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iallan

iallan

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since 23/07/2009

180

Accused - Mark Gimenez 08/04/2011

A Good Legal Thriller

Accused - Mark Gimenez I found Mark Gimenez books a while ago when I read his The Colour of Law, it had some references to one of my all time favourite books To Kill A Mockingbird. I have since read several of his books and in my ever increasing reading pile was his latest paperback Accused. I was pleasantly surprised to see he had gone back to the original characters of his first novel The Colour of Law, the one that started it all for me. A.Scott Fenney is still a practising lawyer in Texas, now for his own small law firm, he looks after his 2 daughters Boo and his newly adopted . He receives a distressing call from his ex wife Rebecca, who left him in the previous novel for a professional golfer - Trey Rawlins, but she is now accused of murdering him and is being held in a police cell in Galveston. Rebecca is now begging Scott to defend her, something he can't say no to as he doesn't want their daughter Boo growing up with her mother in jail and he still has feelings for her. If found guilty Rebecca would be sentenced to life imprisonment. Scott moves his family and associates to Galveston to try and prove Rebecca's innonence and find some flaws in the prosecution's case and some new suspects. There are plenty of twists and turns in this book and it is fast paced, while it was 576 pages in the paperback version I raced through the book, it is a real page turner and it was also great to welcome back familiar characters. Although not strictly necessary it is adviable to have read The ...

Priceless (DVD) 07/04/2011

a very european rom com - fab

Priceless (DVD) This is a cute french romantic comedy starring Audrey Tatou of Amelie fame as Irene, who is a ruthless gold digger and trophy girlfriend always on the look out for what she can get. She is at a French Rivera hotel with her significantly older companion to celebrate her birthday. Her companion is not quite as sprightly as she would like him to be and falls asleep on her so she slips down to the hotel bar where she meets and mistakes the waiter / bartender - Jean (who is played by Gad Elmaleh) as a fellow guest and wealthy man. She falls for him and spends the night in the Royal Suite with him - and he doesn't do anything to disuade her from her first impression. One year later she and her older companion return to the hotel where Jean again woos Irene but on this occasion her older lover finds out and disowns her calling the whole thing off! Irene returns to Jean only to find out that he doesn't have any money she in the meantime bleeds him dry of what little money he had and then wants him to disappear while she locates her next target. But Jean doesn't disappear and becomes a gigilo himself to the world wise and older Madeleine. The comedy ensues in a very european way, beautifully written and filmed. Irene finds herself another older wealthy lover but she also has a soft spot for JEan a guides him through the world of wealth, as the two of them combine forces to get what they want! I really enjoyed this film it is a nice and easy one to watch and you don't even notice ...

Head & Shoulders Colour Care Conditioner 05/04/2011

First Aid For Hair!

Head & Shoulders Colour Care Conditioner I had had a disaster with another brand of shampoo which had ended up aggravating my scalp and making it itchy, flaky and very dry. So I ended up after some recommendations buying the Head and Shoulders Colour Care Shampoo and Conditioner. Anyway onto the Conditioner, I thought to give me scalp and hair the best and quickest chance of recovering I had better get the Colour Care Conditioner as well to complement the Shampoo. The conditioner is for highlighted or coloured hair and is for frequent use. The 400ml bottle (the only size that was available although I believe that you can also get it in 200ml size). The conditioner claims to help to maintain the dandruff and scalp protection of Head & Shoulders Shampoo and provides added care for highlighted or colour treated hair. The conditioner smelt nice and not over powering which in addition complements the shampoo's fragrance. The conditioner is cream in colour and of a good consistency, not too thick or too runny. It is easy to apply and to work through your hair and also easy to wash out, sometimes I find conditioners can be difficult to wash out, but this one wasn't. I used the conditioner after using the head & shoulders colour care shampoo then dried my hair. My scalp felt better and using both the conditioner in conjunction with the shampoo cleared up my problem scalp in a matter of a week. My hair felt healthy and shiny and my scalp a lot less itchy and flaky after only the first use. The conditioner is ...

Bobbi Brown Powder Blush 05/04/2011

Rosy Cheeks

Bobbi Brown Powder Blush I recently came home from a work trip to the US to open up my make up bag which had been in my hold luggage to find out that my blusher had been smashed to smithereens and wasn't salvageable at all. I was really disappointed as it was a favourite blusher that had taken me ages to find the right one and was only available in the states (where I had just been and was not due to go back for ages)! As I had purchased some products from Bobbi Brown recently I thought I would visit their counter and see what they had available in Blushers. The girl on the counter was very helpful and showed me the variety of blushers on offer, when I had decided I wanted a powder blusher she set about to find out what colour would suit me and what I was wanting to get from the blusher. I like to have a light blush that gives a healthy glow and is fairly natural but adds to your make up, kind of like you have it on but it is not obvious, particularly when I wear it on a daily basis. I was recommended Blush, Bobbi Brown's powder blusher which aims to give you a colour that looks fresh and natural. There are 19 shades to choose from, ranging from Almond to Cranberry and from Poppy to Pale Pink. After trying out a couple of colours on me it was decided that Sand Pink was the best and most natural for my skin tone. It was great to get to try them out on my cheeks rather than just guessing which is what I normally end up doing. The Blush is a matte finish and it lasts throughout the day ...

Bobbi Brown Metallic Lip Colour 30/03/2011

Lip Shimmer!

Bobbi Brown Metallic Lip Colour As I have previously written about Bobbi Brown is one of my favouriste make up brands and I can't keep myself away from the lippies in particular. I have many of the standard lip colours but am always on the look out for new colours or something different. On a recent trip to the Bobbi Brown counter in Fraser's department store I asked the assistant to recommend a new colour for me as I was wanting a bit of a change, after going through all the colours I already had she thought it might be good for me to try one of the Metallic Lip Colours. Now in the past I have tended to shy away from metallic shades after a few disasters in my teeanage years (well I was young and impressionable in my defence and didn't know any better - although there is photographic evidence must remember to destroy that!) I shared my fears with the assistant who calmed me down and recommended a couple of colours to try, she tried them out on me (I love that the assistants at Bobbi Brown offer to put it on so you can get a real look at the colour). There are 19 colours to choose from, with everything from Twilight Pink to Baby Peach and Silver Haze to Berry. I finally chose Kir which is a pinky purply shade and complemented my skin tones. The lipstick like most of Bobbi Brown's are creamy to apply and moisturising on the lips helping to keep them in tip top condition and also ensuring that your colour really lasts! The lipstick is supposed to be a unique combination of high shine emollients and ...

Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper Hand Cream 30/03/2011

Fragranced Fab Hand Cream - Pure Bliss!

Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper Hand Cream I was given a small tube of the Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper Hand Cream as part of a Bliss gift pack. I like many of the Bliss products but they can be quite expensive, so I was really pleased to receive this as a gift and couldn't wait to try it. I have to admit I am not the most regular user of hand cream and I am sure in later life I will regret that, but I always have good intentions! The hand cream is in a handy travel size of 30 ml and comes in at £5 for the tube, it is in the standard Bliss packaging and is a special edition as it is fragranced with the popular blood orange and white pepper. The hand cream is thick but it is easily absorbed into the skin when rubbed into my hands and leaves them feeling soft and hydrated and in addition they smell amazing, which is not overpowering but has a fabulous citrusey orange fragrance. Also in the hand cream is macadamia oil and grape seed extract, you only need to use a small amount so the small tube lasts a long time and my hands are now feeling a lot softer. This is a habit I think I will need to get used to and i think my hands and skin will thank me for it. The size of the tube makes it ideal to slip into your bag, unfortunately they do not seem to do a larger size of this fragranced hand cream but they do offer a 75ml tube of their high intensity hand cream for £18, both of which are available on the Bliss website, at the Bliss spa in London or from Bliss counters in major department stores.

Nivea Calm & Care Roll On 30/03/2011

Fab Fragrance!

Nivea Calm & Care Roll On Recently I was in Morrison's doing my normal shop and picking up a few toiletries along the way when I put into my trolley the Nivea Calm & Care roll on deodorant. I quite like Nivea deodorants but had never seen this one so thought I would give it a try. It was on offer as well at £1.07, at half price instead of £2.14 which made it even more of a brucie bonus. The deodorant comes in a glass bottle and has a green plastic lid with creamy white liquid content, in a 50ml size. The deodorant claims that it calms and soothes your skin after shaving providing gentle care, now this is an idea I quite like as I normally am always shaving and then applying deodorant immediately which sometimes can sting a bit and that is never comfortable or in any way enjoyable! The deodorant comes with Nivea's 24 hour anti perspirant protection against sweat and smells, and its caring formula which contains witch hazel and pro vitamin B5 which calms and soothes you skin particularly after shaving and is supposed to leave your underarms feeling smoother and softer. The deodorant contains no alcohol or colours and is dermatologically approved. Now one of the main attractions of this deodorant for me apart from the ability to use it straight after shaving is the smell, it smells fabulous and fresh and is worth buying for that alone. The fragrance also remains throughout the day which is reassuring and pleasant and gives you some extra confidence. I found the Nivea Calm & Care to work ...

Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow 30 Wheat 27/03/2011

Great Eye Shadow

Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow 30 Wheat I have over the years tried many eye shadows from all different kinds of brands and prices and always find myself coming back to Bobbi Brown. The quality of their eye shadow is excellent and glides on to the eye socket easily blending in to give the desired look perfectly. Some eye shadows I have found don't last that long or clump together in the eye creases which is not particularly flattering. Bobbi Brown is a world renowned American Make Up artist who created a range of make up and tools, she originally created ten lipsticks which would allow you to then create an infinite number of wearable shades just by mixing and blending them, before she branched out into all kinds of flattering make up products. The eye shadow is available in a range of 38 shades and a wide variety of colours. Each eye shadow is 2.55g and lasts for literally ages, the good thing is you can mix and match your palette and by changing only one can make a dramatically different look. Before purchasing I always visit the Bobbi Brown counter in my local department store and speak to one of the assistants who will apply all the colours I am looking at and make some recommendations (it is almost like a mini make up lesson which is always good to keep you up to date with the latest tips and tricks). They never pressurize you and always ask what colours you have so as to make appropriate recommendations and let you make the most from your collection. My personal favorites are Bone, Woodrose and ...

The Fighter (DVD) 01/03/2011

A Knockout Film

The Fighter (DVD) The Fighter has had some great reviews and awards buzz so I had fairly high expectations when I went to see it at the cinema. I have to admit I wasn’t disappointed! The film is based on a true story about two brothers from Lowell, Massachusetts. Dicky Eckland (played by an almost unrecognizable Christian Bale) has had his chance in the boxing ring and famously knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard, a story that is relived on a daily basis even although he has become a crack addict and a somewhat fallen hero. His brother (or half brother to be more technically correct) is Micky Ward a journeyman boxer who has some talent but lives in his brother’s shadow and is always seen as a step up fight by opponents looking to hit the big time. He is managed by his mother Alice Ward (played by the brilliant Melissa Leo) who is a true matriarch in every sense of the word, mother to 9, seven of which are possibly the scariest girls to grace the cinema screen, their hair is back-combed and bleached within an inch of its life and to be quite honest I think you would prefer to come up against Dicky & Micky instead of them. While Alice is the manager, her focus is always on Dicky and you feel she doesn’t always have Micky’s best interest at heart. Micky, who is played by Mark Wahlberg, has not much time left to crack the big time and his coach and brother Dicky while a great tactician cannot always be relied upon to even turn up for training sessions. Micky’s barmaid girlfriend Charlene (played ...

Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover Pads 28/02/2011

Fabulous Conditioning Nail Polish Remover Pads

Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover Pads These Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover Pads are fabulous the perfect travel companion. Instead of lugging any bottles of nail varnish remover, particularly with the liquid restrictions in place at airports, these nail polish remover pads are small and compact and do not take up much room in your luggage. They smell nice for nail varnish remover, not over powering and are conditioning and moisturising rather than drying as i find many are. They come in a small circular plastic box with a lilac lid and contain 15 pads, one pad pretty much does both hands if it is a light colour, a darker colour probably needs 2 pads for both hands. They are acetone free and remove polish quickly and without fuss. To use you should wipe each nail with the pad and use a firm rubbing action to ensure all traces of the polish are gone, you can use both sides of the whites pads. They are available at all Boots stores and cost around £1.40, you can also use your boots advantage points to purchase them. I cannot recommend them highly enough and they are a travel essential in my packing, also great and mess free to use in the house.

Balaton Spa Rich Day Cream 22/02/2011

Great Results!

Balaton Spa Rich Day Cream I have normal to dry skin normally but with this cold weather recently it has been on the verge of dry skin all the time. Using the Balaton Spa Rich Day Cream has been great as it is soothing and is keeping the dry patches at bay. I was given a set of their products to try and have been loving them, a great find for me. The Rich Day Cream comes in a tub and is to be used sparingly as instructed, it is cream in colour and is almost a balm come moisturiser in texture. You only need to use a small amount on your face and it is absorbed really easily into your skin. The cream smells nice and is not too overpowering as it contains a mixture of the Moor Water (a signature ingredient) with herbs, plants and minerals combined with sweet almond oil and aloe vera. Straight after use my skin feels soft, moisturized, and hydrated as well as looking glowing. I use this twice a day after using the Balaton Spa Cleansing & Toning Lotion in the morning and I also use it at night. My skin has been looking brighter and in far better shape since I have been using this product, I normally don't like pots of cream (not exactly sure why) but as the cream is easy to take from the pot with it being almost balm like I find this very easy to use and as you only require a small drop for all your face and neck it will last for ages. You can purchase a 50 ml pot for £19.99 and it is available from the Balaton Spa website at www.balaton-spa.co.uk I am definitely loving this product and have ...

Balaton Spa Cleansing & Toning Lotion 22/02/2011

Clean & Fresh Skin

Balaton Spa Cleansing & Toning Lotion have recently had the opportunity to try the Cleansing & Toning Lotion in conjunction with the Balaton Spa Face Mask and the Rich Day Cream. The cleansing & toning lotion smells fab, it is supposedly infused with 100s of botanical ingredients in the Moor Water (which is a signature ingredient of Balaton Spa products). It smells of fresh lemons and limes and also has active ingredients of orange and bergamot, the fragrance is great without being too overpowering. It is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin. It is easy to use and isn't time consuming in any way. Apply the lotion to cotton wool pads or balls and sweep across the face and neck to cleanse the skin of any imputities and get rid of the day's grime. I use it twice a day - in the morning and at the end of the day and follow it with the Balaton Spa Rich Day Cream. It claims to be a skin reviver, protector and nourisher and I find after using it my skin feels clean, fresh, soft and much brighter ready for my moisturiser and anyhting else I throw its way. I love the smell of the cleansing & toning lotion and the immediate results. My skin instantly looks better! I also like the fact this it is made up of natural ingredients and nutrients which are better for my skin. The cleansing and toning lotion costs £14.99 for 250ml or £20.50 for 500ml and is available from the Balaton Spa website at www.balaton-spa.co.uk. It perfectly complemets the other products in this range and i love the ...

Bird Cow Fish, Sydney 14/02/2011

Fab Gnocci!

Bird Cow Fish, Sydney Sydney has more than its fair share of great restaurants and Crown Street in Surrey Hills has more than most. With the like of TV chefs Bill Granger and Kylie Kwong having restaurants on this strip chef Alex Herbert is in good company with her Espresso Bar and Bistro - Bird Cow Fish. Now I am lucky enough to have friends stay in Surrey Hills in Sydney so when I was visiting them recently I requested that we take a trip to Bird Cow Fish, knowing full well it was within easy walking distance of home. I had become a fan of the recent Australian Masterchef shown in the UK on channel Watch. One episode pitted a Aussie renowned chef against a contestant both had to produce a signature dish of the chef and whoever was chosen by the judging panel in a blind taste test either kept their reputation as a chef intact or won a ticket though to the final week of Australian Masterchef (their programme is more a mix of The Apprentice meets Masterchef). Anyway back to Bird Cow Fish, Alex Herbert the restaurant's chef had produced one of the dishes and I was sold. The dish in question was Potato Gnocchi with Prawn Meat Sautéed in Burnt Butter, Verjuice, Capers and Crispy sage. On TV it looked amazing and made me immediately hungry (a sign of a good cooking show). Everything in the dish was made from scratch and really tantalized my taste buds, so I was hoping that on our visit this would be on the menu. I wasn't to be disappointed as we were shown to our seats in the light, ...

Balaton Spa Face Mask 14/02/2011

Glowing Results - Fab skin!

Balaton Spa Face Mask I was recently given this Face Mask to try and to be honest while I love my beauty products I had never heard of Balaton Spa before. But that was all to change! The face mask comes in a small plastic pot with a silver lid and claimed to refine dull and tired skin leaving it feeling fresh and radiant, like a mini face lift. When you open the pot up the face mask inside is black in colour and feels kind of grainy, this is probably because it is an exfoliating face mask. Balaton Spa have seemingly based their products on unique therapeutic lowland moor and moor water and this is maybe what makes the mask so dark and almost mud like. The mask is 100% natural which is good to know and is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin. The face mask is relatively easy to use you should stir the mask in the pot then apply it to your face using your fingers covering all your skin. Leave it for three minutes then wash it off, you can feel it getting tight on your face as it dries in. I found it easier to wash it off using a face cloth and warm water but be warned as it is black in colour it does get all over your face cloth, but it is worth it. When I had taken it off my skin immediately looked glowing and refreshed which is pretty darn good considering my skin before hand was tired and stressed, I have a lot going on in my life at the moment and my skin certainly shows it. I followed the face mask with the recommended Balaton Spa Cleansing & Toning Lotion and then ...

Spirit House Restaurant, Yandina 14/02/2011

Spectacular Restaurant

Spirit House Restaurant, Yandina If you ever find yourself in Australia's Sunshine Coast I can thoroughly recommend the Spirit House for a fabulous Thai feast and experience. I was recently in Noosa, a fab beach resort in the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, staying for a few days with some Aussie friends. My friend's recommended one of the days we go to the Spirit House for lunch. It sounded fab so they booked and we drove the short distance to Yandina. Booking is recommended even for lunch as it is a very popular restaurant, although it seems to be for those in the know only as the whole time I was in the Sunshine Coast I never saw an ad or comment about the restaurant - a well kept secret me thinks. From the front the place looks nothing spectacular, you park your car at a wall, kind of in the rough, where a small sign lets you know you have arrived. It is kind of in the middle of nowhere and behind the wall looks like bush / rainforest. Be warned we needed to use our sat nav to get there and we didn't find it on our first attempt (although to be honest none of us were local). As you enter through the archway you are in the bush/rainforest but it kind of has an oriental feel about it. (as you enter you are met by a small low level building, this is the cook school and shop, not the restaurant as we though when we blundered into the middle of a cooking class!) You can take a class which last for 4 ½ hours in a variety of Thai themes and includes lunch or dinner with wine or beer. Some ...
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