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xxlucexx

xxlucexx
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Member since: 01.10.2008

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      07.08.2013 10:02
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      Good but not great.

      *Boots Soltan Moisturising Suncare Lotion*

      A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were happily caught off-guard by the recent heat wave on a trip to Cornwall. We had just returned from Spain, so we hopped in the car and headed down there with the tent for a cheap long-weekend break. I had briefly seen the news and heard about the hot weather but I didn't think much of it and didn't bother packing any sunscreen.

      Once we got down to Cornwall, we were shocked to find that the temperatures almost matched those that we had been experiencing in Spain just the week before. My boyfriend has very sensitive skin and burns quite easily so it was important that we got some sunscreen as soon as possible. We headed down into St Ives and decided to stop at Boots to buy some. A lot of other people were doing the same as all of their Soltan products were on offer at half price.

      We decided to buy the Moisturising Suncare Lotion (SPF 15) with Insect Repellent. As we had already built up a bit of a tan from being abroad, we just wanted some protection to ensure that we didn't burn. Also, because we were camping, the added in Insect Repellent was an extra bonus as wherever I go I relentlessly get bitten by bugs. So I hoped the product would go some way towards putting a stop to that.

      As there was a half-price offer on, we managed to get the sunscreen for £5.99 (RRP £11.99) for a 200ml bottle. We thought this was excellent value at the price we paid but I don't think I would have bought the product if it had been full-price as we could have bought another brand cheaper.
      The product has a pleasant smell and is easy to apply. The consistency of the lotion is perfect so that it is not too runny to apply but also it is not too thick. A spray option of this product was also available however we went with the lotion. This was for no particular reason - I personally prefer the spray however my boyfriend doesn't. The lotion absorbed easily and quickly into the skin and didn't take forever to rub in like some other lotions I have had in the past. It also leaves the skin feeling nicely moisturised.

      I have found this Boots product to be quite efficient. I had to reapply the lotion quite often, maybe once every hour, so that I didn't burn. This is possibly due to the fact that we only bought a medium SPF or that it was incredibly hot however I still didn't have to expect to reapply it quite so often. Unfortunately the Insect Repellent included in the lotion did not ward off bugs from biting me completely. I still ended up with quite a lot of bites which was slightly disappointing. In the future I will definitely buy the products separately instead of combining them.

      For me, the ultimate test of this sunscreen was to see if my boyfriend had burnt. Without an efficient sunscreen his skin burns straight away so I was pleasantly surprised to see that he hadn't burnt at all. Therefore the sunscreen definitely ticked one box, it's just a shame about the Insect Repellent!

      I would recommend this product to anybody who needs some reliable sun protection. I personally would only buy it if it was on offer and I wouldn't buy this exact product again. I would definitely stick with Soltan in the future but I wouldn't invest in this Insect Repellent malarkey as it quite simply didn't do the trick for me. Hopefully the hot weather will soon return so that I can use the rest of this bottle!


      Thanks for reading : )

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      • More +
        28.07.2013 10:39
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        Lovely coffee at home.

        *Bosch Tassimo T40*

        I acquired this machine by complete chance. I regularly enjoy drinking coffee at my local Costa and when I do I use my Costa Coffee loyalty card to collect points. I received an e-mail from Costa Coffee, which at first I believed to be spam. The subject line caught my eye anyway so I took a closer look at it. The e-mail was offering Costa Coffee regulars the opportunity to buy one of these Tassimo coffee machines for just £30 (including delivery), instead of the RRP of £119.99. I knew that it was an opportunity too good to miss so I quickly clicked on the link which activated a code for my purchase. There were only a limited amount of coffee machines available at this price and luckily I got there early enough.

        Once the machine arrived, in the box I found the machine itself and an instruction manual. There were no sample coffees in the box so I couldn't actually use the machine which was a little bit disappointing. The machine was simple to set up as all it took was lifting it out of the box and assembling a few parts briefly such as the water tank on the back and the cup holder on the front.

        The machine is a good size; it is quite long as the water tank attaches onto the back however it has an attractive appearance. It is black in colour and fits in well to my kitchen. The machine looks quite simple to use and it didn't take me long to figure it out. The first time that you use the machine you have to go through a setting up process; this is carefully explained in the instruction manual. The machine runs on 'T-discs' and there is a plastic one of these stored in the back of the machine. You just need to fill the tank with water; pop the disc in and press go 4 times to thoroughly clean the machine and prepare it for use.

        So what is a T-disc? All of the drinks that are available for the machine come in T-disc form. You place these discs into the machine in order for your drink to be made. Each T-disc has a barcode on it which the machine reads so it knows how big/strong to do the drink. I like the fact that this machine is automatic so once you have popped your coffee in, you can press go and the machine does everything for you.

        There are a huge variety of Tassimo drinks available and you can buy them from your local supermarket. They usually cost somewhere between £4-£5 for 8 coffees, if they are cappuccinos or lattes, or for 16 coffees, if the drink is an Americano/Espresso. I think that the coffees are a little bit pricey however it is much more reasonable/cost effective than going to a coffee shop. Plus you can drink them in the comfort of your own home.

        Drinks that are available include:
        * Costa Coffee Cappuccinos/Lattes/Americanos
        * Kenco Coffee
        * Carte Noire Coffee
        * Maestro Lorenzo Coffee
        * Suchards Hot Chocolate
        * Cadburys Hot Chocolate
        * Twinings Tea plus much more.

        When I registered the machine online I received a £20 off voucher to use on the website. Therefore instead of buying some T-discs from the supermarket, I decided to wait and complete an online bulk order to take advantage of the offer. I ordered £36 worth of coffee (you had to spend £35 to qualify for free delivery) and paid just £16. I was really impressed with the coffees when I received them and tried out my machine straight away.

        I have been really impressed with the authentic coffee taste that the machine offers. The Costa Coffees taste exactly the same as the ones you would receive in the shop and other brands are also just as delicious. The only thing I have found is that the drinks are quite small; therefore they don't offer huge value for money.

        In order to keep the machine in a good condition you have to change the water daily, keep it clean and from time to time make sure it is de-scaled. It does tell you everything you need to know about this in the instruction manual. The machine sometimes spits when it is preparing a drink however it is nothing major. It makes quite a loud noise too when it is making drinks however it is nothing louder than the average coffee machine. I have been really impressed with how when you are finished with a T-disc and take it out of the machine, there are no drips whatsoever.

        Overall I really like this coffee machine as it is easy to use and produces delicious coffee. Would I have paid £119 for it? I'm not sure. I think that for £30 it was an absolute bargain however I'm not sure if it is worth the full RRP. This is simply because the drinks are quite small and there is no way of controlling that as it is automatic. It would have been a lot nicer if they had thrown a few sample coffees in with the machine so that you can try it out straight away however the £20 off voucher makes up for this. I love how you can buy different brands of coffee so that you're not just continuously stuck with the same taste of coffee.

        I love my coffee and this machine is definitely going to be put to good use over the next few months however once my coffees (that I bought online) have run out, I can't say how often I will be buying T-discs from the supermarket. I think that I will class them as a treat and buy them once a fortnight or once every three weeks as buying a box every week would quickly add up. For now however, I am going to enjoy my bargain machine and bargain coffees.

        I would definitely recommend this machine to any coffee lovers out there!


        Thanks for reading : )

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        • Sainsbury's Camomile Tea / Tea / 62 Readings / 61 Ratings
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          24.07.2013 10:59
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          Perfect for bedtime.

          *Sainsbury's Camomile Tea*

          I started drinking camomile tea as a little birdie told me that it is calming and helps you sleep. After a very stressful year of teacher training, I was eager to swap caffeine for something that was going to soothe and help relax me. Before trying camomile tea I was a bit sceptical that it would have any effect however I was pleasantly surprised. I soon discovered that having a cup of camomile tea about an hour before I went to bed would help me sleep dramatically better and make me feel a lot calmer. Placebo effect or not, it works well for me.

          I initially started off buying Twinings camomile tea and once that had run out I nipped to Sainsbury's to buy some more. I noticed that Sainsbury's had their own brand of camomile tea which in comparison to Twinings was a lot cheaper. I decided to give it ago with being thrifty in mind. I paid 79p for 20 tea bags.
          In my opinion, the taste of camomile tea is in no way pleasant. I think I pulled a face of disgust the first time that I tried it. However, after drinking it regularly I have become accustomed to its taste. It has quite a unique flavour and is slightly flowery. It is quite strong and can be sweetened with a spoonful of sugar or honey if necessary. To say that I disliked the tea at first I quite like the taste now and have accepted it. I could taste no difference whatsoever between the Twinings tea and Sainsbury's own brand which means I will definitely be sticking with the thrifty option in the future.

          There are lots of health benefits to drinking camomile tea. Personally, it helps me nod off however there are other advantages too. For example, it can help with stomach cramps, anxiety, migraines and much more. It also contains antibacterial properties. As the tea is naturally caffeine free, it is best known for calming and helping you to sleep.

          The box of tea includes detailed instructions of how to make a great cup of camomile tea. It advises on how long to leave the tea bag in, in order to reach a desired strength or taste. This is very helpful, especially if you have never tried camomile tea before.

          I am impressed by this Sainsbury's product and I will definitely be sticking with it in the future. The taste is just as nice as other brands and the price is a lot more reasonable therefore I will continue to buy this product. I would recommend camomile tea to anybody who has trouble sleeping or wants to try a healthy tea. Stick with it as you soon get used to the taste and its health benefits are definitely worthwhile. It will never replace my regular cup of Yorkshire Tea however last thing at night, it is ideal to get me ready to sleep! The price of this tea is very reasonable and is definitely worth a try!


          Thanks for reading : )

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          • More +
            22.07.2013 10:56
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            A lovely campsite within walking distance of St. Ives.

            *Balnoon Camp Site*

            We stumbled upon this lovely campsite by chance. Last week we decided to make the most of the heat wave and head down to Cornwall for a few days. Since the weather has been so glorious we wanted to take the opportunity to go camping. After staying in the Newquay area we decided to head further down the coast towards St. Ives.

            We didn't book a pitch anywhere; we just drove around and hoped to find somewhere nice. We found Balnoon by following a sign for camping down an isolated Cornish road at the top of St. Ives.
            The site itself is very small, the smallest in the area, according to a taxi driver we met. It seems to be in the owners back garden. Despite its small size, the pitches are very comfortable and spacious. It is not cramped at all. When we arrived the site was almost full and we just managed to get one of the last pitches. There were a variety or caravans, tour homes and tents already pitched up. The campsite was mainly occupied by couples or singles, there weren't any children and dogs were allowed on the site.

            Our first impression of the site was lovely. It was quiet and peaceful and the ideal get away for a few days. The scenery in the site was lovely and it was very well-kept. We were greeted by the owners, who were two of the friendliest people I have ever met. They were very helpful and eager to ensure that we had a nice stay at Balnoon. Their friendliness gave the whole campsite a lovely atmosphere and made us feel very comfortable.


            *Location*

            The campsite is situated approximately 2 miles above St. Ives. My boyfriend and I absolutely adore St. Ives but one of our pet hates is that it is so difficult and expensive to park your car there so we was overjoyed when we found out that you could walk there from Balnoon. The walk took about 40 minutes and it was through delightful countryside with views of the sea and St. Ives below. We walked down to St. Ives quite often and one night we walked down and then caught a taxi back to the campsite which cost £8.

            The location was ideal for us as we were in the quiet, relaxing countryside however it didn't take long to
            reach St. Ives. We love that area of Cornwall as there is so much to see with Penzance, St Michael's Mount, Carbis Bay, Mousehole and more, being so close by.


            *Facilities*

            The facilities at the campsite are very limited however it has everything that you need to have a lovely, comfortable stay. There are toilets and showers which were constantly spotlessly clean; there is only block for the whole campsite. There are two showers available and they are coin operated. It costs 20p for three minutes. I personally like this idea as I think it saves water in the long run. There is also a dishwashing sink, a chemical disposal point, electric hook ups and a room where you can go do your ironing/shave etc.


            *Tariff*

            We paid £15.50 per night which included 2 people, a tent and a car. We thought that this price was really reasonable as we had visited a few more which had been a lot more expensive. This is the highest tariff that the site charges and it goes down for other periods of the year. The site is open from the 29th of March until the 31st of October. There are extra charges for extra adults, children over two, electric hook ups etc.


            *Overall Opinion*

            I would definitely recommend this campsite to anybody who would like a quiet and peaceful getaway near St. Ives. The owners are absolutely lovely and the campsite is kept to a very high standard. The site is very couple/single friendly however there isn't anything for young children to do which was reflected in the selection of people who were staying there. I don't think that it is an ideal campsite for children however it is idyllic for couples/groups of adults. Everyone on the site was really friendly from the owners to other occupants and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. The fact that we could walk into St. Ives was a huge advantage as it saved us money in car parking and the stress of trying to drive around St. Ives' windy backstreets. We will definitely be returning!


            More information about Balnoon: http://www.balnooncampsite.co.uk/


            Thanks for reading : )

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            • More +
              08.10.2012 16:16
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              An inspirational tea party guide!

              *The Vintage Tea Party Book by Angel Adoree*

              A complete guide to hosting your perfect tea party...

              I have been obsessed with tea parties ever since I was a little girl. I remember getting my first teapot set when I was about 5 and making all my toys drink invisible tea and eat invisible cake. Still to this day I love going out for 'high tea' with my friends and family and putting on my own tea parties at home. My tea parties usually consist of a pot of tea and a cake stand full of sandwiches, salad, crisps and cake. I am always on the look out for tea party inspiration and this book is just what I needed as it is full of incredible ideas on creating the perfect vintage tea party. The suggestions in the book are all inspired by the vintage style and are simply stunning.


              The book is written by Angel Adoree, who owns a business called The Vintage Patisserie. This business aims to take people on a tea party journey to a time of glamour, simplicity and tea party perfection. In this book Angel shares all of her knowledge and secrets about how to create a party filled with smiles, laughter, good food and that vintage feel. Before buying this book I had never heard of Angel Adoree, since then I have visited her website and found out more information about her and what she does. She is very unique and I think that this book just highlights all of the talent that she has and the passion she holds for the vintage era. It is clear to see that there is so much love and adoration put into her work and that is what makes this book so enjoyable.


              This book is so much more than a recipe book or an ideas book, it is the whole package, everything you need to create a perfect vintage tea party. The book covers such a wide range of topics in an interesting and classical way. The illustrations and photos used throughout the book are stunning and everything is vintage, even the font used. The book is very colourful and pastel colours are mostly used to give that real vintage effect.


              When I first flicked through this book I saw the recipes for the perfect tea party food and I was delighted. I then flicked through it again and saw that this book had so much more in it than just recipes. The book is very British, at the start of the book there is a picture of the Queen on a plate from years ago which completely sets the scene for what is to follow. Angel Adoree then goes on to introduce herself and explain a little bit about how she developed a love for everything vintage. I find her story very inspirational as she built up her empire from scratch and has never been afraid to be different and follow her heart.


              After an introduction the book then really starts and it doesn't leave anything out, here are a few highlights:

              *Location: where is the best place to hold your tea party? Angel runs through a variety of suggestions and questions you need to ask yourself in order to find the most suitable location.

              *Invitations: I can honestly say that I have never sent out invitations for a tea party but then again I had never thought to. I think that it is a wonderful idea and I will definitely be trying it out in the future! It is so old fashioned and proper, I love it! Angel actually provides stencils of lovely vintage style invitations in the book which you can photocopy and hand out.

              *Props: where to find vintage props to really set the scene.

              *Atmosphere: how to create the perfect tea party atmosphere!

              *Headscarf: how to tie the perfect head scarf, vintage style!

              *Aprons: Angel gives a step by step guide to making the perfect vintage apron, which includes stencils to help.

              *Flowers: which flowers to buy to get the vintage look and how to arrange them.

              *Butterflies: use stencils to make pretty decorative butterflies.

              *Flags: make wonderful Union Jack flags with an outline of the Queen on it. There are step by step instructions and a stencil of the Queen, perfect for the Royal Jubilee!

              *Brunch: recipe suggestions for brunch tea parties include; baked grapefruit, coddles eggs, eggs blackstone, pork and lemon quail scotch eggs, onion and potato flowers and fruit flavoured iced teas.

              *Afternoon: recipe suggestions for afternoon tea parties include; rose petal sandwiches, brie and walnut savoury scones, pomegranate and carrot cake, floral creams and sunshine punch.

              *Evening: recipe suggestions for evening tea parties include; pear dumplings, mushroom aspic leaves, potted prawns, veal roulade, gingerbread pudding and cocktails.

              *Style: this section covers everything from clothes, hair and make-up and male grooming! My favourite section is how to create victory curls for your hair.


              These are just a few of my favourite sections of the book, there is a lot more covered and best of all it is all just as good as what it sounds! Other great sections include; candle making, tea party games and making more vintage decorations. The recipes in the book are all very unique and quite unlike anything I have ever seen before. They are fun to make, interesting and stunning to look at! The layout of the book is beautiful and it is a pleasure to read. There are so many interesting facts throughout and each page is just divine.


              The book is hardback and has 305 pages in total. The cover and designs throughout are just incredible. The detail on the illustrations and pictures are lovely, this book really does capture everything that is vintage. There is an oval shape cut out on the front cover which shows you a bit of the first page, a picture of Angel hosting a tea party. This design makes the book so inviting and really does say come on in and join us!


              I absolutely love this book! It has left me feeling inspired and I cannot wait to begin hosting some fantastic, vintage tea parties. From cover to cover this book is beautiful and is perfect for absolutely anyone who enjoys hosting. The book really does take you on a journey back in time and if you didn't love vintage before you will definitely love it after this! I would recommend this book for anybody 14+ who is interested in tea parties and is wanting to impress.


              The book is currently available from amazon.co.uk for £10 with free UK delivery. RRP £20.


              Published by Mitchell Beazley, 2011.


              I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!


              Summary: an exceptional and captivating book of ideas.


              Thank you for reading : )


              Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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              • More +
                01.09.2012 13:17
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                A fantastic gadget for any vintage fan.

                *Roberts Radios*

                Roberts is an English company, based in South Yorkshire, which is famous for creating fabulous, timeless radios. The company has been making radios for over 80 years and they have a huge variety available. Their products are unique, individual, of high quality and durable. That is why they have been so successful for so long. I first came across a Roberts radio about five years ago when I was in Cornwall. I instantly adored the vintage design of them and found myself looking out for them wherever I went. I have always adored them from afar but it was only recently that I took the plunge and invested in one. I hope that it will last me for many years to come!


                *Revival RD-60*

                The Revival RD-60 has a classic 1950s retro design with up-to-date DAB features. It is the classic radio that springs to mind when you think about Roberts or vintage electronics. It has a whole range of features, which makes it a brilliant gadget, designed to suit all of your listening needs. It is portable and the perfect size to move around so you can listen to music wherever you like. It is by far my favourite of all of the Roberts radios that I have seen!


                *The beauty of it...*

                The main reason I fell in love with radio and decided to buy it was for its appearance. I am a huge fan of vintage and this radio had the perfect 1950s retro style. The radio has a wooden casing and a leather-cloth finish. It is a rectangular shape and has a foldable handle to carry it with. A gold plated "Roberts" sign appears on the front of the radio and the gold speaker makes up the rest. The radio is not very big but it is the perfect size for what it is at 250mm (w) x 155mm (h) x 100mm (d). It weighs just 1.49 kg so it is ideal for transporting around the house. The design of the radio really is stunning and it is just beautiful to look at.


                *Which colour?*

                The radio is available in a variety of vintage, pastel colours. It took me quite a while to decide on the colour that I did, as they all are stunning. The colours are burgundy, duck egg, green, pastel cream, red, cocoa, cassis, pastel pink, saffron, leaf and blue. I eventually decided on the leaf colour as it looked fresh and it is the type of colour that would blend in well anywhere. All of the colours available are beautiful and if I could afford it I would get one in every shade, but for now, I am very happy with my leaf green radio.


                *Power*

                There are two ways of powering the radio; with batteries or with an AC adaptor. The radio takes four D size batteries and it recommended that these are used for occasional use or when not near a mains socket. The alternative way of powering the radio is through an AC adaptor, which connects the radio to a mains socket through a socket on the back of the radio. I tend to plug the radio in when I am listening to it however; it has some batteries in for if I move it out of the reach of a plug. The D size batteries last for approximately 120 hours of listening time.


                *Controls*

                The controls to the radio are on the top of it so that they are easily accessible and neatly laid out. There are two knobs at either side, one for volume control and one for tuning control. There is also a LCD display screen with "ROBERTS" underneath it and a royal stamp of approval either side. The screen is of a very high quality and it is very clear. There is also a low battery indicator, a headphone socket, an auxiliary input socket, the on/off button, a favourite button, a FM/DAB button, an auto tune button, an info button and a preset button. There is a telescopic gold aerial that folds up from the back and is easily extendable to improve radio signal. All of the controls are easy to understand and there is a great manual included with the radio that helps explain each and every one.


                *Tuning*

                To use the radio, first of all you need to carefully extend the aerial. I find that I can get a good signal without always doing this however; it certainly helps in some areas of the house. The easiest way to tune your radio is to hit auto-tune or if that does not suit, then manually scroll through until you find the station of your choice. Saving the stations into favourites is easy too so that every time you turn the radio on, they are there waiting for you. It clearly displays on the LCD screen what radio station you are listening to and it tells you when it is saved etc. The tuning scans are very sensitive and they pick up all the reachable radio stations out there.


                *FM or DAB?*

                FM or DAB? The choice is there. I personally prefer DAB, as there is a larger variety of great stations to listen to however sometimes I do switch over to FM too. The quality of DAB radio is so much higher than FM and this is another reason why I prefer to listen to it also. My favourite stations include Radio 1, Heart, Kiss and Capital FM.


                *Sockets*

                The radio has three sockets which are there to improve your listening experience. On the top of the radio, there is a headphone socket so that you can listen to the radio more privately and an auxiliary input socket so that you can plug your iPod or MP3 player in and listen to your music off that. On the back of the radio, just above where you plug in your adapter there is a line out socket where you can attach an external speaker. Each socket has a 3.5mm dia. I love plugging my iPod in to the radio and playing my favourite songs through it.


                *Sound Quality*

                The radio has a 75mm full range speaker which gives it a fantastic, crystal clear sound quality. The radio goes quite loud but no matter what the volume, the sound stays consistently good. I was quite surprised when I first turned the radio on and listened to how wonderful the sound was, as I had never heard a radio so clear. From the first listen, you can tell that the radio is of a very high standard.


                *Ease of use*

                Once you have had a quick fiddle around with all the buttons and worked out what does what then the radio is very easy to use. If you save a few of your favourite radio stations then it makes it easier and quicker to reach them when you turn it on. The LCD screen is a great help and reference feature that tells you everything you need to know. There is a superb manual included with the radio that talks you through how to use it and what everything does in understandable terms.


                *Important Information*

                Here are some important and great tips for keeping your radio at its best:
                *do not expose the radio to water, steam or sand.
                *wipe clean with a damp cloth only.
                *avoid storing the radio at extreme temperatures.


                *Guarantee*

                Roberts offer a guarantee with the radio so that if it is faulty or should breakdown due to a fault within twelve months from the original purchase date then they will replace or fix it. More information regarding this can be found in the radio's manual.


                *Price & Availability*

                The radios RRP is £160 however I would definitely recommend shopping around to see where you can get the best deal. I bought my radio off Isme.com as I had a money off voucher and so I actually ended up paying £130. This does seem a lot for a radio however in my opinion it is definitely worthwhile. It is a fantastic addition to any home and is of a very high quality.


                *Overall Opinion*

                I cannot emphasise how much I love this radio. After admiring them for years, I am so glad that I finally bought one. I hope that with a little but of care this radio will last me for a long time. It is such a beautiful feature to have in any room and because it is portable, I can place it anywhere to enjoy. It is not just about how it looks though; the radio has great software and features that make it even more desirable. I love that I can enjoy music from my iPod on the radio and that the sound quality is so high, it makes listening to music an even more pleasurable experience!


                *Recommend?*

                I would definitely recommend this radio to anyone and everyone. It is quite pricey; however, it is a very worthwhile investment and is sure to be a prized possession of anybody who is a fan of the 1950s vintage style and classic radios.


                *Website*

                For more information about Roberts and this radio, check out their website at www.robertsradio.co.uk.


                Thank you for reading : )


                Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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                • More +
                  27.08.2012 10:50
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                  A classy album.

                  Paloma Faith

                  Paloma Faith is a 27 year-old English singer/songwriter, hailing from Hackney in London. She first came to my attention a couple of years ago when she released her second single "New York" in 2009. The song was catchy and soulful and after hearing it I immediately became a fan of her incredible talent. Paloma has a very unique voice which is instantly recognisable and oozes class and soul. Her first album "Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?" was a huge success and gave her a number of hit singles. This album launched Paloma to stardom and had led her to duet with the likes of Cee Lo Green, Plan B and Elton John. She has also dabbled in acting, appearing in such films as "St. Trinian's" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus".


                  Fall to Grace

                  I bought this album after hearing Paloma perform her first single from it, "Picking Up The Pieces", on an episode of The Voice. I instantly connected with the song and wanted to hear more of what the album had to offer! The album was released in May 2012 and peaked at number 2 in the UK album charts. Paloma co-wrote a lot of the songs on the album and she stated that it was very personal to her and it was inspired by a specific time in her life. The album has a pop/jazz/soul feel to it and Paloma's incredible talent shines through on each track. The songs aren't all consistently as good as each other but it is still a lovely album to listen to.


                  Tracks

                  1. Picking Up The Pieces: 5*/5*
                  2. 30 Minute Love Affair: 5*/5*
                  3. Black & Blue: 4*/5*
                  4. Just Be: 4*/5*
                  5. Let Me Down Easy: 4*/5*
                  6. Blood, Sweat & Tears: 3*/5*
                  7. Beauty Of The End: 5*/5*
                  8. When You're Gone: 5*/5*
                  9. Agony: 4*/5*
                  10. Let Your Love Walk In: 3*/5*
                  11. Freedom: 5*/5*
                  12. Streets Of Glory: 3*/5*


                  Highlights

                  For me the highlight of the album are the following songs. I have chosen to talk about these songs because they all struck a chord with me and I wanted to listen to them again straight away.

                  *Picking Up The Pieces*
                  This is the first single from "Fall To Grace" and Paloma's best charting single to date. It is a lovely song about trying to compete with a lovers ex-girlfriend. I would describe it best as a fast-paced ballad full of angst and emotion. The vocals are strong and soulful and you can tell that the lyrics are very genuine and sincere. Overall a very catchy song and the reason that I bought the album.

                  *30 Minute Love Affair*
                  This is the second single to be released from the album. It is a very catchy song which cleverly tells the story of a 30 minute love affair and how brief yet incredible it was. Paloma's voice sounds incredible and the song really suits her. The song is quite upbeat and will have you singing along in no time.

                  *Beauty Of The End*
                  I am a huge fan of this song, simply because the old school jazz style takes me back in time. Paloma's voice is stunning and the lyrics are once again very emotional. It reminds me of a song that Amy Winehouse would possibly sing.

                  *When You're Gone*
                  This is a beautiful ballad about missing somebody. It has everything that a great pop song needs and more! The lyrics are quite sad but they are sung so beautifully by Paloma. It wouldn't surprise me if this is a future single for Miss Faith.

                  *Freedom*
                  I love this song because it is really uplifting and I love the piano instrumentals throughout. Paloma's soulful voice is stunning and I love the message that this song promotes, freedom. "Light up this city with out freedom", a beautiful song and possibly my favourite overall!


                  Album Cover

                  The album cover of "Fall To Grace" is very artsy and attractive. It is a beautiful illustration of Paloma in a stunning red dress surrounded by two parrots.


                  Price and Availability

                  The album can be downloaded from iTunes for £5.99. I think that this is good value as each individual track is £0.99.


                  Overall Opinion

                  Overall I think that this album is very good. The songs that I have highlighted are by far in my opinion the best. Paloma Faith is capable of portraying a lot of emotion in her music and providing thought-provoking lyrics and this album is no exception. There is a heart rending song on this album for every love occasion and the majority of the songs do ooze a certain class, beauty and uniqueness. I find that I have to be in the right mood to listen to this album as it is quite deep, a bit like "Adele's 21". A few of the songs are really easy to listen and I enjoy playing them in the background to my day, I love "Freedom"!

                  I would definitely recommend this album to anybody who is already a fan of Paloma or somebody who is looking for something different to listen to.


                  Thank you for reading : )


                  Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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                    25.08.2012 00:09
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                    A must-have travel device.

                    Balanzza Digital Luggage Scales


                    I decided that I needed to invest in some luggage scales a few years ago when I went across to the States to work. The thought of getting to the check-in desk and my bag being heavier than what was allowed haunted me. I have been behind others in the queue before who have had to try to stuff clothes into their hand luggage or put on additional layers in order to lighten their suitcase. I have always dreaded this happening to me and so I decided to travel prepared and know the weight of my suitcase so that I could approach the check-in desk more confidently.

                    When I started looking for some luggage scales, I was after some that were accurate, easy to use and light so that I could pop them in my suitcase and take them on my travels with me. A friend recommended getting some digital scales, as they are much more reliable and easy to operate.

                    I first came across Balanzza Scales on amazon.co.uk. I did some brief research into which luggage scales were the best and all the positive reviews that I could find led me to these scales. Balanzza are a company which specialise in luggage scales and are in fact the number one best sellers of such devices! Their aim is to make travelling carefree and to prevent you being caught out by excessive airline luggage fees!

                    I settled on the Ergo Digital Luggage Scale, as it was exactly what I needed. I paid about £15 for the scale and I bought them from amazon.co.uk. The scales RRP is £19.99 so I managed to save a few pounds and I got free delivery too! At first I thought that this was quite a high price to pay but the scale is such great quality that it is definitely worthwhile investing in.

                    The scale is a great size, compact and light. It weighs just 200g and is literally one handle, which has useful finger grooves for extra grip. There is a small screen on the top of the scale and a few buttons to operate it. There is also a strap on the side of the scale which you use to attach to your luggage in order to measure its weight. The screen is the ideal size so that the measurements are easy to read and the strap is easy to attach. I really like the design of the scale and its simplicity makes it even more fantastic. The scale operates on two AAA batteries that come included.

                    Using the scale could not be simpler. Simply attach the strap onto the luggage in question, secure the clasp, hit the on button and wait for the screen to display zero, lift the luggage, wait for a beep, set the luggage down and then read your results! There is a reset button so that you can double-check or add to/take-away from your luggage and try again. The scale will measure in both lb and kg and it is easy to change the settings by pressing the button next to power. It will lift up to 44kg or 100lbs.

                    The scale is useful because of how easy it is to use and the peace of mind that it gives before you go on your holidays. Nobody likes paying excessive luggage charges, so travel prepared with a device like this.

                    I can safely say that I would no longer fly without my Balanzza Scale! They have always been consistently reliable and have never let me down. The measurements that this scale has given me have always been spot on!

                    I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who loves to travel and is conscious about weighing his or her luggage beforehand. They are a fantastic help and have probably saved me hundreds of pounds in luggage fees over the few years I have had them!


                    Thank you for reading : )


                    Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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                      09.08.2012 19:00
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                      A great help for applying makeup!

                      Beurer Cosmetics Mirror

                      I had wanted one of these cosmetic mirrors for quite a while as I had heard rave reviews about them from my friends. I wear makeup most days and it is not something that I particularly enjoy but it is a habit and something I feel I need to make me feel more confident and better about myself. Before buying this mirror, I would do my makeup in the bathroom mirror and usually it would turn out fine with the odd exception of too much blusher on one cheek or too much eyeliner on one eye. One I bought this mirror I found applying makeup to be much less of a task and I started to use less and less as I found that I did not need to use as much as what I was. I love the style of the mirror and the simplicity of it. It is great for other things as well such as shaping my eyebrows.

                      The mirror itself is average-sized and is quite light at just 450g. It has a plastic stand and the mirror is attached by a swivel mechanism. The diameter of the mirror is 11cm so it is the perfect size to use when applying makeup. One side of the mirror shows a normal reflection and the other has a 5-x magnification. The swivel mechanism makes it easy to switch between the two and both are great for doing different things. For example, the magnification side of the mirror is ideal for applying eye makeup whilst the normal side is perfect for foundation etc. The mirror also has a bright light on it which makes it even clearer to see which you can switch on or off via a simple button on the side.


                      Its advantages...

                      *Batteries for the bright LED light are included in the box - 3 x AA.
                      *It has a high-quality chrome finish which makes it look professional.
                      *It is lightweight which means you can pop it in your bag if you are going travelling.
                      *It is the perfect size for applying makeup.
                      *The choice of mirrors and LED light make it perfect for applying eye makeup.


                      And disadvantages...

                      *It is battery operated so eventually they will need replacing - I have had my mirror quite a few months however and I use it everyday and still the batteries work fine.
                      *After time the swivel mechanism may become a little lose and the mirror might not be as stable.
                      *The build of the mirror is not overly sturdy, if I was to drop it, it would probably break.


                      Why I like it...

                      I like this mirror because it makes my life a lot easier. I do not always enjoy putting makeup on but unfortunately it is a part of life and I usually cannot go a day without some form of it. Having this mirror on hand is very convenient and it means that I can put my eye make up in much more detail. I never used to bother with different coloured eyeliners and layering eye shadows but now that I have this mirror as an aid, I experiment a lot more with it.

                      I would definitively recommend this mirror as a great cosmetics product, it really does the job well, is high quality and well worth the money!


                      Cost and where you can buy it...

                      I bought the mirror from amazon.co.uk for about £25 which is a great deal as its RRP is £34.99.


                      Thank you for reading : )


                      Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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                      31.07.2012 12:59
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                      A must-see location in Cornwall.

                      St Michael's Mount, Cornwall

                      Since being a child, I have visited St Michael's Mount many times. Every summer my family and I would pack up our things and journey down to Cornwall with sun, sea and ice cream in mind. Driving past St Michael's Mount always felt quite magical and special. A short distance from land a beautiful castle lies on its own island, a castle that you can in fact walk to but only when the tide is out. I was fascinated by this concept when I was younger and it is why St Michael's Mount has made such an impression on my memory.

                      St Michael's Mount is situated just off the coast of Cornwall and a pretty little town called Marazion, near to Penzance. It is easy to spot and is in a fantastic location to explore some of the Cornish coast. The island is home to the St. Aubyn family who have lived there since the 17th Century and it is part of the National Trust.

                      The Mount is rich in history. In the past, the castle has been used as a monastery, a port, a fortress and most recently a family home and tourist location. The Mount has seen a thousand years of history pass it by and the intriguing atmosphere on the island represents this. It is hard to believe that during the Civil War the Mount was used as a fortress thanks to the beauty and calm of its location and stunning Cornish views.

                      Today the island is home to the St. Aubyn family and 30 staff who reside in the seafront cottages. It is one of Cornwall's most historic and popular tourist locations that attracts thousands of visitors a year. Many people are intrigued by the uniqueness of the Mount and its special history.

                      There is a lot to see and do on the Mount and so it is the ideal place to visit for a great day out, especially as it is fun for all the family. Explore the castle inside and out and learn all about its history, wander around the sub-tropical gardens and marvel at the incredible plants, get involved in some of the activities, head to the beach, climb the Mount to get some of the most incredible views of Cornwall, browse the shops, indulge in some delicious food and drinks and much more! You can never get bored on the Mount as there is always something to learn or something else to see.

                      The castle is open until the 2nd of November for its 2012 season. There are a few ways which you can reach the Mount but there is only one way which I have ever been and would ever go and that is by foot. At low tide, you can walk across the historic footpath from Marazion to the Mount and it takes just a few minutes. There is something very special and exciting about this walk, be sure to check the tide times in advance however so that you don't get caught out! You can also hop on a boat to get to the Mount if walking is not your thing.

                      There is no fee to get to the island if you walk across however you must pay to go into the castle or the gardens. It is £9.25 for an adult and £4.50 for a child for a combined ticket for both - family discounts are also available. It really is a small price to pay for such a lovely experience. National Trust members can gain access to the castle for free!

                      Overall I think that St Michael's Mount is the ideal location for a great family day out. If you are planning on visiting Cornwall then it would be a shame to not make the journey to this fantastic Mount as you would be missing out on one of Cornwall's finest tourist spots. There is a great, fun atmosphere on the Mount as well as a sense of real mystery and history. The Mount is interesting to people of all age and I loved going when I was a kid as much as I love going now! The entrance fee to the castle is reasonable and there are plenty of beautiful spots to sit and have a picnic, looking out to the sea or the Cornish coast. If the sun is shining then the Mount is even more beautiful and the beaches are lovely to relax on. I would definitely recommend St Michael's Mount as a great place to visit and learn about!


                      Thank you for reading : )

                      Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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                        20.06.2012 13:04
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                        Electric scales or retro? Retro!

                        Typhoon Retro Scales.

                        Typhoon is a popular kitchenware company which aims to produce high quality, innovative, stylish and unique homeware products. The company has been around for quite a while now and they have a fantastic range of items, from chopping boards to woks. All of their products have lovely designs and are long lasting which is why so many customers swear by them and their homeware ranges. I have always been a fan of kitchen items and gadgets and Typhoon items have always caught my eye, as they are colourful, different and reasonably priced.

                        I have had these Typhoon Retro Scales for quite some time now and I love them! The first thing that is noticeable about the scales is the retro design, which happens to be the reason why I bought them. I think that some scales can be quite an eye-sore and before buying these I was on the lookout for some scales which were accurate, a reasonable size and pleasant to look at. I can honestly say that I am proud to have these Typhoon Scales in my kitchen and they look amazing, like part of the furniture!

                        I bought the scales from a kitchenware shop for about £30. I think that this is a reasonable price because I have used them and used them and they are a fantastic addition to my kitchen. I am aware that you can buy electric scales for a lot less, however, I personally prefer the old school way.

                        The scales are cream in colour and are of a trapezium shape. There is a silver bowl resting on top and a large measuring face on the front. The scales have four rubber feet on the bottom that stops them from moving about the worktop. The scales are light enough to pick up and move around kitchen however I find that as I have a place for them I never have to. I really like the retro design of the scales, it is unique and the cream colour gives them a real vintage feel.

                        The measuring bowl is very handy as it is the ideal size, shape and it sits snugly on top of the scales. It is perfect for measuring out flour, margarine, sugar etc and the bowl cleans very easily. To start measuring place the bowl on top of the scales and then use the mechanism at the side to adjust the weight to zero. This is very simple to do and it ensures that you get an accurate measurement each time.

                        The face of the scales is large and is behind a plastic window. It includes pounds, ounces, grams, kilograms, and measures up to 8lb/4kg. All of the measurements are bold and black so that they are easy to read and the hand that measures is red so that it is set apart from the background. The black arrow does not flicker about unnecessarily and always gives an accurate reading.

                        In my opinion, the scales work really well and give very accurate measurements. They are simple to use and require no batteries. The measurements on the face of the scale are easy to follow and they do not require squinting in order to see how much of something you are putting in.

                        The best way to clean the scales is to wipe them down with a damp cloth. The bowl of course can be washed separately and I usually just pop it into the dishwasher. There are quite a few places on the scales that flour etc. can hide and collect but as long as you wipe them clean after use then it is not a problem.

                        Overall, I really like these Typhoon Retro Scales. I have never owned any electric scales and as I have these, I do not feel any need to rush out any buy any. I like measuring this way and for me it makes baking more enjoyable. I hope that these Typhoon scales will last me for some time yet but if they do not I will definitely be replacing them with something similar! I would definitely recommend these retro scales to any keen baker or to anyone who likes vintage items for their kitchen!


                        For more great Typhoon products, check out their website @ www.typhoonhousewares.com


                        Thank you for reading : )


                        Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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                          17.06.2012 12:46
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                          A great variety of unique covers.

                          Ministry of Sound

                          I am sure that everyone has heard of Ministry of Sound, it is a nightclub and a record label which is famous worldwide and hugely popular. The company's mission statement is to "to create the moments that people live for" and through their business and music, that is exactly what they do. What started out as one nightclub in London, has now gone on to have grand success, making it a multi-million pound company. For me, Ministry of Sound is all about the music. When I buy one of their albums or compilations I just know that it is going to be consistent, of high-quality and addictive. For years and years now, they have continually delivered fantastic music, influenced by artists from all over the world, different generations and the latest musical trends.


                          Uncovered

                          "A Unique Collection of Cool Cover Versions"

                          This compilation is exactly what is states above. I find that cover songs are rarely ever as good as the originals and it is almost impossible to make an original song better. However on this album the artists are not trying to do that. The tracks are all individual in their own right and the artists change the songs so much that they are hardly recognisable. It is nice to hear different interpretations of familiar songs, instead of somebody trying to just copy the original. The album has a very chilled out vibe and is not as "try-hard" as for example the Radio 1 Live Lounge albums.


                          Tracks

                          The compilation has forty-two tracks in total between two discs. There is a huge variety of covers included, ranging from different genres, artists and musical eras. There really is something for everyone!


                          (Disc 1)

                          1. Madcon - Beggin'
                          2. The Third Degree - Mercy
                          3. The Prodigy - Ghost Town
                          4. Wallis Bird - Just Can't Get Enough
                          5. Groove Armada Feat. Crazy Girl - Are "Friends" Electric?
                          6. Basement Jaxx - Magnificent Romeo
                          7. Friendly Fires - Your Love
                          8. Chaka Khan - Sign 'O' The Times
                          9. Macy Gray - Walk This Way
                          10. Moonbootica - Jump Around
                          11. Sly & Robbie - Billie Jean
                          12. Earl Zinger - Song 2wo
                          13. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - What Have You Done For Me Lately?
                          14. Fenomenon - Everybody Wants To Rule The World
                          15. Nick Muir - Ain't Nobody
                          16. Cicada - Same Old Scene
                          17. Shinichi Osawa - Star Guitar
                          18. Tiga Feat. Jake Shears - Hot In Herre
                          19. Matt Helders Feat. Nesreen Shah - Dreamer
                          20. The Futureheads - With Every Heart Beat
                          21. The Gossip - Careless Whisper


                          Most Memorable Covers:

                          *1. Madcon - Beggin'
                          This is the hugely popular cover of the Four Seasons track by the Norwegian hip-hop duo Madcon. It is an upbeat dance track which will get you moving and really is an exceptional cover!
                          Better than the original? Almost.

                          *2. The Third Degree - Mercy
                          Take notes Duffy, this is exactly how this song should sound! This cover by The Third Degree is full of soul, rhythm and amazing vocals! It has a jazz vibe to it and is much more enjoyable than the original version.
                          Better than the original? Definitely!

                          *9. Macy Gray - Walk This Way
                          Macy Gray puts her own soulful spin on this Aerosmith and Run DMC classic! She doesn't quite sing it like Steven Tyler but she certainly gives the song a gentler vibe, making it easy and enjoyable to listen to.
                          Better than the original? No.

                          *11. Sly & Robbie - Billie Jean
                          Nobody is ever going to cover a Michael Jackson song and create something that is comparable to the late King himself and this track is no exception. It is a lovely electronic version of Billie Jean with come fancy sounds however listening to it just makes me want to hear the original.
                          Better than the original? Certainly not.

                          *18. Tiga Feat. Jake Shears - Hot In Herre
                          This cover is memorable simply for being so bad! It is a puppet rapping Nelly's well-known track Hot In Herre. The vocal stays in the same boring note throughout and the vocalist is politely speaking the lyrics. Absolutely terrible!
                          Better than the original? Definitely not!

                          *21. The Gossip - Careless Whisper
                          Beth Ditto and The Gossip rock out on this modern cover of George Michaels classic song. It has a strong drum beat and powerful/in-your-face vocals, much unlike the original. It is definitely a rocked-up cover!
                          Better than the original? No.


                          (Disc 2)

                          1. Tom Hodge - Aerodynamic
                          2. Flunk - Blue Monday
                          3. José González - Love Will Tear Us Apart
                          4. Williams - Love On A Real Train
                          5. Everything But The Girl - I Don't Want To Talk About It
                          6. Re:Jazz - All I Need
                          7. Fatboy Slim - The Joker
                          8. Dub Pistols Feat. Terry Hall - Rapture
                          9. Black Mighty Orchestra - Light My Fire
                          10. Glass Candy - Computer Love
                          11. CURV Feat. Knixx - Killer
                          12. I Monster - Daydream In Blue
                          13. Sam Obernik - As Barefoot Hideaway
                          14. Roots Manuva - Yellow Submarine
                          15. Jakatta - So Lonely
                          16. Señor Coconut & His Orchestra - Around The World
                          17. Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - Clint Eastwood
                          18. The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain - Dy-na-mi-tee
                          19. Yonderboi - Riders On The Storm
                          20. Freemasons Feat. Bailey Tzuke - Uninvited
                          21. Nouvelle Vague - Teenage Kicks


                          Most Memorable Covers:

                          *2. Flunk - Blue Monday
                          Flunk cover New Order's Blue Monday with style and grace. It is a beautiful interpretation of a great song from the Norwegian band. It is easy to listen to and really is the definition of chill out music.
                          Better than the original? Yes.

                          *14. Roots Manuva - Yellow Submarine
                          This cover could not be any more far-removed from the original track by The Beatles. It is in fact hardly recognisable next to it. Roots Manuva add some dramatic echo effects and heavy beats to ensure that this track is brought right up-to-date. I like it but nobody can beat the original.
                          Better than the original? No.

                          *17. Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - Clint Eastwood
                          Shawn Lee and his Orchestra take on this brilliant Gorillaz track and do it justice! Their version is a lot more relaxed, easy to listen to and is full of amazing instrumentals! Very cool!
                          Better than the original? Yes.

                          *18. The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain - Dy-na-mi-tee
                          As soon as I saw this cover on the track list I was intrigued! A Ukulele Orchestra is probably the last group of people that I would ever expect to cover a Ms. Dynamite track. Surprisingly, it is very good! The female vocalist on the track is fantastic and the instrumental is of course great. I like the way the male choir come in on the chorus too, it is definitely different to the original!
                          Better than the original? Almost!

                          *20. Freemasons Feat. Bailey Tzuke - Uninvited
                          I have always been rather familiar of this version of Uninvited by Alanis Morissette and I have always liked it. It is a brilliant dance track and it takes me back in time listening to it. However, Alanis does it better!
                          Better than the original? No.

                          *21. Nouvelle Vague - Teenage Kicks
                          A chilled out cover of the classic song by The Undertones. Nouvelle Vague are a French cover band who certainly give this song a new vibe!
                          Better than the original? Debatable.


                          Opinion

                          Overall I really like this album. It is unique and unlike any other cover album that I have ever heard. There is a fantastic variety of songs and artists included and I like how artists cover songs which you wouldn't expect them too! There are of course a few tracks which I'm not crazy about but out of forty-two, I would expect there to be. The good tracks definitely outweigh the bad however and overall this is a very balanced compilation with lots of potential. The Ministry of Sound are successful in delivering another quality album once again!


                          Would I Recommend?

                          I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of popular music. If you have bought Ministry of Sound albums before then you know what to expect! If not, then be prepared for a treat. There really is something for everyone on this album and there are some standout covers which make the whole album especially worthwhile.


                          Cost

                          The album can be bought from most good music websites/stores. It is available on play.com for just £8.49!


                          Thank you for reading : )


                          Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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                            07.06.2012 17:50
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                            A delightful album from an incredibly talented artist.

                            Katherine Jenkins

                            Katherine Jenkins is a famous Welsh singer who is well-known for her incredibly powerful voice, beautiful looks and classical-popular style of music. At the beginning of her career Jenkins was known for her emotive performances and above all her classical music. Over recent years however, Jenkins style of music has altered to a more popular sound, launching her to stardom all around the world. She is now a fully fledged celebrity in her own right and has even just appeared on American television in Dancing With The Stars, on which she placed second. Katherine is also widely known for her religious performances, performing for the troops in Afghanistan and for her role on the popular television show Popstar To Operastar.


                            Daydream

                            Daydream is the eighth album to be released by Katherine Jenkins. It was originally released in October 2011 and has gone on to be a huge success for her. It feature quite a varied mix of songs ranging from covers to pop songs to operatic classics. There is definitely something for everyone and it highlights Katherine's vocal ability and versatility in the best possible way.


                            Tracks

                            1. Black Is The Colour
                            The album begins with this song which is dramatic, operatic and full of emotional. Katherine's voice sounds simply angelic and the stunning instrumentals are powerful and gradually build up to compliment long and high notes from Jenkins. Towards the end of the song a choir joins in, giving the song a perfect emotional ending.

                            2. Your Silhouette
                            This song begins with some beautiful string instrumentals before Katherine starts to sing beautifully. This song is more gentle and has a slow piano instrumental throughout. It is definitely more of a pop song than an opera song. It is a beautiful love song and the lyrics are very emotional and speak of love in a moving way.

                            3. Can't Slow Down
                            This is a lovely pop song with quite a fast-paced chorus and lively vibe. It has a slight Carrie Underwood feel to it with a bouncy yet emotional country sound. Katherine's voice sounds lovely on this track and it just shows how versatile her voice is and how she really can sing pretty much anything.

                            4. J'Avais Reve D'une Autre Vie (I Dreamed A Dream)
                            In this version of I Dreamed A Dream, Katherine sings in French. Her voice is absolutely flawless and it is a very classy and unique cover of a wonderful song. It is dramatic, emotional and the French language gives it a special edge. If you are familiar with the lyrics in English then you can understand the song even if you don't understand the French.

                            5. Carrickfergus
                            Katherine takes this well-known Irish folk stone and turns it into a beautiful ballad. Her voice is simply incredible and is supported by a wonderful choir, making it very emotional. Anybody who is already a fan of this song will undoubtedly love this version.

                            6. L'Alba Verra
                            This song has a much more classical sound to it and is definitely operatic. It is a bit slow moving but it is lovely to listen to and enjoy. Katherine's voice is phenomenal and the Italian lyrics are stunning.

                            7.And This Is My Beloved
                            This song is very dramatic, it is not quite classical and it is not pop music. I find it quite difficult to listen to as it is such a mixture of the two and it is rather old fashioned. It is definitely not easy listening.

                            8. Love Divine (Hyfrydol)
                            Katherine's vocals are beautiful on this track, she really sings her heart out and it sounds incredible. Unlike the previous track, this song is very gentle and easy to listen to even though it has a lot of emotion in it.

                            9. Ave Maria (New Version)
                            This is one of my favourite songs of all time and Katherine certainly does it justice with this beautiful and emotional version. There is a male choir in the background, which makes her voice stand out and the calmness of the song really works well with its meaning.

                            10. A Flower Tells A Story
                            This is a delightful song with stunning lyrics and a beautiful performance from Katherine. It is very moving, thought-provoking and it may just bring a tear to your eye.

                            11. Break It To My Heart
                            This is definitely my favourite song on the album! It is a beautiful pop song about heartbreak and it is sung perfectly by Katherine. It has a catchy tune and relatable lyrics which makes it quite an anthem. It still has a classical edge to it with Katherine's vocal sound and the mixture of the two work really well on this track.

                            12. Blaenwern
                            This is a lovely Welsh Christian hymn which Katherine of course sings very well. I don't tend to listen to it often as I don't understand it and it is not really my kind of thing, but it is very nice all the same.

                            13. Abigail's Song (From Doctor Who A Christmas Carol) (Bonus Track)
                            Again this is not a song that I would particularly choose to listen to but it is very pleasant and quite catchy. I watched the Doctor Who Special with Katherine Jenkins in and I loved it.


                            Opinion

                            Overall I really like this album! There are a few tracks which I skip on, depending on my mood and what I fancy listening to. The songs which are a bit more classical are sometimes quite difficult to listen to as they are dramatic and heavy but the pop songs are light and lovely anytime of the day. I like that there is a huge contrast on this album as it offers something for everyone and shows what a versatile artist Katherine Jenkins is. I am definitely a fan of her music and I think that she is an incredible talent. Her sound is timeless and unique and is a treat to listen to!


                            Cost

                            Daydream is available from all good music stores and websites. Play.com are currently selling it for just £5.89 with free delivery.


                            Would I Recommend?

                            I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of Katherine Jenkins or this kind of music. The album has a great variety of tracks and styles so there is something for everyone! I find that the only thing with this CD is that I have to be in a certain mood to want to listen to it, I can't just pop it on at anytime. It is still very good however and a worthwhile purchase for the small price.


                            Thank you for reading my review : )


                            Review also on Ciao under luceey.

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                            • More +
                              10.04.2012 13:19
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                              A great way to get your 5-a-day!

                              Kenwood Smoothie 2Go.


                              I love making smoothies; I try to have one at least every other day. Before I bought this Smoothie 2Go machine, I was using a regular blender to make them in. I found that a regular blender worked just fine but it was quite messy, as I had to carefully pour the smoothie into a glass and then clean the whole blender afterwards. I never thought of it as an issue until I came across this machine! I liked the compact design and how it literally makes smoothies to go and so I bought one straight away.


                              I bought my Smoothie 2Go from amazon.co.uk. Its RRP is £27.99 but I managed to get it for a couple of pounds cheaper and paid £25.60. You can get the smoothie maker in two colours, black and silver. I decided to go with the silver design.


                              In the box, there is the Smoothie 2Go machine, two 0.5l travel goblets with lids, a recipe book, an instruction manual, a registration card and plug.


                              The Smoothie 2Go is designed to be quick and easy to use. It is ideal for people who want a fast way of getting their 5-a-day! To use the machine you place all of your ingredients into one of the travel mugs, fit the chopping blades and then place the mug onto the machine base. You can then blend away until you are happy with your smoothie! There are different pulse options so you can choose how quickly your smoothie blends. Once you are happy with your drink you fit the lid to the top of your mug and then remove it from the base. And that's it, you are ready 2Go! You can drink the smoothie through your re-sealable lid and take your mug with you wherever you are going!


                              I love this machine; it makes the whole process of making smoothies a lot easier and with less mess. It is perfect for if I am going out somewhere and I fancy a smoothie first as I can take it with me. It is really easy to operate and is compact too so it does not take up too much cupboard space. The mugs are a really good size and allow you to make just the right amount of smoothie. I found that when I used a blender I sometimes wasted some as I made too much but with this, that is definitely not a problem. It has a sleek design too, which makes it nice to look at. The mugs are easy to wash and they are so useful!


                              My favourite smoothie recipe is a couple of fresh strawberries, chopped banana, frozen raspberries, fresh orange juice and some strawberry yoghurt. Delicious and perfect in summer! The recipe book included with the machine has some great ideas for yummy smoothies too!


                              If you are a smoothie fan then I would definitely recommend buying this Smoothie 2Go machine! It is great value for money and as smoothies are so easy to make with it, you will probably find yourself making more and more.

                               
                              Thank you for reading : )

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                            • Bodum Kenya Tea Press / Kettle / 52 Readings / 49 Ratings
                              More +
                              03.04.2012 14:27
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                              A lovely tea press which is easy to use and has a great design.

                              Bodum Kenya Tea Press

                              I am a fan of drinking tea and usually I get through at least 3 or 4 cups a day. I bought this tea press because I wanted something that I could use as an everyday alternative to teapots. I have quite a few nice teapots and in order for them to stay nice, I did not want to be using them everyday. I came across this teapot at the time on the dunelm-mill website. I liked the design of it and the price was very reasonable. The tea press comes in two sizes, small and large. The small one is the one that I bought and it holds 0.5l of tea. The large tea press holds up to 1l.

                              I paid £9.99 for the small tea press from dunelm-mill.com. The large one is available on there too for £15.99.

                              The design of the tea press is very simple. It is made mainly from plastic apart from the glass bowl and tea press rod. It is very easy to take apart and clean and then put back together. The plastic handle and coaster base make the tea press convenient to use and the transparent glass bowl allows you to see how your tea is brewing. As the handle does not get hot, you do not have to wait for the tea to cool before pouring it, which is something I often have to do with my other teapots.

                              The tea press is very simple to use. Once all the parts are properly in place you simple place the tealeaves or bags into the strainer, add hot water and leave it to brew. When the tea is as strong as what you like it, you just press down the plunger all the way to the bottom so that the leaves/bags stop brewing any further. And there you have it, a perfect cup of tea.

                              The tea press makes enough tea for two people or for one person to have a couple of teacups full or a large mug. If I am only making one cup of tea I tend to just put enough water in for me and not fill it all the way up to the top. I like using this tea press because I like my tea strong and the glass bowl allows me to see how strong I am making it so that I get it right before pouring it into my cup. The tea press can be washed in the dishwasher too so it is simple to use and clean.

                              I have been using the tea press for about 6 months now and I have had no problems with it whatsoever. It is still in good condition and it has saved my other teapots from a lot of hard work. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who enjoys a good cuppa and is looking for an alternative to using a china teapot. It works just as well with tea bags as it does tealeaves too.

                              Thank you for reading : )

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