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hanmillie

hanmillie
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Member since: 21.06.2011

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    • Quinny Parasol / Pushchair Accessories / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
      More +
      10.12.2014 10:03
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Compatible with Quinny travel systems"
      • "Looks great"

      Disadvantages

      • "Quite expensive"
      • "Is not adjustable"
      • "Did not shade my baby"

      Failing to shade my little one!

      When we purchased our new Quinny Moodd pushchair a few months ago, one of the optional extras which we thought would be worth the extra money was this parasol. Our little boy was born at the end of July and with the sunny weather we thought a parasol would be helpful during our daily walks out and about. It is worth mentioning that this parasol is not included in the pram package and at the time we purchased our pram it was costing around £25 although we snagged a deal at £20.

      There are a few colour options with this parasol and these would obviously depend on the colour of Quinny pushchair that you purchase. As we had the 'Black Irony' colour way, we opted for the plain black parasol which is rather plain to look at with its silver handle, black umbrella and standard Quinny logo imprinted onto the edge of the parasol. Personally I felt that black would also be a good colour as it would ensure maximum sun protection for my baby as oppose to a lighter colour.

      This parasol fastens easily onto the arm of the pushchair and this is made possible with the black clip on attachment which comes with the pushchair. The parasol has a shaped base which fits precisely into the attachment clip and this gives a nice secure fit. This parasol has a similar opening mechanism to that of an umbrella with a push open device to open it and a clip to hold the umbrella open and this was very comprehensible in my opinion.

      Although easy to set up and use, I did find this parasol quite useless when it was up. As the attachment clips to the arm of the pushchair and the parasol handle is immoveable, I was unable to shade my baby from the sun unless we were heading in a constant direction. The lack of mobility also prevented me from being able to adjust the umbrella when we were going around corners and this meant that my baby was always in the sun which was not ideal particularly as he had very sensitive eyes when he was newly born. As a result we had to turn to folding a blanket over the hood of our carrycot when we were out and about and this rather defeated the point of purchasing a parasol in my opinion.

      In terms of looks this is quite a stylish looking parasol in my opinion and it certainly looks the part. However, this parasol failed to deliver its most basic function that being to shade my baby from the sun and therefore it failed in delivering. It is also quite an expensive purchase when added to the other necessities which are needed with a new born and should I be needing a similar product in the future I would not consider buying this product.

      As a result of my review I would struggle to recommend this parasol on anything other than its cosmetic appeal and its compatibility with my Quinny pushchair. Therefore it scores a rather lacklustre 2 stars from me.

      I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading!

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    • More +
      09.12.2014 14:23
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Functional
      • "Keeps my baby safe"
      • "Good quality"

      Disadvantages

      • "Not the cheapest model around"
      • "Not the best for tall babies"

      Keeping my little one safe whilst we are out and about!

      As a first time Mum, I knew that infant car seats were a legal requirement but having never purchased one before I did have to research my various options before purchasing one. Maxi-Cosi are a brand who have produced numerous examples of car seats and when I bought our new Quinny Moodd pushchair they were the only car seat which would fit on top of the pram. The car seat which caught my eye was this Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix option. Though not the most exciting to look at in my opinion it did promise to suit the needs of my baby up to the age of a year old and, being that I got a deal on it together with my travel system I knew it was the right buy for our family.

      This car seat is quite simple in concept being that it provides a safe, secure and comfortable seat for my baby when we are out and about. The seat is a thick rigid plastic in construction with ample cushioned padding around my babies bottom and back and a strip of cushion to envelop his head. On the front of the car seat are a set of straps which are adjustable allowing them to fit around my baby as he grows and ensuring that I can loosen them when he is wearing particularly heavy clothing such as his pram suit in this cold weather. Though not particularly exciting to look at, my car seat is mainly black in colour with two blue strips on either side of the handle making it entirely practical for everyday use.

      In order to fit my car seat I did pay close attention to the instruction manual which came with the seat as I was keen to get a secure fit. It is worth noting that you can buy a Cabriofix base for this car seat which is quite simply a plastic base unit which is secured to the isofix bars in the car allowing you to clip the seat in and out of the car with minimum effort. Although the car seat also works just as well on its own, you just have to get the knack of looping the seatbelt through the base and back of the seat to get a secure fit. I would advocate buying the base unit as it is quite useful in my opinion in saving the effort of struggling to position the seatbelt around the base of the seat thus allowing my baby to stay asleep when being moved. This base unit does come at extra cost however and at £79 for mine it was something that I gave a lot of thought to before purchasing.

      This car seat has a strong plastic handle which loops over the top of it and this is great in carrying my baby around with me when we pop out. An added bonus (which we only discovered recently) is the plastic section at the back of the seat which houses a fabric hood which can be looped onto the plastic handle protecting my baby from the suns rays when the car seat is attached to my pram.

      Although a very functional unit there are a couple of criticisms that I have of this car seat. Firstly, it can only be used up to a year in age or up to 13kg. With my little boy who is already quite big for his 4 months this means that he will outgrow this car seat before long meaning extra expense when the time comes to buy a new one. Secondly, this car seat is not huge in size and for my son who is very tall for his age this means that he does look a little uncomfortable in his seat already.

      At the time of purchase I paid around £100 for this car seat which is about right when comparing it to the current deals online. This is a price I would pay again to ensure my babies complete safety in the car however had I not have been restricted to the only brand of car seat which would sit in my pram I may have opted for a less expensive model knowing that it will not last long for my little boy.

      This good quality car seat scores a very decent four stars from me.

      I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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    • More +
      08.12.2014 16:32
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Feels sturdy and quality"
      • "Produces great toast"
      • "Good looks"

      Disadvantages

      • "Could be considered expensive"

      The perfect toaster

      Unfortunately our old toaster recently gave up the ghost. The combination of failures including the old toasters inability to pop up the toast and the way in which it went out with a bang by refusing to heat up meant that this time around I was looking for a quality product from a reputable brand. I have over the past few years been eying up the Dualit range not least because they look very attractive and modern but also because they seem particularly sturdy and built to last however I had been put off by the rather expensive price tag. This time around though I was keen to see if they matched up to my expectations and so purchased the 46202 model together with the matching kettle (review to follow).

      When my new appliances arrived by courier the following day I was impressed by the sturdy packaging they came wrapped in which consisted of a box filled with polystyrene inserts to ensure my shiny new toaster would not get dented in transit. Opening the box, my toaster sat neatly within with its electrical cord tightly wound and secured to the side.

      When it comes to looks this toaster really doesn't disappoint in my opinion. The toaster has a very pale cream (off white) body and this is complemented with chrome sides and top. On either side of the toaster is the Dualit logo and this is imprinted into the chrome and adds a certain touch of quality. On the front of this toaster there are two levers highlighted in chrome with cream knobs and these enable the user to push the bread down into the body of the toaster and pop up when the toast is done.

      To set up and use this toaster is really simple in my opinion. It does require plugging in to a nearby plug however a neat side effect is that the cable can be wrapped underneath the appliance to ensure it does not stretch across the work surface and look untidy. Once plugged in there are cardboard inserts in the four slots and these should be removed before using. You are then good to go.

      This toaster features defrosting buttons on either side and buttons featuring crosses to enable toasting to be cancelled. The dials on either side give the option on how brown you like your toast and I like this feature given that both my husband and I have different preferences. Perhaps my favourite feature with this appliance is the lovely pinging noise the slots make as the finished toast is sprung out of the slots which reminds me of an old fashioned appliance.

      Price wise I paid £67 for my toaster which might be considered dear. However this is a price I would pay again for such a sturdy and practical product.

      As a result this product scores an excellent five stars.

      Thanks for reading.

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    • More +
      26.09.2014 12:11
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Should last a few years"
      • "Easy to push"
      • Stylish
      • "Various attachments"
      • "Easy set up"

      Disadvantages

      • "Quite expensive"
      • "Large to store"
      • "Heavy and bulky"

      Letting my Quinny do the talking

      When the timing came to buy our first pushchair we were quite overwhelmed with the variety of options on the market. Never having given these contraptions a seconds glance in the past, I was now having to contemplate quite a sizeable investment on a subject that I knew very little about. I have heard a good amount of feedback surrounding the versatility of three wheel pushchairs and so when I spotted the latest Quinny Moodd online I decided to test it out in our local Mothercare store. Being suitably impressed, we decided that this was the pram for us and for our soon to be bundle of joy.

      Quinny are a brand that I know very little about however, I find their pushchair designs to be quite fashion forward and the Quinny Moodd is the latest example of this I believe. The design is quite futuristic in my opinion featuring a three legged frame which supports a padded egg shaped seat with which to seat your infant. The great thing about this pushchair is that you have the ability to house different attachments on top of it depending on your infant’s age including a carry basket and a Maxi Cosi car seat which makes the frame of this pushchair quite versatile.

      In terms of the colour options for this pushchair you really do have quite a few to choose from with a bright pink and blue option should you want truly gender specific colours along with the less bright mushroom, black and teal options amongst others. In addition to choosing the colour of the seat the Quinny Moodd also comes with a white or a black frame and it was our choice to purchase the ‘Black Irony’ option which is a black seat on a white frame which I thought looked quite stylish and perfect for our soon to be baby son.

      In my experience it is nearly always cheaper to buy large items online and this purchase was no exception to this rule. In our local Mothercare the price for the pushchair alone was £600 whilst I could buy the pram, carrycot and car seat from online retailer PreciousLittleOnes for just under £690. Although we were being given the pram as a gift I still felt that £600 was quite a sizeable investment although I have since realised that the amount that we use ours makes it a worthy purchase and one which I wouldn’t hesitate to pay again.

      As soon as the courier dropped off our items I was keen to put them together to test out our new purchase. At the time I was heavily pregnant and so it was probably not wise to be carrying such large items around however I was too excited to wait for my husband to return home. Our Quinny Moodd came packaged in a large box with every section of the pram being dismantled in order that it would fit neatly inside. The frame of this pram is the heaviest component and it is onto this that each piece clicks neatly together. Using the instruction leaflet which came inside the box I found it quite simple to click the back wheels and front wheel into place with each piece making a resounding click as it went together. Every section of this buggy is quickly removable which is great in my experience as it means that we can remove sections to make it fit more easily into the boot of the car.

      The size of this pram when folded down is quite big compared to some others I have seen with the frame alone measuring 81cm long by 66cm wide by 44cm high. It is the size of this pram which I have found to be one of its downfalls as it is quite tight in the boot of our car and hallway cupboard although this size does make the pram feel quiet sturdy when it is being pushed about. It is not a pushchair which will fit into the boot of a smaller car without removing all the wheels and it is quite wide meaning that it does struggle with narrow openings and this was just the first criticism I had of this pushchair with the second being that this pram is quite heavy and personally I do struggle with lifting it in and out of the car without my partner being there to help.

      In terms of manoeuvrability I find this pushchair to be quite exceptional with the front wheel rotating a full 360° to ensure that you can turn the pram full circle in quite a confined space. When going over rougher surfaces such as gravel the front wheel can be locked and this means that it keeps to the direction of travel and does not spin around all over the place. The seat components (i.e. carry cot, standard seat and Maxi Cosi) slot easily onto the frame of the pram with the assistance of two black clip in adjustor components for the Maxi Cosi and carry cot and the grey buttons highlight where to press to remove each fixture making it very simple to use. In addition, the seat itself can be positioned facing outwards or inwards which is a great feature in my opinion as it ensures that my baby can currently face toward me but face outwards as he gets bigger. The egg shaped seat also houses a lever on the back which means my baby can be sat upwards when he is awake but leaned back when he is sleeping whilst the hood of the seat protects him from the sun.

      This pushchair does come with a rain cover which slides easily over the egg shaped seat keeping my little one very dry inside and this is presented with a clear section allowing my baby to see out when he is being pushed. Other extras include a footmuff which is black to match the colour of my pram and a black basket which sits underneath the pram in which to store my shopping. The size of this basket is quite small and therefore I can only use it for smaller items of shopping with larger items such as the regular bottle of milk having to be carried separately.

      The beauty of this pushchair in my opinion is its rather fashionable good looks and the way in which it can be used for my son right up until he is three years old. This is made possible with a t shaped bar which slots neatly inside the front of the egg seat allowing him to dangle his legs out and this feature does not restrict him as he grows taller in height. I like to maintain my pushchair as it was quite expensive and I do this by wiping the frame and wheels clean after a muddy walk and pumping up the tires using the hand pump provided.

      There are various extras that you can buy with this pram including a parasol to shade your infant from the sun. Having purchased this mini umbrella I was unimpressed with the rather stiff way that it sat on the pram and found the clip on attachment quite stiff and difficult to attach and therefore have not used it since.

      Overall I do enjoy being the owner of this rather nifty pram and like the way that its solid design means that it can adapt to my son and hopefully be recycled one day when we have another child. It is rather bulky to use and store and its looks may not appeal to all and for this factor I would have to mark it down one star.

      Overall this pushchair scores a very deserving four stars from me.

      I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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    • More +
      24.07.2014 10:01
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • "One wipe goes a long way"
      • "Re-sealable packet"
      • "Easy to use"

      Disadvantages

      • "Not the cheapest antibacterial wipes"

      Creating freshness that lasts!

      Before I left work to start my period of maternity leave, I was getting increasingly more paranoid about having my desk and computer surfaces clean and tidy. In my opinion, eating lunch at my desk most days and using my computer throughout the day meant that there was noticeable dust on every surface and I can only imagine the bacteria that thrived on my phone. Therefore I decided to buy a packet of wipes to solve the problem.

      Dettol are a brand that I have long associated with producing quality antibacterial products thanks mainly to their convincing adverts. Therefore I opted for a packet of these surface wipes. The wipes were neatly packaged in a white envelope with the Dettol sword illustrating the front of the packet and these wipes promised to kill 99.9% of bacteria. Personally I liked the packaging of these wipes which I felt was clean and minimal with the mainly white packet and blue and green accents.

      In my packet I received 36 wipes and I believe I paid around £2 for them from my local Asda making them around 6p per wipe which I didn’t think was bad value. Each wipe pulls out of the small envelope detail easily and the re-sealable opening means that the unused wipes are kept fresh inside the wrapper.

      The wipes themselves are white in colour and are slightly larger than an average baby wipe which makes them perfect in my opinion for covering larger surfaces such as my work station. Each wipe has a clean and fresh scent and the wipes are noticeably wet to the touch meaning that they cover quite a large surface area, with one wipe being more than sufficient to do my entire desk, key board and telephone.

      To use each wipe I like to ensure that the dirty surface is kept clear of clutter before taking a wipe and liberally wiping over all available surfaces. I find that a wipe glides easily over any flat surface and leaves a slight streak of cleaning residue which dries quickly leaving a shiny finish underneath. Although Dettol state that these wipes are odourless I can smell a hint of freshness after cleaning and personally I like this trait as I find it leaves my work area smelling fresh and clean.

      Obviously I am unable to comment on the bacteria cleansing properties of these wipes without the necessary detection device however I am convinced that by using these wipes weekly on my desk it not only left it looking cleaner for longer but also made me more confident in knowing that my work environment was a germ free one.

      Overall I have been impressed with these wipes and will certainly be buying more for my home when our baby finally makes an appearance. They are easy to use and clean surfaces well and with the added security that they remove germs there really is nothing to dislike in my opinion. As a result these wipes score an excellent five stars from me.

      I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! X

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      • More +
        14.03.2014 13:31
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        2 Comments

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        A great appliance which we use daily

        When we replaced the appliances in our kitchen a couple of years ago now, it was important for us to install products which were of good quality. Being a Surveyor by profession, I generally look to buy the best value option I can find but realising that cheapest doesn't always mean best I was determined to buy some middle of the range products for our small kitchen. Hotpoint are a brand that I have always been impressed with and being that at the time of buying this hood we owned a six year old Hotpoint washing machine, I was confident that they would offer quality appliances. Therefore when we saw this Hotpoint HE6TIX cooking hood which also came with a pair of other appliances for a multi-set deal we purchased it for our new kitchen.

        ~~~Appearance and Features~~~

        Looks are important to me when buying appliances for a kitchen and I liked this cooker hood from the minute I saw it in the Homebase catalogue. This hood is completely silver in colour and has a brushed steel finish which gives this appliance a modern look. The main body of this appliance is stainless steel and oblong shaped and this leads down to a tapered hood which houses the extractor fan and control buttons. In keeping with the chrome colour scheme, the buttons are also silver in colour and these are positioned at the front of the hood meaning that they are easy to reach and can be pressed on and off without too much effort. The five buttons serve to control the fan settings for this hood with three buttons serving to set the fan to low, medium and fast speeds, one button turning the fan on and off and the final button being to turn on the two circular lights underneath the hood. The pair of halogen lights under the hood are a nice feature in my opinion as they provide a bright white light and I must admit that we often use our hood to light our kitchen on darker evenings even when we are not using the fan itself. Underneath the hood are a pair of grills which are quite easy to remove and these are constructed in metal with a mesh finish allowing the air to circulate through the hood.

        ~~~Technical Details~~~

        In terms of the technical specifications of this unit it really is useful to note in my opinion that this fan extracts a maximum of 400 cubic metres of air per hour. Obviously it is unlikely that you would want the fan to be on for this long but in smaller kitchens or those with limited ventilation it is worth knowing. The dimensions of this extractor fan are 90.5cm high (including chimney unit), 60cm wide and 48.5cm deep. In our kitchen these dimensions were perfect to suit the depth of our worktops (600mm) and width of our hob which also measured 600mm and the overall effect looked neat and precise and in keeping with the minimal look of our kitchen.

        ~~~Installation~~~

        I must admit that I did not install this cooker hood, leaving it in the ever capable hands of our electrician and I would be lying to say otherwise. However, with our cooker hood came a set of installation instructions which detailed the process with the aid of several diagrams. It is important to note that this cooker hood is powered electrically and therefore it is important to have a power supply available for connection. Once the hood is ready for installation it is imperative to have an air exhaust outlet hole in order that the air can be extracted effectively. In our kitchen this was achieved by hanging this unit on an external wall with a circular opening to the air outside. Once everything is ready to go this hood should be screwed securely to the wall being sure that the wall itself is capable of holding the weight of this unit. I believe that our electrician made sure that the chimney was screwed to the wall initially and then, being sure that the correct gap between the bottom of the hood and surface of the cooker was achievable (at least 65cm) the hood was connected to the chimney and fixed into place. It is my opinion that this is quite a simple job for an electrician or kitchen installer who must do this type of work on a regular basis and therefore in the future I will certainly be paying somebody else to fix my appliances rather than go through the aggravation myself.

        ~~~Operation and Use~~~

        Once our cooker hood was installed I was keen to see how noisy our new unit would be. Out of the three speed setting buttons I opted for the fastest of the three and this made the fan jump into life producing quite a strong whirring noise as it worked. Used after quite a smelly roast dinner I found that this hood extracted the smelly air quite quickly on the fastest setting and within fifteen minutes of use the air smelt clean with the stale odours not noticeable. I generally only use this fan after a particularly smelly cooking session such as bacon sandwiches as I don't like to add to my already expensive electricity bill when I can open a window for free, but do find it effective at removing odours and leaving the kitchen smelling fresh.

        ~~~Maintenance~~~

        In terms of the maintenance of this particular cooking hood it is recommended that you regularly wipe down the hood inside and out and in our kitchen this really is a must as this appliance does get greasy quite quickly. In my opinion the brushed stainless steel finish does make this hood quite annoying to clean without leaving streaky marks around the buttons and for neat freaks like me this can be a bit frustrating. The carbon filters should be replaced around every four months and again this really is worthwhile in my opinion as they get filthy very quickly. This is easy to do by simply unclipping the grates underneath the hood and removing the filters before binning and replacing. The halogen lights which we use daily can be replaced by removing the circular glass pane over the lights and taking the bulbs out. In my experience the bulbs can be purchased through a number of retailers including my favourite Wilkinson store although it is worth taking one of the old bulbs with you to pinpoint the exact replacement bulb.

        ~~~Guarantee/ Warrantee~~~

        I am a firm believer that the quality of an appliance is reflected in the length of guarantee it is given by the manufacturer and this cooker hood is given a five year parts and one year labour guarantee which I consider very good for the reasonable investement.

        ~~~Price and Availability~~~

        I cannot remember the precise amount that we paid for this cooker hood but believe that when purchased as a trio of appliances we paid around £1,200 all in. However, this cooker hood is currently available on the Homebase website for £269 which I consider a bargain considering the years of use we have had out of it.

        ~~~Summary and Recommendations~~~

        Overall I have been very impressed with my Hotpoint HE6TIX cooker hood. It looks great in our kitchen giving a modern and sleek look, it works efficiently and effectively at removing the stale air caused by cooking odours and it is easy to operate. I particularly like the two halogen down lighters and believe that they only add to the stylish look of my kitchen giving a soft glow of light on a dark evening. Consequently I would highly recommend this cooker hood and will certainly be looking for a similar model in our next house.

        This product scores a well deserved five stars from me and thanks for taking the time to read my review! x

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        • More +
          13.03.2014 17:58
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          2 Comments

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          Uplifting wipes

          When it comes to my office it always amazes me quite how much dust accumulates on every surface. I don't want to accuse our cleaners of doing a bad job, but in my opinion having our desks dusted just once a week is not sufficient. As a result I am regularly buying anti-bacterial wipes to keep my desk, computer equipment and general office stationary clean. Once in Asda at lunchtime I came across these Dettol anti-bacterial surface wipes and, being that I have always associated Dettol as a brand I can trust, I purchase a pack of 72 wipes.

          These wipes come housed in a plastic envelope which serves to distribute the wipes individually through its oval re-sealable opening. The presentation of these wipes is certainly clean looking in my opinion with a predominantly white packet and the standard Dettol logo in a green circle. On the front of the packet we are told that these wipes are for cleansing surfaces and have a non bleach formula which kills 99.9% of bacteria. Although I am not one to worry too much about bacteria, I have recently found that there have been quite an outbreak of colds at work and so I will resort to anything to try and keep my desk as germ free as possible. These wipes contain lime and mint ingredients and I was hopeful that these would give a fresh odour to my office.

          Once I had removed one wipe from its pack I was pleased to find that they are rather similar in size and texture to that of a baby wipe with a thick spongy texture which glides easily over most smooth surfaces. The smell of these wipes is very fresh and clean and I must admit to loving it from the minute I smelt it. The smell is definitely that of the citrus ingredient with the mint being just noticeable and this is an uplifting fragrance in my opinion.

          To use these wipes I really do find them quite versatile and have rubbed them across virtually every surface of my desk. The slightly damp feel to these wipes ensures that they pick up dust and food particles as they go and the wet residue that each wipe leaves behind ensures that I can see the areas that I have missed. I have found two wipes adequate to thoroughly clean the surface of my desk, keyboard, mouse and top of my laptop and I like the way that each wipe can be thrown away after use so as to prevent the germs from spreading. These wipes have left the surface of my desk relatively streak free and shiny and this is a nice change from the slightly dusty, mug marked surface that it was before.

          I purchased these wipes in my local Asda and paid £3 for them. Considering this comes in at just over 4p per wipe I consider this good value for money and can see them lasting a good amount of time before they need replacing.

          As a result of my experiences I would have to recommend these fresh smelling, anti-bacterial wipes and as a result they score an excellent five stars from me.

          I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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          • More +
            13.03.2014 10:15
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            1 Comment

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Another maternity essential

            One of the first things I noticed when I found out I was pregnant was how quickly I grew out of my jeans. Jeans are an item of clothing which I practically live in outside work and therefore I was keen to buy a couple of pairs of maternity jeans to see me through the nine month period. I was surprised how few high street stores actually did maternity clothing particularly in store and therefore when I came across these skinny jeans from the ever reliable New Look I did buy a pair to see how they would wear.

            When I was in my local New Look they only did one colour option for these jeans that being a light denim blue with faded detailing around the legs and bum areas, however I have since seen them on their online store in an even lighter blue which is a lovely colour for summer in my opinion. There were various sizes to choose from ranging from a size 8 to an 18 and I stuck to my standard size pre-pregnancy which is a size 10. As the name would suggest these are skinny jeans and therefore they do cling to the legs and ankles however I like this look particularly with ankle boots and wedges when the weather warms up. As these are pregnancy jeans they do differ from normal jeans in that they house an elasticated waist band to fit around your expanding bump and I must admit that this took a little getting used to especially as there was no zip detail either to fasten these jeans.

            I am not a huge fan of trying on items of clothing before buying and since becoming pregnant I have tended to avoid trying things on even more as I find I get very hot and flustered quite quickly. These jeans were no exception to this rule and I took them home eager to try them on when I was back in the comfort of my bedroom. I did think that these jeans looked quite small before trying them on however the denim fabric did have a certain amount of stretch and so I was confident that they would fit me. Sure enough, I managed to pull these jeans up and over my hips quite easily and they felt comfortable with the waist band providing a soft band of support around my tummy. The only thing that I would mention about the fit of these jeans is that they do fit quite low rise around my hips and therefore as my bump has grown it has begun to push the waistband down meaning that these jeans do require regular pulling up throughout the day which I find a minor niggle.

            The fabric composition of these jeans is 77% cotton, 21% polyester and 2% elastane and I think this creates a good blend of coolness together with a stretchy and soft feel which is comfortable on my skin. To care for these jeans it is recommended that they are washed in a 30° wash and as this is the setting that I wash most of my clothes in I don't find this a problem. These jeans wash well and dry relatively quickly without loosing any of their shape which is good in my opinion.

            I purchased these jeans for £22.99 which I think is a good price for a clothing item which I will get a lot of wear out of. I will certainly be looking to add another pair to my wardrobe to get me through this season.

            Overall I really like the look and feel of these jeans as they are comfortable and cool yet look fashionable and go with most things. As a result I would recommend them and they score a good four stars from me.

            I hope this review has been of help and thanks for reading! x

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            • More +
              12.03.2014 17:34
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              A spring essential

              As spring is slowly on its way I am generally finding it too warm to wear a thick jumper during the day time and yet not warm enough to get away with a light top. Therefore I went on the hunt last weekend for something in between that could keep my arms and body warm without being too bulky. New Look are a store that I often look in as I find their clothes incredibly good value for money and once there I came across these drop pocket boyfriend cardigans. These cardigans are designed to be quite long in length with long sleeves and I was confident that they looked smart enough to wear to work as well as casually during the weekend.

              I purchased one of these cardigans in the stone colour way although there were quite a variety of colours to choose from in my local store including pink, white and black. My cardigan drops just below my hips meaning that I can wear it with leggings and has a stretchy feel which I great over my growing bump. The front of my cardigan has a slightly ribbed detail around the front opening which gives a nice finish in my opinion and has one pocket either side which I like to keep my hands warm in as I walk. This cardigan does not have any fastenings on the front however I find that the pockets mean that I can pull the two sides together as I walk on occasions when I do feel a little chilly. The composition of this cardigan is 96% viscose and 4% elastane and this means that it has a very soft and stretchy feel which I find light and comfortable on my skin.

              Although I am pregnant I purchased one of these cardigans in my usual size ten and find this a perfect fit with the added stretch meaning that I do not have to worry about it loosing its shape. I would guess that the idea of these cardigans is to layer them underneath jackets however I like to wear mine on its own over a simple top. I like the look of this cardigan and find that it keeps me warm in the office whilst looking smart. Plus I find this cardigan incredibly comfortable and so will be looking to buy another one in the near future.

              In terms of washing this cardigan should be put in a cool wash and I have done this once with the stretchy fabric meaning that I didn't need to iron it.

              I paid £12.99 for this cardigan in my local New Look store and consider this very good value for money particularly considering the amount of wear I think I will get out of it. As a result I would recommend this cardigan as a wardrobe staple and will be looking to add another one to my wardrobe in a different colour.

              As a result of this review this cardigan scores a great five stars from me.

              I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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            • Puma Ankle Socks Women / Clothing / 26 Readings / 26 Ratings
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              11.03.2014 10:27
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              A great work out sock

              Although I believe that socks are a necessity to stop my feet from smelling in my trainers, I have never been a fan of the sock over the ankle look and therefore am regularly looking out for new pairs of ankle socks. Put quite simply an ankle sock is basically a shorter than normal sock which ensures that it hides out of sight inside my trainer and personally I prefer this look. As a result of my old ankle socks beginning to look a little worse for wear I went on the hunt before Christmas for some new ankle socks and found my local JD Sports a great place to look.

              The socks that I came home with were these Puma ankle socks which I believe can be worn by both women and men seeing as the sizes range from a small '2.5 - 5' to a much larger '9 - 11'. There were only two colours to choose from in my local sports store those being black or white and each came in a set of three pairs. Being that I wear white trainers I opted for the white socks and these looked pristine with their mainly white block colour and black cat and puma logo illustrated on the toes and heel. The socks feel very stretchy to the touch and yet quite soft and they have a slightly thinner feel to that of a standard sock which is great in my opinion as it ensures that my feet can breathe in these socks and that I can firmly tuck them down inside my trainers out of sight. As I am a size six I went for the middle size which is a '6 - 8' and found these to fit snugly around my feet and ankles without any of the fabric gathering or looking loose and I attributed this to the very stretchy feel of these socks.

              Personally I think that these socks work best when worn underneath trainers as oppose to longer footwear such as boots. This is because I find that when worn with boots these socks can cause the thin skin around my ankle to chafe inside my boot and cause blisters. With trainers these socks rise about half a centimetre above the height of the trainers and therefore are only just visible. The thin material of these socks ensures that they feel cool and comfortable inside my trainers and do not have much bulk therefore giving my toes more room to move around. The thin texture of these socks does mean that they are not the warmest sock that I own and are not thick enough to withstand the cold surface of my hard flooring however, they are more than adequate during times when I am going for a bit of exercise.

              To care for these socks I find that by washing them in a cool 30° wash they come out fresh and clean. The thin fabric of these socks ensures that they dry quite quickly and I typically find that by leaving them to dry on my airer the socks are dry by the end of the day. As these socks are quite stretchy they have kept their shape very well and have not gained any size however, these socks are not quite as white as they were when I first purchased them and I am sure this is down to a couple of factors including the fact that they may have been put in a darker wash cycle by accident more than once.

              In terms of price, I paid £6 for a pack of three pairs of these socks which equates to £2 per pair. I think this is good value for money however I was dismayed to see them on Amazon recently for only £4, I will certainly be keeping an eye out for the best price in the future.

              I like these socks and think that they are good value for money and quality in construction. As a result I would recommend them and they score a great five stars from me.

              I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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              • New Look Long Sleeve Tops / Clothing / 31 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                10.03.2014 15:24
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                A lovely wardrobe essential

                When it comes to my winter wardrobe I am not a huge fan of jumpers as I generally find that I get too hot in them. Therefore I am often on the look out for long sleeved tops which I can wear underneath prettier tops to create a layering effect. Although I haven't done a huge amount of clothes shopping recently, saving all my money for our new baby due in July, I was in need of some just before Christmas and so popped in to New Look to see what I could find.

                The tops I came home with were these long sleeved variety from New Look which are very plain in colour and yet perfect to wear underneath other garments with the long sleeves giving my arms some much needed warmth. The two colour options which I could find in my local New Look were black and white although I understand that you can also buy a burgundy option. These tops are quite simply a long sleeved t shirt with a stretchy feel and a plain colour and this is perfect for my wardrobe as it means that these tops go with so many things. I came home with two white tops although I am tempted to go back and buy a couple in black now that I know how good they are.

                Essentially these tops are constructed out of a 100% cotton material and this gives them a light feel against my skin and gives a small amount of stretch although it is worth mentioning that these tops are a slim fit. The fabric feels soft against my skin and very breathable and this is important to me as I tend to get hot quite quickly. In terms of the sizing of these tops they do come in sizes 10 to 18 and I find that my usual size ten feels about right with none of the issues of the sizing being slightly small or large as is the tendency with other stores.

                Once on, I like the fit of these tops and find them comfortable and very versatile, suiting virtually every casual outfit I put on. Despite now being twenty weeks pregnant, I do find that these tops have fitted up until a couple of weeks ago when my expanding bump meant that I had to put them in the drawer for after baby, therefore I have got a good amount of use out of them. It is worth mentioning that my white tops are now a touch see through after a few washes however with a vest top underneath this really isn't an issue in my opinion.

                To care for these tops it is recommended that they are washed in a 30° wash cycle and I find that this is adequate in making them as good as new. Despite wearing for a good number of weeks I have had no issues with the fabric becoming misshapen or marked and this is very good in my opinion.

                I purchased a pair of these tops before Christmas and paid £4.99 for each of them. However they are now in the sale at only £3 making these tops an excellent essential to any wardrobe in my opinion.

                As a result of this review I would find it hard to fault these tops and as a result they do come recommended. Consequently I will award these tops a well deserved five stars.

                I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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              • Dove Bar Shea Butter / Soaps / 27 Readings / 27 Ratings
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                10.03.2014 10:53
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                An average soap

                Knowing how much I loved my original scented Dove soap bars, my husband purchased a pair of Dove Shea Butter soaps recently with the thought that I would love them just as much. Having just got through my second bar, I thought it was high time that I gave these soaps a review not least because I wasn't quite as impressed with them as I was their original scent.

                These soap bars are presented in a plastic wrapper which is predominantly white in colour and has the Dove logo on the front. Unlike the original bars which have a blue colour theme, these soaps are presented with an almost caramel brown hue to illustrate the shea butter ingredient and I have to say that I didn't like this as much as I don't feel it has the same fresh and clean feel. Inside, the bars of soap are white in colour and share the same oval shape and Dove imprinted design I have come to expect from any Dove soap. Sadly however, that is where the similarities end as the smell of this soap is not nearly as nice or as refreshing and I believe this is owed somewhat to the shea butter and vanilla ingredients which give this soap quite a warm nutty smell as oppose to fresh. The shea butter scent is immediately noticeable in my opinion and the vanilla is only just noticeable giving a hint of sweetness.

                I was a little disappointed with the smell of these soap bars however, as I don't like to waste items by simply discarding them I did make it my mission to use them both up over the coming weeks. I prefer to use soap in the bath as I find that I can get a thick lather which easily spreads across my skin and these soap bars did this well. To use I rubbed the soap bar over wet skin or over my bath lily before rinsing off. In my opinion these soap bars produce a good amount of lather when rubbed and this leaves a rather nourishing film on my skin which rinses off easily. Once washed, I find that my skin feels soft and nourished with these soap bars with a slight scent of the shea butter ingredient. The foaming qualities of this soap make it ideal for use when shaving and therefore I regularly use it when I am in the mood to shave my legs or underarms and it leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth after use.

                In terms of the longevity of these soaps I have to say that it is good as they seem to last the duration in my soap dish without turning into a sludgy mess which I have often known other soaps to do. In addition they retain their Dove logo for a good amount of time (few days) before this begins to melt into the soap and you are left with a white bar.

                These soaps are available from a number of retailers including Boots and Amazon and you can buy them in pack sizes of four to get good value. A pack of four is currently available on Amazon for £3.49 which I consider good value for use everyday.

                Overall I would have to say that although the quality of these soaps is good, I was a little disappointed with the shea smell. This may appeal to some users and to them I would recommend this soap however, for me it wasn't a favourite and for this reason this soap scores an average three stars from me.

                I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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              • Totes Slipper Socks / Clothing / 32 Readings / 32 Ratings
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                06.03.2014 15:19
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                A useful pair

                Knowing how often my feet get cold my husband rather kindly bought me a pair of slipper socks for Christmas and I have been wearing them virtually every night since. The brand of socks that he gave me were these Totes and he gave me a berry pair which rather suited my dark red pyjamas. These socks really have been an essential item over the winter period and I actually prefer wearing them to slippers so I was very pleased with this gift.

                These socks are essentially the same height as a standard sock but have a very thick fabric composition which makes them feel slightly heavier than a day to day sock. The socks are made in a mixture of acrylic (86%) and nylon (4%) and this gives them a soft and stretchy feel. On the bottom of each of my socks is a series of little plastic slip resistant sections together with the 'totes' logo and this ensures that when I am wearing these socks around the house on hard floors I am not likely to slip. As mentioned, I have these socks in the berry colour however I understand that they can be purchased in a wide variety of colours including blue and pink and this is great in my opinion as it ensures that you can buy a pair to match your nightwear or dressing gown. The sizing of these socks is interesting as they only come in one size however I have found this more than adequate for my size six feet and can see them fitting larger sizes due to their stretchiness.

                I generally like to wear these socks at all times of day when I am at home regardless of what I am doing and like the way that I can place them conveniently inside my handbag when we are visiting family or friends and thus use them at other peoples houses. The socks feel incredibly warm and cosy and I have had no issues with wearing them on our cold kitchen tiled floor as they keep my feet feeling a comfortable temperature. The only time when they become too hot is when I wear them to bed at night at which point I will sometimes wake up in the morning with particularly hot feet but as I often have very cold extremities this is a negative that I personally don't mid experiencing.

                Looking after these socks is a doddle and personally I prefer them to a pair of slippers as they can be thrown into a cool wash with regularity and don't have the tendency, as some slippers do, to trap body odours. I like to wash these socks on a 30° wash cycle and then hang them out to air naturally. The thickness of these socks does mean that they take slightly longer to dry than a standard sock but I find that by leaving them on the airer all day and then placing them on a warm radiator at night my socks are generally completely dry within 24 hours.

                As I didn't personally buy these socks I have had to have a look online to find out how much they cost. Prices vary greatly depending on where you buy these socks with them costing anywhere from £4 on Amazon to £6 on the Totes website. For such a useful pair of socks this is a price that I would consider paying and even if I only get one winters use out of them I will certainly be buying another pair next winter.

                I really like these socks and they really are a saving grace on cold hard floors therefore they do come recommended. As a result of this review these socks score an excellent five stars from me.

                I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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                • More +
                  06.03.2014 10:33
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                  In need of another pair

                  It is important to me to make the effort when I go into work everyday and therefore I will often wear a skirt or smart dress to try and look more polished. During the winter months, my legs do get there fair share of cold weather, especially since I walk in to work and therefore I went on a hunt a couple of months ago for some reliable tights. I am not a huge fan of tights as I can find them uncomfortable or easy to ladder and therefore I didn't want to spend a fortune. As a result I went in to my local Asda store to see what they could offer.

                  The tights which I was immediately taken with were these 300 denier opaque tights. The tights are black in colour and have a slightly opaque look although not so see through that they expose my hideously pale legs. These tights have a warmth rating of 1 which means they keep my legs quite warm and as a result I have been known to wear mine underneath my trousers on a particularly cold day. In terms of frilly details these tights are pretty functional and do not have any print or lace details however this was perfect for me, having wanted them to wear to work. The sizing for these tights is always something I have to read before purchasing as not only are tights sized according to the size of the waist band but also down to the height of the wearer. Being that I am quite tall I opted for a medium size for these tights and found this to be adequate for my frame however they also come in sizes small, large and extra large.

                  For information the composition of these tights is 96% nylon and 4% elastane and they should be washed in a hand wash with other delicates rather than in the washing machine.

                  It is always quite a mission in my opinion putting tights on and these particular beauties are on exception. I like to ensure that I put these on one leg at a time and roll each tight leg down in to a small ball before inserting over my foot and gradually working my way up the leg. There is inevitably quite a bit of wiggling around with these tights when you get to the crotch area where I find that these tights have an annoying habit of hanging a couple of centimetres below my crotch. Therefore further jiggery is required until they are smooth to my skin. Once on I find that these tights are comfortable and warm and give a polished look to my finished outfit which is certainly preferable to showing off my bare legs.

                  I do seem to be quite hard on tights and I can never work out whether this is the result of having quite long finger nails which always seem to get hooked around the delicate fabric of the tights. However, these tights seem to have served me well in my few weeks of owning them and I have had on issues with them laddering or becoming holey. The only thing I would say about these tights is that it is important to wash them in a hand wash as advised as I have chucked mine in the washing machine a couple of times now on a low heat and have recently found that they are beginning to bobble which doesn't make for the nicest look.

                  The price of these tights is £4 and they are available in Asda stores. This is a price which I think is good value for money and one which I would certainly pay again.

                  As a result of my review I would have to recommend these tights and as a result they score a good four stars from me.

                  I hope this review has been on some help and thanks for reading! x

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                  05.03.2014 15:10
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                  A useful pair

                  Another staple that I wear very often is a comfortable pair of leggings. Since becoming pregnant I have found that the majority of trousers, including those specifically designed for maternity wear feel quite uncomfortable around my middle or have a tendency to slip down. Having never looked at maternity clothing before now, it surprises me how few high street stores actually do a maternity range however thankfully H&M are one of the ones that do. Therefore when I went into my local H&M store recently to have a look at their maternity line I was on the look out for a good pair of stretchy leggings amongst other things.

                  The leggings that I settled on were these 'Mama leggings' which are specifically designed to fit an expanding midriff and therefore allow a section of extra fabric to accommodate your growing bump. In store the material of the leggings looked quite thick and therefore I was not worried about them becoming see through with wear as other brands of leggings can sometimes do. I could only spot one colour of leggings in store, that being black, however this suited me as I find black the best colour to wear on my bottom half to suit virtually every outfit. In terms of sizing, these leggings come in sizes 10-12, 14-16, 18-20 or 22-24. It is my belief that the sizes in H&M are not very true to size and I often have to go one size up from what I usually am to find an item which fits nicely. However, with these leggings I opted for the 10-12 and they fit me perfectly.

                  For information, the composition of these leggings is 5% elastane and 95% cotton which makes for a fabric which has quote a stretchy feel and yet is cool enough to wear even on warmer days. I find this combination of materials perfect in ensuring that the leggings maintain their shape and in the two months I have owned mine they have not become misshapen or overstretched. H&M recommend that these leggings are washed on a 40° wash and I like to wash mine on my usual 30° cycle and find this more than adequate for washing out any marks or dirt accumulated from wear.

                  I like to wear these leggings with quite a variety of different tops and dresses and find them the perfect accessory underneath a casual dress or long jumper. These leggings feel incredibly comfortable on and, unlike other leggings I have tried, these do not leave a pink line around my midriff over the course of the day as a result of the fabric digging in. These leggings have continued to fit me as my bump expands and I can only see this continuing as I get further along in my pregnancy. I like the look of these leggings and find that the thick fabric is adequate at covering my knicker line and the stretchiness of the fabric seems to smooth over my lumps and bumps without exaggerating them.

                  These leggings are currently priced in H&M for a reasonable £7.99. Although this isn't the cheapest price for a pair of leggings, after all I'm sure Primark do some cheaper, it is a good price to pay in my opinion for such a quality staple item and I will certainly be buying more in the future.

                  As a result of this review I would recommend these leggings as an essential maternity item, therefore they score a great five stars from me.

                  I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x

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