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The car seat
The car seat is rear facing and can be strapped directly into to the car using the seatbelt or the base can be fitted to the seat with the seatbelt and the chair clipped into the base. Using the base is by far the best solution as strapping the chair into the car with the belt is a mammoth job. The base does take up a lot of room, if in the front of the car the chair has to be pushed back, and if in the back the front seat has to be pushed forwards but it is easy to remove and not too bulky or heavy to fit in the boot and is really easy to strap into the car. Whichever way the seat is put in it is securely fitted and does not move around.
The chair itself is padded and comes with a small baby insert for newborns, to support the head. The straps have comfort pads and can be adjusted both in length and to different height positions. When in the chair my son was comfy and secure. The only drawbacks are the seat is very heavy to carry around although it fits on top of the buggy easily and the pads on the straps are too large and restricted my son's movement slightly.
The buggy saw sturdy and easy to push. I have had mine for 6 months and have not had any problems. The buggy can be used alone as an outfacing chair with or without the new baby insert or with the car seat on the top as a rear facing chair. The buggy seat is padded and comfy and allows room for movement, the straps are adjustable and the trap on the front can be removed. The under tray is quite large compared to other buggies and can hold quite a lot if weight. The rain covers provided with the buggy are effective but are complicated to fit. The seat has 4 positions but the flat position is not quite flat and the upright position is too far forward but the other settings are fine.
The buggy folds flat but is still quite bulky, it fills most of the boot in a small hatchback but is easy to put up and down.
The system has worked well for me, the chair fits easily and securely on both the buggy and the car base. The base in the car has made it so easy to use taking clipping the seat into and out of the car and buggy means no disturbing my son.
I would definitely recommend this system if you are looking for a buggy and a car seat, it is a little more expensive than buying separate items but is money well spent. I would though caution that the car seat is very heavy to carry around so if you do this a lot then it is probably not right for you.
One for the whole family
The story is not the traditional fairy tale but retains the same ideas and themes. Set in New Orleans the story is the usual Disney tale of boy meets girl and lives happily ever after. Having said that the twists in the middle are enough to keep you entertained.
Being a Disney film songs are heavily featured in the film and all were enjoyable. Being set in New Orleans the songs have a heavy jazz influence but despite not liking jazz music I still enjoyed the songs as they have been given the lyrical Disney treatment. There is still though plenty of variety with up tempo numbers ballads and choruses.
The animation was wonderful as ever from Disney. The attention to detail was amazing and the scenes with the black magic were especially good.
One to watch?
My whole family enjoyed this from 2 - 71 years. The story is simple enough for children but there are jokes thrown in for the adults too. The scary scenes (as my son put it) are not bad and he found them more fascinating than scary. We have seen this twice now and see it becoming a favourite. I would definitely recommend it.
For some the story here is a dream come true for a nice ordinary lady from Scotland or another money grabbing exploitation by the Cowell enterprise. For my review I have chosen to ignore the story and focus on the music.
The songs are all ballads or standards, so if you are looking for anything else then this is not for you. The selection is well thought through with good thought being given to the order of the tracks to provide the most variety you can have from 12 ballads.
All the songs have an orchestral or piano accompaniment which produces a sense of occasion which can become wearing after 12 tracks if you do not buy into the whole loose yourself in the moment that the music industry tries to promote. Having said that the arrangements of the songs are fantastic and very cleverly designed to showcase the strengths of Boyle's voice. The only reservation I have is that at times the songs reach heights that do not sound like they are comfortable for a voice which I would categorise as mezzo-soprano.
I was sceptical when this album was given to me, I tend to avoid all 'talent' show wanabes but I was pleasantly surprised (alright shocked is more like it). Boyles voice is good, not just the all right we accept from a good fairy story but a talent that stands in its own right. Her range is wide, the lower end inparticular is very pure, the high end does not reach as high as some but still higher than most can accomplish. Boyle's tone is what I enjoyed most, the purity of the bottom of her register was fantastic, the smoothness and richness she produced rivals any of the great ballad singers but with this there is also uniqueness to the voice. The pure tone is laced with an accent all of her own, it produces a comforting safe sound, I felt like she was in control at all times that she was singing the song her way not letting the song control her.
For me the album is very well thought out showcase of a fantastic voice. The songs are all ballads but you do not take a chocolate bar back because it is all chocolate. If you are looking for an easy listening background music or an indulgent hours entertainment this is the album for you. I would definitely recommend especially as it is only £3.97 downloaded from Tesco Entertainment.
2.I Dreamed A Dream
3.Cry Me A River
4.How Great Thou Art
6.Day Dream Believer
7.Up To The Mountain
9.Who I Was Born To Be
11.The End Of The World
I had my card for a year and cut it up yesterday, don't know why I didn't do it before.
I wanted a credit card to pay for some repairs I needed to the house, I was looking to borrow around £1000 so not much really. I chose Capital One as at the time it has a 0% on purchases for 6 months and I could clear £1000 in that time.
The application was so easy, I applied on line, it took around 10mins to gather the info I needed and complete the form. It said instant decision but after I had filled the form in the problems began. The got a screen message saying they needed more time to consider the application and would write to me in 5 working days, bit annoying but fine I had the time.
The letter actually took 10 working days. I was told 'congratulations' we can offer you a card but not the one you wanted. Instead of 0% for 6months followed by 18%, I was offered a flat rate of 34% and a credit limit of £300. What good is that?
I have seen on Dooyoo that this is a popular card for rebuilding credit ratings and it may well be but as a general use credit card it is more use as an ice scrapper (mine came in handy for this). I have had credit cards in the past and always got the intro rates and limits of £5000+, have a mortgage, income and never missed a credit payment ( I know goody two shoes, I have a banker for a mum). So what was Capital One looking for that the other credit cards did not need?
I took the card anyway, I thought I'd use the £300 and pay it off so I paid no interest. This worked fine but, the credit card cheques I received every month like clock work, after I said I did not want them became annoying. Received them was just added to the junk mail as they were thrown away but I thought of those who may have been tempted to use them. After all if it is for those who find it hard to obtain credit the temptation of the cheques may have proved too much and with a 34% interest rate calculated from the day you cash the cheque they can only cause more problems. I am not nieve, it is a company's job to make money, but I had refused the cheques and I do think a company has to have some social responsibility.
I cancelled my card yesterday, I enjoyed cutting it up. Capital One is a company that should be avoided by most. For those with bad credit and a strong will power it may be useful but I would say one to avoid for most.
This comes in a yellow plastic oval shaped tub with a pop on lid. The name is written across the lid and both sides of the tub in dark blue with a small blue St Ivel trade mark. The tub I bought was 500g but it also comes in 1kg.
The spread has a light yellow colour, slight;y lighter than butter. The texture is smooth but firm although it is soft enough to be spread straight from the fridge. The spread is marketed as a butter substitute and while it has a buttery flavour it does not taste like butter. On toast the spread melts well like butter but does not have the rich flavour of butter. Having said this it is not a bad taste I actually prefer it to butter as it is less salty but if you are looking for a spread which tastes like butter this is not for you.
The main advantage Utterly Butterly has over butter is splashed all over the tub, it has 70% less fat than butter with 14.7g per 100g to butters 54g. The fat content of the spread is high at 59.0g per 100g but then it is a spread and compared to butters 81.7g it is low. As the taste is somewhat close to that of real butter I believe the benefits outweigh the loss of taste but like many things that is a personal decision to make.
The 500g tube i bought was from Morrisons and cost £1.45, other supermarkets charge similar prices at Tesco the same tub is £1.43 although it is often on offer at £1. It is not a cheep spread but for benefit and level of taste it gives I think it is worth the money. I would recommend to anyone who is not addicted to that real butter taste and would like to make a small healthy change with not much effort.
Shopping in Aylesbury
There are 5 main shopping areas in Aylesbury town centre, Friars Square, Hayle Leys, The Cloisters, the High Street and the Market Square. All the areas are centred around the market square.
The newest of the shopping centres in Aylesbury this is located next to the market square and above The Cloisters. The centre is accessible from the market via The Cloisters by lift and escalator, via a road which leads to the market and directly from the bus station via lift and stairs. The centre is wheel chair accessible with a lift to the first floor. The are toilets, baby change and feeding and a cash machine.
The centre has two display areas which are used by visiting exhibits, charities and companies, at the moment they house the Christmas display and Santa's grotto. As well as these the centre offers activities during school holidays some free such as make and take or magic shows and some for which there is a charge such as face painting or bouncy castles. There are also small stalls around the centre selling crafts from independent retailers.
The selection of shops is similar to those in all shopping centres with the usual mix of high street chains stores. The centre is the main fashion shopping area in Aylesbury and home to among others River Island, New Look and Burtons. Other stores include Thorntons, H Samuals, Superdrug, la Senza, Monsoon, Game and two department stores, BHS and House of Fraiser. For refreshments there are two restaurants and a coffee shop.
Formally the underground market The Cloisters is home to small independent shops. Here you will find among others an old fashioned sweet shop, toy shop, pet store, art gallery and jewellers. There is also a cafe which serves the best jacket potatoes in town!
The centre of Aylesbury town centre holds markets on Monday, Tuesday (secondhand market), Friday and Saturday. As well as a monthly farmers market and visiting French market. The market has clothes stalls, two fruit and veg stalls, a burger van (which does late nights Friday and Saturday for those end of night kebabs), two flower stalls, a card stall and a bag stall. The stalls n the market are long established and you can count on them being in their regular spot every time. The goods on the market are of good quality especially Holly's Petals which makes bespoke bouquets to order. Finally a special mention must be made for the dinky donut man who is a favourite with all.
Oldest Shopping centre in Aylesbury it is home mostly to house hold names such as Next, Boots, Accessories, Evans and Clarks but also has an independent clothes store. The centre is smallish but the stores are of a good size and there is always a good buzz in the centre helped by a coffee stall in the middle of the centre. Hayle Leys can be accessed via the High Street and market square.
Here you will find the usual mix of household names, Marks & Spencer, W H Smith, Clintons, The Abbey, Iceland, The Body Shop and of course Mac Donalds. The street is not pedestrianised but the top of the street has vehicle access restricted by a pass scheme open only to those with disabled car stickers. The High Street is part of the 'old' Aylesbury and some of the buildings are quite beautiful, the stores have adapted to the building s to keep the old architecture.
There are of course other smaller ares I have left out but these are the main areas for shopping. I enjoy shopping in Aylesbury, it has all the stores you need but is not as big as some of the larger shopping towns or centres. The separate areas all have their own atmospheres which are great to soak up by sitting in a coffee shop. The mix of modern shopping centres and old High Street add to the charm and experience of shopping in this unique mix of old and new.
The lip balm comes in a 10ml squeezable small white tube with a light blue screw on lid. The tube has the dark blue oval Nivia trade mark above the product name written in red. The lid screws on tight enough to stay on when in your pocket but loose enough to be able to be removed with gloves on. The tube is very easy to squeeze and if not careful you may end up with half the tube on your lips.
The lip balm is a smooth white cream that spreads very easily over the lips. the cream absorbs quite quickly but leaves the surface of the lips smooth and feeling like they are sealed from the harsh weather. The cream has a faint chemical smell when first applied but this lasts for only a few seconds. The lip balm does not have a taste.
Does it work
I have been using this for a week now and it has been great. My lips are no longer red and cracking they are now smooth and soft. The balm seems to last around 3 hours if I do not eat or drink during which time my lips feel like they have a silky coating This is definitely one of those products that does what it says on the tin. At around £3. 20 it is expensive for a lip balm but it does provide fast results, therefor I would not recommend using this as an everyday lip balm but for anyone whose lips are in need of a little tlc this will deliver instant relief so I think it is worth the expense.
Supersize me is a documentary about film maker Morgan Spurlock's experiment of eating only Mac Donalds food for 30 days. The film follows Spurlock and his bodily functions as he gorges himself on junk food. To lend some scientific merit to his film Spurlock sees a number of medical specialists at the beginning and end of the experiment to show its affects. I don't want to spoil the end but surprise, surprise eating junk food is bad for you, who'd have though it!
The film also focuses on some the junk food industry in general and highlights the ticks they use to get us hooked such as targeting children. It also reveals how bad some of our favourite snacks are for us, including how much sugar is in a can of coke. The film also includes a general look at the level of obesity in the US.
Worth a watch
In a word no. I cannot believe there is a person alive that does not know that junk food is bad for you. The film is one mans rant at an industry he blames for a problems that lets face it is not their fault, just because Mac Donalds tells us to eat a cheeseburger does not mean we have to. However if your aim is to put yourself off Mac Donalds for life then this was made for you, the bodily functions alone that accompany Spurlock's scoffing will stop you from ever wanting a Big Mac again.
Run Time 97 (long) minutes
Morrisons stores are easily recognisable by the large yellow and black signs. Most stores are set out in a similar way with the fruit and veg being the first section you come to. This is called 'Market Street' by Morrisons and is what they see as their speciality and I tend to agree. There is a wide range of produce available and all is good quality, I have also found that the items I buy are cheaper than they are in Tesco, cucumber for example is 50p in Morrisons but £1 in Tesco. The reverse may well be true of other items but it is definitly worth a look.
Most Morrisons stores also have a butcher, fishmonger and bakery. The fishmonger in my local store is very good he can advise how to cook a fish and which fish are best for which dishes and most importantly for me he will gut the fish! The butcher I have found as helpful and the cuts of meat always appear fresh. Of course the service will differ between stores but I have not been to a bad one yet. The bakery is equally as good and provides a huge range of produce, Morrisons fruit pies are a highlight of their selection.
The rest of the supermarket has the usually products found in all supermarkets, the prices are very competitive but I find my shopping costs the same whether I shop here or at any of the other big supermarkets. The only drawback is that they tend not to stock as many specialist items so if you usual buy things that are out of the ordinary you may be out of luck.
Own brand range
Like all supermarkets Morrisons produce a value range, a mid level range and a special range. To go through all the products will take forever so this will be a generalisation. I have found the value range to be of a low quality even for the price, the food tends to have a bland flavour and a heavy texture, it certainly tastes like it is from a budget range and the prices are slightly higher than that of the other supermarkets value ranges. The mid range level of items is of ok quality but I prefer the branded products of most items, except the mayo which is really delicious and the price of the range is barely below that of the equivalent branded products. The special range is of excellent quality, everything I have tried I have enjoyed but the range is limited and you definitely pay for the quality.
A high street store selling womens, mens and childrens fashion and home ware. Next is positioned in the middle of the high street fashion market, it is more expensive than discount stores such as Primark or TK Max but is more accessible than designer stores like Prada or Gucci.
Provides a wide range of clothes from casual to tailored, all reflecting the current trends and styles. Although on trend Next aimed more at adult customers, the more outlandish statement fashions associated with teenagers and younger adults are not part of the Next range. Rather Next takes the fashions of the day and produces more subtle designs.
Tailoring is a large part of the Next range and possibly its speciality. Producing clothes with clean sharp lines from quality material the tailored range at Next is at home in any work environment. The range is consistently updated while maintaining a a good range of staple items. Next's tailored range is also very well priced, work trousers costing around the £25 - £35 mark.
The mens range at Next is very much in the same vain as the womens. Aimed at the adult professional market the range is fashionable but subtle. The work ware collection has a very good range of shirts and ties all at very reasonable prices. Casual ware focuses on t-shirts and jumpers but there is also a good range of jeans.
The childrens collection in Next is the stores most fashion forward range. The range goes from premature birth to 16 years with a range of staple and fashion items. The baby clothes tend to be more traditional in mostly pastel pinks, blues or creams. The childrens clothes have a much wider range of colours and styles, with both Next and character designs.
Next produces a wide range of shoes, bags and belts. These are of good quality ( I own most of them!) and again include both fashion and more traditional items. Lately Next has focused on large shoulder bags and patent heels as has been the current trend, however I would recommend a look at the court shoes which are a good staple and are excellent value.
Next has a huge range of home ware from furniture, pictures and dinner sets to appliances, rugs and linen. Not all items are displayed in the store but can be viewed on line or via their catalogue. The home ware range has the signature Next feel of subtle design and quality materials. These items though are for the stylish life style as all the design process has gone into their appearance and not into practicalities, they would not stand up to the ware and tear of many households with youngish children.
Next stores are always distinctive with their bright window displays and big black and silver NEXT sign. On entering you are usually greeted by an assistant which I guess some people like but actual irritate me some what. The store is laid out in departments, usually with womens ware at the entrance and in casual and work ware sections with in the departments. The racks are spaced fairly close together but there are large isles left between rows so the shop feels spacious enough and there is also good use of wall hung racks so every inch of space is utilised.
I have found all Next products to be of a good quality and a joy to ware or use and the range of items available is a big bonus Next has over other high street stores. The only draw back is that sizes available in store can sometimes be limited although the store will order any sizes they do not have in stock and in my experience they have always been happy to do this. I have enjoyed all my shopping experiences with Next and now have a wardrobe full of their offerings, I would definitely recommend it to any adult, I think it is probably not suited to teenagers, this is always my first stop on any shopping spree.
A UKTV channel Dave is focused on the male 16 - 35years demographic. The channel shows mostly repeats of BBC shows but has in recent months commissioned its own programmes. The channel focuses mostly on comedy and documentaries.
Mostly BBC repeats its staples include
Comedies; Mock the week, QI, Never mind the Buzzcocks, Argumental
Documentaries; Top Gear (kind of factual), Ray Mear's Bushcraft, Fifth Gear
Worth a watch?
The words repeat usually send people running for the hills or at least produce a loud sigh but they are not always bad. You are not going to find any up to the minute info (although some shows are original like Argumental) but the shows they repeat are popular well written shows. Top gear is now a worldwide success, which in my opinion is still funny, the second time around. The channel is good for a little light hearted entertainment, dvds of the shows show sell in their thousands so it is reasonable to suspect that there are people who would like to watch these shows for free.
I myself really enjoy the channel, there is nothing better after getting in after a long day than curling up on the sofa away from the cold winter nights and passing the time by watching some very funny shows. I would though say this, it is fun for a while but the endless repeats can get on your nerves after a while. A show may be funny the second time around but after switching on the TV to find the same episode for the 20th time it can get quite warring.
Dave can be found on
Virgin Media 128
Dave ja vu (Dave but an hour later) can be found on
Virgin Media 129
A low fat ready meal chicken hot pot, part of the Weight Watchers points range.
The meal comes boxed in the traditional Weight Watchers colour of purple on the left of the box and a picture of the hot pot on the right. The meal is in a black microwave able tray with a clear film lid. The nutritional information and the cooking times are clearly shown on the sides of the box. The nutritional information is given in grams as well as Weight Watchers point's values.
The meal can be microwaved in 7mins or oven cooked in 40mins. For either method the film lid is removed and the meal placed straight in the oven or microwave, nothing else needed. Having tried both ways of cooking and the oven cooking does produce better results, however if you do not have the time and as you bought a ready meal I doubt you do, the results form microwaving the meal are perfectly fine.
The Hot Pot looks appetising, not a bad feat for a low fat ready meal! The meal is made from potatoes, mixed veg, chicken and a creamy sauce. The sauce is the major triumph of this meal, it is so creamy I cannot believe it is low fat, just the thing you need on those diet days. The chicken content is not huge but neither is it stingy, the veg can be a little soft if microwaved but has flavour enough. The meal while not huge is enough to satisfy you and keeps me full until the next meal. It is probably more a lunch rather than a dinner.
I will not list all the figures but as a low fat meal the fat and calorie content are important. The meal has 7.5g of fat of which 3.7g are saturated and 220 calories. It is 4 weight watchers points. The meal also has 1.5g of salt, high but all ready meals are and it is only 25% of the daily allowance so is not too bad.
I really enjoyed this ready meal, in fact I have just bought two more. The taste is great compared to some other ready meals I have tried and it did not taste like it was a low fat meal. I bought mine on offer at Tesco for £1, a great price for a meal but at only £1.42 again at Tesco, it is great value at any time. Definitely a must for all dieter's freezers.
Tic Tacs are sold in clear plastic cartons with a pop up tab to tip the Tick Tacs out. The carton has a label stuck over the top that covers half the front and back of the carton. The colour of the label depends on the flavour of the Tics but all display the Tic Tack Logo. Tic Tacs can be found with the mints section in most supermarkets and corner shops.
The Tic Tac
The Tic Tac is a small cylindrical mint approx 1cm x 0.5cm x 0.5cm. It has a smooth coating with a slightly gritty centre.
Sugar, Fructose, rice starch, flavouring, mint essential oil, glazing agent (carnauba wax)
Despite it's size each Tic Tac has a strong minty flavour which lasts after the Tic Tac has gone. I have found 1 Tic Tac lasts approx 10mins and the minty fresh breath it gives you around an hour. As the advert says each Tic Tac is only 2 calories so how can you go wrong. The only draw back is the carton which, while excellent for storing the Tic Tacs can cause rattley pockets and makes Tic Tacs impossible to eat silently in a meeting. Having said that at 2 calories it's a small price to pay.
Tic Tacs are around £1.30 for 100 at most stores.
5 things I would like to banish forever
1. People at petrol stations with the pay at pump facility who then go into the store and pay with a credit card! They stand in the queue so they can punch in their pin just as they would have done at the pump while the rest of the world waits behind their car.
2. Football. I know this is probably an unpopular choice but paying someone 6 figures to kick a pice of leather is not what I would call a good use of resources. I have heard the argument that it provides a community spirit among fans but I would gladly sacrifice this for and end to the hooligan violence.
3. Protesters who complain about getting hurt. This is a real peeve of mine. Everyone knows a protest can turn nasty even if it starts off peacefully. The police are only human and however highly trained when faced with objects being hurled at them and a crowd that may crush them will react as anyone of us would to protect ourselves. If you do not want to risk injury protest in another way.
4. The expenses row. Come on people who among us would not claim a toothpick if it was on expenses. Although outlandish all claims were submitted and past, it was not the politicians who were wrong it was the system. It goes against our law to make something a crime retrospectively therefore we should not ask them to pay back a penny that was claimed through the correct channels. I am sure most of them would not have deemed a moat or a duck house essential if they were using their own money. We cannot hold any to account to rules that did not exist.
5. The governemt's LIFE campaign. I cannot believe there is a soul left on the earth that does not know that eating too much and moving to little is bad for you. If the government have money to waste on telling me I should not stick my head in the oven I am sure they have money to pay for the life saving drugs that are just too expensive for the NHS.
Ooh that does feel better good to have a rant now and then, I could have gone on forever but I think that's enough for now. I better go and write a review about something positive now don't want to be all bar humbug.
Innocent Fruit Smoothies
These are smoothies made entirely from fruit no added sugar or other nasties. Available in 250ml bottles or 1ltr cartons they are great for an on the good refresh or a relaxing moment at home. Each 250mls provides 2 portions of your 5 a day fruit and veg.
The 250ml bottles are clear plastic with a white screw on lid. They are very distinctive with a white label and the Innocent logo of a smilie face with a halo in a colour to match the smoothie in the bottle. The lid of the bottle can be screwed back on and stays in place with no leakage. The 1ltr cartons are tall plastic covered carbon cartons also in white with the trademark Innocent logo. Both the bottle and the carton can be recycled, as you would expect from a company trying to promote a natural environmentally friendly image.
The smoothies themselves have a deep rich colour and a very thick texture. As soon as the lid is removed there is a strong fruity smell. Each smoothie is blended very well to produce a well fused flavour although each of the individual fruit flavours can also be identified as well. The only draw back is the high sugar content but this is all natural so as long as you do not over indulge it is fine. The smoothies come in the following flavours
Strawberries and banana
Blackberries, strawberries and boysenberries
Mangoes and passion fruits
Pineapples, bananas and coconuts
Kiwis, apples and limes
Cranberries, blueberries and cherries
There is also a guest smoothie the flavour of which changes at the moment it is pineapple, blueberries and ginger.
Availability and Price
The smoothies are available in most supermarkets in both bottles and cartons and in most corner shops in bottles in the drinks fridge although flavour selection maybe limited. Priced at around £3 for the cartons (£2.94 in Tesco) and £1.75 for the bottles the smoothies are a little pricey.
Other Innocent products
Innocent also produce smoothies for kids, thickies (smoothies made with yoghurt), orange juice and veg pots (a meal with 3 portions of veg). All are also a bit pricey but again are all natural.
The smoothies are a little pricey but in my opinion well worth the money. The great flavours coupled with the nutritional benefit make this a winner with me. Maybe not a product for everyday as it is costly but certainly a great treat that is good for you, and there are not may of those about.