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georgiesue
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Member since: 21.09.2008

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    • In the Night Garden / TV Programme / 25 Readings / 24 Ratings
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      10.04.2009 15:16
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      in moderation its great

      Quite frankly I dont want to like this programme but with a 16 month old ive ended up watching far more of it than i would have liked and I have to say i'm a bit of a convert.

      Whoever thought up the concept is a marketing genius. They have entirely tapped into the small child's psyche and there is something about the characters, their presentation and manner that is just compelling to little ones.

      What I hate about the programme is that it feels like a big marketing ploy. With all the associated things that you can buy that are "night garden" related the programme must generate millions in revenue.but kids just seem to love it and its not just that children like televison generally. My daughter doesnt watch television much at all. I try very hard to limit its use in the house and in fact the only programme she ever really shows an interest in is this one.

      Whoever wrote it must have been on some sort of illicit substance at the time because its strangely bizarre. the main characters all have their own strange ways, from iggle piggle who is obsessed with his blanket to macca pakka who wants to wash everyones face with a manky looking sponge thats seen better days . He also likes to stack stones into piles. But heres the thing. My daughter (in common with most baby/toddlers) likes a blanket adn she likes stacking things into piles and in that way the characters cleverly imitate much of a small toddlers actions and so I guess thats why they really relate to it.

      what I like about it is that it opens up a world of learning. Through the characters we have explored language, role play and she really has benefited from the things she has seen on the programme. I think its really important that parents watch the programme with their children so that there can be this positive interaction coming out of it. The first jigsaw my daughter did was a night garden one and she was really interested in it becasue it was the characters that she knew and loved from the programme. From this enthusiastic start she has gone on to become really good at jigsaws. Also she loved her night garden books which has helped to foster a love of books which im sure will continue and which i now expand on with other material.

      The programme is on at 6pm which is a great time as its in the run up to bed when toddlers are getting tired and need to start to chill out and my daughter and I love to cuddle up together and have some quiet time enjoying the programme and talking about what we see. The only thing I think is that it is a bit long at half an hour an episode. We generally only watch for about 15/20 mins and thats enough for her in my opinion.

      All in all its bizarre. wacky but little ones love it and used in moderation and not as a babysitter I think this programme has lots of benefits for children...And they love it and enjoy it so thats good enough for me.

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      • Dairy Crest Clover Spread / Spread / 26 Readings / 25 Ratings
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        14.01.2009 23:18
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        Better than all its competitors

        There is nothing like the taste of real butter but in this day and age we are always looking for healthier options and in Clover I think I have found a butter substitute which is head and shoulders above the rest.

        Its benefit over butter is that it has half the saturated fat of butter which is essentially the fat that is bad for us. It also has no hydrogonated fat which is good although I confess I couldnt explain scientifically why that is. The bottom line is clover tastes good. I have tried lots of the butter substitutes over the years but clover is the only one that comes close to emulating the creamy deliciousness that is the real thing. The bonus is that unlike butter it spreads straight from the fridge and that is where my real bug bear with butter lies. Butter is either like a rock when taken straight from the fridge and virtually unspreadable or if you leave it out it goes all soft and gooey and somtimes even tastes a bit ransid. Clover on the other hand can be used straight from the fridge to spread on bread and it doesnt rip your bread up.

        Such are clovers properties that you can cook with it and even bake with it although I confess butter is much better for baking every time.

        The real test for me is the jacket potato. Spread a large dollop on your hot jacket spud and you will not be dissapointed. Its got just the right level of saltiness and the right creaminess. Spread something like Flora on your potato and its like eating chemicals. Foul !!

        The downside is that it is still highly calorific with 681 kcal per 100grams. Thats a whopping amount of calories. Clover does do a lighter version which I confess is still quite nice but I always feel that theres a real funny taste to the lighter versions of products and that wierd and slightly unpleasant taste is evident in clover light too.

        In summary clover is a must try for butter lovers who are searching for a slightly healthier and more user friendly versin of butter.

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        • Sandwich / Recipe / 21 Readings / 21 Ratings
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          14.01.2009 22:27
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          A real lunchtime favourite

          Most people that say sandwiches are boring do so because they stick the same old fillings into white processed bread, chuck a bag of crisps in the sandwich box and wonder why they are uninspired.

          I like a good sandwich and as we are on a major economy drive in our house eveyone takes sandwiches with them, no shop bought for us. I try and find ways to make my sandwiches exciting and whilst dont get me wrong theres nothing wrong with egg mayonnaise every now and again just by putting a few different flavours together on good bread can revolutionise your lunchtime.

          My current favourite is basically based on a tuna sandwich but with some additions.

          You need:-

          Two slices of good quality wholemeal or granary bread (not too thick)

          Spread (im a butter girl but whatever is your fancy)

          To make the tuna mix open a tin of tuna chunks in brine, not oil. Drain the tuna. Place in a bowl and add a good dollop of mayonnaise and a smaller dollop of salad cream. Mix well breaking up the chunks.

          Then for the extras I take spring onion and celery and cucumber and chop these really finely. I use celery very sparcely as it is a strong flavour but quite a lot of spring onion. The magic ingredient is caper. Now capers are sold on little jars in brine and are a kind of pickle I think. On their own they arent that nice in my opinion but add a few to your tuna mix and they add a lovely sharp tang. They really complement tuna Mix them into the tuna and salad and then spread over your buttered bread and cut into quarters.

          A really delicious sandwich. Because of the mayonnaise its probably not for the weight watcher but other than that its yummy.

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          • Heinz Salad Cream / Sauces / Soups / 23 Readings / 20 Ratings
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            14.01.2009 21:54
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            a tablespoon of heinz and a big spoon of nostalgia

            Heinz salad cream is a real British classic. It has been around as far as I am aware since the second world war and its appeal is a bit akin to that of brown sauce, we love it, it has enduring appeal but we dont really know why.

            Some years ago Heinz anounced they were to withdraw production of their salad cream and there was a national outcry. It was on the news. I have to say I was gutted. Its been a part of my food life since I was tiny. Thankfully they changed their mind, probably just a great marketing ploy.

            Theres something very working class about salad cream. My family are definately working class (not a very pc term but you know what I mean) and I remember with great fondness summers spent at my grandparents where on sunny days we would eat salad for tea and the main accompaniment was salad cream. I never liked salad (ie, the healthy stuff) and my grandma would lovingly place pieces of cheese, hard boiled egg and warm new potateoes on my plate and a little bit of lettuce which I declared I liked but really didnt but I smothered it in salad cream!

            The taste is unique and hard to describe. Its tangy and its essential ingredient is spirit vinegar. Its creamy too. A bit like mayonaise but with oomph. Its great with cheese, egg and all salad and lovely with boiled potatoes. It just livens up the taste of these things. You can also add it to tinned fish which is good.

            Its not the healthiest sauce, 5o calories per 15gram serving but its not as fatty as mayonnaise. You can buy it in lighter options with reduced fat but I wouldnt touch those as they are just not the same. i'd rather just not bother.

            I always buy my salad cream in the traditional glass bottle, again a sucker for nostalgia but its also sold in the plastic squeezy bottles. Whatever bottle you buy you always seem to get the gunk form around the top which is quite revoting but easily solved by a quick wipe of kitchen roll.

            My grandparents are sadly gone now but when I feed my family salad on sunny days and see them pour their salad cream I am transported back to happy days and can almost imagine them sitting with us and smiling as my little girl hides her lettuce under a swathe of delicious tangyness......just like me

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              12.01.2009 23:15
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              great fun for little in the night garden fans

              I bought this little night garden puzzle for £5.99 in Woolworths closing down sale. My daughter is 13 months old and the only television she watches is in the night garden. She will watch it early evening for twenty minutes and she absolutley loves it.

              What I love about the programme is that it prompts a wealth of learning and the puzzle is an offshoot of that. Its a traditional wooden puzzle with a number of the favourite chracters inserted into the wood and each character has a little knob on it that the child uses to take it out and replace it. Because she knows the characters she took to the puzzle immediately and had no trouble removing all the pieces. She still has to work at getting them back in but work she does and you can almost hear her cogs turning as she tries to work out which way they go. I started by placing the character over the hole and then she would push it in but she has learnt how to do it herself now and its still a firm favourite. The great thing is that its not just about putting pieces in a puzzle. We also play at me asking her where a particular character is and she identifies the piece so its about word association also. It also helps the childs fine motor skills. Im not sure what age this puzzle is aimed at. I believe its probably about two but my daughter at 13 months manages just fine with it so its worth a try at that age. None of the pieces appear to be a choking hazard although I dont leave her alone with it. All in all its a great way of encouraging development in your child whilst watching them having great fun.

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                12.01.2009 22:36
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                a nice addition to the toy collection

                I had seen these lovely rockers in the mamas and papas shop but was adamant I would not pay the expensive price they were charging (over £40). I then set about looking on ebay and found lots available for an average of £25 but the problem is that they are so large that you had to be able to collect them from the seller. Fortuitously at just before Christmas Argos had them on offer for £24.99. A bargain I thought and I bought one for my 13 month old daughter for Christmas.

                The rocker itself is really attractive and cute. Its brightly coloured in all the primary colours. The material it is made out is nice and soft to the touch. The little ladybird feet all have different sounds/textures ie, squeek, crinkle so your little one can have fun without even getting on its back.

                The ladybirds little ears have a button in them which when you press it plays rock a bye baby. My baby struggled to press it but likes to listen to it.

                The rocker is wood based and there are seperate foot plates that you need to affix if you want to use them. There are two little wooden handles to hold onto. The rocker action works quite smoothly and thats about it. My daughter likes to sit on the back and rock but the girth of the ladybird is really wide such that my daughters legs are really spread when shes on it. It almost looks a bit uncomfortable. It would have been better had it not been so wide. She certainly cant get on it herself but I am confident that as she gets older she will be able to get on and of a lot easier and I think its a toy she will enjoy for a couple of years. Its certainly an attractive addition to her bedroom

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                12.01.2009 22:12
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                good for little ones and also babies

                I must confess that I didnt buy this toy brand new but rather second hand through a childs toy fair. The reason for this was that it was a bit of an experiment as my little girl is only 13 months old and I think the aqua draw is marketed at 2/3 year olds. Brand new I believe this toy cost in the region of £25/30. I paid a fiver for it so a lovely bargain and like I said a bit of a gamble as my baby is really a bit young for it.

                The reason I bought it was that my daughter absolutley loves painting and has done from a really early age. I love painting with her but it is a bit of a messy activity and I just wanted something that achieved a similar creative effect but that you could pop out and put away easily when full blown painting was not practical. I was also attracted by the "no mess" it offers.

                The concept is easy. The box contains a large flat plasticky mat which has Thomas pictures around the edge and is white in the middle. You have a large quite chunky pen which you unscrew and fill with water. The nib is white. You also have a roller that is also filled with water. The idea is the child pushes the roller over the mat and uses the pen in a usual way on the mat and the water reacts with the mat producing a coloured line....like painting. There is no mess becasue its only water and it doesnt even get really damp. In fact whatever your child has drawn disappears after a few minutes so they can draw over the area again and again. The box also contained a little thomas train that requires batteries but that moves along following the track that has been drawn, very cute.

                Now I really want to make a plea for babies here. My daughter loved this and I mean loved it. She is able to hold the pen and roller easily and makes squiggles and all sorts over and again crawling over the mat to her hearts content. The great thing is if she happens to catch the pen on the sofa etc there is no mark as its only water. My daughter will play happily with aqua draw for about 15 minutes which in a 13months attentionspan is pretty long and its one of her staple toys that she drags out. So I think this toy should not be limited just to 2/3 year olds although they can obviously have more advanced use of it. It gets baby creating and develops fine motor skills. Best £5 ive spent in a while.

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                • Nokia 6500 classic / Mobile Phone / 9 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                  12.01.2009 21:47
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                  An excellent all round mobile deal

                  My mobile contract was up for remewal recently and so I started to shop around for a new deal. Im no phone expert and only really use the basic functions so I guess my priority was value for money rather than functions. I did however want a phone that looked nice and was quite slim.

                  As I am a member of the quidco site I looked there. I have reviewed this site before on dooyoo so I wont go into massive detail but suffice to say it is a cashback site that pays you money to purchase items having accessed the relevant website through the quidco site. Through the quidco site I entered into the Beepy mobile site. They are a mobile phone and contract provider and their website was really easy to navigate with plenty of information about the various phones.

                  Previously I had been on a contract that cost £35 per month with t mobile. For that I got the equivalent of 6oo minutes of cross network minutes any time and 1000 texts. Plenty in my opinion and certainly plenty for me. I found the same deal with Beepy mobile and part of the deal was a Nokia 6500 classic phone. The best part was that I got £40 cashback for entering into the contract via quidco and better than that the deal offered a £200 no quible cashback payable by Beepy mobile. I have to say I was a bit dubious as I had read lots of bad press about mobile phone cashback offers where they make it virtually impossible for you to claim the cashback but this didnt seem too difficult having read the terms and conditions and so I signed up.

                  The phone arrived promptly and is lovely, very stylish looking and very slim. It has all the things you would expect from a contempory phone, camera, video function and web access. I did find the keys a little small at first and even now I sometimes send my texts before they are finished !! The main problem with the phone is that the battery seems to hardly last very long at all and I feel like I have to charge it a lot. The reception is also a bit volatile but on the whole its a good phone, not one of the best but perfectly sufficient for an average mobile phone user.

                  I was paid the £40 cashback from quidco within a month and the best bit is I only had to send in my first phone statement together with a copy bank statement to prove i had paid the first bill and sure enough within a week i had received the £200 cashback fro Beepy mobiles. Brilliant. Cant recommend the contract and Beepy mobiles enough.

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                  • Rice & Pasta Dishes / Recipe / 19 Readings / 17 Ratings
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                    11.01.2009 16:17
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                    a great mid week dinner

                    On first glance this recipe is not particularly novel and contains much of the staple ingredients of Italian cooking but it is so tasty and simple to make that I have been cooking this for my family for years and it is a firm favourite in my house. Even the baby loves it and the beauty of it is you can adapt it to use different ingredients that you may have lying around. I call it Pasta Penne.

                    You need

                    I packet of penne pasta (dried) . They are the short little tubes of pasta.

                    One can of plum tomatoes. Get the cheap ones as it works just as well with them

                    Clove of garlic

                    Cheese. We are heathens in our house and use chedder for cheapness but you could easily substitute an italian cheese.

                    One chicken breast for two persons you are feeding.

                    Smoked bacon. About one and a half to two rashers per person.

                    A slug of red wine if you have some lying around. It works fine without wine but is nice with it.

                    Ground black pepper and salt.

                    To make....

                    Cut the chicken in to small chunks and slice the bacon into smallish pieces. Put some olive oil in a frying pan and then fry the chicken first for a few minutes before adding the bacon and frying over a gentle heat until both are cooked. Then place the meat to one side for later.

                    Place penne pasta into a big pan of boiling, salted water and cook according to the instruction on the pack. Whilst this is cooking take the tinned tomatoes and place in a pan and give them a bit of a smash with a wooden spoon. Crush a clove of garlic and add this and also the wine if you are using it. Add a pinch of salt. Place the pan over a low heat and cook gently to allow time fo the garlic to infuse. Try not to let it boil.

                    Grate the cheese, again the amount is really to taste but you need a good couple of handfuls. Add the cheese to the hot tomato mixture and allow it to melt, stirring constantly.

                    Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add the meat to the pasta pan and give a good stir.

                    Finally, take the infused tomato sauce and cheese mixture and mix it into the pasta and meat and heat gently to rewarm the meat.

                    Serve in large bowls and add lots of ground black pepper over the top.

                    Its really delicious. you could add chopped mushrooms or other lightly cooked vegetables or substitute the meat for tuna if you fancy a change. Its cheap and makes loads so its economical too.

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                  • Poultry / Recipe / 26 Readings / 26 Ratings
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                    04.01.2009 21:42
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                    a bit of spice for a week night

                    If you like thai food and you like it a bit spicy I think you will love my chicken and rice noodle combination which is based upon the traditional dish of Pad Thai. I have been making it for years and developed the dish myself after I travelled in thailand for a few months and ate dish after dish of this delicious food.

                    The beauty of this dish is it is really easy. It is a chicken dish but if you are pushed for time you can buy cooked chicken breasts or chcken left from the roast to just chuck in.

                    Stary by slicing a red onion and chop a red chilli finely. I use two chillis but we like our noodles really hot. You may need to experiment with the chilli to find your own taste. Crush one clove of garlic. If you are using raw chicken breast then cut into small chunks and fry gently until it is cooked through and place to one side.

                    You need a pack of rice noodles. You can either buy them dry in which case they need soaking in boiling water for about 5 minutes, or again if you are pushed for time you can buy ready for wok rice noodles. It must be rice noodles not egg noodles.

                    Heat some oil in a pan and over a medium hot heat fry the chilli, garlic and onion until it is softened. Add the cooked chicken back in and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Then you plonk in the rice noodles and immediately add 2 tablespoons of soy and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (which you can buy at any supermarket). the fish sauce smells horrible but dont be put off, it is an integral ingredient in achieving the lovely sour taste of thai cooking. Finally squeeze the juice of half a lime into the pan. It should all be sizzling and you need to stir fry for about a minute.

                    Finally you need to add a beaten egg and stir it through cooking only for half a minute as the heat from the dish will cook the egg. serve immediately on hot plates and I like to garnish with chopped spring onions and crushed peanuts or cashew nuts. Obviously if you dont like nuts you can leave that out but the combinations of flavours are really tasty.

                    Its really delicious and much more interesting than your standard chow mein type stir fry. I like to think its quite healthy too. Although there are quite a lot of ingredients, once youve got to grips with the dish its really easy to prepare and I can have this meal on the table in 20 mins. You could always play around with the ingredients if you wanted to adding other vegetables or prawns if you like seafood.

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                    • Starters / Recipe / 30 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                      28.12.2008 21:44
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                      Its never let me down

                      We love a prawn cocktail in our family and for as long as I can remember I have used the same recipe to make my homemade prawn cocktail passed down to me by my mum. In an attempt to make the humble prawn cocktail a bit more glamorous I have developed the following recipe for a fishy starter which is not only delicious but also looks really impressive and has the addition of smoked salmon meaning you can serve it at dinner parties and impress but its not really that expensive because the quantities of salmon and prawn you use are actually quite small. I call it "salmon and prawn rings".

                      The essential piece of equipment for serving the dish is a metal ring which looks a bit like a napkin ring only its wider and higher. You can buy them from any cookware shop, cant remember what I paid but they last you for ever and in terms of presentation of a dish they are great.

                      You need a pack of good smoked salmon. The amounts depend on how many you are catering for but for 4 persons you need a medium size pack which costs around £5. You then need a pack of medium sized prawns, not the really little ones because they are horrible but equally not king prawns as they are too big in terms of presentation. You also need some iceberg lettuce and some different coloured peppers and spring onions.

                      The most complicated bit is making the marie rose sauce and thats not hard. Take good quality mayonnaise and put about 5 heaped table spoons of it into a bowl. I have to say I dont measure things as I go on taste. To the mayo add a good squeeze of fresh lemon, a tablespoon of tomato puree and about a heaped tablespoon of tomato ketchup. Then add a shake of paprika, but not too much to start with as you need to taste and you dont want the sauce in any way to be spicy. Mix all of this together and you should have the light pink colour required. Taste the sauce. You are looking for a tangy sauce but not too tangy or cloying and there should be a fresh hint of lemon in the background. You need to experiment and if its too ketchuppy add more mayonnaise. If its a bit bland add more paprika. Ive always had lots of really positive comments on this sauce and its so easy and better than shop bought.

                      Next you need to make up the rings. Place a ring on the serving plate and in the botton place a thin, one slice layer of smoked salmon. Squeeze a very small amount of lemon onto the salmon. Then a thin layer of iceberg lettuce, then a layer of prawns and pour a little of the marie rose sauce over them then a layer of salmon and so on until you are at the top of the ring. You should have about two layers of prawns and salmon. Then chill the ring in the fridge and when you are ready to serve gently pull the ring up off the starter and it should keep its shape and look really attractive with all its layers. Garnesh the plate with sprinkles of finely chopped different coloured peppers and spring onion and a wedge of lemon.

                      The beauty of this starter is it can be made earlier on in the day so no work to do on the evening of your meal. Its really delicious and a light start to any meal. Its worth a try

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                      • musicmagpie.co.uk / Internet Site / 39 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                        23.12.2008 23:26
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                        wasnt worth all the effort it took

                        Im trying very hard at the moment to make a few extra pounds and heard about this website from another expert aimed at those tightening their belts.

                        Musicmagpie is essentially a site through which you can either sell your old c.d's or buy c.d's at a cheap price. I was only interested in the selling aspect so cannot comment particularly on the buying aspect, suffice to say it seems you can get a good deal from buying your c.d's online in this way and certainly cheaper than in most shops..anyway back to the selling.

                        The site is easy to use. The instructions were clear and simple which is good when you are a technophobe like me. You have to decide which c.d's you want to sell and then enter the bar code which you find on the back of the cd into the relevant box. The website then tells you whether your particular cd is on their database and make you an offer to buy, or they tell you it isnt on their database and to try again later in case it might be then or finally they will say that they currently have enough of your particular c.d in their stocks and again to try later.

                        I had sorted through my c.d collection and had a large pile of c.d's that I had decided I would be prepared to sell. I thought they were quite an eclectic mix and certainly not bargain box material but I was really suprised at how many of my c.d's were not on the musicmagpie database and therefore not eligible to be sold. Ironically it was the c'd/s that I thought they would not be interested in that they made me an offer for, i.e country love songs or bridal music c.d !!!!!! Other far more popular c.d's not a peep.

                        It took ages to enter all the bar codes and it was really disappointing to find that most of them didnt get sale offers. Eventually out of probably 30 c.d's I had offers on about 9. The price offered ranged from 25pence to £1.50. All in all the final quote price for my 9 c'd,s was £9.60. Not much and I almost decided that I couldnt be bothered to continue with it but as I had come so far I accepted the offer.

                        What happens next is that you are sent a prepaid padded envelope to send the c'ds to them. This envelope came after about a week. I duly inserted all the discs, sent them off and waited. Nothing happened for about three weeks. I had almost given up hope when I received an email saying my payment was to be dispatched. The email listed the c'ds I had sold but to my suprise it said that 4 of the c'ds were missing and they had therefore reveised the payment to a little over £6. I was really annoyed. I know I put all the c'ds in the envelope because I know I did and yet they have just decided they are missing. what a joke.

                        I emailed them and complained about this but got no response. I got the reduced cheque a couple of days later.

                        All in all ..and it may be my own personal experience im hugely disappointed with this website and it just wasnt worth the effort not to mention the fact that I feel a bit ripped off.

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                          20.12.2008 21:13
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                          a favourite in our house

                          My favourite food is mexican and I have tried numerous different mexican meal kits. In my opinion Old El Paso Fajitas are hard to beat.

                          The concept is basically to put together a mix of meat and vegetables which are cooked in a spicy mix. This is then spooned onto soft tortillas and then according to taste you add things like sour cream, salsa, guacamole, cheese and chillis. The tortilla shell is then rolled into a wrap shape and you go for it.

                          I have tried different types of fajita kits and the el paso one is flavoursome but not too spicy. It is spicy so those who dislike spicy food may not enjoy this dish but it doesnt burn. Interestingly I tried Tescos fajita kit once as it was on offer and that really was poky. The children were literally panting.

                          There is a bit of preparation involved but you can do this in advance which is useful if you are entertaining. You decide whether to use steak or chicken or if you are vegetarian this dish is great just with a mix of veg. The way I prepare it is I chop chicken into small pieces and then I pour the spice mix over the chicken in a bowl and leave to marinade for about 30 mins although this isnt absolutely necessary if you're in a rush. I then chop up green, red and orange pepper and a large onion. I stir fry the meat until its sealed and virtually cooked and then add the vegetables and continue to stir fry on a high heat until the veg has softened. I then warm the tortillas in the microwave. It takes about 20 seconds and cover them with a cloth to keep them warm. All that then remains to be done is to prepare some side dishes of grated cheese, guacamole and sour cream and to dish up the salsa which comes in the kit as does the mix and 8 tortillas. We love it hot in our house so I also serve pickled jalepeno chillis too.

                          To eat you just spoon some of the meat/veg mix along the middle of a tortilla and add your chioce of topping, wrap it up and hey presto. Im classed as a wierdo in our house because I eat mine with a knife and fork. i cant stand bits dropping out !!!!!

                          The taste is unique and hard to describe. Its quite peppery and sour but the sour cream neutralises some of the spice. We can eat anything from two to three tortiallas each and the children eat one or two.

                          All in all its definately someting a bit different for dinner and I'd highly recommend this kit as being worth a try.

                          Its a relatively cheap meal. The kit is about £3 dependant on where you buy. Its often on offer. For a family of four we use 4 chicken breasts , 3 peppers and one onion. Its just a bit different and the kids really love it which suprises me as its spicy. Its always their first choice for dinner on a Saturday night. They like the fact that they prepare their own and can choose what to put in so in that respect its a great way to introduce children to a spicier type dish.

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                          • Halfords / Highstreet Shopping / 30 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                            20.12.2008 15:48
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                            easy to use website and good value product

                            Christmas is fast approaching and as usual I had left all my Christmas shopping until the last minute. I knew my other half wanted a new bike as his old one was on its last legs. I also knew that he is king of the fads and so had resolved that I did not want to spend too much on this bike in case it ended up gathering dust in the garage.

                            As I didnt have time to go out looking I decided to try online. First I thought of Argos, the old faithfull. Nothing within my price range was available and the bikes that were had to be ordered for home delivery at extra expense. I looked on and tried Tesco direct. I found a suitably priced bike but then had to go through all the hassle of entering my details , including payment details on line only then to be told that they were unable to deliver to my local store and it would have to be home delievery and would arrive on the 5th January 2009. A bit inconvenient for a Christmas present.
                            I then tried Toys r us but they only did home delivery and unless you paid an extortionate amount of money the window for delivery was so large you would have to stay in the whole day, which is not good so close to Christmas.

                            Having then surfed the net and found nothing decent for under £100 a friend of mine suggested Halfords. I logged on not expecting the best but found their website to be brilliant. Really easy to navagate and a good selection of reasonably priced bikes. Now I m no technical expert when it comes to bikes and I have to say I was governed primarily by price but the bike I found at £99 seemed really good with full suspension and lots of good points that I had not found with other cheaper bikes. Best of all it was at half price and then there was a further 20% off meaning that the final bill was in the region of £76. Before you committed lots of details the website showed you that it was available for in store collection and it also offered a free assembly service. And even better you did not have to pay online but rather you just pay when you collect the bike from the store, meaning no faffing with entering your card details etc. As soon as I placed my reservation I got a text and email confirming my reservation number and advising that the bike would be ready for collection from my local store on Christmas Eve which was exactly what I wanted.

                            All in all a great , easy to use website and a good value product. I was able to view a full picture of the bike and full technical details so no need to go into store before collection. I suppose if you were making a more serious purchase of a bike at a higher price you would not really want to purchase in this way but for a busy mum this was a god send. Christmas present sorted. Just hope I can get it in my car. Well done Halfords. would definately use their website again.

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                            • More +
                              15.12.2008 22:21
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                              breast is best but formula is not a sin

                              I always assumed I would breast feed my baby. I really wanted to do so and whilst I had been told that it wasnt necessarily the easiest process I never believed I would not be successful at something that was essentially so natural.

                              My babys birth did not go as hoped. Unfortunately it ended up in an emergency c section. Immediately after the birth my daughter was taken away to be checked and I didnt really get her back until I was back on the ward some 30 mins or so later. I sometimes wonder if that is part of the reason breastfeeding ultimately didnt work for me but it certainly didnt affect my bonding with my daughter so Im not really sure.

                              I had lots of support both in hospital and when at home from health visitors and nurses but despite this support my little girl and I just couldnt seem to get it right. Much is made of latching on and getting the correct latch and it seemed that my latch was good but she would just drop off the breast very quickly and then a pattern developed of her sucking for a few seconds and then dropping off and seeming disinterested. I quickly became really anxious that my baby wasnt getting enough milk and despite persevering and persevering I started to get really stressed and resorted to expressing my milk and giving it to her in a bottle which she took to readily. I continued in this fashion for about 6 weeks but it was absolute hell. I could never seem to express enough milk to get ahead of myself so many nights in the middle of the night not only was I getting up to feed my daughter expressed milk but I was then sitting for half an hour pumping away like some frantic cow trying to get enough milk for breakfast feed.

                              It was not an experience that I enjoyed but I felt so strongly that I wanted my daughter to have breast milk that I endured a really difficult time. That being said I eventually cracked when my babies need for more milk outgrew my ability to express and she started to seem hungry after a feed. I could never express the mixture of guilt and relief I felt the first time I gave her a bottle of formula. she loved it and seemed more satiated and I did not continue with my expressing, which I feel guilty about to this day. But then I guess thats parenthood for you.

                              I truly believe breast feeding is the best possible option for your baby. I guess there are just times when it wont work. If I have a second child I will try again and hope for a better experience.

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