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Not long ago I purchased a box of Tescos 'own brand' shaped dog biscuits which set me back £1.18 which is cheaper than other 'branded' dog biscuits I normally buy from the pet-shop so I thought them worth a try.
Basically what you see on the box is what you get - different shaped biscuits in different colours. Each of the biscuits contains different 'things' - essential fats / fatty acids, and natural oils, protein, fibre, calcium vitamins etc. So all things considered these are a somewhat 'healthy' treat.
The biscuits themselves are around 5cm in size and don't smell of anything much, also do not crumble easily so find them OK for just slipping into your pocket whilst out and about with your furry friend. Better than other more smelly treats and unlikely to crumble to bits in your pocket. Another bonus is crunchy hard biscuits will help somewhat in keeping your beloved mutts teeth clean.
Dizz and Buster are not the fussiest of eaters and devour most things readily these biscuits were no exception. They didn't notice any difference and seems just as impressed with these biscuits as some more expensive ones I have tried. The only exception to the rule being the Black 'charcoal' biscuits which are always last to go. There was a good mix of the various colours and shapes in the box though so not too many black ones.
I'd happily buy these again as I prefer feeding biscuit type treats rather than the chewy ones / or those with little or no nutritional value. Major bonus is that these don't disintegrate in my pocket either !
Good value for money and just as good as more expensive varieties.
Another toy owned by one of my somewhat spoiled Hamster crew. Bought for my smallest Syrian as a general chew/play toy.
Natural wood so as advertised yes it makes a good chew toy if your hamster is that way inclined and a fair size, at 8 inch long will fit in most cages.
However the holes in the log are too small for even my smallest Syrian, nevermind my bigger ones. No way can he fit more than his head into the holes so this is not really one of my best buys.
Would highly recommend for smaller Dwarf breeds of hamster or mice, but not for a Syrian hamster - unless they love to gnaw and chew their wooden toys. The most entertainment mine gets from this is when i put food/treats in it so he has to stick his head in or use his paws to 'fish' it out of the log.
Much more suited to smaller rodents who may actually fit through the holes and be able to run through it.
CritterTrail Revolution Cage
pictured here just so you know what I'm talking about (copy and paste to see) :
Firstly do NOT buy this if your planning on using it as a main cage for a hamster or any other small furry creature it would be downright cruel and sadistic, its not big enough, theres just no room for stuff, nowhere for them to dig - where the hell are they meant to go pee for starters ? it's just not clever and unsuitable for actually housing a creature in.....OK - rant over -.
Secondly if you do decide to buy this cage then BE CAREFUL with the damn doors...I read this in a review and still...it broke. I was super careful, but the top door catch broke/snapped second time I opened door putting the thing together. Stupid pants plastic tacky door. So I've had to wedge the top door shut - no superglue didn't work either. It's basically a giant hamster wheel extension - a purple rotastak tube will connect to the provided critter-trail 'funnel-tube-thing' (purple tubes - like the kind that fits the rotastak curvy spag.junction pieces) with the aid of some electrical tape.
The connecting tube is quite good - wavy so a bit easier to climb as gives hamster something to grip onto and does have some tiny vent holes unlike rotastak. It was easy enough to put together with clear instructions.
Thirdly and most importantly I was (and still am) concerned about little feet and the mesh spacing but my little girl has been OK...am still haunted by thoughts of one of my little furry friends missing a footing and injuring a leg or something - so to save me some nightmares my crittertrail revolution is not in use.
Would be a LITTLE better if the mesh was much smaller spaced, or really to be *SAFE* the mesh should be replaced with solid plastic and more ventilation added in the parts which don't move. Doors that don't break would be good too !!
The Crittertrail Revolution is basically an expensive unsafe hamster wheel. I wanted another add-on not a main 'cage' but even as a big 'wheel' this just isn't safe enough. I don't know how they can get away with selling it !!
Granted yes it Looks super cool, definitely aimed at kids ( big and small) but the crappy door catches and safety issues ruin it really, is just shoddy and dangerous - especially shoddy for the RRP of around £35. I got mine off Amazon marketplace for £30 waste of time and money.
( I know... really I should know better at my age)
I wouldn't bother at all if I were you but still...if you really want one as an add on don't expect too much and hope your furry friend doesn't miss its footing and do itself some damage.
If you were thinking of housing a hamster etc in this cage ?
Please NO don't do it.
Thanks for reading, Manda.
Personally I consider a hamster wheel to be an essential bit of cage furniture, I've had many hamsters over the years and all have owned a wheel of some description my 2 new hamsters included. All of my hamsters have used wheels - some use their wheel more than others but they all had one so had the choice of using it.
There are many types of wheel to choose from and they can vary greatly in price and appearance. Many people choose the plastic clip on variety (for barred cages) but the thing to be aware of when buying one of these is the size - quite a few are too small to comfortably accommodate a fully grown Syrian hamster so you should make sure the wheel you choose is large enough for them to comfortably use or they may not bother with it.
The rotastak / habitrail plastic wheels I have owned in the past have all been pretty OK ( with no squeaks ) apart from one purple habitrail wheel which was chewed to ruins by the long departed Mr. Iggy-Pop. ( back in the day when habitrail was big and rectangular not weird and round) Though lately I find myself a little tempted by the rotastak one that has a speedo on the side...
There's also alot of talk about wire wheels and rodents getting legs trapped between the rungs which is a real possibility - I had a rat many years ago and Mr.Jingles lived happily with a wheel like this with no accidents. The easy solution to making a wire or mesh wheel safer is to 'weave' or tape a piece of thin card through the wheel rungs /over the mesg so no there are no gaps for little feet to slip down or claws and toes to get trapped.
The best 'wheel' I have ever owned was in fact a hamster ball that came with an extra door with an entrance hole in and stand but you need a decent size large cage to accommodate one of these.
At the moment I have 2 hamster ball type 'wheels' and one large size rody savic wheel on stand, the savic was a little squeaky but a good hint to rmrmber is a tiny bit of veg oil works wonders in removing wheel squeaks !
Hamsters like to run, they need to run its good exercise and in the wild a creature like your cute hamster would run a long way foraging for food and the like not just sit around doing nothing. A wheel provides a good outlet for a rodents in-built natural behaviour. As already mentioned your hamster will need a wheel that is large enough for them to comfortably fit in and safely run in - not one that is so small they are bent up which can cause them problems, and chances are if the wheel is too small then they won't bother trying to use it - would you? - the wheel is the most important accessory you'll need for your hamster so it's wise to invest in a good one first off rather than get a small one that may well be outgrown or ignored.
Human requirements are simpler in general - a quiet wheel !!
A Hamster essential !!!
Thanks for reading :o)
Another ebay purchase for my new now pretty spoilt hamsters this 'play-pen' cost me just under £10 delivered to my door.
It arrived flat-pack in a box and is made up of 8 rectangular barred panel pieces - like cage sides but the bars run vertically (?) straight up/down with only two bars that run across at top and bottom so hamster in theory can't climb up and out, well my pair couldn't when I first got them - though I guess if you left toys against the side a determined small/baby rodent may well be able to make a leap for freedom. As they've grown a *little* igger all my Hamsters ( Syrians) have figured out how to scale the sides so close supervision is definatly required ! Though you shouldn't have this problem with dwarf hamsters ( I think! )The box states this playpen is suitable for Hamsters mice and gerbils.
It's bright and cheerful with alternating blue, red and yellow, panels. It all easily hooks together, and you can arrange it however shape you want it, you can also divide it in 2 sections. Also think If you bought 2 you could connect to make a massive play-pen.
Each panel measures 34cm x 23cm and when put together the box informs me it opens to "full 36" diameter play area" so plenty of space for play. There is ample room for toys in there tunnels houses see-saw etc. Plus when your furry friends playtime is over the pen folds down flat and will fit back into its original box, so is easy to store and doesn't take up lots of space.
Well with my two new Syrians I thought it ideal for out-of-cage time as even though they both seem happy enough to climb into a hamster ball and go on a 20 minute rampage round the room this playpen provides a safe space for me to get them used to 'me' being stroked giving treats climbing on my hand etc and is proving a pretty successful 'training' space.
Both my hamsters are happy to get into their hamster balls but not so keen yet on being picked up. I can use hamster ball to transfer them from cage to pen without trying to pick them up and stressing them out. Once in the pen they are happy to explore and be petted even venture onto my hand for snacks and I am happy that they can't escape and get lost. Is a nice alternative to hamster ball and provides a new 'space' to explore .
The other main reason I bought this pen is for the panels - I have built a couple of plastic 'bin' type cages and these panels are ideal for my construction needs. :o)
Overall a good buy for my new hamsters, I'd happily recommend as a useful accesory for a new pet hamster or small rodent - just watch they don't climb out !
I kept lots of hamsters as a kid and had quite a bit of experience with them whilst at college doing small animal care, anyhow I've recently fallen back into the world of these furry cute critters and bought 2 new additions for the family last month.
Included in a lot of hamster-related stuff I bought off ebay was a 'see-saw-tunnel' actually 2 but nevermind. It cost me approx £1.20 if I divide up the cost between the lot I bought but have seen them for sale in pet shops of various designs for between £3.50 and £5+
They are made from plastic and as name suggest are a 'tunnel' shape - similar to rotastak a straight length of tunnel about 20cm long. I have one which is simply a plain see through blue plastic tunnel with metal stand.
The other is a bit more colourful with a see through purple tunnel, blue base and yellow ends which is all thick plastic even the stand. This one takes up a little more space / is a bit more chunky than the blue one especially if you have a Rotastak type cage set-up, though it will fit in a kidney shape unit it takes up most of the room while the blue one sits in there nicer leaving enough space for other stuff.
My hamsters seem to find them amusing and will happily dash through them back and forth Storm seemed less freaked out than Star on his first attempt at going through. Once they get used to the see-saw 'tipping' then is all good fun and entertaining to watch. As well as a fun tube for crazy hamsters to run through like a loon it makes a nice hidey hole for munching snacks and even falling asleep in.
The size of this toy as mentioned means it would take up half a kidney shape rotastak room BUT will fit nicely into an average size cage. My two are Syrians and still baby-small but the size of the see-saw tunnels I have would be fine for a fully grown Syrian hamster.
For a dwarf or even mice I think it should be OK as it doesn't take much to 'tip' the balance on the see-saw so guess they'd have just as much fun with one as a bigger hamster.
Easy enough to clean with a bottle brush so no problems there. Neither of mine seem interested in chewing and destroying them which is good.
They seem to stand up a nights worth of mad digging activity and neither has managed to tip over their see-saw so it is unusable so the design seems to work well though am sure a more determined hamster could probably tip it over if they kept at it.
A fun hamster/rodent toy go get one.
I'd recommend ebay for finding hamster toys if your after a cheap deal, unless your local pet shops are cheaper than mine.
If you want to see a picture just ask....I feel a hamster blog coming on in my near future..lol
(or is it possible to submit a photo here with review /product as I didn't propose this item?)
Thanks for reading.
Smarties...small round chocolates with a crisp colourful shell of sugar-coating. I have been known to munch a pack occasionally but mostly buy them for little man these days.
I much preferred them when they came in a round tube (they did when i was a kid) now days they come in a hexagonal type entirely cardboard package - no pop off plastic top like in the good old days. I paid 45 pence for some yesterday from the corner shop. (grr...the same shop which sells lucozade sport and walkers crisps bearing the legend ' part of a multi pack NOT to be sold separately ' but that's another story...lol)
Well in your pack you will discover Red ones, orange ones, green ones, purple ones, pink ones and brown ones.....and BLUE ones. Yes Blue ones now with no artificial colourings which has got to be a good thing.
All the smarties taste the same (apart from orange always used to taste of orange to me...like a faint terrys chocolate orange flavour I didn't get a look in yesterday apart from stealing a couple of blue ones so can't say if they still do !)
They are sweet and have a satisfying crunch when you chomp on them and the chocolate itself is nice and chocolatey - not the most delicious chocolate in the world but is good nevertheless.
My little guy does the same as I used to, sorts them out into piles by colour then counts them and devours them a pile at a time starting with whatever colour theres the most of - is this genetic because he's never seen me do it ?
If your looking for a colourful sweet sugar hit chocolate treat you can't go far wrong these days with a tube of smarties, also good for putting on top of cakes and topping of ice cream.
A favorite with my little man.
"Is it bedtime, Wibbly Pig?"
A bedtime favorite of my little man this book sums up the bedtime routine we go through most nights and I'm sure I'm not alone....ANY excuse to stay up 5 more minutes !
We find our friend Wibbly Pig in the bath and the tale opens with " Is it bedtime Wibbly Pig ? " to which he replies "No, silly I'm still in the bath ! " then hes drying his toes...going toilet, reading a story, having a drink, brushing his teeth, counting the stairs on the way to bed..
All those '5 more minutes' distractions my 5 year old seems to find before bedtime. Also so true to life when Wibbly Pig finally does get to bed he doesn't feel sleepy he's bouncy !
Oh and he doesn't want to shut the curtains because he wants to see the moon, when we finally see him settled in bed he wants ALL of his cuddly toys to snuggle up with.
But finally... "Shall we turn out the light, Wibbly Pig?
Wibbly Pig? Wibbly Pig? Are you asleep, Wibbly?"
When you get to the last page it folds out to show a dreaming Wibbly Pig flying around with his toys and he says,
"No, I'm dreaming!"
The Wibbly Pig books are a Mick Inkpen creation also known for his Kipper the Dog stories / cartoon on the telly.
The stories are well written and easy for a young child (and their parents) to identify with, plus the illustrations are very well done with plenty of other 'bits' in the picture for your child to point out for example on the first page my little man was amused to see Wibbly pig had got bubbles all over the bathroom floor and must have thrown his sponge out of the bath too...
The actual book itself is a hard back with 'normal' pages. The writing is large and clear enough for my boy to read alone with plenty of ' little ' words that he knows, and is all done in a rounded childish style of font which fits in nicely.
There are plenty of other Wibbly Pig books out there too (we also own "Wibbly Pig can make a tent" and "wibbly Pig opens his presents" smaller board type books)
On the back of our copy it informs me it is published by ' Hodder Children's Books ' and invites you to "visit our website at www.madaboutbooks.com"
I would advise search the usual places if your interested in Wibbly Pig books, try amazon/ebay etc as you can easily pick this book up for around £7 or under.
A fantastic bedtime book.
Muller Fruit Corner are my favourite snack of the moment what with me trying to eat less junk and these being 10 for £2 at Asda.
There's plenty of fruity flavours and combinations to choose from: blueberry, strawberry, cherry, blackberry and raspberry, and more. You're sure to find a flavour you like, though my fridge is stocked with the cherry and blueberry type (yum) but I enjoy the odd strawberry one too.
The Muller fruit corner yoghurts comes in a well designed tub with a large section of creamy rich plain yogurt on one side and a smaller 'corner' of fruit compote.
The yoghurt itself is as mentioned is nice and creamy - just right - texture wise. The fruit compote corner contains just the right amount- perfect once mixed with the yoghurt to create your fruity tasty treat, and has generous chunks of proper fruit in there too. I much prefer these over a 'normal' type all ready mixed fruit yoghurt. To me these taste much better and I really like the tasty bits of fruit in them especially in the cherry ones.
Contain 191 calories, if you're counting them and on the peel off foil 'lid' of my cherry corner I notice it contain s 3.9g of fat. However muller fruit corners have no artificial colours preservatives or sweeteners and this yummy cherry yoghurt counts as 28% of my recommended daily amount of Calcium.
Wish I could convince my 5 yr old to eat them too, but he prefers yoghurts with 'no bits in' so all the more fruit corners for me then.
So to sum up a tasty and quite healthy snack for the fridge really.
We use Aldi now and again to stock up on basic food stuff and while we're there see what other stuff they have up for grabs. The first thing you need to know about Aldi stores is they only have trolleys - no baskets - so you'll need a pound coin or one of them trolley token things.
Plus bags will cost you a few pence each too so its advisable to take your own bags/boxes to pack your shopping in, a good thing in my opinion OK so it may be a bit inconvenient but it stops everyone wasting carrier bags and encourages you to re-use them.
Its a different shopping experience compared to the likes of the big boys... Tesco / Asda etc Aldi has more of a discount/warehouse type feel to the stores, with not much in the way of fancy shelving.
Goods can be found stacked on the pallets or in the giant boxes they were delivered on and in, though pricing is generally easy enough to spot. It's a definite 'no-frills' supermarket.
I must say there doesn't seem to be much in the way of brand-name products to be found but there are plenty of similar alternatives, we're not really that fussy when it comes to brand name foods anyhow. There's a wide variety of products with plenty to choose from when it comes to basics - cakes /cereals / biscuits/snacks etc then you've got your cupboard filling tinned stuff which are good to stockpile, last time I went in they had fruit juice at a bargain price too.
We tend to take advantage of the meat products in the fridge / freezer aisle too, low priced and most is surprisingly good quality for your money. There are also some low-priced goodies in the alcohol section both beers spirits and alcopops so a good bet for stocking up on a few drinks too. The fresh produce is attractively priced too for the most part, with a decent selection of all your basic fruit and veg. items.
There's all-sorts - it's a supermarket ! -
You will find all basic every-day essentials somewhere in Aldi food / drink / toiletries / cleaning products etc just not an overly wide selection to choose from, but sometimes I find it ridiculous anyway - who needs 30 odd types of toilet cleaner to choose from ?
There are always "special offer" type products to be found in the centre of the store, rails packed with clothes and all types of products.....shoes, luggage, toys, televisions, computer accessories, art supplies, ALLSORTS !
Though I find the centre of the store is not the most attractive when it comes to browsing, it's kind of like a rummage sale as people dig through the clothing to find what their after...heaps of stuff in heaps....but some good bargains to be had.
I picked up a great Graphics Tablet for my PC at Aldi a while back for under £20 for example, have had quite a few good finds at Aldi actually.
Remember to pick up the leaflet as you leave which tells you what they will have next and the date the new products will be in store, or you can check their website for details.
The only drawback to shopping at Aldi is the HUGE queue at the till and tired harassed looking staff, they seem understaffed and although there are 3 check-out lanes I have never seen all three open at once, even at Christmas when the place was packed there were still only 2 lanes running. We seem to find it easy enough to fill a trolley so the lack of baskets has never really been a problem, and we simply re-use our tesco/asda plastic bags when it comes to packing the stuff in the van.
I wouldn't choose to do all my shopping at Aldi but they are handy for topping-up your regular shopping, plus will probably save you a fair few quid on basic items - that is if your not picky about non-brand-name products.
Cashinco.co.uk *Not just another cash-back site....*
Another site I've been using to make a few quid, the great thing about Cashinco is it's not just a 'cash-back' site...you can also earn points by using search engines and signing up for offers and registering on other sites, theres other ways to earn money here not just cash-back from shopping online.
Its free to join and signing up is fast and painless. Once you sign up you will be sent an activation code via txt message to your mobile phone, then simply enter the code and your sorted.
Concerned ? don't be I haven't had any weird phone calls or anything since registering with this site, and they are registered under the data protection act.
Cashinco like many sites works on a point system, you earn 'points' which convert to money, 1000 points is equivalent to £1.00. The two things that made me decide to join up was the fact this site will pay out earnings to your pay-pal account, and you can cash in once you have reached £10.
It takes around a month in my experience for pending points to become 'available' and on your points statement it will show all the 'offers' you have completed and points that are pending which is a handy feature. Cashinco also send out emails informing you when you have completed an offer and have pending points, and again when earned points 'clear' and are added to your available point balance. You get £1 added to your balance for signing up too.
The Site itself is well set-out and when you sign in to your account you can see your point balance right away. It will show how many points you have available to cash in and how many are still pending. The side menu shows all the offers that will earn you points and the top bar has everything else, simple easy to use and well designed. There is also a forum for members to discuss the site, always useful as answers can often be found by asking other members. Though you can contact the Cashino team for help if you need to and they will respond as promised within 24 hours.
*Daily Points and Free Points* Here you will find the 'easy-points' things like performing a search on a specified search engine, there are a few of these which you can do. For some offers you don't get points but entries into a monthly competition for a chance to win one of three prizes £100, £50 and £25. I've not won anything yet though, I tend not to bother and stick to accumulating points.
There are plenty of ways to earn free points too, most involve signing up with other sites such as survey sites/competition sites/quiz sites or entering competitions, posting adverts and using eBay. Lots and lots of different ways to earn yourself points.
*Cash-Back* Obviously the main way you can earn points-a-plenty is if you shop online, Cashinco has a wide selection of shops on its list where you can earn cash-back in the form of points when shopping. The side list is sorted into many categories to make earning while you shop simpler, with a wide selection of goods and stores to choose from. There are many well known shops and sites included for example Amazon, Early learning Centre, Woolworths, even Asda.
*Referrals* Another way of earning points is by referring friends, you earn a percentage of whatever your referred friends earn for as long as they are members, though I have yet to refer anybody.
Recommend ? Yes...
Points add up quite fast, I joined before Christmas and used it quite a bit for a week then lost interest as points take a month to clear. I didn't bother to use it for cash-back on shopping I just took advantage of the daily clicks and a couple of free points offers which are simple and fast to complete, doesn't take up much time and you can do it while doing other things.
To be honest I forgot about it untill after Christmas was done and gone, when I signed in I had £14 odd to cash in. Cashing points in was easy, simply click on the Redeem points and away you go. I cashed in my points to my pay-pal account and received them the same day. Points can also be redeemed for cash via bank transfer, so you don't have to have a pay-pal account.
So overall Cashinco is one of my better finds so far and is a site I'll be sticking with It's easy to use, the points add up quickly and I can cash out at £10 straight to my pay-pal account I'm liking it....
If you're interested enough to sign up and give it a go then pretty please give me a shout in my messages and I'll send you my referral link to sign up...
The top banner on the site informs me....Cash Paid To Members So Far: £ 57,036.19
Questions/support issues email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address if you wish to write a letter:
Global Net Ltd
144B King Street
As mentioned they are registered under the 'Data Protection Act'
Registration No: PZ9855001
you can find me and my scribblings elsewhere...
Running Time: 115 minutes
I like a fair bit of Eminem's music so when this film came out I was interested, but happy enough to wait until it came out on DVD. I picked it up from eBay at the bargain price of £3.00 inc. postage. Must say I was very impressed how well Eminem performed because singers/wrestlers and the like don't always transfer well into the world of film.
What it's about...
8 Mile is a semi-autobiographical film based on Marshall Mathers life before he became the famous rapper we know today, basically a gripping gritty tale of a poor-white-trash boy who wants to make it big. Eminem gives a great performance in the role of Jimmy 'Bunny Rabbit' Smith Jr. a white kid from the wrong side of Detroits 8 Mile who is having a hard life and struggling to realize his dream of making something of himself, a white-boy wanting to break into the black dominated rap-scene.
After separating with his pregnant girlfriend Rabbit goes back to the family home - a depressing Trailer park and the surroundings are pretty grim. Kim Basinger puts in a good performance as a stereotypical 'trailer-trash mom' she is the broke and hopeless single parent of Rabbit and his little kid sister. By day Rabbit works his dead-end job to earn what he can, by night he and his crew of friends tour the clubs watching rappers battle it out and dreaming of success.
This is where we get the first look at Rabbit, at a club his is the only white face in a sea of black rappers competing to see who's best and well...he chokes. Rabbit has a talent with words but needs to get over his 'stage-fright' when it comes to letting himself rip on-stage if he's ever going to get anywhere. His only chance of leaving his current miserable existence behind him is his ability to rap.
While this is the main focus if you like of the film, there's also plenty of other side-lines thrown in throughout the film, gang violence in the ghetto is rife and Rabbits home-life is a complete screwed-up mess. His mother is no help to him and Rabbit has only his friends to look to for support and encouragement.
Did I like it ?
I think it's a great film. A very good debut performance by Eminem playing a like-able character, you can't help but hope the poor guy will make it good. All the characters are well thought -out and well-played. Events in the story are believable making for an engrossing film and an interesting look at the harsh world of rap.
The soundtrack of course is mainly rap-style music with songs from Eminem himself, fits really well with the film. There's plenty of action thrown in and the rap-battles are great to watch, it's an entertaining film. You are treated to the story of one poor-guy trying to make something of himself and escape his dead-end life and depressing existence.
With friendship, strong language, violence some love and yes the sex scene it's got plenty to hold your attention to the end. The film doesn't completely fall into the 'rags-to-riches' category but does finish on a happier note than it began. It's a good drama and would say is good enough to interest most people not just Eminems fan-base. This DVD has come down in price since it's release and can easily be picked up cheap off eBay or from Amazon.
Thanks for reading,
You can find me and my scribblings elsewhere...
Bonus Features: Making Of : Eminem talking about aspects of the film. Parts which are inspired by his own life and experience. Exclusive Rap Battles: rap battles on set, found this bit quite entertaining. Music: Menu that lets you jump to the parts of the film featuring the music.
Director: Curtis Hanson / Writer: Scott Silver
Cast: Eminem, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Evan Jones, Omar Benson Miller, De'Angelo Wilson, Eugene Byrd, Taryn Manning, Larry Hudson, Proof, Mike Bell, DJ Head, Michael Shannon, Chloe Greenfield.
Another site which sends out paid surveys, one of the better sites out there with a pretty decent reward system. The site itself is simple to use and well set out, registering is quick and painless, with the usual boxes to fill in. Maybe worth mentioning they will need your address so they can send your 'rewards'.
I joined late last year and have received my fair share of surveys from them, normally at least one every other week sometimes a couple. The highest number of surveys I've received from Valued Opinions was 5 in one week, but those were follow-on ones for a product testing..
Once you've confirmed your account - again usual procedure applies. You will receive an eMail to confirm your new 'Valued Opinions' account. After this it's time to fill out the 'profiles' in your account the more 'complete' your profile is then the more appropriate survey offers you're likely to receive. It's worth spending 20 minutes filling out the questions to get as close to 100% complete as you can. The site is very self-explanatory with good F.A.Q / Help sections should you get confused or have any questions.
The Surveys....The Rewards...
Survey invitations are sent via Email and provide you with a click-able link to the survey. The surveys themselves are normally user-friendly and easy to complete. The rewards on offer vary according to the length of the survey but are between 50 pence and £5.00 no daft offers of 10 pence for half an hour of your time and 25 pages of questions...most of the surveys I have received and completed have been worth £1.50 - £2.00.
There are 'screening' questions but if you don't qualify you get entries into the 'Prize Draw' you also receive entries to the prize draw for completing other short sets of questions in the 'Hot Topics' section, winners names are displayed but I have not won yet - I live in hope.. While completing a set of 'hot topics' questions recently I was informed that because of completing the hot topic questions I may now qualify for more future surveys which hasn't happened before.
It's not all boring either... I have been sent a box of brand-name shampoo and conditioner to test out via this site. I had to fill out my opinion of them once I had tested out the sample bottles....reward for this was £1.50 per shampoo/conditioner questionnaire which worked out at about £5.00 - plus the free shampoo and conditioner of course.
At the minute I have £6.75 and another £1.50 still 'pending'. When you complete a survey the amount earned gets listed straight away in the 'Pending Credits' A nice feature so you can see what you have just earned, pending credits take up to a month to be added to your 'Current Reward Balance' You can redeem your balance for various vouchers or donate to charity, the minimum amount you can redeem for is £10. Once you have requested the voucher of your choice be aware it can take anywhere up to a month to arrive, if your lucky will be sooner but they turn up eventually.
Vouchers / Charities to choose from...
£10 Vouchers are available for the following stores/sites : Arcadia Group (includes: Burton, Dorothy Perkins, evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topshop, Topman, Wallis) Amazon, Boots, HMV, Tesco, Argos, Marks & Spencer, and John Lewis.
£10 donations can be made to the following charities: British Red Cross, WWF, World Vision, and Amnesty International.
Yes if you have the time / inclination to share your opinion and tick boxes, I find the surveys sent to me via Valued opinions are usually relevant to me so I don't get screened out all the time unlike surveys from other sites and they're easy to complete.
The rewards are pretty fair in comparison to those offered by other survey sites...the lowest reward ever offered to me was 50p for a short set of questions....no ridiculous offers of 10 - 20 pence here.
The site itself straightforward and simple to use, just sign in and you can see all your info in one place. Don't expect to earn yourself a fortune...but a £10 voucher in the post every now and then is a nice reward for the odd 10 minutes here and there giving your opinions.
Thanks for reading,
You can find me and my scribblings elsewhere...
My First LeapPad - Disney Pixar Cars Book
Out of the tonnes of "Cars" merchandise out there, this was by far one of the best buys I made. It has proved to have long lasting entertainment value unlike some of the models cars which lose their novelty value pretty fast.
All of the books for the My First Leap Pad are "two in one" flip books with one story side and one activity side. The cover is fairly thick shiny card and the pages are thinner but still durable. The cartridge has a matching picture of McQueen so easy to find the right one to go with the book.
The pictures on and in the 'Cars' book are cartoon-style rather than the flashy pixar computer generated characters from the film which I found a bit disappointing to honest, though all the favorites are here and still very recognisable it just lacks the flashy pixar film style 'something'. Not too important as my son didn't seem the least bit bothered by it...it's still 'Cars'
On the front it says" Preschool " and that this book teaches:
Car Facts and Parts
The story in the book is the same as the film, so it provides a familiar story for your child to go through- assuming they have or have seen the film which we have many times !
Car Facts and Parts:
A strange thing to include but I'm sure many little people will enjoy learning more about their beloved 'cars' help Mcqueen go shopping for parts, select parts then touch where they go on the car, gives a couple of facts too about race-cars not needing headlights and "did you know race-cars use over 1000 tyres a year?" fun.
Has plenty of fun Car facts though some of it may bit a bit much for your average 4 year old to appreciate, most of it is pretty good though as it explains what cars use things for like fuel and tyres.
You have to help the lost McQueen find his way around radiator springs by touching numbers on the road in the right order which goes up to 10. You also get to 'race' Doc Hudson which involves following a 1,2,3 shaped race track with the pen.
There's the 'Changing Gears game' also number based, quite a few games are based on doing the same thing like following numbers around a track or lines.
The page with the vowels game is a bit bizarre and repetitive but still fun to do, basically just touching the bits with 'vowel' sounds in to help McQueen fix the road...easy...then it sounds out the one you've touched and repeats an odd rhyme using the chosen sound.
McQueen has ruined the road...The main shape based game, basically involves matching shapes game "touch a shape " then find the same shape in the picture. It then gives you a bit more information like circles are round, squares have 4 sides etc.
The big race.. a race track in the shape of the word car which you must follow with the pen as you do this it sounds out the letters and at the end says the word "car " The games throughout are a bit more based on following lines with the pen rather than touching objects so overall very good for writing practice without the writing if that makes sense. Basically practice at holding and using pen to 'draw' lines rather than just press things.
Best game in it has got to be 'Tractor Tipping' with Mater and whilst very amusing it also teaches 'deductive reasoning' In the Game you have to guess which tractor Mater will tip, it gives you a clues such as "his eyes are open.." and you have to touch the right picture, Mater continues giving clues until you find the right one.
There's also plenty of games involving colours too. The last story page asks questions about things that happen in the story like " who wreaked the road?" you're then meant to touch the right character, "story comprehension" quite a good idea really. There's also ' symbol recognition ' where you have to touch certain things like letters or shapes on a page full of number plate pictures. A nice rhyming game in there too.."Things that rhyme with Mater...Later...'Tater..'Gator "
This book contains more than promised on the cover and provides good practice at holding and using the pen to make lines and shapes, definitely helpful for first stages of learning to write.
Like other books available this will help your child to learn things while playing fun games, I really like the way they 'voice' the different books with the characters makes it much more appealing to your child. It works for my Boy plus he's learnt plenty about car parts - both names and their uses !!
Purchased my book from eBay for £6 new. The My First LeapPad books are widely available and not hard to find, though I do recommend a search online to find the best deal.
Well worth buying if your little one into the Disney Pixar 'Cars' Film
Thanks for Reading...
...and just like to point out I don't normally play with his toys while he's at school...and like I told my Other Half....
" I'm not playing...I'm reviewing ! "
You can find me and my scribblings elsewhere...
== Smarties Push-Up ice-cream ==
We have tried the Smarties ice-cream cones, crunchy cones filled with broken smarties and topped with whole ones. We have also had the tubs full of broken smarties ice-cream. But these are something a bit more fun and different....
=== Cost ===
The boy got grandma to buy a pack on his last visit and they cost £2.49 for a box of 5 from Tesco. They are available in most supermarkets and frozen food places.
=== The ice-creams..===
The box feature a picture of the ice-creams and states "No artificial colourings" Since they said goodbye to the Blue smarties. These are a 'Push-up' style ice-cream in a cardboard cylinder 'cone', each individual cardboard cone is about 10cm long and 90ml. They have an easy to remove foil top and feature a funky transparent plastic 'stick' tube at the end to hold it with and to push up your ice-cream. The tube-stick is also filled with whole miniature smarties.
The actual ice-cream itself is the same as the other Nestle Smarties ice-cream products. It smells sweet and pleasant on opening and it filled with crushed up mini-Smarties. It tastes a little of vanilla but mostly the taste comes from the many Smartie pieces squashed into the ice-cream. Is not that creamy but pleasant enough, too sweet for my taste to eat regularly but is a favorite with little boy.
=== Eating it...===
A bit like an advanced version of a push-up ice lolly these push-up ice-creams are fun to eat especially for kids. Top is easy to peel off without adult help and the ice-cream does push out easy enough once its been out the freezer a couple of minutes - found it needs a bit of time to melt enough to allow it to be pushed out.
The smarties in the tube can be a bit hard to get out and have been scattered everywhere when boy got stressed at it. You have to tip it up and rattle it around a bit to get to the coveted smarties in the bottom as they can stick on there way out of the cone.
=== Recommend ? ===
Really prefer these to the traditional edible cone type smarties ice-cream as little boy normally eats as much ice-cream as possible then the cone itself ends up in the dog. ..but with these cardboard cylinders there's no waste. They are fun to eat and something a little different to give as an ice-cream treat. Probably not healthy and yes fattening but they are a treat and it is ice-cream full of bits of colourfully coated broken up chocolate Smarties. A nice treat now and again.
Thanks for reading,
me and my scribblings can be found elsewhere...