Amazon Fire Stick Review. 

Disclaimer: thank you very much to The Ideas Network for sending me this. Although initially I did not request it, it has been a pleasure to review. What follows is my honest opinion.

Good morning; how has your day been so far?

I was recently sent the Amazon Fire Stick to review; not knowing much about it, I was at first curious..

A Firestick is essentially a memory you can plug into your TV (but not your laptop, due to a different output signal thing). Assuming you have a Smart TV, this gives you access to a variety of internet-based things; iplayer, Netflix, etc. Sounds good to me!


Firstly, I really liked the packaging, as you can see above. There’s just something so pleasing about this-how everything is in this box, effectively utilising the space given. Because all good things come in good packages, right?

For the sake of this review, I’d like to consider this as a work in progress, as you can see below..


To the left you can see the literal Stick, and to the right is a remote, which basically controls the set up.


And the whole instruction booklet!

Now, I will admit, I haven’t yet managed to set this up, but had to write this review, due to other time commitments. (Student/Blogger/Columnist/Freelancer etc!) But there’s the problem; the setup instructions were seemingly really complex. You have to plug the Stick in your TV, a plug to the mains, register via an account, and still have logins for the apps. Whew! On this basis, a Firestick is not something that’s necessarily for me-although you can take it with you, wherever you go. I think it would make a great gift for a university student, or somebody setting up their first home however. I just wish that it had a simpler set up, and that it could be used for your laptop!

What do you think of Amazon Firesticks?

Lydia

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Deliciously Guilt Free; Brownie and Blondie review.

Disclaimer: this was sent to me, at my request, in exchange for a review. What follows is my honest opinion. 

Hello.-

If there was a parcel that came through the post, you had no idea what it was, but found out it was four miniature Brownies, how excited would you be? (I had forgotten about this sample, and when it was coming, having misinterpreted an email.. As you can imagine, I was firstly surprised, and then excited to try.)

The package was about the size of my hand-just over-with four ‘treats’ inside:

  • Chocolate and Chia Brownie.
  • Salted Caramel and nut Brownie.
  • Chocolate and Walnut Brownie.
  • Browned butter peanut Blondie.

I have fond memories of visiting a New York based Starbucks, and stocking up on a Blondie and Brownie, or alternatively a cookie. Here’s what I thought:

Packaging:

I’m at odds as to what to think about the packaging. I liked that the Brownies and the Blondies were in the box, and all space utilised, but it had been a little bit bashed about in the post. They also came in a plastic bag, meaning that they were seemingly stuck together. I liked how there was no space wasted, but it may well have been to the detriment of the product itself.

Branding:

Love the name of this one: ‘Deliciously Guilt Free’. Finally a snack without shame attached! (Ever seen a brand that tots its latest product, but has the USP that it could make you increase weight, whether directly or indirectly? I have a problem with this. Anyway, I digress..) I loved the branding. We all want to ‘cut the carbs, not the taste’, right?

Taste:

Now, the taste I was a little bit conflicted about. The Brownies I received were a little bit stale-I think it was because they had spent too long in the post. (They were dry.) But I enjoyed the Chocolate and Walnut Brownie best of all. It was a perfect snack for a (very) long Netflix session. I wasn’t sure as to the Browned Peanut Butter Blondie, as it made me feel a little bit sick, but that may have been because I ate half the pack in one sitting.

This is a great business, and I feel that we should be supporting it. I rate my package 13/15, as I think that there are some things to be twigged, in order to become a staple snack.

Click here to visit and order from their website.

Sylvia Plath And The Haunted Reader By Gail Crowther; Review. 

Disclaimer: this book was sent to me from Fronthill Media, the publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to read this book, and asked to review it. What follows constitutes my truest thoughts.

As readers will know, I am an avid fan of Sylvia Plath ; I have been that way since about the age of thirteen, having been introduced to her via (the now defunct) Company Magazine. (Because wonders will never cease!)
There is a rather stereotyped image of Plath, which I think is now partially down to her committing suicide. But she was not just this image of a Depressed wife, seemingly stuck in  shadow of her husband, Ted Hughes. Rather, she was vibrant, seemingly dancing to the beat of her own drum; she wrote almost as with this electric energy. And if anyone sees me reading one of her books, they always raise their eyebrows, making ‘oh’ noises as the perceived content.

At the time of writing this post, I have yet to finish the book; I’m sort of muddling through, due to other commitments such as revision. I’m not sure I necessarily understand it as much as I should, in spite of the fact that it has been coached from an easy writing style. I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

I also think this book is quite radical in its thinking-in the sense of being a new way of thinking about Plath. Rather than being a mere academic subject, she is personal to every reader, meaning different, vibrant, and almost as if alive in our own heads. And I’m grateful to Crowther for doing this, as it’s a brilliant concept.

Score: 11/15

Click here to buy the book.

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A Trip To Waterstones, And On Making A List Of Books I Would Love To Read…

Books. Books! Lovely books.

Whenever I go to Waterstones, I always compile a list of books I wish to read; after all, of there is any purpose I can have, it could be to cram by brain with what a book gives, and pass the information on. Anyway, here are a few photos I took to share with you all..

Inside Vogue by Alexandra Shulman.


I am fascinated by magazines, how they are formed, layout, etc. Vogue, according to this book by a Now ex-editor in chief, has been around for a century, a full one hundred years. Surely I could pick up some culture, clothing tips, etc, along the way? Style is what remains, and what I hope to one day possess.

Karl Marx by Gareth Stedman Jones.


Despite the fact that I study politics, I still find Marx quite hard to understand, and to get to grips with. And yes, I know that he wrote The Communist Manifesto, but I can’t interpret this very easily. And biography has a lot to do with the actions an individual has intent to do, I feel. Anyway, I want to express about the antithesis of the Democratic ideals I love.

Imagine Me Gone By Adam Haslett.


It was largely the title of this one that caught my eye.

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan.


This is a book that I have wanted to read for a while. A summary of the blurb essentially is that somebody is missing, possibly kidnapped, and is writing to an agony aunt, sending a signal to find her. And there’s a twist! I love a drama, as well as a detective book, and would love to read this.

Insane Clown President By Matt Taibbi.


For all his controversy, I want to read about Donald Trump, in order to understand him, his impact, etc. That way, I think I’d be better equipped to understand this new form of politics.

What books do you hope to read?

Lydia

XO

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Things A Woman Should Know About Style Book Review. (Currently I’m Reading…)

Disclaimer: this is a proof copy that I was sent to review, at my own request. What follows is my own opinion. Thank you to Chloe at Carlton Books.

Remember Fashion? That very controversial subject-it raged over the fur debate, is still a major industry, and bloggers are now sat on the front row, complete with its own hashtag. One thing that strikes me about this book is that it seemingly does not like fashion-and prefers style as the alternative. (Jacqueline Kennedy had style, yet it is her ‘look’ that endears today. Fashion comes, fashion goes, which is the most notable difference.) So far, so good.

The further I progress through this book, however, the more I think it has a little bit of a snarky tone; there are claims such as ‘cheap clothes don’t look good on people over thirty’. What exactly are cheap clothes, anyway? Mine are largely pieces worn over and over, from places like H&M; I see nothing wrong with these. They fit well into my style of wannabe preppy student, anyway. 

However, my favorite thing about this book is that it uses history to back up its arguments; the twenties and thirties had style-courtesy of Coco Chanel, who is then partially quote on one of the pages. And it gives examples of fashion by era-seventies, eighties, nineties, etc.

This book is ideal for a style-conscious friend, a fashion blogger, even as a Mother’s Day gift. Yet, I’m not sure it’s entirely for me.

Rate: 8/15

Click here to buy the book.

My favourite books list. 


Books are life, and life is books. These are my list of my favourite books:

  • The diary of Anne Frank.
  • Searching For Grace Kelly.
  • Dreaming in French by Alice Kaplan.
  • Mad Girl By Bryony Gordon.
  • Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig.
  • Pain, parties, work; Sylvia Plath in New York, 1953 by Elizabeth Winder.
  • Ariel by Sylvia Plath.
  • The Big Life by Ann Shoket.
  • First woman by Kate Brower.
  • Dear Pussycat by Helen Gurley Brown.
  • We are all made of stars by Rowan Coleman.
  • The book thief.
  • Reading Jackie by William Kuhn.
  • The Help.
  • The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.
  • Sherlock Holmes.
  • House Rules by Jodi Picoult.
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
  • The Summer Of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman.
  • Deathless.

What are your favourite books?

Lydia

XO

Revolution Review. 

 

Disclaimer: this book was sent to me, at my own request, for me to review. What follows constitutes my own opinion. Thank you to Chloe Moss at Carlton Books for sending me this! (I think it also worthwhile to note that I am not a Communist, and do not plan on any revolutionary activities.)

Revolutions are a controversial subject, aren’t they?

There was Mcarthyism, as well as the red scare, meaning that the subject almost could not be publicly addressed. As a form of semi-scaremongering, it was used as an accuse, seemingly. But this book is great for exactly that reason. It ignores the issue of the impact, and analyses whatever Revolution it’s talking about, thus relating it objectively. (For a point of reference, I have yet to finish this book, but I do plan to-eventually.) As somebody who is currently studying history, I find the disdain given to these ideas a little bit illogical, and the fact that they are often taught-as in, passing it down generation to generation-odd, because there is still some contempt. (Rant over, I promise.) But this is why I really admire this book!

Plus, it is beautiful when you pull it out of the casing-almost akin to a newspaper. Just have a look at this:


All the clippings seemingly relate to the contents of the book.

For anyone studying politics, even history, this is such a useful reference guide; virtually any revolution of the last century is covered-some I didn’t even know that existed. (Famous ones are also referred to-Castro and Cuba, for instance.) There’s even photos to illustrate, plus pull out documents-always useful for hands on learning.

My only real feedback is that this book is quite cumbersome; not only for its shape-larger than most books-the depth of details inside means that it is also heavy. (Imagine this at the end of the day: you have all of your textbooks, exercise books, pens, etc. But you have to additionally carry something else; it will get heavy, won’t it?) 

Rate: 10/15

Click here to buy a copy of the book.