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As my baby was approaching the 4 month mark, I thought it was about time to look for a high chair. I was looking for something specific - Able to fold, easy to clean, easy to store and long lasting. This high chair offers all.
Let me start with it's features:
- Padded soft PVC seat which is removable by un-clipping the clips on the underside of the chair, enabling easy clean
- Reclines into 3 positions
- 5 point harness
- Tray comes of completely and can be adjusted to be further in whilst your baby is smaller (locks into place)
- Circular dip in the tray, for bottle/sip cup
- Foot rest
- Bar to go between legs to stop your little one sliding out
- Huge basket underneath
When looking at cheaper high chairs, I decided that this one was the best as the table tray comes off completely, which is good for when your little one doesn't want to get into it, and it also makes it easier to clean the tray itself, and to be able to see where food has landed on the seat. The fact that the seat completely unclips means that you can flat it out as much as possible and sponge it down properly, getting into the crevices which you perhaps wouldn't be able to get to whilst cleaning in position.
Space is an issue for us, so we needed something which would fold away and stand by a wall. This is perfect. Whilst the handles stick out slightly, it folds well, and the tray can be put into the basket. The legs can also be taken apart for if you need to transport it, e.g. going on holiday.
Another reason I chose this one over some of the less expensive ones was due to the huge basket underneath which is perfect for storing wet wipes, bibs, etc. Although depending how messy your baby is, sometimes when it comes to cleaning, food can be found down there.
The five point harness adds to the safety aspect, and along with it's sturdy stance, it enables you to be sure that your little one cannot get out or rock the chair over.
The best thing for me, is the bar which goes between the legs. Most of the high chairs don't offer this, but as my baby was premature, he was quite small and I was worried about him slipping out. He's fine in it now, but when he wasn't so confident at sitting up, it gave me reassurance that he was fine.
I paid £44.99 for this high chair. Initially I was going to get a cheaper one, but on reflection, I am really pleased with my purchase. Had I have gotten a cheaper one I feel that it wouldn't have been so easy to clean and that I wouldn't have so much storage to go with it. My boy loves it and so do I.
This isn't as such my top ten favourite websites, but it's my top ten visited websites! Everyday I check my computer and I always do it in the same order.
Firstly, Gmail, to check my emails.
Then amazon, to check the prices my items are selling for and whether I can lower them to beat competators
Next, it's off to ebay to check how my items are getting on
Then we go to facebook, although it's usually a flying visit as I check facebook on my smartphone
OnePoll is the next website I go to, and often there are a couple of surveys for me to do on there.
Then we go to DooYoo!
My favourite of all websites is moneysavingexpert which is the next one we're off to, but only the forums usually. Although sometimes I will sit and meander through the hints and tips, but I'm quite chatty so I enjoy a nice chin wag with the other money savers.
And the last 3 are Natwest, Lloyds tsb and Santander to check my money!
Bish bash bosh! Not very exciting, but it's a daily routine, heh.
I've been selling on ebay for a couple of months now and I've had a few problems with it, but not many.
It's pretty easy to create an account. I started off with my account when I was 16, but as a buyer. In order to set up a payment method it's a good idea to have paypal, as that provides the most protection. Paypal is pretty simple to set up, although you do have to wait a few days for them to deposit a small amount of money into your account in order to verify the bank account you're attatching it to.
To start selling, it's a good idea to have some positive feedback, or this may put buyers off. A simple way to do this is to buy a couple of everyday items which you will use up anyway. You can get things pretty cheap on ebay, and they sell almost everything.
To sell, click on sell and enter a keyword for your product. This will bring up a number of categories where you are able to choose the most appropriate. You will then be taken to the main form, which is pretty self explanitary and you fill out what the product is, how much you'd like to sell it for, if there's a reserve price, postage and packaging. Bear in mind that adding things like extra subtitles and reserve prices will incure extra charges, although the majority of these fees are noted on the form. To add pictures you simply click to add images and upload them through the image uploader. You can also set the listing for 3 days, 7 days or 10 days. Once the form is filled out and you've clicked to go onto the next page, you will be brought to a review of your listing, where you can check everything and how it will be viewed by customers. Also, at the bottom of the page you are told how much your listing will cost.
Once your listing is listed you just sit back and wait. It's common to receive questions from potential buyers, and it helps your feedback if you reply to these in a prompt, concise manner, remaining friendly. Once your listing has finished you will be emailed to be told if your item has sold or not. If the item has sold it will appear in the 'sold' section of 'my ebay'. You can then wait for the buyer to pay, or send them and invoice to remind them that they still need to pay. It's pretty simple to navigate.
A few problems I have found with ebay are the fees and the inconsistency of them. When listing certain products, for example clothes, you are allowed 12 free images. However, when listing other products such as gift sets, you are only allowed 1 free photo. If you add more than the one photo, you have to pay 12p per photo. There are also fee's for listing the item, and fee's for the final valuation. On top of these fees, you must bear in mind that there are still paypal fees aswell, and sometimes, the items you list might not even sell. You only pay the paypal fees and final valuation fees once the listing has sold.
Another problem I've had with selling on ebay is people saying that their item hasn't turned up. To resolve this, my way is to send everything recorded delivery.
In my experience of using ebay, I have found that the fees cost quite a lot, so I take advantage of the 100 free listings per month if you start them at 0.99p. Whilst I probably lose some profit, I think this also entices people in to the low prices. However, if the listing fees weren't so much, I might put things on for more.
Overall, I think ebay is a straight forward website for selling things, although I think their fees are a little unfair. Ebay as a website itself is good, and has a good layout and navigational system.
I first heard of music magpie on Martin Lewis's money saving website. I thought I'd give it a go as I had some CD's that I couldn't get rid of on amazon, and a couple of DVD's. It's a pretty simple process, and to date I have had no problems with them.
What you do is go to the main music magpie website, input the barcode into the proveded space, which then brings up the item you want to sell. You can then generate a list of items you have (minimum being 10) and you can remove them if you feel that you can get more money for them else where. Once you've completed your list you can either save the list for later, which I think saves it for 10 days, or you can then tick the 'Complete trade' box and then you sign up. I had a little problem with this so I had to sign up with 2 emails, but I think that was my fault rather than the websites fault.
Once you're through they give you the option of printing off your own postage tags or to have music magpie send them to you. You can also visit your account and check your saved orders or your recent orders. I always opt to have the postage stamps sent to me as I can get the parcel ready, and I dont need to waste my computer ink printing it off. Then all you need to do then is take a trip to the post office and post it off (obviously the postage is already paid so you're just dropping it off) and then you will receive a cheque. I've sent off about 3 orders and each time it took around 2 - 3 weeks for the cheque to come through, so if you're looking for fast money, you're not really looking in the right place. But for somewhere to trade in old CD's for a couple of quid, then it's perfect for you.
My experience with musicmagpie has been really good. I usually send off 10 items per package, as I don't particularly trust the post, so just incase they get lost you're only losing ten instead of, say, 20. Usually most of my CD's and DVD's have gone for 30p - 50p, which is okay for me as I try to sell them on ebay and amazon first. The odd CD has gone for £1.91 which I thought was excellent, but they're hard to come by unless you've got some old classics.
I drive a diesel car, and I'm quite shocked that since having the car, there has been a £15 increase on having a full tank. Whereas I used to be able to top up my tank from red and only pay around £40, to do the same nowadays costs me £55. It's shocking, and the situation is only going to get worse.
Well, I can't really do much to stop the government raising the tax on fuel, but I can change how I drive. Yes, I have become one of these slow drivers that people get ever so annoyed at, but, I am definitely noticing my diesel goes further.
The first steps to driving more economical is to rid the car of clutter - anything that you don't need, get it out. It will only weigh you down. Second, make sure there's enough air in your tyres. Yes, you have to pay 20p to inflate them, but that 20p could be a potential saving! Thirdly, only fill up half a tank at a time. I don't personally do that as it's not convienient, but apparently, it's good to do so.
Then comes the driving. Basically, my motto is to look at the traffic, know when the car infront is slowing down, and slow down using the gears, not the breaks!
Well, I wish you luck in your quest to driving more economically. Goodluck.
I've been to @Bristol twice in the last two years. The first time I went was the most memorable, probably because it was new and exciting. The last time I went (a couple of months ago), I was slightly disappointed because half of the exhibit was closed as they were putting in a new one. Although this meant we paid a reduced rate to go in, which along with my student discount was okay.
The nearest car park is about a 5 minute walk away, which is a pay car park. I don't think the price was too unreasonable, considering it's in a city centre. If I'm honest I can't remember how much we paid. The car park itself was a little dingy and a bit scarey to walk through, but there are always other options of getting the bus down or the train, or even cycling if you don't live too far away. There are bus stops nearby, although the train station is probably a good 20 - 30 minute walk away.
The first time I'd gone, the observatory was closed, so when we went this time I was quite excited. On entrance to at Bristol they asked us if we'd like to book a place, so we did. The observatory, from the outside of the building, is a sphere dome which has mirrors covering it, which looks pretty cool and is fun to mess around under. On entering the observatory from the inside is pretty cool. You go in, and take your seats and then the show starts. It's basically a talk from one of the members of the at Bristol team, talking you through the names of the stars, how they work, how they are created and how they disappear. It's pretty interesting, and it's a talk directed towards children, but as a teenager I found this also quite informative.
The rest of At Bristol is pretty standard. It's basically a place to explore science and has things such as water mills which you turn yourself, along with kites which you can pull up on a type of machine which then takes it higher and then once it hits the top of the building it floats down with its little parachute. There is also a hot air balloon which you can try to acheive the right temperature to make it float. Parts of it are fun, with some being better than others, although I think children would find it quite exciting. They have a space dedicated to Wallace and Gromit where you can draw and animate the characters, and they also have the street wher Wallace and Gromit live which is hooked up to buttons and gives you a audio run through of things.
The best bit for me was the first time I went there, there was this womb which you could go in, and it talked you through the 9 months of pregancy and then eventually 'you' were born. The base of the womb moved aswell so it felt kind of real (even though it obviously wasn't).
The second floor was my favourite. There are cool things like making bubbles, making music, a room which is all lop sided, a machine which takes a photo of your shadow and stays there. I think it's good for children but not particularly anything special for adults. My boyfriend didn't particularly enjoy it, even though he's a bit of a geek.
Overall, it's quite good value for money, but definitely go when the exhibits are open in full or you find yourself going round there really quickly.
On a visit to London last year, a friend and I decided we'd go on the London eye. As I'm a student, I was ready to hand over my NUS card to get discount off, but unfortunately it wasn't accepted. The cost of the 'flight' was around £19 which included a 4D video experience.
Once we had paid we went to queue at the viewing room. The wait wasn't too long until we were able to go in. Unfortunately there was no seating, which was a little annoying, because after trapsing around London all day your feet are aching. The viewing was quite good. You were given your 3D glasses, and then the door was closed and it began. There were things like bubbles on the screen which was actually foam floating around the room; it was rather quite good for a 4D viewing, just for the experience.
After, we were sent to queue outside for the London eye. The queue was a little long, but we went in term time so it wasn't an unacceptable amount of time to queue. There were the usual tourists though, but you've got to expect that when you're in London, especially considering we were tourists too.
On boarding the capsule, it was a little scary as the capsule itself doesn't stop to let people on or off, it just continues moving very slowly at the speed it goes round. This is a little disconcerting, but we managed to get on anyway. You can pay to have a private capsule, but at the cost of around £19, it's not really worth it unless you're in it to pop the question or something like that. So we were in the capsule with a number of people, which wasn't too bad, although you couldn't always get a picture without someones arm in it. The plus side to having people in the capsule with you is that they ask you to take a photo of them, so then you can expect them to take a photo of you and your party. The added number of people meant that not everyone could be seated on the central seat which was slightly annoying, as once again, achey legs from walking around meant you kind of wanted to sit down.
The view from the London eye gets better as you go up. Towards the bottom you can only see the things in close proximity like the river, Big Ben, etc, but as you get higher you can see quite a lot of London itself. As I don't live in London or know much about it I didn't really know where places were, however, I did spot E4's giant Udderbelly festival. It was quite nice.
Once the wheel comes to the end of it's cycle, you are prompted that they are going to take a photo of your pod. I can't remember how much the photo was, but to be honest, I didn't think it was worth it.
Overall, I was a little disappointed with the London eye experience. I thought it was going to be really great, but it wasn't. I think it's one of those things you just have to do to say that you've done it. I won't be doing it again, especially for £19. Perhaps if it was only £10, I might go on again.
I saw this musical last year and it was the first ever musical I had ever seen. I was absolutely amazed by how good it was.
It's performed in the Dominion Theatre in London. Whilst tickets are quite expensive at around £60 for the best seats (which in my opinion are in the middle towards the front) they are more than worth it. The gift shop wasn't too expensive, although there was a sweet stand which sold things like cotton candy and popcorn, and obviously sweets, which was slightly overpriced, but they usually are in these sort of places. The bar was very nice, and allowed you to book drinks for the interval so that you didn't have to queue, which we made full use of.
The plot is quite easy to follow. Set in the future, there is a rebelion as expression through music is banned by a company called Globalsoft. The two main characters, Galileo and Scaramouche set off to discover lost texts which describe the music of the past. Eventually they discover this music (falling in love in the process) and send the power of rock around the world to free the masses, which sends Globalsoft into the ground as people are able to be musically expressive once again!
The cast include Kevin Kennedy as Pop, Alex Bourne as Khashoggi, Ricardo Afonso as Galileo, Sarah French as Scaramouche, Brenda Edwards as the Killer Queen, Ian Carlyle as Brit, and Rachel John as Meat
The musical itself was amazing. As soon as the male lead role opened his mouth and began singing, I was mesmorised. I had never heard a sound come from someones voice which was so amazing (although I might add that I haven't been to that many concerts so this could be a contributing factor). The staging was good, as was the lighting. There has obviously been a lot of money and effort into making the set look incredible. All of the actors/actresses were very involved in what they were doing and it was a thoroughly enjoyable night. The storyline of the musical was well put together, as well as incorporating the songs by Queen such as radio gaga, I want to break free, somebody to love, under pressure, I want it all, who wants to live forever, don't stop me now, another one bites the dust, we will rock you, we are the champions and bohemian rhapsody. I have to add that the band were incredible.
The only part I wasn't too keen on was when a part of the stage came out over the audience, as we were sat below it and had to strain our necks to see the Killer Queen on top of it. Other than that, it was fabulous!
After seeing the show it was quite nice to go round the back and wait at the stage door where it wasn't too busy, to meet the actors/actresses! We even met Kevin Kennedy! They were all lovely and very happy to have pictures taken with us.
As a support worker of disabled clients I was shocked at the level of disabled access. With the many floors of the Ashmolean Museum, we were shocked to find that there were only 2 lifts, both with limited space and weight limits. We found we had to wait an unacceptable amount of time every time we wanted to use the lift and were disappointed to find that some staff who are able bodied were using the lifts, which restricted the use for wheelchairs or pushchairs.
On entering the building I was approached by a member of staff who rudely told me that I needed to take my sachel off and wear it on my front as opposed to my back. She informed me that any other member of staff who I come across would tell me the same thing. As soon as she was out of sight I wore my sachel as usual and no one else commented on it through my visit. Her rudeness wasn't appropriate, or the uselessness of her comment of how to wear my bag.
The museum itself offered some really good exhibits such as anchient Japanese, Chinese, African. Lovely paintings and gold and silver plates. You really have to go and see it for yourself to appreciate it.
The cafe was nice, and the service was good. Prices, however, were quite high. The shop also had a lovely selection of pieces. It's definitely a place worth looking at.
A couple of weeks ago I went to Warner Leisure Hotel at Littlecote House near Hungerford.
On arrival we were met in the bar with some bucks fizz and were asked to wait their whilst our rooms were ready for us. Once the rooms were ready we were given our keys in envelopes along with a program of what was happening that weekend and set off to the room! I was gobsmacked at how beautiful it was. We were in room 227 and had a terrace! There were twin beds, a table and some luxury chairs, a flat screen LG tv on a lovely wooden desk which had a hairdryer built into it. The wardrobe and bedside tables matched the desk, and had enough space for storage. Our room included a mini fridge, which we used to cool our own alcohol and beverages. The en suit was lovely and cleaned to a very high standard, with toiletries replenished daily.
Where the window sat, was a curtain which went the whole way across the width of the wall, which I later tried to pull open to let more light in, only to find it was a wall. However, I discovered that what I thought was a window was infact patio doors, leading out onto our terrace! Complete with wooden seats and table! We had daily visits from the local peacock and ducks, which once or twice made an appearance in the room itself, and were hastily shooed away before they decided to deficate.
The bar staff were very helpful and polite and were ready to assist you when needed. However, drinks were very overpriced, as was food. We found that we could buy certain alcohols cheaper than we could buy soft drinks, which wasn't particularly a good thing, which resulted in us drinking our own drinks.
Our stay was for 7nights 8 days, to which they had menus which were the same on at least 3 occasions. Whilst the food is quite fancy and lovely, for someone who likes pub grub, there wasn't always something on there which I liked. Although they did accomodate this buy cooking me sausages chips and green beans on the day when there was really nothing I liked. There also wasn't a very good array of vegetarian food. There were usually 2 veggie options per day, and obviously on the days when the menus were repeated, this either meant the veggies had to have the same meal or a meal they perhaps didn't fancy.
Breakfast, however, was quite lovely. There was a wide selection of goodies to choose from, including cereal, porridge, fresh fruit, freshly cooked pancakes made to order, full english breakfast or bread rolls. The staff were lovely and very attentive.
Littlecote House is beautiful and well worth a look around. It supposedly a haunted house because the man who lived there found out that the baby his wife had, was another mans baby so he threw the baby into the fire. Although there is a bedroom featured in the haunted house, this is not the bedroom in which the baby was murdered in (which I don't think they state but we found out through one of the members of staff). There is a bowls court and a tennis court. A small animal enclosure with goats and guinea pigs in is also there. They have a stumpery and a pottery barn where you can do some pottery. There is also a lovely swimming pool with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi which we made use of.
Our party had a few disabled people in wheelchairs and access was quite hard to places. The majority of the paths are gravel which proves hard to push wheelchairs in, especially up some of the hills. We also couldn't get to much of the house as a lot of it had steps, and there was no lift to enable us to get to the top of the house. The snooker room was also moved since our previous visit, which is now in a room with steps, which made it hard for us to get into. We had to do some proper step negociation whilst we were there to enable us to use the facilities.
The entertainment was a real let down. We were quite a young party, the youngest being 20. Obviously we knew that the entertainment wasn't going to be catered specifically for younger people, we were quite bored when we realised it was more for people in their 50's - 60's. Every night there was an hour or two dedicated to ballroom dancing, and then there was a quiz, which was okay. Then on the weekend we were there they had tribute bands to take that and westlife - they were okay. Not the best. We also had a comedian in the week, who wasn't funny at all, and the people who performed (warners entertainment team) were shockingly awful. Come 11pm was disco time, which was more our thing, but we had problems with the DJ. They were asking people to request songs but were telling us that they didn't have the songs we requested, or they just didn't want to play it. It seemed like they didn't have any songs from the late 90's - 00's. We were thoroughly disappointed.
Overall, we did enjoy our stay but moreso for the weather and the offsite activities we engaged in. The breakfasts were lovely and their hospitality was warm and friendly. It was the gravel/disabled access and entertainment that let it down.
From an early age I have always suffered with Psoriasis. When I was around 16 I discovered polytar. On first opening the bottle it smelt rancid and I didn't quite fancy putting it on my hair, but my head was so itchy and my scalp was so flakey that anything was better than being a 16 year old with flakes of skin on her shoulders.
When I first used it I was expecting it to be the same viscosity as shampoo, however, this was not the case. It's quite runny and I find that you accidently put more on your hand than you need to, and in the transfer from hand to head, you lose a bit through you fingers. It lathers quite well, like a normal shampoo, but your hair starts to feel a little stiffer and it becomes harder to run your hands through. When washed out the hair feels quite dry and I think it would be better if polytar brought out a conditioner type of product to accompany the polytar (I still use conditioner but just on the ends of my hair).
Although the smell is quite horrible, and the viscosity of the polytar isn't great, it does the trick for me. It might not work for everyone, but using it 3 or 4 times a week helps stop the itching and the flaking.
I'd never really noticed mitchum when I went shopping, and when I was asking a friend for suggestions for deoderent, she suggested it! So I gave it a go. Although the bottle isn't the most appealing, it has a very sturdy structure. It's not too thin that it falls over when nudged, and isn't too thick to hold in your hand. I'm not sure whether mitchum is for males or females, but I'm a female and I use it.
Mitchum is unfragranced so is quite pleasant to spray as it isn't overpowering. It's quite a gentle deoderent, so it's good for people with sensitive skin (I've got psoriasis). This deoderent offers protection for up to 48 hours, although if I'm honest I don't think I've ever not had a shower for that longs, so I can't say that's tested from my point of view. I use it daily and I very rarely smell BO on myself.
The only problem I have with this deoderent is that it leaves white marks on my teeshirts when I pull it down. Other than that I have no quarms with it, and I plan on using it for the forseable future!
I purchased my TomTom about a year or two ago when I decided it would be cheaper investing in one than getting the train every time I wanted to go somewhere unfamiliar. The reason I chose the TomTom one was basically because it was the cheapest in the shop at the time.
The 3.5" screen was perfect and it's quite compact and lightweight, which is good as it's able to be kept in your handbag (or manbag) when you're parked up. It's also quite easy to use. It charges from the cigarette point in your car (which is handy if you've got one - my boyfriends corsa doesn't have one!). The suction grip which allows it to sit on the window is quite self explanitary to use, just put it where you want it and twist the circle, and when you want to take it off, untwist it and remove it. When you first turn the TomTom on it guides you through what to do. I'm afriad I can't remember whether the date and time was automatically programmed in, but I think it was. If not, I think it must have automatically syncronised itself with my computer when I plugged it into the USB port with the cable which was provided.
The touchscreen is perfect for on the go, as a keyboard would be too big to fit onto it so having it integrated is lovely. It appears when it needs to, and goes away when it's unwanted. To program in where you want to navigate to you simply click on navigate to, and then either enter the postcode, address, local point of interest or the other option which is on there. It may take a few moments to find the route if it's far away, but it doesn't take too long. You can also find points of interest like local Morissons or Tesco's. Petrol stations and I'm pretty sure you can find pubs on there.
There are some handy little features on the satnav, like warnings for speed cameras, however, they are not always up to date. Similarly, the roads aren't always up to date. For example, the centre of Bristol was recently re-done a couple of years ago and the satnav still brings up the old roads instead of showing it's new one way system. Although I'm told that frequently syncronising it to your computer can resolved this problem.
I really enjoy having my satnav and I think it's a handy little gadget. The only time it let me down was when I drove from Bristol to Huntingdon and I was staying in Huntingdon for the week, so I used it to find the swimming pool, my friends house, the shops, etc. Then on my way home, when leaving the caravan site I turned the satnav on and it was locked, and there was nothing I could do to unlock it. So I ended up heading towards the motorway which I came up on, and just before it was a Halfords so I took it in there and the man said that I had set it to lock itself when it's away from my house, and that I would have to unlock it by plugging it into the computer that it was syncronised with, which was in Bristol at that time. Whilst that could prove as a good feature if a theif got their hands on your satnav, it was not the best feature at that moment in time when I was miles away from home with no idea how to get home (I made it though! Yay!). Although I have to say, I haven't had any problems with it since that incident.
I purchased this sleek stainless steel looking juicer a couple of years ago for £99 from Argos. At the time, I thought it would be a great accessory for my kitchen. When I first had it, I used it quite a lot, but eventually it petered off and now it just sits in the back of the cupboard. However, it's a really useful gadget and you can make an array of different juices with it. My favourite is pure pinapple or pure watermelon juice.
The juicer has three main components. The pulp container, the central part and then the jug which comes with it. The jug is quite large and has a panel inside which filters the froth when you're pouring the juice out. It also comes with a handy little cleaning brush which helps to clean the mesh part and blades. The top of the juicer is securely attatched by the side clamps, which are easy enough to remove once you need to clean it.
When you're ready, you pop your fruit in the feeding tube, which is big enough to take whole apples/oranges but you will need to cut up things like pineapples and melons. The skins can be left on but I recommend removing them off of hard things like pineapples to preserve the sharpness of the blades. You are able to push the fruit down using the part that sits inside the feeding tube. The pulp is then siphoned off into the pulp container (which I recommend lining with a sandwich bag with handles for minimum cleaning) whilst the juice flows out through the spout and into the jug or cup, whichever you prefer.
Cleaning the appliance is relatively easy. Unclamping the top of the juicer allows you to take that part off and clean it, which then enables you to remove the mesh and clean that part and the blades, plus the funnel part which leads to the spout. The trickiest part to clean is the mesh, but using the cleaning brush provided makes it easier.
This is a great product if you intend to use it regularly, however, if it's an impulse purchase like it was for me, it's likely to be sat in your cupboard for months on end until you remember it's there. The juices it makes are very tasty and it's filtration is very good, so I think it's worth the extra money. However, the fruit can be quite expensive as you need about 3 or 4 apples to make a decent sized glass of apple juice.
Recently I had a desire to purchase a popcorn maker as I love popcorn but don't particularly like the thought of cooking it in oil. So I was looking around and saw this fantastic looking duck popcorn maker, and so I eventually put in some bids on ebay and won one for around £12 incl. postage (they normally go for around £20 excl. postage on ebay but I'd been bidding on some for a few weeks and ended up searching for 'duck popcorn maker' instead of 'prima duck popcorn maker' which made all the difference). I didn't really want to pay anything over £25 for it, and even now that I've got it, I don't think it's worth paying over the top for it. Mine's a second hand one and I'm perfectly happy with it.
Anyway, so it arrived and I opened it up and was thrilled at the thought of using it. So basically, you have the base which has the handle, the on off switch and the power cord on it. Then you have the top part of the beak/face which you just clip onto the bottom bit (mine beak's yellow, not white, like the one pictured above). Then you have the hat, which just sits on the top of the head to stop the kernels/popcorn from shooting out. Not forgetting the instruction book.
Using the popcorn maker is really easy. The ducks hat doubles up as a measuring cup to measure the kernels. This makes more than enough for one person or a good amount to share between two people, or maybe three at a push. So once the kernels are in the hat you pour them into the duck and leave the hat resting on the ducks head. Then it's time to turn it on and wait! It's important to have a good sized bowl beneath the beak so that it catches it and doesn't overflow. A mixing bowl is a good choice. The popcorn will start popping and eventually enough will pop that it flows out from the beak into the bowl, but you have to keep an eye on when the kernels stop popping as they can become burnt if you leave it too long (which happened to me yesterday as I was trying to make the popcorn and the sauce!). Once the popcorn is all popped, some will still be left in the inside of the duck so I just take the hat off and use the handle to pour the rest out. I think the instructions say to leave it to cool down after 2 portions have been made (if you're making it for a party or something).
Cleaning of the appliance is really easy. As there's no oil or anything used, I just use a piece of kitchen towel to wipe around all the parts that were used, and that seems to do the job.
Moving on to the instruction manual, there are around 4 or 5 recipes in there, one of which I tried out yesterday! The recipe we tried was a buttery type recipe, which tasted similar to butterkisk toffee popcorn. It involved meling butter, sugar and golden syrup (which we didn't have so we substituted if for honey) and then poured it over the popcorn, which was then baked in the oven for 10 minutes! It was absolutely delicious. Definitely recommended. There was also a chocolate recipe, ice cream recipe and even a cheese recipe!
All in all, this popcorn maker brings a bit of fun to the kitchen and can entertain a 21 year old, so would definitely be good for children and possibly teenagers. Whilst it's a little pricey, if you can pick up a cheap second hand one, it's well worth it. If not, maybe spend your money on a little bit less fun but more practical.