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I like to remember that we're not just writing for members but non-member consumers too. Why are Ciao expecting us to vote for their Spanish/Italian sites?

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since 10/10/2002


Kingston DataTraveler G2 - USB flash drive - 32 GB 04/11/2015

32Gb Kingston DataTraveler Travelling With Me For Years

Samsung 2View DV300F 04/11/2015

I'm (Almost) in Love With My Samsung DV300F!

Samsung 2View DV300F I bought the Samsung DV300F about 8 months ago (around mid 2012) after my previous Samsung decided one day that it was no longer going to retract its lens (I had worked it very hard, clocking up well over 15,000 photos in the 2 or so years I’d had it). I had seen this clever looking camera and the idea of having a dual view feature (i.e. a viewing screen on the front so you can see yourself when taking photos). You may think it’s sad to purchase a camera partly based on this feature but there you go; that’s me! So I did a bit of research, reading around on technical review websites and didn’t find anything negative about this 16-megapixel model so off I went credit card in hand to check out various online sites to buy my new toy. As luck would have it, Amazon was selling it at around £130 at the time, considerably cheaper than all other reputable sites (by reputable, I mean sites I’d actually heard of and that I would consider using). And with a whopping 16.0MP I just had to have this camera! Anyway come the day my new camera arrived, I eagerly unpacked the box having been using my old faithful Canon Ixus 75 as back up in the meantime. I tend to take my camera with me to all social events and am somewhat known for being the “mad camera woman” and although most friends jokingly say this, they are very appreciative of the photos when I email them later, provide hard copies when I do prints once in a while or share on my online albums. I digress! Taking my brand new shiny ...

Barcelo Royal Beach, Sunny Beach 31/10/2015

Barcelo Royal Beach - Rude Staff Let Them Down

Barcelo Royal Beach, Sunny Beach September 2015 saw us visiting Bulgaria for the first time and having chosen Barcelo Royal Beach as our hotel base we were hoping to have a pretty decent holiday considering Barcelo is supposedly a well respected brand. If it's 5 star, surely you can't go too far wrong... We had signed up with Barcelo Rewards prior to our visit and had been sent a voucher for 53 Euros to redeem during our stay for hotel services. The local currency in Bulgaria is Lev and at the time of writing, there were approximately 2.6 Levs to £1. ~*~Check-In~*~ After a trouble free 30 minute transfer from the airport we arrived at the hotel just before 8pm and were advised that we'd been upgraded to a residential suite from a residential double room. This was a pleasant surprise although we were not overly enthused about having to leave the hotel and walk through a parade of shops to have to get to the “block” we were staying in. We weren’t advised where the main restaurant was (which I like to think is the least you can be told about), nor anything about where any amenities were. We were given a sheet of paper which had details of what time the restaurants were open as well as the pool and info about the spa. We were given 2 room keys and 2 towel keys to use in exchange for fresh towels each day for use around the pool. We were escorted to our room by a pleasant young man who pushed our luggage on a trolley and showed us how to use our key card to enter the building and open our room, insert in a ...

Princess Andriana Resort & Spa, Rhodes 19/08/2015

Princess Andriana - 5 Star Luxury (Mostly) All the Way

Dragon King, Park Royal 18/08/2015

Dragon King - Poor to Average Food, Shockingly Poor Service

Joe & Seph's Popcorn 23/07/2015

Like Popcorn? Like Cheese? Try Joe & Seph's Cheddar Cheese

Revlon 24 Hour Cream 25/06/2015

Revlon 24 Hour Cream - A New Favourite

Revlon 24 Hour Cream I purchased a tub of Revlon 24 Hour Cream as an impulse buy recently whilst buying some other beauty products from an online site. I’d never heard of this product previously nor had I seen it in the stores so I was quite curious as to what it would be like. I’ve used many Revlon cosmetics over the years and didn’t even realise they did products such as face creams. A few days later my pot of Revlon 24 Hour Cream arrived with my other goodies and I eagerly opened the lid off the plastic tub which was easy to remove. I’d mention here that it wasn’t in a box and nor was the lid sealed, there was a plastic protector lid over the cream which I removed and I was instantly met by a pleasant aroma. On application this comes across as a rather sticky cream which was a bit strange to initially get used to but it's very pleasant on application and really does give long term moisturising protection. It absorbs quite easily which was a bit of a surprise on first application, as I previously mentioned it feels a quite sticky when you apply the cream. You only have to apply a small amount of the cream for effective moisturising and this gives the product even better value for money as a little goes a long way. When I apply the cream at night before sleeping, my skin does feel instantly moisturised and when I wake in the morning, my skin still feels like I had just applied the cream minutes ago, so yes, I do feel it's extremely effective. I've also found that it's a perfect base for ...

Sikkim, India 29/05/2015

Sikkim - A Lovely State of Affairs

Nivea Sun Protect Cooling Spray SPF50 28/04/2015

Nivea Sun Protect and Refresh Invisible Cooling Spray

Nivea Sun Protect Cooling Spray SPF50 I bought Nivea Sun Protect and Refresh Invisible Cooling Spray SPF50 200ml prior to going on a holiday during 2014. The previous sun screen I was using didn’t seem to have been very effective on my last couple of holidays as I found my skin becoming very dry and “peely” a week or so after returning from 10 days in the sun a few months previously and the holiday 4 months or so prior to that. On the recommendation of the very helpful retail assistant in Superdrug I armed myself with a 200ml bottle of this Nivea Sun Protect and Refresh SPF50 (which I’m just going to call Nivea Sun hereafter in this review) hoping it would provide a decent level of protection. The bottle is a pleasant shade of blue and yellow with grooves on the sides which make the bottle easy to grip. I tan easily and being of Indian origin I have a head start on “paler” people but I do burn if I don’t use sun lotion and SPF50 is my SPF of choice. I found it easy to apply my sun care with Nivea Sun being a spray bottle. I apply quite generously over my body ensuring full coverage even for areas that are not exposed directly to the sun. ~What It’s Supposed To Do~ Nivea Sun claims to give you combined UVA and UVB protection for delicate skin (or just normal skin). In case you didn’t know, basically UVA rays can age us and UVB rays can burn us. The product also claims to give you long lasting moisturisation to keep your skin moisturised and healthy. It also contains Vitamin E to help fight premature ...

Mr & Mrs Iyer (DVD) 18/04/2015

Mr & Mrs Iyer are not really Mr & Mrs

Mr & Mrs Iyer (DVD) Starring Rahul Bose and Konkonna Sen Sharma, Mr & Mrs Iyer was released in 2002, the film was directed by Aparna Sen (whose daughter stars in the film) and co-written by Aparna Sen and Dulal Dey. No need for English subtitles here as the film's dialogue is all spoken in English. PLOT SUMMARY Meenakshi Iyer (Sen), a Tamil Brahmin housewife, is travelling with her baby son Santanam to her marital home in Calcutta after spending some time with her parents. Before getting on the bus for the long journey she is introduced to Raja (Bose), a wildlife photographer, by a friend of her parents, who agrees to help out with the journey should she need help with her child, as he's also travelling to Calcutta. As they journey along on the bus we are treated to a bunch of teenagers singing Hindi film songs at the top of their voices, an elderly Muslim couple where the loving wife reminds her doting husband to put in his dentures, a seemingly widowed woman with her disabled teenage son, a young couple getting romantic under a blanket and a host of other personalities. Things suddenly change from frivolity and enjoyment when the bus is stopped due to traffic caused by religious riots going on further ahead. Meenakshi finds out that Raja is actually Muslim (his name being Jehangir Chowdhury, Raja being just his nickname) and her attitude towards him changes immediately from being grateful for his help with her baby to feeling disgusted that she even drank from his water bottle. A bunch of ...

Nivea Dry Confidence Plus 48h Anti-perspirant 15/04/2015

Nivea Dry Confidence Doesn't Actually Inspire Confidence

Nivea Dry Confidence Plus 48h Anti-perspirant I bought a can of Nivea Dry Confidence Plus 48h Anti-perspirant Deodorant as an impulse buy at Boots some time ago as it was on offer at £1.50 marked down from £2.15. This Nivea deodorant is presented in a spray can which is something I’m not overly keen on. I can’t think of the last time I bought or used an aerosol deodorant. The can claims to have 250ml of product in it but it’s difficult to gauge how full or empty an aerosol product like this is. I’m not particularly “green” minded but I have reduced my aerosol usage in recent years quite dramatically so really this was an odd impulse buy for me. ~The Good~ The can is pleasantly shaped and easy to grip when spraying. The lid is semi-transparent and is easily removed and replaced. It’s easy to spray and the product comes out quite evenly. This where my positive points about this product stop! The deodorant is dermatologically approved and contains no alcohol, colourants or preservatives. ~The Bad~ I found the scent of this deodorant to be fairly unpleasant which was surprising as I’m usually quite partial to Nivea products. I found the scent to be quite chemical-like and it’s difficult to put my finger on what exactly it smelt like but I didn’t like it. The product claims to have a “light feminine scent” but I didn’t find this to be the case at all. The claim that this last for 48 hours is something I can’t comment on because I don’t go 48 hours without a shower and I’m sorry but even for you guys I’m not going to ...

Nanny McPhee (DVD) 12/04/2015

Nanny McPhee - Enchanting from Start to Finish

Nanny McPhee (DVD) Nanny McPhee is a British children’s fantasy film released in 2005 starring the fabulous Emma Thompson as Nanny McPhee and Colin Firth as widowed undertaker Cedric Brown. ~*~Plot Summary~*~ When Cedric Brown loses his wife he seems to withdraw from spending time with his 7 young children who clearly resent this. They systematically despatch every nanny that is hired to look after them until the agency refuses to let Mr Brown even come through their doors. Enter Nanny McPhee, a magical mystery nanny, with her unsightly warts, huge brow, large nose and a rather large tooth which protrudes hideously from her mouth. She arrives in time to save cook, Mrs Blatherwick, who has been tied up on the kitchen floor whilst the children wreak havoc throughout the kitchen. With a thump of her stick Nanny McPhee works her magic and gradually turns the children from unruly nightmare children to responsible and respectful children. Now the children have to try to help their father as he is being forced into marriage by the children’s great Aunt Adelaide who insists that the children need a stepmother. If he doesn’t marry she will withdraw her financial support and Mr Brown will go to debtors’ prison and the children into workhouses. Aunt Adelaide insists on taking one of the children away and instead of one of the children leaving with her, Evangeline, the scullery maid, ends up leaving with her to get private schooling, elocution lessons, etc. Will Mr Brown end up marrying the dreadful ...

Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau de Toilette 12/04/2015

Elie Saab Le Parfum EDT - Nice Enough Scent

Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau de Toilette I was given a 50ml bottle of Elie Saab as a birthday gift last year. Whilst very appreciative of any gift given to me, I personally prefer not to give perfumes as gifts unless I know the taste of the person I'm buying for and know their likes and dislikes already as I think perfume is a really personal gift. I tried this for several months on and off before giving to my mum to finish as she commented several times that she liked it. ~The Look~ The packaging is nothing to write home about but not cheap looking either, some might consider the packaging to look fairly classy/classic. The box was quite plain and the bottle itself is clear glass with the scent itself a very light peach in colour. The glass lid is easily removed and the spray is quite easy to use. ~The Scent~ This scent is from the house of designer Elie Saab and was released in 2012 not long after the release of Elie Saab Le Parfum in 2011. I'd describe this as quite a pleasant floral scent with citrus hints. The main top note for the scent is mandarin blossom with mid notes of orange blossom and gardenia. The base notes include vetiver, honey and rose. I’d say this scent has pretty decent longevity – one application is enough to last a good part of the day, i.e. when I’ve worn it in the morning before going to work, I’ve not needed to apply again during the day. Personally I just wear this as a day time scent – pleasant enough to wear to work without being overpowering or offensive to others, people ...

Writing application forms 11/04/2015

BASIC Tips For Job Application Form Completion

Writing application forms This is a basic guide to completing job applications. First and foremost, don’t waste your time and a potential employer’s time by applying for a job that you are not suitable for, e.g. you don’t have the minimum qualifications and/or experience required. It is not good for your morale if you spend hours completing application forms for roles you are not suited to – it just means getting rejected and making you feel worse than you already do if you’re already out of work or hating your current position so much you feel it’s time for a change! A well completed application form can be the difference between you getting an interview or not so do try to give application forms the importance they merit. THE APPLICATION FORM Application forms are a more and more common way for firms to recruit as they can create their own application forms to extract just the right amount of information they require to call people in for interviews. Always make a photocopy of the original and work on the photocopy itself before transferring to the original form as it really does NOT look good if you have mistakes and crossings out or tipp-ex blobs all over an application form. A benefit of using application forms in the recruitment process is that it's a fair way of comparing people's experience and qualifications to get the best person for the job. People lay their CVs out in so many different styles that application forms will ascertain the exact information required by the company to ...

TDK CD-R Pens 03/04/2015

TDK CD-R Pen - Fabulous Quality at a Great Price

TDK CD-R Pens I’m an amateur enthusiast when it comes to taking digital photos; I have literally 10s of 1,000s of digital photos taken over the years at events such as birthdays, wedding, nights out with colleagues, friends, family, etc. When I go to weddings, I take generally 3-400 photos during the occasion and like to copy them to CD for the bridge and groom so I always have the need for writeable CDs. This also means I need a decent pen to write on the CDs so I don’t have dozens of CDs with data on them lying around not knowing what’s on them. I also save my digital photos/videos on CDs/DVDs which I’ve labelled for easy reference when I want to dig them out rather than having to download them from online sites such as flickr where I also have them saved. Here’s where the TDK CD-R pen comes in. I’ve been using these for several years now and find them an excellent option for writing on CDs (or DVDs even). If you’ve never heard of TDK they’re a Japanese electronics brand that have been around for around 80 years and a trustworthy brand for me. “Back in the day” I used to use TDK blank music cassette tapes (anyone remember what those are?) and TDK blank VHS tapes! As recording media such as tapes are pretty much defunct these days, TDK is less well known compared to just a few decades ago but for me, they’re a brand I trust so I continue to buy their products which for me are of a good quality and very competitively priced. These TDK CR-R pens are light in weight, good quality with ...
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