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♥♥ It's been while...but I'm back and expecting my first child in June! ♥♥

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since 24/10/2003


Willow Tree Promise 08/01/2012

I Promise you will buy more WIllow Tree figurines after this!

Willow Tree Promise I first came across the Willow Tree collection when receiving the Promise figurine as a wedding present from my brother and sister in law. I instantly fell in love with the stylish range, and my personal collection has now grown to 3 and will keep rising! Each figure has its own meaning. Promise is “Hold dear the promise of love” and features a man with one arm around the waist of a lady, and the other holding her hand in a dance like pose. Perfect for a wedding gift! This particular piece was carved so that it could be viewed ‘in the round’. You get a different understanding depending on how you turn the piece. If you view from the side where you can see the man and woman's arms around each other, it looks like they're kissing. If you turn it and view it from where you can see their faces and clasped hands, it looks like they're dancing — and it's a totally different piece, allowing you to have your own interpretation of the sculpture. Willow Tree (the name chosen to symbolise that which is gestural and beckoning) was created by artist Susan Lordi in January 2000. Using family and friends and models, Susan captures a moment in time or feeling, and hand carves each original Willow Tree sculpture. Pieces are then cast from her original carving made from resin and then individually painted by hand using softly washed colors. The Willow Tree figurines come boxed in a brown packaging and all have polystyrene encasing for protection. You will receive a note with the ...

Little Miss Jocelyn - Series 1 (DVD) 11/02/2007

Little miss rib tickling comedy!

Little Miss Jocelyn - Series 1 (DVD) I am a huge fan of comedy, in particular good sketch shows. Little Miss Jocelyn is no exception. The series features a huge mix of sketches including the first black female US president; an upfront toilet attendant; and a bus driver who likes to sing hymns. Aired on BBC Three in August 2006, the show was also available to people in the UK via Internet streaming. The show also featured some hidden camera footage where unsuspecting members of the public were involved in a scene. Still relatively unknown, series 1 has been released on DVD to my utter delight! *** The Show *** The DVD comprises of the first series; 6 episodes containing several hilarious sketches, which depict outrageous situations. Written by Three Non Blonde/The Lenny Henry Show star Jocelyn Jee Esien, (who also plays all the main comedic characters) the sketches and comedy are in times shocking, mirroring that of Little Britain. Much of the comedy relies on Jocelyn's use of black stereotypes. For example, the opening sketch in episode 1 sees a white police officer interviewing a black teenager accused of robbery. The white officer cannot understand what the teenager is saying, so asks a black police officer (Jocelyn) to interpret. The black police officer and teenager hold down a hilarious conversation using lots of 'street' phrases. When told at the end of the interrogation to tell the person to stay out of trouble, the police officer physically attacks the teenager, saying it is the only way they would ...

Navman F 20 Local 07/01/2007

No need to fear…the F20 is here!

Navman F 20 Local Since passing my test 3 months ago, my family has noted my poor navigational skills. On recent drives to Portsmouth and Eastbourne (where getting lost doubled the journey time!) I relied on print outs from AA and the old fashioned A-Z. You can imagine my joy at receiving a Sat Nav system for Christmas! ***Navman/The Navman F20*** I have always been skeptical about navigation systems, in particular hearing about the systems directing people the wrong way. However, the F20, is supposedly the simplest, most reliable GPS navigation system on the market today. So on recommendation from friends and because it fitted his price bracket, it led to my other half buying this Navman for £150-£250 (he wouldn't tell me the exact cost!) from Halfords. The packaging itself is enough to get anyone excited! The device came in a small, colourful, rectangular box highlighting the features and capabilities of the system. I was so excited to play with my new toy, and couldn't wait to prise the box open, but it wouldn't budge! It took me 10 minutes to figure out how to open the thing! Once inside I wasn't disappointed. It had everything I could need including; 1. The Nav Man F20 2. A 12V power socket 3. User manual 4. FAQ guide 5. In car mounting bracket ***Installation*** I had heard from TV adverts and friends that sat navs require complicated installation. However, installing the device into the car is so simple even I can do it!. Attach the simple suction cup holder ...

The Body Shop Cranberry Shower Gel 11/12/2006

A Deliciously Festive Treat!

The Body Shop Cranberry Shower Gel *** I've never heard of The Body Shop, tell me more…*** Anita and Gordon Roddick launched the Body Shop in 1979 with a single store. It has since gone from strength to strength to become a key player in beauty products around the world. It is perhaps better known for its values such as not using animals to test products. Other values include supporting smaller producer communities around the world who supply accessories and natural ingredients, such as hemp seed oil. ***Why is the shower gel so good?*** Not only, as I mentioned above, is the shower gel free from animal testing, it is made up of wonderfully refreshing ingredients. The Body Shop uses fresh organic citrus juices like the cranberry seed oil, which stimulate, refresh and revive. Not only do citrus oils act as excellent cleansers, but it will also wake you up - perfect for that morning shower. ***Who can use it?*** Anyone and everyone! It is perfect for sensitive skin as it uses natural ingredients. (Obviously, it is not appropriate for people with allergies to cranberries!) More specifically, it's great for anyone who needs to unwind after a stressful day at work, or is feeling festive. It is particularly great as a Christmas present in a gift set with the other cranberry products. ***And the smell?*** It's very striking at first as it's quite an unusual smell; uplifting, spicy, refreshing, and calming….like a festive tropical paradise in a bottle! ***How do I use it?*** It's very easy ...

Nou Camp - Barcelona F.C., Barcelona 20/10/2006

Barca Barca Barca....gooooal!

Nou Camp - Barcelona F.C., Barcelona Being the huge football fan that I am, I couldn't let a recent trip to Barcelona pass by without visiting one of the most spectacular stadiums in the world….no, it's not Vicarage Road (that is THE greatest!)…..The Nou Cap. Technically called "El Nou Estadi del Futbol Club Barcelona", it is the home of European Champions FC Barcelona. I was lucky enough to have a tour of the stadium, and see their first game as defending champions against Levski Sofia…the score was 5-0…. *** The stadium *** FC Barcelona was founded in the late 19th century, and occupied several stadia around the city before moving to the Nou Camp in September 1957. This was inevitable as the club's popularity had soared during the 50s, driven by the team's amazing success. The first match that took place in the Camp Nou was FC Barcelona against a team from Warsaw and the Barcelona line-up in the new Stadium was formed by: Ramallets, Olivella, Brugu, Segarra, Vergs, Gensana, Basora, Villaverde, Martnez, Kubala and Tejada. Bara won 4-2. With a capacity of 98,787, the stadium is easily one of the largest (if not the largest) in Europe, and certainly in the top 5 in the world. It sits 48 metres high and has a surface of 55,000 square metres (250 m long and 220 m wide). It's one of those sights that simply takes your breath away! We were seated on the 2nd tier, by the corner flag - an excellent view. I could actually make out who Ronaldinho was without squinting! Any higher and the players look like ants! The ...

Celebrity Cruises 06/10/2006

Be treated like a star on Celebrity!

Celebrity Cruises £1 = $1.81 £1 = 1.42 Euro *** Introduction *** As many of you know, I love to travel, and cruising for me is the best way to see some of the worlds most impressive sights in style. I have sailed with Ocean Village twice, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) three times all were wonderful, and so Celebrity had a lot to live up to! I booked the 10-night Balearic Island cruise only option on The Century (sailing 15th September) in March for my boyfriend and I. I booked the flights separate with Easyjet, and booked 3 nights in an apartment near the beach in Barcelona pre cruise.. By booking separately, the whole package cost us £685 each! An absolute bargain! I booked the holiday with Fast Track, a company that specialises in cruises. They were doing a special deal, for that date only. I initially booked the lowest grade inside accommodation on deck 8. However, as we are Select members of the Captains Club (a loyalty programme that gives you excellent benefits throughout the cruise) we were upgraded to deck 9 free of charge. *** Information about Celebrity Cruises and Cenutry *** Celebrity prides itself on being one of the most luxurious brands on the sea, offering you rest and relaxation with lots of decadent touches. Century is one of the brands oldest ships. At 11 years old, it was looking rather tried compared to ships from its sister company Royal Caribbean. Therefore, Celebrity plunged $55 million into a makeover for the ship; in just 34 days in dry dock, the ...

Corona Park / Flushing Meadows 03/09/2006

The heavenly grounds of the US-Open grand slam

Corona Park / Flushing Meadows I love tennis, in fact it's one of the very few sports I can watch and play. So when planning a trip to New York last year we decided to incorporate it around the US open held at Flushing Meadows…. *** History of event *** Celebrating its 125th year, the US open is the richest professional tennis event in the world, with the winner of the singles events winning $1,200,000! This is the hard court event in the grand slam series, held late August/early September at Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York. The first U.S. National Singles Championship for men was held at the Newport Casino, Newport, R.I., in August 1881. Only clubs that were members of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association were permitted to enter. That was the beginning of a 34-year reign for Newport as the tennis center of the country. Beginning in 1900, the U.S. National Men's Doubles Championship was layered, with tournaments held in the East and West and sectional winners playing off to determine which team would meet the defending champions in the challenge round. The advent of the Open Era in 1968 consolidated all five major U.S. tennis championships into the US Open at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y. A total of $100,000 was offered to the field of 96 men and 63 women who entered men's and women's singles and doubles that year. Today, the US Open, now called Flushing Meadows, offers more than $18.5 Million to a field of more than 600 men and women, including qualifying. ...

Travelodge London Wimbledon, London 22/08/2006


Travelodge London Wimbledon, London When needing a hotel to stay in a hotel for a friends wedding, I wanted something nearby the reception hall, and reasonably priced. Unfortunately, there is a lack of choice in the Morden area, and Travelodge was really the only option. It has been hard to avoid seeing the Travelodge saver deals on offer and so I checked out the Travelodge website, and low and behold, they were offering a reasonable deal… *** Location *** Although Travelodge claim the hotel is in Wimbledon, it is actually around 4 miles away, (London 8 miles) and is in fact in Morden, Surrey. It is located on a main road next to a Harvester restaurant. From the A3 take the A298 to Merton. Turn right at traffic lights towards Lower Morden. At the roundabout follow Lower Morden Lane to T-junction and turn left onto A24. From the M25 take junction 9 for the A24 or junction 10 for the A3. There is free on-site parking. If you're like me and still have to use public transport, Morden railway station is ¼m away, the tube around 2 miles, and you can get the 93 bus from Morden to Wimbledon or Cheam, or the 154 to Croydon from just outside the hotel. If flying, my aunt and uncle use this hotel as a stopover for traveling to Gatwick airport, which is only 25 miles from here. *** Places to go *** This hotel is more of a stopover rather than a base for a holiday, however if you are using it for this reason, there are plenty of activities nearby; Morden Swimming pool - 5 mins walk from hotel Wimbledon ...

Iberia - IBE 15/08/2006

I-B Coming back for more!

Iberia - IBE I found myself in need of a cheap flight to Mallorca in June, but most airlines were charging in excess of £150, which was way out of my budget. Then I came across Iberia airlines…hmm….they've had some bad press in the past and doubts ran through my mind, but it was the cheapest, and so I followed my wallet…. *** The company *** Iberia have been operating commercial flights since 1927, they have flown more than 600 million passengers, making Iberia not only Spain's leading airline but also market leader on routes between Europe and Latin America. Iberia operates in over onehundred destinations, while reaching more than 80 additional ones through code-sharing arrangements with other airlines. This places Iberia in the front rank of European airlines, with 32.4 million passengers carried in 2005 and a net profit of 395.8 million euros. (£250million) *** Booking *** I booked through Iberia's own website process was extremely easy, I was able to select which flights I wanted from the several that were available, and was able to see the prices for the various times of day. I believe there were roughly 5 flights available that day. If booking with Iberia to Palma there are no direct flights, hence why so cheap! I opted for a 2 hour stopover in Barcelona leaving at 7am, getting into Palma at 1.30pm, and returning at 11.20am, getting home for 3.30pm all for £80 each. Flights can be cheaper depending on how far in advance you book. The flight to ...

Barcelona Airport (BCN), Barcelona 04/08/2006

Barca-rific airport!

Barcelona Airport (BCN), Barcelona Having just spent a lovely week in the Mallorca, I thought I'd better put my experience to good use in a review of Barcelona airport. No, you didn't read wrong! I actually got an in direct flight after deciding to spend a couple days in Barcelona first! For some, airports are just a thorn in their side, a mere obstacle in getting from A to B. They hate the thought of waiting around for their flight, or the queues of checking in, baggage hassles. It can be very stressful. For me however, I still get incredibly excited about the 'airport' leg of my journey, the shopping, and the excitement about getting on the plane. It's a huge part of the overall holiday experience. Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, situated on the south coast. It is becoming a huge tourist destination, in particular as Mediterranean cruises become more popular. I booked our flight independently with Iberia for £80 each return. We flew with BA outwards, and then caught an Iberia plane to Mallorca. It was the cheapest option and a bargain for June! The airport itself consists of three terminals named A, B and C. From what I could make out terminal A is for long haul and European destinations, terminal B for EU flights and Terminal C for domestic services although I caught a domestic flight with Iberia from terminal B. All of the terminals are interlocked, and if you need to get from one to another (if realising you were in the wrong gate like us) it is a long walk! But let me start from ...

Everything that starts with B ... 20/07/2006

Beauty is in the eye of the they say

Everything that starts with B ... This is a Beauty Quiz challenge started by Tutu422 and having been nominated Susie191 I thought hey, why not, it's worth a go! I'm a Body Shop addict and must currently have over 25 different products on my bedside table (not including makeup). I'm a girly girl in that I love the whole pampering idea and try to look after myself I hope you enjoy an insight in my beauty routine…. ♥ What is your favourite perfume? ♥ I'm not a huge perfume lover, I've only ever used 3 different types in my whole life! As a kid it was CKOne (who didn't have this?!) but it got boring and now the smell makes me heave! Then I moved onto Eternity, but found the smell was too musty and strong for my liking. So I have now come to the conclusion that I like fresh, light, girly perfumes which is why I've been using Ralph Lauren Romance for the past 3 years. It's gorgeous and I only use it on evenings out or to impress the other half. ♥ Do you use a body moisturiser? ♥ Yes! I use the body shop's body butter coca butter, which is doubly rich for extra dry skin with a yummy chocolate-and-vanilla scent. An excellent moisturiser that melts at body temperature, leaving the skin feeling soft and silky smooth! Or Shea if not in a chocolate smelly mood! The great thing about the butters is that they all have Community Trade ingredients: cocoa butter from Ghana, babassu oil from Brazil, and beeswax from Zambia which means they are so creamy that they continuously ...

Valencia (Spain) 02/07/2006

Captivating Catalonia!

Valencia (Spain) For a weekend break my boyfriend and I wanted to go to a un-tourist place in Spain, with lots to do and see to keep us entertained. So we decided to visit the up and coming Valencia. And what a trip it was! Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, with a population of around 800,000 people and is the Capital of the region of Valencia. It is situated in the centre of the Spanish Mediterranean coastline, which overlooks the spacious Gulf of Valencia. Famous for being the home of Paella, the spectacular Fallas festival housing the largest Aquarium in Europe, and one of the largest fruit and vegetable markets it's not hard to see why Valencia is becoming so popular. *** How to get there *** Valencia is easily accessible from many cities in the UK by plane. We travelled with BA from Gatwick outwards to the Valencia international airport and Easyjet to Stanstead on the return leg. The airport is located roughly 8-10km from the city centre. Cabs are readily available at a cost of between 15-20 Euro. *** Weather *** Valencia enjoys a Mediterranean climate. We visited in March 2006 during the incredible Fallas festival. At this time there was a mini heatwave with temperatures soaring to 26 degrees! You can imagine then that July & August are the hottest months, therefore if on a sightseeing break, May June or September would be best to avoid heat stroke walking around the city! *** Accommodation *** I like to get the feel of living in the city I'm ...

Rocamarina, Cala d'Or 03/05/2006

The Rocamarina Rocks!

Rocamarina, Cala d'Or On looking for a place to stay in Mallorca 2 years ago we were recommend to visit the 4* Rocamarina hotel in Cala Egos Mallorca. I had heard good things about this hotel, a Thomson's Gold for adults only, and I was not disappointed. *** Location *** The hotel is situated in Cala Egos, Cala D'or - South East Mallorca. Cala Egos is best for a quiet holiday - OK for nightlife, plenty of bars, no real nightclubs (you will find these in Cala D'or centre). While it has plenty of English tourists, with no high rise buildings, it retains the Spanish charm that the likes of Magaluf does not. It is 45 minutes ride (55 euros by taxi) from Palma airport and is just a minute walk from a lovely little beach, 10 minutes walk from the gorgeous marina with many restaurants and bars and 5 minutes walk into Cala Egos. To get to Cala d'or centre you can either take the mini train (6 euros return) or catch a taxi, or walk the distance in 20 - 30 minutes. *** Rooms *** The rooms are tastefully decorated with an unstocked fridge (handing for cooling bottles of water) a high powered air conditioning system, twin beds, shower/bath, and T.V. There is maid service everyday, and towels are provided. We were not in the room very much so it was more than satisfactory. *** Food *** The food at the Rocamarina is of a good standard compared to other half board accomodations I've stayed in. Breakfast was always my faveourite meal! Served from 7.30am - 10.30am there was always lots to ...

EasyJet - EZU 01/05/2006

The no frills delight!

EasyJet - EZU I was very hesitant about booking with Easyjet, I have heard many bad experiences from friends, and seen the horror stories of long delays on the TV show! However, when taking a short break to Valencia recently, I needed a cheap flight and Easyjet was my first port of call. I compared the cost with Ryanair and BA and whilst BA was cheapest for outbound flights, (£33) Easyjet was cheapest for return (£17) I considered it an absolute bargain and even if the flight went horribly wrong, it was only £17! *** The Company *** Founded by Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 1995, Easyjet has revolutionised European travel, making air travel cheap, and convienient. In such a short space of time, Easyjet has quickly become the nation's favourite no frills airline. It has also been the star of ITV's Airline, and Stelios has extended the Easy brand into car hire, internet access, and even cruises! *** How to book *** One of the reasons Easyjet can offer cheap rates is that it doesn't have any overhead costs. Therefore, you can only book by phone or save £5 and book on the internet. I decided to book the flight in my lunch hour, and it really is dead simple; visit and you are greeted with the rather unattractive orange colour scheme readily associated with the Easy brand. You then click on the flights page and will see all of the latest special offers. If you know when and where you want to go, select the airport you wish to depart from (I find the 'any London airports' ... 17/03/2006

The place where you get paid to shop! I am always looking for new ways of making some extra cash, and whilst reading some new reviews on Ciao, I came across a mystery shopping website called From working in The Body Shop I had come across several mystery shopping reports which would crop up once every 2/3 months. Unsuspecting people would pose as shoppers, asking questions about the product, while assessing the service, the general condition of shop and the transaction process. We took the report very seriously, and worked hard to improve on any negative points raised in the report. After spending three years in the retail industry, and being a keen shopper myself, I believe I understand what warrants good customer service, and what should be awarded merit. With this in mind, I decided to give it a go and apply. *** The company *** Gapbuster was created by a New Zealander called Phil Prosser, who found it difficult to properly assess his companies customer service skills. It now operates in 30 countries around the world, designed to aid many of the world's most successful brands improve their customers' experiences. *** Application *** To apply to become a mystery shopper for Gapbuster, you need to complete their online application form. As you essential become an 'employee' of Gapbuster, it is an extremely detailed process, which understandably needs to be in place in order to ensure they accept the appropriate candidates. Questions asked include the usual such as age, household ...
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