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flutterby7

flutterby7
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Member since: 20.06.2011

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      08.12.2011 00:41
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      A really enjoyable AND educational story for babies and toddlers.

      One Ted Falls Out of Bed is a really sweet book for young children by popular author Julia Donaldson who is probably better known for "The Gruffalo" story, and is illustrated by Anna Currey. The back cover tells us "When Ted falls out of bed, three tearaway mice whisk him off on a breathtaking adventure. They zoom around in fast cars, go on a balloon ride and climb a building-block mountain. It's all very exciting, but will it get Ted back to bed?" and so we join Ted on an exciting counting adventure along the way.

      We have been reading this book for the last six weeks with our daughter, and think that at 14 months old she is just the right age where she is beginning to appreciate a slightly more sophisticated storyline than a few words to a page, and this one has been great for improving her concentration, and is continuing to help develop her language skills and enhance her love of early reading. The fact that we have been focusing on counting and numbers during playtime in recent months means that we are getting some extra mileage out of this story. It has a cosy bedtime feel about it, just perfect for a story about a ted missing his bed. My daughter now points to this book and asks for "teddy" as part of her bedtime routine. There is so much within these pages to interact with as you count along together. The scenes are familiar to her from her own play and she kisses the page with the dolls on "sipping their tea". Each detailed illustration by Anna Currey gives us plenty to point out and talk about with her besides just counting along like colours and shapes etc. The calming prose is very simple, and there is an opportunity to practise lots of "first words" here such as "car" "doll" "frog" and "star". It is a lovely story and I am pleased that my daughter is learning without realising it. So primarily it is a counting book, but there is so much more to discover the more times you share the story with your child. I think it has so much potential to become one her favourites.

      In my opinion this book is great for introducing counting and numbers to a young toddler, and I am impressed that this story not only counts up from one to ten, but back from ten to one again. My impression after browsing other counting books in our local library was that counting from ten backwards must not be particularly common in books for this age group but it's a very useful teaching tool and I am pleased to have discovered this book. My overall thoughts are that this book is likely to stay in our collection for some time to come and I would be happy to recommend it for ages 1+ or any children who are beginning to get to grips with first counting and numbers. We have the board book edition that I picked up in a charity shop for £1.50, which was an absolute bargain. For comparison it's currently priced at £4.59 on Amazon, and it's definitely worth paying that too.

      This review also appears on Ciao under the same username, flutterby7. Thanks for the read.

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    • ELC First Shape Sorter / Baby Toy / 38 Readings / 37 Ratings
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      12.08.2011 13:54
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      I wish I had stuck with a traditional shape sorter.

      When looking for a shape sorter for my little girl on Ebay months ago this one caught my eye. The ELC First Shape Sorter is recommended from 6months onwards and is a toy made of moulded plastic, in a take along style with carry handle and is round in shape, with five shaped pieces, one each of a circle, triangle, heart, square, and flower that can be placed into the corresponding shapes on the face of the sorter. Each shape has a raised animal on it one each of a cow, duck, dog, sheep, and cat. The colours are bright and it looks appealing, to myself as a parent, my daughter likes to get it out and look at it but finds it less useful as a shape sorter, and often more of music box, and it is not her favourite toy at all, so let me explain how it works and why we feel that overall it is a bit of a let down.

      The shape sorter is a dreaded (by Mummy and Daddy) battery operated toy, and offers two modes of play, you or baby by turning the easy grip flower shaped dial can choose to be rewarded with either the animal sound or a musical tune when each shape is "correctly" placed. Of course the idea behind this type of toy is that I should be able to teach my daughter an awareness of fit, shape and size through repetitive play and she will feel encouraged each time she gets it right with sound, but my daughter discovered the flaw of this particular design very quickly. The face of the sorter has a small button inside each indent, which meets up with another button on the underneath of the corresponding shape when the raised animal is pressed down upon inside the correct hole, thereby triggering the sound. However, my daughter quickly discovered that the button in the indent is raised high enough that she can press the button without the need of the shape and make the sound anyway, now she knows she can do this she hardly ever bothers to fit the shape at all. The shape sorting element of this design is really lost on her now that the sounds are easier to activate.

      My daughter does like the sounds that the "animals" make and presses the button, without adding the shape, to hear them again and again, but it is obvious to mummy that they are not recordings of the animal sounds from nature but a man actually making the sound and badly, and to my ear it's very odd, and I feel that daddy or I make the animals sound much better when we read a farm story together. The musical tunes however are quite good and varied and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this sorter plays Ten Little Indians which I think is a sweet tune and one not often found in kids electronic toys.

      This sorter is no longer available at ELC but I have seen it in store in years previous when I have been shopping for other children and from memory I recall it was priced around £10.00, we picked this up on Ebay for £4.00 inc P&P, but I am pleased I did not pay more as I feel other shape sorters do a better job. I wish I had bought her a traditional wooden one instead, and so would not buy this model again. I could not recommend it as suitable for the task it should perform from our experience. I have only given this two stars because the tunes are nice.

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      • Morphy Richards 43062 / Kettle / 57 Readings / 52 Ratings
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        01.08.2011 18:06
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        Buy another kettle, possibly from another brand and enjoy a stress free cuppa.

        This is a review of the Morphy Richards Kettle Accents model 43062 which is a stainless steel kettle featuring a black enamelled coating, with twin water gauge so you know how much water is in the kettle viewing it from each side (it can hold up to 1.5 litres, I boil only what I need at a time to save energy so keep a keen eye on this), but also rests on a 360 degree cordless base. Our kettle failed and as I enjoy a few cups of tea a day I was in a bit of a rush to replace it. Ok, so I feel rather foolish about the fact that this kettle purchase became my shining example of what happens when I don't make time to research the product. Instead, I allowed myself to succumb to it's sleek looks, but have found myself boiling over with annoyance ever since.

        Things started out so well. I was truly in love with the sleek black finish and clever flip lid design the moment I saw this kettle in store, and couldn't wait to get home and try it out, eager for a nice hot cuppa. So what went so wrong? Here is my bad experience in all it's sorry details.

        We live in a hard water area, and accept that as such we get through the lion's share of de-scaling products, but I feel that I should have had more than a couple of weeks enjoyment from my new kettle before the inside AND outside were completely coated in limescale, worst around the lid, and for some bizarre reason, along the handle. So I de-scaled the kettle, only to find that the black enamel started peeling around the lid and spout. As harsh a chemical as a de-scaling agent may be, surely a kettle of all things ought to stand up to it's treatment. So much for my good looking kettle, it was starting to look very shabby, very quickly. I could only hope it would at least perform it's task of boiling water well. Surely?

        As I became more familiar with my new kettle, I began to notice a couple of more serious design flaws, which I felt put the user at risk of potentially a nasty accident. Firstly, I realised something was not quite right with the angle of the handle, meaning it's pour was really off balance, and the more water I boiled in it at once, the more awkward it became to pick up and pour, so when making many cups at a time for guests, I began to boil only half a kettle at a time, I felt I would rather boil two lots of water than risk dropping a kettle of scalding water. I notice from a quick look online, that a later on edition of this kettle model 43173 has a different shaped handle so whilst I can't comment on it's use, from appearances alone it looks more balanced, so perhaps other consumers of it's predecessor fed back similar issues which have led to this later change. My second issue being, that even after boiling, the cool to touch body of many plastic models these days mean that you don't risk burning your fingers if you happen to touch the body of the kettle, not so with this metal cased body, I have scalded my fingers on a few occasions, by absent mindedly touching the body of the kettle to see if it has boiled, as most of us do, I am sure.

        What really finished this kettle off for me, was that the flip lid design of the kettle could easily have been it's best feature, but very quickly the lid became difficult to release at the touch of the button, seeming to catch on the inside of the kettle, so I would have to encourage it to open fully by hand, worse still, it wasn't long before even this failed to work and there were occasions where I ended up prising the lid off with a knife's edge, until one day the lid just snapped clean off of it's hinges, indeed, by this point I was feeling I was about to flip my own lid.

        I have never ever been so disappointed in a product like I have this one, never encountered so many issues with a product as I have this one, and all from a reputable make such as Morphy Richards, and am seriously shocked that it even scraped through quality control standards to be on the shelves in the first place. I'm sorry to have to say that the only recommendation I can make about this kettle, is stay well clear. If however, you are still prepared to take a chance, be sure to keep it's two year manufacturer's warranty safe. It only deserves the one star because it did look nice to begin with.

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          24.07.2011 02:45
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          An effective multi-purpose antiseptic cream and makes nappy changes less of a pain in the bottom.

          I have had an affinity with the healing properties of Sudocrem since my teenage years, using it on my face to calm and soothe my spots, I would dab it on each and every blemish before bed every night, and when I awoke the next day the inflammation and redness would have subsided. It certainly saved face for me in more ways than one during those difficult teenage years, when a spot had the power to ruin everything it seemed. Now that I am a mum, I carry a tub around in the change bag, for use during nappy changes when my daughter is suffering from nappy rash. The perfect barrier cream, it soothes the sore skin at the site of the rash and the antiseptic ingredient prevents infection, while it's thick water repellent properties do not allow urine to soak the sore skin, and cause stinging in the process. I have used it on my niece's grazed knees when she has fallen down outside, and auntie's magic cream worked wonders at taking her mind off of her tears. I have used it on my sunburnt skin, to reduce soreness, and no doubt it's moisturizing properties have prevented peeling. Being an antiseptic healing cream, I am assured that it will fight any infection present in spots, rashes, grazes etc, and so reduce any scarring. To me it's possible uses for family and home seem limitless, I have tried it, trusted it and relied on it for many years, and so it has definitely earned it's place in my bathroom cabinet.

          Over the years the packaging and product appear not to have changed, it is sold in grey tubs of varying sizes, all bearing a red and white label identifying the product as Sudocrem. The cream itself is thick and white, and is lavender fragranced, so not the usual acrid antiseptic smell common with other similar potions. Handy if you are going to be wearing it on your face to bed like I do. This brings me to the only negatives I can think of, and that is that being so thick and white a substance it can leave you looking rather pale, so I would not like to leave the house with it on, and it has been known to stain, and at least be difficult to wash out of some fabrics in my experience.
          I definitely recommend Sudocrem as a brilliant all rounder to keep in the bathroom cabinet, first aid kit etc, and would say it is well worth carrying a small tub around with you in your baby's change bag. I couldn't be without it. I am more than happy to award Sudocrem four stars, losing a potential star only for staining my pillowcases.

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            24.07.2011 01:58
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            A sweet smelling foot cream, go on and treat your feet, but try not to eat it,

            After trying my fair share of footcare products over the years, this has become my favourite foot cream by far! This deep moisturising foot cream from Boots is sold exactly as it appears in the photo above, in a 100ml glass jar with a white plastic screw lid. Inside you will find a thick, peppermint green coloured cream which smells divine, it is a glorious herbal extract concoction of mint, lavender and marshmallow, and it is so, so soothing. A well deserved treat for my feet. It claims to be medicated and have antiseptic properties too owing to the marshmallow root ingredient (marshmallow root as well as being a natural emollient also has vulnerary properties making it a natural healer of wounds and protector against infection), bonus! I sometimes get a few patches of cracked skin, so nice to know my sore patches are protected as well as the dry ones.

            Boots recommend you apply this cream daily, or as required. As part of my regular footcare routine, I cannot wait to remove the lid and dive right in. It is easily absorbed, and so perfect for use at any time. Personally, I have found it most enjoyable, smoothing it on and massaging it in after a warm soak in the bath, usually just before bed, to soothe my tired feet, aching after the long day. As I prepare to fall asleep I am aware of how, fresh and moisturised my feet feel, and I know I have a big smile on my face as I drift off. Something else that must help me along is surely the element of lavender, as everyone knows it to be a natural sleep aid, and I am a big fan. I must say the beautiful fragrance of this cream makes me think of a more expensive product than the £3.29 I paid for it. It is quite often included in a range of products to choose from when Boots have a 3 for 2 skincare promotion on, I like to stock up when I see this offer, and find each jar lasts me 6-8 weeks on average, based on daily use. A symbol of an opened jar on the label tells me that this product will perform best if used within 24 months of first opening, but I know it would not stick around that long in my bathroom cabinet because I love it so much, so couldn't honestly tell you if it's quality becomes diminished after this time.

            In addition to how lovely this cream makes my feet feel, Boots promise that this cream has been dermatologically tested, and I can confirm I have had no adverse reaction to using it, and I do have very sensitive skin, so it should be suitable for all skin types. It also might help to know that Boots declare the cream to be lanolin free, lanolin is a skin secretion made by some of the animals that we source wool from and is often used in cosmetics for it's moisture retaining properties, but it's absence here makes this cream suitable even for wool allergy sufferer's.

            Most often, and for best results, I will combine the use of this cream with an exfoliating session with my JML Ped Egg, which I have also reviewed here on Dooyoo. I am happy to give this cream four stars, some other creams have been slightly more effective performance wise, but not many smell so lovely at the same time, so I keep returning to this one. Now that the summer months are here, lots of us seem to have become foot conscious, so if you need a sweet feet treat, take a step in the right direction with this moisturising cream.

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              21.06.2011 15:30
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              Get absorbed in baby bathtime fun, with this brilliant all rounder bath time sponge.

              Let me first start by saying I was absolutely nervous about bathing our daughter for the first time. It is a common feeling for new parents, I now know, but if you are reading this from the perspective of a first time parent, researching bath products, you will probably understand my first feelings, and how much thought I put into purchasing baby bathing items. In use every day, for me it was as important as the pram purchase, I did not want to waste time and money on a host of gimmick products. Along our journey into parenthood, preparing for the arrival of our bundle of joy, we had at some point decided against the traditional baby bath, deciding that for us storage would be an issue, we have a tiny bathroom. Any new parent will tell you how quickly the home becomes filled with all manner of baby paraphernalia, so it seems space saving is top of most people's list of criteria, and family and friends, who will inevitably share their experiences of all things new baby related, had warned us that a baby bath was potentially a nuisance to store. We were also aware it would be quickly outgrown too, a costly waste of time, perhaps? We listened, and so we looked into alternatives. We came across this Foam Bath Support in Mothercare, which I refer to throughout this review as the sponge, and didn't look back.

              ==What does the sponge look like?==
              Appearance and texture wise, our sponge is much like a traditional bath sponge that you may buy in any cosmetic store, yet this one is moulded to a distinctive baby body shape, and it is size free so should accommodate the smallest to the largest baby until it is no longer required ie. they are sitting up in the bath. Ours is yellow.

              ==How do you use the sponge?==
              We placed the sponge in the bottom of our regular bath tub, filling the tub with a couple of inches of water, squeezing the sponge as we did so, as once the sponge had absorbed the bath water, we found it stayed where we left it in the tub, not floating away as you try to get baby lowered into the water, especially useful if you are bathing baby on your own, who wants to be holding the wriggly one and chasing a sponge! So you lower the baby into the water and onto the sponge, which supports the baby whilst you have both hands free to wash them. Of course, you must never leave the baby unattended in the water. Once bath time is over you then just pull the plug, draining the bath tub, and I would always squeeze all of the water out of the sponge and pop it up behind the taps to dry off between baths which I think prolonged the life of the sponge by preventing mouldy growth.

              ==Our experience==
              We found that the sponge more than met our needs from that first bath and beyond in those first few months, providing a much needed support, that was safe, soft and warm (it's the same temperature as the water within, no cold plastic here). When bath time was over it stored away behind the taps, taking up next to no room. Months later, now that our daughter prefers to sit and splash around, and so has outgrown the sponge's initial purpose, I have recycled it, by cutting it up into sponge wedges, which are used to give the ducks a bath, chewed and sucked on, and sometimes we are even allowed to lather up and wash the baby with them, playtime permitting, so our purchase turns out to have been environmentally friendly too.

              ==My recommendation==
              At an original purchase price of £6.99 from Mothercare (increased to £7.99 since) we have more than had our monies worth out of this sponge, and have been really happy with the service it has provided, it has made bath times simple and enjoyable, and we have avoided the hassle of storing a bulky baby bath. I already recommend this sponge to family and friends who are having babies or looking to purchase a gift for new parents, as one that is economical, space saving, useful. Indeed, if we were welcoming a new addition at some point in the future, it would definitely be on the top of my to buy list. As long as you dry it out, as per my advice, apart from taking five minutes I can see no other real disadvantage, and am happy to award a whole five stars. Thanks for the read, and if you are about to welcome your own baby bundle, congratulations!!!

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              • JML Ped Egg / Beauty Accessories / 15 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                21.06.2011 12:08
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                If you are looking for a sweet feet treat, I doubt you could find a grater bit of kit.

                At work and at home, I spend an enormous amount of my day on my feet, and they sure know it by the end of each day. As a result I often suffer really dry, hard skin, which left unchecked can become cracked and sore, just so uncomfortable really. Finding the perfect remedy quickly became my new obsession. Few people can have missed the television advert for the JML Ped Egg, featuring a woman using the Egg to pedicure her feet, before emptying the filings into a bin. She made it look so easy, and I am pleased to say it is, now smooth feet are just a few steps away, no pun intended.

                ==What does the product look like?==
                The Egg is currently available to purchase in the type of heat sealed packaging, that has you breaking out into a sweat long before managing to break into it, with the effort required to prise the product free, thank goodness for scissors and a little patience. Thankfully, the Egg itself is really simple to assemble, with each of the three plastic parts just clipping together. The grater piece, which includes the stainless steel grater made up of no less than 135 microfiles according to the JML spin, resembles a cheese grater, but is safe to touch, used correctly you cannot injure yourself. The grater clips onto the second piece, making an ergonomically designed handle, once together the two pieces contain the filings for the duration of your pedicure session, and these are the two pieces you will separate to empty the Egg. The third section is really the lid so that the grater will be protected in storage, but usefully has a flattened face in order that it can be stored away, one of the two exfoliating pads that are included in the kit can be affixed onto this face. The Egg is branded with the Ped Egg professional logo, which incorporates a foot symbol, so you know this is a genuine product. It is a function over style product, so don't expect anything lovely to look at, but it is really pleasing to handle, which must lead us on to what you will want to know next.

                ==How is the product used?==
                JML include a leaflet with the product, which I would recommend reading before using the Egg for the first time, as it details the potential hazards and cautions. To use remove the lid from the Egg and holding the Egg in the palm of your hand, grater facing upwards, file the hardened, calloused skin on the underside of your foot in a back and forth motion, using as firm a pressure as you are comfortable with. Once satisfied with the result, you can then replace the lid, and use the exfoliating pad for a final buff. Smoothly does it. So what are my thoughts about the Egg?

                ==My experience==
                I found the Egg felt very comfortable in my hand, and so easy to use that I quickly became really enthusiastic, grating away, looking forward to smooth feet. I have used the Egg after bathing or showering, when my skin has been just damp, and it really works well, though I am aware that my feet feel very sensitive at this time, so I personally much prefer to use the Egg on my drier skin, which in my experience allows me to use firmer pressure, removing more of the dead skin at a time. Neither method is in any way painful, at worst just a bit ticklish. You will not see results overnight, but I have found that through continued use of the Egg the condition of the skin on my feet has improved in feel and looks. I no longer dread the thought of exposing my feet in summer sandals. I am sure that using the Egg has even improved the effectiveness of my regular foot moisturiser too, making a little go a long way. So I am pleased that this clever piece of kit is saving me money on expensive professional pedicures. The only negative I have found is that if you hold it at an angle or upside down during use, or store it away without first emptying the filings, they can spill out, so I would recommend emptying the Egg after each use. I use mine over the bath so any spillages are easily cleaned up.

                ==Am I recommending the product?==
                Absolutely! I have tried many other high street and leading brand footcare products from Boot's, Superdrug, Scholl etc over the years, all promising smoother feet, but feel satisfied that since discovering the Egg, I have found the One, and so this Egg has earned it's place in my regular footcare routine, and is in use at least once a week, and in my opinion is one of the best personal care products I have owned. In fact this Egg is so effective a product that in our household my partner and I own one each. The Egg is currently available in it's original white colour (his), and now in pink (hers), making it easy to identify who's is who's, and I feel that this is more hygienic than sharing an Egg. I am pleased that a year after purchase the microfiles look as good as new, and in no way feel ineffective yet through becoming dull, but am reassured that should this happen, JML also sell replacement grater pieces. The JML Ped Egg earns four stars from me for it's brilliant effectiveness, losing a star only because used at an angle it can sometimes be a bit messy to use when filings end up on the floor.

                ==So where can I get it?==
                I purchased my JML Ped Egg in high street retailer Boot's as I had Advantage card points to treat myself with, and here it retails for the current RRP of £10.20. I notice that it is also available in many high street cosmetic and household stores and online. As always it is worth shopping around for the best price. Replacement blades at Boot's retail for the current RRP of £10.20 for a pack of two.

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