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We brought a selection of books for my little girl to read whilst she is in the car. We do a lot of long journeys and had to think of fun ideas for her to keep her occupied for certain periods of time. These singing books are amazing. They are popular nursery rhymes that she has been learning at play group and the bright colourful pictures engage her attention. She recognises the tune and sings along or claps her hands as the tune plays.
Amelia was given the wheels on the bus book for Christmas two years ago and received row row row your boat for Christmas this year. She loves both of them and each receive plenty of attention. Though it is nearly two years old and has been played with constantly the sound of the tune is still as clear as it was the day she received the book and the book itself is still in excellent condition. The spine has started to wear ever so slightly but I think for a well-played with and used item by a toddler this isn't bad going.
The books are made of a sturdy card like material with bright pictures of the bus at various stages of its journey. The words for the nursery rhyme are also printed on the page if you want to sing along with them. I tend to sing along and point to the words in the hope that some of the information is being soaked up. The button for the book is in the left hand corner and is easy to press to make the book start the song. The books are also easily wiped clean as they are often picked up by chocolaty fingers.
The books are light weight and fit inside a baby changing bag if you needed to have something simple to entertain a child on a bus or at the dentist etc.
I absolutely love the books and I am currently on the hunt for twinkle twinkle little star. At between £7-£8 per book I think these are a bargain. They are hardwearing, fun and interactive for my little girl. She loves them and I plan to expand the collection.
My parents wanted to know what to get my little girl for her first birthday. I had already suggested toys for the garden (as the house is full to bursting) but other then that I left them to choose themselves. Now based on there choice you can tell they havent had small children around for a good 20 years.
I was expecting a small ride on car of sorts. Something simple and not overly complex for a child that was just starting to walk. Instead we unwrapped the scuttlebug. Although its not what I expected my hubby quickly put it together to let little one have a go.
Assembly was rather easy as it was pretty much already put together. Pressing two silver buttons at the side collapse the scuttlebug so its easy to transport. The scuttlebug has come on a few family days out with us and when folded down will fit under the pram.
My little girl is 2 now and has really got the hang of this. At the age of one she needed assistance with everything for the scuttle bug. After a few months she learnt to go backwards and climb off and a few months after that she learnt to go forwards. We haveno problems with it now and it comes on many outings with us.
The scuttlebug is solid and sturdy made of metal with a hard plastic seat. This would be my only criticism, it could do with somesort of softer seat to make Iit more comfortable for prolonged use. But in all not a bad little toy for a confidently walking toddler.
Once the contracts were signed and the house was ours my chap and I soon realised there were some essential items we needed for our love nest. One of the most important of these was a fridge freezer. We brought this one from our local currys. Family reccomended hotpoint and I must admit ita a brand that has yet to let us down.
The fridge was delivered about 3 days after purchase and the delivery men also took the old fridge that the previous owner had left behind. They didnt charge extra for this, if I remember rightly I believe that actually knocked some money off the cost of our new fridge for the trade in.
I remember our first food shop to asda. We brought what felt like loads of food and yet barely filled one section of the fridge. Nowdays its a weekly mission to cram everything in. Our next fridge we plan to buy a big american style one, so watch this space for another review.
Anyway this fridge freezer is very basic. Brilliant white in colour, heavy and quite slim. The freezer has four drawers all the same size except the bottom one which is a tad smaller. I store all my ice cream and frozen fruit in the bottom as the shape is just right for an icecream tub.
The fridge has three shelves and two salad trays. Im a little OCD with my fridge. I like my veggies in one drawer and salad in the other, raw meats on bottom shelf with saucea and pickles, cooked meats second shelf and cheeses top. On a shopping day its ram and shut the door quick but it never stays full for long. In the door there are two little shelves where I store my butter, garlic cloves and creamy cheeses. Then under the shelves is an area to store milk and fruite juices.
The fridge holds a surprisingly large amount of food, it feels small to me now as my family has grown and I try to do more home cooking. However as a first time buyers fridge I dont think you can fault it. Its reliable, easy to clean and maintain and holds at least two boxes worth of cider.
My only criticism is that the cover that used to come down over the butter and garlic shelf is a tad flimsy and I ended up leaving it on top of the shelf as it kept falling off. This doesnt effect the use of the shelf as everything remains in place so for me its seems like a pointless extra that isnt really needed.
I have been a big fan of Lamaze toys since my daughter received a few as christening presents when she was about 8 months old. Due to her undeveloped skills at such a young age it was refreshing to see her playing with something that seemed to bring a bit of excitement to her play mat and bouncy chair. The simplest and most effective of this range of toy was the activity knot. Though simple in design it was one of the more played with toys when Amelia was very young and subsequently has been stored in the attic for baby number two rather than gifted to one of my new mummy friends.
The knot is basically just that. A large knot of brightly coloured soft rope like arms with different activities attached to them. Teething rings, a rattle and a mirror (of decent size) are all easily accessible for my little girl to explore. She loved to shake the knot to hear the rattling noise and the look of wonder on her face when she spotted herself in the mirror is a memory I will treasure. Like all Lamaze toys the knot comes with a hook so it can be easily attached to the pram and play mat. This means I can pop it in the pram with her whilst I walk into town and not worry about it being dropped over the side.
What I particularly like about the know is that it is machine washable, I have been concerned to wash some of the toys for fear of running them, but after constant use of the teether's I decided that the very dribbly knot needed a wash. I put it on a quick cool wash setting and It came out lovely. Dried very quickly out on the line and was back on the play mat before my little one had time to realise it was gone.
A brilliant, high quality toy at an affordable price that provides hours on entertainment until my little one learnt to crawl. A good first year toy. Highly recommended.
When my husband and I first brought our house all our worldly possessions filled one room. My nan brought us a hoover, kettle and toaster as a moving in present and I must say that our russle hobbs toaster has been one of the best gadgets he have in the kitchen.
Though simple in design thr four slice holding toaster is a brilliant time saver for a ever growing family. Simple to use, easy to clean and quick to cook I would recommend the product to anyone looking to buy a new toaster.
The toaster itself is solid metal, sleek silver in colour with two black handles ob the side to lower the toast and a small black dial to alter the cooking time. This is a brilliant feature as I like my toast well done and the hubby prefers crispy bread so as long as we remember to change its setting we can always have the type of toast we prefer. As well as being its best asset the setting is also its biggest flaw. The dial changes the cooking setting but it means that the toast is cooked that way in all four compartments. The toast would benifit from an extra dial that would allow you to cook two slices of toast one way and two another. Though this isnt a necessity it would be nice to eat my toast at the same time as my husband rather then cooking his changing the setting and then doing mine and our daughters.
The toaster is robust and feels like it has been built to last. After seven years of use it is still working just as well as it did on day one.
Highly reccomended for quaility cooked toast and reliability.
When my partner and I first brought our house the whole place needed revamping. The first room to be stripped and redecorated was our kitchen as it is the key room in the house. We have a gally style kitchen so space is essential. Once we had popped on the b&q website and designed our dream kitchen we set about ordering the bits we needed off amazon etc at cheaper prices. My husband is an electrician so wanted to instal the kitchen at a cheaper cost himself.
One of the items we purchased was the slim dishwasher. After just a few weeks living together we both realised that working 45hours a week each and then standing at the kitchen sink washing pots just didnt bode well for our relationship. It sounds silly but this dishwasher saved us from throwing dirty cutlery at each other.
Once installed the dishwasher takes up hardly any room in the kitchen. Its compact size does not hinder its capacity and it will still hold a large amount of dishes per load. I typically have my dishwasher on once a day. The breakfast bowls go in the top half in the morning and then after work all dinner dishes fill up the remaining space. Depening on your stacking skills (this is a fine art to master) you can get the most from the dishwasher if you load properly.
The dishwasher holds about 10 glasses/ cups in the top have with room for utensils and large knifes ect down the sides. The cutlery holder has four compartments with spaces down its sides for tea spoons. The bottom part holds about 8 dinner plates and two reasonable sized saucepans.
One tablet per wash is all that is needed per use and I top up the salt and rinsaid about once every three weeks. The machine takes about half a bag of salt per refill and a tiny amount of rinsaid. Bout are easy to top up and the dishwasher lets you know when this needs doing by flashing a red light on the front of the machine that says 'salt' or 'rinseaid'
I clear the bottom Of the dishwasher out after I have washed the pots of every sunday wash. If you dont clear the filter/wastepipe area of the machine at least occasionally it will block with food scraps and the dishwasher will not function until it can drain. Once again this is simply to do. Remove the filter from the bottom of the machine, rinse under the cold tap until clean and then put back.
The shortest setting on the dishwasher is an economy wash which takes about 30 minutes. The longest setting is an intense wash at nearly 2 hours. I use the setting in the middle. Economy wash just doeant clean the dishes to my standard and the intense wash is only used for roast pots and pans.
This dishwasher is brilliant as always hotpoint have excelled with quality and a simple machine that is easy to work and maintain.
Lamaze - Freddie the firefly.
I brought Freddie for my little girl as a treat when I was doing an order with amazon. It came up in the 'products you might like' area and I decided to spoil her just a little bit more (my first child spoilt rotten)
Freddie arrived quickly in an oversized box as amazon often tends to do. He, like all Lamaze toys is very brightly coloured to engage my little girl's attention and has plenty of interactive features for her to play with as she develops her co-ordination skills. He is a firefly shape (though I feel he looks more like a butterfly) with four wings each with their own feature.
One of his wings has a small pocket which holds a teething disk. Amelia loved this and it probably proved to be the most used part of the product. It is a flat smooth shape and just the right size for her to be able to hold and have a good chew on at the same time.
The toys also had different textured materials and a small mirror under one of the flaps on his wing. The mirror doesn't really prove to be much use as it's far too small to see anything in and is more for decoration than anything else.
There is a squeaky button on the lower wing though at the time of purchase Amelia was much too young to be able to squeeze this and still has trouble now at 19 months. So it is a bit pointless in her case. However there is a rattle inside the toys which she does enjoy shaking to hear the sound.
Like all Lamaze toys Freddie comes with a hook to attach him to the pram or play mat so that it won't get lost. I always feel like this is a brilliant idea as my little one does love to throw.
In conclusion, though there are a few features on Freddie that I do not feel are fully utilised the toy itself has proven to be a hit with my little girl and one of the more played with Lamaze toys.
When my little girl was first born she recieved a large selection of toys manafactured by the company Lamaze. They seem to specialise in toys for very young children to toddlers. Most of the toys are a teddie of some kind hat has a large range of interactive features.
My uncle owns a few horses so it came as no supprise to unwrap Sir Prancerlot from him for Amelia. Sir Prancerlot is a knight on a brightly multicoloured horse. He is soft and light with a number of features for my daughter to play with as she developed her interactive skills.
The toy had two different shapped teething rings attached to where the tail of the horse would be. One is a smooth ring and the other a slightly bobbled ring. Out of them both amelia chewed on the smooth one the most as I can imagine the other may be a little uncomfortable to chew due to its shap.
Where the knights saddle is there is a crunchy sound material when squeezed and when shook there is a rattle inside the toy which amelia loved along with the very bright colours.
My favourite feature of the toy is the hook that allows you to attach the toy to your pram or play mat. Babies love to throw when they have had enough so this attachment is a brilliant idea.
Though this is not my favourite lamaze toy it is one of my little girls so from her it recieves top marks. I prefer the toys with move interactive features such as mirrors ect but this doea not make this toy any less valuable in my daughter's opinion.
My parents recently brought this pram for my 19 month old daughter as she has become dolly obsessed since attending play groups. She loved her walker and shopping trolley toy so a pram seemed a logical choice both as something she would like and a learning toy to get her used to another baby in the house.
For the price I would say this pram is an absolute bargain. At first when it was assembled I thought perhaps it was to big for my little girl as she looked tiny next to it. However within seconds of getting it ready she had thrown dolly in and was crashing into everything.
The pram is very lightweight though a tad difficult to steer. When my daughter got the pram stuck she simply dragged it to whereshe wanted it to go. The handle bar is adjustable and so we put it on its lowest setting for now. This means it can be altered as she grows and hopefully be a lifelong toy that her eventual siblings can enjoy as well.
The pram was very easy to assemble. My husband probably spent about 10-15 minutes getting it ready. Most of the pram was already assembled and just needed unfolding and locking into place. The frame of the pram is a solid metal with a bright coloured material forming the shape of the basket part for the dolly to go in. The wheels are quute thick and seem to have a lot of use in them. The pram also comes with a tray underneath toput dollys essentials in.
My only negatives on the product is, the bag shown that comes with the pram is very flimsy and I actually brought my daughter a more sturdy bag for dollys bits as she just got frustrated with the one provided. Also the pram comes with no bedding which is fine in regards to blankets as we have loads but I dont have a mini pram sized pillow to hand. So providing one would have giventhe pram 5 stars.
Overall a very good product. My little one loves it and I see it getting a lot of use. Worth the money.
My husband and I brought this rocking horse for my little girl when we were trying to think of toys for her 1st birthday. We also decided we wanted outside toys due to her toys slowly taking over our house.
We came across the rocking horse whilst browsing amazon and decided it was perfect. Delivery was fast and product arrived in good condition 4 days after ordering.
Now the horse is designed for ages 12months up. To begin with my little girl couldn't get used to it and we had to rock her ourselves and due to its shape we also had to help her on and off as she couldnt quite lift her leg high enough to be able to do it herself. I would say that she has now got everything mastered with the rocking horse but is 20 months, in hindesigt I may have been better off buying the toy for her this Christmas as she is bigger.
The rocking horse is made of a sterdy plastic and of course comes in the shape of a horse with a curved botton in order to allow rocking to take place. The horse can come in a few colours but we chose blue as colour didnt really bother us. There are no small parts and I would say that the horse is perfectly suitable for small children.
Now my daughter has the hang of it the rocking horse was definitely worth the money. We were a little disheartened when she wasnt interested on her birthday but time and practice have built up her confidence and she now loves her 'horsey horsey'
The only negative I can say is that now my daughter really rocks on the horse, if it is not on a carpeted surface (like our wooden floors) the horse tends to shuffle across the floor ever so slightly. But this is a tiny flaw in comparison to the hours she has spent playing on it.
My partner and I purchased our Toyota when our faithful Vauxhall vectra met its end with the back of a BMW. We wanted a cheap reliable car and decided that Toyota was the best brand to go for based on reputation.
We popped to the dealership and being a yound couple looking for our first car to share (vectra was the hubbys) we decided a 3 door car with an average size boot would be perfect for our day to day needs and the odd trip away.
The car in the picture does not do the Cerolla justice. It is much more modern and less boxy then the picture shown. The car has a more rounded sleeker look which makes it much more appealing. Ours is a metalic bronze colour which is easy to maintain as dirt and grime don't show up easily.
I currently use the car on a day to day basis to take my daughter to nursery and then onto work (probably about 10-15) miles a day. A tank of petrol can last we 2-3 weeks, depending on use of the car over the weekend. Which at just under a 2 litre engine is quute good going in todays economy.
The car is fitted with all the latest mod cons including CD player, air conditioning, electronic windows and comfortable fabric interior. The dealer also provided a spare tyre and service upon purchase and was extremely helpful and I felt honest throughout the sale.
The car is a good little run around car and also handles long journeys well also. So far we have had no incidents of breaking down and being stranded. My only criticism about the car is that now we are a small family I wish it was a 5door car. I have to physically climb into the back of the car to get my daughter into her car seat. This can be a slow and slightly frustrating task and would be easier with more doors. I am supprised the car was not designed as a 5 door car. It size matches that of any other 5door car and I do feel this was a lapse in judgement with its designer.
Overall not a bad little car, just needs to be more family friendly. It is comfortable to drive and also to be a passenger in during long journeys. Its supprisingly spacious and the boot is deceptively large.
After months of waiting patiently for my little girl to learn to crawl the big moment finally arrived and i was overwhelmed with pride. However i suddenly became very aware of everything in my house. Nothing was baby proof and i was completely on edge watching my little one scuttle about to everything she shouldn't sockets and breakables were everywhere and the more we said 'no' the more she wanted to get to them.
My husband found the solution on Amazon priced at a rather steep £80. At this point we were desperate and even though the price seemed steep we paid as the product reviews were encouraging. Delivery was fast and the item arrived two days after ordering.
The jumperro was easy to assemble, eye catching and provided my little girl with lights, sounds and items to interact with. It has three height settings that can be adjusted as your child grows and develops. I can't sing the jumperoos praises enough. It offers peace of mind that your child is in a safe place whilst you potter about cleaning. All the toys are safe for them to play with and it gives them the freedom to start using the all important muscles they will need in the next stage of development. However it is important to remember that the jumperoo is designed for babies that are able to hold there heads up.
Each section of the jumperoo was safe and easy to use and even though she was unsure at first once she got used to it my little one really started to enjoy herself. To begin with she couldn't reach the floor at all. However we popped a cushion under her feet and she was soon well away bouncing. I also felt that there was a little to much wriggle room in the seat so for the first few weeks i placed a blanket around her to provide extra support for her whilst so got used to her new found freedom.
The jumperoo has soft detachable animals that hang down over the top of the child. The monkey proved a big hit and even though she has outgrown the product the monkey is still in the toy box for more play.
As much as i love the jumperoo, for its ease and peace of mind it does have a few negatives. The first negative is probably more down to personal choice. We allowed our little girl to have the odd snack in her jumperoo. It is rather tricky to clean in certain places due to its shape. I expect most people probably wouldn't feed their child in the product but due to not having a dining room table we found this a bit of a god send at meal times.Also even though the seat is washable i found it almost impossible to detach in order to clean it. However a few wipes with a damp cloth did tend to work just as well.
The other slight disadvantage is that it was slightly bigger than we expected but a bit of furniture shuffling soon rectified this. Our house is rather small and having a large amount of baby products scattered everywhere probably didn't help in this.
In conclusion i would recommend the product 100% its brilliant for young babies in early development. Offering mums and dads a few minutes respite to nip to the toilet of load the dishwasher. A brilliant item and even its down points are personal to myself and family so may not effect all.
When I went for my labour and breast feeding class I was advised by the midwife teaching the class to buy some Badedas Original Bath Gelee. I had never heard of the product before but she said I would be able to find it in any of my local supermarkets.
On a recent trip to Morrison's I spotted a bottle of this bubble bath for £10.96! Now with this being my first baby I have taken everything my midwife has said as gospel and anything she has advised I have tried. So I brought a bottle of the bubble bath and was pleasantly pleased with the results.
Now as most of you women out there know or could guess after a natural labour to say you are a bit sore is an understatement. I never considered how I would feel about having a bath after I gave birth but this bubble bath was an absolute dream. It was sensitive on my skin and did not aggravate tender areas.
The bottle comes in a light and dark green box and I found mine with the Radox products. The bubble bath is made with extract of horse chestnut and does not have a over powering scent whilst in the bottle. The bottle itself is a dark green that you can just see the amount of bubble bath left in the bottle.
I followed the instructions and ran the bubble bath under running water. I was a little liberal when I used the product the first time and was shocked when the bubble bath came out at a very odd lime green colour. It also turned the water green and I was a little worried that I had used to much.
I got in the bath and was instantly relaxed; the smell of the bubble bath was soft and relaxing (like radox). My skin felt smooth to the touch and I had no negative reactions to the product. I partner jumped in the bath after me and was equally impressed with the bubble bath and I have caught him using my bubble bath on a couple of occasions.
For over £10 a 750ml bottle it is quite expensive but you do get a lot for your money. The product looks professional and I must admit that I will buy it again. I would recommend this bubble bath to any soon to be mums that are worried about using strong bath products after birth or those of you who really like to indulge at bath time. A brilliant product that made the first days of mother hood a little less stressful.
From a young age I remember popping to the shops for my mum to post her weekly competition entry for Take a Break. She completed them every week without fail and though she never won I was used to reading her copies of take a break that were laying around the house. So when I moved out and got my own home it's no real surprise that my magazine of choice has always been take a break.
Each magazine consists of real life stories that are interesting and sometimes unbelievable. I think that's what draws in people to read the stories, most the time you cannot believe what goes on behind closed door and that things that actually happen to normal people. Most the time Take a break covers stories such as adulterous partners and vicious attacks on innocent people.
But I have noticed over recent months that the magazine has latched onto stories of child abuse and foreign men using unsuspecting women for visa. Though I completely respect the stories of abuse and what the magazine does to highlight this atrocity and the help that take a break offers to other victims, I don't fully agree with the way it tells lots of stories regarding how women are being used by foreign men. A close friend of mine has been married to a Turkish man for ten years. He is a lovely man and they have a wonderful family. Not all men from aboard use women and it would be nice if the magazine wrote from the other point of view a little more often.
Take a break is one of the best magazines in regards to competitions. It usually gives away prizes each week totalling from £50,000 -£70,000. Holiday's, cars and money are just some of the brilliant prizes that are up for grabs and all you have to do is a little problem solving. I personally enjoy doing all of the crosswords and my partner usually pinches the suduko puzzle before I even get chance to look at it.
The magazine also does a small section each week of about 4-5 recipes that are simple to do and tasty to eat. I have a recipe in my cupboard from a magazine from 5 years ago. Toad in the whole and it is the best version of this recipe that I have ever tired. Take a break usually tends to stick to recipes that are seasonal based on what produce is available at that time of year.
Take a break is a brilliant all round magazine, though it doesn't have any stories regarding the latest celebrity gossip it is still a brilliant read. It is filled with interesting stories that you have to read to believe, the opportunity to win a selection of prizes and so much more. It is also one of the cheapest magazines out on the shelves. At 80p a week this is a much cheaper option compared to the celebrity glossy magazines out there.
This is the first Beverly Barton book that I have read and I must say that I was completely hooked from the first chapter. I try not to give too much away when writing reviews about books as I'm sure that some people would like to read them themselves.
----The Plot and key characters -------
The story is split into chapters that are each from a different characters perspective. The first character that you read about is Judd Walker a grieving widow whose wife was butchered to death by a crazed serial killer. It is obvious that time has yet to heal the wounds of Judd's wife (Jennifer's) death, and that the pain is still so raw that he pushes anyone that wants to help him away. Judd hired a private detective and close friend Griffen Powell to hunt down and find his wife's killer, but after 4 long years they are no closer to finding the killer and things are not looking like they will change.
The basic plot is that the serial killer that is on the loose is killing former beauty queens. He is very disciplined with his killings. The deaths are quick and leave no clues or leads for the police or Griff to follow to track him down. But his past success makes him sloppy and when one of his victims survives long enough to pass on some vital information to Griff things start moving. But will they catch the killer before he strikes again? And can closure to the case bring peace to Judd's vengeful heart.
The subplot that runs alongside the murder investigation is the ongoing relationship between Judd Walker and Lindsay Mcallister. Lindsay is a former FBI agent who quit her job to work for Griff in his private detective agency. Over the four years of hunting the beauty queen killer she falls in love with Judd. But can he ever love her? Or will the love for his dead wife consume any chance of happiness he has elsewhere?
----My Opinion -----
I really enjoyed this book, there are a lot of unexpected twists and it does not end the way that I expected it to. Luckily for me I have the next book (the murder game) that follows on this story so I can soon find out what will happen next. So bear in mind if you do purchase this book you will want to read the follow on.
The book is gripping and the division of the chapters make it an easy read that you simply can't put down. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good thriller. The book receives praise from Tess Gerritsen who I must say is one of my favourite authors.
I brought the book for £2.50 from Asda but I'm sure you could probably pick up and even cheaper copy from a charity shop.