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I am an avid tea drinker. In fact, I cant start thinking straight in the morning before I have had a hot steaming cup of tea. I have tried a few brands of tea, and while not being my favourite, PG Tips is one of the brands I buy now and again. PG Tips is somewhere mid range in concerning the price, and is one of the best selling brands of tea. I usually buy the large box of 240 bags as this works out much cheaper than buying smaller packs. I think you get it for around £6, and is available in all supermarkets. The packaging is as you see in the picture. The top part of the carton opens like a lid, and inside, there is another bit of cardboard which is resealable and helps to keep the tea bags fresh for longer. The tea bags are pyramidal in shape. I dont really think the shape of the tea bag matters at all. As I buy the bigger pack, it lasts me a while (around 6 to 8 weeks) and I dont think the tea has been affected by the time in storage. The taste is not the best, but quite acceptable. I always feel that PG Tips has a weird paper like smell coming from the tea initially which sometimes puts me off. I have noticed it every time I try PG Tips after trying another brand. While there seems to be various flavours of tea, I stick to regular black tea. However, I am still quite happy to drink it. One thing I do wish is that they would mention on the packet where exactly the tea was coming from.
In preparation for the birth of my son, this was among the few toiletries that I purchased. Without question, any baby toiletry has to be Johnson's. After all, they have been around a very long time, so they must know what they are doing. I bought this bottle as it is very easy to dispense with the pumping action. The picture shown is of a 500 ml bottle which sells for around £2.50. The bottle is flattened sideways, so it is narrow and tall, which makes it easy to hold. That is particularly important when you have a squirming infant in the other hand. The bottle is a translucent creamy colour, so you can see the level of shampoo inside and know when to get the next one. The shampoo is a pale yellow colour and has a creamy consistency. It has a mild pleasant smell, and works up a minimal amount of lather. It cleans very well, and more importantly it doesn't dry out my baby's skin. It is quite mild on the skin, and my son hasn't had any reactions or allergies to the shampoo. I dont believe it stings when it goes into the eyes, either. The bottle says that this product is suitable from birth, for top to toe use so that is what I have been doing. I have not bought a separate soap or shampoo. In fact, I still have the very first bottle and inspite of using it every single day for bathing or cleaning his bum or his hands, only about a third has been used up. I would say that is very good value for money. This product works well if you mix into the bath water or apply onto skin directly. I prefer to apply onto his skin as I feel you just end up cleaning the bath the other way. I think this is a very good quality and useful product for a baby.
I was recently given this pushchair by a friend who no longer needed it. As my son is now sitting up and I was not happy with the pushchair seat on my previous pram, I decided to give this a try. The whole travel system including pram and carseat sells for around £300. It is perhaps not unreasonable, considering that Britax is a good brand, but I was not really impressed with the pushchair. The frame is really huge, it is more suitable for outdoor use and people with lots of space in their house to store it. To fit the pushchair frame in our Ford Focus , we had to remove the boot covering, and then there is space for nothing else. Clearly it is not designed for travelling. On the other hand, it rides very well and smoothly, actually feels like a little car. It is very good even on uneven ground. There are two large wheels at the back and two on each side at the front. The front wheels swivel completely and offer excellent control, they can also be locked in one position if you wish. The folding mechanism is easy, you just pull the handle upwards on both sides. You do need to apply a degree of force to achieve this. The handle is a bar across. Next to the handle is a holder where you can keep a cup as well as a closed box for keeping you wallet or mobile phone. The basket underneath is also very big. The pushchair seat feels quite hard and i feel it could use some more padding. It can go completely flat and the adjusting mechanism is easy, by holding up a lever on the back of the seat. The hood is completely detachable and there is a net-like area on top through which you can peek at your child. There is a leg rest which can be adjusted in various positions, this is a very useful feature for younger kids. There is also a plastic footrest for older kids. The raincover that comes with the pushchair is huge and covers the entire thing, including the frame. I feel that the carrycot that comes along with this is very small and uncomfortable. It is quite hard inside, and I doubt any newborn will find it pleasant. Thankfully, my son is six months now and I just use the pushchair. All in all, this leaves much to be desired and I dont think I would pay the full amount to get this one new, now that I have experienced it.
I have a six month old baby and as you might expect, I go th rough a fair amount of wipes and have tried a few different brands. The first packet of Johnson's baby wipes I used was received as a sample in one of the Bounty packs, I think.I am quite happy with these and have bought them many times since. These sell a little under a pound per packet if you buy individual packets but for a little less if you buy the multi packs. Often you can get them at discounted prices during baby events at the major supermarkets. Johnson's wipes, like most other Johnson's products come in pink packaging. The 'gentle cleansing' one has pink and blue packaging with a picture of a mum and baby at the front. There are also 'sensitive' wipes, and to be honest I am not sure there is much of a difference between them. There are 56 wipes per packet. There is a transparent sticky tab at the front, which has to be closed when not in use. As with most wipes, it is quite impossible to take out just one wipe with a single pull, you have to hold down the second one if you need just one wipe. The wipe is a standard size and quite soft. While it is not the wettest wipe I have seen, it is wet enough for cleaning purposes. You can wipe a surface a few times and still have a bit of moisture left. There is no smell to speak of. I have not had any allergies or reactions after using this wipe. The ingredients lsited are: aqua, glycerin, coco glucoside, glyceryl oleate, glyceryl polyacrylate, carbamer, lauryl glucoside, polyglyceryl dipolyhydroxystearate, citric acid, sodium hydroxide, p-anisic acid, phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate, parfum. I dont really know much about these chemicals. In fact, I have only just looked at the list of ingredients and I am amazed at how many chemicals go into a product that you just use and throw without a thought. But they are lifesavers if you are out and about and have to do a nappy change. I mostly use wipes for nappy changes only when going out, or in the middle of the night . I have since discovered many more uses for baby wipes, in fact a lot of things requiring cleaning with a wet cloth get cleaned with baby wipes nowadays. Why bother when convenience is so handy. I am quite happy with these wipes and I am happy to recommend them to you. Only, remember not to keep them exposed or they will dry out quickly.
Bright Starts is a company that I first heard of after having my baby. They make a lot of toys and other baby activity products like play gym, swing etc. I have noticed that their products are of fairly good quality and tend to be quite cheaper than the well known brands. After I got the Bright Starts play gym for my son when he was very young, I wanted to get a toy to hang on it that would attract his attention. After a bit of searching, I found these Tug Tunes from Bright Start. They are now available in four designs as far a sI know- an orange bug, a pink pig, a blue elephant and a brown monkey. They all sell for around £6-£7. I bought it from Tesco, and they seem to be available on many websites as well. The one I got was the pink pig, as that was the only one I saw in the store that day. I have to say that the toy is quite cute, and my son was very interested in it. The idea of the toy is that the 'tug' attached to the feet can be pulled, causing the toy to play a melody. There are four cute melodies that alternate. The toy has a battery on the inside, but unfortunately there is no access to the battery. Once the charge is over, the toy will stop playing tunes. Mys on has had his toy for about six months now and I can clearly hear the battery staring to die now as it stops playing after one second. This seems to be the main drawback of the toy. The toy itself is made of a soft plump material and is very comfortable to hold. It can be used by babies of all ages. When he was very young, my little simply used to stare at but lately he has learnt to pull it and make it play. All toys come attached with a matching link so you can attach it to a gym or car seat or pram. This is the toy that I usually take when we are going out, it never fails to distract him. It is a very good toy, but I wish there was a way to change the battery.
I had a grand spending spree at Ikea just before my baby was born and got all brand new furniture for our flat. The whole thing had to be done for around £1000, which didn't leave me much for anyhting but I managed it in the end. Storage ended up being one of the most expensive buys of the lot. I looked around quite a bit but given my budget restrictions I settled for a Pax wardrobe with three doors. -----CHOICE---- The great thing about the Pax wardrobe is that you have lots of options regarding the size, depth, doors, what fixtures you want inside it, the kind of doors you want etc. In the wardrobe section in Ikea, there are computers with a software you can use to figure out exactly what options you want in your wardrobe, and at the end you get the exact price calculation and a list of all the things you have selected, which can be printed off. I enjoyed this very much, and it made the whole process of wardrobe shopping so much simpler. This can also be done online. Also all the doors and fixtures are displayed there, so you can loo around before deciding. ------MATERIALS--- All parts of the wardrobe are made of particleboard, which is fairly strong and sturdy for every day use, except the back. I have to say, that was the one bit I really dislike about this wardrobe.The back is made of fibreboard, which is a very thin weak material which flip-flops around. My wardrobe is made of two frames - the bigger one has three sheets of fibreboard attached length wise to each other with some sort of tape. It started bulging backwards within a few weeks of use. If you are keeping your wardrobe against a wall, this doesn't really affect performance but I am sure Ikea could have done better with this. ----OPTIONS----- The colours available are black, white, birch and oak. I bought a white one as my theme was white. The frame comes in two heights- 201 cm and 236 cm, and two depths- 38cm and 60 cm. I chose the smaller dimension as I didnt want a huge wardrobe taking up my bedroom space, and it has proved enough for me. The frame stands about 10cm off the ground, supported on feet all around and with long screws on the inside which can be adjusted during assembly. Frames are available in two sizes- 100cm and 50 cm wide ones. I got one of each, which was good for me. They can be set up as individual free standing wardrobes or you can place them adjacent to each other and set it up as a massive one. Various designs of doors were available, in various kinds of finishes varying in price from £15 to about £45. One of the doors has a full length mirror on front. You can choose any number of any kind of door that you want. You can also have sliding doors. You can also select the handles of your choice. ------FIXTURES--- The interior fittings offer a great range of choice, and are not very expensive. Shelves come in packs of two at £6 for the smaller one and £10 for bigger ones. There are various options of fixtures like drawers, glass shelf, shoe storage, pullout plastic boxes, pullout wire storage boxes, hangers for shirts and pants and the like. And there are loads of matching accessories to suit, all within quite a reasonable price. I ended up getting a fairly basic model with some hangers and loads of shelves, which works best for us. In total, I managed to get it at around £260. ------ASSEMBLY---- As with all Ikea products,everything comes flatpacked and with a very good instruction manual. As we had everything delivered, transport was not an issue. The assembly was definitely difficult. Of all the things that we assembled, this was the hardest and I am not satisfied with the results as the doors are not aligned properly. Considering the amount of effort we had to put into it, I feel that it would have better to call someone to assemble it. We did manage to do the basic assembly, but in order to complete it you need a drill. I dont have one and I didn't consider it worth getting a drill just for this purpose. You need a drill to drill holes for the handle, and also to drill holes in the wall to fix your wardrobe to the wall and the separate frames to each other. Ikea recommends that you fix the furniture to the wall, and although I am always a bit worried about the whole thing toppling over I haven't done it. I have been using it in freestanding mode for about eight months now without any problems. It doesn't feel wobbly or threaten to fall down, although in the interest of safety I would recommend that you do this. I have now changed the configuration and have the 50cm one standing in a corner on its own, and it seems to be doing well so far. ------VERDICT--- I dont think this is the strongest or sturdiest of wardrobes, but it is enough to be living with, especially if you are on a budget. I suppose I wouldn't worry about this aspect at all if I had it screwed to the walls. As I mentioned before, I wish the material at the back was a bit stronger. The hinges are quite good, you can get the extra soft close ones if you wish. Being a wardrobe, it is subjected to constant use and abuse and it seems to be faring well. Cleaning is quite easy, simply wipe with clean soapy water. I have to mention that the surface will get scratched very easily if it comes in contact with any sharp objects. -----CONCLUSION--- All the drawbacks not withstanding, I do think it is a decent bit of furniture for the price I paid for it and I am happy to recommend it to you.
Of late, I have had to buy loads of tissues as I have started weaning my son. Those of you who have had babies will know how messy that can get. Tissues, being disposable, make life much simpler and easier. I have been trying a few brands and decided to give the Asda smartprice range a try. At 65p for a box of 225 tissues, it is definitely one of the cheapest I have seen. That comes to about 0.03p for a tissue. They come in a standard sized cardboard box. It is quite plain, mostly white with the distinctive Asda green colour on it, as is the case with most Smartprice products. These are white coloured 2-ply tissues. They are not the whitest I have seen. The tissues are definitely quite rough, you can tell from the way they feel that they are quite cheap. I bought them with the intention of using them on my baby, but they are not suitable for babies. I do use it to just gently pick off food on his face while feeding, but nothing more than that. I have tried it myself and it is not very comfortable. I would only recommend using it for general cleaning purposes, and not as facial tissues. Also, when you pull one out of the box, two or three follow the one you are pulling out and you have to shake it a bit to separate one. All in all, it is useful but expect to get only what you pay for.
As my previous microwave went bust all of a sudden with a spark and splutter, I have been forced to get a new one. This time around I decided to go for the cheapest one available from Argos, as we had some Argos vouchers to use up. That is how we came to buy this microwave from Argos for £50, when it was on clearance I think. It comes in a standard cardboard box with all the instructions. it is mostly silver coloured, with a black door through which you can see inside, although not very well. The specifications are: Weight 12 kg Capacity 20 litres Power 800 watts Turntable size 24.5 cm It is of a fairly standard size that can be easily accommodated on a kitchen counter. The cord is about 1m long. There are two dials that control the oven- the top one for power and the bottom one for time. The power dial has a defrost setting and a further five settings ranging from low to high. The time dial can be set in minutes upto 30 minutes. I must mention that the dials turn continuously and not from point to point, so strictly speaking you could set it at any level you wanted. There is no handle as such on the door. The grey bit beneath the dials opens the door when pressed. Inside, the oven is a standard white colour. The glass turntable sits on a roller that rotates when the oven is in operation. Although it looks a bit small on the inside, it is big enough to hold a standard sized dinner plate. Being a simple machine, the usage is also simple enough. I have been used to a digital microwave and I still haven't managed to get my timings on this one correct. I manage to spill my tea every single time unless I stand there and watch it and manage to save it in the nick of time. I have managed to burn or overheat quite a lot of things. With a digital one, you can accurately set the time and come back to find the food ready. With this one, it is not possible to set the exact time. Or perhaps I am lazy and simply prefer the ease of the digital machine. The oven has a light inside that comes on when it is functioning, and it is possible to see through and just about make out what is happening inside. The oven stops working when you open the door. However, you must remember to turn the timer back to zero or it will continue running when you close the door. Obviously, it is not able to tell if there is something inside. You do need a bit of trial and error to figure out what level of power and time to operate for different things. Another problem I have noticed is that I feel the turntable is not too steady on the roller, it always feels a bit loose and shaky. I would say the noise level is about average. Cleaning this oven is no hassle, just wipe with soapy water. Obviously, this is not the best machine but I guess you get what you pay for. It is enough to get by for minimal tasks like making tea and heating food, which is mostly what I use it for. As I am not prepared to have yet another oven go bust on me, I have taken out the Argos product warranty, which I think costs around £10.
I had a £10 Amazon voucher and decided to get my son a toy. I was looking around for a good one for a six month old and I thought this might be a good one, especially as it is form Lamaze and I had seen some good reviews on it. I bought it from Amazon for close to £11 with free delivery. As opposed to the image shown, the one I have is a blue coloured octopus. It has eight legs, all of which are differently coloured and textured. On the part facing upward, alternating four legs have the same blue colour as the head of the octopus. The intervening legs have a soft patterned fabric on them, with the predominant colour being orange, purple, green and red. These legs all have an attachment on them. The orange one has a green tag attached, with a green knitted surface and a crinkly sound and texture when touched. The purple one has a round blue velvety patch on it, with a border of multicoloured ribbons. This patch also has a crinkly sound and texture when rubbed. The green leg also has a tag attached, covered in a soft yellow cloth and with a crinkly sound and texture. The red leg has a round white furry patch, and the leg gives a crinkle when touched. The blue leg next to the red one has a purple starfish on a green base, which can be rotated with a ratchety noise. The opposite blue leg has a round mirror on it. Of the remaining two, one has a plastic orange coloured seahorse hanging loose on it and attached to the head with a tag, and the other one has two plastic rings attached that can be clanged together to make noise or to suspend the toy. On the bottom part, each of the legs are covered in a plain coloured soft fabric in the following colours- yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green- dark and light. The middle bit has two velcro strips by which you can attach the toy to a pram or car seat. The head of the toy has a nice smiley face on it, and squeaks when pressed. It also has four coloured ribbons on top. The toy is fairly large, around 30cm x 20 cm. The material is very good, quite soft and easy to clean with water . Having read many good things about Lamaze toys, I have to say that this one was a bit of a disappointment. I certainly like the toy in the way it looks, and I think it is meant to offer the scope of various colours and textures to a child, but I think it is a bit boring. And I would say my little one agrees, as he has never seemed very interested in this toy. He hardly plays with it if I leave him on his own with it, but I do make him play with it when I am around. Even with the squeaking, he prefers his little rattle to this one. I think I might use this to teach him the different colours when he is older. This toy has been a bit of a disappointment for us, I am certain there might be something better I could have got him for £10.
My son first had blocked nose when he was around three weeks old, and just just when you want to do do everything you can to make your baby feel better, you are told that there isn't much you can do. He was prescribed these saline nasal drops to help with the blocked nose. In the latest flu bout, all of us caught it including my little one and I had quite a few sleepless nights and tiring days. I have to say that these drops are not totally useless. The nasosal saline nasal drops sell for around £2.50. The packaging is different from what is shown here, I guess this is the old packaging. It is green and orange design on the carton, quite distinctive. Inside, the drops are contained in a white bottle with a cap. The tip of the bottle is narrow with an opening at the very tip, so you can drop the medicine into your child's nose. It already comes with an opening in it, you dont have to make the opening. The drops are essentially just normal saline, which you can make at home but I guess it is more convenient and sterile to just buy it. Also more comforting, I think. They are,as expected, colourless and odourless. It doesn't actually relieve the nasal congestion, but helps to soften the secretions in the nose and helps in getting it out. It was a great help, especially this time round as he was quite badly affected by a blocked nose. Its quite horrible to hear them struggling to breathe through a stuffed nose. I have to say that my little one didn't enjoy it very much. Every time I put him down, he seemed to know what was coming and started to cry. I have recently noticed that the Nasosal saline comes as a spray as well, I think I will use that next time. But I do hope he will learn to blow his nose by the time he next catches a cold.
Padded envelopes are very useful when posting things like books or a bunch of documents that you want to be more careful with. It is also quite useful for sending small lightweight objects that fit into them. Now that I have taken to online shopping, with inevitable returns and the occasional selling I have found these envelopes to be much more useful than ever. While I do like to make sure my post is safe and secure, I am not willing to spend a lot of money on envelopes that are just simply going to be torn open and thrown away, even though they do serve an important purpose. Considering that you get a packet of 3 or 5 in Poundland for £1, it seems ridiculously expensive to spend double that for one envelope at stationery stores or the post office. These envelopes come stacked and surrounded by a thin plastic wrap. You get 3 for a pound for the bigger ones (fitting A4 papers), and 5 in a packet with the next smaller size. They are brown coloured envelopes, with a padding of air filled pockets on the inside. They have a sealing tab with a removable backing. I think the envelopes are of fairly good quality, I haven't had any get ripped or break yet. I suppose you have to be careful to use the appropriate sized envelope. The tab is of very good quality and sticks very well. I usually stick a bit of tape across my usual envelopes, but I am happy to leave these as they are. In short, they represent excellent value for money.
In the early days of my pregnancy, I was taking Pregnacare as supplements and I had a lot of weird problems which I had never experienced before- I felt like my gut had essentially stopped working. I was constipated, nauseated and I didn't feel like eating anything . I dont know whether this was down to my pregnancy or Pregnacare but I sopped taking it after a week and I did feel much better. My midwife then suggested that I try the Sanatogen mum-to-be tablets and she gave me a sample of 14 to try initially. I did try them and I felt they were much better, so I stuck to them. The one difference that I noticed was that Sanatogen has 14 mg of iron as compared to the 17mg in Pregnacare, perhaps this made a difference. Sanatogen tablets are pink in colour, and much smaller than the Pregnacare ones which I liked as I hate huge tablets, they tend to get stuck in my throat. The size is probably comparable to regular paracetamol tablets. As for what is in them: Typical values Per tablet Vitamin D 10μg Vitamin E 8.5mg Vitamin C 90mg Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 1.6mg Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 1.8mg Niacin 19mg NE Vitamin B6 2.6mg Folic Acid (Folacin) 400μg Vitamin B12 2.5μg Biotin 200μg Pantothenic Acid 8.7mg Calcium 170mg Phosphorus 133.3mg Iron 14mg Magnesium 100mg Zinc 7.5mg Copper 1000μg Manganese 1mg This is supposed to be a complete mix of eighteen essential vitamins and minerals essential for a pregnant women and a growing baby. The amounts contained in them are not 100% RDA for each one of them, but I suppose the RDA is not applicable in pregnancy. These tablets come in a small plastic bottle, which is mostly white with a pink design and a picture of a mum and baby on it. The cap is child proof and in a deep pink colour. These are available in packs of 30 or 90 tablets, and are available in most supermarkets and pharmacies. The cost is around £5 for a pack of thirty tablets and around £13 for a pack of 90 tablets, which I think is quite reasonable. These tablets can also be taken after pregnancy, during breastfeeding although there is a separate version for postpartum women. I did continue to take it for a while after my delivery. The major advantage for me was that I did not find it as troublesome as the Pregnacare tablets. I tolerated these much better, so I stuck to it. Perhaps I might have been able to take them if I had tried them after my early pregnancy troubles had settled own, but I was quite reluctant to try them again, especially as I found it quite hard to swallow the huge tablets in the first place. I did not have any major problems during pregnancy or afterwards, and my son is quite healthy and well, and I am sure these tablets had some role to play it in all. I am happy to recommend these tablets to any new mum-to-be.
In the first few weeks of his life, my son was always very cranky and uncomfortable and I couldn't find any particular reason, so I presumed he was having colic, especially as I could hear weird loud noises in his tummy and he seemed to feel better lying on his stomach. Pretty much everyone I spoke to suggested gripe water, while also mentioning that colic is just one of those things they have to grow out of. I got the gripe water for around £2, I think. It came in a carton with a picture of a baby on it. Although it was only suggested for babies older than one month, I used it when my son was even younger and it did not cause him any particular problems. Gripe water comes in a transparent glass bottle with a label that you peel off giving further details on the constituents and usage. Gripe water is a very ancient remedy, having been around for more than 150 years. For the modern user, it is now available in a n alcohol and sugar free version. It is transparent, fairly tasteless and has a mild smell which is quite neutral. I didn't have any difficulty in getting my baby to take it, perhaps because he was so young. The essentially active ingredients in gripe water are dill oil, which soothes the stomach and bicarbonate which neutralises the acid and prevents the formation of bubbles which distend the stomach and cause cramps. I remember that I used the medicine quite often and it was effective, but for short periods of time. Which is quite acceptable when you have a screaming baby and you dont know what to do. Eventually, he stopped having colic and I ended up throwing away quite a lot of the gripe water, which should be used within a few days of opening. It was definitely useful and helpful, although I would prefer if they made it in smaller bottles.
I first bought the Calpol suspension when my son was getting his first jabs. He did get a mild fever after his first jab and I was dreading having to give him medicine. Having grown up with three younger brothers, I have good experience of how difficult it is to get young kids to take medicine. Thankfully, this paracetamol suspension was easy to get down his throat. He did make a funny expression at the taste and sensation ( as though he was telling me it tasted disgusting) but thankfully he kept it down, and didn't gag or vomit. It is very effective at bringing down fever. Paracetamol is also good for pain, although I haven't used it for this purpose yet. The outer carton is what is displayed here, with a purple design and details of the drug and suggested dosing on it. Inside, the medicine is in a plastic bottle with a child proof cover. There is also a small double sided spoon provided, with one end of 2.5 ml capacity and the other end of 5 ml capacity. This was quite helpful, as you only need to give around 2.5 ml when they are 2 or 3 months old. The medicine itself is a thick suspension with a somewhat gloopy consistency, in a lurid pink colour and smell that you associate with medicines. It is pink in colour, in keeping with the strawberry flavour. It is a sugar free suspension, which is a good thing. The average price is around £2.50. All in all, it is an essential thing to have at home if you have a baby.
I was very excited and in home decoration mode before the birth of my son and decide that a floor lamp would make my living room look perfect. When I saw this lamp in Ikea for £11, I couldn't believe my eyes. I never knew you got lamps that cheap. I decided that I definitely had to get this one. Also, I had bought all white furniture and I thought this would match very well with everything I had. I seem to remember that there were at least three versions of this lamp- just the main stem, with one branch and with two branches. I decide to go for this one with the uplighter and one reading light. The prices vary depending on the number of bulbs. And yes, it does come packed in a small cardboard box. I couldn't believe that either. The assembly is fairly simple and straightforward. The mainstem is in three or four segments that are screwed on to each other and at one of the intervening joints, the branch is attached. The base of the light concrete, making it heavy and very stable. It has a smooth black plastic coating on top. The stem is made of steel and is black in colour. The shades are white in colour and made of polypropylene plastic. The dimensions of the product are: Height: 176 cm Base diameter: 26 cm Shade diameter: 28 cm Cord length: 1 m 35 cm The cord is a very good length, allowing a certain degree of adjustment. There is a box with two switches on it that hangs at about mid-stem level, and you can control the two lights independently. The bulbs for the lamps were available in Ikea, and I bought them from there as they were on offer as well at the time. I am not sure whether you can buy the bulbs elsewhere. The bulbs are of two different sizes. The bulbs available in Ikea were claimed to be very longlasting and energy efficient, which was why I bought them. They cost around £2 apiece. The light form the bulbs is yellowish rather than white. While I usually prefer white light, this yellow upward glow into the corner of my living room does make it look quite pretty. The stem is meant to be a reading lamp, and it is very bendy and can be adjusted to sit any position of your choice. It is quite handy as a smaller light, especially when I dont want to leave the brighter uplighter on. Initially, when you switch it on, the bulbs glow a bit dim and it takes them a couple of minute to reach full glow, and then it stays that way. I have noticed that the bulbs do get hot when in use for a long time, but the plastic shade remains cool. The uplighter is quite bright in itself, and sometimes I dont even switch on the overhead lights. I usually leave the smaller one on through the night, as I need to see things especially to feed my baby when he gets up in the night. The only problem I have noticed is that if you tend to twist the smaller lamp around quite a lot, one of the stem pieces may come loose. You will notice this easily and the stem will look a bit slanted and all you have to do is give it a twist, but there haven't been any major issues. This lamp has been on pretty much since the day it was bought and it is still going strong. Considering the price, I would say it was a very good bargain.