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loopcinda

loopcinda
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Member since: 20.04.2010

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    • TST Retro Space Hopper / Outdoor Toy / 11 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      22.03.2011 15:20
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      A classic garden toy

      My husband was bought this space hopper for his birthday as a joke present, but we're definitely having the last laugh as it's loads of fun! The space hopper has changed very little since it first appeared in the 70s. I remember having one in the back garden when I was about 4 and it was identical to this one. The space hopper is a big (about 3 foot in diameter) orange, rubber ball with a cartoon kangaroo face on the front and 2 ears at the top which give you something to grip on to when bouncing. The ears are about 6 inches long, so there's plenty of room to hold on. You straddle the space hopper so that you are sitting directly behind the ears, with your legs either side of them. Hold on tight to each ear and hop away! The size of this space hopper means that it is really designed for bigger kids (about 6+) or adults. My 5 year old daughter can just about use it now, but my 3 year old is no where near big enough. My husband is 6 foot and he can bounce like a maniac on it! The space hopper comes pacakged in a small carboard box and has to be inflated. We used a bicycle pump which only took a couple of minutes. Once inflated, you close the rubber stopper which keeps the air sealed inside. Ours has been blown up for 2 years now and we've never had to pump more air in. This is a very durable toy. We've left ours outside through last Winter's freezing temperatures and it's not come to any harm. The only difference now from when our space hopper was new is that it is slightly faded in places. I think this was caused by it sitting out in the sun in the height of Summer. The space hopper is best used on grass as it gives you great bounce with the added advantage that if you were to fall off you'd have a relatively soft landing! Obviously you need to avoid any stones or sharp objects as although it is made of a very tough rubber, it could puncture quite easily if care was not taken. I think this is a great garden toy that is lots of fun for all the family.

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      • Kurt Geiger Carvela Shoes / Shoes / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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        21.03.2011 14:31
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        Gorgeous, expensive looking shoes

        I am lucky enough to own several pairs of Kurt Geiger Carvela shoes, which - had I paid full price for them - would have cost me a fortune! Carvela is a range of shoes and boots from Kurt Geiger, a high-end high street store bordering on designer. Carvela shoes are beautifully made and will make you stand out from the crowd - they look and feel expensive. When you buy a pair of Carvela shoes, your experience begins when you open the tan and black cardoard box. Your shoes are packaged within tissue, usually with supports inside the shoe to ensure they hold their shape. If buying heels you will also find a spare pair of stiletto tips within the box. Most of my Carvela shoes are very high heeled. The heels are beautifully moulded and strong. I can' imagine that they will ever break, despite a serious amount of wear, including dancing and standing for long periods - I even wore one pair to a 6 hour music festival! Even with the killer heels, the comfort factor is surprisingly good. The insoles are tough but padded so your feet can survive several hours before starting to get achey! I have always found the sizing of Carvela shoes to be accurate - i.e. you buy the size you are - don't go up or down. If you buy Carvela from the Kurt Geiger website it can be expensive. However there are often discount codes floating around on the internet which will enable you to get big reductions - for weeks there was a code for £20 off a £50 spend - well worth having! It's also worth noting that the website is excellent. There is a massive amount of choice online. They show you up front which sizes are in stock and they show several different angles on each pair of shoes. Carvela also have very good sale reductions. I got my last pair for £22 - reduced from £85. I've also picked some up (new) off Amazon, with a massive 75% off.

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      • Clarks Doodles / Shoes / 5 Readings / 3 Ratings
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        21.03.2011 14:12
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        Great kids Summer shoes

        At the start of every Summer I head off to Clarks and buy my kids a pair of Doodles each. They are a staple part of their Summer wardrobe. Doodles are a range of kids shoes sold by only by Clarks. They come in lots of different styles, i.e. sandals, pumps, buckle fastening, velcro fastening etc. The main similarity is that they are lighter and softer than your standard Clarks shoes as they are made from canvas rather than leather. Doodles come in a massive range of colours, beautiful pinks, blues, whites and purples for the girls and funky tans, greens and blues for the boys. The soles are made from a sturdy but flexible rubber. My girls love wearing their Doodles. They've never given them blisters - even when new. They are also designed so that young children can put them on and take them off by themselves with ease (my daughters were able to put them on themselves from the age of 2) The Doodles are surprisingly hard wearing. My elder daughter has passed 2 pairs of her Doodles on to her younger sister and despite being on their 2nd owner they show little sign of wear on the bottom of the sole, or indents on the top of the sole where your child's feet go. One of the main things I love about Doodles is that the majority of them are machine washable at 40. So no matter how scruffy they get, after a quick blast in the machine they look like new again. One downside is that due to the material, these are not good for wet days - you child's feet would quickly become wet as any water would soak through the canvas. A lot of the Doodles are really pretty, so if you've got a little girl you will be spoilt for choice. I can't comment too much on the boys range as I'll be buying my son his first pair this Summer! Doodles retail at around the £10 mark, so considerably cheaper than the normal Clarks shoes. If you are lucky enough to live near a Clarks Outlet, you can buy Doodles even cheaper - around the £6 - £7 mark, at which price they are a real bargain.

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      • Clarks Tumble 2 Plimsoles / Shoes / 10 Readings / 10 Ratings
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        18.03.2011 14:19
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        Perfect school pumps

        When my daughters turned 3 they began participating in PE at nursery - in order to prepare them for big school. As part of their PE kits they needed black pumps. Although you can buy basic black pumps in most of the big supermarkets now, I personally opted for Clarks as thats where I buy most of my kids shoes. With Clarks I usually find that the quality of the shoes is superior to most other places, the fit is good and you can also be sure that your child's feet are measured professionally and accurately. The Clarks plimsoles are never going to win any fashion awards. They are very basic in style. The sole is made from sturdy, slightly flexible rubber, with a rubber covered toe and heel. The rest of the shoe is made from canvas. They have a wide velcro fastening across the width of the shoe. The fastening is big enough and simple enough so that most young children would be able to confidently put the shoes on themselves (my children both managed them at the age of 3). The inner sole of the shoe is made from cotton - not particularly soft, but hard wearing. The inner sides and tongue of the pump are made from a softer, breatheable type of canvas. The pumps are machine washable at 40 degrees, but the label does warn that they may be subject to slight shrinkage and colour loss. Personally I've never felt the need to wash my kids pumps - they don't show up the dirt and as they are used for PE, they are only worn twice a week for about an hour at a time. These pumps are available in tiny sizes (around a child size 6), right up to small adult sizes - I've seen them in an adult size 3 in my local store. If you buy them at full price they are around the £10 mark. Luckily I have a Clarks Outlet near me, where they are sold at a very reasonable £3 - a steal in my opinion! Comfort-wise, it's quite hard to get a comprehensive opinion from a 3 - 4 year old, but my kids are happy to wear them and have told me that the pumps are comfortable. They usually wear them either with trainer socks or bare feet. Their feet and ankles show no signs of rubbing after wearing the pumps and they've certainly never had any blisters develop. These are definitely my school pumps of choice.

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        16.03.2011 12:55
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        Cheap and cheerful bubble fun

        I was putting together the party bags for my daughter's 5th birthday party when I came across these Tesco mini party bubbles. Party bags can be difficult to fill at a reasonable price - especially when you have to do about 20 of them, so I snapped up these bubbles at the bargain price of £1.50 for a pack of 6 mini bottles. They are also in the 3 for 2 offer at Tesco, so you can get 18 bottles for £3. Each pack of 6 bubbles comes wrapped in clear cellophane. On the underside of the pack are some safety instructions - the bubbles are unsuitable for children under 36 months, mixture cannot be swallowed, avoid contact with eyes or skin. There is also a warning that the bubble solution will stain, so clothes and furnishings should be protected. Each cellophane pack contains 6 bottles of bubble mixture. The bottles are just under 2 inches in height and approx 1 inch in diameter. Each bottle holds 1 fl oz (29ml) of bubble solution. The bottles come in a variety of colours. Each pack usually has a mixture of blue, pink, yellow and green bottles. Each bottles has a white plastic screw top lid. When you open the lid the bubble wand is attached to the underside (meaning that you don't have to go fishing around in the bottle for it).The wand is small - as you would expect from a bottle this size, but in my opinion that makes it perfect for little fingers to hold and grip comfortably. The bubble mixture is good quality and one dip, followed by a gently blow will easily produce 20 ish bubbles. The size of these bottles also makes them great for re-filling from a larger bottle. Having 3 young children myself I am always very wary of gving them large bottles of bubble mixture as they are too easily dropped and spilled. The advantage of these little bottles, is that when they get spilt there is not a huge amount of liquid wasted. Overall these are a great little party item, or just something to amuse the kids for half an hour. The kids at my daughter's birthday party were certainly pleased with them!

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        15.03.2011 13:58
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        Toasty cosy feet - as long as you're sitting down!

        My husband bought me a pair of Aroma Microwavable Feet Warmers for Valentines day a couple of years ago - more romantic than it sounds, as due to my insufferably cold feet it was actually quite a thoughtful gift! The slippers can be bought in a variety of colours - mine are shocking pink. They are made of soft brushed cotton with a ribbed effect. They are designed to fit snugly around your ankles, so have an elasticated band approx 2 inches below the top hem, to keep the heat in around your feet. The clever part of these slippers sits within the sole and above the toes. There is a little button on the back of the heel, which you open to reveal a cotton bag filled with lavender scented beads. The bag is the length and width of the sole of the slipper. It only needs to be removed if you are washing the slipper (hand wash only). For microwaving purposes, it can stay where it is. There is also a pocket on the upper side of the slipper - above where your toes would be. This contains another lavender filled bag. The walking sole of the slipper is made from white cotton, which is slightly rougher than the rest of the slipper, with a raised chequered pattern stitched onto it, which gives you a small amount of grip. However, I would have to say that these slippers are not at all practical for walking in - the bag of beads makes them unstable and a bit on the treacherous side! The inside of the slipper is lined with white fleece material. It's lovely and cosy and very soft against your skin. To warm the slippers up is very simple. You place them both on a large plate with a small glass of water. Pop them in the microwave (times vary according to your microwave power) for approx 2 minutes and they are heated up and ready to go. In my opinion the best time to put these on is when relaxing on the couch or going to bed - i.e. a time when you are not going to be walking around. The slippers stay warm for ages - up to around 2 hours and keep your feet lovely and warm. These slippers generally retail for around £15, which in my opinion is a small price to pay to banish frozen feet forever!

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        15.03.2011 13:29
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        The cutest fluffiest slippers ever!

        My husband bought me a pair of these Bedroom Athletics slippers for Christmas and they are just so gorgeous and cute. They are designed to be like boots - from the base of the heel they are about 8 inches high at the back so they cover your feet, ankles and the lower part of your shin. The sole is made from soft flexible rubber, meaning that they give you enough grip to ensure your feet won't slip - even when walking on wood or laminate flooring. The sole is attached to the rest of the slipper by white herringbone style stitching - giving them an ethnic, handmade kind of look. The slippers are made from a lovely soft fluffy fur-type of material that is a dusky pink colour. There is a narrow ribbon border just below the top hem - also pink - with the Bedroom Athletics logo repeated all the way around. The slippers have a pink zip that runs down the centre of the ankle - approx 4 inches long - so that once you've slipped your feet inside them, you can do the zip up and completely cocoon your feet in fluffy lovelyness! The zip has a rubber tag in the shape of a girl. It is pink and spotty to co-ordinate with the rest of the slipper. The inside of the slippers are also made from the same fluffy pink furry material. It feels absolutely divine against bare feet and really comfortable. I suffer from awfully cold feet, but once cocooned inside these slippers my feet stay warm and toasty. I also think they look really cute - I'm not embarassed to answer the door whilst wearing them - to me they almost look like indoor Ugg boots! The slippers are not machine washable - surface clean only. If mine were to get really mucky I would probably attempt to hand wash them - they look sturdy enough to take it. The sizing on these boots is a little on the small size. I'm a UK size 3 and my slippers are a 3-4, but do feel a little snug. I would suggest buying a size larger if unsure. Overall I love my Bedroom Athletic slippers!

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        24.02.2011 14:44
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        Great little garage

        We bought this as a gift for my 18 month old son. He already has the ELC whizz around garage and loves it, so this seemed to be a good addition to his car toy collection. The toy is approx 12 inches wide, 8 inches high (with handle extended) and 6 inches deep. It's made of strong brightly coloured plastic. The base is green, the main centre is yellow and the handle is orange. The service centre is made up of 3 garages, each with a sliding up and over door oprerated by a small latch which is easy enough for young toddlers to handle . The first garage has a pillar- box red coloured door. When you slide the door up it reveals a chunky fire engine which immediately slides down the ramp. The middle door is white in colour and slides open to reveal another chunky car - this time in th design of an ambulance. The 3rd door is bright blue and opens to reveal a blue police car style vehicle. Each of the cars has magnetic tow bars at the front and back, so you can attach them and pull them along in a line. They also co-ordinate perfectly with the whizz around garage cars. The service centre takes 2 AA batteries which are contained by a screw panel underneath the base of the toy. Next to the battery compartment, there is a switch which allows you to turn the toy off completely, or set it at one of 2 volume leves, which I would describe as reasonably quiet or fairly loud. Every time one of the garage doors is opened, the toy makes the appropriate siren sound (fire engine, ambulance or police). There is also a light on top of each garage which flashes as each door is opened. The carry handle at the top of the garage makes it very convenient for travel. We've taken this on holiday with us and to relatives houses when we've gone out for the day. It's compact and light weight and handy in the way that it contains the 3 cars neatly and tidily. My son loves playing with this - either by itself or in conjunction with the whizz around garage. He can easily open the garage doors by himself. The toy is well designed so that most children of 12 months plus would be able to operate the doors and therefore set off the sounds/lights by themselves. The cars roll well across wooden/laminate floors, but don't really roll on carpets (as you would expect). We paid £10 for this set, which I would say is a reasonable price. It's played with daily, often several times a day and sturdy enough that I can see my son using it for several years to come. Overall I would highly recommend this for any car-mad toddler.

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        • ELC Whizz Around Garage / Baby Toy / 11 Readings / 11 Ratings
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          18.02.2011 13:23
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          Worth the extra money - a top toy

          I was lucky enough to inherit the whizz around garage when my friend's little boy finally grew out of it at around the age of 6 (he'd had it since he was 2). I have 3 kids, girls aged 3 and 4 and a boy aged 18 months and all of them love to play with this toy. It is built from the typical sturdy click-together plastic that you would expect from ELC. The standard garage is made up of yellow, green, red and orange plastic pieces - although you can now purchase one in pink if you live in an all girl environment! The garage is made up of a vertical tower which houses the lift - operated by a chunky plastic leaver at the side. The lift takes one car easily and in my house it has also been known to take a barbie! When cars reach the top of the lift they exit onto a large circular platform, which has 2 exit ramps. One of the ramps is a steep slide which takes cars straight off the garage. The other exit takes them down a spiral slide and sends cars shooting out from underneath the garage. Underneath the red slide there is also a small passageway incorporating a car wash (hanging strips of material). The top of the vertical tower is set up as a helipad. The garage comes supplied with 3 chunky cars. More can be bought from elc (usually in packs of 3) This toy takes 3 AA batteries, which power a number of sounds and flashing lights - when operating the lift and also when pressing either of 2 buttons to the left of the lift. This toy retails at around £40 which I do think is pricey. However, having tried a few garages I can honestly say that this is absolutely the best and if you have young children, you will get years of service from it. Our garage is now 4 years old and still going stronge. It is one of the few toys we have which is played with on a daily basis by at least one, if not all of our children. Overall this is a well designed , quality toy.

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          16.02.2011 14:27
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          A top class foundation

          I first became a convert to Chanel Vitalumiere foundation 6 years ago. I tried a sample sachet out of a magazine and was amazed by the results. Even though I'm normally a penny pinching bargain hunter, this was one luxury product that I just had to have - despite the price! Chanel credit themselves with being the first to incorporate light-correcting pigments, colour correcting pigments and photochromic pigments (adjustment for light intensity) into their make up and always use these technologies in the creation of their new foundations. Vitalumiere does not disappoint. Chanel Vitalumiere can be bought in 9 shades - Hale, Clair, Naturel, Beige, Limpide, Cendre, Epice, Cannelle and Moka. The shades start at a very light colour, for the fairest of skins right the way through to darker complexions. They all offer skin protection of SPF15 and the standard bottle contains 30ml of fluid foundation. Chanel Vitalumiere has a whole range, in addition to the fluid foundation, including concealers, cream makeup and powders. The foundation comes packaged in a white cardboard box, with the Chanel logo. It has instant glamour appeal and looks very expensive. Inside the cardboard box, the foundation is contained within a rectangular glass bottle, approx 3 inches in height, 1 inch wide and 1 inch deep. The glass is transparent, allowing you to see the fluid foundation within. The front of the bottle has the Chanel branding and the product title written in white lettering. The back of the bottle lists the ingredients and the application instructions. The top inch of the bottle is a black cap, with the Chanel logo at the top. When you remove the cap, the pump dispenser beneath is revealed. The pump is also black and made of very strong plastic - not the sort of thing that would break easily. When you first dispense the product you may be surprised at the consistency. It is a lot runnier than most foundations - similar in thickness to cream. A small amount goes a long way. The packaging advises that the user applies the fluid either with a sponge or fingertips. I personally have always used finger tips as I hate to see a sponge soaking up so much of an expensive product! This foundation simply glides onto skin like silk. It blends extremely well and gives a flawless, radiant finish. I personally have never been lucky enough to have a perfect complexion, however, this foundation makes my skin look practically perfect, evening out my skin tone, making any blotches disappear and generally giving my skin a glow. I personally used the beige colour (number 4), but I would recommend going in to a store and getting the person behind the counter to match your shade for you - worth it when you are paying so much money for a foundation. This foundation does not give a matt effect. There is a definite shine to the results - hence the glow of your skin, but it does not look or feel greasy, just natural and healthy. When I'm wearing this product I feel like I've got a sheen to my skin, rather than being caked in make up. This product claims to make lines and wrinkles disappear. I'm not completely convinced about that, but it certainly makes them blend in and gives you such a flawless finish, that maybe people won't notice lines and wrinkles anymore! The price of this product is it's one downfall - around £30 for the standard 30ml bottle. However, I've always bought mine in duty free at a more reasonably priced £24. A cheap product it isn't, but you do get what you pay for and for your money you get a fabulous product. Due to it's expense, I do not use my Vitalumiere every day, more like 3 - 4 times a week, either when I'm going out, have an important meeting - or just having a bad skin day and need a bit of a lift! At this rate of use, my bottle has lasted me nearly 3 years! It hasn't gone off or thickened up at all. It is as good now as the day I opened it, so with regards to value for money I think it is hard to beat. This product can be bought in most larger department stores, such a Debenhams, Harvey Nichols and bigger branches of Boots. You can also find it at several online beauty stores and if you keep your eyes peeled you might find a bargain on ebay. Overall I absolutely love this product. It looks wonderful on the dressing table and fabulous on the skin.

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        • More +
          09.11.2010 13:28
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          A great every day perfume

          I was given this perfume as a gift last Christmas. I'm always wary of receiving perfume as a gift, as I think that scent is a very personal choice. However, this perfume is pleasant enough. The 30ml bottle of Clinique Happy is approx 4 inches tall, 2 inches wide and 1 inch deep. The design of the bottle is elegant and simple. The bottom 2 thirds of the bottle are clear glass, with the Clinique Happy logo printed across in simple white and orange lettering. The top third of the bottle is made up of a plastic silver cap, which you pull off to reveal a silver pump spray beneath. The scent of the perfume is very light and refreshing. To me, it smells of Summer flowers, but it isn't as overpowering as some floral scents can be. Clinique describe the perfume as being a multi layered floral fragrance, which is a desciption I would agree with - It's almost like being misted with a Summer garden! I can't imagine anyone finding the smell of this perfume offensive, but it is quite subtle, so if you like a more distinctive smell, this might not suit you. I also think the scent is quite girly, i.e. not particularly seductive or sophisticated. Personally I like to wear it for work, as it just smell fresh, clean and pleasant. This perfume retails at around £20 for a 30ml bottle or £32 for a 50ml bottle. I think it would make a nice gift for someone as it is such an easy to wear perfume. Overall, this is a cute, pleasant fragrance, which comes packaged in a simple, elegant bottle.

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          09.11.2010 12:58
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          A sophisticated scent in stylish packaging

          I bought this perfume a couple of years back whilst on a flight. I didn't even smell it prior to purchasing, it just looked so funky that I had to have it! The bottle comes packaged in a pink cardboard box with the 212 Sexy logo on the front. Inside the box, the perfume is contained in an unusual cylinder shaped bottle that is designed to lie on it's side rather than stand up on a dressing table. The 30ml bottle is approx 4 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter. Each end of the bottle has a pink cap. The central 2 inches of the bottle are clear (allowing you to see the perfume inside) with the 212 Sexy logo printed across it. One of the end pink caps can be removed to reveal a pink pump spray. The perfume itself smells quite distinctive and is (in my opinion) quite different to many of the fresh, citrus types of smell that are on the market at the moment. This scent is more musky and slightly floral and has an elegant, sexy feel to it. The box describes the perfume as having top notes of fresh citrus, bergamot and rose pepper. I should point out that usually I can wear just about any perfume, but when pregnant I could not wear this as it smelt too heavy and distinctive. If you like your perfumes light and airy, this might not be for you. The bottle itself is a fab design and perfect for throwing in your handbag as it's not too bulky. It also looks very stylish on a dressing table, although the cylinder design means it has a tendency to roll around! This perfume retails at around £25 - £30 for a 30ml bottle. You only need a small application to get a good overall scent, so even with regular use it will last a long time

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        • Morphy Richards 43069 / Kettle / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
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          23.08.2010 13:04
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          • "Ease of use"

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          A good looking functional kettle

          I first bought this kettle about 3 years ago. I chose it because I wanted a silver/black kettle to match the rest of my appliances and to be honest this was one of the cheapest available (I think I paid around £25 for it). The kettle is primarily silver - the reflective type of silver that looks amazing when clean, but unfortunately does show up every finger mark or water stain. The handle and base are made of black plastic. The kettle sits on a black plastic circular base unit. The base unit has the flex and mains plug attached to it. The flex has a maximum length of nearly 3 foot (which I have found to be plenty long enough) but can also be reeled in neatly under the base unit, so that any spare cable isn't cluttering up your worktop. The kettle is powered by this base unit and cannot be used without it. The kettle has a 1.5 litre capacity, so will make about 6 mugs of tea (or 6 8 ounce baby bottles!). Both sides of the kettle have a see through window which allows you to see the water inside the kettle. The windows have markings on them, showing you where to fill for 2 cups, 4 cups, 6 cups and the maximum level. The markings are a little difficult to see unless you are in very bright light, but I can't say that this has every caused me a problem. The kettle's lid opens by pressing on a button at the top of the handle. This makes the lid pop open. You need to fill the kettle through the top - it is virtually impossible to fill it through the spout. There is a simple on off switch underneath the handle which allows you to turn the kettel on. Once switched on, an orange light glows. The light goes out automatically once the kettle has boiled and the switch also automatically pushes itself back to the "off" setting. When full to capacity, the kettle will takeabout 3 - 4 mins to boil. It's not overly noisy. The first time I bought this kettle, after about 18 months of use, the push button on the lid broke, making the kettle virtually impossible to use. However, to my amazement, this kettle had a 2 year warranty. One quick call to Morphy Richards customer services and it was all sorted. I still had the original receipt showing my date of purchase. I faxed them a copy and 3 days later, I received my new kettle, so I can't complain at all. My replacement kettle is wearing well and I'm quite happy with it.

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        • Tesco SC356 Slow Cooker / Slow Cooker / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
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          19.08.2010 21:33
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          A great basic model slow cooker

          We bought this slow cooker as a bit of an impulse buy about 9 months ago. My husband and I were just wandering through Tescos when we noticed a big palette of these slow cookers on offer for £15. We'd considered buying one in the past, but had often been put off by the thought that it would be a novelty purchase and get used for a few weeks, before languishing next to the fondue set and sandwich toaster forever! I'm happy to report that wasn't the case and we've been using this cooker regularly since we bought it. It's a very simple machine. The outer section is made of very light weight stainless steel with 5 plastic feet. It is mains powered - the lead is approx 3 foot long. There is only one dial on the cooker, which is located centrally, at the front. The dial starts at the Off setting and can be switched to Low, High or Warm. Inside the stainless steel outer layer is a removable ceramic crock pot, which is very heavy and substantial. When you are preparing your meal, you should remove the crock pot whilst you add all your ingredients, to prevent the stainless steel outer layer from getting dirty or having food stuck on it. Once you have added all your ingredients, you put the crock back inside the outer layer, put the glass lid on and turn the dial to high. The cooker has a 3.5l capacity, which I've found serves 4 - 6 adults. A stew/casserole etc will take about 5 - 7 hours to cook when the cooker is set to hot, so it's perfect for a lazy weekend, when we usually start preparing our dinner at about 10 a.m. and it's all ready to eat at around 6. Once the food is cooking, the lid should not be removed, as this will let all the heat escape. The instructions do tell you that for every time the lid is taken off, you should factor in another 20 minutes cooking time. The crock pot is surprisingly easy to clean (it's not dishwasher safe) and I've found it washes easily in normal hot soapy dishwater. We found loads of slow cooker recipes on the internet - I think it's becoming quite a fahsionable cooking technique these days! The one thing I would point out is that the outside of the cooker gets extremely hot. I have young children and have to make sure that when in use, this is pushed right to the back of the worksurface, as they would get a nasty burn if they were to touch it. However, with general common sense applied you shouldn't have any problems. Overall this slow cooker has a been a great purchase for us and I'd recomend it.

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            17.08.2010 21:06
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            A great little kitchen gadget

            I bought my George Foreman grill about 5 years ago and it has been in constant use ever since. There are several different types of George Foreman available to buy these days, some are quite basic and some are more flash with more features. My grill is a basic model, which is approx 12 inches wide, by 10 inches deep, by 4 inches high. Colour wise it is predominantly black, with a silver central panel. The lid lifts open to reveal the grill which slopes downwards to allow any fat to drain off as your food is cooking. The machine comes with 2 plastic drip trays. During cooking, you position one of the trays in front of the grill and any fat which drains off the food is collected ready for disposal. To operate the grill it couldn't be simpler as there are no dials or switches, you just plug it in, wait for the heat indicator light to go out and then it's ready to use. You place your food on the grill, close the lid down and your food cooks without the need of oil or any other greasing products. The lid of the machine is also a grill, so your food is being cooked on both sides at the same time - there is no n eed to turn it. The grill is brilliant for cooking all kinds of foods, such as burgers, sausages, chicken or even vegetables. Personally, I mainly use my grill for bacon, as it contains the mess and saves me having to clean my oven all the time! The bacon is always grilled to perfection and tastes divine. Best of all, you can clearly see that all the fat has been drained away, so the food is a lot more healthy than it would be normally. When I first used my grill, I found that it cleaned easily just by wiping with kitchen roll, however over time, you may find that the none stick surface of your George Foreman begins to wear away, which can make food start to stick to it in places. Whilst this does not impair the cooking of the food, it can make cleaning the grill a little tricky. I found that once the food has been removed from the grill, pouring a little fizzy soda (coke or lemonade work well) over the grill whilst still hot, helps any residue bubble off. I paid around £20 for my George Foreman and it has been well worth the money. If it broke tomorrow, I would be rushing out to buy another one!

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