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I've been using Yankee Candles for years. I used them when I lived in the states and was absolutely thrilled when I realised I could get them here in the UK. I've seen them in a number of shops when out and about, including B&Q (which was rather a surprise!). The main problem that I've seen, however, is that most shops have a very limited supply of "candle flavours" on hand. They usually seem to stock a few different types in all forms (varying size jars, wax tarts, car fresheners). I've found the best way to purchase them is online, where I can browse the different types available at my leisure. The main problem with this, of course, is that if you are not familiar with the different scents available, you don't know what it is you're buying. And it is, after all, the scent that makes the candle, in my opinion. I do check out displays whenever I run across them, if nothing else to see if there are any new scents there. So I imagine once you've seen a number of displays with varying scents, you'd be able to choose online without worry of which scent to select.
The cinnamon scented candles are wonderful!! My absolute favourite! I will admit to being a bit of a nut about Christmas, and this candle really seems to smell like the holidays! It reminds me of baking at Christmas, giving out a very warm spicy fragrance.
We use the wax tarts mostly. They are listed as having 8 hours of burn time, but to be honest we use them far more than that before they lose their scent. The wax tarts are basically wax and scented oils and are placed in a tart burner, generally with a tealight in the bottom and the wax tart on the top basin. You can choose one of any number of lovely different tart burners from Yankee Candle, or purchase one elsewhere relatively cheaply as well. It's recommended that you keep the tart burner well out of reach of small children and pets though, as not only will it have the lit tealight, but the wax tart melts in the top basin, so obviously there's a risk of children bumping it and spilling hot wax/oil on someone which could cause a serious injury. We keep ours on a shelf high enough to be out of reach of both our children and our dog. When you're done using the wax tart (generally when the tealight burns out), let the wax tart cool in the burner. You can use a butter knife and just pop it out once it's cool. I then put it in a sandwich bag or small sealable container and then when I'm ready to use it again, I just pop it back into the basin of the tart burner and add another tealight to the bottom. I've reused wax tarts time and time again this way - much longer than the 8 hours listed for use. To my way of thinking, this makes them very economical - especially if you buy your tealights at poundland, and your tart burner somewhere inexpensive as well. We have a couple tart burners - one from Sainsburys and one from Yankee Candle.
The jarred candles are also lovely - the fragrance seems to be equally strong in both the candles and the wax tarts. I couldn't really recommend the scented tealights or the votive candles. For some reason, they just do not seem to carry the same level of scent that the other products have. You could use the scented tealights in the tart burner, but realistically it's an added expense that is just not necessary when you can buy cheap unscented tealights from poundland and such.
While I like the jarred candles, it's my own personal foible that it drives me nuts to have that small bit of candle in the bottom of the jar that you end up not using. The wax tart gets used - all of it. But the jars are very pretty with a cover with a good seal, which you can then reuse after the candle has been used.
We bought this monitor to use for our son when his previous monitor kicked the bucket. We wanted a digital as we had previously experienced some problems with the sound on the previous monitor and thought it would provide us with better quality sound. It has some good features - talkback, nightlight, temperature display, temperature alarms (for temp too high or too low), lullaby. The batteries on the parent part actually lasted all night, which was brilliant!
Our son is currently 5yo. We have the monitor because he has special needs and requires us to monitor him more closely than some other 5yos. The sound quality has been excellent - we can hear him moving about in his room or even breathing if turned up (which is nice as he has asthma as well so we can hear if he's wheezing).
The talkback has been a hugely helpful feature. We've been using this monitor for quite some time - since he was 3yo, and it's been nice to be able to calm him or answer him over the talkback, especially when it saves constant trips up and down the stairs.
The temperature display is very helpful, as well as the alarms - especially when the weather is very cold or very warm. I would say this isn't an absolutely necessary feature, but it certainly came in handy. I feel the cold much more than most, so sometimes I don't trust my own "temperature gauge" and having the room temperature on the monitor made it pretty easy.
The lullaby feature has been used quite frequently - we always have it set to "play all" and let it run through all the sons as that is what our son likes to listen to, especially when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Our 2yo is in the next room, and often we'll play the lullaby and both boys settle, as our 2yo can hear it playing softly from the next room.
The range is quite good - we've taken it out in front of our house when working on the garden or out in the back garden with no problems at all.
The biggest problem that we've noticed is that recently the parent charger has stopped charging. We're not sure why. At first it just seemed that sporadically it wouldn't charge and then after a while it just wouldn't charge at all. We're currently using rechargeable batteries and just recharging the batteries ourselves, and not even bothering plugging in the charger anymore with the parent unit. But it is annoying, as it was so much less hassle to just pop it on the charger at night while using it and letting it charge that way, without the fuss of monitoring the battery level and making sure we had a set of rechargable batteries to put in it.
I've done a bit of digging around online and found that this is a fairly frequent problem with this monitor, which is a real shame, as it works very well. That's probably the main reason we even went through the hassle of the rechargeable batteries, as the monitor itself is so good. Otherwise when it stopped charging, we would have probably binned it and bought something else.
I've had this laptop for over 6 months now. For the most part, it is excellent. I had some issues initially with the programming, as the Windows 7 Pro didn't work well with a few programmes, and considered the downgrade, but with some wrangling (which was a real headache, I will admit) finally sorted it. I'm sure those with a lot more computer savvy would not have been nearly so aggravated with the programming conflicts, but while I can hold my own to some extent on making adjustments and such, I didn't expect to have to look up fixes online and sort it that way when some of my programmes weren't compatible (printer, free antivirus software, etc).
The screen is a good size and very clear. The laptop itself is not too large or unwieldy, so that also is good. I can run a lot of different things at once, without too much slowdown as well. Lots of preloaded material was nice, although some of it was unnecessary and I ended up deleting some as simply taking up space as I simply didn't use it.
The laptop itself is silver grey, which looks fine. I honestly am more concerned with how it runs as opposed to how it looks. It's not snazzy and high fashion looking, just looks like your standard laptop. That being said, I will say that the hinge fastening that holds the keyboard and screen together is very good - it's one huge piece going across the middle 2/3 of the laptop. I've had other laptops before, and they had two hinge fastenings on the screen section, which puts a lot of pressure on them, causing cracking in the screen casing after a time. This one has taken a fair bit of abuse and held up admirably well.
The main annoyances for me involves placement of things around the outside edges of the laptop. First and foremost is the volume control. There is a dial at the front lower edge that adjusts the volume. Unfortunately, when sitting with the laptop on your lap, I am always bumping the volume button this way and that. I generally run mine on silent, as we're watching television in the evening and such. One minute it's quiet, then screeching at full volume because I've moved slightly and bumped the volume dial. Verrrrrry annoying!! I am constantly adjusting it back down. And occasionally even though you've turned the dial all the way down, the volume doesn't actually GO all the way down and you have to bring up the volume controls on the screen and adjust it that way. I would say that I am adjusting this numerous times a day, so to me, that's a big annoyance.
I'm not keen on the placement for the power cord - on the right side of the laptop, so that it's sticking out and in the way when I want to use my mouse for certain programmes that it works better than the touchpad. The photo card reader is in the front, just under the edge. Again, awkward to work with.
I've also noticed this laptop gets quite warm quite rapidly, and I've had it literally shut off due to overheating. I have to keep it on a flat hard surface - can't even set it down on the sofa for longer than a few minutes. It means some adjustments for me, using it on a table or tray.
I also have noticed that the battery life is not great. I rarely get two hours out of the battery. I'd say more along the lines of 90 minutes tops, when I would expect a good 3 hours.
Due to these particular problems, I can't say that I would readily buy this particular laptop (or possibly even Toshiba) again. It's otherwise a good laptop - I like the webcam built in, and the card reader is nice (just located in an awkward spot). But for me, the annoyances somewhat outweigh the positives, as they crop up regularly.