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I first discovered Runaround about 2 years ago. Having visited a lot of play centres in Sheffield Runaround looked good. The problem with a lot of playcentres is they are great when they are new and everything is clean and fresh but as time goes on everything starts looking dirty, worn and tired. However that's not the case at runaround and I think that explains why they are always so busy.
Off peak will cost you £3.50 Peak will cost you £4.50 per child. A reasonable priced playcentre especially as they don't charge adults. It can get so busy there are no tables available even though they have plenty. When you go in you have to sign in and pay before they let you thorough a door secured by a lock they have to release from behind the counter. So the place is secure. During peak times they operate a 2 hour policy where you have to leave after those 2 hours. All play centres do this anyway and in my experience 2 hours is more than enough for a parent.
They have 3 sections in runaround - a small under 3 section which has a small climbing frame and slide and little tykes cars as well as soft climbing blocks, a ball section with football nets and basket ball nets and finally the main part which has plenty of slides, climbing, ball shooting and general fun for the kids.
With plenty of tables they also have a small number of couches which are great for parents / carers to sit and relax while the kids play. They offer a wide range of hot drinks with a good range of coffee and syrups. They food there is very good as well and good value for money. They chicken nuggets are particularly a favourite as they are real chicken, no processed plastic type rubbish.
During weekdays they offer a play and eat after school for £5 which includes entrance and a kids meal. They offer a good range of childrens parties too.
The only negative thing I can say is it is really busy but most playcentres are but at least here its clean. The equipment, toilets, tables, chairs and the general building is always clean. Sometimes when it is extra busy service can be a little slow. They also offer a loyalty card where you get the tenth visit free i believe. Parking can be limited although they have a good sized car park you often have to park on the road but being an industrial estate there's plenty of space and no limitations
This can be tricky to find in shops but I buy from Jack fulton's frozen food shop for £1 or from a chinese grocery store for £1.29 for a 255g packet. I have heard people buy from b & m homestores or home bargains but it depends from store to store.
The curry powder is in a plastic storage tub with a clip on lid (like you would get from chinese takeaway) and is then inside a cardboard box.
It is so simple to make a chinese style curry at home with this sauce. I really do think it tastes just like the curry you would get from the chinese takeaway. To make the curry you have to place the required water in the pan add the powder (quantities are on the pack along with instructions) and whisk over heat until it thickens. It takes less than 10 mins. You can add cooked meat or have just as a plain curry sauce. I personally like to add chunky onions, peas, mushrooms and chicken or prawns. You would easily feed 4 people from the packet twice, maybe even three times so its a bargain price.
So...The taste? As i've already said it tastes just like the chinese takeaway. It is quite mild though its not a spicy curry but they do make a 'hot' version which is quite spicy its quite a leap from this to the 'hot' one. Im no wuss when it comes to currys but my nose was running. This one however is fine, my kids enjoy it also. I have also reheated leftovers and it still tastes nice. It goes very thick and gloopy when cooled but if you stir when you reheat its just as nice.
Currently on offer for £279 at very.co.uk but I purchased mine for £258 including delivery by opening an account and receiving 10% off. Shop around but factoring in the delivery and 10% it was the cheapest option I found.
Beko is an increasingly popular brand on the market and after speaking to two relatives that had bought Beko washers in the past 6 months and been very happy with them I opted for a BEKO after my old Indesit packed up.
I bought the black washer which is a shiny, glossy type of black. Does require a lot of wiping down as any black appliance does as dust is visible. Being an 8kg it is a very generous size (especially having gone from a 5kg to an 8kg). The door is big and so is easy to load the washing in. For anyone looking like me to upsize I can put almost double in the washer and I haven't needed to use extra detergent or softener.
The washer is very quiet when working which is a great advantage. The controls are very simple and self explanatory. With a digital screen you can go through the different wash options by turning the dial and it will display how long the wash will take. With most of the wash options you can change the temperature and spin requirements. The higher the temperature the longer each different cycle takes. The washer has two quick functions - a daily quick wash which at 40degrees takes only 50minutes but it can be adjusted to different temperatures which can wash the full 8kg capacity. There is also a express super short which will only wash at 30degrees and takes between 14 and 20 minutes depending on the spin. This however can only wash 2kg of clothes.
There are many different cycles - cottons, mixed fabrics, intensive, baby and toddler, woolens, synthetics, cottons eco, freshen up, handwash, eco clean 20, dark care and even its self clean function which is a maintenance wash recommended to be done every month.
The great thing with this washer as well as it looking really nice is the cycles can all be tailored to your needs. With my last washer i was limited as a lot of cycles could only be used on certain temperatures. The spin can be changed from 1200 to 400 in intervals of 200 and temperatures from 20 - 90 degrees. There is also the delayed wash function which again is very specific you can set it up to 24hours in advance at any half hour interval. There is also a child lock function.
As you can tell I am very happy with this washer and having had it a month haven't found a down side to it. It washes everything great and doesnt snag my clothes like my old one did.
From a popular brand is this kids shampoo. Presented in a lime green bottle with a flip cap lid (the larger bottle comes with a pump dispenser on the bottle). Found with the other children's shampoo in the supermarket retailing usually at £2 for a 250ml bottle.
This shampoo contains tea tree oil which is a natural head lice repellent. You can smell the tea tree oil in the shampoo and this is it's only fragrance. Thankfully this being a kid's shampoo the tea tree is not too overpowering in smell.
I first began using this shampoo on my son as he doesn't have long hair but its not shaven either and having very thick hair I was concerned, as any parent is about him catching head lice (I'm currently itching at the thought!). I have been using this on my son, now 6 years old for 2 years now. It is gentle on his eyes and hasn't caused him any problems with his skin or scalp. He has a slightly sensitive scalp at times like myself.
The real bonus for me is the head lice repellent shampoo has lived up to that fact. He hasn't caught them at all whilst using this shampoo despite many head lice warning letters from school. You may be thinking its good luck or coincidence BUT he did have head lice once. I had ran out of this shampoo and so used his younger sister's Loreal kids ( she needs one with a lot of conditioner) and within this week he caught head lice. And you will be exactly right in thinking I haven't ran out again since.
I also use the detangler / spray in conditioner by vosene and it seems to be equally as effective as a repellent on my daughter.
Owner of thick curly hair and long too down to middle of my back. I have had GHDs for the past 9 years after giving up on straightners periodically with the old style ones. Even with GHD's my hair is stubborn to straighten. Given my GhDs were slowly giving up I looked in Argos and came across these with excellent reviews. Plus reduced from 89.99 to 34.00 I thought they would be worth a try.
I purchased them and was suitably impressed they come packaged in a box nice and shiny ....premium looking. The straighteners are the same sort have size as the classic GHD's but nicer to look at. They are a shiny black with cream sides and pretty cream flowers on the black. Very stylish looking. They come with a heatproof bag and mat which attach to make a zip up bag which the mat wraps around and clips. The bag looks like a long thin clutch bag in a bronze - gold shiny material.
These unlike my previous ones can be locked into a closed position, a great feature for me having young children as i can lock them up after use and stash them away without wrapping with wire thus avoiding damaging the wire. These have to be switched on everytime as its a 'button' not a 'switch' and you can set the temp. When you turn it on its set to 190'c but can be turned up to 253'c. They will give a beep when ready. They have an automatic shut off after 1minute. They take 10 secs it says to heat up bit longer than some but still quick enough. They have a long cable too. (Do not heat whilst in the locked position is the advise given)
So how do they perform?? I can sum that up in one word FANTASTIC. They make my hair sleeker and smoother owing to the pearl technology or better straighteners? Who knows but i am impressed. At less than a third of the price (on offer) of the replacement to my existing ones and up to the same if not better quality and performance I would highly recommend these. They glide through my hair more easily it feels and it tames the ends and stubborn parts of my hair down much easier.
Im now a remmington convert
Our local crown carvery is the Moorlands in sheffield. It is a nice clean pub with good parking and an outside playarea and seating ( wooden picnic style benches). We have been several times with the family to meet up for a meal to celebrate birthdays. We have been twice in the past two weeks and the food has been lovely. For mon to saturday all day its 3.99 for adults 3.49 for kids. As with the usual carverys of this type you get your meat and yorkshire served and help yourself to as much veg, potatoes, stuffing, gravy and sauces as you want. If you dont want the normal roast they also do such things as pie and sausages which i believe are 2 meals for £7. They sell a good variety of drinks and service is always fast.
My husband and I are big eaters and go for the kingsize option for an extra £1.50. Personally i find its definitely worth the extra money. You get a giant yorkshire instead of a small one, extra meat and a sausage. Monday to saturday there is beef, turkey and gammon on offer, all offered with a yorkshire pudding, stuffing, mash potatoes, roast potatoes and a good choice of veg. Obviously this will vary from the different carveries but this one always seems to have carrots, cauliflower cheese, peas, sweetcorn, a green veg, the potatoes and possibly some others. The meat is moist especially the turkey. The veg is always piping hot and the servers and staff are friendly.
The desserts are reasonably priced and nice too. Hot and cold puddings served. There is also usually colouring pages and crayons for the kids too
Last night we went we took advantage of the 'kids eat free in half term' offer they seem to do most holidays. Worked out 14.88 i think it was for two kingsize carveries and two cokes.
Given the cost and effort you put into doing a roast at home i happily will go to crown carvery instead.
simple..... a kind and gentle brand, i have always found their products to be good however i was let down by this. Coming in a clear plastic bottle with flip top lid with simples usual colour of green on the lid and writing. The liquid is clear and has not perfumed smell as thats the simple brand no perfumes.
Purchased for 3.29 from boots for 125ml, i thought i would give this a try as it was a bit cheaper than my usual brand. Found with all the simple products in the facial care department of boots.
I used the product as you would on cotton wool wiping over the eyes, however for me it was useless. It was just as though i had wiped water over my makeup. It simply smudges the makeup and does not remove it. I ended up with dark patches under my eyes i had to remove with cleanser as this wasnt shifting any of it. It is also worth clarifying none of the make up is waterproof or normally hard to remove. I used most of the bottle in a week whilst waiting to get my usual one. The only positive thing i can say really is it is not greasy and it did not irritate my skin as my eyes can be sensitive.
Not a product i would consider using in future nor recommend sadly.
I love B and M. What is it some may ask? Well its a discount shop but not selling cheap rubbish. It sells many things quite often brand names. Its fab for a great range of things - Toiletries, home accessories, toys, small appliances, food, hardware.
For convenience its fab and more often than not good quality. We have recently purchased a new xmas tree from there. A 6ft tree for £10 you cant go wrong. I have also purchased a few xmas gifts from there too. For instance they had a pushchair in there for 26.99 which on offer at a leading toy store was 34.99 or about 39.99 full price. When i returned an item recently WITHOUT the receipt they asked what i wanted to do and actually traced my receipt to refund me in full. I was amazed.
The only items i dont rate is clothes but its without reason as ive never tried them but everything else has been fab.
49p for 15 yorkshires? .....yes please and good quality fab tasting too even better. Priced around the same as other supermarket basic yorkshires yet others pack them in 12's and smaller at that too. Packed in the usual sainsburys basics packing. White with orange writing on, found in the freezer with the other yorkshire puddings. These yorkshires are soft yet crisp on the top as they should be. I believe if you gave me one of these and a leading brand yorkshire these would prob be the better one or at least as good as. Compared to other basic yorkshires they are miles better. Retaining their shape in freezer and oven they are not rubbery or chewy but simply delicious with a roast. Quick to warm through in the over for 3-5 minutes.
Given there are 15 makes it a better size pack for us too. Kits love yorkshires all day long so at the price its not going to break the bank and we get quality and quantity without paying premium prices.
This is a fab icing to decorate cupcakes or fill cakes with. Found in the baking aisle in supermarkets most big stores stock it, this one and other flavours like the vanilla. Priced at 1.94 in asda, piping onto muffin size cupcakes you would expect to get about 12 out of a tub. Obviously this could vary greatly on the size of cake or amount of icing. This is ready to pipe from room temperature and holds its shape very well.
The flavour of this is too overpowering. Its not a nice subtle flavour but it overpowers everything. For everything else this icing is great, the only problem being the flavour of vanilla being too strong. But after all its vanilla flavoured and someone else might love the strong flavour of vanilla.
For a special occasion on a cake/cupcake which would be out in the open say on a warm day this would hold shape better than buttercream.
This is a fab icing to decorate cupcakes or fill cakes with. Found in the baking aisle in supermarkets most big stores stock it, this one and other flavours like the vanilla. Priced at 1.74 in asda, piping onto muffin size cupcakes you would expect to get about 12 out of a tub. Obviously this could vary greatly on the size of cake or amount of icing. It sounds pricey but for piping on cakes it is fantastic as it holds its shape much better than traditional home made buttericing. It is ready to pipe from room temperature. If you dont use it all at once you can store it in the fridge for 30 days. You will then just need to remove it about 20 mins before you want it.
The flavour of this is incredible. This chocolate fudge icing the same taste as on the top of a good choc fudge cake. The icing is incredibly smooth and rich flavoured but not too sickly. You would struggle to get a flavour like this from homemade i think.
For a special occasion on a cake/cupcake which would be out in the open say on a warm day this would hold shape better than buttercream.
I up until recently was a baked bean snob and insisted on heinz or branston. However with the credit crunch and no brand names on offer i opted for asdas beans in a pack of four for 1.27 compared to brands at 1.90-2.00. They come in a tin as beans do. They do not have a pull ring but then theres only heinz really that does. The labelling is in a rich red colour with white and black writing on. They are suitable for vegetarians as you would expect.
The main part.....TASTE. I was pleasantly surprised with these beans the sauce to bean ratio is right not half a tin of beans half sauce but just the right amount of both. The sauce is a nice consistency and is not too sweet or artificial tasting like a lot of cheaper beans i have tried also its not too tangy either. Beans are a tad smaller then heinz i would say but they always seem bigger than some.
Beans being such a versatile food, it makes sense to find a quality one that doesnt cost the earth and this to me is it. Unless brands are on offer at £1 i stick to these now.
When it comes to bread i buy and actually prefer basics bread. Its not too thick and stodgy and not heavy on the pocket either. Sainsburys basics bread is like a few other supermarkets with regards to price at 47pence a loaf. It comes as a standard 800g loaf size in basic clear bag with the signature orange and white print the sainsburys basics range has.
Depending what you want from your bread would depend if you liked it. Its not a very light airy bread but not too heavy and dense either. The loaf is generally a near perfect square size at the ends giving perfect loaf squares. The crust is nice and soft. Given the choice of this or brand name bread irrelivant of price i would choose this. Its ideal for toasting sandwiches or breadcrumbs. I usually freeze it and pull it out from freezer when the previous loaf has finished and you cant tell its been frozen which with some you can and the bread is slightly dry and not as nice.
A definate favourite for me for basics bread or any bread. Another fab basics bread item from sainsburys
A few years back i was a food snob wouldnt have gone near lidl and similar but after the start of the recession and me opening my eyes i realised these places weren't bad and neither was the food it was just different brands at different prices.
Lidl is expanding through europe as they state on their 'about us' and this is reflected in their products. Our particular lidl carries alot of products from european origin and they are not products made there for the uk but products made for all europe. The cheeses cooked meats show this with their original names often not even clearly marked CHEESE for example.
You do find the odd brand name product, in our lidl this is particularly tru of confectionary, soft drinks and some cooking sauces.
I dont do a weekly shop at lidl and neither do i intend to. I will continue to pop in for bits and pieces as all i have had has been good quality and reasonably priced. The reason i wouldnt do my full shop there is a few reasons firstly they dont have as much variety as your normal supermarket such as asda tescos sainsburys etc. And i guess this will be dependant on what you buy but for me weighing up individual prices it doesnt work out much cheaper for me to shop there. BUT if lidl stocked their versions of what i need to buy i would shop there.
The other thing with lidl is like aldi and nettos you have to purchase your bags if you need some and they only accept debit card not credit card and the checkouts are always a bit rushed as they dont have a lot of tils open.
Co-ops are now much more popular. Until a few years ago the co ops you saw were the old style almost department store like co op supermarkets. Then they bought out all the somerfield stores and revamped re opening boasting a bright new smart cooperative sign. Offering a membership rewards scheme with everything from food shopping finance travel pharmacy. I must add tho other than the odd £2 off a £20 shop i havent experienced much rewards from it.
The reasons i use co op stores is because its one of two places in walking distance when the car is with my husband. One being a sainsburys so small it hardly sells anything the other the co op. Co op has like most supermarkets good offers on which change fortnightly or weekly depending. However for me its not enough the shop is so expensive compared to its competitors. And quality is nothing special.
The other day for example i bought 4pts of milk and a loaf of smartprice bread and it cost me about 70p more than at sainsburys.
Reduced food is plentiful in my local co op and was in my last one before we moved areas. However compared to other supermarkets they dont cut it by a great deal. I saw yesterday a punnet of grapes 500g pack had the sell by of that day and was reduced to 1-65. I mean if you're buying food reduced cos its come to its date then you want a good reduction.
The range in our local store is somewhat limited too and its not a small store really. Even milk they dont carry 6pt milk.
Overall the quality is ok, occasionally fresh stuff can be hit and miss but this is the same in most places but i wouldnt actively choose co op just for the price issue.