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Daisfunky

Daisfunky
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Member since: 05.01.2010

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      25.10.2012 10:10
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      You get what you pay for

      There are three items I simply will NOT compromise on. The first is a bed; a good night sleep is imperative to a good day looking after the kids or fighting fires at work. Plus, we all (hopefully) use a bed every night. The second is loo roll, because, well there's nothing more irritating than toilet roll that falls to pieces in your hands or feels as soft as sand paper. The third, is a vacuum cleaner. Why? Well if you have three small children like myself, the vacuum comes out twice a day. I also love the feel of freshly hoovered carpets and the smell of a clean room.

      This particular vacuum cleaner was on sale at Asda for £49 back in 2008, my husband and I were newlyweds and had a very strict budget, so a Dyson was out of the question. What drew me to this cleaner (apart from the seducingly low price) was the fact that it was designed to pick up pet hair. We don't have any pets, and didn't have any back then but it gave me the impression that this vacuum cleaner will be pretty effective at picking up the dirt, dust and mites that seem to bury deep into the carpet.

      This Morphy Richards cleaner is upright, with adjustable height (which is very useful as at 5" 10 I require something with a bit of height) and all the usual attachments for cleaning furniture, small crevices and grooves between the stairs. The pipe is of average length but is stiff and tricky to attach.

      The plastic surround is flimsy and cheap and everything about this cleaner is awkward, not to mention heavy! The weight Of the cleaner makes it tiresome to move, and carry up and down the stairs.

      The main positive point of this cleaner is the suction which is incredibly powerful and leaves my carpets looking and smelling cleaner than if I used my Bissel cleaner. And it is very simple and quick to empty.

      Despite its cheap materials and boxy design, I loved using this cleaner when I lived in a coach house. As soon as we moved into a town house, with two sets of stairs to clean, I fell out with it. The handle for carrying the Hoover is small and basic - and feels like it will snap under the 22lbs of Hoover as you carry it.

      Bottom line: good, effective Hoover for apartment dwellers. Anyone else should look elsewhere, if you have stairs or a bad back, this vacuum cleaner is not for you.

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      21.10.2012 14:33
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      Like a bad relationship.....I hate it, but can't leave it!

      I have learnt the true meaning of what it is to be in a Love/Hate relationship since I bought the Marco Sky Double Buggy. This was purchased from kiddicare.com whilst it was on a special offer and I was expecting my second baby. My oldest two boys are 17 months apart so it was imperative that I had a double buggy.

      FINDING THE RIGHT DOUBLE BUGGY

      This is the $1,000,000 question; Which double buggy is right for me? It is true when they say "One man's meat is another man's poison", some love side by side strollers; others prefer tandem. Three wheels or four wheels, big and bulky or sleek and flimsy...the selection out there is quite vast and shopping for a double buggy can be quite a nail-biting and confusing experience! Hopefully I can instill some of my experience into this review and help other consumers out there who are struggling to choose a stroller that is good quality and excellent value for money.

      There's a few things to think about when considering this particular stroller. For one thing, it is not suitable for newborn twins. Whils the seat in the back does recline into the newborn position, the front seat is fixed in the upright position. This means the front seat is only suitable for babies who can sit unaided which would be at least 6 months. So, not a stroller for new twins. Got it?

      Next; What will the stroller be used for? School run? Shopping trips? Long country walks? Is bus or train travel involved in your day to day activities? Will this be kept in the back of the car? Where will this be stored? Garage, House or Cupboard?

      HOW DOES THE MARCO SKY MEASURE UP?

      The Marco Sky has narrow, plastic swivel wheels which have flimsy plastic brakes. The individual brakes for the wheels are simple yet effective and provide extra piece of mind when travelling on a rickety bus. When the brakes are on, the stroller stays in position no problem.

      Unfortunately the small wheels make walking on grass or uneaven surfaces difficult and tiring. Manauvering is laborsome as the handles are long, thin and do not feel sturdy. The handles are height adjustable which is helpful but a negative point is that you need both hands on the handles to walk in a straight line, and when the pavement slopes, the whole stroller pulls to the side.

      The stroller alone is fairly light at just 17kg and has an umbrella fold action, which is desirable. However, the umbrella fold action is not as "easy" as advertised. The function is tricky to work out and the mechanism is stiff and requires the user to have octopus arms to get the stroller to fold down! Once folded, the stroller is extremely compact and narrow but very long. This makes fitting the pram in the back of a car almost impossible. The stroller will not fit into the back of my hatchback Golf and just barely fits in the back of the Audi Estate.

      The seats are in tandem position, this makes it easy to fit the stroller through narrow doorways (good for highstreet shopping) However, as the back seat is the only suitable for newborns, the heavier child needs to be seated in the front. This makes the stroller very heavy to manauver extremely difficult to bump up curbs. The seats are wide and comfortable, with a nice soft yet hard wearing material. The straps are basic and the straps easily fall out of the clasps. My 23 month old can not be contained in this stroller as he has worked out how to pull on the straps and climb out.

      The access to the back seat is limited without taking the whole hood off the stroller. This makes placing a baby in and out very challenging and often baby's head gets bumped on the hood! However, the benefit is that the back is cocooned and baby is heavily shielded from the weather elements or nosy old ladies who want to touch the baby. The front seat is covered by the hood but the sides are open which allow the older toddler to look around. The free raincover included covers the entire stroller and keep both children dry.

      The basket is disappointingly small and has poor access. Although one thing I like is the fact that it is right underneath the stroller and out of sight. I also feel confident that no one will take my hand bag because the access is so poor, it would take a thief all day tugging at the basket to pry my hand bag out! Every cloud has a silver lining eh!

      THE GOOD

      I find this stroller is good for city dwellers who walk to school or the shops. It is narrow for doorways and fits reasonably well on the bus. I love the fact that my baby is tucked up safe in the back and the stroller is protective of the elements.

      THE BAD

      It is heavy at the front and difficult to push. Walking uphill, off road and on any uneaven surfaces are very tricky and the wheels tend to struggle with the lip at my front door which is a pain. The basket is smaller than average and when folded it is too long to fit in the back of smaller cars.

      THE UGLY

      The stroller is advertised as this easy to use, lightweight double stroller which ticks all the boxes at a reasonable price. (I purchased it for ~£90) It's a con. Once the children are in the stroller it's much heavier and more sluggish than my Phil and Teds, the material is of basic and cheap manufacturing and the list of negatives for this stroller is ever-growing with each day I use it!

      BUT WHY I WONT GET RID OF IT

      As a double buggy, I prefer the Phil and Teds Sport. The wheels clip on and off and it folds down so neatly that it will easily slot into the back of a very small car. It can be steered with just one hand, there's tonnes of basket space and the overall look of the buggy is smarter and more sleek. However, the Marco Sky is used 90% of the time for the school run because it keeps my newborn safe, warm and out of sight. So after all the negatives, I still use it.

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        20.10.2012 15:53
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        Good for a rainy day...or when you run out of razors!

        Shaving, Waxing, epilating...hair removal is no simple business. Everyone's body is individual and every skin type reacts differently to whatever form of torture it has been subjected to. I have found it a tiring feat to find the right type of hair removal for me! I have sensitive skin so epilating and waxing are a no-no for my body. So I have been using Venus Razors for years before I decided to venture out into the mysterious realm of electric shavers and trimmers.

        I didn't shop around at all. This was an absolute impulse purchase during one of my outings to Asda. They had it on offer for £20 and I figured that was pretty reasonable for an electric shaver. I also chose it because it's pink. Sad? Probably, but they made it pink for a reason and that's to draw suckers like me in who choose products based on their looks.

        This is a no-fuss, no wires, or fiddly bits lady trimmer and shaver. It works on two AA batteries (which last forever! I still haven't replaced the batteries after a year of use!) It fits comfortably in your hand and tucks away easily in a cosmetic bag for overnight stays. Because there is no need for a power lead, it makes the shaver easy to use and transport. It's pretty light weight and the attachments are easy to clip on and off.

        The Shave is not as close as I would like. After only a few hours I already feel a little prickly, this might be a common side effect of using an electric razor and I may be spoilt by my vast experience of that close wet shave you get from the Venus Embrace. But what I do like about this razor is that it trims very well and a shave with this beauty leaves my skin feeling kissed rather than snagged. No unsightly red bumps on my legs.

        I still rely on my Venus Embrace razor, but I always keep this handy contraption to hand. As far as electric razors go, I think this one is marvellous. Just a pity that it fails to give a super close shave.

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        20.10.2012 15:04
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        A memorable (expensive) experience

        I have reservations about the fact that our English Jewel that is the Harry Potter series, a multi-million pound best-selling series of novels and movies, has a resort in Florida. Boris Johnson has expressed his disdain for the fact and complete bafflement at why it was not placed in London.

        Of course, Warner Brothers own the rights to the movies, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located in the Universal Studios resort, Orlando. Seeing as the resort is a tribute to the movies and the creators are based in the US I can understand the thinking. Florida is the destination of all places magical, Walt Disney's Magical Kingdom just a few miles south from Orlando in Kissimee and Spook Hill known for the ghostly road where you park your car at the bottom of the hill, release the handbrake and the car begins to slowly roll....uphill! Creepy.

        All that aside. I'm here to review The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

        - How to Get There -

        The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a relatively small themed area nestled right at the back of the Universal Studios resort in Orlando, Florida. The parking is in a huge multi-storey carpark with themed levels e.g. We were parked in Jurassic Park's level. There are walking escalators that take you right over the road and straight into the resort. There are a number of bars and restraunts with a large multi-screen cinema located just outside the ticket booths and you do not need to purchase park tickets to access any of these areas. The resort is split into two parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You can purchase tickets for one or both of the parks. To get into Harry Potter World, you need to go to Islands of Adventure.

        The sneaky designers have placed the Harry Potter World right at the back of the park with (I would call hidden) entrances and exits which meant we actually missed it completely and ended up looping around the whole park. That's ok though, it's right next to Jurrasic Park World - and my 3 year old loved looking at all the dinosaurs.

        - Diagon Alley-

        The wonky street of Diagon Alley is picturesque with its snowy rooftops and cobbled ground. It is packed full of actors and refreshment stalls which sell the famous Butter Beer and candies. The Hogwarts Express sits at the Entrance blowing steam into the air and looking very impressive for tourists to have pictures taken with the Station Master who calls out to the crowd in his fake British accent. The buildings tower over the street and there's magical music playing which create this illusion that you really have stepped into the real Diagon Alley.

        There has been a lot of attention to detail, the buildings look extremely authentic and aged. The cashiers dress like wizards, the shops are cramped and jam packed full of Harry Potter Merchandise. (And you need a small fortune to purchase any of it! More on that later on) Diagon Alley rests in the shadow of the fantastically realistic Hogwarts School of Wizardry and the overall feel is truly magical.

        There is not a lot to say about the shops in Diagon Alley, Zonkos (The Joke Shop) and Honeydukes (The Candy Store) are linked inside. They are cramped and there is no space for a buggy, so they need to be left out in the buggy parks located closeby to the shops and the rides. The merchandise is costly and there is little variation to the stock. Zonkos seemed to sell two or three unique items, the rest of the *junk* nestled on the high shelves were props.

        Dervish and Banges have all the touristy products, hats, scarfs, jumpers, t-shirts, whole Hogwarts uniforms and lots of odd bits here and there - all at an estronomical price! (One of the jumpers was ~$80!) These products are duplicated over and over in various locations in the park which make you think there is a lot to offer, but when I thought about it, I realised that the actual product portfolio is very small.

        The Owlery is fun. A howler screams when the door opens and the high ceilings are swamped with owls. You can even send a postcard (Not unlike the novelty of sending a postcard from the Vatican, but arguably more fun) with a real Hogsmead postage stamp!

        Olivanders had a queue the length of the great wall of China when I went. This is because you can have your very own experience of choosing a wand from Olivanders. You'll be given a wand and various visual effects make you feel completely drawn into the experience and when YOUR wand is in your hand, the room glows with beams of golden light and beautiful music fills the air. Worth the long wait?

        Well not to worry if it queues aren't your thing, they sell the wands in all the stalls up and down the street anyway. They cost ~$30 each.

        The toilets are worth a quick mention - they are fashioned to look like the toilets in Hogwarts and in the ladies toilets Moaning Myrtle screams obuse at the occupants. Delightful.

        There are a few shops which are just props, though I suspect they will be developed and open for the public at a later date. It was a treat to see Emma Watson's pink dress from Prisoner of Azkaban next to Daniel Radcliffe's Dress Robes in a shop window. There were also wanted Posters up for Sirius Black.

        The highlight of Diagon Alley is the Three Broomsticks. It is the only Restraunt/Bar but does not disappoint. Surprisingly large inside, the ceilings are high and crooked with various shadows of birds and animals. The lighting is dim and the tables and benches are wooden.

        The menu was limited. We purchased a Cottage Pie and Fish and Chips. It was a real treat to eat English Food as we had been staying in the US for a month. Yet I must admit that it tasted like something you would get from the school cafeteria. The ButterBeer though was a real pleasure to drink! It was ice cold (or can be served at room temperature if preferred) and clear with huge froth on top. When I first took a sip, it tasted very similar to cream soda, but then I tasted the warmth of butterscotch on my tongue. The froth was sugary. The Butterbeer was incredibly moorish and refreshing.

        - The Rides -

        There are three rides. Unfortunately I was 22 weeks pregnant at the time I visited with my family and all the rides had warnings for expectant mothers therefore I was unable to ride them and unable to give a comprehensive review of them. There is a ride which looks similar to Nemesis at Alton Towers which is called "Dragon Challenge", there are actually two tracks and depending on which dragon you decide to ride you get a different experience.
        There's a small wooden roller coaster called "Flight of the Hippogriff" which my 3 year old went on with his dad. My husband remarked that the ride was faster than he expected and a little rough. My 3 year old absolutely loved it.
        The third ride is within the Hogwarts Castle. This is called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. My understanding is that is it some sort of glorified version of a simulator. But the remarkable aspect of this ride is all about the queue line. The line takes you all around Hogwarts on a tour and involves some impressive holographic technology that has been patented with Warner Brothers until 2015 so you wont see anything like it in DisneyWorld!

        - Prices -

        It cost us about £150 for my husband and myself to take our two children (under 3s are free) to the Islands of Adventure park. Parking cost $15 for the whole day.
        Drinks are extortionate at ~$3 each (bare in mind you need a lot of fluid to stay hydrated in the unforgiving Florida sun!) The food at the Three Broomsticks was about $60 for two meals and two drinks. We were able to share our food with our toddlers but we all left the restraunt feeling hungry.
        The Merchandise varied in price, but one small chocolate frog cost $10 and that was the cheapest thing I saw. Let that be your guide.

        - Is it worth it?-

        It's a rip off. A waste of money and gives very little back for what you paid. That is if you are only going for the Harry Potter world, the rest of the Islands of Adventure park has a lot to offer and suddenly it doesn't seem so expensive. I would like to see more shops and more choice of produce, I would also like to see more rides and attractions - a show would be nice! But over all? I would go again in a heartbeat. Despite all it's flaws, it was Harry Potter. For a day, I was in that Magical World and that is absolutely priceless.

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          20.10.2012 12:47
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          Best Fiver I've Ever Spent

          - Background -

          I feel rather qualified to write a review on Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred having completed it twice before and I am in the process of kicking my butt for the third time. I have owned this fitness DVD for well over a year and I have a lot to write about it, so if you're searching for an honest, indepth review on this then look no further!

          How did I find this product? After I weaned my second child and found that the baby weight had not come off on its own, I searched online for a good fitness DVD. I'm a busy mum with no time and no babysitters to allow me to attend a Gym yet I also wanted a workout with the same intensity as a tough session on the gym equiptment. I'm a big fan of the Biggest Loser US, Jillian is a miracle worker. She bullies, hounds and pushes people to their very limits....and manages to do it all in a likable way. It's impossible for me to hate her.

          I chose the 30 Day Shred because I liked the goal aspect that made it a little different to all the mountains of cliched fitness DVDs out there. The finish line firmly set, 30 Days. There's no need for a long-term committment, this is not a "do this DVD for the rest of your life" kind of thing. It's a "work out every day for 30 days, and you will look awesome".

          -Price-

          As far as DVDs go, this one is cheap. You can grab a copy for less than a fiver.

          -The Workout-

          Jillian uses her 3-2-1 system to put the body under extreme pressure and force it to change and adapt quickly which is why she is able to promise big results - and FAST.

          It's 20 minutes; Warm up, 3 cycles of the 3-2-1 system (3 Minutes Strength, 2 Minutes Cardio and 1 Minute Abs) and a cool down.

          The equiptment needed are just a couple of hand weights (I started with 0.5kg weights and slowly built myself up to 1.5kg) My floor is carpeted but if you work out on a hard floor you need a soft mat.

          There are 3 levels. You start at Level 1 and progress as and when you feel ready ( which is usually when you no longer ache the next morning after a workout) Within each Level there are two women to follow - Anita is the one to look at for beginners or simplified versions of the excersises. Natalie is the girl to watch for advanced.

          Is it intense? It is as easy or as intense as you want it to be. This workout requires you to give it your all. Push yourself and be honest about your abilities. This is key to getting results. Half-hearted jumping jacks are not going to get rid of those love handles. Having said that, it is important to note that you can certainly ease yourself into the routine. The versitile moves to follow in their varying levels of difficulty make this a DVD for the mass market. You might be getting back into excersise after an injury or (like me) having a baby! If you follow Jillian and give her everything you have, this workout will leave you a sticky mess on the floor.

          And that my friends, is intense.

          -My Experience-

          As I mentioned previously, this DVD was purchased at a time when I had just finished breastfeeding and needed to get some cardio in my life after failing to lose the extra 15lbs I had put on during pregnancy. I had my hand weights ready, an empty space in the lounge to workout in and put the DVD on. Jillian starts with a motivational speech telling you about her 3-2-1 system and how she is your personal trainer and she is dedicated to get great results.

          Level 1 - This workout is all about the cardio. Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope, Butt kicks, Squat Punches (I think I just made up that name!) Your heart is pounding throughout the entire session. Strength involves squatting with weights - the idea is that you are locking your muscles in a balance whilst also using your biceps and triceps to lift those weights. The movement and the balance done simultaneously makes you burn more calories and -hopefully- become shredded faster.

          Level 2- This workout is all about strength. Deep squatting whilst lifting weights, standing on one leg and push weights up to the sky while slowly kicking your leg out, all of the strength moves make you BURN. The cardio is faster-paced and have a higher impact (Double jump rope, high kicks and a move that I can only liken to blade running on ice...) and the abs are quite advanced (double crunches are a killer)

          Level 3 - Possibly my favourite. This is all about....everything! The theme of this Level is Don't Stop, Keep Moving, Give me more, more more! Jillian yaps at the you through the screen like an angry dog. This workout has you broken into a sweat during the warmup! The plank moves are punishing. You are required to do full press ups. Seriously, this is the session to use to get maximum results. You will see that 6 pack in no time if you follow this routine.

          Jillian reccommends you take two rest days a week. I did this and after 30 days of doing the 30 Day Shred, I lost 15lbs, went down 2 dress sizes, lost 4 inchs on my waist and 2 inchs on my hips! That is how hard I pushed myself with Jillian's help. She is a huge motivator and despite bullying you into pushing yourself, she throws positivity at you to help you get through the moments of panic or struggle.

          The second time I did this workout I started doing it twice a day. It's addictive. It's all those happy endorphine hormones that are released after a good hard workout! I was stronger, fitter and I found myself applying the same determination and positivity into every aspect of my life. I now have an amazing can-do attitude and an enthusiasm for life.

          I am 10 weeks post partum with my third child and today is day 8 of the Shred. I am on Level 2 and have been writing a blog to show others my progress and what it is really like to do the 30 Day Shred. The response has been amazing, I have had so many women start doing this and they are all experiencing the positive results that I have.

          -Conclusion-

          This DVD has changed my life. It should be in every household. I just can not reccommend it enough! Join the fitness revolution, buy Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred and keep shredding!

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            19.10.2012 15:56
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            Not for Spring Chickens but lovely scent

            I love the Estée Lauder make up and received a sample of their perfume with my recent order. It's called Pleasures Exotic.

            I don't know about anyone else, but I do not choose perfume online. Yes, it is helpful to read reviews and see what people say about it, but you really have to smell it first and see how YOU like it.

            That said, I'll do my best to describe the scent of the perfume and give my best opinion on its value for money.

            Despite being highly sensitive to perfume and prone to migraines, Pleasures Exotic does not irritate me in any way. Yes, it is strong. The fragrance certainly covers the smell of baby sick or any other not-so-delightful aromas that come with motherhood. One or two squirts is more than enough and the scent lasts all day. This means that the perfume will last a long time- hence making it incredibly good value for money.

            I'd describe the smell as more spicy than fruity. It has a warm, enticing flavour to it that would suit any woman in her later years.

            I can't see teenagers or young adults choosing Pleasures Exotic, it is too mature- id go as far as to say that it would only really suit older women going to an upper class party. It's not one to wear for a night out on the town.

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          • Play.Com MBNA Visa / Credit Card / 12 Readings / 11 Ratings
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            19.10.2012 15:33
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            A rewarding, trust-worthy credit card with helpful customer services. 10/10

            Whilst surfing the ever-increasingly popular website that is Play.com, I noticed an ad on their home page for a credit card. What reeled me in was their points for play vouchers offer. It means, that for every purchase you make using the Play Credit card, 1% of the value is credited in the form of "play points" to your account. Even better, if you make a purchase on the Play.com website using their credit card, you receive 2% back!

            These "Play Points" rack up quickly and can be redeemed for monetary vouchers to be used at Play.com. This does not exclude Play Traders either.

            I decided to go ahead and apply for this credit card and my husband and I got an account together. The application process was very simple and we received our cards within a matter of days. No need to send any form of identification or proof of income, no hassles, just a quick telephone conversation and a contract to sign that came through the post the next day!

            It's been over a year since I started with the MBNA credit account. Since then I have bought nearly 50 blu rays, all of my children's Christmas presents for this year and I have already got another £50 to spend on whatever I like. I can not tell you just how much of a difference this card has made to my life! In these times of economic decline and financial distress, it is glorious to get something back for your shopping and still have the ability to treat yourself once in a while.

            Here's the secret to how I have managed to build up so many points:

            Use your card for EVERYTHING. You budget for food, fuel, clothes, utility bills, paying off store cards....right? Use the Play Card and at the end of the month, pay off the card with your debit card. This means that most of the time you are paying no interest- the play card becomes a discount card on everything you buy!

            I have called customer services on a couple of occasions, once when we went abroad and found the card had locked. (They now have a simple texting service where you can send them a quick text saying where you will be travelling to and what date, and they won't lock the card!) and I called another time when charges were wrongly made to my account. Both occasions I spoke to a friendly, well-spoken advisor who quickly repaired the problem and didn't waste my time.

            I am so pleased with my MBNA experience that I have got another credit card with MBNA which gives me AirMiles.

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            • More +
              09.07.2010 17:00
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              Better than an epidural !

              Entonox - more commonly known as Gas and Air - is 50% Nitrous Oxide and 50% Oxygen. Nitrous Oxide is a medical anaesthesia gas which is used to relieve pain during childbirth and minor operations (Such as Dentistry)

              I used this during labour last year. Now, I was told to expect to feel drunk and many friends likened the experience to having alcohol - well I've never had alcohol! (T-Total!) So I was a bit unsure about it all!

              Still when one of those contractions kicked in I was soon sucking on the mouthpiece like my life depended on it.

              First of all - it made me head spin, or rather it made the room spin! I felt like I was somehow being lifted out of my senses and unable to associate pain anymore...

              I didn't like it at first, it was unnerving and I lost control while I was on it. It take 10-20 seconds to enter your system and a further 10 seconds to leave your system. Well I timed it all wrong and my contraction would be peaking when I was just beginning to suck on the gas and air! You're supposed to take a break in between contractions but because I got all the timing wrong I just kept on breathing the stuff!

              Yes, my midwife was so negligent in looking at what I was doing - I was continuously breathing the gas and air for 4 hours!!

              By this point I lost my eyesight, everything played to me like a broken record - my husband would ask me a question and it would play over and over in my head in this woosy kind of way. I felt the pain of the contractions and moaned into the mouthpiece and remember thinking that I sounded like Darth Vadar....

              Anyway it was scary how out of it I was. My head felt like it had inflated several times bigger and I was in a very strange state! When it came to pushing - I had to have the gas and air taken away and did it with no pain relief and it felt so good to have a clear head again!

              I have been told that some people feel sick on the gas and air. I didn't experience this and although I moan about it in this review, I'm very glad I had it and doubt I would have survived the horror that is labour without it!!

              I used this in May last year and guess what I'll be doing it ALL over again in November this year!! (Crazy I know) I hope that this time I'll be able to time it better and have a break between contractions!

              Would reccommend to anyone but wish they let you practise with it beforehand!

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              • The Box (DVD) / DVD / 15 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                09.07.2010 16:38
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                No wonder it flopped at the Cinemas

                I am a fan of Cameron Diaz and James Marsden, so it was natural for me to want to see this movie. I am also a fan of the odd thriller and being a total scaredy-cat I wont watch a thriller that is a 15 or over!

                The Box is set in the 1970s around a surburban couple and their child. A mysterious man presents a box to them and offers them a key to open the glass casing and push the button inside. He says that if they push the button they will receive a suitcase full of $100 notes adding up to one million dollars. The catch is that someone who they do not know will die. Push the button or not push the button - the choice is theirs.

                The movie starts out slow, giving us time to enjoy the quirky 1970s fashion and music. We learn that despite Arthur (James Marsden) working for NASA and Norma (Cameron Diaz) a teacher in a private school; they are stuggling for money. (Bye bye realism) Arthur loses prospects of a promotion and Norma is told that their "teacher discount" at the school no longer applies and their son would not be able to continue attending at the current rate. So 1 million dollars would come in handy right about now...Norma is tempted and Arthur is sceptical that the box would really kill someone...

                I don't want to give anything away. The story builds in suspense and excitement. There is so much potential with this movie - my authoric mind has already re-written the whole latter half of the movie into some large government conspiracy whereby they are forced to push the button else they have to fight for their lives and find every aspect of their situation manipulated by this sick-company which desires to prove to the world that no one would choose to save a life and walk away from 1 million dollars.

                I must say I lost the plot in this movie. In fact, I'm pretty sure Richard Kelly (Director) lost the plot too. Suddenly we are thrown into a mix of the bizarre and unbelievable...Sci Fi, Religion, Scientology....a bit of the Matrix....it's all sort of thrown together to make this inconceivable conclusion to the story.

                Absolute waste of 2 hours and the only regret I have is knowing I will never get those 2 hours back.

                The most disappointing factor of this film is that it had the potential to be a very good thriller!

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              • BSM / Transport / 16 Readings / 14 Ratings
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                09.07.2010 16:09
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                Go with an independent instructor instead!!

                Who are they?

                BSM are a driving school that has been around for over 100 years. They are considered to be one of the largest and most well-known driving schools in the country with hundreds of centres across the Nation.

                What do they offer?

                The most unique service BSM offer is their "Simulation Driving lessons" whereby new learners can learn basic functions of a car in the safety of a simulator (similar to those you see at a Pier or Amusement arcade) This is particularly good for nervous drivers or people who are not yet 17 years of age.

                They have a range of study materials for your theory and practical tests, including an APP on your IPhone for your theory test and they will even send you hints and tips via text messages (for a fee)

                They also provide a discount for lessons bought in bulk. So the price per lesson decreases the more you buy - packages can be purchased in bulks of 10, 20 and 30.

                Intensive courses are also offered.

                My experience

                I'm pregnant with my second child and due in early November of this year. Therefore I felt it was important to get my driving license before I have this baby because pushing 2 babies (under the age of 2) in a pram during the winter just didn't sound too appealing to me!

                So I called BSM and bought a package which included:

                -30 hours of lessons
                -Theory and Practical Test
                - Mock Practical Test
                - Practical test book

                This came to £730 approx. I thought this would be a good deal and the customer service rep said that I would be on a 3 month intensive course and to fit the hours in I would have 2 hours of lessons a week.

                Sounds great right? I thought so. When I went to my first lesson, the instructor was professional, curteous and did not answer his phone when it rang - good first impression I must say! My instructor took me to a football stadium carpark and proceeded to talk to me for 1 hour and 15 minutes about the "Cockpit drill" this is where they tell you abour the mirrors, doors, adjusting the seat etc etc. I got it all in 20 minutes but the instructor insisted on repeating himself and I wasn't even allowed to sit in the driver's seat until there was only 20 minutes left of the (2hour) lesson!!! I then drove forward and stopped for 10 minutes before my instructor got in the driver's seat and drove me home! (Bare in mind this was supposed to be 2 lessons!)

                The following week I was a little more excited as I expected to hit the roads! Unfortunately my instructor drove me to the same car park where we sat and talked about the cock-pit drill again for 10 minutes before a security guard came along and told us to leave the carpark as it was "private property". I was mortified! Yet my instructor grumbled as he drove us around the town for 30 minutes looking for another carpark to go in!! Then it was busy and people were using it as a short cut to get to the shops, so I wasn't allowed to drive until it was clear!!! I learnt how to change into 2nd gear and got a bit of driving time before my instructor cut the lesson short so we could get me home.

                Last saturday I had another 2 hour lesson (again it was supposed to be 2 one hour lessons back to back but like always it was treated like just one!) We drove to a busy road near the town centre which was a bus route with parked cars along the side of the road. Talk about going from one extreme to the other!! My instructor told me to drive when I saw a car coming - and he argued with me til he saw a car speed past and said "oh okay, go now then" he also failed to see a child running close to the road with a ball and kick it into the road -in front of the car!!" Thankfully I was able to stop and avoid the child! I almost got hit by a bus and stalled but despite having dual controls my instructor did nothing!!

                Here's another thing - BSM booked me in for lessons for the next 4 months without my consent - despite me raising this and telling them I was on a 3 month intensive course, they didn't change my lessons and in fact wouldn't address my concerns!

                I have to go to my lesson tomorrow as they wont refund it less than 2 days before the lesson - but needless to say I am going to be getting my money back and going with someone else next week.

                Appauling service from BSM, incompetant instructor and the Fiat 500 they use is horrid.

                You've been warned.

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              • Avomine Tablets / Medicine / 48 Readings / 45 Ratings
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                16.02.2010 17:57
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                These are like gold dust!

                These tablets are designed to help prevent sickness and nausea during travel. (i.e. boat trips, long car journeys, plane travel) However, this review is not for their effectiveness regarding simply travel sickness.

                I was prescribed these tablets when I was expecting my son last year. Suffering from a rare condition called Hyperemesis which had me vomiting over 20 times a day and unable to keep food/water down, I took one tablet a day to help ease my ailments. I can not emphasise strongly enough that these tablets should NOT be taken during pregnancy unless prescribed by a doctor. There is no evidance to show that they cause harm to the fetus but also no evidance to show that it doesn't. (Although my son came out perfect and healthy.)

                When I took these, the nausea feeling didn't subside, but I began vomiting less. They enabled me to eat one small meal a day and keep it down. (Usually in the evening). The best thing I experienced though, was they made me very drowsy which enabled me to sleep for most of my pregnancy. After about a week of taking the tablets I felt like I wasn't going to kill myself - which is always good. BUT I did suffer from some side effects - (please note though, that I did take these tablets regularly for months on end)

                - Drowsiness
                - Migranes
                - Severe Nightmares
                - Racing Heartbeat

                They were all worth it though. I was seriously sick. I'm making sure I have these tablets in because I'm terrified of falling pregnant again and my doctor taking 3 weeks to prescribe me these! They honestly saved my life and I'm going to use them for travel sickness because when you take them one off - they only made me drowsy.

                Worth every single penny. These are like gold!

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                • More +
                  15.02.2010 15:51
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                  Good Deodorant for worried teens

                  As I entered the tender days of youth I, along with the rest of the girls my age, worried about the increased hormones in my body and the effects they had on my sweating! I found myself going through a few tops a day! I would go along to social events with my arms clamped down to my sides, waddling around like a penguin!

                  After years of this, I thought "enough is enough!" I just couldn't live like that! I scowered the internet and the shops for something to help me with my embaressing problem!

                  There are a few brands of deodorant out there that claim to reduce sweating. Problem is, sweating is a natural and neccesary function of our bodies! We release all those nasty toxins swimming around our bodies and sweating keeps us cool.

                  The other problem is, I couldn't find a deodorant that actually worked. I still had sweat issues - not bad enough to see a doctor about it though - so In desperation I tried Mitchum (which at the time, was the most expensive stuff out there!)

                  Mitchum have a whole range of products. They have sticks, roll ons and aerosols of every scent! I prefer aerosols because they are easier for me to put on and roll ons are wet - and I don't want to add moisture!!

                  Does it work? Yes, YeS, YES!!! I have done the "sweat test" with this baby and trust me, it works. Spray from 15cms away, leave to dry for a few seconds and BHAM! You're clean, dry and smelling like fresh daisies.

                  Now I'm older and the wee hormones have eased off so I don't need to use these types of deodorants anymore - yet I like the feel of this stuff, so I still use it. Besides, I still find it very useful during the summer months!

                  Mitchum Rules!!!

                  TIP: Try to alternate between the areosol and the stick - your skin does get used to the spray and it'll stop working if you just keep using it.

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                  • Sea-Band / Health Treatment / 21 Readings / 18 Ratings
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                    15.02.2010 15:36
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                    Worth having in the house

                    The Sea-Band has been proven to prevent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, travel and all other occasions where nausea is induced. The bands look like sports bands - knitted and flexible to enable easy and comfortable use. Also sewn in the bands are a white ball which should be placed on the underside of your forearm- exactly 3 finger widths down from your wrist. (This is absolutely essential in order for the bands to work)

                    My dad bought me these for £4.99 at Lloyds when I fell pregnant with my son. My mum suffered with hyperemesis during all of her pregnancies and as the condition is heriditory, my dad thought it would be best that I use these bands early on to prevent getting so sick.

                    Well I did put these bands on - and in the correct place. First off, they feel a little snug and weird. The white ball applies pressure to your tendons which somehow blocks the nausea signalls from reaching your brain - hence making you feel less sick. (I don't know the biology or physicis here, but there is a lot of info on the net on exactly how these bands work)

                    Well, the million dollar question is: Do they work? I guess it's going to be different for everyone. When I used these bands during long car journey, I certainly felt an improvement on my travel sickness. When I started using these during my early pregnancy, I felt less inclined to vomit. Yet after a few weeks and as I came down with Hyperemesis it felt like these bands were doing absolutely nothing.

                    But did I take them off? Oh no. No, no, no! I daren't! So for all I know, I could have been much worse if I didn't wear the sick bands. (that's what I called them)

                    I wouldn't reccommend you wear these bands for weeks on end - like me - because you'll end up with very sore wrists. The bands do feel rather uncomfortable after some time and made me feel a little dizzy at times.

                    If you're going on a long journey or getting on a cruise - I think these bands are very useful, but if you are hoping that they will save you from the wrath of hyperemesis...you will probably be disappointed.

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                    • More +
                      15.02.2010 15:22
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                      An essential

                      When my son came along into the world - I was insistant that I would be mother earth and use nothing but clean water and cotton balls to wipe my precious baby's bot bot!

                      Then reality set it and explosive nappies became routine. Out with the cotton balls, in with the wipes!

                      I used pampers wipes - they caused nappy rash! Huggies wipes - they broke apart in my hands and felt rough against my baby's skin. Johnson's wipes actually stay in one piece and feel ultra soft and moist.

                      You can often get these in packs of 4 or boxes of 8 at Asda (look out for the baby events)

                      The crinkly bag makes a good distraction for your little one as he/she gets older and more wriggly too. The wipes smell good, feel good and have never upset my son's bottom! They are really effective at getting rid of any grim stuff that might have smudged itself onto your baby from the dirty nappy!

                      The other great thing about these wipes is that they have so many uses!! These are just a few of the things I do with Johnson's baby wipes:

                      - Wipe down the tray on baby's high chair
                      - Clean baby's bottom, face, hands and neck
                      - Clean baby's teething rail on crib
                      - Remove my own make up
                      - Wipe kitchen surfaces
                      - Rub out baby sick on Jeans, carpet, sofa...etc etc
                      - Clean dummy after it fell on floor
                      - Use to dust TV
                      - For cleaning window sill
                      - Wipe baby's snotty nose without making it go red

                      The list is endless! In fact, I don't know what I did or how I survived without using Baby Wipes!

                      I would always reccommend Johnsons baby wipes - the sensitive one are even better too!

                      Not Just for Mums!

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                      • Bumbo Baby Seat / Nursing / 16 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                        15.02.2010 14:23
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                        Good Seat For babes

                        I saw this in a shop and considered buying it - but hubby wasn't sold on the idea of putting our babe in a seat. (He couldn't sit up at that point) So I promptly took my son out of his pram and plonked him the seat in the shop. The flexible rubber folded around him like a secure glove and he looked SO CUTE. People walked by and went "awww" plus, the one I bought was bright orange and my son has strawberry blonde hair! So we had to buy it.

                        I guess the idea of this product is to encourage babies to build support in their spine and learn to sit up. Suddenly your baby can sit up with you and interact with the family. Or watch In the Night Garden without laying on the floor and craning their neck to see the telly.

                        It does give parents piece of mind that their child is safe and snug in this seat - and allowed to see what everyone else in the family is up to. My son loved being nestled in it and just watch me hoover or do some cleaning. The other benefit of this model is that with the baby being upright so much more, they are less likely to get flat head syndrome.

                        The bumbo seat is easy to take to other places. Just throw it in the boot of the car and when you're visiting with friends! This is great so that your baby is in it's own seat - one that it knows well and is therefore less likely to panic at being in a new place.

                        You purchase a tray to go with the Bumbo seat - although I didn't buy one - I fed my son in this chair quite often. And Bumbo have released a Bumbo potty! For 3+months!

                        It's such a simple design and yet a product loved and used by countless parents around the country. I would have been lost without this!

                        Unfortunately, when your babe is able to roll over, or start to crawl, the bumbo seat becomes redundant! My son likes to use his to stand up on and use as a step to get up to michief. I should get rid of it, yet I can't bring myself to do it.

                        I wish I had bought this from the moment my baby was born. He only had a few weeks in this!

                        Would reccommend for new parents/babies. Don't get it if your baby is rolling over though. Bumbo chairs come in a whole variety of colours so it is easy to find one to suit your baby!

                        Tip: Buy it second hand - babies aren't in it long enough for it to get dirty and it's not worth forking out £35 for one.

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