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As I'm sure many parents will understand, my 3 year old son is a very reluctant brusher. Every morning and every evening it's a good 20 minute fight to pursued, bribe or threaten him into doing the absolute bare minimum of brushing.
To my enormous pleasure he spotted this Spiderman brush on sale in Boots for about £6, plus Boots points. He actually asked if he could have it as he loves spiderman so much, so we struck a deal. He could have the brush, but obviously spiderman would be very disappointed if he didn't use it to brush properly. He agreed.
The brush is a childrens version of the traditional adult electric toothbrush. It has a moving head so cleans better than a manual brush with less effort for the child! It takes 2 AA batteries, which it comes with.
The head cannot be replaced like it can with an adults brush, however, it is only around £6 and lasts a good 3 months, which is the length of time the dentist recommends you keep a brush for anyway.
For me it's been worth it's weight in gold as it's actually made my son interested in brushing his teeth for the first time ever.
What can I say about this little toaster. Like a lot of people this was the toaster purchased for me by my parents to take up to uni.
It cost around £5 in Tesco, plus the club card points, so didn't exactly break the bank! It's plain White, no fancy Crome or stainless steel efforts here.... Pure plastic fantastic. It will toast 2 pieces of bread at a time, there is no option to toast just one side. It is not a toaster designed for family use, it's very much aimed at the student end of the Market, hence the price and the design.
It has a timer and the all important cancel button. Not that much to go wrong. It also has a crumb tray which I think is pretty impressive for a toaster at this point in the price chain....
It's not a Dualit. It will not look fantastic in your kitchen, it will not toast incredible bread. It will do a job.
If all you want is the occasional bit of bread to be turned into toast to then have something added on top and you don't care what it looks like, then you really can't go wrong with this Tesco model.
Much to my husbands horror I bought this after I'd bought an expensive kitchenaid blender, mixer and food processor!
The problem with the kitchenaid trio was not their functionality, it was the cleaning.... The sheer effort of cleaning them after just a few minutes work was just too much for me! So I started looking for for something can could fulfil my blending needs without the massive cleaning requirements!
This Braun multi quick really fit the bill. Small, light and very very easy to clean. All you need to do is detach the bottom half of the blender and pop it straight into the dishwasher. Perfect. It does come with a small cup for using directly with the blender but I normally just use a bowl to be honest.
The blender basically works in 2 ways, press the button one for a 'pulse' or quick whizz or hold it down for content blending. It only has one rotating blade so you do need to hold it over whatever you are blending as it's surface area is quite small. However, it is powerful so you'll find by just moving it around the bowl of whatever you are blending in a circular motion it will pretty much blend anything to the level you require.
When I bout it it cost me under £20 from Amazon. I use it pretty much every day. The kitchenaid equipment cost me nearly £1000 in total and I hardly ever use it! So you can see which has worked out the more useful and cost effective buy.
If I had my time again I'd save my money and kitchen work surface area and just buy the Braun hand blender. It won't chop things like a food processor, but hey, there is always a knife!
My husband works away from home a lot a stays in a rented room so we bought this for him to take away with him so he could have fresh milk and yogurts etc in his room.
We bought it from Argos at £89.99, which we thought was a pretty good deal for a 50litre mini fridge. First things we noticed was that it is seriously heavy, 23kilos! Second was that it was hardly packaged at all, a slip of cardboard round the outside, not even covered at the top or the bottom....
While this fridge is designed primarily for use as an additional drinks fridge, and we do know a fair few people who use it for that purpose, it is perfectly easy to us it as a small ,normal, refrigerator. If you do use it for drinks it will take 36 beer/lager or soft drink cans or 16 bottles of wine, so you can see it's a pretty decent size.
While the design is pretty basic, not as slick looking as some of the other drinks fridges on the Market such as the 'guiness' branded model, it's main fault is really the noise level.
While a traditional fridge is silent most of the time, you do hear the fan come on every now and then to keep the temperature down. With the mini fridge you can pretty much hear it all the time! My husband said he didn't really mind this and it didn't effect his sleep, even though it was in his room, I think it would have driven me mad!
I would say due to the noise from the fridge, while handy for uni students etc in their room in halls, it would be something better kept either in the kitchen, or even better in the garage!
I bought this for myself as a little treat after I had my daughter! I had become so sick and tired or mopping the kitchen floor and scrubbing my toddler son's high chair, only for them to feel, and look dirty again minutes afterwards.
I found this steam mop on offer at the Co-Op for £60 which was much better than the £75 I had seen it for at most places I'd looked. I did have ti weigh up the purchase but decided that I was spending around £10 every couple of months on Vielda mops so if the steam mop worked out well I would actually be saving money in the long run.
After deciding to go ahead with my purchase I was shocked at how small and light it was. I was also thrilled to see that that you don't need any form of bucket with it, for me that was a massive advantage as my son is attracted to buckets full of water like a moth to a flame, and I was getting somewhat frustrated at having to regualily mop up all the water after he had kicked the bucket over!
It weighs a mere 3.9kilos, and comes with a strap so you can carry it around with you as you clean. The compartment where you put the water is easily sealed so you won't have any leaks or spills. It does only take 0.75 litres of water, but really that is the price you pay for a machine this small and lightweight. Plus it really isn't that much trouble to fill it up again.
Due to the fact it is producing steam this mop does make things a lot cleaner than a conventional mop, a massive plus for allergy sufferers. It will actually kill dust mites and can be used on all surfaces and upholstery so saves a fortune on hiring out specialist cleaners.
It comes with 10 additional tools, the best of which is a specialist window cleaning tool. So really is an all round cleaning gadget!
My husband and I started to buy these disposable BBQ's after we left our last small, kettle BBQ out over winter and unsurprisingly it went totally rusty! We didn't really want to go out and spend another £60 on a kettle BBQ and then still have to buy the coals and lighter fluid on top when we are only 2 adults and one child that is of eating age so we don't really cook huge amount of food.
We saw them on offer in B&Q for £3 for a pack of 2, so essentially £1.50 a time. You don't need to buy anything else (well other than a lighter a match) for them to work so the £1.50 initial outlay covers everything you need to have one successful BBQ.
While some of the more expensive one use BBQ's we have tried in the past, from Marks and Spencer, for example have had little foldable legs which means the hot underside on the BBQ doesn't touch the floor or grass as so can't burn away a little patch of grass...... However to get around the lack of legs on the cheaper model we have either placed it on 2 bricks or just had the BBQ on the patio where it can't burn anything. The Marks and Spencer ones we tried were £5 for a pack of 2 so essentially you are paying an extra £1 a time for the little legs which we didn't really feel was worth it.
The BBQ is meant to be very easy to light, just one match.... However if there is any wind at all it does become a battle to get a flame to catch. I recommend using the extra long matched rather than a lighter so you can stick the end through the grill and get the flame to catch on the edge of the lighter paper inside.
Once you've got a flame it takes 20 for it to get hot enough to cook and then you have about 2 hours to BBQ before the temperature drops too much.
We do now use them a fair bit as they are so small a light you can take them with you for a day at the beach or a picnic. The only disadvantage is you cannot dispose of them when you are out somewhere unless you have a space 12 hours at the end to wait until it is stone cold, otherwise you might find yourself on a arson charge!
We live in a very hard water area, the limescale build up in the kettle is horrendous! So, when I saw this on offer from Amazon at under £10 I did feel I had absolutely nothing to lose in trying it out.
It takes 2.6litres, but only 1.5 of those will be filtered. Like all Brita filters it is designed to sit perfectly next to the milk in the door of your fridge. While at the much cheaper end of the Brita range I still fell that it looks good, and more importantly performs really well.
While the initial cost of the filter is only around £10 the replacement cartridges do work out reasonably expensive, a 4 pack sells for nearly £20 in a lot of places but if you shop around you can normally find them on offer on Amazon etc for between £10 and £13.
While at the cheaper end the Fjord does still offer the electronic cartridge refill indicator which let's you know when you are running low with the filter and finally when it's empty and you really need to change it!
The Fjord models comes in 2 colours, the plain White and the excitingly named 'midnight blue', though actually only the lid is either colour to rest if the unit is clear plastic on both. I found the blue model seems to cost more, and frankly I was not willing to pay over £5 more for a blue lid for something which spends 95% of it's life hidden away in the fridge.
Boy did I get a shock when the Vax arrived! We bought this to save our carpets from the horror of having 2 small children wetting themselves on it, squishing blueberries into it and endlessly trampling their dirty shoes all over it. However the first thing I thought when I opened it was sadly not how great my carpets would look, but how blooming massive the thing was...
The Vax is designed to actually clean your carpets, not just suck up the dry dirt from the top of them. The idea is that it was also suck up liquids (even disgusting things like small boy pee) from your carpets. You fill it up with carpet cleaning solution that you can get easily from somweher like B&Q or Homebase for around £20, and then use it like a normal Hoover, while watching the water in the machine get darker and darker as it draws up all the collected filth which a normal Hoover leaves behind.
The Vax is definitely an investment buy, the machine itself is expensive and you do need to keep buying the carpet cleaning solution for it to work properly. However, if you are regularly paying someone to come to your house and clean your carpets or you are hiring one from Homebase etc yourself then in less than a year we did feel we were starting to save money.
The downside is that it is massive! We don't have much downstairs storage so it has to be kept in the garage. It is also a nightmare to drag up and down the stairs. It weighs over 10 kilos when empty, on top of which you are adding 4.5 kilos of cleaning solution. Luckily it comes with an 8 meter cable which means you can do the stairs (which the stair tools it comes with) without need to hold it half way up the stairs.
It also comes with an upholstery toll so if you have a fabric sofa you can also use it to keep it clean which is very useful.
I bought this electric toothbrush from Boots on offer for £20 plus Boots points.
I decided to get an electric brush after the dentist told me I was brushing too hard with a manual brush and therefore, had started to erode my gums. I was told that it much harder to brush too hard with an electric brush, plus he recommend a Braun model, so I gave it a go.
It comes with the traditional 2 pin charger, which does mean than you need a shaver socket in your bathroom or you need to buy a separate adapter. The problem I found was that the cord is very short and due to the position of our shaver socket, the toothbrush charging stand has to be placed right on the very edge of the bathroom windowsill, and has fallen off a few times!
However, it does charge quickly and lasts for a good 2 weeks from one full charge so I dnt tend to leave it plugged in all the time.
All Braun toothbrush heads fit this model so you have a good selection to chose from. I've selected the model which promises whitening as well as cleaner, though to be perfectly honest I've not noticed much of a difference on the whitening front.
The cleaning side, however, is excellent. I have noticed a big difference since I've had the brush. I have completely stopped having any bleeding gums and the dentist has noted an improvement in my gum condition.
I am really pleased with this brush. If I had to find a downside it would that it doesn't come with anywhere to store space brushes as some of the more expensive models do. It also doesn't have a 'recommended brushing time' counter for children like some of the premium models. However if you are buying this brush for an adult then you probably know how long you need to brush your teeth for anyway!
This breadmaker was my Christmas present last year from the in laws.
When I first opened it I was a little bit disappointed as it's not quite as sleek and stylish looking as the slightly more expensive Panasonic models I had been looking at. However, I immediately noticed this breadmaker had a big advantage over the Panasonic model (which my mother in law had bought for herself!) that is, a viewing window on the lid....
While that may not seem very impressive, what it does mean is that you can actually watch your dough rise without opening the lid, as you have to on the Panasonics, and letting in cool air and thus stopping your dough rising as much as it would have done.
The Morphy Richards model is also slightly smaller than the Panasonic's which is better if, like me, you do have quite limited surface space.
You have a choice of 2 loaf sizes. The small which really really would be for a mouse or the large which Is the only size I ever use after discovering just how small, 'small' actually is.
It has 10 settings including fast bake which. Don't recommend unless it's an emergency as the bread comes out somewhat dodgy! You can make pizza dough in it, which comes out beautifully, cakes and jams.
There are 3 crust settings, light, medium and dark. So you can vary it depending on your own taste. In a house which crust hating children it normally ends up on light here to be honest!
The only really fault it has is that the dough mixing paddle does come off around 90% of the time so ends up stuck in the bottom of your bread, means you need to fish it back out before cutting or letting anyone eat the bread!
Other than that it's a great little machine. Priced around £70 I don't think you could do much better.
We bought this vacuum cleaner when we moved house and discovered that our new house was seriously short on downstairs storage space.
The vacuum cleaner takes up around half the space of our previously Vax model. Due to the size it is also considerably lighter and easier to manage. It's a mere 5.3 kilos, which is great it you will only have one vacuum cleaner for the whole house and so will need to be constantly taking it up and down stairs.
Continuing the stairs theme, it has a 5 meter hose which means you can leave the Dyson at the bottom of the stairs and Hoover up half way before taking it up the stairs and doing the other half down from the top; no more dangerous positioning of the vacuum cleaner half way up the stairs and trying to hold it in place and hoover at the same time!
Like also Dyson's it is bag less. For me that means 2 advantages. 1. Cost saving as you have no bags to replace and 2. You can see what you've accidentally hoovered up ie, little Lego bits, as the cylinder where the Capet residue is collected is just clear plastic.
The dyson comes with 4 tools, a combi crevice tool which I find excellent for doing the gap between the skirting boards and the carpet. It also has a brush tool for wood floors a stair tool and a flat head tool which I mainly use for getting cobwebs out the corners of rooms!
It comes with a free 5 year guarantee and is recommended by the allergy society. I found definitely recommend this Dyson as the model of choice if you are short on storage space or have trouble lugging much larger vacuum cleaners around your house.
This kettle was one of our wedding presents. It looks gorgeous, we have a lot of Dualit products and the retro styling is definitely a big advantage. It has a 1.k litre capacity, or up to '5 cups' worth of hot beverage.
As my husband has tested it has a feature called 'boil dry' which means it stops itself from damaging the element when you have accidentally turned it on but forgotten to actually put in any water!
One of the other features is the window where you can actually view exactly how much water you have in the kettle very accurately. It is measured in cups, however, '1 cup' up to 5 so you can't measure millilitres on the kettle for receips etc which is a little annoying.
If you don't fill it right to the top is does boil pretty quickly, but seems to struggle if you fill it up past the '4 cup' level.
The cord for the charging station is a little shorter than ideal really, so you do need to have a plus socket near to where you want it or you will need to use an extension cable.
The kettle has a hinged lid for putting the water in. The main problem with this is that it is very stiff and is opened by pulling on the knob on the top of the lid, rather than by pressing a button like many of it's competitors. This means that you cannot fill the kettle up with one hand, you really need to leave it on the changing station so you can hold it still and pull open the somewhat stiff lid with the other hand.
I have to confess the main way I've got around this is by filling it up via the spout rather than the lid, which takes a bit longer to fill but means you don't need to keep yanking open the lid!
The main problem i have had with the kettle is that the seal around the viewing window is very weak and over time, especially if you live in a hard water area, the seal starts to cracks and eventually came away. When this happens the kettle naturally starts to leak from the viewing window. Clearly having water coming out an electrical appliance is never a good thing! Luckily Dualit customer services a really good and we have had it replaced... Twice! The same thing does seem to be happening to our third model sadly. This is really the kettles only weakness but is frustrating so if the seal goes on this one we'll be changing for a different brand, a shame as it looks great with the matching toaster!
I bought this to complement a larger SLR camera i already had, so I was looking for a much smaller camera to just pop in my handbag and take everywhere with me. This little Sony really fits that bill!
It really is small, the eons does not protrude at all. You hardly notice you even have it. I love the way the top slides open and closed to reveal the lens. It also keeps it really well protected. It is touch screen which means it's an absolute pleasure to use. The camera only has 10.9 megagpixels which is about middle of the range for cameras of this size. The new Panasonic lumix models have around 14. However for such a small camera it still does take really nice pictures. You, obviously, cannot compare the pictures you take on this to ones you would get on a SLR, but then you would use this camera to take all your wedding pictures! It's compact camera, that you really can keep with you at at all times.
Having the flash on does drastically reduce shutter speed which does make the camera less than ideal if you are mainly using it to take pictures of children.
The video element is excellent. To shoot videos you just need to slide the switch along the top of the camera, not a single button to press. It means that if you are taking pictures and decide to shoot a video too you can change mode pretty much instantly without missing the moment by searching through a menu.
For what you get, and how long it lasts, the price is definitely reasonable. A great buy.
I was recommended the touché éclat by my younger sister, who is always beautifully made up! After pretty much 3 full years of very little sleep (thanks small children!) I have really, very pronounced bags under my eyes.
I have tried numerous products to help with this, but nothing has really given my the results I've been looking for to be honest. The touché éclat is the only cover up stick I have used that actually makes me look like I belong to the land of the living! It goes on beautifully, with the button at the end you can daily control just how much goes on your face so you don't end up looking like Katie Price.
The colour matched with my skin really well, so even when I only used the touché éclat on the under eye area it blended in with the rest of my skin that didn't have any make up on.
I purchased this camera after the birth of my first child. For 18 months it was fantastic, I took some beautiful photos. However after 18 months the lens suddenly stopped working when on 'auto focus', the only way I could now take any pictures was my using 'manual focus', this was a problem as children hardly stay still long enough for you to manual focus!
As this happened outside the warranty period there was nothing I could do except buy another lens at over £100.
Although the camera has been good, I wouldn't buy it again for the simple reason that I didn't imagine I would have to replace the lens, which is the most expensive bit, within such a short period of time. A quick google will show that the lens suddenly stopping being able to auto focus is a pretty common problem, especially just outside the warranty period... Disappointing.