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ivytoad

ivytoad

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since 18/09/2005

128

The Hollywood Book of Death - James Robert Parish 30/04/2010

A morbidly fascinating read!

The Hollywood Book of Death - James Robert Parish I bought this book a few years ago, I saw it on offer and my morbid curiosity got the better of me! The book is called The Hollywood Book of Death, and on the front cover it says that it has in it "The bizarre, often sordid, passings of more than 123 American movie and TV idols" and I thought it sounded quite interesting! The book is a paperback, which is a navy blue colour and is quite thick at 411 pages. On the front over there are also pictures of some of the famous stars that are in the book such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and a few others. The book is split into seven main sections and the stars are divided into the sections depending on how they died. These different sections are 'Accidental Deaths', 'Alcohol and Drugs', 'In Obscurity', 'Murders', 'Natural Causes', 'Puzzling Deaths' and 'Suicides'. Unsurprisingly 'Natural Causes' and 'Suicides' are the largest sections. I liked how the book was organised in this manner, I didn't read the sections in order and I read the ones that sounded the most interesting first! Each star has their own chapter in their appropriate section, and under each stars name is their date of birth and their date of death. Each stars chapter varies in length from one page to several pages and each chapter holds a lot of information and most chapter includes where the star came from, a small biography, what films they were in, their state of health and mind and then how they died. I know it all sounds slightly morbid but ...

Crops in Pots: 50 Great Container Projects Using Vegetables, Fruit and Herbs - Bob Purnell 14/03/2010

My fingers are turning green already!

Crops in Pots: 50 Great Container Projects Using Vegetables, Fruit and Herbs - Bob Purnell I recently moved flats into the top floor of a high-rise block. Still no house with a garden.. but we do now how our own rather sizeable roof terrace. I decided that I really want to plant a small garden up there and grow some vegetables, and I found this book on Amazon called ‘Crops in Pots’ to help me along on my mission! The book is a lovely lime green colour and is a hardback book with some picture of fruit and veg in pots on it. It also states that the book has “50 great container projects using vegetables, fruit and herbs” The book is split into sections. The first section is called “Getting Started” and gives advice on containers, different soils, watering, feeding, general care, pests and diseases and lots more useful information! I found this particular section very helpful as I am very much a gardening novice and it was good to have all the information I needed in set out neatly in one place. The book is then split up further into sections. The next sections are called ‘Starters’, ‘Main Courses’ and ‘Desserts’.. quite strange names for the sections, I thought! This is because the different ‘container projects’ mostly have an array of vegetables in one pot to be used for a particular meal. For example in the Starters section there is a container project called “Summer Cocktail”, which is a combination of borage, salad burnet and strawberry plants. In “Main Courses” there are projects such as “Pasta and Pizza Pot” and “Once Upon A Time”, a combination of runner ...

Yankee Candle Happy Holiday Trees Tart Burner 07/02/2010

A Funky Christmas Tart Burner

Yankee Candle Happy Holiday Trees Tart Burner Since everyone has seemed to have notice that I have a bit of a Yankee Candle obsession at the moment, my friend bought me a ‘Happy Holiday Trees’ Yankee Candle tart burner. The tart burner is white with lots of pictures of trees round the outside of it. The first thing that I really liked about the tart burner is that the trees are really cool designs, some of them are stripy, have different coloured dots, different patterns, and are different sizes. There are a total of 15 trees painted on it all together, and all of them are different. The burner is around 13cm tall and is cylindrical with a section at the top which is shaped almost like a little bowl where you put the tarts. There is a hole in the body of the tart burner where you place a tea light so that it starts to heat up the burner, there is a little dip in the bottom that the tea light sits in, which is quite handy so you know that you have placed the tea light in exactly the right place! To use the tart burner you simply pop a wax tart (or special burner oil) in the top section of the burner, and light a tea light and pop it in the bottom section. Easy as that! The tart burner warms up quite quickly, and it does get quite warm just under the top section so I don’t recommend touching or trying to move the tart burner while its on. Not only do you run the risk of burning your fingers, but also of spilling the oil or wax which can be quite hard to clean off things. Wax tarts and burning oil are very easy to get a ...

Yankee Candle Mango Peach Salsa Wax Potpourri Tart 01/02/2010

A Fruitly Little Tart

Yankee Candle Mango Peach Salsa Wax Potpourri Tart I bought my first lot of Yankee Candle goodies a little while ago, and one of the things I purchased was a Yankee Candle Mango Peach Salsa wax tart. The wax tart is orange in colour and has a sticker with a picture of some mangoes and peaches on the front of it. The tart is plastic wrapped so no stray wax crumbles escape and make a mess! The tart is circular and is about 6cm across and almost 2cm thick. You can definitely smell the wax tart, even before you open the wrapping. You have to watch out while handling it and storing it as even when you touch it with the wrapper on your hands smell of the tart, and the smell transfers onto anything it is stored together with. The smell is really fruity and it really does smell of fresh mangoes and peaches. It is not a synthetic smell at all and I love it. The wax tart can be placed in any normal oil or tart burner. To use the tart, you simply take off the plastic wrapper and place it on the top part of the oil burner and light the tea light underneath. It doesn’t take long for the tart to start melting and the smell that comes from the wax is lovely and fruity, and it really does fill the whole house. I find that the smell lingers for hours in my flat even after I blow the candle out. When the wax tart melts the wax is very hot so be careful not to spill any or get any on your hands because you will definitely feel it. Once you start burning the tart and blow the candle out, the wax sets rock hard so you have to finish burning ...

Away We Go (DVD) 31/10/2009

Away We Go

Away We Go (DVD) I saw this film recently and I really liked it. It is quite a quirky film, which is funny and touching at the same time. The film is based around two main characters in their 30s, Burt and Verona (played by John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph). Verona falls pregnant, completely unplanned, and then Burts parents make the surprise announcement that they are moving to Belgium.. 3 months before the baby is born. This news rocks the couples world, the only reason that they moved to that area was to be close to Burt’s parents. Veronas parents died many years ago, which she doesn’t like to talk about, and now they have nothing keeping them there, neither of them are in jobs they want to do and they live in a small, dingy flat where the lights keep going out. They make the decision to travel around America visiting family members and friends to find the perfect place to settle down and raise their baby. The film follows them on this trip, and all the eccentric, caring, and different people they meet. I really enjoyed the film, some of the people they met on their travels were really comical, quirky and wild, but at the same time completely believable. The film is quite an emotional rollercoaster for the couple, meeting people who have changed since last time they saw them, and also meeting and also people with their own troubles to worry about. I liked Burts role. It was interesting to see John Kransinski in a serious film role, as I have only ever seen him in the comedy series “The ...

Rock 'N' Roll High School (DVD) 26/10/2009

I wasn't rocking out too much to this

Rock 'N' Roll High School (DVD) I got given this dvd for Christmas around 6 years ago. I recently found it in my dvd collection so I thought I would watch it again. Rock’n’Roll High School is a comedy/musical and is set in 1980 in a school in America. The main story is based around one of the pupils, Riff Randell. She is a very big rock’n’roll fan, especially music by The Ramones. Riff tries to bring music to the school and pupils by taking over the schools speaker system and playing Ramones music through it, and also by changing the music tapes in her gym class. The new head teacher of the school is convinced that rock’n’roll music is bad for the pupils and that it rots their brains. She has conducted her own experiments on a mouse which we see exploding due to the ‘rockability’ of The Ramones music. I found the performance of the head teacher really annoying, she was made to be very militant and strict over such a silly thing. Riff Randall has written some songs for The Ramones. One of these songs is called ‘Rock’n’Roll High School’ which she performs in gym class to her friends while her teacher is out of the room. Riff bunks off school for three days in order to queue to get Ramones tickets. Every day her friend brings an excuse letter to the head teacher as to why she is not there, unfortunately the newspaper has written an article about the first person to buy the tickets.. Riff. The head teacher reads the article and confiscates Riffs tickers. Will she ever get to go to the concert and give the ...

Travelodge Dublin Airport Ballymun, Ballymun 24/10/2009

Travelodge (not quite next to) Dublin Airport Ballymun

Travelodge Dublin Airport Ballymun, Ballymun A couple of weekends ago my boyfriend and I went to a wedding in Ireland. We were going to arrive late at night so I thought it was best if we stayed in a hotel near the airport on the night we arrived, and then go on to our final destination on the following morning. I searched on Lastminute.com and found the ‘Travelodge Dublin Airport Ballymun’. It was a 3* hotel and on lastminute cost a mere £41.52 for a double room, but the best part was that (I thought) it was close to the airport. When we arrived it seems that there were no shuttle buses running to the hotel, so we jumped in a taxi thinking that the hotel wasn’t too far away.. then we started driving, and driving and driving. There are a lot of road works going on around Dublin airport so the taxi driver couldn’t take the closest exit to go to the hotel, so we ended up paying €20 for the taxi fare. I was a bit miffed at it all, even without the road works the hotel is a fair drive. I think there should be some rule as to how hotels use the word ‘airport’ in their title. I think they should be in very close proximity to the airport to use it! When we got to the hotel I was surprised how big it was. It has a large car park at the side of it, so plenty of spaces for lots of guests. When we arrived it was late, and the building was lit up by bright lights from the outside, so there was mistaking it was the hotel. We went inside via the automatic doors and went to the reception desk. We stood there for a moment waiting ...

Repo! A Genetic Opera (DVD) 15/10/2009

Beware the Repo Man

Repo! A Genetic Opera (DVD) I borrowed this dvd from a friend. I had heard a little bit about it before I watched it, and I was curious about seeing Paris Hilton singing and acting as a plastic surgery addict. The film is basically a modern day musical. The film is set in 2056 when there is an organ failure epidemic, and millions of people are going to die if they can't get any help! Then a saviour emerges, a wealthy man named Rotti who creates a company named GeneCo, who is willing to give organ transplants which he makes it affordable to the masses by allowing people to pay in instalments. The transplants seem to become quite a fashion statement and you can get transplants for pretty much anything; eyes, noses, whole faces, hearts, lungs etc. This is all good and well until organ repossession is made legal.. which means that if you don’t keep up with your payments, the Repo Man will come and repossess your organs! The film is based around two families, Rottis family (Rotti, his two sons and a daughter) who own GeneCo, and a small family consisting of a doctor called Nathan and his daughter Shilo. This is where the plot gets slightly complicated and a little hard to explain! Nathan’s late wife, Marni, used to be together with Rotti but she left Rotti for Nathan. Marni became gravely ill and Nathan, being a doctor, tried to create an antidote to save his pregnant wife. Unfortunately she died from taking the antidote but the baby survived. Rotti blackmails Nathan, as he knows the truth about him ...

The Birth Of A Nation (Silent With Music Soundtrack) (DVD) 21/09/2009

The Birth Of A Nation

The Birth Of A Nation (Silent With Music Soundtrack) (DVD) The Birth of a Nation is a black and white silent film from 1915. It’s not a film I had heard of before, and the reason I watched it was because it was on the film list for a course I am taking at university. The film is based on a novel by Thomas Dixon called ‘The Clansmen’. I had read up a little bit about the film before I started watching it so I wasn’t as surprised as I might have been about the content. The film was (and still is) controversial for promoting white supremacy, and I thought most of it was quite racist! The film was regarded as a very important film in its day as it used many new filming techniques which hadn’t been seen before. This is one of the main reasons that it was chosen as part of my course. I found the film interesting as I had never seen anything like it before, although I understand why it is seen as controversial and I don’t agree with the views in the film, but I can see why it was important in the history of film making. The film is silent but has orchestral music playing throughout. There are also handy screens before each scene telling you what is happening, which is good otherwise it would get very confusing as it is quite a complex film. The film is based around two families, the Camerons and the Stonemans. One family is from the South, the other from the North. The sons from both sets of families were great friends, and then the civil war broke out between the North and South and the families were made to fight against each other. ...

Disaster Movie (DVD) 19/09/2009

It really was a bit of a disastrous film...

Disaster Movie (DVD) I had heard a little bit about this film before I saw it. Mostly that it was a parody of lots of different film, and also that it was not very good.. so I didn’t have very high expectations when I started watching it! The film is about a group of young friends in their twenties. The films main plot is a little bit like the one of Cloverfield; the friends are at a party when all of a sudden buildings start collapsing, there are hurricanes and earthquakes and they have to try to keep safe. The only thing to stop all the havoc is to replace a golden skull back onto its stand in a museum. Throughout the film they meet pretty much every character from all the big films which were out in 2007/8, namely the princess from Enachanted, Hellboy, Batman, Indiana Jones, Hitcock, Juno, all of High School Musical, Amy Winehouse.. and lots, lots more. The friends find the skull after a series of ‘hilarious’ incidences, but do they manage to get it back to its exhibit and save the world? Well I could spoil it but I’m not going to! (though I have to say it’s not that exciting) In a way the film is quite tiring, it is non-stop one new character and silly event happening after another right from the very beginning until the end, and to be honest I didn’t find many of them that funny. Some of the film is also quite disgusting, especially when a pregnant Juno’s waters breaks and squirt all over people, and making Carrie Bradshaw eat her baby’s placenta. I didn’t recognise any of the actors ...

Polaroid PoGo 14/07/2009

I love my Pogo!

Polaroid PoGo I saw this one of these Pogo’s on the internet a little while ago and really, really wanted one. When I was browsing Firebox.com recently I saw that they were selling them half price, so I snapped one up! The Pogo is a basically a mini photo printer from Polaroid, you can connect it to your laptop, camera or mobile phone and print photos out. It is available in two colours, black or pink (I got the pink one of course!) and measures 12cm x 6cm. I love the design of the Pogo, it is very simple and basically just looks like a small, solid, rectangular box. It has 'Polaroid' written across the top in silver letters next to a thick silver strip. The Pogo is very simple to use, and the first thing you need to do is charge it up before the first use. In the box there are two charger cables which connect up to a normal household socket, the great thing is that it comes with both a UK plug and a European plug meaning that if you go on holiday you won’t have to take a adapter plug with you. The Pogo takes around 4 – 5 hours to charge and you can tell when the Pogo is charged as a light on Pogo turns from orange to green. There are only two socket holes on the Pogo, one for the charger and a USB port, meaning that there is no worries about sticking wrong things in the wrong holes! To turn the Pogo on there is a power button on the side, you have to hold this down for a few seconds and then the battery light will turn on to green indicating it is on. This battery light turns to ...

The Body Shop Raspberry Body Butter 08/06/2009

Makes me smell yummy!

The Body Shop Raspberry Body Butter It was my birthday recently and one of the gifts I received was some 'Raspberry Body Butter' from the Body Shop. The body butter comes in a large deep purple coloured plastic tub, with a matching screw top lid. The lid has a large sticker on the front with pictures of yummy raspberries all over it, and the body shop logo in the middle of it. When you unscrew the lid you can instantly smell the raspberry smell of the body butter, and it is lovely. The smell of real raspberries always reminds me of my Nan and Grandads garden, and this body butter does just that so it must be good! The smell is not at all synthetic, and really does smell of raspberries. The body butter has raspberry seed oil in it which probably helps give it the authentic raspberry smell and according to the tub it also helps to moisturise the skin. The body butter is pink in colour and looks quite thick and almost solid when you first open the tub. When you take some out it is very thick, but then it starts to melt straight away on your skin almost like real butter does and it also feels nice and cooling. The body butter goes onto the skin smoothly and is quick to absorb taking only a minute or so. My skin doesn't feel sticky at all after using it and feels soft and moisturised, I really like applying this after I have been in the bath or shower. The raspberry smell also lingers for a few hours after applying it and it is a nice subtle smell and not overly strong. The body butter is for normal skin, which ...

Old El Paso Enchilada Dinner Kit 13/05/2009

Quick and Easy Enchiladas!

Old El Paso Enchilada Dinner Kit My Mum recently sent me a goodie parcel, just to make sure I'm managing and still eating! One of the things she put in the parcel was an Old El Paso Enchilada Dinner Kit. I have used these kits before and really like them, so I was pretty pleased! The kit comes in a square, yellow, cardboard box with 'Old El Paso' written in large red letters on the front, then 'Original Enchiladas' written underneath that, and a large picture of some yummy enchiladas cooked and ready to eat. Inside the pack is eight soft corn tortillas, enchilada spice mix and tomato sauce (which is more like a thin tomato puree). On the front of the box it states that all you need to make the kit is 500g of chicken breast and 150g of cheese. Although it says to use chicken breast, I find the kit to be really versatile. When I made it a couple of nights ago I substituted the chicken for mince and mushrooms and it tasted absolutely wonderful! The kit is very easy to make and the instructions are clearly marked on the back of the pack (I won't bore you with all the steps!) It took me around 25 minutes in total to prepare and cook the kit. Since I was only cooking for me and my boyfriend I didn't want to cook the entire kit and make 8 tortillas, since that was way too much for us to eat. Instead I used half of everything. The spice mix comes in a packet which is easy to seal again so there was no problem using half and managing to store the rest of it effectively. For some reason the tomato sauce comes in 2 ...

The Beano Annual 2009 - D. C. Thomson (Editor) 05/05/2009

The Beano Annual 2009

The Beano Annual 2009 - D. C. Thomson (Editor) I was on Amazon recently and needed to buy an extra little something to make my order to over £5 so that I could get free delivery, I saw ‘The Beano Annual 2009’ for 97p so I decided to get it! I used to be in the Beano club when I was younger, and had a subscription to the Beano magazine. I have to say though that I haven’t read a beano in about 15 years! I was quite intrigued to see if Beano had changed at all since I had read it last. The annual is a hardback book, which is around A4 size. On the front cover is a picture of Dennis the Menace and Gnasher reeking havoc on Beano town, along with some Beano Town residents either cheering them on or booing. When you open the book, I quite liked the designs used on the inside of the cover on the back and front. They have pencil drawn sketches of the characters in different stages of being drawn, so some of them are just plain heads or bodies, and some are finished pictures without any colours. There is no glossary and no page numbers in the book, but there is around 50 different stories (comic strips). Most of the stories are around 2 – 3 pages long, and some are only a page, but I think this is a good length as the stories seem quick and snappy and don’t get boring. Many of the characters I recognised from the earlier Beano comics, there is Dennis the Menace and Gnasher who enjoy making fun of the the nerds of Beano Town, Walter and his friends. There are the Bash Street Kids which is set in a school and the pupils always ...

Norlandia Oslo Airport Hotel, Oslo 12/04/2009

Norlandia Oslo Airport Hotel

Norlandia Oslo Airport Hotel, Oslo I recently had to stay over night at Olso airport since our plane got in late at night and there were no flights to my final destination until the morning. We knew this in advance and had pre-booked a room via a discount hotel website. We chose the Norlandia hotel since it was called ‘Norlandia Oslo Airport Hotel’ and therefore thought it was a good choice since it was close to the airport. This was where my first gripe with the hotel came from.. once we had arrived we had to take a shuttle bus to get to the hotel, this cost us 60kr each one way (around £6) The airport is infact not so close to the hotel and took a 10 minute bus ride! In the morning we had to take the bus again, so all in all we spent about £24 getting to and from this ‘Airport Hotel’. Once we got to the hotel, checking in was easy. All we had to do was hand them out hotel booking confirmation we had been emailed and we were given our room key card. Despite there being two of us, we were only given one card. This was not a problem since we were only staying there overnight, but if we had been staying for longer I think one key card per person would have been better. Our room was on the third floor, and there is an elevator to use if you have luggage that you are unable to carry up the stairs. Once we got out of the elevator there were long corridors with red carpet, with signs saying which rooms were in each section. We followed the signs to our room number, whilst going along the halls it really smelled ...
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