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since 10/09/2004


Kays 02/08/2011

Kays Sara Sara

Kays What ever you want will be...... well almost! Kays has such a diverse and varied product range, that you can pretty much find anything flicking through the pages of their chunky catalogue, or browsing through the extensive website. Kays promote themselves as being "for all shapes and sizes at great prices" which I can completely agree with, having been a regular customer for the past year, particularly in the purchase of clothes and footwear. Their prices for High Street brands such as Miss Selfridge and Oasis, actually don't differ very much to the high street stores, and it's all current season too, so you're not being ripped off for fashion that was "so last year." For those who are not familiar with Kays, they are a home shopping catalogue, renowned for their payment deals which include weekly and monthly options. They've become an established brand among people who could not afford to buy larger items, home furnishings and Christmas presents all at once, and gave them the option to spread the cost at affordable weekly or monthly repayments. Having been established since the 1870's as a family run business, growing and merging with larger companies over the years, with the latest being in 2007 with Littlewoods' Shop Direct Group, Kays has always maintained it's excellent standards and commitment to customer service. As a now sister catalogue to Very, Marshall Ward and Great Universal, it is home to a wealth of similar products and services, whilst also continuing it's ...

Photobox 04/08/2010

Fab for a Flawless Finish.

Photobox I've never used PhotoBox before. I usually just print my pictures on a HP Photosmart. The quality is always brilliant and the cost seems to outweigh the effort and price involved in uploading my pics onto a site then paying to get them printed. Not to mention the whacking £4.99 shipping charge that many companies like to chuck on top with promises of fast delivery. They inevitably turn up in a padded jiffy envelope around two weeks later so I've never bothered. Until... I got an email last week from Photobox. I tend to get one or two a month as I signed up with another site through which they advertise. I've always ignored their marketing emails as they've never been relevant. That was until the latest offer (August 2010). The offer: 30 standard prints for £1, inclusive of shipping. Choose from (6”x4”, 6”x4.5” and 5”x3.75”) sizes. Come on, I was stupid not to. I quickly began a hunt of the best recent pics uploaded from my computer which ranged from quick-snaps on nights out, to more arty looking ones from weekends away in the Lake District and followed the link in the email. The offer was limited to the first 2000 respondents and only applied to new customers, so obviously it was an incentive offer to get you to join. Joining is free though, and I'm already receiving their marketing emails so thought what the hell. Registration required my fore and surnames, email address and a password for login. They then sent a confirmation email to my address which I had to open ...

Fox's Chocolate Fudge Crunch Creams 04/08/2010

There Ain't No Option B!

Riverside Hotel, Kendal 02/08/2010

The Best Hotel in Kendal?

Riverside Hotel, Kendal Standing on Stramongate Bridge, the river Kent flows tranquilly beneath my feet, flanked on my left by a huge modern building which would not seem of place in London's Docklands district. On my right is the imposingly elegant Riverside Hotel, a building over 350 years old and which was the home of leather production for over 250 years. Oddly, it is not out of place on the banks of the Kent despite it's size (5 floors plus tower), and the reflections of the hotel lights on the water are quite pretty, especially with the backdrop of rolling hills further downriver. The hotel is located five minutes from the heart of the market town and is within easy walking distance of a number of attractions and countryside. I'd looked at a number of hotels in the heart of Kendal including the renowned County, however the Riverside seemed to get the better reviews for both it's food and views. At £59 per person per night for the peak period, it wasn't the cheapest I had come across, but not the most expensive for it's location either, and the combination of reputation and the allure of the Leisure Centre made up my mind. I had pre-booked my stay via the company's own website, ( and while my stay was only for two days of the weekend, I found several of their online offers quite attractive, such as the "book 3 nights and get the 4th free in August". Breakfast is inclusive with these prices however you can expect to pay around £49 per night without. Upon arrival I ...

Mcvities Go Ahead Forest Fruit Yogurt Breaks 21/07/2010

Go Ahead! Do You Need Permission?

Mcvities Go Ahead Forest Fruit Yogurt Breaks Yoghurt on a biscuit? Don't be daft. Dried yoghurt sounds like some kind of space explorer's powder-food and the idea of a Digestive dipped in a Muller Corner doesn't exactly tempt the taste-buds either. But...Yes but...Following my enjoyment of the Apple and Sultana slices, now pretty much a staple on the weekly shop, I decided to give the Forest Fruit Yoghurt Breaks a try. Despite trying to maintain a healthy, balanced nutritional intake, I am prone to major indulgences, which include many rich biscuit varieties, so buying Go Ahead instantly got a congratulatory response from my conscience. At 1.8 grams (1.1grams saturated) of fat per slice, you'd be forgiven for thinking you've picked up a product used in a weight-loss program, but the Go Ahead range is a nutritious and healthy alternative to indulgent treats, aimed at everyone. As ranges go, McVities are constantly adding to this one, and therefore there are always new varieties and indulgences to try, from cereal bars to wholemeal bakes. Priced at £2.13 at Tesco, the Yoghurt Breaks don't exactly break the bank, although are dearer than similar products from lesser known brands. One box of Yoghurt Breaks equates to six, individually foil-wrapped, twin packs of biscuits, which weigh in at 36 grams. At around 4x8cm, they're not what you'd call bite-size either, and a twin packet is generally enough as a light snack. Wrapped in foil, the slices are kept fresh as they do contain real dairy yoghurt, and upon opening, the ...

Castlerigg Farm Certificated Site, Cumbria 22/06/2010

If your tent is your castle....

Ciao Surveys 21/06/2010

Ciao: Beta than Ever!

Ciao Surveys I remember the old Ciao, probably like many of you, and always thought it was in a different league to other sites in terms of the surveys it offered. There was always more variety, more surveys that fitted your profile and they seemed far more in-depth than the likes of other companies. Invitations varied from 2-10 per week depending on whether you fit the profiling requirements (which always seemed to be quite diverse), and the subject matter was always interesting and relevant, anything from Banking to Baby Food. From what I remember, the payment rates were also very reasonable for the surveys, in the range of 10 pence to £2.00, although the latter amount being a very rare sight. Survey invitations were sent via email, and some weeks I received three to five, and other weeks I would not hear anything at all. I'm guessing at the time, (and judging by the new site) that this was because far less companies used Ciao to generate consumer opinion than they do now. The old method of completing surveys via Ciao, was inclusive within the Ciao consumer/ price-check website, and was a handy inclusion to bumping up Ciao Rewards from writing reviews. We are all quite aware that the payment for submitting reviews is generally quite low (ranges from 2-10 pence, although is specified that it can reach up to £3.00), but I think it is the aspect of being a united and informative community, helping one another in our quest to find bargains and great products, that is the main incentive ...

Virgin Voyager 16/06/2010

Like A Virgin...Voyaging for the Very First Time! 16/06/2010

Money For Nothing And The Kicks Are Free!

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Shampoo 12/06/2010

Blonde Doesn't Have to Mean High Maintenance!

Swan SK1710 10/06/2010

The Beauty of The Swan

Element of Freedom - Alicia Keys 23/05/2010

Hitting all The Right Keys!

Element of Freedom - Alicia Keys The Element of Freedom is the fourth album from the Manhattan born R 'n' B singer, and arguably better than her debut "Songs in A Minor" (2001), which gave us the ground-breaking ballad "Fallin" and follow-up single, "A Woman's Worth". Alicia Keys has long been known for her melodic, soul vocals, and collaborations with other high ranking R 'n' B artists, most recently, the single "Empire State of Mind" with Jay-Z. Previous collaborations have included the chart-topping "My Boo" with Usher, "Impossible" with Christina Aguilera and a collaboration with Jack White (of White Stripes fame) for "Quantum of Solace". Keys' music style is a variety of classical, jazz and soul genres, inspired by listing to classical music in her younger years, and influenced by soul artists from as early as the 1960's. She fuses this with mainstream R ' n ' B to create songs that target a wide audience base, from teens to maturer fans who enjoy the soul aspects of her music. The Element of Freedom is Keys attempt at showing a new side to herself musically, songs inspired by her childhood, depression and personal development/ overcomings. The title itself denotes her emphasis that this has been a more unrestricted and creatively varied production in comparison to her previous albums. In review of some of the tracks on the album, it's easy to determine why "Empire State of Mind (New York) feat. Jay-Z, was released as an introductory single. Everything from the song to the video portray Alicia Keys ...

Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid Foundation 23/05/2010

May-be-leaving it Alone

Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb 16/05/2010


Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb Lush, they make you feel pretty good don't they? Buying amazing smelling products and it's all handmade, environmentally and Fair-trade Friendly. Even the brown paper carrier bags are recycled and biodegradable. Bit like their bath bombs really, although instead of 2 years, they dissolve in 2 minutes. A bit disappointing given the quite frankly, ridiculous price per bomb. My partner bought me the Blackberry Ballistic along with a couple of others as a little surprise recently, each being for specific ailments or moods. The Blackberry Bomb is supposed to relieve tension and relax the body, as well as having mood altering properties. Made from a combination of frankincense, bergamot and black currant berries (all well described on the sticky label I might add), the scent is subtly heady and fruity, with a little spicyness thrown in. The smell alone (as with many of their products) made me want to eat it rather than bath in it. It smelt like a raspberry smoothie! Later that same evening I ran a plain water bath, as hot as I could bear and picked the Blackberry Bomb as it smelt sweeter and stronger than the Pink Supernova (cocktails), or the coconut scented Butterball. The packaging advises that you place the Bomb in the bath after you have run it, so I did it once I had got in. The Bomb dissolved within 2 minutes of hitting the water, and while the smell it gave off was fairly strong during it's fizz-phase, it literally disappeared after five minutes, the bomb disintegrating ...

Glee 16/05/2010

Gleek in a Week

Glee America enjoyed the launch of Glee a whole five months before us, and when it hit the UK in January 2010, it became an instantly cult-followed show by a fair percentage of the population. Perhaps it was the use of the much loved and instantly catchy "Don't Stop Believin'" track by Journey (80's) in the first episode that initiated it's early success, or perhaps the fact it so exceeded the likes of High School the Musical, Camp Rock and Hairspray in terms of it's cast's talents, that it became almost soap-like in it's success. The brainchild of American writer Ryan Murphy (creator of Nip/Tuck), Glee is set within the fictional high school McKinley High (Ohio), where dreams are encouraged and rivalry flourishes. Glee Club, a free-style choir, taken over by Spanish teacher, Will Schuester, is a collective of talented kids and social misfits within McKinley who all have one objective: to reinstate the club to the glory days of success and winning. As an ex-Glee Club member himself, Schuester is both passionate and childlike in his ambitious pushing of the club towards success, striving for them to make Sectionals (multi-school competition). As if this wasn't challenging enough with a bunch of high-school kids who are at times undisciplined, unrestrained, and subject to a whole host of teen-related issues (including dating debacles, pregnancy and general hormones), he finds himself at permanent logger-heads with the schools' head cheer-leading coach, Sue Sylvester, the embodiment ...
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