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With the trend for 'under the bump' maternity jeans and trousers I have found it very difficult to find ones that don't constantly slip down, exposing my ever-expanding bump and rear every few steps - there is just nothing to hold them up, until I discovered the bump band!
The Bumpband is a stretchy band that you wear over the top of your trousers, under and over the bottom of your bump. It comes in black or white and is designed for use throughout your pregnancy, providing support and lift to your bump as well as covering the tops of non maternity trousers. There are are few products of this type on the market, but having done a little research and read numerous customer reviews, I decided this one looked the best quality and most likely to achieve the result I wanted - trousers that stayed up.
Amazon sell Bumpband in various sizes, based on your pre-pregnancy clothes size, in black or white (so to co-ordinate with your wardrobe) for £16.99 and free delivery.
On opening the product I did wonder if it wasn't something that could be rustled up quickly on a sewing machine yourself, for a fraction of the cost, as it does just look like a boob tube in lycra (nice), but frankly who has the time or inclination these days, not me at least.
Once stretched over the top of my trousers, bum and bump it did feel sleek and secure, whilst not at all tight or restrictive. I was very impressed with the result, as not only did it help keep my under the bump jeans up it did make me feel supported and sort of 'neater' in that area. I also discovered the bonus of being able to wear pre-pregnancy trousers with the button undone whilst still in that in-between stage, with the belt over the top to hold them up. It has even meant that pre-pregnancy tops can be worn for longer, due to the 'layering effect' of the band.
I am delighted with this purchase - such a simple idea which tackles a number of maternity wear gripes and at an affordable price!
My memories of Ryvita crisp breads were not pleasant ones - scratchy cardboard comes to mind. They were the type of things that people on diets ate, as if they weren't suffering enough!
Anyway, due to my 2-year old's recent ambition to eat only bread and cheese related products, we have been exploring new options and I can only say that I am amazed by the transformation! I would go so far as to say I am rather addicted to their crispy crunchiness and this multi-grain one is my favourite.
They come in a 250g paper packet, so need to be put into an airtight container one opened to keep optimum crispiness (although not entirely necessary the rate I'm going through them). This works out to approx. 20 slices at 96p (Sainsburys) that's less than 5p per slice - bargain! Wholegrain and covered in toasted seeds, they are not only yummy but high in fibre, iron and low in fat and calories. I imagine they would be a useful substitute to bread if on a calorie-controlled diet, but at the rate I go through them it probably doesn't work out lower calories.
In summary - delicious crunchy, crispy toasted seeded yummy goodness! Oh and the boy loves them too :)
The latest in my search for a good quality, effective and reasonably priced day cream, L'Oreal's (new formula) Revitalift Day Cream cost me £12.71, less a £5 money off voucher at Boots.
The cream comes in a stout 50ml pump-action bottle and professes to be both anti-wrinkle and firming thanks to its magic ingredients - Pro-Retinol A and Elastin (I'm a bit dubious). It is also SPF15, which I do rate in a moisturiser, being fair-skinned.
The bottle has a plastic cap (which I will break/lose within a week) and I almost fall at the first hurdle, until I realise you need to remove the little red plug - duh!
My first impression is that the amount that squeezes out is quite generous and thick and has a pleasant smell - not unlike Nivea. It applies very well and I don't even need a second pump to cover my whole face, which is great. (I was really annoyed by my last purchase, also reviewed, which took half a dozen pumps and needless to say didn't last long!) It absorbs quickly and feels light, whilst creamy. I am so far impressed.
The result is that my skin feels softer and a little taut. If I'm honest, I'm still not too sure about all these skin tightening products, it's not a sensation I enjoy, but I may need to adapt as everything begins to sag and wrinkle - I blame motherhood!
I will persevere as this is the best I've found yet in this price range and I am pleased with the results so far.
On a personal note, I think I just still miss my Clarins :( - 15 years, it was my longest love affair to date, but I'll get over it....eventually (and will try to stop mentioning it in my reviews for other products!) :)
My 2-year old has decided that this week he is only eating bread and cheese.....thank goodness for multivitamins hidden stealthfully in his juice! So we have been experimenting with a wide array of bread and cheese type products. I usually avoid processed cheese but am quickly learning who is now boss in our household and consoled myself that this is a pretty wholesome brand, in fact I loved them as a child...living overseas they were 'La Vache Qui Rit' and had a catchy little jingle on TV - we were quite desperate for any kind of TV when we were little! I digress...
I paid £1.08 at Sainsbury's for the original Laughing Cow pack with 8 triangle portions. You can get 16 pack and it also now comes in light varieties and cheese dippers (haven't quite got there yet!). The iconic round cardboard box hasn't changed much in the last 20 years but the seal is now an easy-to-open plastic strip rather than the old red string that I sometimes struggled with. Each cheese triangle is individually wrapped in foil - not great for the environment, but convenient. I also discovered how to reuse the carton to make a hand drum today on Mister Maker (CBeebies for those without kids). Useful...
I'm not going to list all the ingredients, I don't think that adds much value, save to say that it is a full fat cheese spread and professes to be a natural source of calcium (reassuring as it is cheese right?).
I have to admit that whilst making my little boy's sandwiches I did pop one of these, whole, into my mouth and it was heavenly! Smooth, creamy and fresh and took me right back to childhood!
But for the real test, did my son eat it? Yes! I have always tried to feed my child the right food, lovingly homemade etc. but he seems to have a natural radar for anything out of a packet...monster! Anyway, I feel pretty good about him eating this versus some of the more synthetic feeling brands and was so relieved that after his first trepidatious bite he said...'de-licious!'. Well that's good enough for me!
Thanks for reading.
I received my first ever box of Dairy Box yesterday for Mother's Day and was rather pleasantly surprised. I must say it would not have been my first choice (I would tend to go either high end or these days, fairtrade - on the rare occasion I buy chocolates...for someone else usually) but was just grateful to get anything really. I do love my husband deeply, but he is typically quite rubbish and my son is just 2.
Anyway on to the chocs....
Simple, quite modern packaging - more appealing than the old version shown on dooyoo. Open the flip lid, beneath the paper lining, you'll find an assortment of 22 milk chocolates glistening up at you, looking divine! Oh and the mandatory little menu card.
I am thrilled to realise there is another layer (I really don't get chocolates much and it shows!) and as I peruse the menu I am further delighted by the absence of coffee, marzipan or any of the usual 'fillers' that typically get left in the box.
Having already polished off the first layer, (all but one slightly dodgy brandy truffle) and dived into the second, I can report that I am again pleasantly surprised! OK, its not high-end chocolate (she says, sounding very snobby!), but for your conventional milk chocolate box (which is all it professes to be) they are rather scrummy!
Lots of smooth pralines, roasted almonds and hazelnuts - yum, yum, and they have thankfully not felt the need to put anything too random in there. OK, the brandy truffle wasn't to my taste and the raspberry one was just ok, but that's pretty good going for an assortment of this type in my experience.
Overall the quality of the chocolate was good, the fillings smooth and indulgent and well, there are plenty of them, which rocks!
I should add that the 400g box is currently half price at Co-op for £2.93 (as some kind soul pointed out to me!). I think the offer finishes this week though, but definitely a bargain!
Verdict: The boy did good!
I bought this online from Mothercare whilst getting prepared for potty training my 2-year old, (although I'm not sure how prepared you can both be for this somewhat challenging stage!).
The Pottete is an ingenious fold away travel potty, which can also be used as a trainer toilet seat. Made in light weight plastic (pink or blue) it folds flat for easy storage in your buggy or nappy bag (yes, hopes of getting my handbag back have not yet materialised!). I paid £12.99 for mine, which included 3 disposable liners, but also bought a 10-pack of extra liners for a further £3.75. Ok, not cheap, given I only paid £3.99 for my son's actual potty (Tommee Tippee from Amazon - will also review), but I was really taken with the idea.
My first impression whilst unpacking it was a rather pleasant smell from the liners - it actually reminds me of my mum's perfume (which for obvious reasons I haven't mentioned to her!) - not the usual chemical sickly smell I have come to expect from such things. The liners easily loop round the legs, which fold down and give a solid 'click' into place. The liners contain an absorbent pad which soak up most, if not all, pee which is rather clever and then the whole thing can be removed, tied and thrown in a big, or the faithful nappy bag, in a flash - fab!
I have to say I was dreading the first time we needed to use this, but by day 3 of potty training we both desperately needed out of the house. When the words 'big pee pee' were cried (sending me into the usual whirl of panic trying to get trousers, pants down etc. and bum on potty before the inevitable flood) I was amazed and how easily I was able to lift out the potty, fold and click in the legs and plonk him on it, in what felt like one swift movement. I have to say I felt rather smug as I quickly whipped it away again, even remembering to replace with a new liner ready for next time. Quite an uncharacteristic moment of well-prepared mumdom...
This clever little invention (it must have been designed by a parent surely!) has given us such freedom, during what can be a trying time all round. Once clicked in place it is sturdy and my son is very comfortable using it virtually anywhere. I haven't used the trainer seat function yet, but might perhaps when the liners run out.
Altogether fab little gadget that gives me the confidence to go out for the day without the worry of accidents.
We moved house last October and having looked around a little decided to go to Sky for their TV, phone (Sky Talk) and broadband package. Our experience with Sky in the past had been good and the package met all our needs at an excellent price.
The Sky Talk unlimited package offers free calls anytime to UK landlines and to 20 overseas countries incl. Australia, France, Canada, US etc. (even Canadian and US mobiles), for £5 pm. And you don't have to change your BT line or number...great.
Having already set up a BT account for the line rental (you used to have to do this), I called Sky to place my order. I explained our circumstances and what we wanted (having all the details to hand from their website). The man I spoke to offered me Sky line rental too, a new service since we had last been with them, and marginally cheaper than BT at £10 pm. Why not, I thought, a small saving and surely easier to have everything in one place! I did explain I already had set up an account with BT for this, but no problem the man said, they would sort out the switch and I didn't have to do anything...great!
Now anyone who has gone down the Sky route will know there is usually a bit of a wait to get connected, so I was prepared for that, however as the weeks dragged on I was wanting my free calls, I chased them and was told BT were being slow (funny how BT always seem to be the problem). A couple more weeks past and I received a letter from BT saying that they had received a request to transfer my line rental to another provider and as I had only recently set up the account, and so was still under contract, they may charge me a cancellation fee. No confirmation they would or what that would be, but still enough to cause concern.
On calling Sky Talk the man I spoke to was very friendly, if a bit patronising (he called me 'love') and reassured me that this was just BT 'trying it on' and that they also had things they could pull and not to worry about it, I would not be charged anything. Perhaps I should have been weary of this man's attitude, but he worked for Sky Talk and seemed to know what he was talking about. What else could I do? Now, I realise I should have have called again to get it confirmed by someone else, or perhaps spoken to BT, but I didn't want to be bullied into staying with them, when I still believed I'd be better off with Sky.
I was eventually connected and some time later received a final bill from BT including a whopping £152 cancellation charge! I was furious and got on to Sky at once. I was told, not only had the Sky customer service person given me the wrong information but also that the person who I had originally placed my order with shouldn't have even offered line rental to me in the first place, knowing I was still under contract with BT. This person said they personally would never have even suggested it to me, knowing that I would be charged by BT! I escalated the call, actually with the support of the person I was speaking to, to as far as I could by phone, but just had sections of the terms and conditions read to me about me being responsible for any contracts with third parties, blah, blah......very helpful!
I actually prepared an email of complaint but could not find an email address anywhere on the Sky website to send it to. Unbelievable, or perhaps not if they have a tendency to receive a lot of complaints! I could have posted a message, limited to x number of words, but as you know I have a lot to say on the matter and would not be so restricted!!
I decided the only thing to do was to go back to BT for my line rental (having agreed with them they would waive the cancellation fee if I did). Simple enough...but oh no! I was told, again by a well-informed Sky Talk employee, that I could not just transfer my line rental back, I would have to cancel my whole phone package and reorder it, waiting another 14days+ to have it connected. This I did, somewhat reluctantly and a month later was still calling customer service to find out why I hadn't received my connection date in the mail....they would look into it and call me back....still no word. " 2 weeks later (we are now in February, remember this all began in October!) I spoke rather crossly to another customer service representative only to be informed that I was already connected to SKY Talk for all my calls and had been since...November. They had cancelled my line rental in January but left the call package running...exactly what I had wanted but had been told repeatedly I couldn't do!
I really do apologise for my ranting, but I feel the need to get this off my chest, and as Sky Talk seem intent on not listening, this will have to do.
Many thanks for reading!
Having recently tried a new moisturiser (also reviewed) I remembered why I love this product and had to suggest it to the dooyoo team, simply so I could rave about it!
Clarins produce an excellent selection of quality products and this one has to be my favourite. Aimed at women in their 20s and 30s, it is is a light day lotion containing active ingredients to protect the skin from the ageing effects of light, pollutants, air conditioning etc. It also has the benefit of SPF 15. It comes in a slender 50ml pump-action bottle and costs around £35 (ouch, but worth every penny).
The first thing that I love about this product is that you only need a small amount to get good coverage (2 pumps for my face and neck compared to 4-6 of some other brands) which means it lasts for ages. It smells nice and feels lovely on your skin - I really feel hydrated and protected. It is non greasy, which is great as I barely pause between applying this and my makeup in the morning.
Now, you may think me a bit of a sucker for believing the active ingredients hype, and typically I don't ... however I have suffered from cold sores since my teens and I honestly believe this moisturiser significantly reduced my outbreaks (which tend to be on my chin rather than on my lips). As sun, heat, wind etc. can all cause an eruption of evil little blisters, anything that offers some protection against these factors is a godsend! Unfortunately due to the tightening of purse strings I no longer felt able to justify the expense of this product and so recently switched to a cheaper, still SPF 15 lotion, and have really noticed the difference. In the first month of switching I have had 2 outbreaks, having gone for about a year without one. I can't account for this any other way. Also my skin looks and feels tighter and less, well cared for generally.
I really hope I can economise this product back into make-up bag, because frankly I don't want to be without it.
The Indesit WIDXL126 is a white front-loading washer dryer, measuring 85cm x 59.5cm x53.5cm (H/W/D). The wash capacity is 6kg, however the dryer capacity is only 4kg. This is quite usual for washer dryers and worth noting.
The machine has 16 programmes, incl. hand wash, quick wash etc. There is also a useful delay timer, so you can delay the load to run overnight when electricity is cheaper (depending on your tariff).
Energy efficiency is rated B, which I think is as good as you get for standard washer dryer, due to the dryer component.
I purchased mine from Comet online for £275 with free delivery and was happy with the service.
We moved recently to a house with a rather small kitchen and so needed to go for the washer/dryer option. As a rule I would avoid getting the combo if you can, as they are never as efficient as separates.
That said, this has proved to be a very reliable machine. It washes very well and has some useful functions, such as delay timer and quick wash. I don't find it too loud and it's easy to keep clean (the drawer doesn't seem to get as blocked up as some machines).
Where it falls down is with the dryer programmes. I typically use the cupboard dry option and find that laundry is often still damp and I have to run an additional drying programme. I think it may be because the washing gets so hot and the machine mistakes it for dry. I may also overfill it at times its true!
As I already mentioned the dryer will only take a 4kg load, which means if you have a full 6kg wash load you will need to remove some wet laundry and dry separately. On the whole this isn't too much of an issue as usually I find at least some of of my load is line dry only, but in the case of towels/sheets etc. it can be a pain. Particularly as if you have the dryer dial set the load will go straight from wash to dry and you cannot open the door to remove laundry.
Overall, I think this is a reliable machine at a good price and is pretty effective for a washer/dryer.
I bought this recently at Boots whilst looking for a good value alternative and feeling like my brunette locks were a little lack-lustre and in need of a boost.
At £1.26 for a 300ml bottle this is pretty good value and there is a complementing shampoo to try. Of course there is always the bonus of Boots advantage points too if you hold their card, which I find very useful around Christmas time.
The conditioner is rather brown and thick but does work in well and I am happy with the result - smooth, manageable locks and I do believe it has given my hair the boost I was looking for.
The only downside, which is quite annoying, is that I seem to splash it around the shower (I guess it must flick off a bit as I'm working it through my hair) and it stains if not washed off straight away. The brown streaks come off the bathroom tiles and fittings easy enough, but my shower curtain looks quite bad. You can of course take it down and wash it, which I intend to do, but it will keep on happening which is going to be a pain.
Overall I like this conditioner, it does what it claims and is good value. I guess I just need to be a bit tidier in the shower!
I was looking for a new moisturiser around the £10 mark, as part of my recent cost-cutting exercise and spotted L'Oreal Derma Genesis Day cream on Amazon for a bargain £9.19! I have used the same Clarins moisturiser for over a decade, but at around £35 I really can no longer justify the expense.
Despite the irritating adverts with Penelope Cruz, this seemed to tick the boxes, it has a great pump action, so less waste than the jars (which I find I scoop out too much), SPF15 which I find essential with my fair skin, a brand name I trust and all for under £10.
My first impression was the smell, which whilst not exactly unpleasant, wasn't very nice either. When applying it I found I needed around 6 pumps to feel that my face and neck was properly covered, when I am used to using 2-3 pumps of my old luxurious (and gorgeous smelling) Clarins. So not great so far.
Once applied it didn't really feel like it had soaked in or moisturised my skin. It's an odd sensation but it rather felt like my own skin was still underneath, as dry as ever, but with a silky mask on top. It's not at all greasy and my skin does indeed feel soft but it just doesn't feel quite like my skin. I feel the urge to wash it off and plaster on a dollop of vaseline intensive care lotion just so I can feel my skin soak it up. All very strange...
Perhaps its a case of accepting that at my age I need some more synthetic ingredients in order to keep my skin looking young, but I'm not convinced...
Whilst not as sexy as some higher end brands, this Hotpoint Fridge Freezer is good quality and excellent value for money.
The fridge in the top section was spacious enough to get us through Christmas (think small family with big appetites) which is no mean feat! It has 4 shelves, incl. a bottle rack which we find pretty useful (fits 5 wine/beer/soda bottles lying horizontally). Also 2 deep crisper drawers and the usual compartments in the door are a good size and are good and sturdy (I've had these snap off in the past).
The freezer has 4 deep drawers, that still feel sturdy when full and is spacious for a fridge/freezer combo. Also it is self defrosting which is fab, although we were a bit alarmed by the strange cracking noises that came from the back every so often, until we realised it was the freezer self-defrosting! Seems obvious now..
The addition I'd like to make would be a temperature readout on the face, so you can check it doesn't get too high, say when you've just filled it. That said, it's very rare I have to turn the dial above 2 or the 'we care' energy efficient setting. It seems very efficient at keeping everything cool.
Overall I am very happy with this purchase - it ticks all the boxes for space, efficiency ('A' energy rated'), ease to clean and quality at a good price. It also comes in graphite/silver I believe but non white always costs a bit more.