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mckenziesmummy

mckenziesmummy
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Member since: 29.08.2009

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      12.08.2011 23:35
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      A fantastic hand trowel.

      Gardening has become something I'm spending a lot of time doing lately and so I figured I might as well take the time to write a little bit about some of the trusty tools that I have been using. This trowel was purchased from a local gardening centre towards the end of last year and I believe that I paid just £5.00 for it. The main reason for my purchase was that I had some small plants I had been growing that I wanted to transfer in to my garden and I wanted to wait until after the frost had been as it's quite cold for a lot of the year where I live.

      This towel is stainless steel so it's sturdy and long lasting. I have used it on quite a few occasions over the past 9 months or so and it's been left out in the garden, on occasion, in all weather including several days of snow we had at the start of the year (whoops!). The handle is a smooth thick wooden handle and it's very comfortable to hold. I usually wear gardening gloves when I am gardening and these are very thick but I could definitely use this without the gloves with no comfort issues at all. The handle is easy to hold for both myself and my husband who has your average man sized hands!

      I mainly use this trowel for replanting and for removal of the occasional dead/damaged plant or patch of weeds. It doesn't get used excessively, maybe every few weeks or so and is not in use as much as some of the other items in my garden. This is not to say that it's not being used regularly enough for me to have tested out the quality by now. When I left this in the garden a few times in Winter it was very weather beaten but the handle is still smooth, soft and comfortable with no signs of weather or water damage. The trowel itself is showing no signs of rust or warping even when I have used it for some heavy work as well.

      Generally I would say that I am very pleased with this trowel. It was cheap when I purchased it and it has done a fantastic job at lasting so far. I have been able to leave it lying around without worrying about things damaging it and it is robust enough to dig up plants and weeds whenever I need to use it. It's almost a pleasure to use and with it having a 'Five year guarantee' I don't have to worry about it breaking anytime soon, well, if it does I can just get a new one!

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      12.08.2011 07:18
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      A fantastic rake from Wilkinson Sword.

      As it's that time of year again I have been busy trying to keep my garden under control. We have grass which seems to grow at a rate of knots really and I seem to end up cutting it on an almost weekly basis at this time of year. As the lawn mower that we have isn't the best quality ever I tend to end up mowing the lawn, emptying the grass box about 30 times and then using a rake to tidy up the rest of the loose grass. I then place this all on the compost heap, which is always overflowing at this time of year! Prior to owning this rake I had a plastic one that just did not seem to do a thorough enough job for my liking so when my husband picked this up for me, after weeks of me moaning about the back breaking task, I was very pleased!

      This rake is well sized and is ideal for myself (5 foot 7 inches) or my husband (5 foot 11 inches) to use. The handle is a decent length so either of us can be comfortable when using this. I no longer have to spend half my time crouched over just to rake up some leaves or grass. I can get a good grip on the handle and it's comfortable enough that I don't hurt my hand while using it. In the cooler days it can be a little uncomfortable because it's cold but I usually rectify this with a nice thick pair of gardening gloves anyway so it's fine. The actual area of the rake is large and it takes me a lot less strokes to rake up the mess than it ever did before. The prongs of the rake are strong, thick and yet incredibly flexible. This rake works very well at making a nice big pile and it doesn't end up with loads of leaves or grass stuck on the end as I often found with the plastic one. The motion I have to use now is very fluid and simple making it so much more effortless compared to what I was using before.

      It's fair to say that I have been very pleased with the quality of this rake. It's strong, sturdy and cuts through the stacks of grass and leaves with ease. My garden is not left in bad condition though and as long as I am not too rigorous when using this the grass is not damaged or cut up at all. The rake feels comfortable, especially when I wear my gardening gloves, and I'm just generally really pleased that my husband brought this rake home for me. I am not exactly sure of the price to the penny but believe he paid around £23.00 from a local garden centre here on the border of Wales.

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        11.08.2011 14:24
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        A decent product from Betterware.

        We are fortunate enough to live in a three bedroom house with our children and benefit from having a front and back garden. The front garden is mainly concrete slabs and the back garden has a small patio and a large patch of lawn. This means that we get a build up of weeds in between the slabs and I need something to help with this. I first heard about this tool from my neighbour a few weeks back when I was moaning about just how quick the weeds seem to reappear in my front garden. I then looked through a betterware catalogue that was left a couple of nights later and I found it reduced from £3.99 down to £2.99 which seemed like a bargain to me.

        This is a 22cm long device that is basically a right angled blade with an orange plastic handle on the end. It's very simple in design but is also well designed to reach in between my concrete slabs and remove the weeds. The handle is a decent size to hold on to and ensure that I feel comfortable whilst holding it for long periods of time. It's nothing special to look at but this does absolutely wonders for my garden, at least so far. The blade is thick enough to be strong but thin enough to fit in even the smallest of spaces. This means that I can go in small spaces in my garden, slice down and the weeds will hopefully be ripped out. Generally I find that I need to score this back and forth a few times, firstly to remove the bulk of the length of the weed and then to try and rip out some of the root. It gets stuck from time to time, but nothing major, and for the price I think it's a fantastic gadget.

        When using this tool I have been very happy with how well it works. It gets in to very small spaces and it's the perfect size for the jobs that I need it for. It has not rid my garden of weeds totally but they certainly appear to be taking a longer amount of time to grow back, and that's not because we've not had the right weather for weeds here, believe me! If you like the sound of this but want a longer one then you can pick up a longer tool for just £6.99 which is still a very reasonable price.

        I've been really pleased with how well this works. The blade is thin but feels like it's solid and the handle is comfortable enough for me to hold for up to 30 minutes at a time while I slowly get back on top of my garden/jungle. I was very pleased with the £2.99 price, down from £3.99 and it only took just over a week to order it and get it delivered to my front door which is always fantastic for a company that doesn't charge for postage.

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      • Matalan Wellies / Shoes / 22 Readings / 20 Ratings
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        18.05.2011 21:32
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        Wellies from Matalan that protect from the elements.

        Being a busy mother of four it's fair to say that I have lots of different shoes and clothes for different occasions. These wellies are mainly for use when my children and I take the dog for a walk in the woods near our home. Obviously when it's been raining these woods can be muddy and disgusting and we love nothing more than kitting ourselves out in waterproofs and wellies so we can run and have a good time in the woods without worrying about ruining our good clothes and shoes. These wellies were purchased from Matalan for just £12.00 which is very reasonable as I love the style and they match a similar pair that my daughter has and I love us all to look cute and matching when we go out.

        These wellies are very well designed, they are thick, robust and they look pretty. The colours are nice and bold without being too over the top and they look very cute. The sole is a lovely pink colour which is nice and bright and it's easy enough to see when I've got mud stuck on the sole that I need to brush off. I purchased my wellies in size 7, my normal size, and they're a perfect fit. These wellies go on well without rubbing and they are the perfect size for my calves too (which aren't the thinnest!). I found that these wellies were very easy to wear, they work well at protecting my feet and they are waterproof. They feel robust and sturdy and I am able to run and play with my children without feeling like I'm going to fall over.

        The only downside I can find with these boots is that when I have caught quite a lot of mud on them they do become quite heavy. I feel like I am having to drag my feet along a little when wearing them and this can be a problem when I'm trying to keep up with four children including an active toddler. It's rare that they get totally weighed down though so I'm still going to use them until we get more pleasant weather. I love the look and feel of these wellies and I am able to wear them for hours while out with the kids come rain or shine. They don't let me down and they provide, for the most part, the support that I need. I must say that these wellies are very easy to keep clean, I just allow them to dry out and then I smash them on the doorstep to shake off most of the dried on mud and then give them a brush with a stiff brush and this removes most of the excess. I'm not too bothered about keeping them pristine as long as most of the mud is removed it's good enough for me!

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          17.05.2011 21:23
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          A decent pair of headphones from JVC.

          When I'm working out in the gym I love nothing more than listening to my iPod. I find it motivating for me to have lots of uplifting tunes and it's for this reason that I seem to go through numerous sets of headphones. One of my more recent purchases was this pair of JVC Gumy Headphones which I purchased in a half price sale from Sainsburys for around £5.00. This seemed like a reasonable enough price for a pair of headphones and considering I'd purchased the rather expensive Apple headphones on several occasions and seem them destroyed by either my children or my cat I decided enough was enough and opted for some cheap ones. There were several colours available when I purchased my headphones and I opted for the pink ones just because I'm a girlie girl at heart and love most things pink, also, it goes well with my iPod and looks nice against the skin I have for it also.

          First of all these are provided in a plastic packet with a piece of paper in the back. Nothing fancy and I could open them easy enough with a pair of scissors. The packaging wasn't too fancy and enabled me to see the headphones with no problem at all which is what you want really isn't it?!

          I have been using these headphones for a couple of months now with no problems at all. They look nice and they were a reasonable price. The packaging is minimal and it's easy enough to open the packaging. These headphones carry sound fairly well, they aren't the best headphones I've ever used but they do work quite well. You are able to hear everything clear and although at times it's not the highest sound quality I've ever heard it's pretty good for the price paid. The wire is an ample length for this iPod to be able to sit in my jeans pocket if I'm walking back from the school run without stretching too much. The only thing I've found is if I am doing some work around the house the wire can get caught quite easily and because it's not as long as some others I have used in the past it seems to end up catching and pull my ears which is obviously quite painful. The headphones are marked with L and R ensuring you know which ear they are designed for. There is also a splitter meaning you can decide where abouts you want the headphones to split off which is ideal if you have a large head or you are wearing quite a few layers of clothing.

          These earphones are designed so you can hear all of the sound but you can still vaguely make out what is going on around you. This is especially useful to me if I am returning home from the school run with my daughter and want to make sure I can hear any traffic or hear her crying. If you are in the market for a cheap pair of headphones then you could definitely do worse than these. The only downside with these headphones is that they don't have the longest wire ever and this could be a little bit uncomfortable if you are taller than me (5'6").

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        • Tefal QuickCup / Kettle / 19 Readings / 18 Ratings
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          17.05.2011 20:42
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          A very average 'kettle'.

          I live in a household full of gadgets, often ones I don't end up paying for! This one was no exception as it was given to me by a friend who didn't like the design of it once she'd got it home and because she'd already used it she didn't want to try and return it! I wasn't going to complain though and promptly set about placing this on my worktop for my morning cup of tea.

          I must say that this is not the most attractive 'quick boil' kettle as it has a large area at the back for storing the water and a large piece sticking out at the front which you place your cup underneath. It's very simple to use, just place it where you want it, use the ample flex to plug it in and it's almost ready for your use. Just fill up the water holder and then you can dispenser hot water in just a few seconds or fresh filtered water depending on what you want. I must say that I've only ever used this for hot water so can't really comment on the filtered water feature. It's very simple to use, I just place my cup underneath, press the button, it will then dispense water, finish, drip for a few seconds and I can take my cup away. I must say that the hot water from this is not quite as boiling as I would like, if you like quite a bit of milk in your tea, then you might just find that this gives you a lukewarm cup of tea that is ready to drink immediately but it'll be a very average temperature cup of tea that's quite disappointing.

          I've found it quite hard to find the cartridges for this 'quickcup' although they are easy enough to actually change over once you need to. The best place I've found for cartridges is eBay and while they are quite expensive when I go from having an almost empty cartridge to a full one I really can notice the difference, particularly in the water temperature (it's hotter when it has a full cartridge for some reason), a full cartridge is lasting me about 8-10 weeks depending on how regularly I am using this.

          I would say that this not a bad little machine if you are a drinker of tea. I don't make coffee or any other hot drink using this, it's just not quite hot enough for the way I like my drinks. If you want a machine that will give you a cup of tea in just a few seconds then this is one for you. I find it very simple to use, it's quick and it helps me have a morning cup of tea in record time before I take the children to school. It's very simple for me to wipe this over with a cloth in the morning while I wipe down the sides and to clean the water container I just soak it usually with some hot water and either some bicarb, lemon juice or some distilled vinegar depending on what I have available.

          This isn't too noisy and I can make a fast cup of tea in the morning. What more do I need?

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            11.05.2011 22:56
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            A fantastic lotion from clinique.

            So it was my mother-in-law that got me in to Clinique, Clarins & lots of other luxurious beauty brands. I often remind my husband of this when I'm spending copious amount of our (his) money at the various beauty counters I visit throughout the year when 'treating myself'. I must admit to loving treating myself from time to time, what busy mother doesn't deserve a little bit of TLC now and again?

            I have been known to suffer with a fair oily T zone and when I mentioned this before at the Clinique counter I was recommended this clarifying lotion. I paid around £15 for a 200ml bottle of this which has lasted me for around 3 or 4 months so far with just a little bit left. I usually get suckered in to buying multiplie Clinique products because they always seem to have some sort of goodie bag on offer and how can you know what other products you want to buy without some of their cute little trial size products.

            I quite like the packaging of this product, it's quite fresh and crisp looking. It works well in my bathroom and is inoffensive. The packaging has a kind of green colour to it that's quite nice and it does look fairly simple (i.e a little bit cheap).  The opening for the lotion is fairly ample sized and means I can use a cotton wool pad to cover the opening, pour out some lotion and then rub this around my face. I find this the best way to use this lotion & avoid too much waste. Also, it's very easy to apply the lotion this way. This lotion applies well to my face, sinks in quite fast and does not leave too strong a chemical scent behind. This feels a little drying on my face, particularly my cheeks, but that soon allays and leaves me with wonderfully soft, smooth, clean skin.  I find that my skin looks very well cared for when using this product and if I don't use it for a day or two I do notice the difference. The redness I sometimes suffer on my cheeks appears to be reduced but that could just be because I am stimulating the skin and keeping it nice and moisturised. I don't really suffer from spots anymore as I'm almost 30 (thankfully!) so can't really comment on whether this lotion stops breakouts. I certainly haven't suffered anymore breakouts while using this which is always a good thing!

            Since using this I have been very pleased with the results. My skin is clean, fresh and smooth at all times and there is no really strong scent left behind when using this which is ideal as I normally use this before bedtime. Although the price of this is quite high I think this makes me conscious of the amount I am using and this ensures that I don't cake it on and I am quite frugal with this. My oily skin problems of the past seem to be combated now and my skin is in wonderful condition, better than ever!

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            10.05.2011 23:11
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            A lovely pretty pair of flip flops from Marks & Spencer.

            It's fair to say that I have my fair share of impractical shoes but I also like to have lots of pretty shoes for the school run, it's competitive you know! When the summer time is upon us I love nothing more than feeling the air on my feet and I always find myself purchasing a plethora of shoes, not always nice ones, and I spotted these while out shopping with my mother-in-law. These shoes are available from Marks & Spencers and I believe I paid £15.00 for mine just a few short weeks ago. From what I can remember these are new to the Marks & Spencer range as I did not see them last year and I purchased a fair few pairs of shoes from them last year too!

            These flip flops come in three colours with the sole colour being the same biege/natural shade on each pair and the difference being the strap colour and the colour of the large jewels. I purchased the ones with the silver strap and the clear jewels but you can also purchase purple and black ones. I felt that the silver and clear jewels were the best choice for me as I knew they'd jazz up a pair of trousers fantastically and with minimal effort.

            The flip flops I purchased are made with cheapish materials (i.e not natural) but I wouldn't expect leather and amazing quality for under £50 to be honest! The toe strap is quite chunky but it has rounded edges making it quite soft and comfortable when sitting across my foot. The strap works well at holding the flip flop in place and ensures that it doesn't shift around too much. There is also a toe thong style strap which sits in between two toes helping to hold the flip flop in place. I must say that this thong strap is a little bit uncomfortable and it has actually given me blisters on a couple of occasions from rubbing too much in the warmer weather, however, over time it did ease up and it's not at the comfortable, softened stage where I could easily wear these every day, all day, with no blisters forming at all. These flip flops are very comfortable with their little tiny heel, it's a natural colour also and it blends in well with the shoe. This little heel serves quite a useful purpose in ensuring that the whole of my foot is not flat and this prevents me from getting cramps in the arch of my foot like I have done with other shoes.

            I have found these flip flops to be very comfortable once they have been worn in properly. The thong softens up nicely and leaves you feeling comfortable through the warmest days. I love the design of these flip flops which is very girlie, pretty and a little in your face. These flip flops look like they are quite expensive and fit well around my wide feet. The strap works well at holding the jewels and ensuring that they don't dig in to my feet, also, it ensures that my flip flops are held in place nicely. This is particularly important when I'm rushing on the school run! I'd firmly recommend these flip flops, they may be a little pricier than some of the cheap ones in my shoe cupboard but they are more comfortable and look stylish. They go with almost anything and who doesn't want to feel the sand on their toes and the sun on their skin (when it actually comes out?!).

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            • Asda Sequin Flip Flops / Shoes / 13 Readings / 11 Ratings
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              10.05.2011 23:02
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              A decent pair of flip flops that are serving me well so far.

              Every year is the same for me, the weather perks up, I get excited, I buy flip flops and the weather turns rubbish again. This usually ends up with me partaking in the school run while wearing some form of summer style shoe. This doesn't always end up being practical but I never learn and there has been many a time that my children have had to slow down just because Mum is ripping all the skin off her toes and they're going to be late if they turn back now!

              While trying to find a reasonably priced outfit for a friends wedding recently I spotted these Asda flip flops, I was drawn in, I'll be honest! I had visions of wearing them on hot summers day and the light reflecting off the sequins and everything being perfect. I must say, I'm dumb! I have since worn these about 5 times on the walk to school and not once has the wonderful sun I hear so much about put in an appearance and glistened on my sequins.

              This flip flop is just your standard basic cheap flip flop really. It has nothing special to it, no cushioning on the base and a cheap bit of plastic heel stuck on the back. The heel is very very small but it does seem to add to the comfort of these shoes ensuring that your foot is not completely flat and thus reducing the amount of cramps I get in the arch of my foot from wearing flat shoes too often. There are lots of sequins adorning the 'thong' part of the flip flop (that goes between your toes) and they do make the flip flop quite flattering. The sequins are ample to add a little bit of bling to the shoes but not so many that they end up rubbing together badly and falling off. The base is not provided with any real padding that I can notice but because it's rigid it's fairly comfortable when you press back down on it after flip flopping your way down the street.

              I must say that these flip flops are very reasonable for £6.00. I have worn these on quite a few occasions now and while I must say they aren't the most comfortable flip flops ever for £6.00 they're quite functional. The sequins add a little something to any boring school run outside and I like how the thong part doesn't rub too much on my toes. I actually can wear these bare feet without getting any blisters which is always good. I felt that while the sole was not padded it was quite supportive and the very small cheap looking heel on the back added to the comfort factor as it stopped me getting cramps in the arch of my foot. I have been very pleased with how these have held up so far continuing that they are very cheap. I'd firmly recommend these to anyone who wants to add a little bit of bling to their outfit as I think they're attractive shoes and they make me look good so who cares about the cheap looking heel on the back? These are available in a range of colours from what I could see in store and I'd happily buy some more in the future.

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            • Fuzzy Feet Frog Slippers / Shoes / 25 Readings / 25 Ratings
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              08.05.2011 16:29
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              A nice pair of slippers that served me well through the Winter months.

              My mother-in-law brought me these slippers for Christmas and initially I did wonder just what she was thinking?! Why would I want a pair of frogs on my feet? I was willing to give them a try as the thought was there (I think?) and have been wearing them throughout the winter months in our house quite frequently.

              These slippers come in a 'one size fits all' size and because I am wearing a size 7 or 8 normally I'm at the top of the scale for these. I have found that the size is adequate for me and one of my daughters (a size 4) has pinched these from time to time and been able to get around in them quite comfortably. The slippers are quite nicely designed with a soft green colour that's quite cute, they have an open back so they're very easy to just slip on when I get out of bed in the morning. These slippers look very welcoming with their soft green thready bits hanging everywhere and they do envelope my feet when I put them on. There is a fair bit of character to these slippers (unsurprisingly!) and they do look very cute when I'm wearing them. They have been a talking point with guests a few times since turning up unexpectedly at my house. They are quite large in size but they are not too cumbersome when wearing them.

              I must say that these slippers don't feel particularly well designed in places. The thread like pieces are very good for keeping your feet warm and cosy during the winter months but at the first sign of nice weather you'd want to stop wearing these just because of how sweaty and uncomfortable your feet will get. The soles are quite good for gripping on my carpeted floors and where I have wooden floors they don't hold up too badly, if a little slippery at times. The main bugbear I have with this is that the soles aren't particularly flexible. When I sit down or bend down to do something it just feels like the soles are quite flat and rigid, cardboard style! This is a bit of a disappointment to me as I'm often very busy around the house with one of my four children and I need a slipper that will withstand the kind of treatment a busy Mum needs to give!

              I must say that these slippers are very comfortable and for the few months that I have used them they have served me well. The general wear and tear of these slippers is quite good and I am sure if I put them away now they will last me next Winter as well, it's a bit of a guessing game after that though as they are only fairly cheaply made. I think these slippers are more about looks than functionality and they are definitely not the sort of slipper you'd want to be putting your rubbish out in just because of the thin soles. If you are looking for a novelty item for a member of your family then these are probably the right shoes for you, reasonably priced at £12.99 and readily available from Amazon as well as other stockists. I would recommend these for the Winter months but they are probably something that you'd hope not to have much use for at this time of year.

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                26.03.2011 08:59
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                A fantastic bubble car for little ones to practice driving.

                Being a mother of four it's fair to say that I have seen allof the fads and novelty items over the years, however, one toy thatnever seems to go out of fashion is this cosy coupe. Each of mychildren has had one of these over the years whether it's a hand medown or a brand new one and my youngest daughter is no exception. Ipurchased her Cosy Coupe with Amazon Vouchers and it cost me just£42.00 on promotion a few months back but it's only the last month orso that she's really got a large amount of use out of it thanks to drydays and fairly nice weather of late.

                This car is one that's been very commonly spotted throughout the yearsin gardens, nursery groups and even in the playground of the localplaygroup at my middle childrens school, even though it's been aroundfor 30 years it's still going strong and while the design has beenupdated a little throughout the years it still brings back memories ofme owning one of these as a small child myself, probably costing moremoney than they do now!

                The car that we own is the classic red and yellow one and this has alittle face on the front consisting of eyes, nose and lips. It's quitecute to look at and happily sits inoffensively next to my garden shed.The way this car is designed is so your child can open the little doorand sit themselves inside behind the steering wheel (complete withlittle squeaky horn), then you can either push your child around ifthey lift their feet up or your child can use their feet to powerthemselves around obviously controlling how fast or slow they go. Thecar is quite low down so even little legs can have a go at drivingthemselves around (usually complete with sound effects).

                This car is made from quite a thick plastic but it's very lightweightensuring it's nice and easy for your little one to steer it and drivearound wherever they want to go. Also, because it's made of thickplastic it's nice and easy just to wipe it clean which means I canleave it out in all weathers and just give it a quick spruce with asponge. This particular one that we have had has been outside for thelast few months when we've had numerous showers of snow and coatingsof ice on it and it's been left looking as good as new with no adverseaffects at all.

                Overall the design of the car is fantastic with it having the steeringwheel (complete with squeaky horn), four wheels, a seat, a little doorand a petrol cap. My daughter seems to be particularly interested inthe steering wheel and will happily spend many minutes just sittingstill turning it and looking around as if she is driving. Most of thisbehaviour she must have got from programmes on TV because we don't goout in the car all that often. My son is 6 and even he likes to playaround in this little car from time to time and practice putting inhis petrol.

                My daughter absolutely adores playing with this car out in the gardenand now the weather is nicer she is asking to go out there every daywhich is fine by me as I have the perfect excuse to get a good magazine and go and lie in the large patch of sun my garden gets. Ifyou have little ones, of either gender, then I would definitelyrecommend this car. It's usually available for just under £50 andthere are various places that stock it, Amazon being the one Ipurchased ours from. I am sure this car will go on for many a year andonly wish I hadn't got rid of the one my son had at the same age butthen I thought three was the limit and along came another! This carhas already provided hours of fun for my daughter and it's good toknow that this will not teach her anything naughty or allow her toinjury herself even if she goes crashing around the garden. Also, thecar is very weatherproof or accident proof in the case of my littleone as it's all hard plastic that can just be wiped clean.

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                  04.02.2011 01:36
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                  Average head lice comb that should do the job fairly well.

                  The time of year that I detest the most is when my children return back to school and I have to begin the laborious process of checking their heads for lice on a twice weekly basis, usually because other parents at the school don't bother with hygiene and are happy to let their children roam free with lice or just to let their ignorance take over and pretend that it won't happen to their children. Lice are incredibly common in schools and most children will have them at some point during their childhood, mine are no different. It's for this reason that I am always trying out sprays, conditioners and combs to ensure that they stay lice free and I can catch any rogue ones almost as soon as they end up in my child's hair.

                  I usually check my children's hair twice during the week to ensure that no lice are roaming free laying eggs everywhere. This means that if I do come across some eggs or lice I can ensure that they are dealt with as soon as possible to stop a big infestation and ultimately stop it spreading amongst the whole family and being passed on to other friends at school or work.

                  My favourite comb of choice is a Nitty Gritty comb but I usually have one of these basic combs in the house as well for easy use if I can't find the Nitty Gritty one. I paid around £3 for this comb with my weekly shop in Sainsburys a few weeks back as it had been a whole week since I'd seen the Nitty Gritty comb and I didn't want to leave it any longer in case there was an infestation starting.

                  The comb is quite standard looking with a rounded edge which should make it a little more comfortable to hold in your hand. As I normally spend about 20 minutes or so thoroughly combing through conditioned hair it's important to have something that is going to be comfortable as I have three elder children to check on a twice weekly basis. The comb has lots of teeth that are very close together and these are designed to pull out any lice or eggs from the strands of hair. The teeth are quite sturdy and should not come apart or bend as they have been designed specifically for this use.

                  The comb is a little bit on the budget size but then, paying £3.00, I wouldn't expect anything more. There was a couple of lice in my eldest daughters hair on this occasion and the comb did manage to pull them out successfully and I then treated my daughters hair with hedrin spray to ensure that anything that was missed was killed off and could be removed on the daily brushing that I do after an 'outbreak'. I must say that the teeth did appear to move a little bit but they managed to remove the nits and keep them held between the comb for safe removal and destroyal.

                  It can be quite hard to get between the teeth to remove anything that you collect but I found that a hard wipe with tissue and a scrub under the hot tap removed all residue and anything else and washed it down the sink. I also find it best to wipe the comb with some antibacterial spray after use just to ensure that it's hygienic and ready for the next use as soon as you need it.

                  I would say that this is an average comb but then the price is reasonable so I wouldn't have expected anything more. If you have lots of time to spend checking through your childs hair then this comb will help to do the job but I find it so much easier with a Nitty Gritty comb to ensure that everything is removed and I can feel confident that any rogues picked up at school with be removed on the first check and won't end up laying lots of eggs and starting an infestation. I would recommend this only if your budget is tight or as a back up for the times when you can't find your usual, more reliable comb. I would think that this comb would end up getting destroyed over time as I am sure that, although they shouldn't, the teeth will end up bending out of shape or moving apart meaning that you don't pick up everything you should and might leave some behind during your routine checks.

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                    07.12.2010 11:04
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                    Fantastic patches giving me pain relief without pills.

                    Being a mother of four it's fair to say that I suffer with aches and pains from time to time, particularly as I am a working, housewife who does almost everything and anything that a woman is expected to do in these modern times!

                    I first started using these deep heat patches after a friend recommended them to me at the school gates to deal with back pain. As I am someone who is under the weather a fair amount of time from my busy lifestyle I figured I would give some a go and I picked up 1 patch for £1.99 in Boots so I could try them out before forking out on a bigger pack when they might not work properly.

                    These patches are designed for aches, pains and general stiffness and similar problems. I have used them on several occasions now and keep them around in the house just in case they are needed. Also, my husband has used them now as well to keep himself feeling better after a hard week at work or if he has injured his back. There is no smell to the patches and as they are not too thick it's easy to just peal off the backing, stick on to your back or other afflicted area and then get on with your day to day life.

                    The patch starts working within just a few minutes and after about five minutes of use I find that the patch is about as hot as it will get it and continues working throughout the day providing welcome relief and making me think how worth the money they are very single time I use one! As you should only use a patch once and only one per 24 hour I try to restrict the times that I use these so I am only using one when I really need it as I have been buying them singularly at the moment as they are the ideal size to keep in my medicine box without taking up too much space. Also, I can keep one in my handbag if I want to just in case pain strikes while I am out with the kids or having a busy day at work.

                    I find these patches very easy to use and I have no problems peeling the backing off and sticking one on to my back. It doesn't matter if the patch is crooked or anything but obviously just ensure that it is covering the area that you want to get the most benefit. I was pleasantly surprised by how fast these patches heated up and how quickly I could feel the effects from them as well. My back felt lovely and warm throughout the day and even when I wore one at work I could feel it working for most of my day ensuring I was kept warm and relaxed throughout the day. The heat definitely helps with my aches and pains and on my back is the place that I commonly use this deep heat patch, although I have given my daughter one to use on her stomach before when she was suffering with period pains.

                    The patch may lose some of its stick after a few hours of wear so I always try to put these on somewhere where the top of my trousers will rest over the top so I don't have to worry about it falling off and flopping out on the floor while I'm out or at work. Who knows what people would think?!

                    Normally when I use these patches I have been using them in conjunction with paracetamol or other painkillers so I couldn't say that these solely will help cure the problem but with a couple of paracetamol and one of these heat patches I find myself feeling back to normal in no time at all and it allows me to carry on with my day without too much fuss. As a busy mother of four it's fair to say that I can't afford to stop functioning and it's for this reason that I would firmly recommend these and I don't mind spending £2 a time to get a full working day of comfort and to allow myself to carry on functioning.

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                    14.11.2010 21:11
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                    Fantastic lavender scented heated pillow.

                    Each time I have had a baby it would seem that my back is weaker and my bumps get bigger and bigger (as do my babies!). I have tried quite a serious amounts of products over the year to ensure that I can be pain free or as close to pain free as possible without taking any medication while pregnant as I want to give my child the best start in life.

                    When pregnant with my last child, my daughter, I found that I would be very uncomfortable in bed at night from the moment I put my head down on the pillow and I tried various different heat related products to try and soothe the pain that I would get down one side of my neck & back. After moaning about this to my sister she loaned me her Wheat Warmer to see if I liked it and I then ended up paying £8.00 for one from Amazon (or around £8.00).

                    The wheat warmer is very simple to use, just place it in the microwave to warm it up or even place it in the fridge to cool it down depending on how you want to use it. You can use it to alternate between heat & cold which may be beneficial for certain injuries or afflictions. I have always used mine for the heat so far so can't comment on the effectiveness of placing this in the fridge before use.

                    This bag is filled with wheat & lavender so it releases a nice, soothing, relaxing scent when it has been heated in the microwave. I have found that this scent has been constant for quite a long time now and I have used this off and on for a couple of years now without it losing all of it's smell. The smell may have got weaker over time but it's still one that I find wonderfully relaxing if I am lying in bed with this on my neck, shoulder or back. This warmer is easy to lie around the curve of the body and it's so simple and ingenious really that I'm so surprised products like this haven't been more popular before recent times. The cover of the wheat warmer is quite rigid but yet still comfortable and it makes for a more enjoyable use when the cover is on.

                    The heat of this bag lasted a fair few hours providing it had been in the microwave for two minutes and I am pleasantly surprised with the results. When I was originally using this it was because I was pregnant and I did not want to take any medication but then I continued to use it when I wanted some soothing heat on my head or neck to relax after a stressful day.

                    It's fair to say that I would recommend the wheat warmer as this means that I can have some warmth and relief without having to spend lots of money out on a disposable product. It's very simple to heat up this and it can also be used as a cold compress if I want to but it would probably take a while to cool in the fridge. I have been pleased with the results from using this product as although it may not remove all pain it certainly helps to dull down the pain in an area and the smell it lets off is quite relaxing and soothing when I am trying to take it easy.

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                    13.11.2010 19:22
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                    A decent no touch hand wash dispenser.

                    I love to cook and I love to keep a tidy house so when I was told about the Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System I was promptly purchasing one from my local Tesco for £10.00. This then went on special offer so I promptly purchased another one for my downstairs bathroom as well as this is where I usually wash my hands after changing my daughters nappies so I thought I would get the most benefit here and by my kitchen sink.

                    This system comes packaged in that dreadful plastic moulded stuff that is very hard to open and you always end up cutting a jagged area out with a pair of scissors and trying to prod and poke to remove whatever it is that is confined within, this was no different and was quite frustrating. Within the plastic there is the no touch system, a 250ml refill of the Dettol hand wash, instructions and 4 AA batteries as required to operate the system.

                    The instructions were quite simple to understand and showed everything that needed to be done to enable you to set up the system and get using it right away. The batteries fit in easily to a compartment in the bottom of the system. The hand wash refills are easy to fit, just remove the seal and then place it in to the system, it will click in to place so you know it's nice and secure. There is an on/off switch on the back which must be placed in to the on position before use and is very convenient as you can just turn it off if you are wanting to clean the unit. There is a small red light which shows you that the unit has just started up and once this has finishing flashing then you know you're good to go.

                    This system is very easy to use and very easy to set up. All you need to do is place your hands underneath the dispenser area and then the light will flash and the hand wash will be released. When first setting up this or adding a new refill you may need to do this a few times before any hand wash is actually dispensed. It's quite a fool proof, easy to use system and it does mean that you don't have to touch the hand wash bottle and it's nice and convenient if you are busy or lazy!

                    I wouldn't say that this is the most fashionable product ever but it is inoffensive sitting by the sink in my toilet or kitchen. It's very simple to use and I like the novelty of it having a sensor but I would say that, really, this is something of a novelty. The hand wash refills are more expensive, costing around £3.00, and I can buy a bog standard 250ml hand wash from a local Supermarket for well under the £1 mark, or even a stand alone pump bottle for around the same amount.

                    Also, just because you aren't touching the hand wash bottle does not mean that germs aren't being spread around and back on to your hand as you still need to touch the tap before and after use. Therefore meaning that you touch it with your dirty hands and then touch it in the same place with your clean hands meaning you probably just pick some of the germs back up again defeating the purpose of using this product.

                    It's fair to say that I was quite impressed with the quality of the product and the ease of use but the price of the refills as well as the stupidity of still needing to touch your taps, door handles etc just means that this is an average product for me and the novelty is well and truly wearing off!

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