It was St. David's Day at the weekend and I was reminded of how much I love daffodils. My husbands family is from wales and always give daffodils on st David's day. The lovely bunch I now have sitting in a vase in my living room prom prompted me to write this review.
The narcissi group of plants includes the much loved Dadfodill along with Jonquils and paper whites.
All of these varieties are very easy to plant and maintain and flower year after year bring a burst of colour from as early as November (paper whites) through to April. My daffodils are always one of the first flowers to appear in my garden and signal that spring is on the way. As such I am always excited to see the first blooms.
Bulbs can be planted in most soils and cope well with both sun and shade. I personally like to plant them scattered around the base of my trees in the garden. This gives a more natural drift effect. Leaves should be left to die down for at least 6 weeks after flowering to help with better flowering the following year.
One important thing to note is that the bulbs are poisonous, particularly to pets and must be stored and labelled accordingly. In fact, some believe that the name narcissus is derived from the Greek word narke which means numbness or stupor which could be due to their poisonous nature.
Who isn't cheered by the sight of a Dadfodill? For this reason and because they are so easy to grow, I am awarding them 5 dooyoo hearts!
I'm not much of a perfume kind of woman but this one really took my fancy. It is rather expensive, but you can only expect that from Dior. The scent is somewhat different from that of the Miss Dior Eau De Parfum, but this is also less money and still smells lovely.
I often liken this fragrance to a girl playing dress up in her mothers finest clothes. It is elegant yet youthful, sweet but not too much or flowers. I often find with more sofisticated perfumes they can be a rather heavy smell, but this seems light without having to compensate on the strength of smell.
This is currently my favourite perfume, but it is also my only expensive one! I much prefer it to the many cheaper perfumes I own (such as all of the Benefit fragrances) and so in my opinion it is worth the money if you feel like treating yourself. Whether there are better up market fragrances available for a similar price I can't be sure, but this was my favourite in the shop.
You can purchase this from most department stores and larger Boots' Stores, however if you want a good deal it is worth checking the internet because it is available from websites like amazon for a little bit less.
I don't know if I will repurchase this item, I will probably try a new fragrance when it has run out but I don't regret buying it and it seems to be lasting me a long time!
When my GHD stylers gave up the ghost after 7 years, I couldn't afford another pair and decided on these ones mainly because they were on half price in boots. The price I believe is around £90 (depending on which shop you buy from) but with half off that became very affordable, and I have seen these same straighteners on offer quite a few times in boots since so it is worth checking the website for an offer. I am very glad I gave them a try because I prefer them to my old GHDs, though that could be because they were 7 years old and these are brand new.
My hair is naturally wavy and with my old straighteners I found myself going over my entire head of hair at least 4 times just to get it to be straight and sleek, but with these I only have to straighten the entire head once. I have also found it lasts me all day or night. As for the day after using these I usually have to quickly touch it up but that takes less than a minute with these straighteners.
I like the look of this product, I like the speediness, I like the straight and sleek effect it gives my hair, and I like how it keeps my hair straight all day. The only downside to this product is that I have gotten my hair stuck in the heated plates a few times, though this is probably my own fault for not being careful!
I bought the Silent Night Comfort Control Electric Blanket last month because I couldn't at night due to the cold temperatures this winter, and it certainly helped with this problem. Although you shouldn't leave it on high while you sleep, if you have had it on it should take a while to cool down and you can always leave it on the first heat setting.
I love this product, maybe one reason is because I love my bed but also the product does work very well. The packaging states it can heat to 37 degrees (which I assume is the 3rd heat setting) in 15 minutes, but it seems even speedier than that sometimes!
My only problem with the Comfort Control Electric Blanket is that the three settings seem rather far apart, the difference between 1 and 2 is significant and sometimes I can't find a happy medium, sometimes setting 1 is hard to even notice.
Before purchasing this product I looked into other electric blankets and found that more expensive ones also had only three heat settings and reached their maximum temperature in a similar amount of time, so I believe this one to be good value in comparison.
I would recommend this electric blanket to anyone looking for one, it has made my nights so much more relaxing and helped me have a full nights sleep. Of course, I only recently bought the product (about a month and a half ago) and therefore if there any issues with it breaking after short periods of time I am yet to experience it (and I did notice when I bought it from Argos it was exempt from their 30 day guarantee).
Dell's new Studio Desktop looks and behaves like exactly what it is: a hybrid. No, not a desktop-laptop combo à la Dell’s Studio 540, but an uneasy blend of midrange and home-theater components that results in a less-than-cohesive machine.
Glossy black on the top and front panels and gunmetal gray on the side, the $1,129 Studio Desktop’s looks lean toward sedate. But its size definitely makes an impression; don't expect to easily fit this 14x6.75x16.4-inch (HWD) system into your entertainment center. (A version using Dell's slimmer case style is also available.)
Still, the machine has its strong points—such as a healthy selection of connections. A 15-in-1 card reader is on the front panel to help simplify moving your media content between your drives and your computer. Two FireWire ports, one on the front panel and one on the rear, allow for some strong connectivity options to complement the six USB ports. An external 802.11n wireless device obviates the need for Ethernet cabling. (One nit: we would have preferred a wireless card to cut down on clutter.) The Studio Desktop also has some power. Its 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor makes it a potent performer, in large part because Dell has chosen to load it with the 64-bit version of the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system, which can take advantage of every bit of its 4GB of DDR2 RAM. It also has a 256MB ATI Radeon HD 3650 graphics card, for a modest graphics punch. The 640GB hard drive, meanwhile, is a decent size for use with Vista's Media Center software and is certainly roomy enough to store plenty of music and photos, as well as TV shows you watch with the included Hauppauge HVR1250 TV tuner. (Seven-channel audio is also available, so you can hear your content in full surround sound.)
In other ways, our Studio Desktop configuration was a bit behind the times. Though the motherboard had an HDMI-out port, the system was equipped with just a standard DVD burner and not a Blu-ray drive for handling HD optical discs. You can add Blu-ray capabilities, but you'll need to shell out at least $200 more. Expansion potential is also limited. There’s just one free PCI slot, and the cramped case layout makes installing a second hard drive in the sole available internal bay difficult. What’s more, since there's no external SATA port, you'll have to consider your options carefully should you need more storage. (In all, there are two free external drive bays: one 5.25-inch and one 3.5-inch.)
On our benchmark tests, the Studio Desktop proved mostly adept at everyday media chores. It needed a respectable 4 minutes and 8 seconds to complete our Windows Media Encoder test, and just 3 minutes and 54 seconds to complete our iTunes conversion trial. The system also turned out the strongest Cinebench 10 score we've seen from a machine at this price: 9,364, due to the test's use of the 64-bit operating system. The Studio Desktop’s 4,972 result in Futuremark's PCMark Vantage full-system test is also among the highest we've seen for a system around $1,100, putting the system consistently in line—and in most cases just ahead of—the Velocity Micro Vector Campus Edition we looked at a few months back.
The major difference is gaming: while the Studio Desktop's score of 54.3 frames per second (fps) in our DirectX 9 Company of Heroes gaming test is solidly playable, it's lacking compared with the Velocity Micro's 118.2fps. The Dell's results of 5,390 and 791 using the Entry and Performance presets of 3DMark Vantage, respectively, are also less than impressive, suggesting that the system is best at media chores that aren’t 3D-based.
Better 3D performance would add a bit of pep to the Studio Desktop and help make it a slightly better value for its money. Still, its overall feature set—if not its readiness for the future—makes it a solid choice for a starter home-theater PC.
The Benefit Bad Gal Lash is my favourite mascara. No matter which new ones I try, I will always come back to this one. I especially prefer it to the benefit They're Real mascara, because unlike that one, the Bad Gal Lash does not tend to clump. I personally only need to apply one layer for full, long and voluminous lashes, however on someone with lighter or shorter lashes two layers might be needed.
I prefer to use this mascara only on my upper lashes because I think others do a better job on my lower lashes, however if I am ever travelling and only take one mascara with me this one does just fine on the lower lashes also.
For a subtle look this mascara is probably not the best, however it isn't too bold and therefore can be worn on all occasions.
I have never had much difficulty removing this product with either eye make up remover or facial wipes.
The price of Bad Gal Lash Mascara is rather expensive, but in my opinion it is worth it. For anyone who is curious but doesn't wish to spend an excessive amount straight away, Benefit sell many sets with travelled size products and this product is featured in a few of them. Another way to get around the price is to buy the product when it is on offer, I once purchased it when it was on offer £19.99 for the full size product and a free travel size came with it, which saved me a few months before having to re purchase it (however this was a few years ago).
I found this mixer very good for mixing cake batters and for whisking egg whites or double cream. I think this mixer would be particularly great if you only have one useable hand or have impaired mobility as the it provides the ease of use of a hand electric mixer with the flexibility of using it with your hands free. It is very noisy but it is very hardworking and dealt with really stiff cake mixes easily and was fast at whisking egg whites. If using flour you do need to roughly mix it in a bit if you want to avoid making a mess of the worktop/ floor. When whisking egg whites or cream you do need to stop and check the peak formation manually as the mixers dual mixing action means peaks are not seen only a monolayer of ingredient.
My finding for making a basic cake mixture was:
There were no unmixed ingredients left in the bottom of the bowl, all were incorporated swiftly and fully. The flour did 'billow' a little and some flour was left on the upper sides of the bowl, but only a light dusting. The mix was stiff but this did not phase the mixer, it dealt with mixing it well. The next time I used it I found it was better to rough mix the flour in a bit first before swtiching it on to save the flour from billowing.
My finding for whisking egg white or cream was:
Very good whisking ability, no areas of egg white or cream were left unwhisked and did not take long to achieve a stiff mix. I found there were no peaks forming, because the whisks and bowl move so well in unison, the egg white formed a monolayer; so I had to stop the mixer and check what level peak formation had been achieved a couple of times by manually creating a peak with the spatula.
My finding for making pastry was:
Very poor, bits of butter, copious amounts of flour over the worktop and on the floor. Using a slow speed did not reduct the rate of spillage/billowing. Regarding the incorporating of butter into flour, the beater recommended for pastry was used, and when this did not work the other beater was tried also did not work; the butter and flour would not incorporate. I do not recommend you make pastry with this mixer.
I did not try making bread with this mixer. As it deals with stiff cake batters I think it will cope, but you will need to rough mix first the flour and water or it will billow as bad as it did for the pastry I am certain.
The spatula is excellent and well matchies the curvature of the bowl provided. You waste little ingredient by using it to empty the mix out.
What would have made it a better mixer for me?
The bowl whould have been twice as high, and the beaters twice as long stemmed, so that all could happen further down in the bowl so none of the flour or butter would have been lost to the kitchen floor/worktop and less mess made. The bowl is a little stingy in size.
It would have been nicer if it was quieter; the engines are really noisy.
I wish it had beaters which worked for making pastry.
I moved into a new office a couple of months ago, and needed something that went "beep" to sit in the middle of my desk. The option of spending lots of money wasn't there, so I looked around for a branded but cheap PC. For about £380 inc VAT I got the Acer. The spec is modest. 1.2GHz Duron, 40GB HD (the ads, invoice and web site all say 20GB, but I have 3 of these now, and they're all 40!) 52X CD-ROM drive, 128MB of RAM.
Plugging it in was a breeze. Acer provide a wall chart thingy with pictures of sockets, cables etc., so you just hold something next to the picture to find out what it is, and plug it in! The mouse is a standard wheel mouse, but the keyboard is a USB one with a very nice touch, and it has a volume control (tap to mute), play/pause, stop, back and forward buttons, WWW and email buttons, plus 5 programmable buttons. Nicely, Acer have provided desktop software that lets you print the button layouts and there is a little see through window above the 5 keys that these printed labels fit into. They also provide blank labels you can write on. As a touch typist I find the Acer keyboard very nice to use. No harsh clicking, and no bouncy feel. Just right for my gently typing.
The case itself is blue and grey. There is an easily removable flap at the front which covers the floppy and CD drive bays. With the flap up, there's just a light and a switch on the front. I think it looks slightly strange, but the flap cuts down a surprising amount of noise (see below) Going inside the case, there are 3 PCI slots, a separate AGP slot, two DIMM sockets, one with the 128MB in it and two IDE interfaces with proper two-device cables provided. The PCI slot covers are the snap-off type, but what do you expect for £300+VAT? On the rear of the case you have the standard PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors, two USB ports, integral video card, sound card, game card and network card connectors, and a "hard" power switch, should the software front switch fail to operate in the event of a crash.
Apart from the PC, keyboard and mouse, there isn't much in the box. The wall-chart, a system restore CD and a nice an "extras" CD with Adobe Acrobat and a few other essentials. The box has an integral carry handle, which is a sight better than having to heft the whole lot around under an arm. There's a one-year warranty in there too, although I have 4 of these PCs now at work, and they've been rock solid in day-to-day use.
Right, it's all plugged in and I hit the power button. Yark! This PC is pretty noisy. Not whiny, or grunchy or squealy, thankfully, just a constant mid-tone thrum from the fans. In my working environment, it would be just fine, but in the office it's just slightly too loud. I suppose this is the "get what you paid for" trade off, and the only downside of the Acer I can really see.
Within 30 seconds, Windows XP Home has loaded, and I batter through the registration process. Everything feels nice and snappy. I installed Office 2000 Pro, got my network connection up, and configured my mail and web clients. At this point it started to feel slightly slower, and a quick gander at Task Manager showed my Commit Charge going beyond 130MB with a couple of apps open. 128MB is just about the mininum requirement for any Windows based PC beyond Win98SE, so I bought an additional 256MB DIMM (£26+VAT). Fitting extra hardware is a breeze. A single screw at the rear of the side panel releases it, and there is very easy access to all areas of the machine's internals. Plugging in the 256MB DIMM was just a case of moving a couple of cables to one side (no disconnections necessary), and pressing it gently into the spare socket. Literally a 3 minute job. With the side back on, I powered up again, and had 384MB of RAM immediately. The extra memory makes an astounding difference. Boot times are down to about 35s, log in is just about 10s, and I can have Excel, Word, Opera and my email running in parallel and still have 177MB of free physical memory. It really does fly! I won't go into the joys of playing Medal Of Honor on it, because it isn't a joy. But it's a business machine at heart. Surfing the web, working with data, writing letters and reviews, sending emails. For this kind of work it excels, and with the multimedia keyboard a tap of the volume control silences things for answering the phone, talking to The Boss etc.
A sheep in sheep's clothing. If you want a cheap, network ready PC, and don't mind a bit of background noise, you won't find much to beat the Acer for build quality and value
Featuring 24 amp channel models--both the clean and distorted channels of 12 popular amps for the first time anywhere--plus 11 editable preamp "stomp box" effects and 11 editable post-amp "rack" effects with dual-parameter control. Players can use up to five effects simultaneously. When used with the optional Peavey Sanpera(tm) II foot controller, the possibilities further expand from 12 in-amp presets to 400 programmable presets, with an on-board looper and more.
Arguably the best and most personal of director David Cronenberg's early films, The Brood is an extremely unsettling horror film about familial disintegration and emotional trauma taken to a monstrous extreme. Art Hindle (Black Christmas) stars as a man embroiled in a bitter custody struggle with his estranged wife (Samantha Eggar), who is undergoing therapy at psychiatrist Oliver Reed's controversial institute. Reed's treatment causes his patients to give form to their inner conflicts, and Eggar--whose psyche is at the boiling point from childhood abuse as well as the custody trial--creates a horde of homicidal humanoid children who enact bloody revenge on anyone who has threatened their "mother." Cronenberg's first feature with name actors and composer Howard Shore has its share of gruesome moments, but the film's subtext--how emotional violence impacts a family--is its most chilling aspect.
Beware: do not buy this car. I purchased a 2009 model and I used it in my cleaning business. It's done only 40,000 km but in that time I have changed a cylinder, starter motor, the entire air con system and all out of warranty. Roughly $6K of work. Now this week I am told the computer is broken which is another $2-3K. I bought it because it was the only auto van in market and was good price. Wors e mistake ever and to rub salt into the wound Renault Australia that is run under Nissan could not give a toss about my concerns. French are good at wine, cheese and running away from wars. Cars. No. Disgrace.
Ok.now for the review. Well to start off, this amp is a very good value for what you get. It has a LOT of clean power. It has very good build quality and componets and a real pleasure to listen to. I dont even remeber what my first impressions were in particular (they were good though) but in my system this amp has very clear, airy smooth, detailed powerfull sound. Bass control is superb. Highs are not harsh. they are smooth and airy. Very black soundstage is thats how you explain it. It has alot of control and grace, on my speakers which are 4 ohm, it has no problem whatsoever driving them at high levels. the sound is never strained sounding. I just cant really think of anything else to say about the nad. It sounds wonderfull and i love it. Nuff said!
As for the build. the face and chassis is all metal. the rca plugs in the back are all gold plated and they arent going to pull out if you have tight fitting cables like me. The binding posts are a bit funky, compared to something im used to using. Its kina of hard to get a set of cables on the B output when your using spades. But they are very secure and do the job nicely. I will be honest, i have had the amp in for service once. About a month after i got it i moved my gear around and when i went to turn it back on the left channel was really weak. turned out giving it a nice tap on the side made the channel kick right back in lol. well in jan 02 i finally got tired of it and sent it in, the service center tried to send it back because he couldnt find anything wrong with it the first time, Bill at YAWA told me about it and i convinced him to have it sent back. turns out they found the volume pot was bad. I have had it for almost a year now sice i recieved the unit back and it has worked flawlessly since. Some people complain the remote isint good because you have to point it directly the unit but i havent had this problem.
This past year we reached a place where almost anyone can enjoy surround sound. There are two paths to home theater nirvana - or at least the start if it: a home theater-in-a-box system, or building a 5.1 or 7.1 system from quality entry level components. Yamaha's RX-V565, with its typical selling price of just $429.95 gives consumers a very inexpensive way to get into an HDMI-equipped AV receiver. The receiver has four HDMI inputs, each of which are capable of reading and decoding the new high resolution audio formats. This provides a great way to feed four components into a newer HDMI-equipped HD television. Because these HDMI inputs decode the latest HD audio formats, you can all but say goodbye to optical or multi-channel 5.1 analogue audio sources. You can also say goodbye to switching inputs on your television, should you decide to use the 1080p up-conversion that comes with this receiver.
The whole book is simply battered by food, equipment and now totally unrecognisable from when it was purchased.
The reason I rated this three DOOYOO hearts and not more, is simply because as fabulous as this book is, it basically is a combination of his best recipes condensed into a easier and more manageable format to have in your kitchen.
You are able to find exactly what you are looking for and not struggling to get book after book out trying to find 'THAT' recipe.
On one hand this is good for the beginner, the meals are straightforward, his best ones and easy to accomplish. A great introduction for new cooks that want to go up a gear.
For those who love Nigel Slater and loyal, you basically just need this out of sheer loyalty.
There are one or two recipes in here I haven't seen before but otherwise this is a combination of his works in recent years. I do use this and like I mentioned at the top of the review its battered for a reason. That reason is it is actually much more accessible. Most of his recipes that I've fallen for and my hips are in one place.
I'm on the fence whether to recommend it because a little I feel cheated but on the other hand it looks great on the shelf!
This retails at £12 but obviously the prices now differ and a kindle format is available [not such a fan of that due to formatting].
Vera Wang Glam Princess is an Eau de Toilette which is available in a 30ml bottle priced at £28, or a 50ml bottle priced at £45. It's not part of their current line of fragrances so it is more difficult to get hold of.
The bottle is very pretty and I love looking at this standing on my dressing table. The gold and pink colours work really well together and the heart shape of the bottle is really cute.
I couldn't find a description of this fragrance from the manufacturer which is a shame as I do like to see if their description match my thoughts on the scent!
The top notes are watermelon and berries, the mid notes are jasmine, rose and frangipani, and the base notes are wood and musk. The overall fragrance is quite a heavy, sweet floral with a lot of depth provided my the woody and musky base.
I do like this scent, it's nice and fresh to begin with and then gets heavier as you wear it, with the mid and base notes taking over from the fruity top notes. I find it's one that develops and changes throughout the day and it becomes very deep and musky.
The scent is quite versatile as it's light enough to be worn during the day without being ott, but it's also heavy enough to hold it's own on a night out. It would suit anyone I think as it has elements within it that seem younger and elements that seem more mature, so I think it wouldn't seem out of place on any age of woman.
Although this is a lovely scent which I do enjoy, it does give me a headache very quickly so I struggle to wear it, and it's also one that I've never received any compliments on, which leads me to believe that most people don't like it as much as I do! It also doesn't last that well, even for an eau de toilette, and I find I have to top it up every 3 hours or so if I want the scent to stay with me.
Yes, I would recommend this as a nice versatile scent if you're not sensitive to chemical perfumes like me. If you are then you'll probably find it will leave you with a major headache!
Brand: Skoff /
Type: TV Stand
Brand: Cooke & Lewis
Brand: Space Kitchen
Inspirational Photography is a company who produce & supply photographs, mounted or printed on canvas. All images supplied are printed on quality papers, with a minimum guarantee of 20 years.
Kitchens, designer kitchens, kitchen appliances.
Solid wood. Ideal with a bed shelf and a desktop underneath
Brand: ELC / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment
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