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Filippo berio olive oil is a good quality oil, it comes in many different types including;
Extra virgin, which is great for dipping bread into or pouring ontop of bruschetta,
Organic extra vigin which is as above but made from organic olives,
Mild extra virgin which is smoother than the extra virgin good for salad dressings,
Pure olive oil which is good for baking,
Mild and light which is healthier to cook with. There are numerous olive oil sprays and regional oil too.
Olive oil is not just for cooking and eating it is also great for the skin as a moisturiser. It is great for kids who have cradlecap. Apply the oil after the hair has been washed and is still wet and rub in, leave for a day or two and then wash hair as normally, all the cradlecap should have come away. Sometimes a repeat application is needed.
Olive oil has many health benefits including protection against heart disease,Regulating cholesterol, increasing life span and helping with the prevention and management of diabetes. Olive oil contains antioxidants and also vitamin A, B,E and k all essential to your body.
I personally love Filippo berio olive oil and I am quite happy just dipping my bread into it, delicious. Would definitely recommend as a moisturiser as it is natural and contains no irritants if you have sensitive skin, you also smell good too!
I got Mary Berrys fast cakes as a present a few years ago and it is one of the only baking books I use. It has some excellent recipes and has made cake baking so much quicker. The separate chapters include No bake cakes, cakes to do with kids, teabreads! Biscuits, large cakes.
My favourite recipe is tray bakes, it is a very simple recipe as all the ingredients are lying around at home and they are just thrown together, whisked up and put into the oven. The recipe can be altered to change the flavour, either lemon, fruit, chocolate, coffee. The lemon tray bake is a family favourite and is all eaten within a day. It is always so soft and flavoursome.
I love to flick through this book and try out different recipes, I have tried quite a few including shortbread, chelsea buns, cheesecake, rock cakes, apple cake, fruitcake, gingerbread, but I have many more to go as this book contains a lot of tasty recipes.
This is a must have book for all bakers and at £5 it is a very good price for an excellent book. Only downside is that there are no pictures and I love to see pictures of what the cake is supposed to look like.
My husband introduced me to these babies! Big mistake! I can't get enough of them, there are so many different flavours that I can never get bored. Don't get me wrong, I'm not stuffing myself with delicious doughnuts every day. These are a treat because at £11 for a box of 12 it is much more than your average doughnut. However, these aren't your average doughnut, there are many different flavours and they are bringing new ones out for different occasions such as Easter or Christmas.
There is the;
Chocolate praline fudge cake,
Pistachio and White chocolate nougat,
Chocolate dream cake,
Lemon meringue pie,
Strawberries and Kreme,
And butterscotch sundae.
My personal favourites are the chocolate custard, the custard is so creamy and there is alot of it, and the original glazed it's plain perfection, not too sweet either.
These doughnuts are very filling and one is usually enough, also because they are very sweet! Krispy Kreme are best eaten the same day as after a day or even two they aren't as soft and go slightly hard.
Currently there is an offer on for a box of 12 original and 12 mixed for £13 which is an absolute bargain considering one box is £11
The Graco Mosaic travel system is a pushchair with an attaching baby car seat. It Is suitable from the birth to 3 years. The Mosaic is made from a lightweight aluminium frame and has an umbrella folding mechanism. The car seat clicks in easily to the pushchair and the hood from the pushchair and car seat form a nearly complete canopy over the baby, keeping it draft free and cosy. When removing the car seat a red button is pushed and seat easily removed.
For older babies and toddlers the pushchair can be used on its own, it has a 5 Point safety belt and the pushchair an be reclined until nearly flat for those sleepy toddlers. There is a big shopping basket under pushchair and numerous pockets on the back of the pushchair, great for mobile phone or child's drink. The travel system also includes a rain cover which easily attaches and can be stowed in shopping basket when not in use.
The car seat can either be fitted into a car with a Graco base, sold separately, or can be fitted with the seat belt. As the car seat is slightly bulky I personally found that the seat belt wasn't long enough in some car makes and therefore a base was required, which at £20 is a costly extra.
I have found this travel system very sturdy and excellent for long shopping trips. A buggy boards attaches easily to the back for when kids get tired. However,the so called lightweight frame is pretty heavy and I struggle to carry it. Another slight problem is that when the car seat is attached the shopping basket is not useable as the weight of the seat compacts it to nothing. Apart from a few things I have found the Graco Mosaic travel system a very good buy at £150 and I would definitely recommend to anyone.
Vtech playtime bus is a very durable, engaging toy for young kids. I phurchased one for my daughter 2 years ago and it is constantly being played with. When my daughter first had it at 18months she just enjoyes the engine noises and horn, but as she gradually grew older she has learnt her letters and numbers from it. The quiz element is very good, it really keeps toddlers learning. The learning element of this toy is excellent as it keeps children occupied from 1 -3 years. The fact that it is a moving bus and plays music too is a bonus. I have found that is one of the top 10 toys that I have got for my children.
It is a very strong toy as it has endured being banged into cupboards and being riden on! I also found that this toy has very good battery life, in the 2 years it has had its batteries changed once!
The one feature which I would change is the size of the letters on the side, they are slightly too small for clumsy toddlers and hard for them to read.
Mega blogs are an essential toy for any child, the blocks help with hand eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and are great for imaginative play too. I managed to find an 80piece bag of Mega blocks on offer for £8, an absolute bargain as they normally retail at £14.
The blocks are colourful and a nice size so small hands can easily manouver them into place. They are compatible with all mega bloks products, which is excellent as i have a fire truck which can be used with these blocks, the kids love filling it full of blocks. The only draw back I have found is that some of the blocks tend to be a bit loose and don't fit together properly.
Initially when I wanted to get my daughter some building blocks I was think of Lego duplo, as it is a well know brand and I played with it as a kid, however the price deterred me. I then looked into mega looks and found that the price was much cheaper but the quality and range still remained excellent.
My 12 month old son has learnt to build the blocks in to a tower from a very young age, as they are such a good size for small hands, he can play for ages building and taking apart. My 3 year old also loves playing with the blocks but she pretends they are people. I am so pleased that i purchased these blocks as they keep kids occupied for ages.
I would definately recommend them to any mother with young kids
Pampers are in my mind the top nappies for babies. From newborn to toddlers pampers are by far the most effective nappy. They come in 7 sizes:
Size 2: 3 - 6 kg / 7 - 14 lbs
Size 3: 4 - 7 kg / 9 - 15 lbs
Size 4: 7 - 18 kg / 15 - 40 lbs
Size 4+: 9 - 20 kg / 20 - 44 lbs
Size 5: 11 - 25 kg / 24 - 55 lbs
Size 5+: 13 - 27 kg / 29 - 60 lbs
Size 6: 16+ kg / 35+ lbs
I have found that these weight indications arent very reliable as my 20lb baby wouldnt fit into size 4 nappies anymore and currently wears size 5.
Unlike other brands I have tried and hated due to there cardboard feel, Pampers is soft and flexible, which gives baby maximum movement. These nappies are great for leaving on overnight, my 1 year old now doesnt need a nappy change overnight and baby dry effectively keep my babies bottom dry for 12 hours. Occaisionally I have had the odd leak, but that is due to me not applying properly. The only other snag i have found, is that occaisonally the velcro tabs have come over when trying to put the nappy on, and I have had to throw away an used nappy.
Pampers are more pricey than supermarket own brands, but when brought on offer, i normally pay £20 for 2 jumbo boxes of nappies, it is well worth it.
In summary pampers baby dry nappies are by far the most effective, comfortable nappy on the market.
I got my daughter a tommee tippee roll and go bib when she was 1, after struggling to get her to keep on numerous others bibs. This roll and go bib is excellent as it is very difficult near on impossible for a toddler to remove, which is perfect for a naughty baby/toddler.
As a naive mother I started my daughter on cloth bibs and found that I was constantly washing them and her clothes, because they have no food catcher unlike the roll n go.
I now have different colours for my kids which they love.
They come in a variety of colours;
They are wipe clean, I tend to just wash them with the plates and cups. I do tend to find that they get stained my certain foods such as tomato, but after time it fades. After 2years of good use, the roll n go is still in good nick and think it'll carry on for a while yet!
The roll part of the bib is just as useful as I can chuck it into my hand bag if we're off to a restaurant or to a friends house to eat. I can't fault the tommee tippee roll n go and at £3.49 I thnk it's well worth the money.
I have had the vax steam cleaner for 6 months. It is very easy to use, take the water reservoir off and fill under the tap, it plugs back in easily and then it's just a case of putting the cleaning cover on and it's ready for use.
There are two lights on the machine, one indicates power the other states that the mop is ready for use. Once that green light is on then hold the button and steam. I have found it very effective on stubborn grease.
Once finished the mop cover needs removing and washing which is easy enough, it really shows how dirty the floors get!
One of the downsides is that the mop cover is only secured by a drawstring, which I have found hard to tighten effectively and in some instances the cloth will come off whilst your cleaning, the other problem I have found is that I can't clean tight spaces as the shape of the head is too wide. That is why I am currently alternating between a mop and bucket, which allows cleaning in tight spaces, and the vax steamer which gets the grease up.
I'm not sure I'd buy one again, its another gadget which isn't really needed!
Have had this dishwasher for 4 years, I found it affordable and space was excellent, can fit in a whole days worth of washing for 8 people! I manage to stack saucepans and tubs at the bottoms with plates and they still get washed even when they are ontop of each other.
I find the top drawer could have been better laid out, as not all small bowls or plates fit and if they do sometimes they fall over. This causes them to not get washed and on occasions there are 6 or so things that need re-washing.
There are numerous settings, economy wash is the most used, however if there isn't much to be washed it is very useful just being able to just wash the top or bottom drawer.
Water consumption is very good and I have only had to use dishwasher cleaner wash once as it seems to stay very clean.
The dishwasher is very quiet which is great. Even though there are a few downsides I would still recommend this hotpoint Aquarius plus.
"Best luxury buy" in the independent Newspapers top 10 juicer Review!
If you want a quick, easy to clean juicer with maximum nutritious content then the champion 2000 is it! This juicer is pricey but for a reason. The blades are made from stainless steel so they will never rust or bend fruit can be juiced with skin on as the blades are strong, making preparation time quick.
Not only can it be used for juice, it is great for smoothies, ice cream, sorbet, even baby food. A attachment can be purchased so it can be turned into a nut mill. I have only ever used it for juicing and sorbet and found both very easy. The pulp comes out pretty dry except for berries, which I tend to feed through again. Unlike centrifugal juicers you don't have to stop and clean halfway through a litre of juice, the pulp comes out like a sausage into whatever container you place under the spout. My kids love watching the juicer in action.
Cleaning the champion is easy, just pull the few parts off and rinse under warm water. Soap or hot water isn't advised as it can distort the nylon parts. I've found that just water gets it really clean quickly. The only maintenance required is to oil the motor shaft occasionally to allow it to move smoothly.
The champion also comes with a 10 year warranty, I have had it for 3 years and have yet to have a problem.
I brought these Medela nipple shields with my second baby after a week of painful breastfeeding. If I'd known how good they were I would have breastfed my first child for much longer instead of giving up from pain.
The shields come In different sizes to suit and also come with a case which makes them easy to take anywhere.
Medela nipple shields work by being placed onto the nipple just before you start nursing, the baby can latch on and the silicon protects your nipple from getting cracked and sore. The silicon is thin so the baby can still smell the mother and milk. They are then removed and sterilised after use. These are especially good if you already have sore nipples, as I did, as it works as a barrier allowing you to carry on successfully nursing.
I found that sometimes the shield fell off or moved out of place, but most of the time they were excellent.
Baby was fine with the shields, I was worried that the plastic feel would stop him feeding, but it didn't affect nursing one bit, it just meant I was able to carry on feeding and I still am today, he's 12months now!
I brought Benefit erase paste a few years ago, as recommended from my sister. I have never looked back. It is pricey at £19.50 , however the tiny pot lasts me a whole year even though I use it daily, so it is well worth the money. The paste is thick and creamy so therefore only a tiny dot is needed for each area and then it is easly spread with a finger or brush, I prefer finger myself as it warms the paste and makes it spread even further!
I also find as it Is very creamy,unlike other concealers doesn't tend to dry the skin out.
It is great for dark under eye circles. I am up every 2hours with my baby, but you would never know it! The paste comes with a little spatula, which I've never used as it blends so much better with a brush or even finger. If applied to your eyelids it highlights them nicely and if in a rush there is no need for eye shadow.
I have very fair freckley skin and The "Fair"shade suits my skin perfectly as long as it is rubbed in properly.
I do find however that when covering spots it doesn't tend to stay on that well, and usually have to retouch a few hours later.