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since 14/10/2004


BeneFit Dr. Feelgood 09/01/2008

Kooky pot containing a whole lot of nothing

BeneFit Dr. Feelgood I've read numerous reviews on Dr Feelgood, and almost wondered if it was worth me adding my thoughts, due to their being so many reviews. What I've found is this, people either absolutely love it, to an almost cult status, or at the other end of the scale people feel almost sort of ambivalent towards it, maybe a little disappointed because they felt it didn't live up to the hype. I first stumbled across Benefit a few years ago, tried a few products and was absolutely hooked. Unfortunately my bank account hasn't allowed for me to be an active Benefit addict, so after the first few Benefit products, I've somewhat admired from the sidelines, reading reviews, dreaming about what products I'd like to get next. My boyfriend got his works Christmas bonus in Boots vouchers this year, to the sum of £150. The deal was this, let's get everyone's Christmas presents from Boots, and you can spend whatever is left on yourself as part of your Christmas present. Buying for about 8 people, I figured I'd maybe have about £50 to spend and was very excited. Clever shopper that I am and making the most of the 3 for 2 offers and got everyone sorted for a mere £55 I managed to bag a whole £95 for me. You can imagine my excitement. In real life I would never ever go and spend £95 in Boots (much as I'd like to) but when it's vouchers, feel slightly less guilty about such a splurge. Anyway, I went completely crazy, there's many more product reviews to come from this particular ...

Love in the Present Tense - Catherine Ryan Hyde 14/12/2007

Forever love

Love in the Present Tense - Catherine Ryan Hyde I recently finished the last of my books that I had bought on my last book 'splurge' and had nothing left to read, and no money to go out and buy a new book. I'm the sort of girl who has to read every day. I will always make time even if just to fit in one chapter. No matter how tired when I go to bed I always read at least a little of whichever book I have on the go. So on my late night quest to find something to read I came across this book which I had bought for my mum for mother's day on her request. At the time I had read the back of the book and not felt much interest for it. However, pickings were slim and I decided to give it a chance. When I first started reading the book I was pleasantly surprised to find myself hooked right in. What had meant to be somewhat of a stop gap book until I could buy one I felt more passionate about turned into a book that I was finding hard to put down. Right from the first chapter I realised my initial perceptions of this book were off base and the storyline immediately hooked me in. The book follows three character's whose lives are intertwined; Pearl who is a teenage but clearly loving and devoted mother to our second character Leonard who has a special quality about him that captivates the hearts of all he meets. Leonard at age five, befriends Mitch, his twenty five year old next door neighbour. The back of the book tells very little of the story, which is perhaps what made me lack interest in the first place but it ...

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger 06/12/2007

The most amazing love story ever told

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger The Time Travellers Wife is quite possibly the best book I have ever read and I read a lot. I always have a book on the go and this was one I actually came to read almost by accident. I had nothing left to read and was desperately in need when my mum offered me this book of hers. Now normally, there wouldn't be many books that would appeal to both me and my mum so I took it somewhat dubiously and knowing very little about it. In hindsight I think this is the best way to go into reading this novel - not knowing too much about it and with no expectations. It took me completely buy surprise, I loved it from start to end. As the title suggests it is about time travel, but I want to stress that it is not a silly book. As stupid as it may sound, the time travel element of the book, while obviously crucial to the story is not essentially what it is about. This is a love story and it is one of the best love stories ever told. It is unique due to the time travel element but the story is made to feel realistic by the portrayal of this amazing relationship between two ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. If you try to explain this story to anyone, it ends up sounding a lot more complicated than it actually is. Clare first meets Henry when she is 6 and he is 36 but Henry doesn't meet Clare until he is 28 and she is 20. Don't be put off by thinking it will be too complicated for the story to run smoothly, it is done so well that it really isn't. Henry tends to (as a ...

Zorbing 13/11/2007

Bungee jumping in bed with a mate!

Zorbing Background °°°°°°°°°°°°°° A few months back my friend and his girlfriend went off around the world on their travels. I was stuck at home in sunny (who am I kidding?) England, with my only way of experiencing their travels being to regularly read their blog. They went all over the world but the place that seemed most fun was New Zealand. Apparently, in New Zealand, even if your sane before you enter, you'll end up leaving having thrown yourself off bridges, stroked tigers, had cocktails out of tea pots, optionally thrown yourselves out of perfectly good planes and hurtled yourself down hills at 30mph in a large inflatable ball. I decided, being that I couldn't jet off round the world, I was going to start doing some more fun things, after all - England does actually have most of these things to offer! So in the summer of 2007 I booked for myself, my boyfriend and our two best friends to go Zorbing. Apparently "To enjoy [zorbing], you will need to be daring, adventurous, free-spirited, and very slightly mad!" Well it's debatable how daring I am but I have full marks on the last one as I went ahead and made our booking. What on earth is a Zorb??! °°°°°°°°°°°°°°° °°°°°°°°°°°°°°° Well a Zorb is a huge three meter high inflatable sphere, which has another smaller inner sphere that is in the centre of the whole thing, kept in position by thousand nylon strands. Don't worry, the outer sphere makes sure there is 3 foot of air between you and the ground at all ...

Iberostar Tucan, Mexico 08/11/2007

Absolutely perfect!

Iberostar Tucan, Mexico WARNING ************ This is an indepth review and hence it is long. However I have divided it up into sections so if there is anything in particular you want to know about this hotel feel free to scroll down and simply read those sections. BACKGROUND *************** *** In 2006 we had to cancel our holiday at the last minute and we were offered three options to swap to. We chose the Occidental Allegro in Playacar, Mexico. Had this not happened we may never gone to Mexico as it is very expensive and I think unless you know how amazing it is you may not be prepared to save so hard to go. However, before we had even got on the plane home we were lying out in the pool in the Caribbean sunshine, working out our finances as to how to afford a return trip in 2007. We had a particularly bad flight experience the year before with Monarch (as some of you may know if you've read my review of this). As the flight essentially makes up two days of your holiday we wanted to have a decent flight this year. First Choice started advertising their new and improved long haul flights and we were well and truly sold. Offering a 36 inch leather seat pitch (largest economy seat pitch by any flight operator), seat back tellys with a choice of 8 blockbuster movies that you could play and pause as you like as well as a selection of games, tv shows and a four course meal. Best of all you got a whopping 30kg hold luggage allowance and 5kg hand luggage - perfect for a girl like ...

Capitan Hook and his Crew, Cancun, Mexico 06/11/2007

Hook Line and Sinker

Capitan Hook and his Crew, Cancun, Mexico BACKGROUND On our first trip to Mexico we were looking at which excursions to book and the Captain Hook excursion sounded like a good option. The idea is you go out on one of two boats at night, watch a 'pirate show', the drinks are all inclusive and apparently flow freely all night, you can have either a lobster or steak dinner and then towards the end the two boats 'meet' in the water and the 'pirates' jump from ship to ship fighting. In theory it is a great idea. Now unfortunately for us the trip did not start off well in that we almost double booked ourselves. We had booked our dolphin swim for in the day at 1pm and the Captain Hook excursion was to pick us up from our hotel at 6pm if I remember rightly. We had thought this would be plenty of time given that the dolphin swim lasts around an hour. Unfortunately we did not account for transfer times and we had to wait around at the dolphin swim place for a few hours after our swim till our coach was ready to leave. We had about 10 minutes from being dropped off from the dolphin swim to being picked up for the Captain Hook trip so we literally had to run into our room and put some clothes on and go out - my hair was still wet from the swim! None of that is a negative about the trip though that was just unfortunate! Okay so once we'd got changed we got on the mini bus and did the numerous pick ups from other hotels and about an hour and a half to two hours later we arrived in Cancun. THE EXCURSION Upon ...

Monarch Airlines 05/11/2007

Never go longhaul with Monarch

Monarch Airlines BACKGROUND In Jan 2006 we booked a holiday with Thomas Cook, due to some work being carried out on the beach where we were staying they advised us to cancel our holiday with a full refund and book something else. Top marks for Thomas Cook. However, this happened three weeks before we were due to fly out. The travel agent gave us a choice of three places we could change our holiday to and we chose to go to Playacar in Mexico. The holiday was with Cosmos and the flights were with Monarch. BEFORE WE WENT The time that we were due to fly out was just after the hang luggage restrictions had been put in place. We had been told that we were allowed to take 5kg extra hold luggage due to the hand luggage restrictions. My boyfriend is never one to chance anything and made me phone up the airline and the airport the night before flying to double check if this was accurate information. We were told that yes, due to the restrictions, we were allowed 5kg extra hand luggage. We packed our cases, mine weighing in at 24kg and my boyfriends and 23kg and went to the airport. Check in was quick, there was no queue and they took our bags no problem at the weight they were at. OUTBAND FLIGHT Due to the fact we had little choice of what holidays we could take once we swapped we had to accept a flight that flew from Manchester and then did a pick up of passengers at Gatwick before flying out to Mexico. We were told this would not add any flight time onto the journey, which I found a ...

Barry M Cosmetics 02/11/2007

Barry M, the love of my life!

Barry M Cosmetics Barry M is my absolute favourite cosmetic brand. It hails itself as "the most colourful name in cosmetics" a claim which it's range certainly backs up. The whole range is so fun and allows you to create so many different looks. There are other ranges out there with colourful cosmetics such as MAC and GOSH but the difference with Barry M is the affordability. The whole range is so affordable that to build up a collection is easy. I haven't tried all the different products available from Barry M so I can only really comment properly on the ones I have. DAZZLE DUST Well dazzle dusts were my first introduction to Barry M. I found with most eyeshadows the pigment just wasn't strong enough and didn't provide me with a dramatic enough effect. At the time that I was shopping for 'holiday make up' the Barry M dazzle dusts were on 3 for £10 in Superdrug, this offer is on intermittently throughout the year. I opted for Yellow (No.76), Lime (No.75) and Khaki (No.14) to enable me to create a tropical look for on holiday. When I first tried the testers on my hand by dabbing my finger in the pot and simply rubbing my finger on the back of my hand. I was impressed by how vivid the colours were and decided to buy them. Since my first purchase my range of Dazzle Dusts has increased to include; Ice Pink (No.1), Mushroom (No.51), Peony (No.32), Charcoal (No.11) and Neon Pink (No.85). I intend to keep buying whenever I can till I have the whole range! There are over 60 ...

Coco Bongo, Cancun, Mexico 01/11/2007

Best club in the world?

Coco Bongo, Cancun, Mexico Oh wow now where on earth do I start with this place?? Our first visit was back in 2006 and I honestly think this is THE best club in the world and I do believe it is on some lists saying so. BACKGROUND Back in 2006 it was the one place I HAD to go whilst on holiday. We were actually staying in Playa Del Carmen, not Cancun but it's near enough to go for a night out. First we booked on a bar hopping tour for my 21st birthday - the final place of the night being Coco Bongos. However, too much sun and not enough water had left me pretty ill that night and we had to go home before we got to go to Coco Bongos. We then booked to go to Coco Bongos through a place in Playa Del Carmen, we paid an £8 deposit, got all dressed up and waited patiently in the hotel lobby to be picked up but the tour never came. We went into Playa Del Carmen and the place we had purchased the tour from had shut down. A few days later we tried again this time through the hotel but around 5pm we were told the trip was cancelled due to not enough people wanting to go on it. was the last few days of our holiday now and we were starting to panic!! We visited Grey Line tours in Playacar and asked about a trip to there. The organized tours (ie the party hoppers) were on days that we now could not do as we only had a few days left. We explained the situation to them and they were great. They organised for a taxi to pick up just me and my boyfriend (no other pick ups), take us to Coco ...

Isla Mujeres, Mexico 01/11/2007

Paradise Island

Isla Mujeres, Mexico Isla Mujeres is a fishing island, that has yet remained relatively untouched by tourism. It is very 'authentic' and un-commercialised. The whole place has a relaxed atmosphere, with people sitting round chatting and enjoying a sol or two whilst working. The island is situated across from Cancun and yet is absolutely worlds apart from it. We visited Isla Mujeres only for one day, on a catemeran trip we took whilst staying in Playa Del Carmen (although the boat trip departed from Cancun). The water surrounding the island is absolutely crystal clear. Looking down from out catamaran we could see the sea bed clearly when the water was roughly 12m deep, that's how clear it was! You can see turtles and sting rays and if you take a boat trip you have the opportunity to snorkel near a coral reef. The fish were quite plentiful and colourful but you may be disappointed if you have experienced the sea life in Cozumel or Egypt which both are supposed to be amazing. The best feature of the island, in my opinion, is the beach at Playa Norte. I have never seen such a stunning beach in my whole life, and I truly urge you to view my photos to understand what I mean. It honestly was breathtaking beauty. The beaches in Playacar (where we have stayed) are gorgeous, but these put them to shame. The sand is so white it almost doesn't look real. The water is clear blue, warm and perfectly calm. There are hammocks hanging from the trees. It really is gorgeous. I also believe that ...

Dolphin Discovery, Riviera Maya, Mexico 01/11/2007

Once in a lifetime

Dolphin Discovery, Riviera Maya, Mexico BACKGROUND TO OUR SWIM In 2006 my boyfriend and I went on our first Carribean holiday. On my list of things to do was a dolphin swim - I was really really excited about it as it was something I'd always wanted to do. We booked our swim through Grey Line Tours in Playacar and they were faultless. A DOLPHIN SWIM, ISN'T THAT CRUEL? Now I know there is a lot of split opinions on Dolphin swims/encounters and if you disagree with them as a whole then you may aswell stop reading now as this review is based on the experience and not the morality. What I will say in Dolphin Discovery's defence is the Dolphins were not kept nor performed in pools, simlpy a huge (but obviously encolsed) area of natural water. It is a controlled area where the dolphins are safe from predators but in as natural an environment as possible. The dolphins have time to do as they please they are not playing with people all day and they have vets onsite to examine them when showing any signs of anything being wrong - they really are looked after well. Now, I am no animal rights activist but I can tell when something is cruel or not. We held a shark in Isla Mujeres and it was a horrible experience that I wouldn't recommend to anyone. The shark hated every minute of it, was enclosed in a tiny pen, and was thrashing to get away from people and trying to swim under the peir to hide. It was awful. The dolphin swim is the polar opposite - they are kept in brilliant conditions and most importantly of ...

Buyer Beware! (urgent warnings about products/services to avoid at all costs) 06/07/2005

Cheap upgrades+illegal bank account transactions!

Buyer Beware! (urgent warnings about products/services to avoid at all costs) Okay this isn't going to be one of my super long super detailed reviews as I haven't got time and I feel that I would like to warn people about this quickly. I'm also in a really bad mood (because of this) so don't expect my normal quality from me, this is just a fairly brief warning but a very important one. I've had an O2 genie sim card for quite sometime and spent a considerable amount on credit in the past year. Because of this I was always getting phone calls offering me upgrades. I was always wary because you hear all sorts of scams going on. Lately I have been super skint and hadn't even topped up my phone in about three weeks. I had however topped up before my anniversary date so was expecting my 300 free texts on the 28th of the month. I had like 2p credit to last me until then so I was eagerly awaiting them. They never came, so I was forced to phone up O2 customer services (which isn't free of charge) so I HAD to top up my phone putting on £10 credit. I was told I'd not topped up in time (lie) so the date had been put back to the 1st of the month. My mum who had also topped up in time was told this once, so I believe they are just trying to get everyone to the first of the month. That however is the minor issue. On the 30th of July, this is before I phoned customer services regarding my missing texts, I recieved a call off the number 02202. They wanted to take my details (I proceeded with caution but they only asked my name, address, DoB and how long I ...

Cuban Heels - Emily Barr 04/07/2005

Since when was stalking a crime?

Cuban Heels - Emily Barr A BIT OF PERSONAL HISTORY (FEEL FREE TO SKIP!) ☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ When I was young we bought a cordless phone from a car boot. Now, I'm not talking about in the WAY olden days (I'm only 19 now) but it was before they were common place (we have one in nearly every room now!) Anyway it was old, discoloured (a ciggarette stained yellow, as opposed to its once white colour) and it was all in all pretty useless. What we loved about it though was the intercom between the handset and the base. Sad? Maybe, but it really excited us. The night we got it we sent my dad off round the block with the handset, seeing how far away it would work from. It didn't work very far. It DID however work from next door to our house. My best friend lived next door (I had a brilliant childhood - I know that is uncool to say these days but sorry) and we gave her the base part and I kept the handset. Previous to this we used to just bang on the walls and shout to each other. night I went into my bedroom eager for a chat and pressed the intercom button to talk to my friend. She wasn't there (I don't know where she was *sob sob* don't worry this has a happy ending) but something exciting happened. The handset was picking up a phone conversation. Of course I listened, and of course it wasn't really ...

Expecting to Fly - Bluetones (The) 03/07/2005

You cut me deeply and the scars still show

Expecting to Fly - Bluetones (The) THE BLUETONES ♫♩♬♪♫♩♬♪♫♩♬♪♫♩♬♪ The Bluetones hail from Hounslow and released this album at the peak of the Britpop phenomenon back in 1995. They consist of Mark Morriss on vocals, Scott Morriss on electric guitar and vocals, Adam Devlin on six and twelve string guitar and Eds Chesters on Drums and Percussion. All the songs are written by them. TALKING TO CLARRY ♫♩♬♪♫♩♬♪♫♩♬♪♫♩♬♪♫♩♬♪ The album starts off with the sound of an aeroplane taking off before a gentle yet catchy electric bass guitar riff starts up, followed by the six and twelve string guitars coming in and building up to full force where the drum beat and percussion kicks in. It has a power and melody that is not lost for the whole track. Just the first minute of this album will let you know exactly what sort of music you're listening to here as the whole album follows suit. The guitar riffs and plucks are really catchy and provide a melody that is truly infectious. Mark's vocals are great, he has a sort of sweet and husky voice, it's a very unique voice, but one that is gorgeous to listen to, it's very easy on the ears whether he's delivering it in hushed tones or singing full belt. The guitar knows exactly when to fade in the background and when to come in full force and works ...

Ashanti (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Ashanti 28/06/2005

♥ Your kisses make my lips quiver ♥

Ashanti (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Ashanti ASHANTI ♪♫♩♬♪♫♩ Ashanti has just the right blend of style, sexiness and street attitude. She's pretty and ultra cool. She has a sweetness and class about her, yet she kicks it with the Murderers. She's everything the new princess of hip hop and RnB should be. It was "a bottle of mixed emotions" for Ashanti to nervously see her debut album hit the stores, but she needn't of worried as it became a massive hit and when it did hit the number one spot Ashanti felt crazy; "just in the air"! She not only is a great singer but her song writing abilities shine too, she writes most of her own songs on here. Not only did she help pen the hit "Ain't It Funny (Remix)" for J-Lo and label mate Ja Rule but many others (including Enrique Inglesias) are jumping on the bandwagon and trying to get Ashanti to write their hits for them; "A couple of people have been kicking some things in my ear about the lyrics, wanting me to write for them, which is an honor." "[The] Creative process was crazy . . . We were all in the studio just vibing, you know, about everything on the album and we had came up with the idea. Even the look itself, it would be crazy just to have one word titles. All the songs have, you know, significant meaning, and just to name them with one word is very powerful to me, so I think it turned out hot . . . I didn't want to sing only slow songs and I didn't want to be spittin' rhymes. But Mary Blige put those concepts ...
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