the plastic container there was a label that essentially just told you what the brand was and what not to do with headphones. Pretty standard stuff really. It also stated that they should be disposed of correctly. So presumably, put them in the bin, don't flush them down the toilet or throw them in the neighbour's hedge when they break, or something.
The ones that I bought were black in colour, but I have seen them in a number of other colours as well, including red, blue, pink and white. They had JVC written on each earphone, and the L and R symbols to show which ear you should put each headphone in. I don't think I really paid much attention to this and didn't notice the difference much to be honest, but it's still useful, I suppose.
When it came to using them, I found that they weren't as bad as some other types of headphones I've tried when it came to putting them in my ears. They weren't as comfortable as the soft budded ones, but they were okay.
The cord that they were attached to was a decent length as well, being a metre and a half, and I don't believe I ever came across a time when they weren't long enough. The set of headphones I had before these ones were pathetic in this department. The cord was about 50cm long. Seriously. There was no way you could really listen to music through them unless you held the device in your teeth or something! I really should've read the label before I bought those ones! Needless to say though, I checked on this one first.
When it came to listening to music with them, they were pretty good. The volume of the music didn't seem to make too much difference to the quality of the sound that came out of them, and I found that they were good for every type of music I tried them with, from classical to heavy rock. Even on a quieter volume I could still hear the music, and when it was up louder nobody ever complained they could hear it which is always a good thing!
I would definitely recommend these headphones, but I will only be giving them four stars out of five because they don't have the soft budded earphones that I prefer.
This was the first mobile phone that I ever had. As my high school was 30 miles from home, if the bus back was late, obviously I had to be able to let my mother know I wouldn't be back on time. Similarly, if the bus didn't turn up, I lived about 3 and a half miles from my bus stop, so I had to let her know that I hadn't been picked up, or hadn't been dropped off on time so that she wouldn't be worried if I was exceedingly late for whatever reason. So she bought me this phone. It only cost about £30 at the time I believe, which was pretty good really, and she always kept it topped up with £5 every couple of months just so that I had it for emergencies.
The phone that I had came with a grey coloured case which I used with it in order to protect the original mobile phone. It worked pretty well, and I must admit that even now it doesn't have many scratches on it. It was easy enough to use the buttons through the case as well, even though the case did make the phone more bulky to use.
The buttons were well spaced out, being about a centimetre or so each in size with a half a centimetre gap between them. The phone itself was about 12cm long and about 5cm across with a depth of about 3cm, so it was quite a bulky thing to have in your pocket.
It was a black and white phone. It was very basic. It didn't have a camera, it had no space for additional storage at all, it had no bluetooth, infrared or even internet connectivity as far as I recall. It was just a very basic mobile phone that could be used for texting, calling and playing games on.
The main game I remember it having on it was snake. You must remember snake. It was probably the most popular game of the time. It was a pretty cool game, and I still like playing it now. Essentially, you just had to control the snake as it went around the phone screen and make it eat all the pixels. It was very easy, but very captivating because you wanted to make the snake as long as you could.
The only other features I remember it having really was the calculator. It came in handy at times to have the calculator on it, but it wasn't really a necessity. It was seen as an extra. I also remember it having a host of smilies that you could send in SMS texts, but it didn't do MMS texts so that probably explains the excess of smilies.
In terms of battery time, it was pretty good. It lasted a couple of days most of the time without needing to be charged up. If you used it to call it would still last a day. I was more than happy with it, and never went anywhere without it, even though I rarely actually used it.
The thing that I find the most surprising about it is that it still works even now. The only thing that stops it from working is the fact that the charger broke. The phone itself is fine. If I ever needed to go back to a basic phone I'd have no reason to hesitate in buying another of these.
This was the first phone I ever bought for myself, so naturally it's something of a special phone for me in that sense alone. I know that it may seem a little odd to say that a phone which isn't particularly good, especially by today's standards, is special, but I think that everyone's first mobile phone they buy themselves, especially these days, is seen as that little bit more special.
I'd saved up all my birthday money and Christmas money to get this phone, which cost me £45 at the time, and came with a £10 top up. I NEVER had a £10 top up on any of my previous phones. Ever. So this alone made the phone that bit more special.
The design of the phone was what originally drew me to it when I was looking at it in the shops. I liked the bold black lines that surrounded the keyboard and the screen, and I liked the angular shape of the black section at the top of the phone. I've always loved cats (I've got two cats at the moment) and I thought that the black lines looked a bit like cats ears. And that was that. I had to have it. I did find the phone to be relatively heavy compared with my old one though. It seemed to have quite a bulky battery, so perhaps that's why?
The design of the keyboard was really easy to use as well though, once I had been using it for a few days. I hadn't paid much attention to it before, but the way that the arrows to move around the screen were placed meant that you could easily do it with one thumb, and each of the buttons individually seemed really responsive.
However, there really wasn't a lot on the phone at all. It could access the internet using GPRS, but it was really slow and would take at least 10 minutes per page to load, which is never a good thing. And when it came to sending things, there was really no way to get anything from the phone to the computer, which meant that all the photographs on the phone are literally stuck there. It had infrared, which for the time was pretty advanced, but there were better bluetooth phones out there that could send things a lot better than infrared could as you had to be really close to people to use the infrared feature. Of course, you could send a text using the MMS feature but that was costly - about £1 a text if I remember rightly - and as money was really tight, there was no way I was going to be wasting my £5 credit I got every two months (and on special occasions such as my birthday, of course) on sending ringtones and photographs of useless things to everyone.
The camera on the phone wasn't horrendous, but it wasn't great either - I remember all my friends' phones having 3MP cameras on them and mine had a VGA camera. In other words, it really didn't take good photographs at all, and they often came out blurry. They were really only useful if you were taking a photo for the background of your phone, or perhaps for the screensaver (which ultimately just faded to black anyway).
The battery wasn't particularly good on it either. I remember reading the box of the phone and thinking "Wow, 375 hours battery life, I'll never have to charge this!" and then within about two or three days (if I hadn't used it at all, that is) the battery was dead and I was left with a non-functioning phone until I plugged the charger into it. If I actually used the phone to make a call or text people (I rarely did, to be honest) then the battery would be dead by about 5pm. It really did take the battery. Luckily it was only really there for emergency use!
One function that I did find really useful on the phone was the voice recorder, as I used to like to listen to a lot of music. However, it wasn't ideal having to record the songs in 30 second bits. That was the only way the phone would allow you to record though. 30 seconds was the maximum per file. It was fine for me back then, but I really don't think it would be acceptable at all nowadays.
It did have games on it, although which games it had, I can't really recall. I know I did download one or two 50p games for the phone, though, when I still had some credit left at the end of my two months with £5. I seem to recall I had a racing type game on it, and that was easy enough to control using the keyboard on the phone, but I don't remember what else there was. The games seemed to take the battery almost as much as calling did, though, so it wasn't like I really played on the games particularly often anyway.
One major bonus I did find with this phone however was that it always, and I mean always, had a signal. Even when nobody else had one (on the same network, that is - Vodafone) I had a signal still. It's a useful thing to always have a signal, I must admit.
Overall, I would say that it did everything I needed it to at the time, but nowadays it would be completely useless to anyone, to be honest. I would recommend it as an emergency replacement phone, perhaps, but it would need two or three spare batteries if you use it regularly. I wouldn't buy one now, but for what I needed it for it was fine.
I don't entirely know what it was that made me buy this in the first place to be honest, but I did. It was only £1 in Poundland, and somehow it made it's way into my basket. And then I completely forgot about it and found it in the cupboard several months later (about October time last year was when I rediscovered it).
Upon noticing that it should subtly top up your tan to give you a "summer glow" as the bottle states, I figured 'Oh, why not give it a go!' even though I'm not one to be particularly tanned anyway. It also specified that it would moisturize at the same time, which is always a bonus considering I do tend to suffer from dry skin, particularly on my arms and hands.
The lotion itself is a yellow sort of colour, which I suppose is what you should expect from a product that should tan? I don't really know, considering that this is the only one I've ever used. It seemed like it should be yellow in my mind though. The scent reminded me of biscuits, which I thought was a bit strange really, but I suppose it has to smell of something.
The bottle states that you should apply it in circular motions daily in order to get an even coverage, so this was what I did, trying to make sure I hadn't missed any areas. It seemed to look alright once I was finished, and thankfully it didn't seem to make me look orange (apart from on my knees - not entirely sure why this was though - I just took to putting a lot less on my knees!).
It did seem to be a bit on the greasy side when I applied it, and seemed to take quite some time to absorb, which is a shame really because it means you can't just sling some clothes on over the top of it and expect it to stay there. I'd say it took about fifteen minutes to feel like it had been entirely absorbed. I didn't notice it coming off at all though after I had showered, which is definitely a good thing. I half expected getting it wet to mean it would just come straight off, or leave blotches of it on, but it didn't really seem to do this at all.
Continuing to apply this did seem to keep my 'tan' looking alright, although once it came to December time I did end up not using it anymore because I bought a bottle of my favorite Nivea creme instead and I sort of ended up substituting it with Nivea instead (not a tanning one though, just an ordinary one).
It did moisturize my skin fairly well, although I would have to say that the Nivea creme I use does a better job, which is the main reason that I have knocked one star off my rating. If you're looking for this to tan rather than to moisturize though, then it's a decent product. I simply didn't find it moisturizing enough for me.
When I had stopped using it, I noticed that it didn't take long for the 'tan' to disappear and I looked a lot whiter! It worked, that's the main thing.
I would recommend this to people, although I doubt I would personally buy it again because tanning isn't something that I tend to do a lot of, so for me it's basically like buying an additional product I don't need. If it's something you do a lot of though, then I'd definitely recommend it for you!
(Note: The sun protection factor I really have no idea about. I no longer have the bottle. I don't recall it having any SPF at all, though, but I may be wrong!)
I received this hair dryer as a Christmas present last year after mentioning to my mother that I'd never actually owned a hair dryer. She seemed very surprised at this and, apparently, thought this was essential, so I ended up with a hair dryer as my main Christmas present from her.
It came in a pink/purple and white coloured box which had a picture of the hair dryer on it and basic instructions for how to use it (or how not to, I suppose). I didn't really spend much time looking at the box, I just got the hair dryer out to have a look at it, to be honest. I did notice though that the hair dryer was a 2000W one, which I assumed would mean it was a good one? I don't really know whether this is the case or not, but it does what I need it to do anyway so I'm happy with that.
The hair dryer itself is primarily black in colour, which suits me just fine, but the horizontal part of the hair dryer does have a section of it that is silver, with VISIQ written on it in black font. I do quite like the way that it looks, although to be fair I don't really care much about colours of things, it's the function I care about more than anything else.
The first time I came to use it, it was very easy to use. You just plug it in and turn it on and off you go! One thing I would say about the plugging in stage, however, is that the cable isn't as long as I would have liked it to have been. It's probably one and a half metres long, I suppose, but the only plug in my room, where I use the hair dryer the most, is behind the television, so that one and a half metres doesn't really reach very far. I suppose I could go and sit out in the corridor, but that would be a bit strange. Still, I manage.
In order to turn the hair dryer on, you just have to slide the buttons to the position you prefer (essentially hot or cold, fast or slow) and you're off. I don't normally use the concentrator nozzle that comes with it, but the option is there if you prefer to.
I'd say that it normally takes about ten to fifteen minutes to dry my hair, but considering that my hair is half the way down my back, I think it's fair to say that my hair is exceptionally long (and yes, it really does need a trim to say the least!), so it shouldn't take anywhere near that length of time if your hair is shorter.
When I'm done with it, I hang it up using the hanging hoop thing that has been provided for that purpose, or if I'm really in a rush, I just end up shoving it in a draw (for example if people are literally knocking at the door already!).
As this was a gift, I don't know how much my mother paid for this. However, a quick search has revealed that Argos charge just £8.99 for one of these. Quite a bargain, even if you only use it occasionally!
I originally purchased this a few years ago for a camping trip we were going on to the Lake District. We had no idea what facilities would be provided anywhere near where we were going, so I decided that purchasing something that could be used to heat food and drink would be handy to have. In the end though we didn't really use it a lot as we simply ate cold food instead on that particular trip.
Since then though it has had a lot more use on subsequent camping trips, and even at home on the rare occasion where we've had no power. If it wasn't for this little camping stove, I don't know what we would've done in the winter when we had no power for three or four days.
I bought this stove in Argos for £12.99 (I think? Given that it's still that price, it seems unlikely it was that much, although I seem to remember it did cost this.) For anyone wanting to buy it now though, it's in Argos for £12.99 according to the website. I think this is a very good price for such a useful product.
Bare in mind, though, that you'll have to purchase butane gas cartridges to go with this for it to work, and these typically cost upwards of £5 for four cartridges. Argos sell them for £9.99 for four, but I know Asda normally have them a lot cheaper than this, so it's worth looking around. Each of them should last 2 hours though, and it's rare you'd ever use it for that long just to prepare one thing anyway. Boiling water takes just five minutes, to give you an idea of time needed for things to cook.
Another extra you'll need to purchase to go with this is the pots and pans needed to cook with it. I already had a set of camping pots and pans so I didn't need to purchase any at the time. However, a quick search on Argos' website (I thought I might as well, seeing as I was on there anyway checking the price of the stove!) has revealed that for £19.99 you can get a set that includes two large cooking pots, a saucepan, a kettle and a grill pan. I'm sure it would be possible to get the same for less money, again, perhaps try Asda towards the end of the summer season. I've managed to pick up camping beds for £3 from there before in their sale, so it's worth a check.
The stove itself came in a black container when I purchased it, and I have kept it in this since in order to protect it from getting damaged at all. The container it comes in is large enough to be able to hold a bottle of the butane gas used to power this as well (as it shouldn't be stored inside the camping stove in case it turns on for safety reasons.) The container hasn't been damaged at all since I've bought this. It's a very robust thing, despite being taken on probably 15 or so different camping trips. And neither has the stove, thankfully!
In order to use the stove you need to clip the butane gas canister in place. Essentially, it just needs to be clipped into the holder. You'll know it's in because it'll click. It should be removed from this again once you've finished with it, again, just unclip it and take it out. It's not difficult to do but this is essential for safety reasons. It must be removed when not in use, and the canister should be kept somewhere cool. I've always kept mine in one of those picnic coolers personally, just to be ultra safe.
When it comes to using the stove, there is a child safety mechanism which means that in order for the gas to come on you have to press the knob in and then turn it (much like a gas cooker). While this isn't much of a concern for me most of the time (I don't have children myself but some of my camping buddies do) it is still useful as a feature in case anyone else's children somehow get hold of it.
I've always used this on top of bricks because of it getting hot and not wanting to start a fire. It also provides more of a stable surface, which helps to prevent the water boiling over or food being unevenly cooked.
Once the stove has been turned on and set to the temperature you want, you just need to cook/boil/grill whatever it is that you're cooking. The stove should never be left unattended while it's turned on, obviously. It does get quite hot when you're using it, given that it's made out of metal (aluminium and steel, to be precise.) As long as you allow it to get cool after you've finished cooking with it (and make sure nobody touches it in the mean time!) it's not a problem though. It's normally cool by the time you've eaten whatever you cooked, or drank the water you boiled on it, so to be fair I don't really see this as much of a problem anyway.
I always try to store my stove flat in it's container, although as far as I know there's no reason why it can't be stored upright either. I don't think it really matters which way around you store it.
I would definitely recommend this stove to anyone that goes camping regularly (you can get a lot of use out of this before needing to replace it! I sure have and it's still going strong!). I'd recommend it as a backup to have at home, as well, though, for when the power goes out for long periods of time, as it's been something of a lifesaver for me in those situations as well.
I really enjoy growing vegetables and flowers, and I have spent a lot of time doing that since moving into the new house a couple of years ago. We now have a larger garden, meaning more space for the vegetables and flowers to be grown. When I was in Wilkinsons and saw these seed trays last October I thought they would be ideal to use for growing more vegetables and flowers in the next few months.
The trays themselves came in packs of three (and I bought five packs, so fifteen seed trays in total). The trays themselves are black in colour, although I believe they also come in green (I bought some of those years ago, although whether they're still available in green now, I'm unsure). Each of the individual trays contains forty individual pots for the seeds to go in.
As each of the individual pots is approximately seven centimetres deep and four centimetres across either way, it means that they are the perfect size for the plants when they're small, giving them enough room to get started without being overcrowded, so they really are the perfect size.
The trays fit perfectly on my miniature greenhouse as well, which is another added bonus. The trays as a whole are approximately 35cm long and 20cm wide, which makes them pretty decent in terms of size as a whole as well.
In terms of how much compost each of the seed pots hold, it does depend on how large the seeds are (larger seeds are going to need less compost than those tiny seeds you can't even see, after all!) but in general, I would say each one probably holds around three to four spoonfuls of compost. This is a good thing in my opinion because it means that the compost will last a lot longer than it would have done if it was used to fill deeper pots per plant.
The trays are made of thin plastic which is fairly flimsy and very easily crushed, which is something that I find to be quite annoying given that the seeds and seedlings within the seed pots are quite fragile when they're young and can easily be broken or disturbed to the point where they won't grow any more and could die very easily. For this reason, I try to make sure that they are transplanted into other pots before they are able to be crushed.
However, the trays are pretty good in general at starting plants off because they provide individual support for the individual plants in order to make sure that they grow well to begin with. I think that they do work well in this respect. As long as you put one seed in each of the different pots, they'll have enough space to grow without being overcrowded for their first few days and weeks of life before getting moved on into larger pots.
In terms of price, I paid 10p per pack of three (so 3p each!), which to say the least is a bargain! However I believe that the recommended retail price for these currently is £1.50, making them 50p per tray.
I've been a fan of lush products for years, to be honest, but the solid shampoo bars are something I had never tried from the vast range of products that Lush create. I never really thought to try them, to be honest, preferring just to purchase the shampoos in a bottle because this was more what I was used to, I suppose. I was in the store one day looking at the range of products I hadn't yet bought and realized this was the case, that I had never bought or used a shampoo bar from Lush, so I decided I'd give it a go.
There is no packaging that comes with this, but you can purchase a shampoo bar tin if you want something to put it in. This is probably a good idea if you're taking it on holiday with you because it means that you've got something to keep it in so that it doesn't get onto your clothing or anything, but otherwise, I don't think it's really necessary to purchase this, especially given that they're £2.50 each. The likelihood of needing to take more than one on holiday with you is pretty slim however, given these bars do last a long time.
As for Seanik itself, it gets it's name from the fact that there is seaweed and sea salt actually in the shampoo bar. The vivid blue colour of this shampoo bar adds to the idea of it being like the sea as well in my opinion, even though the sea in this country is usually nothing like the vivid blue of this shampoo bar!
The ingredients, according to Lush's website, for this shampoo bar are as follows:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Irish Moss Gel, Perfume, Nori Seaweed, Fine Sea Salt, Lemon Oil, Mimosa Absolute, Orange Flower Absolute, Jasmine Absolute, Cocamide DEA, Limonene, Colour 42090.
The featured ingredient, again according to the Lush website, is the Nori Seaweed, which is actually red in colour before it is cooked to be put into the shampoo bars. I found this quite interesting, given that you tend to associate seaweed with being green, so I thought I'd add that fact in for you guys. You learn something new every day, right?
When it comes to using Seanik, as soon as it gets wet you can smell the sea. Literally. The seaweed and sea salt are probably mostly to blame for this, I would imagine. The other scents that are supposed to be in there don't come across particularly strongly to me (the orange flower in particular I couldn't smell at all) but I do still like the scent of this so it doesn't bother me too much that not all the scents were strong.
It didn't take more than a few seconds really for the lather to start forming, so I quickly got it on my hair and rubbed it on in circles around my head, and within a matter of about five seconds I had more shampoo lather around my head (and the walls, on the floor, on the shower curtain, even on the sink somehow, although I'm not entirely sure how that happened!) than I've ever found with shampoos before.
Once I had made eye holes in the lather so I could actually see again, I started to wash my hair with the lather that had been produced. It did a pretty good job of washing my hair as well, leaving my hair feeling really clean, more so than most bottled shampoos I've ever found do in fact. I found that I needed to use hardly any conditioner with it (although I still used it because I felt that would make the test a fairer one against other brands) in order to get my hair feeling great.
Once you've finished using this product, it's recommended that you put it on a soap dish (or in the shampoo tin if you have one) to dry in order to make sure it doesn't break up into nothingness, as it can do if it sits in a pool of water for too long or gets wet too regularly and isn't allowed to properly dry.
When my hair had dried after I had washed it, I found that it was really soft, and it was relatively easy to brush as well. (Given that my hair is most of the way down my back though, it's going to get some knots and tangles, to be fair, and I wasn't expecting miracles.)
The following day my hair was still almost as soft as it had been the day before, and didn't really look like it needed a wash at all. I didn't wash it until later on that evening and it still looked relatively good.
I'd say that I washed my hair approximately 50 times with this shampoo bar before it eventually disintegrated into nothing. I didn't find any problems with the seaweed at all while I was using it, finding that it washed out with the water every time and didn't leave any of it in my hair.
For £5.25, I'd say that this is worth the money, given that I'd say I normally get around 8-10 washes out of a bottle of shampoo I'd buy for £1 or so. It doesn't work out any cheaper in the long run but it certainly is a lot better for your hair, and seems to leave it feeling a lot fresher and cleaner (and softer too, to be fair) when you've finished using it.
When I initially bought this product it was bought more for the fact that it smelled of coconut - a smell I love - than for any other reason. The fact that it was there to repair and care didn't really matter much to me, given that this is what most shampoos are supposed to do. It was solely for the fact that it was coconut scented that I bought it.
The packaging for this is entirely brown, with a little bit of blue writing on it and the picture of a coconut on the front. It is exactly the same as the image that Dooyoo have used, which should give you a pretty good idea of what it looks like.
The lid is a flip top lid where you can open it up using a finger or thumb (which I found to be pretty easy, to be fair) and then turn it upside down in order to get some of the shampoo out of it. This was a pretty simple mechanism for getting the shampoo out of the bottle.
One thing I did immediately notice with this however was how runny it was, and how it came out of the bottle so quickly when I turned it upside down. This is something that annoys me about shampoo because it often means you end up wasting quite a bit of it, and it was no different here with this shampoo. The first time I used it I ended up with far too much!
As for using the shampoo, I didn't really notice any sort of improved condition of my hair when I used it. Even after using it several times I didn't notice any real improvement at all. I did notice that it smelled strongly of coconut even a couple of days after you'd used it though which I would say is definitely a good thing as I like the smell of coconut, but if you don't like it then I wouldn't recommend this to you at all because the smell certainly does linger.
Having been fairly disappointed with this, I wasn't planning on giving it another go. However, I saw it in Poundland one day with the conditioner for just a pound for the two bottles (shampoo and conditioner (both 400ml bottles) together for just £1!). I couldn't resist, naturally. Especially considering just how good they smelled. Whether they did much good for my hair or not, the smell drew me back to them again!
I was surprised to find that when I used the two products together, my hair became much softer (maybe supersoft wasn't such an exaggeration after all?) and stayed that way for several days. I've since tried using the conditioner with a different brand and it was like I hadn't even bothered to use it at all. I think i can fairly safely conclude from that, therefore, that if you use the two products together, the overall result is much better for your hair.
I'd definitely recommend this shampoo, but only if it is bought and used with the conditioner or it simply doesn't do anything for your hair and you might as well not bother using it. For that reason, I can only give it 4 out of 5.
What initially drew me to this shampoo was the fact that it had the picture of a coconut on the front of it. Being a fan of all things coconut, this seemed like the ideal shampoo for me to buy - provided it worked for my hair of course - and I decided having given it a quick sniff that it was worth a go, whether it turned out to work or not. My hair isn't particularly dry or damaged, in fairness, but it does go through stages of being drier, and tends to suffer from split ends, so I figured it might do my hair some good. And if not, I hoped it would at least smell nice on my hair (and in the bathroom as well for that matter).
It comes in a somewhat cloudy white looking tall plastic bottle now that holds 750ml of shampoo - a very decent amount in my opinion. When I first bought it, the above bottle was more the correct representation of the packaging, but now they have changed it into a circular bottle instead which is much more white than the one above. The overall look is quite similar though, with brown and white being the predominant colours. It's still the same stuff though, as far as I'm aware, only without the picture on the front.
The cap is a flip top style cap that you flip open, then turn the bottle upside down and squeeze to get the shampoo to come out. It's not the sort that will stay in the bottle for long when it's turned upside down though unfortunately, so you need to make sure there's something under it to catch it!
The shampoo itself is a similar colour to the bottle, being a cloudy white colour. It is fairly thick, but will run if you're not careful with it. I think this is a good thing because it means you don't waste too much of it. When you apply it to your hair I've found that there is a fair amount of lather that comes from it which is a good thing as well because it suggests that it's doing it's job, even though this isn't technically necessary. It just feels as though it is.
It certainly seems to feel like it cleanses your hair, and the smell of coconut is very present when you're washing your hair. If you don't like coconut, to be honest, you really won't like this at all. If you like coconut though then I'd say you'd definitely like it. When you wash off all of the shampoo, I'd say the smell of coconut is kind of gone, although once it's dry, if you happen to sniff your hair (mine's half way down my back so it happens fairly often; it just kind of flies around in the wind and smacks me in the face repeatedly!) it still smells of coconut which I think is definitely a good thing. And it does make my hair feel clean once it's dry as well. (Especially if it's used with the Tesco Coconut Conditioner, this seems to make it work the best to be honest.) I did notice my hair was starting to look a little bit less clean by the end of the following day though, but I suppose this is only to be expected really, and few shampoos seem to keep your hair looking good for more than a day or so anyway.
In terms of how long this shampoo lasts for, I'd say I get about 10 washes out of this which I thought was pretty good really considering how long my hair is. It costs 88p normally in my local Tesco, but I have seen it once or twice on offer for 2 for £1 and 2 for £1.50, which obviously makes it a much better deal!
I'd definitely recommend this shampoo, especially alongside the conditioner!
I used to love the Rugrats, and when I learned that there were a few games for PS1 I decided it might be worth buying this game just to see if it was any good, and to see whether it was as fun to play as the shows used to be on TV.
Rugrats: Search for Reptar was released on PS1 in 1998, so it's a fairly old game now. It is aimed at children between the ages of seven and twelve but to be honest I can't see many twelve year olds being even slightly entertained by it these days. Maybe in 1998 when it was first released, but there's apps and facebook games that are more likely to entertain them now in my opinion.
The aim of the game was to find Tommy's Reptar puzzle. Throughout the game you play as different characters from the Rugrats, including Tommy (seen as the main character, although in reality I'd say other characters were just as important), Chuckie, Spike and Angelica.
Each level is played from the point of view of different characters. Within each level you have to find Reptar Bars, which helped with leveling up and finding the Reptar puzzle. There is a wide range of different levels within the game which challenge different elements of skill, such as Chuckie's Glasses in which you have to find the other characters in a hide and seek type game around Tommy's house (and of course find Reptar Bars as well!).
Not all of the levels are particularly easy, given that the character can often slip and slide around on some of the levels which makes controlling them quite difficult. In some of the levels, some things may scare more sensitive children as well, such as the ghosts in the Let There Be Light level where Tommy has to get to the refrigerator downstairs and fight a load of ghosts on the way there.
Each level does pose new difficulties for the characters, and the player as well to be fair, but I think that after playing this game once or twice all the way through (it took my seven year old cousin about 3 hours to complete it, so it's not the most difficult of games!) you know exactly what to do, where to look for things and how to get through each level quickly and it does stop being as fun then. Of course playing in multiplayer mode could solve this for a while, but I really don't see it being the most taxing of games, or even the most entertaining, in the long run, although it's fine for a quick fix.
It can be picked up for as little as £1.95 on Amazon, and I would say that at that price it would be worth giving it a go. I wouldn't pay much more for it though given how it wouldn't keep you engaged for very long, to be honest.
I'd still give this game 4 out of 5 given that it was a decent game at the time, and will entertain you for a short time, but it isn't the most entertaining game out there by any stretch of the imagination, and you could probably get something better for the same money.
(I'd just like to point out that the image with this shows the old style of bottle - they've got a new one now which I have written about in the review. It is the same product, just a new bottle design!)
I've never been a fan of strawberry flavoured drinks because they simply don't taste like strawberry. And as for kiwi, well, I hate kiwi. So why did I buy this drink, you might ask? Simple. It was £1 for 4 bottles of the stuff and I couldn't resist the fact that it was a bargain. Given that they're normally 49p each, it seemed like too much of a deal to miss whether I liked it or not to be honest, so I thought I'd give it a go anyway. (I also bought it in several other flavours as well which I will also review at some point).
The bottle is made from a clear see-through plastic and has a light green see-through plastic label around it telling you what flavour it is. The sparkling version was green, the still was blue. I bought sparkling, which also has a green lid (as opposed to blue) to help you identify which one is which. The bottle itself is somewhat hourglass shaped now, with a circular top third and then a more rectangular bottom two thirds. It's quite a strange shape, or so I thought, but it actually makes it a lot easier to drink from the bottle, so I'm more than happy with this new design.
When it came to drinking this water, I wasn't expecting it to be nice at all. As I said before, I don't like either of the flavours in the drink, so this immediately put me off drinking it, so it was left sitting there until I'd run out of every other cold drink I had. Then, and only then, did I risk trying it!
When I opened it, I immediately found that I was able to smell strawberries. Not those fake ones you normally get in drinks, but real strawberries. (I don't know where the kiwi was, mind you...). This made me a lot more willing to try it, so I quickly poured myself a glass and did just that. And it was actually nice. Very nice. (I've since found that it's even nicer if it comes straight from the fridge but on that first time trying it, it was slightly warm. It was still great though!). It tasted of strawberries initially, then the kiwi came through a little bit, but the strawberries were definitely the main flavour in this drink.
I'd definitely recommend it, even if you don't like the flavours ordinarily, because it does actually taste how it *should* taste. And, even at 49p a bottle (1 litre bottle, that is - the 500ml one is 45p), you're not losing much if you don't like it. Especially if you can get it in the offer I did - 4 for £1.