- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Well I am writing this review in sunny New Zealand where we have flown for Christmas with our 11 month old Brad. Now not having flown with a baby before I desperately stocked up on everything that could possibly help to keep baby quiet on the plane and I noticed this "teething toothpaste" in our local Boots.
Dentinox is a producer of great teething gel that seems to really calm babies from the pain of teething so I was immediately interested in this.
Price and location
It is, if you buy it full price sold for a hefty $3.29 (Should be British Pounds but no pound sign - sorry!) but I got it for 1.50 on a special offer in Boots. This is for a tube of 30 ml so it is suitable for taking on a plane - this was my main concern. It is also sold in Sainsbury, Tesco etc.
What do you get?
Well Dentinox Teething Toothpaste is a specialist toothpaste for 0-2 year olds made without flouride and specially designed for little milk teeth. As an additional "bonus" you get a "finger toothbrush" for brushing tiny teeth. This was a relief as I realised that I had forgotten to pack Brad (my baby) toothbrush so it was good to have one in the box of paste.
Well as it was called teething toothpaste and branded by Dentinox and sitting next to the teething gel I thought that this would contain some form of local anasthetic to ease the pain of teething. Correct me if I was wrong but I would just expect this from the name. Great I thought, a new way of applying teething gel that also cleans their teeth - what could be better?
This is just a toothpaste and a very expensive one at that. No anasthetic to numb the pain- just a very mild tasting, white paste to clean their teeth.
how did the "finger brush" work?
Well for us not very well. Brad loves grabbing his toothbrush and cleaning his own teeth at home. With the finger brush which you put on your finger - it has plastic bristles that you put a tiny bit of paste on and then rub his teeth. Many of you will probably see the danger in this design - Brad bites if you put your finger in his mouth and boy are his teeth sharp even through a plastic toothbrush. If we tried to brush his teeth with this he would bite down and that would be the end of that - even assuming we could get our finger into his mouth in the first place. Overall vastly inferior to his normal toothbrush.
For me, misleading name (ok I should have read the box but), very expensive and a useless finger brush.
Don't waste your time or hard earned pennies -stick to normal, cheaper baby toothpaste!
As a parent one of the things that you absoultely need (if you have a car) is a baby car seat. Now hubby and I were thoroughly confused when we started looking for car seats so went with the brand that seemed to have the best reviews (thank you Mumsnet and dooyoo) which was Maxicosi.
Not a British brand i am afraid but a great German company with an awesome record in car safety. The good thing about it being a European brand is that all seats have to meet EU safety standards.
Where do you buy the Cabriofix?
Now I am normally the queen of second hand things for baby but I must say that I was only ever going to buy a new car seat. The cabriofix is priced between £99.95 and £125.95 depending on where you get it. I had a 25% money off voucher for Halfords and bought it on line (through topcashback getting a further 5% discount). The advantage of Halfords is that they will do a free car seat fitting service for you, which means that you won't do what my brother in law did. He thought he had fixed in the car seat until he went around a roundabout and off it flew against the side of the car.
Halfords fitter ours for us and we have never had any problem!
If you can't use Halfords try Amazon, Kiddicare or Mothercare.
What type of car seat is it?
It is a category 0 car seat so is backward facing and suitable for babies up to around 12 months old. Now my son is 10 months and because he is light weight he still fits in his but I have friends who bought this car seat only to have to move up to the next one after 7 months, so be led by your baby. Once they reach around 19 pounds or start to look really squashed in it then it may be time to move on.
Fitting the car seat and removing from the car.
You have a choice with this car seat.
1) Buy the isofix base. This costs another £50 - £90 but means that you just click the car seat into it . If you have Isofix in your car I would recommend this as you literally just shove the seat down. You know that it is "fixed in" because there are three red spots which click to green when the seat is fixed. Removing it is easy too - just lift the front lever on the base and lift out the seat. Great for when baby is sleeping.
2) Fix the seat using the seat belt system. THis is a bit tricky at first but the seat comes with very clear instructions and even I can do it (and I am not particularly technical!)
I have used both the base and the seatbelt system and have found the seat to be extremely safe in both situations.
Use on buggys
The cabriofix is compatible with many buggys - including, Mamas and Papas, Quinnys, Maxi-cosi buggys, bugaboo, the list goes on - try the Maxicosi website for more details. If, like us you have a Phil and Teds you can buy an adaptor to make the seat fit on the buggy. We spend £10 on ours and then never used it as baby hated being in the car so we rarely put him in the car seat unless we absolutely had to go somewhere. Many of my friends would take baby for a drive - he / she would fall asleep then they would lift out car seat and attach to buggy and off you go. So, unless you have a strange baby like mine who hates the car this is a great feature.
The seat comes in red, black, patterned - the choice is yours!
Is it easy to lift?
The seat is about as lightweight as a baby seat can be -it weights 3.25 kg, BUT of course you have to factor in your baby. This seat is safety tested up to 13kg (in 12 months!!!) - my son is currently 8.7 kg and the seat feels heavy, or maybe I am just a weakling.
Padding and safety record
The seat comes with removable padding for the head - we kept ours in for 5 months until he was ready and strong enough to cope without. You can adjust the height of the padding as baby grows. The seat also has shoulder straps which click into place easily and quickly. I have not heard of any baby being able to undo their straps (I think they are too young - but there may be one genius out there!!!!)
I have found this to be a fantastic seat - you can buy a rain cover to go over it if you use it on the buggy - so it is a true versatile product. For me it was just a shame that my baby hated the car, that said we have still got loads of use out of it!
It is not a cheap car seat but for the light weight(???) nature and the exceptional safety record I would recommend this seat again.
Now I am one of the people who is well known for losing things - watches, sunglasses, umbrellas etc. So I tend to buy cheap and cheerful things that I don't mind losing. BUT I also figured that I needed to grow up eventually and start to trust myself with expensive things. So I tried out an expensive watch that I really liked.
In the great tradition of Swiss watch makers Raymond Weil have been making watches for many years, in fact since 1990 and they are still a company which is held in family hand. The original Weil family members are still involved in the running, making and design of the companies. I love the fact that the founding member is still working for the company (well in a limited capacity) despite being in his 70s.
Raymond Weil make high quality watches that are meant to last a lifetime - so the price tag reflects that.
Where to buy
This watch is one made for ladies so it is has a lovely delicate look to it. It comes in silver / gold combination and has a price tag of around £750. I was given mine by my lovely parents as a wedding present four years ago and they bought it from an independent jewellers for £600. I normally recommend going on line to buy things but in this case I would recommend finding a non chain jewellery shop and going in with your negotiation skills at their best. Big discounts can definitley be had!
What does it look like?
THis is very classy - it is delicate and looks lovely on the smallest of wrists - I have crazily small wrists and always struggle to find a dainty enough watch for me. This one looks perfect. The chain is made of links that can be removed or added to so it will fit anyone. Changing the width of the chain must be done by a professional though. The clasp is a lovely strong one which is a click fitting. It is neither too stiff nor too loose so there is no risk of losing it.
Because it has both silver and gold it goes with all my outfits and all my other jewellery.
Does it work?
Yup - in four years I have had to change the battery once, this was done with a lifetime guarantee and only cost me £5. Now, for ever I won't have to pay for a new battery.
Is it hard to maintain?
No - the glass on mine did get a bit scratched (as I constantly wore it for everything) but it was changed for free under warranty.
This watch is only waterproof for every day water - I would not wear it in the bath!
IF you buy a premium watch like this you expect good customer service. Raymond WEil are brilliant - they will guarantee their work and if anything goes wrong (like me scratching the face) they replace it quickly and professionally.
Would I recommend?
Yes - this is a brilliant and beautiful watch - I have never managed to keep a watch four years before so it must be making me a mroe careful person!
If you have some cash to splash this is a great buy.
Boots seem to have really upped the quality of their own brands recently, selling some great products in both their No. 7 and Time Delay ranges.
Where do I buy this and how much?
Well since it is Boots own brand , Boots is the location. The price of this product is normally £5.99 but Boots regularly give you £5 vouchers to spend on Boots products so this is available for £0.99.
I bought it with a voucher paying £0.99 and for the price think that it is a great product. That said I am not sure I would pay £6 for it. For this price you get 50 ml which is perfect to take away on holiday.
The product comes in a clear tube with gold writing on so it looks really nice and tasteful. It is a compact tube with a flip lid which stays on really well so it is not likely to explode all over your bag. The packaging is recylcable too which is good. Just pop it into your "plastic bottle" recycling bin.
What is the product?
It is a daily moisturisor which contains SPF 15 (to stop the sun from making you all wrinkly and old looking!!!). It is meant to nourish your skin and keep it looking younger. It also contains a very light fake tan component to give you a healthy glow.
After cleansing and toning rub onto your skin in circular motions. I find that you only need a little bit of the product to cover your face and neck. Because this has fake tan colouring in it you need to rub it in really well and make sure that you don't miss bits as the colour can appear patchy if you do it wrong. Also remember to wash your hands afterwards to avoid the tell tale sign of orange hands!!!
This product is a nice consistency which is easy to rub in - which makes it good value, It is not too runny or too thick.
None that is noticable - there is certainly not the horrible fake tan scent that you often get with this type of product.
Does the fake tan colour work?
It is a nice colour which is subtle if you rub it in well. BUT and this is a big but it can appear yellow if you put on too much - also if you don't rub it on evenly then there are white patches. on the plus side you can rub it off a bit, but you will be left with patchy skin for a couple of days.
Does it make me less wrinkly?
Again hard to say-, I think that it makes my skin feel very nice and smooth -and I know that the SPF is protecting my skin somewhat from the sun.
For 99p I would definately recommend the product - don't pay £5.99 there are plenty of similar products out there that can be less patchy.
That said a good product which was definately a bargain.
When you are pregnant you suddenly realise that all the pain killers that you are normally allowed to take are mainly banned for you. Paracetamol is one of the few over the counter drugs that you can actually take when you have pain.
Now I have to admit that before getting pregnant for the first time I was convinced that paracetamol didnt work and you needed something stronger. It is amazing how having no choice changes your mind.
Where do I buy this?
Tesco is the only stockist strangely enough - this costs a bargainous 15p for 16 tablets which I think is really good value. Much cheaper than branded packs which are upwards of a pound.
Paracetamol is a drug which can be used for a range of aches and pains. Headaches, back ache, period pain, mild fever and the list goes on. Take two tablets with water (best not to take on an empty tummy) every four hours as required.
Paracetamol is a funny one - you have to be careful not to overdose as it is a horrid way to go!
Well they are round and chalky in consistency. For those of you that, like me are used to taking capsules or caplets these are actually really hard to swallow. Somehow the tablets can sometimes stick in your throat, making you gag slightly. This is really unpleasant when you are not feeling well anyway!
That said once you get them down they are actually an effective pain killer. Because I have been pregnant, then breastfeeding for the last 18 months I have only been able to take paracetamol and I have found it to be really effective for headaches, back aches and at reducing my temperature when I had a fever.
I found that I only needed to take one lot of two tablets and the pain was generally gone. That said - if you took paracetamol all the time then you may get resistant to it and need something stronger.
I think that this is as good a product as any of the branded products out there. My one reservation is the size and shape (and taste) of the product. Now I know that you are not supposed to eat it but it tastes so chalky and chemical and sharp if you can't swallow it quickly enough that it is horrible. I would probably recommend buying the Tesco Paracetamol but in an easier to swallow format.
BUT for performance and value for money I will give this 4 stars (just taking away one for being that bit hard to get down).
Now I have a baby I need to have toned arms so I make sure that as well as carrying baby around and doing lots of lifting up in the air games I do specific exercises for toning and strengthening my arms.
Where do I buy these?
JJB sports is usually reasonable - or try Amazon, I paid £10 for a pair of 6 lb weights which are currently selling for £12.05 - so just keep your eyes out for special offers.
What are they?
Well they are essentially hand weights but what is unique about these is that they are bean bags as opposed to dumb bells. THis means that although they still weigh quite a lot (they come in sizes of 3 lb each or 6 lb each) they are flexible and small and easy to store.
They are used for any arm exercises from biceps to triceps to shoulder raises - to the dreaded lateral raises.
You can also use them on your feet as they have a hand strap - which is just as good for putting your feet through (mind you, I have small feet so if you have really big ones they may not fit).
These are surprisingly good weights. The hand hole is great as it means that you can't drop the weights and the bean bag style of them makes them easy to store. They are material which means that they can get wet without being too slippery.
I find these a great addition to my workout regime and would recommend them - particularly if you are a home "woker outer" and looking for something heavier than water bottles / baked bean tins to lift. Because they are specially built for weight lifting it makes them much safer to use than home "weights" and I think - much easier to use as they are the correct size. You also know exactly what weight you are lifting.
Overall I would definitley recommend these if you can get them on special offer. I would not pay more than £10 for them.
My baby son, the lovely Brad is unlucky enough to get baby eczema and, particularly in the summer he seemed to really struggle with dry patches all over his body.
I went to see my lovely GP and they prescribed him Aveeno with oatmeal as a first cream to try to sort out his skin.
Where do you get it?
Well I was lucky enough to get it on prescription for free but if you have to pay for it then try Boots or your local chemist. A 300ml bottle is in the region of £8 - 9 pounds. There is an Aveeno baby version which costs £12 - £14 for a 228ml bottle. My doctor says that this is a waste of money as it is really no different to the adult one - just an excuse to double the price because of the word "baby" in the title.
As I am using it on my son as an moisturising cream I have to coat him three times a day in the stuff until he is (and I quote the doctor) "greasy".
I must admit that I quickly learned to warm it in my hands before putting it on him!
Well it is a natural , gentle cream with no nasty fragrances or preservatives and prides itself on using the natural moisturising power of oats. Interestingly enough before going to the doctors I was told to bath Brad with porridge oats in the water, as it would help so I guess that oats must have a magical moisturising powers. Apparently taking oat baths was also something that the ancients Greeks and Romans did, so we are taking advice from very advanced civilisations!
IT also has shea butter, which is used in many moisturising creams.
Fragrance - there is none added. I cant actually smell the cream at all when I put it on my son,
Consistency - this is a brilliant cream - it is really easliy absorbed and I have to use loads to make my son "greasy". Occasionally when I run out of my moisturisor I use this and I only need a tiny bit to make my skin really nice.
Does it work to cure eczema ?
In part it really did. With continued use the dry patches on my son's tummy and legs and arms have healed up. I have now dropped the cream usage to twice daily and he has lovely soft skin.
Unfortunately there are a few stubborn bits of eczema which required a stronger, steriod cream - but these are limited to around his neck (where, of course it gets wet with dribble!) But overall I think that this is a fantastic product. It is lovely on my skin and on my babies making them both really smooth.
It has a good consistency and is not overly greasy. It doesnt have an offensive smell and is very easily rubbed in.
Definitely recommended from me!
This is a review of Boots "Super dry" nappies
Now, in the 9 months since my son has been born I have tried many brands of nappies and, although Huggies seem to work the best for my son I have never had any problem with any brand. Until I tried Boots superdry nappies that is.
Where do I get them?
Well, as a Boots own brand product they are only availble in Boots, or online at www.boots.com. I purchased 2 packs of size 3 nappies each containing 62 nappies for £12. Now this is a pretty good price, two similar sized packs of Huggies are £14 in Boots and Pampers 2 for £16 so brownie points go to Boots on price.
Well they are disposable nappies so you pop them onto your darling baby and then take them off when they are "soiled".
Do they work?
The biggest thing that I want from a nappy is absorbancy, both of wee and "number twos", there is nothing worse than a "poosplosion" out the side / up the back / down the legs. AND these nappies are pretty good. Brad (my son) has done some fairly enormous poos which have been nicely contained.
They are also gentle on his skin - wee is whipped away so that the nappies feel dry even when they are really heavy, meaning a much lower chance of nappy rash.
Unfortunately like all disposable nappies these have to go to landfill. A necessary evil, but not something I am going to mark Boots down for.
So what is the problem?
Above I said I had a problem with these nappies and here it is. The sticky tapes that attach the back of the nappy to the front are attached in a really shoddy and sub standard manner. What do I mean? Well when you try to put the nappy on, one of the sticky tapes sometimes breaks off meaning that you cannot use the nappy.
Now, I am reasonable - I accept that occasionally there may be a defect in an individual nappy. BUT out of the 20 I have so far used from a pack of 62 - 5 of the nappies have broken. Those statistically minded will realise that this is 25%. Given that out of packs of Huggies and Pampers normally NONE break this is really poor quality.
So would I recommend these?
Absolutely not - they are not "cheap nappies" - at only £2 less than the much higher quality Huggies, they are a false economy.
to me, wasting disposable nappies is an absolute crime - not just from a money point of view but from the ecological impact of having to throw them away.
Avoid like the plague.
Following my conversion to Skechers shape up trainers I decided that I wanted to try some toning sandles to wear when the weather is warm.
Price and availability
I purchased mine from Sweaty Betty for £25 in the sale they RRP at anywhere between £30 - £45 depending on the style that you purchase. They are also available at John Lewis, Boots, Amazon and Running Bare and Cloggs. As always if you are purchasing online remember to go through a cash back site to get yourself an even bigger discount.
Style and colours
Mine are a dark gold colour with a thong front. They come in many colours including
The materials include suede, leather and sequins.
Somehow I would love to say yes they are the most amazing looking shoes ever but somehow for me they just look slightly geeky. That said, if you buy a pair of dark gold /black or red sandles they just look like sandles. The glittery ones are perhaps best left to the beach or teenagers!
Any other products?
Fit flops also make boots for the winter, using the same technology (see more below) these are not cheap retailing at anywhere from £100 upwards. As yet I have resisted the temptation to purchase the boots but I may yet be persuaded.
What is so special about Fit flops?
Well they are the original toning sandal. They are supposed to tone your legs and bottom with every step. how do they do this? Well they have what they call the "wobbleboard" technology. Basically like MBT trainers they are designed to make you walk as if you are on sand. The sandles are not flat so you are forced to use your leg and butt muscles harder than walking normally. The instability of the shoe causes you to burn more calories and generally tone up.
Do they work?
Well the jury is out for me here. When I first wore my sketchers shape up trainers my legs ached the next day after walking in them for any length of time and I noticed a difference in the tone of my legs and butt. With these I didnt feel a thing after wearing them all day.
BUT I did think that wearing them all summer maintained my toned legs and I definitely have a better posture when wearing them.
Speaking to friends who have only worn these they swear by them, claiming that they work.
One thing that we agree on is that these are quite possibly the most comfortable sandals that I have ever worn. They are high quality and will not rub, (no matter how hot and sweaty your feet get). I walked around in them all summer and never had a blister or callous. Everyone else I know who uses them agrees.
THese are not the best looking sandals in the world and although I think that they do help tone your legs and butt a bit the effect is not as good as similar trainers. They are, (if you get them on special offer) no more expensive than many other sandals and they are sooooooooooo comfortable that I will definitely buy them again. If they could just make them a tiny bit prettier I would be completely happy!
The Te Papa Museum is one of Wellington, and New Zealands top formal attractions in terms of museums and galleries. Located on the sea front set back from the sea by gardens overlooking the harbour it is in a wonderful - if very windy location.
The museum is huge and luckily free to enter although they would appreciate it, if you would give a donation.
The museum is worth spending a whole day in , believe me - or if you are in Wellington for a while make several trips. Some of my highlights were
1) The earthquake house - yup go into a full sized house and experience a full on earth quake - the whole house shakes, you get to hear the crashes of crockery hitting the floor and feel what it would be like. Having felt a real earth quake in NZ this is scarily accurate, just pray that you don't get a real one as big as the exhibit.
2) The giant squid - a model of a giant squid - when I visited kids were just loving looking at it - it could almost be a man eating one out of a horror movie.
3) The Marae - an area which shows you all about the Maori culture of the area. This is a living exhibition so in addition to the static "history of the maori information" there is often demonstrations of Maori music, and even cooked Hangi (you get to try the food cooked in this tradtional Maori way!) Talks and weapons displays are also common.
4) The interactive public exhibition, this is unlike anything I have ever seen in a museum before - it is truly just made up of pictures and craft items that visitors have made from their travels. It is really special as you can see it is created by both residents of Wellington and visitors. Some fantastic pictures and true inspiration to travel the world!
Overall this would be an amazing place to take kids, it is full of "touchy feely" exchibits. Buttons to press, experiments to assist with, Maori warriers to meet and videos to watch. Even as an adult I was excited and almost pushing kids out the way to join in (oops).
In addition to fascinating permenant and temporary exhibitions this museum has a great coffee house and restaurant. Try the Flat white coffee and a tan square - you will be in cake heaven!
There are full disabled facilities too so you can take a push chair with no problems.
I would highly recommend a visit here!
Hunters are the classic welly boot and growing up as a member of the Pony Club you were not "in" unless you had Hunters. Even then I remember them being very expensive for welly boots but at least you could console yourself with the idea that they were high quality and would last much longer than other boots.
WHere would I get them?
Now, Hunters are sold everywhere - I always used to buy them from horse / country shows such as the Christmas show jumping at Olympia or Windsor Horse SHow. I still maintain that you can get the best prices there! Otherwise try M and M Direct or department stores, including Office shoes or Amazon.
Are they for men or women?
Both and children too.
What styles and colours do they come in?
Well Hunters, back in the day when serious horsey people wore them were either dark green or navy blue. And they still sell them in the old fashioned knee length welly for country stylle.
BUT recently Hunters have revamped themselves as a brand and become not only much more expensive than they used to be but available in many more styles and colours.
If you want a classic welly boot they are now available in a range of colours including:
Lilac (I have got these)
Silver (My mum wears these with style)
They also sell lace up wellys, short wellys and I think some high heeled wellys.
Well, it used to be for mucking out horses or going on long country walks or working in the garden. Now these can be seen walking around town, or being used for the above.
They are made of solid rubber with a grippy sole so they are good for walking. They look very cool! Kids will like them. Because they are a high quality product they are very comfortable , much more so than cheap high street wellingtons that you can buy these days.
The price - a full price pair of knee high Hunter Wellys now costs an average of £60.
They are also not as high quality than they used to be - my mum's last pair fell apart after a year, where her old ones lasted 5 years for the same level of use. I guess that with the drive for fashion some of the care and quality of the old product has slipped away.
A classic product which I used to love but now will never buy full price!
Now although I am a vegetarian hubby is super keen on his meat but I was slightly worried about the fat content of some of his meat so bought him a George Foreman grill.
What are they?
Now George Foreman grills are marketed as "the lean mean grilling machine". They are meant to be used for the following types of meat.
The big selling point of the George Foreman grills is that they reduce the amount of fat in your meat as it drains out, due to the design of the grill.
Where would I get one?
This particular grill is from Amazon £36.99 or is reduced from £44.99 to £34.99 on www.georgeforeman.co.uk - try a few of the price comparison website.
How do I use it?
Well put the plates in , turn it on and let it heat up for 5 minutes or so, there is a light on the top which tells you when it is hot (a good warning not to touch the top). Then put your items in the middle of the grill and away you go. There is a tray which you put underneath the machine which collects the grease. THis must be in place or you end up with a horrible mess!
Is it any good?
WEll I must say that hubby has absolutely no complaints about the quality of cooking the meat he does on this. For me, the best / or most horrible thing is that the grease / or fat from the meat drips out of the machine (because of the lovely crinkled design of the grilling plates). With sausages it is DISGUSTING how much fat drops off the plates. BUT on the plus side it is a lot less fat in the meat than would otherwise be there so I guess that it is a really good product.
Any other uses?
YUP this is a GREAT panini maker. You can quickly and easily heat up the plates and then stick your sandwich in it. It will melt very quicly indeed and become a lovely melted mozzerella panini. It also works with toasted sandwiches, so saves the need to have a toastie maker.
How do you wash it up?
Well this is the BEST thing about this grill the plates are removable, so you can scrub the horrible meat juice off and then you can stick them in the dishwasher.
Would I recommend this?
i think it is a fantastic product and would definitely recommend it - just to see the fat coming out of meat is amazing, but horrible. I find this product easy to use and also gives good results. For me, the lean mean grilling machine is a must!
Dyna Bands always struck me as a bit of an 80s throwback before I was "lucky" enough to use one in a class at the gym.
What are they?
Essentially an elastic band (what an elastic band for £9?????) yup an elastic band. BUT a very big one made of soft elastic which is not supposed to snap and coming in a variety of colours and "stretchiness"!!
Where would I get one?
Amazon are probably your best bet - they are reasonably priced there - being a total of £8 - 9 with free delivery. It is also worth having a look in JJB sports as they have a permenant clearance sale!
What do I do with it?
Well this is a tool which has many uses when you are excersicing. You can use it to tone up (without using heavy weights), or you can use it to assist with streching muscles out. For example if you stand on both the middle and hold an end in each hand. You can do bicep curls, tricep curls, shoulder presses. THe list goes on - you can use it to lie down and tie around your legs, making leg lifts really hard. I have also used it in pilates and yoga when, shamefully I am not quite flexible enough to do a couple of the poses. THe band allows you to aim for the position so you don't just get to rest but you don't have to break yourself in two!
Any golden rules?
Well the band has to be taut (there has to be some resistance in it ) or you won't be working out. the tighter the band is the harder that you have to work. Also make sure you don't let go of one end as it really hurts if it flys up and hits you in the face. On that note don't let go of both ends as you look really silly if it flys across the room!
This is a small bit of kit that takes up next to no room to store. It is useful for so many different exercises that I find it a great addition to my workouts. It is also easy to use and comes with a leaflet suggesting many exercises to try with it.
Well if you don't keep the band tight enough then you don't work out.
It REALLY hurts if the band is properly tight and you have to work really hard to make the movement (but I guess that you are toning your muscles so this is not really a disadvantage).
Occasionally they wear out and snap - this is annoying as they can't be fixed - try to keep them supple by rubbing talcum powder into them!
A great bit of kit - small and reasonably priced. Definitely recommended
It is so depressing when the evenings start creeping in and you suddenly realise that your horse is coming in from the field cold and damp and miserable. You normally realise this when they give you an uncharacteristic bite or shove (thanks!).
So, what can you do but make them cosy and warm with a rug over night.
Over the years I have tried almost every type of rug there is from New Zealands, to dry sheets, to illuminous rugs for hacking out. One of the huge problems of horse rugs is drying them out. It rains, they get wet - so even the stable rugs get damp and it is cold so they dont dry quickly. Problem damp, smelly rugs which don't keep anyone warm.
Where do I buy and how much?
Now the weatherbeeta rugs are available from any equestrian shop - one of my favourites is Robinsons and another http://www.equestrianclearance.com these rugs are currently on sale from between £10 and £35 on this site.
How do I use them?
Well the official use of a cooler rug is to let the horse cool down after a strenuos workout. So when they have been galloping around the field all day or you have taken them for a ride and they are sweaty. As a horse owner for many years I have learnt that you don't need all the different type of rugs - you just multi use the ones that you have so I use these as a light night time rug (or underneath another, thicker one).
What are the benefits?
This rug is made of fleece material which makes it both breathable - so the horse can dry off quickly and machine washable. That said I would always take horse rugs to the launderette as they do smell your washing machine out something terrible! They also dry quickly. I can hang this rug up overnight / during the day and it drys within a couple of hours. This is a MASSIVE benefit as it saves you having to have too many rugs.
It is also easy to put on or off. You can throw this over the horse and do up very quickly. The straps tend to stay done up too which is good. It comes with a neck attachment - i tend not to use this too often - unless it is really cold.
There is also a fleece wither pad - some horses tend to rub the rugs on their withers leading to horrible sore patches - this design feature stops this.
Well this is not thick enough to be a mid winter "keep the horse really cosy" rug but it can be layered with others. It also rips if your horse manages to catch it on a fence so be careful. BUT that said this is a fantastic product at a reasonable price.
One of my favourite rugs!
While I was pregnant my lovely personal trainer made lots of suggestions that would supposedly help giving birth easier. One of which was maintaining an exersise regime (damn it!) but another was getting an exercise / birthing ball.
Price and availability
I paid £7 at my local JJB sports as they were having a sale for this product. It comes in two sizes a 65 cm and a larger version. For most women my personal trainer recommended the 65cm version. You can also fine these balls on Amazon , they are priced at around £12 though.
Well this is an exercise ball so it can be used for a massive range of different exercises in the home or at the gym. These include:
Abs work, back work, push ups, sitting on to do weights, even attempting to stand on!
Uses during pregnancy!
It can also be used as a birthing ball or an aid to help sore backs / make baby get into the right position whilst you are pregnant!
I spent an awful long time sitting on my ball at home and at the gym doing pelvic circles, rocking the pelvis back and forwards and from side to side. According to my personal trainer this really helped my pelvic floor muscles stay strong. AND he was right, I have had no problems with my pelvic floor since giving birth.
Later on in pregnancy when baby was facing the wrong way around I spent hours kneeling over the ball on my hands and knees. The midwife said that this would make baby turn around. Yet again it did and it was quite comfortable too.
Then, during labour I sat on the ball and rocked, which really seemed to help relieve the pressure during contractions. When it all got a bit tougher I used the ball to lean on in the all fours position. Again, a bit more comfortable.
How to assemble
One thing with this ball is that it comes in a flat pack with a valve so that you can pump it up with a bicycle pump. I got hubby to do it for me but he said it was fairly tricky to get the ball really firm without either hyperventilating or losing air when you stop for a breath!
What did I think?
THis was a life saver for me. It really saved my back during pregnancy and baby did turn around the right way so think that the ball helped there. DUring labour it was also great. AND since then I have used it a lot to do abs work to get my pre- baby figure back.
one disadvantage is that it does take up quite a lot of room once it is inflated but I just shoved it in the corner of my living room behind the sofa and it is ok. It would be far too much hassle to inflate / deflate it all the time. It does need to be topped up with air periodically but that is my husband's job!
For the price a multi use product which I have found to be brilliant!