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My gorgeous little baby boy has just reached the 6 month milestone and while I can't believe that we're here already, I have just started weaning him. I love this messy process, introducing your beloved little bundle to their first tastes of solid foods and watching them explore all the different flavours and textures for the very first time. Although this is the third time I have gone through weaning I did feel the need to go out and buy my boy some drand new bits and pieces. I thought my handsome little scrummy boy deserved some new bowls and spoon.
These Avent Weaning Spoons were included in a set of Avent products I bought. Although I love some of the Avent product, I had never tried the spoons but as they were included, I decided to give them a whirl. Straight away I knew that these spoons were not for us. The just looked really cheap and naff. They were made from a really rigid plastic and the handle was straight without any moulded shape which would make it easier to hold.
The actual dip of the spoon was quite small yet also quite deep. I suppose that this would help prevent spillages but I found that it was tricky to get all the food into my little bubba mouth. These spoons just seemed really unfriendly and not helpful when the whole experience of eating solids is completely alien. The spoons I usually go for are soft against my babys delicate mouth, brightly coloured and easy to hold. These Avent spoons fall down on every level and they have been relegated to the back of the drawer and will be used only in emergencies.
I believe a pack of 2 of these spoons will set you back around £2
Anyone who has small children will know that mealtimes during those early years can be incredibly messy. it takes a long time for the little monkeys to get to grips with eating at the table with cutlery and the journey can be a bumpy one. When my eldest daughter began using cutlery, I bought her little sets in the hope that she would find them easier to use. These sets however were quite expensive and we seemed to misplace an awful lot of them.
I began to look for a cheaper alternative and was thrilled when I spotted this set of Ikea Kalas Cutlery on one of my irregular trips to my nearest branch of Ikea. This set contained 18 pieces (6 spoons, 6 forks & 6 knives) This cultery was made in thick chunky plastic and in a variety of bright colours.... unbelievably the whole set cost a jaw dropping 89p - what a bargain. I snapped up a couple of packs I don't make it to Ikea very often.
This cutlery has proved to be absolutely brilliant and absolutely fantastic for my children. It is really thick and chunky which makes it easier for them to handle and is curved rather than straight which also makes it more friendly for little hands. My children love the bright colours of the cutlery, although my girls do tend to always to argue over the pink set.
This cutlery is quite durable, I pop it in the dishwasher and it holds up well. After so long it does begin to fade a bit but for 89p you really can't complain. This cutlery set has proved to be a complete triumph and I would recommend to anyone with small children.
I've always really wanted a slow cooker, but just neveractually got round to buying one. Various friends have raved about the fantastic tasting and warming dishes they have made using their slow cookers and I have always loved the whole idea of them. This year however as the days started getting shorter and it started getting much colder, I decided that this was the year and I was finally going to invest in this long overdue purchase.
I consulted my trust Argos catalogue and was chuffed to see that slow cookers cost considerably less than I had expected them to and even better than that, some of them were currently reduced. I opted for this Breville VTP112 3.5 litre slow cooker which was reduced down to a very reasonable £15.99. I decided upon this one as Breville is a brand I am familiar with and trust and is was also the size I was after. I wanted one that was big enough to feed the whole family yet no too big as I have very limited storage in my kitchen.
I have now had my slow cooker for about a month and I really can't get over how much I have been using it. It has completely revolutionised my time in the kitchen. I am eating tastier food and enjoying preparing it more. I have three children and I am constantly on the go with their busy social lives. Most days I have lost all enthusiasm to cook when I get home from a busy day and they have worked up an appetite and don't want to wait long for their food. I tend to have more energy to cook in the mornings and this slow cooker means that I can chuck everything in first thing in the morning, switch it on and let the slow cooker do it's magic. When I return after a day out with the little monkeys I just love opening the door to be greeted with the smell of scrummy food cooking away.
I'm certainly not amazing in the kitchen but honestly everything I chuck in this ends up tasting amazing. I have cooked pasta sauces, veggie stews, beef and ale hot pots and it all tastes gorgeous. The slow cooker has three settings - high, low and keep warm. I was slightly worried it wouldn't be big enough to feed us all but it has proved to be the perfect size. I honestly don't know how I managed without it.
I only recently stubled across the Lacura brand of beauty products. Lacura is a range of products stocked in branches of Aldi. A friend recommended the under eye concealer which has prooved to be amazing and then I also heard rumblings about this Multi Intensive Serum from a few different people and also read a couple of really postitive reviews in some of the magazines I read. From what I could gather this serum is a much cheaper alternative to the hugely successful Boots No.7 serum. Costing only £3.49 a bottle this product is much much cheaper that the Boots serum which I believe costs closer to the £20 mark.
I'm a sucker for new products so I decided to give it a whirl. I was even more excited by this product when I read an article which stated that the Lacura serum had actually come out on top of the Boots version in a recent study. The serum is said to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and is used on clensed skin.
I have been using this serum for the last couple of week. I apply it to my clensed skin before moisterising both in the morning and evening. It glides onto my skin and is absorbed without too much rubbing. It leaves my skin feeling fabulously soft and silky and I think it makes my face appear fresher and clearer. I definately think there has been impovement in the appearance of my skin since I have been using this product, and while I probably need to use it for longer before I can really say whether it has improved the appearance of the fine lines on my face, I do think it has had a postive impact. I will continue to use this product and would definately recommend to others.
I am an advertisers dream when it comes to skincare and makeup products - I become completely absorbed in their wild and extravagant claims and genuinely believe that they have made the worlds best mascara or moisteriser. Thankfully this blind belief usually only lasts until the end of the advert when I actually consider their claims properly but I have to admit I'd still probably be tempted to give the product a try. Similarily if I hear about a product in a magazine or through a friend and it comes with a high rating or recommendation I them become desperate to get my grubby hands on it.
I read in a magazine recently that the pop Princess Kylie has ditched more drastic approaches in a bid to hold back the years and instead had followed her mother's beauty regime by using this Ponds Cold Cream Clenser. Now I'm not completely stupid, I knew that this stuff wouldn't transform me into Kylie but I had heard about this product before and was intrigued enough to want to give it a whirl. Pond Cold Cream Clenser has been around for years but in the days of handy clensing wipes it was a product I had never tried.
Apparently since the Kylie connection, sales of this stuff have rocketed but when I visited my local branch of Boots, I had to really hunt for it and found it tucked away on a bottom shelf. I believe a tub cost me approx £3.95 which is very reasonable compared to some of the clensers available today.
At the end of that day I decided to give this product a try. The cream comes in a solid glass tub and when I opened the lid I was greeted with a lovely soft floral fresh aroma. The first thing that struck me was how thick the cream was. This worried me slightly as it did look very heavy and I was concerned that it might mean that my face would break out in a whole load of unwelcome spots. I was wearing makeup and as instructed, I applied the cream to my whole face. After I had down this I then used a cotton wool pad to wipe of the cream.
I could believe how well it removed all my makeup... even my stubborn mascara. It did the job better than any other clenser I have used and my skin was left sparly clean and also feeling incredibly soft and silky. I have now been using this cream for a few weeks and I really thing my skin has improved. It looks clearer and fresher and my pores lool much smaller. I will definately continue to use this cream even if I am not transforming into a pop godess.
A few years ago pre children when I was working full time I used to lif quite an indulgent life. I spent my hard earned pennies on whatever took my fancy and enjoyed the freedom of having no real responsibilities. Back then I used to splash out on my makeup and go for the high end brands... nowadays I have three gorgeous little angels and my priorites have changed. There are now more important things to spend my money on, so consequently I have downgraded most products in my makeup bag.
There was one product that I clung on too however.... my trusty gold wand of YSL Touche Eclat. This fab concealer became my saviour on days when my bubba has stopped my from having a decent nights sleep and my bags are particularly spectacular. It's brilliant stuff but mighty expensive so when a friend raved about a far cheaper alternative I became suitably intrigued.
This friend told me that Aldi stocked fantastic concealer that was in her eyes as good as Touche Eclat but cost a fraction of the price. To be honest I wasn't convinced but whenI reached the end of my last Touche Eclat I decided it was worth a try. Costing only £3.59 the Aldi Lacura Concealer Pen certainly wasn't going to break the bank, so I decided to give it a go and if it was rubbish I could just throw it without being too out of pocket.
I nipped into my nearest branch of Aldi and picket up some of this concealer. The concealer comes in a few different shades which is worth noting as the branch I visited the were all stacked together and it wasn't clear that there were optons available. Had I not known this I could have ended up not buying the one that best suited my skin tone.
I used the concealer next time I applied my makeup and was thrilled that the concealer was packaged and dispensed almost exactly the same as it's more expensive counterpart. The concealer is contained in a pencil sized wand. You simply click the button at one end and this releases a small amount of the consealer into a firm yet soft brush at the other end. You use this to apply the make up to your skin and then blend.
I have to say that this product perfoms in my eyes as well as the Touche Eclat... it is a fab light concealer that just works brilliant disguising those tired eyes and other problematic areas.
I am completely converted.. I think it's great and feel as though I have found a real gem of a product... spread the word.
My kitchen floor has a y lot to deal with.... with young children every mealtime is somewhat interesting and usually there is some kind of spillage. My youngest little bubba is just starting to become slightly mobile... he has worked out how to roll around and this has meant that I have to ensure that the floors are as clean as they can be. I usually use the directl floor cleaners to clean my laminate kitchen floor but to be honest I only usually do a proper mop a couple of times a week.
A couple of months ago I discovered these Tesco Anti-Bacterial Floor wipes and they have become really handy when I just need to give a specific area a quick clean or I just want to give the floor a quick once over. These wipes can be used directly on the floor and can simply be pushed around by a broom, sponge mop or my hand if your feeling really committed.
They are in a plastic wrapper and the wipes are dispensed through a resealable opening in the top of the packet, similar to a packet of baby wipes. The wipes themselves are thick and quite large and have a peasant fresh smelling aroma.
I have been really pleased with these wipes. They are so incredibly easy to use that cleaning the floor is no longer a chore that I dread. They clean effectively and are perfect when you just need to clean under the table or give your floor a quick spruce up.
I think that these wipes would struggle to effectively give your floor a really deep thorough clean as you may end up using a lot of wipes I really think that they have made my life easier so they get a big thumbs up from me.
A pack of 15 wipes costs a reasonable £1
I have been using the Dettol equivalent of this product for the last year and had been really pleased with the results it achieved. On a recent supermarket shop I was looking for the Dettol floor cleaner and I spotted this Tesco Direct to Floor Cleaner and as it was quite a lot cheaper I decided to give it a go.
A 1 litre bottle of the floor cleaner cost a reasonable £1.20 and comes in a tall plastic bottle. The bottle has a push to close lid and when lifted up the liquid cleaner can be squirted through a valve type lid. The cleaner is scented pine.
The beauty of this type of floor cleaner is you simply squirt the liquid over your floor and then use a clean sponge mop to clean your floor. There is no need for a mop and bucket, you can simply rinse your mop out every now and then. This cleaner takes the labour out of cleaning your kitchen. It becomes a quick job that can be done in a couple of minutes and you avoid your floor becoming too wet.
This has been really beneficial in my house. I am always having to clean the floor and this type of product means that it is now a quick and easy job and there is no danger of my littlie slipping over on a floor that takes too long to dry.
I have been really impressed with this product as a whole. It hold it's own when compared to the Dettol equivalent and I really love the fresh pine smell. My only slight criticism would be that the lid allows a little too much of the liquid to be dispensed. Rather than a fine spray, it kind of splashes out and this could lead you to using too much of the cleaner. Aside for this however I think this is a great product and I will definately buy again.
I have always had a deep love and reading, when I stumble across a good book, I just completely immerse myself in it and become totally absorbed in the story. This passion began when I was very young and I have very vivid memories of certain books from my childhood. Certain books just stand out from the rest when I think back and I have a particularly soft spot for the Hungry Caterpillar & Faraway Tree.
Now I have three gorgeous little monkeys of my own, I am determind that they too also develop a love of reading and therefore the bedtime story is given particular importance in our house. Now I read them a lot of different books, we make regular trips to the library to spice things up but to be honest some of them are pretty rubbish and only get one read. Some neither capture their imaginatation nor are a pleasure to read so I'm afraid we don't bother with them again.
Some books however instantly just strike a chord with their racing crazy little minds and we end up reading them over and over again. The Gruffalo is one of these books which as soon as I read it bot me and the children fell head over heels with.
It's the story of a brave little mouse who takes a walk through the deep dark woods in search of food. Along the way he encounters, a fox, a snake and an owl who all view the little mouse as potential lunch. To avoid being gobbled up the cunning little mouse describes a creature called a Gruffalo who's fantastic description will appeal to little little minds and ears. After avoiding being eaten the little Mouse comes face to face with an actual Gruffalo and the story describes this meeting.
Written by Julia Donaldson, The Gruffalo just works on every level. It is beautifully written and has a charm that doesn't diminish no matter how many times you have read it. Both my girls can recite the story by hear but they still love hearing it all the same. The book's illustrations have been done be Axel Scheffler and are everything you could hope for in providing a visual representation of what the reader will be imagining.
The Gruffalo is normally priced at £5.99 but if you hunt around I'm sure you find it cheaper. If you have small children - you need this fab book.
I can't really can't sing the praises of the whole Taggie Concept highly enough. I was bought a Taggie blanket for my middle daughter when see was born. I gave it to her after a couple of months to see if it was of any interest to her and she took to it immediately and before too long had become incredibly attached to it. She simply adored it and it would sooth her when upset and she would also play with the tags until it sent her to sleep ... result!
Babies and little ones do seem to love tags and labels. They just seem to love the soft silky texture and it does seem to be incredibly comforting to them. With the Taggie range, they have taken this to a whole new level. A whole array of different soft comforting products completely covered in those soft silky tags.
My middle daughter became so attached that the Taggie blanket seemed to have to come with us everywhere and has done ever since. Conseuqently we are no longer on the original blaanket and have lost 2 or 3 along the way. This is the major downside with the Taggie blankets, for what they are, they are really pricey, costing between £13 & £19 depending on the size and texture you go for. I know you could knock up your own version if you had any kind of talent with a sewing machine but sadly I do not, so I had to swallow the hefty price tag.
Recedntly however while shopping in my local independant baby store, I spotted this Taggie See Me Rattle, it is a small fleecey soft padded rattle with mirror which also has the famous tags around the top. Costing £8 it was significantly cheaper than the full blankets. I decided to pick one up as I thought I could attach it to my daughters pushchair and it could live there permanantly to save us from having to take the blankets out with us anymore.
Well it was a success, my daughter loved the rattle and it was great to know that our big taggie was safe at home. Only slight negative was that she couldn't really snuggle it against the face to sleep, it wa more for comfort than snoozing.
When I first met my husband he had absolutely no interest in looking after his skin at all. Over the years however I have drilled it into him how important it is to moisterise your skin and I finally seem to have made progress. Over the last couple of years he has been helping himself to my skincare products yet he does this carelessly and doesn't even look at what he's using. Several times I've caught him slapping on way too much of my night cream first thing in the morning.
At this point I decided enough was enough and I was going to put an end to his access to my products. During a trip to Boots I decided to buy my boy a bottle of his very own moisteriser. I was after something light, non feminine, non-greasy and affordable. This Simple Hydrating Light Moisteriser really did seem the most obvious choice, as I was familiar with the brand and it cost a very reasonable £3.19 for a 125ml bottle.
I picked up a bottle and later that day passed it onto my other half. he used it from that point onwards and commented how much he liked the product. He really liked that it was so light and soaked into his skin so easily. My husband has quite oily skin and some creams make this worse but this lotion completely absorbed into his skin. He gave the product a big thumbs up and has continued to use it ever since.
While this is not my regular moisteriser I have to say I often dip into this product... how the tables have turned. When I have run out of my cream I will often use this as an alternative. I am so impressed with for so many reasons. For this fantastic price I really think you are getting a marvelous product. This lotion leaves my skin really lovely and smooth and removes any feeling of tightness whn my skin is a little dry. it's just really gentle on my skin and is effective throughout the day. Big thumbs up!!!
I get through a bucket load of handwash. Dealing with my three unruly children means my hands need washing an awful lot. I like to use an anti-bacterial handwash to try an ensure that I have banished all the nasties and that my hands are really clean when I pick up my scrummy 5 month old little baby boy.
I generally buy whichever handwash is on special offer as most of the brands offer a anti-bacterial version but until last week I had never tried this Palmolive Handwash Hygiene Plus. There were no special offers that grabbed me so I decided to give this one a go. It cost £1.64 for a 300ml bottle which seemed quite expensive but I have tried some of the cheap handwashes in the past and I had found them quite harsh on my skin so I decided to see whether this brand was worth the extra pennies.
The handwash comes in a clear bottle and has a pump style dispenser to release the soap. The colour of the handwash is a vivid blue and this shows through the clear plastic bottle. It is a clever choice of blue as this does conjur up the idea of cleanliness and hygiene.
I have used this soap in my kitchen for the last week and and have probably used it up to 10 times a day. From this usage I have to say that I am really disappointed with the product. I have found it really harsh on my skin and though using it my hands have been feeling really dry and tight. I struggled to make the soap lather up and it seemed to slip over my skin rather than really wash them.
I found this handwash hugely disappointing and on a par with some of the budget soaps I have tried in the past only much more expensive. I certainly won't bother with this one again.
As far as I can remember I have owned one of these Bunnykins bowls. I have fond memories using one as a child and it was always the bowl I would look for when opening the cupboard at breakfast time. I would use it to eat my breakfast cereal before school and there was something about those gorgeous little bunnies that I absolutely adored.
These bowls are made by Royal Doulton and can easily be identified by the bunnies that appear running around the rim of the bowl. The base contain various different bunny scenes and as a child I used to love the picture appearing as I polished of my cereal.
The bowls are made from thick porcelain and are quite shallow with a flat base. They are great for children as the flat large base means they are unlikely to flip over and spill. They are solid and sit on the table incredibly well.
During a visit to my mum's house a couple of years ago after having my own children, I spotted my old Bunnykins bowl in the back of a cupboard. I swear I had completely forgotten that it had even exisited but as soon as I saw it again, all those memories came flooding back. I took it home with me and since then it has become a firm feature on our breakfast table. Both my girls adore it as much as I used to and the problem I have is which one is going to get to use it.
The bowl is still in excellant condition and the delightful bunny designs remain as vivid and enchanting as they were when I was young. I believe you can still buy these gorgeous bowls and I have definately seen them in John Lewis costing approx £12. I think they make a fantastic chrisitening/new baby present and I think I will have to invest in another just to make breakfast run a little smoothly in my house.
Kitchen roll is one of those things that when I have it, I use it constantly. It is so handy in the kitchen for so many different reasons and since having my children it has become pretty much indespensible. I tend to usually buy the supermarket value range kitchen roll, and to be honest I have been pretty happy with these rolls both in terms of price and quality. They do the job adequately without being too pricey, my reasoning is that I don't want to pay over the odds for something that will be mainly used for mopping up spillages.
Every now and then however when the premium brands are on special offer, I will try them. Recently I spotted that this Plenty Kitchen Towel was on special offer so I decided to give it a whirl. Plenty was previously branded as Bounty and has a distinctive bright coloured logo featuring the product name in black. The standard cost of a pack containg two rolls is £1.84 which I feel is really pricey and significantly more than the supermarket's offering which are around the £1 mark.
I had quite high expectations from this kitchen roll as it normally costs so much more than the stuff I normally buy and as soon as I opened the packet, the roll felt much thicker and stronger. The real test for me came a couple hours later when my bonkers two year old spilt her milk over the floor. I reached for the kitchen roll straight away and began mopping up the mess.
This stuff was seriously absorbant, the spillage just disappeared before my eyes and soaked into the towel. The paper didn't fall apart in a soggy mess and did the job far better than I could have expected. I think this product is of a fantastic quality but I have to say I don't think you get all that much per roll. I seemed to go through it quite quickly and for that reason, I can't really afford to buy this product at full price... will just have to keep my eye out for the special offers.
My latest little bundle is a real slobber chops, he dribbles constantly as well as being quite sicky. To avoid changing his clothes too many times in one day I have to use bibs. I really don't like bibs however, I just think they look pretty ugly and can cover up some gorgeous outifts. I spotted one of these bandana style bibs on a friends little girl and was really impressed by how much better they looked.
They stocked these Skibz in a lovely independant children's shop in my local town so I headed straight there when I next popped in. There was a lovely range of bibs in some great colours. The price however knocked me for six.... they cost a whopping £7.95 each. As I said this was an independant shop so you may find them cheaper elsewhere, but this is an extremely high price for one bib. Nevertheless I felt like my little boy 'needed' one so I parted with my pennies and went skipping off with a lovely red number.
The bib fastens aroun the back of the next with a single press stud and it hangs down in a point. The first thing that struck me was that the bib felt quite stiff and didn't sit all that well on his front. It did look gorgeous though and so much better than a regular style bib.
It served the purpose really well, it absorbed all the dribble and prevented his top and skin from getting wet. I loved the concept but my boy gets through stacks of bibs daily and there was no way I could afford to pay this price. I set about serching good old ebay and found some fab bibs, pretty much the same thing and I paid £10 for 5.
I have to say I do love these bibs for dribbly babies but I do think they are way too expensive... have a hunt on ebay for a cheaper alternative