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I live in a terraced house with four floors and I seem to spend half my life ferrying things up and down stairs. I take it up and the kids bring it back down, I bring it down and the kids take it up to play with in the bath – aarrrgghh. There is always a pile of things on the stairs waiting to be moved to their rightful homes. I’ve had my eye on these baskets for a while, having seen them in the Great Little Trading Company catalogue at £22.99 but thought that was a bit steep [no pun intended], so when I got my Lakeland catalogue and saw one for £17.95 I was in there. It sits tidily on the step and I can pop things in as I’m tidying up, then transport it all at once, in fact my son likes to carry it up for me. It holds loads – the Lakeland one is actually quite a bit bigger than the GLTC one. It’s much safer than having little toys etc. cluttering up the stairs and looks much tidier, not to mention saving my poor old legs a trip or two.
When Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk arrive in a French rural town, and open a chocolate shop the town’s inhabitants are divided. The main opposition coming from the priest - The Black Man – especially as it’s the beginning of lent. The characters are well portrayed and the story is unusual – is Vianne a witch, was her mother really her mother, what secrets from his past is the priest hiding. The book lets you into it’s secrets little by little and keeps you hooked to the last page, and the descriptions of Vianne’s chocolates make your mouth water – chocoholics beware you’ll be rushing out for chocolate, the cover of the book is enough to get your salivary glands going.
I went to one of the larger Tesco Stores yesterday and was really impressed with the clothing. I bought a top and skirt for myself, which is smart enough to wear for an evening out. Six pairs of socks and five pairs of knickers for DH - not quite as exciting! Two pairs of pyjamas and a lovely fleece jacket for my little boy. All this and a few groceries came to £85 and I could have bought loads more [but I daren't], the ladies fleece tops are only £10 and look and feel like nice quality fleece. I think I'll be popping back in a week or two.
A gripping follow up to Birds of Prey, which will live up to the expectations of Wilbur Smith fans. Pirates are attacking the East India Company ships and only one person can be relied upon to sort it out – Sir Hal Courtney. Lured by a share of the profits and a title he leaves England with two of his three sons aboard and the adventure begins. The story spans several years and centres on Sir Hal and two of his sons, Tom and Dorian. There is the usual quota of bloodshed and romance, and of course Smith’s legendary attention to detail. The action and excitement goes on right to the last page and leaves you gasping for a follow up, which there surely must be.
My Morphy Richards Breadmaker was a snip at £40, and I haven’t bought any bread since I bought it. It’s simple to use once you get the hand of it [it’s important to read all the instructions first], you put all your ingredients into the baking tin – in the order specified, so that the yeast sits on top and doesn’t get activated too soon. Then select the setting required and clear off for 2 or 3 hours and hey presto, yummy bread! You can peep in at any stage other than baking. There are eleven settings to choose from including wholemeal, french, sweet, dough [for pizza bases or so that you can remove, shape it as you wish and cook in the oven] and you can make jam in it too. The booklet has lots of recipes, we liked cinnamon and raisin and cheese and onion. The start time can be delayed for up to 12 hours, so I usually set mine up in the evening which takes about 5 or 10 minutes once you’re familiar with what your doing, and set it so the bread is ready for breakfast. Once the bread is cooked there is a ‘keep warm’ facility which works for an hour. I reckon it doesn’t cost much more than 20p a loaf, so you will soon get your investment back. Wendy - I got it at Trego Mills near Exeter, whilst on holiday in Devon, but I think the usual price is nearer £80.
Mine are still going strong after 3 and a half years of use. I bought 3, a pram size, a cot size and a cot bed size. The larger one can be folded if it's colder and there is still plenty of room to tuck it in and the pram size was great to tuck aroud them whilst in the car seat but is now 'teddy's blanket'. They wash really well, mine are white and on a hot wash come up as good as new. You do need to use fabric conditioner if you don't tumble dry them or they can be a bit hard - I would recommend tumbling to make them extra soft and snuggly. Since I bought mine you can get a wider range of colours to match your nursery. I know there are some gorgeous little blankets around, but for durabilty and ease of laundering you can't beat these old favourites.
This is one piece of 'baby kit' I wouldn't be without. I was a nurse before having the children and we used them at work, after having used the old mercury thermometers for years, these proved so quick and accurate I went straight out and got one when Harry was born. No more trying to keep a poorly wriggly child still for two minutes - just pop the probe in the ear for one second and you have a reading. My two don't mind having it done at all. Harry was ill this week and during the night I had to give him paracetamol, I just kept checking his temp every 10 minutes until it started to come down, and then popped him back to bed, no hassle, no tears and peace of mind for me.
I have to agree with the other opinions on this seat. It's great. I was thinking about buying one, as we are going away to stay with friends soon, so checked it out with 'doo yoo' first. I've had a pine cube which has been fine, but James at 17 months has grown rather reluctant to be imprisoned in it! This is just the thing for children who are too old [or think they're too old] for a high chair, but not yet big enough to sit to the table. It fastens to the back of the chair and under the chair with 2 straps - I have curved backed Windsor style chairs and wondered whether it would fit these but it's fine. The seat has two height positions with a 3 point belt. It folds up for travelling and has a removable tray, but I'm using it without at the moment and sitting him up to the table, which he thinks is great. So I guess the high chair will be going to the next car boot sale! Also, in the new Argos catalogue it's now only £21.50.
Fairly straightforward game. Teams of several players take turns to draw for their team members, if they guess what you're drawing correctly you move on. You move around the board and the square you land on tells you which category you have to draw, some are easier than others - OBJECT is usually okay but drawing an ACTION can be more difficult. It's all against the timer, so you can easily spend half your time chewing the end of your pencil, say 'um and ah'. Great fun if there is a few of you,
We got a tent and tunnel for Christmas and have recently added another tunnel. Everyone loves playing in them from the baby who's a year old to Granny and Grandad. They are made of nylon, seem to be fairly durable and fold up to a reasonable size for storage. The tents come in various sizes and shapes and can be linked together by the tunnels. Great for chasing games, hide and seek and having tea in, and of course you can play with them indoors too.
This is a plastic road and rail set. There are various starter sets, varying in price, ours cost around £40 for enough track to make an oval about 4'x 3' and a road, about 2' x 2'. with a tunnel. You can buy individual pieces of track [£3-5] accessories such as stations. The trains are around £10.99 and include an engine and 2 coaches or trucks. We have [amongs others] a Eurostar, a Virgin Train, Thomas, Percy & Henry. They are all battery powered [some take C some AA}]. We have a few cars and Bertie the us for the road, but in our house it is rarely used and mostly they just have the rails out. Our set has been in daily use for over a year now, but Harry [3 1/2] has only recently managed to fasten the trains together without my assistance. Only one piece of track [a long hill piece] has had to be replaced through breakage. So I think it has been very good value.
We got this for Harry's 3rd Birthday. As he comes from a family of game players, I thought it might be a good introduction to game playing. The pirate sits in a barrel, each player [up to 4 of you], has a different coloured set of swords, and you take it in turns to push them into slits in the barrel. If you make the pirate pop up, you've lost. It's great fun for young children, and I jump every time he pops up, which Harry thinks is very funny. Each round only lasts about 10 minutes, which is quite long enough for a three year old to concentrate. A good introduction to games.
I've used these for three years and having tried others along the way I keep going back to these. I use the Fragrance Free ones as I personally can't stand the cloying smell of fragranced wipes. You have to be organised and pull out what you think you're going to need, but as I keep mine in a box [rather than the packet], I can just pop back what I don't use. I found the thinner, cloth wipes OK for tiny bums, but as the boys [and their poos] have got bigger. I find a handful of these is just the job. There is plenty of lotion [perhaps a little too much as you reach the bottom of the packet]. The price at £1.99 is good too, and they are frequently on 3 for 2, so I buy a shed load then, which usually lasts me until the next 3 for 2 and means I'm paying under £1.50 a packet.
Go on, admit it you remember Bagpuss! I bought this video for Harry, well I kind of told him he wanted it. I have to say it stands the test of time well, and is as enchanting and innocent as it ever was. Harry is 3, and he loves it, it's full of stories and songs - which I find myself humming all day, he loves the mice on the Mouse Organ. Many of the episodes seem so familiar to me, even though it must be years since I've seen them, and it's lovely to sit and watch it together. Several friends [my age] have spotted it on the shelf and said 'Ooh Bagpuss, can we watch that'!! Next time you're in Woolies I recommend you treat yourself and the children.
I was really pleased with this bath. It's shaped so that one end is suitable for newborns and the other for older children who are able to sit up. The newborn end has a little ridge accross just where baby's bottom is so they won't slide down, even the most inexpert new parent [me], can manage to hold baby one handed, leaving the other free for sponging and playing. The end for an older baby is shaped like a little seat, so again you have a free hand and don't have to worry about them disappearing under the water. There is a plug for easy emptying and because of the way the bath is shaped it actually on takes about 1 washing up bowl full of water, which means you can move the bath when it's full without giving yourself a hernia! Sorry, can't remember what it cost, but it wasn't expensive.