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danielclark691

danielclark691

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The game is over. Time to move onwards and upwards. Feel free to have a cursory glance at my reviews. The rates, comments and competition wins are appreciated, as are the friendships formed because of the site.

Reviews written

since 27/02/2011

2287

swagbucks.com 24/12/2017

Get your Swag back after the cessation of payments on Ciao

swagbucks.com What is Swagbucks? According to their Facebook page, ‘Swagbucks is a fun rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online.’ Swagbucks began back in February 2008. Although we know that this gives us no indication of what the future holds for the site, as long as the French of Germans don’t get their hands on the company, we should be in safe hands with the Americans running it. Prodege LLC is a California-based company, and from day one I got the distinct impression that the site and their admin are passionate about what they are doing here. Why would you want to get involved? It is probably easier to tell you why and how I became involved with Swagbucks. I spend a fair amount of time online, and without a stable job I like to earn money here and there from day-to-day activities online. I spent years on DooYoo and Ciao, though this is nothing like that. If you have heard of Quidco and/or TopCashback you won’t be too far away from understand what the Swagbucks site has to offer. You basically use Swagbucks to earn cashback on online purchases through a huge number of companies. You can earn bonus ‘Swagbucks’ in a number of ways, through playing games, signing up for offers/subscriptions and from searching the web as you would every day. Various ways to earn It is worth noting the specific sections of the website, and visiting each area on a daily basis will help you gain bonuses along the way. We have Surveys, ...

Do you believe in life after death? 30/11/2017

Can there be a life after the death of Ciao?

Do you believe in life after death? Although I have not read any of the other articles under this category (are there even any?!) I imagine many of them are going to be very sad, or very positively in the favour of there being an existence after death. Do I believe in life after death? Well, to be honest I don't. Moving on, this is a 'review' of my opinions of Ciao. I have had such an enjoyable time on the site, and it is always good to look back and then move on in a positive manner, especially after having such an enjoyable time overall on the site. I started over 7 years ago, and if I remember correctly I was actually juggling 3 jobs at the time. This wasn't for long, as shortly after the Conservatives under David Cameron came into power I lost my job working for the NHS. It was a shame, but time to move on. I had just started working for a good friend on a 'casual' basis, but after a battle with a medical condition I felt it right to continue in this work, with my supermarket work taking up spare time. In the 7 years of Ciao membership I have seen members come, go, and make eventful and emotional returns. I have stuck around fairly consistently, and I would say I have averaged a review a day since my membership commenced. After an illness in my late teens that quickly forced me into making a decision of either having my colon removed or potentially losing my life, I spent my 21st birthday on a hospital ward. I covered the curtain rail around my bed in bunting at 3am for the next day, and after 3 ...

Panasonic NC-ZK1VXC 30/11/2017

Put the kettle on, relax and think of the good times....

Panasonic NC-ZK1VXC First impressions First impressions are everything. In a kettle you might not think that first impressions matter too much, but to all consumers (knowingly or not), first impressions are often the difference between us buying an item and passing it by. Panasonic is not a brand I would instantly think of when it comes to cool, innovative and stylish items. They are well-known for electrical goods, but I would expect you were talking about a brand such as Samsung when it comes to style. What we have here is a cool and stylish product in the form of a kettle. You may mock, but this is an ultra-modern piece of design, and providing you buy the right colour to fit in with your kitchen it will stand out in a positive way when you next have visitors. My experience This kettle has a capacity of 1.4 litres, which is quite typical really. We tend to either buy the 1.4l or 1.7l kettles as these are the standard sizes, but unless we have a lot of visitors, this slightly smaller capacity is not a hindrance. The capacity is kept this way to allow the design to do the talking, though practicalities have not completely left the building. This kettle is finished is a rather impressive purple colour, but we have plenty of stainless steel to keep the magpies happy. Design truly is at the centre of this model, though it isn’t holding the product back in the practicality stakes at all. We have a cool to the touch body, ensuring nobody is harmed during the making of a cup of tea. This ...

Lego Ideas 21110 Research Institute 30/11/2017

Ciao members working on innovative new projects...

Lego Ideas 21110 Research Institute First impressions Finding sets that stand out in the Lego range can be a difficult task. A child will generally either have a collection of Lego Star Wars sets or own sets in the Lego City. Range. When we spotted this particular set we were surprised, and this Research Institute set is very different. What we have is basically a scene of a laboratory, with various female scientists working on projects. We have bottles and various potions, with a T-Rex skeleton and a telescope. There is a real mix in this Research Institution, but it is pleasant to see we have a set with 3 women and not a single man in sight! It reminds me of some of the Ciao Beauty competitions recently – lots of female beauty products but not a single male one! My experience This unique Lego set really caught my attention, and although it is quite a small set in terms of how many pieces we have, there is enough going on for it to count as a stand-alone set. We have a grand total of just 165 pieces, but with 3 women working tirelessly on their projects, maybe they can expand and create a larger laboratory in the future? The first female minifigure has a telescope and is looking at the stars, with a large board with various constellations on. This stargazer looks laid back and has blonde hair, and this part of the set is the easiest to build. Next up with have our paleontologist. She has a large Dinosaur skeleton/fossil to work on, with a microscope on her desk and a large magnifying glass. She has ...

BlackVue DR650S-2CH Dash Cam 30/11/2017

"Blackvue for your safe driving"

BlackVue DR650S-2CH Dash Cam Introduction Some of you may be aware of my fairly recent accident. Unfortunately, unless you have independent witnesses or actual video footage of the other driver being in the wrong, you do not have a leg to stand on when it comes to filing an insurance claim against the other involved party. With my ‘accident’ I waited for the traffic lights to turn green, but the other driver decided to run through a red light, smashing into me. With no video footage and no other witnesses to the incident it was a case of both of us claiming from our own insurance. Fair, isn’t it?! I had not considered a ‘dashcam’ up until the crash, but I think it is a very sensible idea for all drivers. You can actually shave pounds from your car insurance, but be warned that if video footage is not provided when required you could be faced with an additional charge for the money you saved on the policy. It also makes you appear as though you are hiding footage that you could well have. Dashcams are fast becoming an essential tool to drivers these days. What with the ‘crash for cash’ scams, we all know a victim of such incidents. Someone pulls out on you, slams all on at a roundabout or junction, then the have a witness conveniently placed in a car nearby. You are trapped, and without video footage you are another victim and statistic to this scam. I wanted a dashcam that would cover all angles, and I opted for a front and rear facing unit. You could always buy 2 dashcams if you find a model you ...

HP Chromebook 13 G1 30/11/2017

HP Chromebook 13.3inch G1

HP Chromebook 13 G1 What is a Chromebook? I thought I would get this question out of the way with an answer. A lot of people are unaware of what a Chromebook actually is, with some thinking it is just a laptop but a ‘lite’ version. I suppose it is, but there is more to it than that. A Chromebook is a laptop, but instead of it running on Windows 10 or Mac OS X it is run on the specially developed Google Chrome operating system. The idea is that the Chromebook is for use with the internet, and a lot of what you do on the Chromebook will involve the internet and a connection to it. Your documents are likely to live in the cloud, and although you can use applications such as Microsoft Word on the Chromebook, you are actually going to use a free web-based version called Office Online which has all of the Microsoft Office (Including Word) applications on there. First impressions Whilst looks may not be important to some people when looking for a new laptop or Chromebook, it would be naïve to think that this isn’t a consideration, especially if you are buying from somewhere like Currys PC World where they are all on display. You are encouraged to touch and look at the computers on offer, and this is what encourages us to make the purchase, as we can physically touch what we are about to buy. The HP Chromebook 13 G1 is not as plain as some models, but it does look extremely smart. It actually reminds me of my MacBook Pro because it is silver in colour, but that is where the similarities end ...

Lego City Great Vehicles 60085 4 x 4 with Powerboat 30/11/2017

Lego City Powerboat and 4x4

Lego City Great Vehicles 60085 4 x 4 with Powerboat First impressions If you have read just a handful of my reviews then the chances are you will have come across a Lego review. I am most certainly going to miss sharing my thoughts with fellow Ciao members on my passion for Lego, but I am sure I am not alone in this anyway. The Lego City range is rather puzzling, with so many of the vehicles not seeming to be related to the city environment. The set we have here is one of those, as I wouldn’t typically expect to see a 4x4 vehicle pulling a speedboat around the city. The design is typical of Lego, with bright colours designed to attract the attention of youngsters. The image on the box depicts a rather enthusiastic minifigure riding the waves, with the driver looking on from the shore. The front of the box literally reads ‘Boat really floats’, which suggests this set could be used in or around water – bathtime, perhaps?! My experience Lego sets come in all shapes and sizes, though I am happy to put this into the ‘medium’ category, as the set is of a fair size. There are a total of 301 pieces in this set, and this includes the minifigures and the accessories in the kit. We have 2 minifigures, a male and a female. They can both wear the lifejacket and helmet, and they could both be either the 4x4 driver or the speedboat driver. It is positive to see both sexes in this set, in what I would describe as a mainly male sport (powerboating). I have mentioned the vibrant colours of the set, and I think the bright orange and ...

Lego DC Super Hero Girls 41234 Bumblebee Helicopter 29/11/2017

How can I end on a support bandage?!

Lego DC Super Hero Girls 41234 Bumblebee Helicopter First impressions It didn’t feel appropriate to finish my Ciao career with the Thermoskin Elastic Ankle Support. Some members have concerned me very recently, and they could probably do with support, though I think we should all be signing off with a bang, and what better way to do so than with a Lego review?! This will not be my last, but we are coming to an emotional end! Here we have a Lego set aimed at the girls. I am not sure how many of my fellow Ciao writers will approve of this set, but their children may. This is from the DC Super Hero Girls’ range, and this is ‘Bumblebee’ protecting her shipment of crystals from the Kryptomites. Unless you have seen this series you will not know what I am talking about, though my own knowledge is limited as it is. My experience The set consists of Bumblebee and her trusted helicopter. Also in the set are two very angry red Kryptomites, who are out to get hold of the crystals. There are 142 pieces in this set, so whilst it isn’t a large set, it is still a reasonable challenge to a young child. The age guide of 7 to 12 years is probably more for the small pieces than the complexity of the build. The build is made even easier with the easy-to-follow instruction manual, and the glossy pages keep a child interested until the build is complete. Once the set is built you will notice the helicopter stands at around 7cm in height and 10cm in length. These are rough guides, but it gives you an idea of the size of the set. This will ...

Thermoskin Elastic Ankle Support 28/11/2017

Thermoskin Elastic Ankle Support

Thermoskin Elastic Ankle Support First impressions If you are an active person and you have taken part in physical exercise for a few years you are sure to pick up the odd injury. Your body has weaknesses, and these are exposed over time, though this doesn’t even take physical sport to bring about such aches and pains. You may have broken a bone or 2 in the past, but your body will always have weaknesses. Supporting our joints is something we are more likely to have to do as we age. I have suffered from a number of stress fractures over the years, and some of these have occurred in my feet. I have broken a range of bones in my body, but the Thermoskin Ankle Support is not going to replace a pot that you may need! The support we have here is designed to give you the confidence to recommence running and doing all the things you wish to do, without the worry of twisting your ankle, and to give you reassurance that you have additional support against such things happening. If you are prone to ankle injuries then you are likely to benefit from an ankle support, or if you have had a recent injury where your ankle is weakened or is not fully recovered yet you may feel comfortable having some additional support to aide your recovery. My experience Fitting the ankle support is easy enough, though if your foot is in too much pain to fit the support I would suggest that you need more than a support to help you out. You put the support on just as you would a sock, though your heel will fit into the hole at the ...

Lego Nexo Knights 70373 Combo NEXO Powers 28/11/2017

Nexo Knights - Combo Nexo Powers

Lego Nexo Knights 70373 Combo NEXO Powers First impressions If you have never heard of the Nexo Knights animated TV series then the chances are you won’t be rushing out to buy the product we have here. In fact, the TV series actually followed the Lego Nexo Knights range, which is often the case. Nexo Knights is part science fiction and part action/adventure, and this series is fun because of the medieval knight theme we have going on. The 5 knights (Aaron, Clay, Lance, Princess Macy and Axl) protect the kingdom of Knighton from Jestro with the help of the digital wizard Merlok 2.0. The Cloud of Monstrox controls Jestro, helping it in its quest to gain the 10 Forbidden Powers. The reason I am telling you this is in relation to the product we have here – bare with me! The product we have comes in a plastic packet, and this is a range that you buy and collect, a bit like football cards etc. The Nexo Powers are a collection of 35 different features, each one bringing something new to the table in the quest to defeat Monstrox. As these are collectible items you have to buy multiple packs and build your collection. My experience The very first thing we realised with this product is that unless you have a child with a number of friends that also collect this range you are going to be stuck with a lot of duplicates. It isn’t a simple case of buying 7 packs (5 x 7 =35), you have to buy dozens of packs to get the full set! In each pack you receive 5 different Nexo Powers and a Combo Nexo Power Shield. If you decide ...

Lego Brickheadz 41590 Iron Man 27/11/2017

Brickheadz - not sure for what purpose!

Lego Brickheadz 41590 Iron Man First impressions The Lego range is huge, though due to its popularity they are always bringing out new sets to keep up with the changing demand. I suppose this is also to do with the collectors, as some people will buy anything and everything – providing it has the Lego branding on the box. The set we have here is from the Brickheadz range, and this is a rather unique collection of Marvel favourites. Here we have Iron Man in all his glory, though the added twist is that these Brickheadz sets are rather unique in appearance. Iron Man is a very popular and well-known character from the Marvel brand. In Brickheadz form it may not instantly hit you that this is Iron Man, but with the gold and red colour-scheme you will soon figure it out without too much trouble. I suppose you could look at the Brickheadz range as a buildable minifigure collection. They certainly caught my attention, and I am sure they will others. My experience You will either love or hate the design of these figures, but I like the abstract design, and as each character has this similar design they all fit in really well with one another. Iron Man stands at just over 7cm in height, though once you add the plinth that Iron Man stands on this adds a few more millimetres. Taking a look at the finished article I think this plinth makes the Brickheadz stand out, and adds to the appeal as a collectible item that you can display. Construction is obviously very simple, and with 96 pieces in the set this is ...

Lego Ninjago 70612 Green Ninja Mech Dragon 24/11/2017

Lego Ninjago Green Ninja Mech Dragon

Lego Ninjago 70612 Green Ninja Mech Dragon First impressions At the moment my nephew absolutely loves dinosaurs, and so when he saw a Lego set with the Green Ninja Mech Dragon in it he thought it was a dinosaur! Obviously it is a dragon, but I knew his imagination would stretch to dragons, and so it was bought to entertain him. These sets are not designed for very small children, but adults don’t need excuses to buy this sort of thing, and he finds it very interesting to touch and look at. The Lego range is full of weird and wonderful animals and creatures. The dragon we have here is extremely well-designed, and this could probably fall under the medium-sized set category. It certainly isn’t a pocket-money purchase! The Lego range is huge, though this means you are spoilt for choice as opposed to finding it easy to find a suitable set to buy. My nephew has a jar which he puts marbles into when he has behaved or done something very kind for someone. Once this is filled he can buy a treat, and this is what he bought very recently. My experience The Green Ninja Mech Dragon comes from the Ninjago movie, though this is not a dragon my nephew is scared of at all. He calls this ‘the friendly dragon’, though he is still scared of a rather large, furry remote-controlled spider we have! This set contains 544 pieces, so it is certainly not going to be suitable for a young child. The age guide is 8 to 14 years, which is broad enough for my liking. I would say that an 8 year old would find this quite a challenge, though ...

Lego Star Wars 75119 Sergeant Jyn Erso 21/11/2017

Lego Star Wars - Sergeant Jyn Erso

Lego Star Wars 75119 Sergeant Jyn Erso First impressions The Lego and Star Wars brands teaming up was such a stroke of genius, with continued success for the range, even between the release of new films and sets. The Lego brand knows that the best way to succeed and to almost guarantee that sets will be popular and collectible is to team up with major film franchises and kids TV series’. These sets are designed to appeal to young children, and what better way to attract them than to offer them their favourite characters in Lego form?! The buildable figures are very popular, and they are a better option than to just buy the ‘dolls’ that are already built and ready to go. The set we have here is part of the Lego range and is of Sergeant Jyn Erso from the Star Wars film ‘Rogue One’. This set is part of a range of figures of characters from this film, and children will often pick their favourite characters from the films and collect them. Due to this, you will find the key characters are very popular, but these lesser-known characters are often the rarest and most desirable going forwards. My experience This particular Lego Star Wars build has a total of 104 pieces in it. This isn’t all that many considering the completed figure looks fairly detailed. The box does give you a fair guide to the size of the figure you are about to build, and it doesn’t deceive you by being huge and then the model turning out to be tiny. The completed Sergeant Jyn Erso figure measures just over 9 inches in height once built, ...

Playmobil Nautical Expedition 4473: Research Submarine 20/11/2017

Playmobil bathtime Submarine!

Playmobil Nautical Expedition 4473: Research Submarine First impressions Bath time can be difficult at the best of times. Tired children and often an unwillingness to sleep after the bath can bring tears. One of my nephews loves playing in the bath and the other one doesn’t, but the eldest is always wanting new toys to play with and things to do. Finding new bath time activities can be tough, but one toy we have found works well with occasional use is the Playmobil Nautical Expedition Research Submarine. This is an all singing, all dancing submarine. Not only is it fairly brightly coloured, but with many different features it is sure to keep a child entertained just long enough to allow you to rinse their hair. The Playmobil brand is one that I never used as a child, but we own a few sets these days with children visiting regularly. My nephews love the Playmobil sets, and lots of relatives buy them these sets because they are both educational and rewarding. The pieces are easy enough to slot together, but some of the designs can be too complicated for such young children. My experience Although I were never a fan of Playmobil as a child I think was more to do with the fact I were bought so much Lego, and Playmobil is a bit different. The Playmobil sets can be more detailed, and they are not as limited in their design, with not a single rectangle building block in sight. Still, the build process gives you a sense of achievement, and this is a set that contains a fair few pieces in it. Unlike Lego, the piece count is not ...

Atrixo Enriched Moisturising Cream 19/11/2017

Atrixo Enriched Moisturising Cream

Atrixo Enriched Moisturising Cream First impressions If you suffer from dry and damaged skin then the chances are you will either use products to treat it, or at least be looking for products that will effectively relieve your problems. What we have here is Atrixo Enriched Moisturising Cream, and this is designed specifically to give you soft and smooth hands. It doesn’t suggest that your hands should be damaged in order for you to use it, just that this product will give you the desired results. It is safe to say that from my experience with the Atrixo brand, these guys do have a very good reputation. My mum has used this product for many years, though she has bought the tube in the past. I wanted to use a hand cream for application on a night, as I don’t like anything oily on my skin during the day, and by the morning I hoped for much softer skin. As with these products, you don’t expect results overnight, but I had very dry skin at the time. I can only assume this was from all the paper and cardboard I handled at work, and I think this was drying my skin out. My experience Although it could be argued that the colours are neutral, I still see this product as a feminine looking one. I wouldn’t say I specifically look out for hand creams just for men, but I think Atrixo are trying to sit on the fence and please everyone. I don’t think it works, though it could be argued it has because I bought it. I bought the 200ml container, and this came with a smaller sized tub for those on the go that need to ...
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