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My eldest daughter has just turned four. She is now at the age where she is beginning to understand how to play board games and enjoy them ( even if a little cheating occurs from time to time ;) ). One of her birthday presents was the game by Orchard toys called Greedy Gorilla. The game involves up to four players to have a board each. On each of the boards are squares with pictures of healthy food on. There are lots of small square tokens which you lay all on the floor (table) face down. Each player takes it in turn to choose a token. If the token is a healthy food, it is then matched to the food on your own board. If that healthy food does not match your board, you place it back down and the player who does have it on their board, has to remember where it is. However! There are also some unhealthy, junk foods in the tokens too. If you pick up an unhealthy food, it has a yellow background, and is posted into the gorillas mouth. The cheeky gorilla then burps! This is much to the amusement of a just turned four year old (and my just turned 34 year old husband too!).
I really like this game, not only is it fun but also educational. The obvious educational gain from the game is the introduction of healthy and unhealthy food. It opens up the topic in a completely non confrontational way to explain why we should eat certain foods, and not so many of others. The game also teaches important social skills such as turn taking, and sharing. It also helps to develop a child's "good sportsmanship" by helping others to remember where their tokens are.
The gorilla is fun, and adds a different dimension to the game.
The game is made of thick cardboard. We have other games by Orchard Toys that are constructed in the same way and these have with stood a great deal of playing with and are still in relatively good condition.
I have a one (nearly two) year old, who also enjoys this game as although she doesn't really understand the turn taking, she is happy to sit with the greedy gorilla and post the junk food tokens whilst the rest of us play the game.
I would highly recommend this game, and at the moment it is only £6 in Sainsburys! :)
My little girl is now 16 months old. She doesn't really like to sleep... I mean why sleep when there is so many other more interesting things to do. So whilst I listen, (with a set smile on my face) listening to friends purr on about how their child sleeps for three hours in the day and then for a full twelve hours at night, I could actually scream! My little girl doesn't sleep for three hours during the day, we get 45 minutes IF we are lucky and that's on the condition that she has visited the park in the morning! Any night time we are still woken up most nights at least once. She can sleep through the night and has done several times so I know she can do it, but being a breastfed child (although not anymore) she is used to having a lovely warm cuddle from mummy in the night. So anyway... I digress! In the hope of getting Missy to sleep through as the norm rather than waking up as the norm I decided at Christmas to purchase the Gro-Clock.
The Gro-Clock is from the makers of the Gro-bag. It is the brain child of husband and wife team Rob and Ouvrielle Holmes, who designed all of their products with their own children in mind.
I bought our Gro-Clock from Amazon and paid around £22 for it, with free delivery. In the box comes the clock, an adaptor, a story book and the instruction manual.
The clock is mains powered being plugged in by the adaptor. The clock then glows blue. The main screen when the clock is not in use is lit up with the blue light and shows the time. The clock has a daytime and night time mode. The display begins with a sun with a face on it and then when activated the sun disappears and a large star appears with twelve stars around it. These stars disappear as the time goes on, one at a time. When the time arrives that you have set as 'wake up' time, the sun re appears.
To set the clock and the day time and night time mode it is quite easy. There are three buttons on the clock. One for up, one for down and one for enter. The instructions are very easy to understand and our clock was set up in about five minutes.
The idea behind the clock is that you read the story that accompanies it, which explains to your child (with a nice rhyme) that you 'stay in bed until the sun'.
My daughter really enjoys the story and the display of the sun going down and the stars appearing. However she also loves to see the sun reappear! Maybe she is still a little young for the idea to properly sink in, about staying in bed until the sun!
The night light is good for when I have to go into her room in the night though, giving enough light to tend to her whilst still being dark enough to let her know that it is still night time.
One of the down sides to the clock is that it must remain plugged in at all times, or you will need to reset the time as as soon as it is swicthed off the time stays at that time.
I hope that she will get the idea of the clock as she gets older. And she loves the story and the clock so I keep with it. However as a tool to get her to sleep through the night it hasn't worked for us.
I feel that this will be an ongoing review, being added to on a regular basis (maybe as often as every three months if my little girls feet continue to grow as quickley as they have been!lol!), and so feel free to keep popping back for the latest update!
I shall start by explaining that my little girl will be ten months old tomorrow and has just had her second pair of clarks cruisers bought for her. She began to pull herself up on the furniture and 'cruising' around at seven and a half months old and so shoes were an important purchase to make. Her first bad habit was to curl her toes up and them stand on them. I got slightly concerned that she may ruin her feet (well that or be a world class ballerina, but I didn't want to take that risk!) and so wanted a good quality shoe that I could rely on.
I chose to buy her some clarks cruiser shoes as they are designed to hold the babies foot in the right position and will help the babies feet to grow properly. A babies foot is mainly made up of cartilidge and they cannot feel if their shoes are too tight. Obviously if their shoes are too tight then this will inhabit a healthy foot growth which will in turn effect babies walking.
So off we went to Clarks in our home town. The lady who served us was very helpful and measured my little girls feet. She did this with a little hand held board which has a slider on to measure the length of the childs foot and a ribbon across the top to measure the width of the foot. This was a quick and painless process that wasn't at all scary for my little one. Once we had the shoe size the lady went to get the shoes that would fit my little girl. Their was only a choice of three different shoes for her at the shop however on-line there is a much greater choice. However we were happy to choose from the selection. Once we had chosen our shoe the lady put them onto my little girl and felt around to make sure they felt right cross the top and around the back of the shoe. I felt that this is very important to mention in this review as it makes sure that the shoe fits properly and for £22 for shoes that last *three months* I want them to fit properly! lol!
(* each clarks shoe claims to have three months of 'growing room' for babies foot however some childrens feet grow very quickly and so the shoe will need replacing more often. Clarks offer a free fitting service and so you can get your child feet measured as often as you like*)
The first pair of shoes she had were made of soft pink leather with a moulded soft rubber sole. They had a velcro strap over the top of the foot to keep them on. They were easy to put on and to keep clean. They lasted her just three months and still look brand new. They were worn outside (to keep her feet warm) but never walked in outside. They are back in their box now being kept safe. These were important shoes as she wore them inside and they held her feet flat for her cruising around the furniture in. She loved these shoes and I feel that they helped her feet to grow properly as they stopped her from curling her toes under and then tiptoeing.
The second pair of clarks cruisers were bought yesterday. They cost me £22 (as did the last pair) which some people may think is steep however for the quality of the service you receive from clarks and the quality of the shoes I do not think this is too bad. I am all for saving money were I can but with shoes I am not going to scrimp as my little girls feet are too important for this. The new shoes are beautiful. They are pink with flowers on. Made from soft pink leather, they also have a pink soft moulded pink sole which has flowers engraved into it. They have a velcro strap which lies diagonally across the foot. This looks fab however my only slight niggle (and I am being picky now!) is that there is a smaller piece of velcro on the shoe. This means that it is much easier for my little girl to undo the strap. *Update 03/11/10* My little girl has managed to take her shoes off a record amount of times today in just one hour it was eight times... hmmmm.... Hopefully this novelty of taking them off will wear off soon!
As I say this will be an ongoing review as her feet grow I shall continue to add to this and let you know how we get on. So far so good though I am very impressed with Clarks!
So after a whole six weeks of use the second pair of shoes have been put back into their little shoe box, and away into a cupboard. Yes, my little princess has gone up a whole shoe size and width. So we are now a 4G. We of course have gone back to Clarks for a 'just to check' measurement, only to be told that in fact the shoes did need replacing. Again a fabulous service from Clarks, not just with the measuring but with the fitting too. The shoes we have chosen have a T-Bar and buckles! (yes I did learn my lesson after the last pair being repeatedly put back on up to ten times a trip!). They are gorgeous! They are now 'Walkers' rather than the previous two pairs which were 'Cruisers'. The difference between 'Walkers' and 'Cruisers' is that the sole is a bit thicker and sturdier. It is a proper sole now rather than a cute rubber wrap around sole. The shoe is also slightly heavier than the cruiser although this has not hindered my little girl at all with her walking. I paid £28 for this new pair of shoes and fell that this is money very well spent.
When we began weaning our little girl we started off with her sat in her 'bouncy' chair, as she got a little bigger we started to feed her sat in her bumbo. However as she got even bigger she was able to get out of her bumbo on her own and so mealtimes got messy.... well messier! We decided it was time to buy a highchair!
The choice of highchairs in todays market is overwhelming to say the least! Ranging from around £15 at the bottom end of the market all the way upto £300 (maybe more... but I am not rich enough to research the higher end in too much depth! lol!).
The Chicco Polly Highchair is priced at around £100. I would say it is middle of the range. We decided to get this one as it seemed the best highchair for our budget.
The Highchair itself first of all looks good! It can be suitable for a girl or a boy without being 'neutral' or boring! The highchair has two seat covers. Both are well padded and easily removed for cleaning. The top cover has different coloured spots all over it. Some are pink and some are blue, the base colour is green. Beneath the top cover is a green checked seat cover. The covers are bright and colourful and therefore attractive to baby and parents alike. They are made from a soft plastic which makes them very easy to wipe down (this is a very important feature!lol!) When the baby gets a bit bigger and the top cover makes baby uncomfortable, it can be easily removed leaving the base seat cover giving baby a little more room.
The straps are blue and also easy to wipe clean. They are easy to do up and undo, no fiddling around trying to connect the two top straps (in some bizarre jigsaw style) to be able to do it up. It is simple to just plug the top strap into the bottom connection one at a time. To undo it is a matter of pressing the side of the clip and pulling it out of the base connection. The straps are adjustable at the sides and over the shoulders and are generous in length.
The highchair itself adjusts to suit your needs. The foot rest adjusts into three different positions, adjusted by pushing in two orange buttons at the side of the footrest. The armrest fold up for storing it, or flat down to either let baby rest her weary arms. Also to fix the tray onto the highchair the arms need to be folded down. The tray clips onto the armrests again in three different positions. If baby falls asleep before during or after their meal then the backrest also is adjustable. Also (yes you guessed it) into three different positions. The seat also adjusts up and down to low or high seating, making it versatile to where you want to feed your little one. To make any adjustments to the highchair position, it is a simple matter of pushing in the orange clips at the side of the section you want to adjust.
The highchair folds flat for easy storage. Although it is still quite bulky, I would say roughly a foot thick when folded flat. The highchair is also quite heavy.
Back to the tray. The tray is a nice size with a clip on/clip off compartmentalised top tray. This makes it easy to clean, and keep the food together for a baby learning how to pick up and feed themselves.
The highchair has a handy storage net which is poppered onto the back legs of the highchair. This is handy for storing highchair toys and bibs in. It is easily removed also for cleaning and washes well in the washing machine.
The legs are two sections rather than four individual legs which makes the highchair much sturdier in my opinion. At the bottom of the feet there is a good sized thick piece of rubber making it non slip.
I would recommend this highchair as it is strong, sturdy and easy to clean. Good value for money.
Rightmove.co.uk is one of the largest (if not the largest) house marketing website available today.
Rightmove.co.uk deals with property for sale, for rent, new homes, homes abroad, local agents and house prices. It is a complete package and a good place to start if you are looking to buy or sell a property.
The hom page of the website gives you lots of options but the main option and largest is a search box in which you can type the area of postcode of the area in which you are looking for a property. You can then choose the option For Sale or To Rent. Once you have selected one of these options then it takes you through to another screen which lets you go into detail about the type of property you are looking for.
Here it gives you the option to narrow the search down by search radius, property type, number of bedrooms, price range, retirement properties, shared ownership and time added to the site. Then you can click on the button to find the properties.
The properties that Rightmove thinks fits your criteria are then displayed. A small picture of the property a brief description and then details of the agent selling the house are displayed. If you think one of the properties sounds interesting, you can click on the photo and another page comes up with more details of the property on.
Depending on the agent depends on how much information is given. Some agents give floorplans whereas others do not. Some give maps of where the property is. Some offer full brochures. Above the property Rightmove gives you the option to save the property to your account, send the property to a friend (useful option I think as I am able to send properties to my other half at work if I need to), and lastly the option to print the details. There are usually a few photographs on the house and interior (unless it id really bad inside! Then there are outside shots!). Underneath the photographs is a large orange button which if you press you can request the full details from the agent.
At the right hand side of the page there is a small box which gives the agents details. Most of the telephone numbers given are 0845 numbers. However if you press on the box with the agents details in another page comes up with a more detailed right up on the agent. Often with a photo of their office which is quite handy if you need to find their office. On this page there is often a local number which is handy if you have a mobile phone as 0845 numbers aren't charged at local rate from mobiles.
Once you have viewed the house details you can go back to the other property listings by choosing that option at the top of the page.
I find Rightmove.co.uk, a very easy site to use. It is a very useful tool for finding a house. My one criticism of the site is that the search options do not give you the option of a 'detached' 'semi-detached' house etc. which I find a bit annoying.
Another good aspect of Rightmove is that you can see what houses sold for in that particular area and when (this is only for house sales that have completed and so wont tell you a recent house sale ie 2 weeks ago!) also you can see what houses in your area sold for and so give you an idea of what your house is worth.
I think Rightmove is a fab tool. especially if you do not live nearby to an area where you want to move.
I bought my daughter this walker when she was about six months old. I know you are probably thinking that that is far too young for her to actually use and enjoy the toy, I did too but as it was on offer I thought I would get it and save it for her for when she was a bit older.
Upon getting the walker home I thought that I would just take a look and so got it out of the box. My daughter was very interested in this new, brightly coloured object being brought into the room. So with her sitting on my knee I thought that I would show her the walker. She immediately tried to play with it. So I thought that I would put the batteries in it and see what happened.
The toy comes in two parts. The front 'computer' part detaches and attaches very easily to the main walker.
The front 'computer' part is very brightly coloured. It has five large buttons at the bottom like a keyboard with a,b,c,d,e printed on each. When the buttons are pressed the button lights up. Above these buttons there is a butterfly, which baby can 'open' and 'close'. When the butterflies wings are moved one way music plays when the keyboard/a,b,c,d,e buttons are pressed. Then when it is flipped over the other way A,B,C,D or E are announced when the buttons are pressed, 'A' is for apple etc. This was the first part that my daughter was attracted to. Beside the butterfly are four more buttons. These are different shapes, a heart a circle, a square and a triangle. Each is labelled 1,2,3, and 4. Then there is a detachable telephone which holds plastic beads in. When the phone is shaken it acts much like a rattle and rewards baby with a nice sound. I would say that the phone is my only criticisim of the walker. As it is detachable it can be easily lost.
Above the phone and other buttons, there are three interlinked wheels that baby can twissel around. Again when these move music is played. Then right at the top is a puppy button. Very cute! There is an off, low sound and high sound option in the form of a sliding switch. As I mentioned before this front section can be unclipped from the main body of the walker. So when I first got this walker this is what I did and allowed my daughter to play with it like this.
Now that she is older she is pulling herself up on anything she can, and is letting go and standing alone for short period of time. This walker is very sturdy and has a large handle making it easy for her to hold onto. The shape is like an A frame almost and so allows baby to walk in a more natural way than a traditional sit in walker. The wheels are stiff enough not to allow the walker to zoom off leaving baby to fall over and cry. The frame folds to flat, however it is still quite bulky, but this folding action does mean it is easy to take away from home with you, say to the grandparents etc.
Due to the fact that this walker can be separated into two sections means that the life of the toy is extended. I would recommend this toy.
I breast fed my baby girl until she was nine months old. I tried a few follow on milks before settling on the Aptamil Follow on Milk Stage 3 as being the best.
We have tried both the cartons and the powder (that you make the milk from yourself) and I have to say that the ready made cartons are the better of the two in my opinion.
The milk powder comes in a sealed tub with an easy to open lid and foil seal that has a handy pull tab on. There is a measuring spoon to scoop up the milk powder on and a handy plastic bar on one corner of the tub to level the spoon. The milk is the usual make up of one scoop per 30 ml of hot water. The water is then shaken to dissolve the powder. I do not like this fact as the milk goes very frothy and I believe full of air. Well I know this to be fact because my little girl seems to burp more after this milk compared to the cartons of ready made milk (so lady like!). The milk once made up smells quite like gone off milk and to be honest I wouldn't want to drink it myself. The Tub of powder cost me £8.50 and so it does work out much cheaper than the cartons (which cost 57p for one 200ml carton and babies need three of these a day so it works out to be £1.71 a day). However the milk has to be made up fresh each time, with boiled water that is left to cool. Therefore if you need a bottle quick you have no chance.
As I mentioned before I prefer the ready made cartons. This is because firstly they are simple, give them a quick shake, cut off the corner of the carton and bang there is your milk! This means that you can get milk at the drop of a hat, and dont have to mess about. Also these are really handy when you are out and about. The 'authorities' advise that a baby from the age of 7 months old should be having at least 600 ml of milk a day plus the usual three meals plus snacks. At first I thought that this was a lot, however with the cartons my little girl loves this milk so much this isn't a problem. With the powdered milk she doesn't have quite as much which means she is more hungry at night, which ultimately means I am getting up more! Not good!
Both the powdered milk and carton milk is full of vitamins and so personally I feel that my baby is better off on this milk now than she was on my breast milk towards the end. There is a lot of iron in the milk, it is gluten free and low sodium. It is also Halal approved which is very important to some people.
All in all my little girl loves this milk and is happy to drink it lots and lots. She is leeping better at night and seems more content on it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
During a recent meeting with our health visitor she suggested that I try my daughter on some rice pudding. I thought that this was a great idea as I myself love rice pudding. So whilst doing my shopping I searched (and searched!) for some pudding rice. Unfortunately they didn't have any however they did have the Cow and Gate Baby Balance Banana and Mango Rice Pudding. I thought that I would get this as this was specifically designed for babies, rather than a tin of Ambrosia, due to salt and sugar levels etc.
The ingredients per pot are as follow:
*3/4 apple (61%)
*1/4 banana (20%)
*A small slice of Mango (17%)
*1/2 teaspoon of ground rice (2.5%)
Sounds non offensive enough.
The Cow and Gate Baby Balance Banana and Mango Rice Pudding comes in a cardboard wrap containing four 100g pots. The pudding is designed for 4 - 36 month old babies and one pot claims to contain one portion of fruit. There is no added sugar and apparently a third of a babies daily Vitamin C. It all sounds great. So I paid the £1.67 and took them away to try.
The pots are easy to open. There is simply a foil top that peels off. The contents of the pot were not what I was expecting. To look at it is bright orange in colour and does not contain any visable rice. The rice pudding is completely smooth.
The smell is very strong and smells quite artifical and so I thought I would try some first before giving it to my little one. Bleurgh! It was horrid! It was gloopy and so so sweet. There is a strong taste of over ripe bananas and a little bit gone off mango. But I thought I best not show my disgust to my daughter you know, just in case. The first mouthful she looked at me in the same way she did when I gave her plum that was not as ripe as I thought (hence I try all of er new food first now!) Bleurgh! Oh dear. But not to be deterred I thought I would try her with a second mouthful just in case. This one was spat over me and her little hands began to scrape (well maybe just rub then!) at her mouth. I was not going to try her any more as she clearly didn't like it. And to be fair I couldn't blame her.
The pudding tastes so artifical and sweet (on closer inspection each pot contains 10.9g of sugar) and nothing like banana or mango or in fact rice pudding. It also has no rice bits, although it does claim to have half a teaspoon of ground rice per pot. I was very disappointed. I like to give my daughter a lot of fruit and she loves it, she is not a fussy eater at all. I would therefore not recommend this.However if I did like them they have a very long shelf life on them, these puddings that I bought today would actually last until august next year! EEK! As it is though the packet is sat in the bin what a waste of money!
I normally buy my puff pastry in a block form, as I have never the time nor the patience to make it myself. Plus my hands are too warm and it wouldn't turn out as good! lol!
I love to bake. I love pies, and pasties and puff pastry in general. This is because it is so versatile, it can be used for both sweet and savoury foods. Anyway I digress... I normally buy the block of puff pastry however this week at the supermarket the ready rolled sheets were on offer for just £1 and so I thought I would give them a go.
The sheets as described are 'ready rolled' and rolled up in a blue plastic sheet. Once the sheet is unrolled, the pastry comes away from the sheet quite nicely. However I found it to be a little sticky and so had to dust with a little flour at first. Like all pastry it is best not to handle it too much. So once the sheet has been removed form the blue sheet and put onto a baking tray it is ready to use. Easy.
Tonight I have used the first sheet to make an apple tart. A quick and easy simple dessert that took minutes to make. I simply unrolled the pastry sheet and laid three sliced apples on top with a little caster sugar and a few dots of butter. I then put it into the oven for twenty minutes. Done!
Once cooked the pastry rises nicely at the edges, and cooks well in the middle (It isn't at all soggy). The pastry is crisp but not hard and is a delicious buttery taste. The pastry as I mentioned before is neither sweet or savoury and so can be used for apple tarts or a cheese and ham tart for example.
With Christmas being not too far away I would recommend this pastry for mince pies or tarts for sure. I will be keeping my eye open for it to be on offer again at just £1. Normally price I believe is £1.44 which is slightly higher in price than the block of pastry. Therefore unless it is on offer I wouldn't be buying it as I dont mind rolling out the pastry myself.
The Leapfrog Hug and Learn Animal Globe is a babies first globe, suitable for children aged 6 months and above.
The globe is roughly eight inches in diameter and is made of a wipe clean material. The globe cannot be washed in the washing machine but comes up brilliantly with a wipe over with a damp cloth. It is highly padded and this makes it great for babies as they do tend to bash themselves over the head or in the face with toys!
The globe is brightly coloured and attractive. The globe is printed (as you would expect!) with a basic example of the world's globe. The different continents are labelled and two examples of animals from that continent are printed on. Where the continents name is printed there is a button (set in the padding) which baby is meant to press. Once the button is pressed a little song about that continent is sung, describing the animals and the colours of the animals. For example for Europe there is a red fox and a white mountain goat. The globe also plays music without the buttons being pressed if it is rolled. It makes it very interesting for baby and encourages crawling.
The globe is battery operated and the batteries last a long time. These are put in, in the bottom of the globe, underneath a velcro flap.
I like this globe as it helps baby learn about the world. The music helps to stimulate babies to speak and the globe helps baby to crawl (if it is rolled away from them).
I remember 'Each Peach Pear Plum' from my days at primary school, it was a favourite with all of the kids. So (like most of the books I have reviewed) when I had my little girl I wanted to pick a copy up for her too.
Each Peach Pear Plum is written by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, a husband and wife team of childrens authors. They have written many childrens book between them including 'Peepo Baby' and 'The bear nobody wanted'. Their daughter was born in 1980 and was a big influence on their work.
Each Peach Pear Plum is a lovely book to share and interact with your child. The book is a rhyming poem book which I would decribe as an early 'Where's Wally' Style. The book is set out into a double page spread, the poem on one side of the page with a lovely illustration of the other side. The book starts with the title 'Each Peach Pear Plum.... I spy Tom Thumb' then your child must look at the illustration opposite to find Tom Thumb. The book continues in this fashion.
I love this book because the poem rhymes and bounces along nicely. The way the book is set out it fits nicey over both laps, and provides the child with a lot more interaction than an ordinary story book. The book is not too long either and so your childs attention is held. My daughter is still only nine months old but she loves to look at books and even though she cannot 'spy' the characters very well yet, she loves to look at the pictures and I point out the characters to her.
I was given this steriliser when I was pregnant last year. I planned to breast feed but was glad of the gift of the steriliser, as I hoped to express from time to time. Like all the best made plans though, this one went to pot! My daughter refused a bottle regardless of any trick we tried. All milk was spat back up, she got more and more upset and inevitably made herself sick! So the steriliser got put to the back of the cupboard, redundant.
That was until recently. I have had to go back to work, part time but still it meant that I was to be away from my little one for four hours at a time. This time would often contain a feed. So my task was to introduce her to a cup with milk in it. As she would already take a cup for water I was not too worried... just a little (!). As every parent knows for a baby to have milk (not from the breast) an awful lot of cleaning and sterilising must first take place.
This steriliser is very easy to use much to my relief. It is made up of three main parts, top, middle and bottom. The top clips on and off either side by ridged clips. The middle part is blue, it has slots for your bottles to stand upside down in and is full of holes for the steam to get through. The bottom, is a shallow tray.
The steriliser, although meant for actual bottles can be used for anything and so my breast pump and daughters cup and top fit nicely into it. Into the bottom of the steriliser I put in just 200ml of water and put it all together then just pop it into the microwave for five minutes. Easy! The water turns to steam to clean and sterilise all of the items contained.
Once the microwave pings it is time to get the steriliser out. Fresh out of the microwave it is still very hot and I wouldn't recommend opening it straight away instead leave it for a little to cool down a bit. If the steriliser isn't opened then the items inside stay sterile for 24 hours. Once the top is removed then the items can be removed and used safely for baby.
The steriliser is very easy to emtpy and clean, which of course is also very important. I clean my steriliser after each use.
I would recommend this steriliser to anyone as it is so good. I am very happy with it.
I bought the Tommee Tippee Tip-It-Up First Cup for my daughter for her milk feeds as she has always refused a bottle (being exclusively breast fed) but would consider a cup (!). She took to this cup reasonably well. The handles are large and easy for her to get hold of, and the bright colour of the plastic makes this cup attractive for small children.
The cup itself claims to be non-spill. In my experience this has not been the case. My daughter can be quite 'excitable' at times and the cup being shaken has caused milk to splash out. The lid however has stayed fast. The lid itself is a very good fit, in fact I still have trouble removing it! owing to this fact I doubt that any child could remove it themselves.
The spout folds down for transporting around, but again I have experienced leaks. Not from the end of the spout (the holes) but from around where the spout comes out of the lid (as it is on a hinge).
The spout I have found is hard to clean inside of and therefore it is not ideal for milk (which was why I originally bought it). Also for the last 20 ml of drink the cup needs to be tipped back quite high which my daughter does not like to do. So I usually end up taking the lid off of the cup and she sips it straight from the edge of the cup. Also because the spout is hinged, my little girl has found that she can push the spout about whilst drinking from it. This causes it to close and then she gets frustrated that she cannot get any drink out of it!
The price of the cup was relatively inexpensive and as I say the large handles make it easy for a baby to hold. However the spout is a pain and I dont like this cup very much at all. I will not recommend it to friends.
When I fell pregnant with my little girl I got 'morning' sickness quite badly in the evenings and so preparing dinner was almost impossible for me to do. My lovely other half is a brilliant cook but works shifts and so was not always home to prepare an evening meal. Although I felt sick the worse thing I could do was not eat as that made me feel even worse. And so we invested in a slow cooker so that I could prepare meals in the morning and they would be ready by the evening ready to plate up.
The slow clooker we chose to buy was the Cook Works Slow Cooker. We bought it from Argos whilst on offer and paid less than £10 for it (18 months ago). This was the best £10 we have ever spent.
The Cookworks slow cooker is very basic and easy to use. There is one dial on it. You can turn it to either 'High', 'Low', 'Warm' or of course 'Off'. The ingredients are placed into the removable crock pot (easy to clean) and the lid is placed on the top. The cable and socket are a nice length but not too long that it gets in the way.
The slow cooker makes even the cheapest cut of meat tender, and delicious but the lid must not be taken off during the cooking time. The Slow cooker came with a small leaflet with lots of recipes in to give you ideas of what to cook. However there is lots of information and recipes on the internet so you will never be stuck on what to make. It makes life very easy and is very cheap to run also.
The best thing I have ever cooked in our slow cooker was a leg of turkey (very cheap from Asda, about £1.50), done in water, with carrots, celery and onion. This half poached/half steamed the turkey making it deliciously moist and it fell off of the bone. It also made a delicious stock which then was used in a risotto and a soup. Fantastic!
The worst thing I have ever made with the slow cooker was a spaghetti bolognese. I did not brown the mince off first and it came out most like processed spaghetti bolognese out of a can. The consisitency was horrid but it tasted ok.
I would recommend anyone and everyone to buy a slowcooker. Now that we have our daughter here it is so handy to be able to make a casserole in it in the morning whilst she has a nap, ready for the evening meal.
My little girls aunty decided to treat her to the Tomy Hide n Squeak eggs recently and it has fast become her favourite toy.
The 'Hide n Squeak' eggs, come in a bright yellow egg 'box'. This is made of strong moulded plastic with 'Tomy' slightly raised on the top. The box is clipped closed and is too difficult for my little girl to open on her own. Also she has closed the box into her fingers (as it is a hinged top) before and got them trapped, but not hurt.
Inside the box there are six slots available for the eggs. Each egg has a shape on the bottom of it which can be put into the right slot. The shapes are a star, a square, a heart, a circle, a triangle and a cross. All basic shapes. The fact that each shape needs matching up is a great learning tool for young babies.
The eggs have 'top shells' which come off. They have a jagged bottom so that the egg looks broken. The tops are can also be matched upto the right egg by the face on the front of the shell and on the actual egg. All of the tops fit on all of the eggs, these are not specific to each egg.
When the eggs are squeezed they make a quiet squeaking sound. This is not offensive at all unlike some of the toys out there!
My little girl loves to play with the eggs, she loves to be able to take them out of the box, although at the moment she isn't very good at putting them back away. I must spend at least an hour of my day, each day, collecting the scattered eggs and top shells from around the room and putting them back in the box! She is able to hold them quite comfortably in one hand (and hit things with them too! this can quite hurt on the head or in the mouth- we are trying to get her out of this habit!). In time though, as she gets a bit bigger I know that she will enjoy matching the shapes up. She is able to squeak the eggs also which is a source of delight for her, and I am sure helps to strengthen her little hands.
The idea of the toy is a very basic one, however my little girl loves these and I will be buying them for her friends children in the future.