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stephbond1989

stephbond1989

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since 11/02/2015

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Game of Thrones Season 5 (Blu-ray) 03/09/2017

Dragons, Demons and Death! GoT season 5 is upon us!

Game of Thrones Season 5 (Blu-ray) Game of Thrones Season 5 *SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS SEASONS* The Intro Game of Thrones has been HBO and Sky Atlantic’s hit TV show since 2011, and is based on the books by American author, George RR Martin. The show airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK, and season 5 has recently been released on DVD, whilst fans eagerly await Season 6 which is coming in June 2017. The show has been a huge hit, with millions of fans across the globe tuning in to watch the show- it is also one of the most pirated shows of all times! Game of Thrones is set in the mystical land of Westeros, a fictitious land (though which resembles the UK in many ways!). The show is, in essence, about the fight for the Throne in Westeros’ Captial City of Kings Landing, and the fight with the dead in the lands past the Wall in the north. The show follows different storylines throughout the 10 episodes a season, which are all interconnected and filled with mystery. The “main” storylines however, follow the lives of Cersei Lannister and her children in Kings Landing, where Tommen has become the new child King after Joffrey’s death in a previous season, with Jaime Lannister’s storyline often mixing in, or following him off to whichever past of Westeros he is fighting in now. We follow the life (and death) of Jon Snow, who is in the “Night’s Watch”, he protects the Wall, which was built way before the stories begin to keep the dead out of Westeros. We are there through Sansa Starks horrific life with Joffrey, Tyrion and ...

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 GB 02/08/2017

Kindle Fire 8GB 7"

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 GB Amazon Kindle Fire 7 Black 8GB Introduction I have always been a reader, since being a young child, I have loved reading and would always have a book in hand when I was a teenager, going on holiday would always be a nightmare when I was carrying 5 paperbacks with me, so the invention of the simple ebook reader was a lifesaver for me! I know that eReaders are not something which everybody is in agreement about, I have heard comments such as people would miss the feel of a book, that they love going into a book shop or a library and browsing the books on the shelves. And, I will admit, sometimes the feel of a “real book” in my hand, is a comfort, but then I think about all of the positives which come with having a Kindle and I cannot help but feel that I would never, and could never turn back! The first Kindle I ever owned was bought for me for Christmas a few years ago by my parents, it was one of the first, if not the first Amazon Kindle available and had an eInk screen and a keyboard attached. I absolutely loved it, it was a trusty friend for quite a few years and never failed me! The battery was fantastic, and would go for weeks without needing to be charged. But then, for Christmas 2015, my mum and dad bought me the new and updated Amazon Kindle Fire 7 HD. I was shocked, I didn’t expect at 27 to still be getting gifts like this, especially not when I have a (very spoiled!) 6 year old daughter. So I was extremely surprised and excited! Appearance The Kindle Fire ...

Build-A-Bear Workshop 24/07/2017

Come along and Build a Bear!!

Build-A-Bear Workshop Build a Bear Workshop Introduction Build A Bear was established in 1997 and the first store opened in Saint Louis Galleria in St. Louis, Missouri, there are now over 400 stores across the world. The concept of Build A Bear came about when a 10 year old Maxine Clark and her friend, Katie, were out shopping for a stuffed bear, when Katie couldn’t find anything she liked, she made the claim that “they were so simple, we could make them”. Maxine took this on board, and after looking around for a factory, which nobody wanted to sell, Maxine and Katie decided that they could just do it themselves! The adults in the girls’ lives said that Build A Bear wouldn’t work, they couldn’t see the excitement of stuffing your own bear, but all the children that they spoke to were overjoyed with the idea! And so, Build A Bear was born! My first experience of Build a Bear Workshop was on a trip to Denmark in 2003, it was close to Christmas, and we went in to buy my nephew and niece a teddy for their present. My brother and I got one too! As I was only a young teenager when we went, I wasn’t really looking into the customer service or price aspect of the place, but I loved it! We got to make our own teddy, dress them in the clothes we chose, and took them home in a cute little box. I had my Build A Bear teddy for years and years, in fact, one of my nieces probably have it somewhere still! Build A Bear wasn’t a store which I had in my mind for many years, until I had my daughter in 2010. We ...

Bellflower, Garstang 22/05/2017

We won't be visiting again!

Bellflower, Garstang Marston’s Pubs: The Bellflower Introduction The Bellflower is a pub located on the A6 at Garstang, though it is named as Preston on the Martston website, it is in the perfect location for anybody going along the A6 to join the M6 Motorway at Junction Garstang or anybody leaving the motorway at Garstang. The pub is owned by Marston’s who own pubs like this across the country, some of which are leased or tenanted, and not all serve food. The Bellflower is a 2 for 1 pub, which means that all main meals are on a permanent 2 for 1 meal deal (you get the cheapest one free when buying any 2 meals from the main menu or the specials board). We have been using the Bellflower since it opened a few years ago, as it is in between my parent’s home, who live just past Garstang, and the M6 where they can join to get to our home town of Warrington, due to this, it is in the perfect location to stop off for a spot of lunch on the way to or from each other’s houses, and is also on the way to many locations we go to for days out when we visit my parents. I have actually never had any problems with The Bellflower, until a recent visit in October 2016, when I was visiting my parents with my daughter during her half term break from school; this is when my opinion of this lovely pub went quickly downhill! First Impressions The Bellflower is quite a large pub, and from the outside it is very well kept, it doesn’t necessarily “look” like a cheap pub grub place to eat, there is a medium ...

Gilmore Girls - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD) 26/04/2017

If you're gonna throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle

Gilmore Girls - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD) Gilmore Girls Series One Introduction The Gilmore Girls is an American TV series which began in the year 2000 and was shown in the UK on Nickelodeon, it ran for 7 seasons and finally stopped airing in 2007. Netflix, this year (2016) have announced that the Gilmore Girls are coming back to our screens as a Netflix Original series, which is set 10 years after we last saw Rory and Lorelai. Since this new show has been announced, the full series has been uploaded to Netflix for our binge watching pleasure. I was just 11 when the Gilmore Girls first aired, and I was a HUGE fan of the show, I watched the series religiously until around series 4 or 5 when I was well into my teenage years, but then I watched the final 3 series around 6 years ago after wondering what on earth ever happened in the show. Once I heard about the new series, I of course had to begin watching the show again from Series 1, and have for the last week been binging on the first 21 episodes! The show was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino after she visited the small town of Washington, Connecticut where everybody knew everybody. It gave her a great idea for a story, and so during the trip she came up with the concept and even a partial script for Gilmore Girls. Storyline The Gilmore Girls is set in the small town of Stars Hollow, just outside of Hartford, Connecticut and is based around the lives of mother and daughter, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Lorelai comes from a very rich family who are all ...

Orange Is The New Black - Season 1 09/04/2017

OITNB: My year in a women's prison

Orange Is The New Black - Season 1 Orange is the new black – Season 1 Introduction Orange is the new black is based on the life of Piper Kerman who wrote the book; “Orange is the new black: my year in a women’s prison”. In 1998, Kerman was accused of money laundering and drug trafficking after becoming romantically involved with heroin dealer Catherine Wolters. Kerman pled guilty to the charges and was imprisoned for 15 months at FCI Danbury, a low security prison in Connecticut, where she served 13 months of the sentence. In July 2013, Netflix began airing the show Orange Is The New Black (OITNB as referenced throughout this review), the show is based on Kerman’s life behind bars, and the things she saw when she was there. The show was created by Jenji Kohan after she came across Kerman’s memoir. After a meeting with Piper Kerman, who was impressed that Kohan seemed to be a fan rather than just being after making money, the show was signed off, and production began. The first season of OITNB (now on Season 4) has 13 episodes and has been hugely successful. The show is a “Netflix Original” and follows in the footsteps of other shows; Arrested Development and House of Cards. Whilst the idea of OITNB is based on Piper Kerman, the show’s creator has famously come out as saying that the “lead” character of Piper Chapman (based on Kerman) was her Trojan Horse. Piper came from a white middle class family and she had graduated from a prestigious college. Kohan has said that she used the premise of this white ...

Trivial Pursuit Party Board Game 29/03/2017

A fun and faster game of Trivial Pursuit!

Trivial Pursuit Party Board Game Trivial Pursuit Party Introduction A few weeks ago I was visiting my family while my daughter was off school. We always enjoy our family games, and we often play a card game called Canasta, which you may or may not have heard of. But, my brother’s girlfriend is yet to be initiated into the family game, so we are stuck with board games. There was a time when we had all the board games you could think of, but when I looked into the cupboard, I found boxes with missing pieces and boards that were falling apart. So the next day we were on a shopping trip when we came across a Toys R Us, and I decided to pop in and see what I could find. I love Trivial Pursuit, but in the past I have found a few things which I have disliked about the game; it tends to go on for a LONG time, to get a “cheese” you have to land on a certain space, and get the subsequent question right, and you have to get 6 “cheese” before then making your way to the middle and again having to answer a question right. I find it often took well over 2 hours, and by the end everybody was getting bored and you named the person with the most cheese the winner by default. I also, HATED playing with my mum! She is really good with her general knowledge, where I am pretty rubbish… and because you continued having turns until you got a question wrong, you could often find you were stuck on one person for quite a long time before the turn passed on to the next player. I didn’t really know much about Trivial Pursuit ...

Mr. Brooks (DVD) 25/03/2017

The man who has everything, has everything to hide.

Mr. Brooks (DVD) Mr Brooks FILM ONLY REVIEW Introduction Mr Brooks is a 2007 psychological thriller from director Bruce A. Evans and starring Kevin Costner in the protagonist (and kind of the antagonist) role. The movie was released in UK cinemas back in 2007, but is currently showing on Netflix. This week, my brother has been at my house, this is usually the time for drinking, games and then ending in me and him staying up late, putting on a horror film, and him falling asleep after 10 minutes and snoring for the entirety of the film. This tradition was not broken on his most recent visit and after 20 minutes of searching for a film that neither of us had watched, and were both happy with, we stuck on Mr Brooks. We like a horror film, but on this night we decided on something a little different, and this film sounded like the kind of film we would enjoy. Plot Mr Brooks is about a middle aged, successful and happily married man; Mr Brooks. He owns a box company, and was just named “Man of the Year”, he and his wife have a daughter, Jane, who is away at College and he is all in all a successfully and outwardly has it all. But, Mr Brooks has a secret. He is a serial killer. Or as he likes to put it, he is “addicted to murder”. Mr Brooks has a man; Marshall, who appears only to him who encourages him to murder. Mr Brooks has been a serial killer for years; though we are never told how long just that it has been a very long time, though has taken a 2 year hiatus broken on the evening ...

Xeno Interactive Baby Monster 19/03/2017

Xeno interactive baby monster who lives under your bed!

Xeno Interactive Baby Monster Xeno the baby Monster Introduction The Baby Monster Under Your Bed My daughter had seen Xeno on the Disney Channel’s adverts over and over and whenever she saw him, she mentioned how cute he was and said that she wanted one. It never really crossed my mind to buy her one for her birthday though as I had already bought her an electric scooter and a Samsung Galaxy tablet along with other little bits and pieces, and my budget couldn’t stretch any further, especially considering I was having to pay over £120 for her Build a Bear party. I didn’t think any more of it, and she didn’t ask for it again (it was one of those toys that she wanted when she saw it, but never thought about when it wasn’t thrust in her face!). Her birthday party day came around and we all piled into our shopping centre to Build a Bear, which is located next door to The Entertainer toy shop. My friend hadn’t bought her present yet (her birthday party was the weekend before her birthday!) and so took the opportunity to run into the toy shop and see if they had anything where she came across Xeno. The toy was on sale at half price for £25, my friend didn’t know she wanted Xeno, but thought he looked cute and the type of thing my daughter likes so she picked him up and bought him! Using the toy Xeno Is the little baby monster who needs you to take care of him! Xeno came with batteries already installed, so all we had to do was take the packaging off the toy, turn him upside down and flick the switch ...

Avon Ultra Colour Matte Lipstick 16/03/2017

More Matte than MAC?

Avon Ultra Colour Matte Lipstick Avon Ultra Colour Matte Lipstick Introduction I have used Avon for a number of years now, from being quite young when my older sister was an Avon rep to purchasing my own goodies now as an adult. I have often found that their products can be a little hit and miss; and I have found that whilst some things are absolutely brilliant, others are pretty awful. Earlier this year, I decided I would give being an Avon Rep a go, and got my first lot of books along with some samples- the samples included a pack of every colour of the Ultra Colour Matte Lipstick, whilst some of them weren’t to my taste (think Barbie pink…definitely not me!) there were a few which I really liked. The darker shades were definitely more to my taste, and the samples were brilliant, there was only really enough for one or two applications, and I only really put it on and wiped it off again just to check the colour against my skin tone. Whilst the Avon repping wasn’t for me, and I decided not to continue, I did decide to put in an online order for myself and added the Ultra Colour Matte lipstick in Superb Wine, one of the darker shades of the lipstick which I really liked. The lipstick arrived with the rest of my order. The packaging was simple; there is no box, just a shrink wrapped lipstick. The lipstick casing is square and matte black, with a silver ring around the lid with the word “AVON” embossed. Whilst it is very simple, it is also very sophisticated in its style, it looks “grown up”. The ...

beerhawk.co.uk 11/12/2016

Hunting out the world's best beer...!

beerhawk.co.uk Beerhawk.co.uk Introduction My husband LOVES craft ale, so much so he brews his own and has recently built a shed in the garden for his brewing days! Whilst supermarkets these days do stock a large number of real ale bottles and cans, they usually sell the same 500ml bottles over and over, and rarely do they stock the more expensive and stronger craft ales. Over the last couple of years, we have looked at ordering the rarer craft ales from websites to be delivered, but have always found that postage is SO high, even when ordering from a UK based company. Craft ale suppliers online are not hard to come by, and a quick look on Google will bring you up a range of online companies who will ship you your ale to your door. We have used a few of these such as Flavourly and Beer52, but used them on a subscription basis, where the company select 8 or 10 random craft ales and send you a package once a month or once every two months for a fee of between £20 and £30, these are great, but my husband was finding that he was getting ales in the packages that he wouldn’t usually buy himself, and whilst he would give them all a try, he decided his money would be better spent on beers that he really wanted to try. When I was browsing Facebook one day, an advert popped up for Beerhawk.co.uk who were offering “beer bullets”, a long cylindrical tube which comes with three cans of craft ale, these were on offer for £6.50 with £4.99 P&P but they had a £5 voucher available for new customers. ...

Insect Lore Living Twig Indian Stick Insect Kit 07/12/2016

An educational adventure with a sticky pet included!

Insect Lore Living Twig Indian Stick Insect Kit Insect Lore Living Twig Stick Insect Kit Introduction A few years ago, me and my daughter found that there were lots of Red Admiral caterpillars in the grass outside of our house, so we decided to collect them and watch them grow. The whole process took around 6 weeks, and we really enjoyed watching them grow and then letting them fly away into the wild. When we were completing our butterfly task, an advert popped up on TV for an Insect Lore butterfly kit, where the company send you the caterpillar eggs, and you hatch them, feed them and watch them grow. At the time, we weren’t in the market for the kit, so I made a note of the website to look at a later date. This September was my daughter’s 6th birthday, and I suddenly remembered Insect Lore, and decided to have a look at buying her a butterfly kit. When I browsed their website though, I found that the butterfly kits were only available March to September (you could buy the kits anytime, but the eggs were not available between September and March!), and as her birthday is towards the end of September, I didn’t think it would be a great present if she couldn’t use it until March. On the website however, I came across a Living Twig kit, which is an Indian Stick Insect hatching kit. Similar to the butterfly kit, only with stick insects! I had never owned stick insects myself, but friends of mine when I was a child did and often brought them into school in little boxes! I did some research about owning Indian stick ...

Christmas Holidays: home or away? 06/12/2016

I can't imagine being anywhere but home for Christmas!

Christmas Holidays: home or away? Christmas: Home or Away I am sure if you have read any of my winter or Christmas related reviews you will know that I am a Christmas fanatic! I love everything Christmas, I start buying my presents almost as soon as Christmas is over and as soon as Halloween is finished, I am well into the Christmas spirit. I just love everything Christmas! The food, the drink, being around family and friends, laughter and late nights, giving and receiving gifts, Christmas films and Music! I just love it all! I would say it is because I have a young child that I love Christmas- but that just isn’t true. I have ALWAYS loved it, even when I was a late teenager with no children and probably too old to go and visit Santa in his grotto (not that that would stop me!) I have always been mad about it. We are quite a Christmassey family, my mum is the same, and my sister is crazy about Christmas, the whole time of year is just beautiful and magical! And because of that, I just couldn’t imagine spending it away from home- not necessarily my own home (as I will come to talk about), but home, England, in Warrington or Lancaster with my precious family who mean an awful lot to me. The simple thought of sitting on a beach with a cocktail on the 25th December brings me out in a nervous rash! Christmas should be cold, I should have to wear 3 pairs of socks, and 5 layers of clothes to get warm, in fact- I used to even hate it if the sun dared to shine on Christmas day! So a quick answer to the question ...

Playmobil Christmas 5494 Advent Calendar Santas Workshop 04/12/2016

My second, and best Advent Calendar from Playmobil!

Playmobil Christmas 5494 Advent Calendar Santas Workshop Playmobil Advent Calendar 5494 Introduction Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm, All is Bright Just last week, I completed a review on a Playmobil Advent Calendar which I bought for my daughter a couple of years ago, Playmobil 6624. Writing the review made me think about buying her a new similar advent calendar again this year, and when shopping last week, I found a new updated version of the one I bought a few years ago. It cost me £20, which I thought was a little steep (considering some of the other versions are only £15), but I thought I could treat my little girl, and with it being payday, it wasn’t about to break the bank. This Playmobil advent calendar differs from the older version which we had, in that it is set in the Santa’s workshop (though I actually thought it was set in a house after Santa had been…but my sources insist it is Santa’s workshop!), and has an indoor and outdoor part to the scene. The end product has an inside the workshop scene with toys, elves and Santa himself, whilst the outside scene has Rudolf and the sleigh with present’s in the back. I bought this one because it was more of a traditional Christmas scene as opposed to the farm, pirate or princess scenes. I personally think an advent calendar should be something Christmassey! I purchased the advent calendar from Waterstones, and they seem to be sold at most book stores, supermarkets, and toy shops in the run up to Christmas! About the Advent Calendar Have Yourself A Merry Little ...

Roald Dahl's Scrumdidlyumptious Story Collection - Roald Dahl 02/12/2016

A phizz-whizzing collection of whizz-popping books!

Roald Dahl's Scrumdidlyumptious Story Collection - Roald Dahl Roald Dahl’s Scrumdiddlyumptious Story Collection Introduction When I was a young girl, I love books! I always had a story read to be at bedtime, and once I was old enough to read, I would always have a book on the go. My mum introduced me to Roald Dahl when I was very young, with the classic books of Matilda, The BFG and Fantastic Mr Fox. She also used to read the Revolting Rhymes poems to me too, which would have me giggling away! I had a big selection of the books when I was young, most of them were hardback, I even had a few first editions in here. But as the years went by, I became more into Chick Lit and Crime Thriller books, and I passed my Roald Dahl books down to my brother. And some of them went to charity shops, or car boot sales. I have always loved reading, and that love has carried over to my adult life, only now I tend to have my Kindle in my hand rather than a bulky book. My husband loves to read too, so our house is full of books. I cannot bare to throw a book away, and I am quite a selfish book person- I don’t like giving them away either in case I want to read them again! Whilst I am a Kindle girl now, I have a lot of my old books in paper form, I only got my Kindle a few years ago, so all of my books prior to that are cluttering my house. I have books under my bed, in my wardrobe! I have two books cases which are full of books too! I think it is because of my love of books that my daughter has shown a keen interest in reading too. She is only 6, but ...
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