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My daughter got this toy for Christmas as she is Scooby Doo mad! I wasn't sure whether she would use it as it was meant to be used but for the money I paid for it then I wouldn't be too upset if it was just a giant cuddly toy! However she loves using it and hides Scooby all over the house. As you get closer to Scooby with the walkie talkie the directions he gives you get more and more excited. He tells you that you are getting warmer and when you pick him up and out the walkie talkie next to him he shouts scooby doobie doo you found me!
He has proved to be one of her favourite toys and is good for all age groups as my friends children are aged 8, 6 and 3 and my little girl is almost 4 and they have had hours of fun with it all together.
Well worth getting for any Scooby Doo fan!
I visited Butlins in Skegness for the first time for Mother's Day weekend in 2009. I wasn't sure what to expect having never gone to a holiday camp before. I was very pleasantly surprised! We had booked our break online and had got a three nght break for the bargain price of £79! We have been to Butlins at Skegness once more since then for Christmas 2009 and we are booked to go again very soon :-) I will try to go through the Butlins experience stage by stage for you below;
The booking process: We have booked all three of our breaks online. I have found the website really easy to use and you can save different quotes in your account so you can compare prices for different options easily. Depending on what offers are current there are some big savings to be made on the brochure prices. A deposit is payable on booking, the amount varies depending on how close to your chosen break you are and the balance is payable 6-8 weeks before you go.
I have also spoken to the Customer Advisers when we decided to change our booking slightly and they were friendly and helpful. The two people I spoke to both treated me like they enjoyed speaking to me and were chatty and appeared to be happy in their work.
Prior to your holiday you recieve your booking confirmation in the post which explains what you need to do on arrival at the park. This is easy to read and details exactly what you have booked so you can check to make sure it's all correct.
Arriving at the Park;
When you are on a Standard or Silver break you can check in from 4pm although it does say you are welcome to use the park facilities from 12:30. When you arrive you show the security guard on the main gate your booking confirmation and they direct you to your check in point. There are coloured lines on the road to follow to get to your destination which makes it really easy (otherwise it would be very easy to get lost)! When you get to the check in point the staff are friendly and chatty and take their time to make sure you understand the directions to your apartment. When we went to our first break we got a free upgrade to Silver which was a lovely surprise.
We have only ever stayed in a Self Catering Apartment so that is what I am reviewing. The Silver Apartments are clean and modern. We have always been given extra space to what we need, upgrading to a double room and two twins rather than one twin room but I doubt if this would happen if we went in school holidays! In Silver apartments you will find a full range of cooking equipment, a microwave, toaster, kettle and a small pack with tea,coffee, washing up liquid and tea towel. The bed linen is provided and the beds are made up for you. The beds are comfortable if a bit squeaky! Theres a TV and comfortable sofas in the living area. The shower room is clean and tidy but you must bear in mind that towels aren't provided unless you book Gold.
I honestly don't know where to start! The Park is centred around the Sky Line Pavillion which houses the Main Stage area. Inside the Sky Line you will find Burger King, The Supermarket, The Fish and Chip Shop, Amusements, Bowling, Coffee Shop, The Butlins Holiday Booking Shop, The Butlins Merchandise Shop, Toy shop, Cinema and Photo Centre! I'm sure I will have missed somethings but you get the idea! The main area in the centre is where you can see a lot of the shows by the redcoats and the childrens characters. Seating can be a bit limited at really busy times.
There are two fairground areas, one for the little ones which we use most as my little girl is almost four and one with larger rides for the older ones. The rides are a bit basic and if you like daredevil rides you would be better popping down to Fantasy Island! Onsite you will also find The Sun and Moon pub, Papa Johns Pizza place, Centre Stage (for the big entertainment events), Reds (smaller entertainment with good disco for the littlies), Various canteen areas for those on half board, The Yacht Club restaurant for those on premium dining (I can't review the food as our next holiday is the first we have gone half board for), The Spa, Nursery (which is paid for seperatley and is fully OFSTED inspected, The Hire Shop and I am sure again theres bits I have forgotten!
I can wholeheartedly recommend a holiday at Butlins Skegness for anyone with young children. It really is a magical time and my little girl talks about it all the time. I can't wait to go back and have fun!
Having previously used a nifty set of digital scales I purchased this set after the battery ran out on my old set. I thought back to basics would be a nice change, there was also an element of nostalgia there as my Mum always used a basic set of scales!
The set itself is relatively flimsy but you do get what you pay for and you can't expect much more for the price of these (£3.99). The set is quite a nice blue in colour (which seems to be a theme that runs through the argos value range!) and it doesn't look cheap and nasty.
The scales are definitely not as accurate as my old digital ones but they are certainly close enough to achieve good results when baking!
These scales are widely available at Argos stores under the catalogue number of 840/0987. I would say it is worth opening the box before you leave the store as the first set I bought had a crack in the plastic.
Dora the Explorer is the current favourite programme in our house (with some annoyingly catchy tunes that follow you around all day!). This toy was bought by my little girl who is three and a half with her Christmas money in the sale at Argos where it is reduced from £39.99 to 14.99. The recommended age for this toy is 3 years and over.
The toy includes, a talking Dora Doll, A plastic Backpack who also talks, Dora's bracelet, binoculars, camera, magnifying glass and the talking dora also has a fabric backpack which has a mini plastic camera in. I would have been disappointed if I had paid the full price for this item as although there is plenty to the toy it doesn't 'do' much for the money.
Dora says some of her favourite phrases from the TV show as does the backpack. The backpack is one of my little girls favourite parts as you can out the accessories in and out and interact with backpack.
In summary I wouldn't recommend you go out and pay the rrp for this toy but if you are lucky enough to find it on sale then go for it!
I bought this for my daughter in the sale when Woolies closed down thinking I had dropped on to a great bargain as it was reduced to £7. However it is one of those toys that was received with enthusiasm on Christmas Day, played with a few times and is now resting at the bottom of the toy box hardly looked at.
On the surface of things it looks like it will be a great toy and should be really popular with your little one. The features include a song, different phrases and dancing. these are activated by pressing the button on the front of the raincoat. If it is buttoned closed Fifi sings her song and if it is open she says her phrases including 'wheres my umberella'. This all sounds great but it definitely has a limited appeal! The dancing function accompanies the song but Fifi isn't particulary stable on her base and this is frustrating for a little one.
On the whole I wasn't impressed with this toy (can you tell?) but for the price I paid for it I wasn't too unhappy. I certainly wouldn't pay the full retail price for this as I have seen it on sale for around £17!!
I fell in love with the pushchair when I was pregnant with my daughter. My best friend had it for her little boy and I decided I would have one when my baby was old enough!
The pushchair is suitable from 6 months as it does not recline and comes with the hood, raincover and adaptors to enable you to fit a maxi cosi car seat to the frame. It isn't the cheapest of pushchairs as it retails at around £150 but I can honestly say it is worth the money especially as they really hold their value, I got mine second hand as my friend's little boy had outgrown it and when I sold it on I got back what I paid for it (£40).
The zapp is great if, like me, you need to use public transport a lot although there is a definite knack to folding it down whilst holding your little one! It is lightweight and easy to carry once folded, I have never seen another pushchair that folds down that small! I used to put a velcro strap round mine so I had a handle to carry it with when on the bus or train.
You can purchase a cosy toes that goes with this pushchair, it isn't cheap as it retails at around £50 but it is hard to get a standard cosy toes to fit due to the unique shape of the seat.
This is not a pushchair for those of us who like to hang shopping on the handles as it does tip easily (as with most 3 wheelers) but you can purchase a shopping baset that fits underneath.
As I said it comes with adaptors so you can use the frame with a maxi cosi car seat, I never used mine for this but I have seen it used for that and it looks very practical as a lightweight chassis to push the newborn around in.
I would recommend this pushchair especially for use on public transport or for someone who is flying a lot (it comes with a great carry bag).
I loved my Quinny Zapp and was very sad to sell it!
My daughter has the talking Upsy Daisy and has had her for around six months. She went through a phase of being addicted to In The Night Garden and eventually collected the set of Upsy Daisy, Iggle Piggle and Makka Pakka (seriously who thinks of these names!?)
The Upsy Daisy talking plush stands just over a foot tall and is in the distinctive Upsy Daisy outfit of petal design skirt and flowery top. When you press her tummy she says her trademark phrases of 'Upsey Daisy', 'Oh Daisy Doo', 'Upsy Daisy Upsy Daisy', ringing bells and the Upsy Daisy song.
As I said my daughter has had Upsy Daisy for a long time now and she still looks in pretty good condition, the sound box is removeable so you could pop her in the washing machine if she got too filthy. She is just the right size for bedtime cuddles and out of the three talking toys my daughter has from the show she is a definite favourite.
The toy retails at £16.99 in Argos and from what I have seen the price is about the same wherever you go. It is for 18months plus although I think the only reason for this age recommendation is the batteries as there are no loose parts.
I was given this tumble drier a little over three years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. A man at my husbands work was having his kitchen refitted and gave the drier to him saying it was quite old and probably on it's last legs! Three years on and it is still going although it is starting to sound a bit ropey!
The White Knight drier retails at around the £150 mark (available in the Argos catalogue for £149.99 cat no 480/0189) and I think this is very reasonable. The machine features a large 6kg load level so you can dry quite a lot of washing at once. It is energy rated C which isn't bad for a tumble drier as they are one of the worst culprits for eating electricity. The vent hose is from the rear which can be a little inconvenient depending on what space you have available for it. Mine sits happily on top of the washing machine which saves space.
I would definitely recomment this drier and when my gifted one finally gives up I will be replacing it with the same product! Good value for money and very needed in the current climate!
My daughter was given the Peppa Pig spaceship by her Grandparents for her birthday and totally loves it! It is very good value for money in my opinion and is one of the most played with toys in the toy box.
The spaceship comes complete with a Peppa Pig, a George Pig and a Danny Dog figure all dressed in little silver space outfits! They each have a section of the spaceship to sit in with a cute little seat. The downside is the fiddly seatbelts on the seats which I find hard to do so goodness knows how 3 year olds are supposed to!
The ship comes with different play modes, one counts down to blast off with space rocket noises when the ship is placed on the floor (there is a sensor on the base), one has Peppa's voice saying different phrases 'Spaceship Peppa ready for takeoff!' and one is mute mode (mummy is fond of this one! Some kids toys don't have a mute mode and it is a god send at times). It really encourages imaginative play and ours has been on some amazing journeys!
The spaceship retails at approx £20 but is regularly on offer so it is worth shopping around.
I would recommend this to anyone with a Peppa Pig fan in the house!
I purchased Elmo live from Argos at Christmas 2008 for just under £55 and at the time I did wonder if I had taken leave of my senses! However Elmo has become a part of our family now and I am very glad I bought him.
Elmo has sensors on his nose, stomach, back and foot each of which triggers different reactions. Elmo interacts delightfully with your child, asking for hugs, telling stories and dancing. I'm not sure who likes it more to be honest, my daughter or me!?
The toy appears to be relatively weak in construction and I was quite concerned when I first unpacked it but it has stood up to some very rough play from my daughter and her friends without any obvious sign of wear. The batteries are long lasting, I have only replaced them once since Christmas and Elmo is played with very often.
The only downside to the toy is there is no volume control and although the stories and jokes are very funny they do start to grate on you when they have been played repeatedly for an hour!
If you are thinking of getting this I would recommend it, it is expensive but I do think it is worth the money.
We often visit a branch of Pets at Home when we go to Tamworth Jolly Sailor Retail Park. My daughter loves to look at the animals and we invariably come away with a bag full of goodies for our Jack Russell!
Pets at home is a large network of Pet shops and is also a large online pet supplies retailer. I have never purchased from the website but my sister has and the delivery was prompt and the product excellent quality.
The stores are well laid out and clearly marked so you can go straight to the aisle you need. The staff appear to be very well trained in the three different branches we have visited and are happy to share their knowledge. They give clear advise on care if you are purchasing a pet and aren't pushy about promoting the own brand products.
The Tamworth branch has recently been updated and now has a vet's surgery at the back of the store which is a nice idea. Animals are welcome in the store so if you are buying a product that needs to be the right size you can make sure it is right before you leave.
Some stores also have an adoption area where you can see animals that have been given up by their owners and apply to adopt them.
As a pet retailer they do appear to care about the animals which is great to see. The prices are competitive and the service is great!
Currently snuggled up to me on the sofe snoring and gradually stealing a bit more room is Danny my beloved Jack Russell. Danny is ten years old and he has been my introduction to the Jack Russell breed! My family has always had labradors but when my Hubby and I discussed getting a dog he asked that we get a Jack Russell as he had fond memories of his best friends working dogs from his childhood. I am so glad that we went for it and had a Jack Russell, they are quirky, loyal, crazy, naughty,cheeky, annoying, lovable and possibly the best pet you could own!
Jack Russells were bred for hunting purposes in the 1800s by Parson Jack Russell and this is worth bearing in mind when purchasing one, they are full of energy and are extremely intelligent and therefore need a lot of exercise and stimulation to keep them from becoming destructive and naughty.
There are both smooth haired and coarse haired types around but when you get your puppy it is impossible to be 100% sure which you are going to get! They also come in a range of sizes, I have seen teeny tiny ones and larger ones - my Danny is a big lad and very beefy! They also come in quite a spectrum of colours any combination of white, tan and black.
They do need training and firm control right from puppyhood and it is important that you remember their intelligence and keep them interested in the training.
Jack Russells as a breed are quite long lived, I know of a friends Jackie ho lived to 20! They don't suffer from any particular health problems and are generally a very hardy breed.
If you are considering getting a Jack Russell I would suggest you do a lot of research into the breed and talk to someone who owns one as they are quite a lot of hard work but believe me they are worth every last minute!
I love this product! My daughter was given it for Christmas by her Grandparents and she has played with it almost every day ever since.
We have the pink and purple one with a funky multi coloured worm running along the front of the shelves at the bottom of the two boards.
The easel itself is of very sturday construction and is brightly coloured and well eye catching. On one side there is a chalkboard with a shelf at the bottom for storing your chalks. On the other side there is a whiteboard which is also magnetic and this side also has a shelf running along the bottome of it. At the top of the whiteboard side there are slots which a pole fits into. The pole holds a roll of paper (one supplied but when that ran out we used lining paper which fits perfectly) which is ideal for drawing and painting. Also included with the product are four magnets, two pink and two purple, with smiley faces on. These are to hold the paper still on the whiteboard side to make it easier to draw and paint.
This toy has had hours of play both for my daughter and for my friends children. They love to draw and it really encourages imaginative play. I have taken it into the garden when we have been painting to keep the mess to a minimum and it has been easy to transport. The other use it has which I am sure it wasn't intended for is as a den! My daughter and her friends like me to put a blanket over the top and it make a great den :-)
~~~~~~~~~How Much & Where From?~~~~~~~~~
The Easel is an Early Learning Centre product. My Mum got this one online from www.elc.co.uk but I have seen it stocked in both small and large branches of the store. It currently retails at £50.
A great product that encourages creativity, I can see this being played with for many years to come!
My review is for the 330ml Kids bottles of Highland Spring Still Spring Water. We purchase these as all three of us enjoy drinking water, in fact I have that rare creature a three year old who will drink nothing else! These kids bottles come in packs of six or twelve and I purchased mine in a twelve pack from Morrisons for £2.29.
Ok the water itself is, well, water! It doesn't have a flavour as such although it doesn't taste coppery which I have found some mineral waters can do. It also seems quite soft to me, we live in an area with very hard tap water so drinking this it is noticeable that it is softer - sorry that is hard to explain but anyone who has hard water will know what I mean!
The bottles have a spout top with a flip top that covers the spout when you aren't drinking it. They don't leak even thought they don't have the conventional sports cap. The label is blue with the Highland Spring logo on the front. Theres little cartoon characters of drops of water on the front too which remind you that these bottle are aimed at kids.
The blurb on the back states that the water is naturally filtered through land certified as organic by the soil association and drawn from a protected source. Highland Spring is 100% Scottish Natural Spring Water.
I love these kids packs as they are handy to pop into my daughters bag when we are going out. She loves them because they aren't too childish and she feels the same as me and Daddy! I would recommend these to anyone.
Having just come from a very wet bathroom following an interesting experience sharing a shower (unintentionally I might add) with my three year old daughter Evie I thought I would review the main product we have just used!
I purchased Johnson's Baby Top to Toe wash when Evie was tiny, for some reason I had it in my head that the Johnson's baby products were what I needed to have, must be memories from when my brother was tiny!
The Johnson's brand is easily recognisable on the supermarket shelf with its comfortingly familiar logos and the bottle of Top to Toe wash fits in with this. The bottle is white with the Johnson's logo at the top and the No More Tears logo in the middle. It somes complete with a pump dispenser which is invaluable to a new mum who is confronted with a wiggly wet newborn!
The smell is one that takes you back to childhood, it is hard to describe but my Mum always says it smells of 'baby'! It is delicately scented but the scent does linger on the skin after use so baby (and you!) smell clean
The product has a moisturising texture to it, when you lather it up in your hands it feels lovely and it feels nice against the skin when used as a body wash. I have never used it as a shampoo, I have always preferred to get the shampoo seperately but I have been assured by my friend who uses it on her little boy's hair that it does the job well. I also use mine as a bubble bath for Evie and although it doesn't produce many bubbles it does give the water a lovely soft quality.
I often use this product on myself as well as Evie, it leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturised. It is also great as a gentle face wash.
The product does contain citric acid which I have had some experience of people being allergic to so that is worth bearing in mind.
It is a long lasting product, I actually can't remember when I purchased the bottle we are using at the moment but I know it was a loooong time ago! IT is often on offer, I have sen it recently in a couple of the larger supermarkets for £2 which is a good price.
All in all I heartily recommend this product, my daughter is three and I have no intention of stopping buying it yet! Five stars for this excellent product.