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pammyj

pammyj
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Member since: 25.02.2001

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    • Bostik Blu Tack / Household Product / 87 Readings / 85 Ratings
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      01.10.2010 23:18
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      A great invention with many uses.

      Bostik Blu-tack is one of those items in your household that you know you have somewhere but you just cannot find it when you need it until you go and buy another one. THEN you find the one you knew you had.

      Yes this is what happens to me regularly. I always have this in my house as I have three children who like to stick their pictures up from school and posters out of magazines as we did when we were growing up. I also use it when my children have parties to hang up banners and balloons as well as Xmas decorations.

      What I love about this product is that you can stick something onto your wallpaper or painted wall and when you want to take it down you can do it with ease and 8/10 it doesn't leave a mark. Where pins and tacks leave holes, or sticky tape can rip wallpaper, blu-tack is just great. I did however realise when I was decorating my sons room last month that if you have had a poster or picture up for a good few years that you will be left with an oily mark and in some places I had to scrape small bits of blu-tack off the wall. As I was painting the walls they all have to be completely removed but the marks were then covered by the new paint.

      If you don't know what it is it is a great invention that has been around for the last few decades. (4 decades to be exact) It sort of resembles chewing gum. It comes flat and you can pull bits off it to the size you want and basically use it as an adhesive for sticking things or holding things in place. I tend to roll it into a small marble size ball and then press it down on your paper/poster in each corner and then press it onto the wall or place you want to stick it. Sometimes you need a bit of force to make it stick and at times depending on the surface you have stuck it you may find a scare in the night when it finally becomes unstuck and the poster falls down! The packaging should come with a heart attack warning!

      There are loads of uses for this product and quite often my children use it for arts and crafts. I also have used it in my car to stick a toy onto the dashboard. It is reusable but I would say only a couple of times before it loses its stickiness. With the birthday banners I spoke about earlier I tend to take them down and leave the blu-tack on for the next time. (and saves me looking for it as usual)

      It can be purchased from many supermarkets and stationery stores and is usually around 99p. There are a few alternatives but they will always be called Blu-tack the same as sticky tape will always be called Sellotape even though that's the name of the make not the product.

      I believe that they made blu-tack pink for Breast Cancer and last year they made Blu-tack Yellow for Marie Curie and they have also teamed up with BeatBullying to help fight cyber bullies so for that I applaud them. I have just had fun by creating my facebook profile picture with their add-ons and they will donate 10p to BeatBullying. Go on have a go!

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        01.10.2010 22:30
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        Not to be used by people who dont like emptying bins too often,

        I bought these Tesco Value Bin Bags as part of my quest to test and see if basic no frills items are just as good as the middle range brands or do you get what you pay for? I have always bought the basic range in most items to keep to my budget and to help aide me in becoming mortgage free before I am 45. (9 years to go!)

        I am one of those people who just does not like emptying the bin bag into the wheelie bin. Being the only adult in the house it is of course my job. I also make the fatal error of trying to get as much into the bin before I need to empty it. 'Yeah another few bits will fit in there before I need to take it out' and yes I push things down to get more in, and then probably do it once more as I clean up the dinner things before finally taking it out.

        I have a small bin which these bin bags fit into nicely and wrap around the edge easy enough. There is nothing worse than having bags that don't fit round the edge. Having had larger bin bags before it had been easier to take the bag out and it not be overloaded but then I think I am wasting the bag as I am not filling it up.

        These bags come in packs of 30 and are currently 73p. (2.5p a bag) They are the Tesco 'bottom of the pile' value range with the standard plain label. They can be pulled apart easily, I have not had to stand there for ages trying to find which end is the right one and then try and get it open. If you see my in the supermarket trying to open new carrier bags you will see my dilemma here! I just cannot do it!

        The big niggle that I have with these bin bags is at times getting it out of the bin without the bag tearing. By this I mean holding it at the top and pulling and the bottom not moving and the part in my hand tearing away from the rest of the bag. When this happens it can be a nightmare as then you have the ordeal of thinking how am I going to get this out as the rest of the bag is all open and will be difficult to do without touching the horrible gooey stuff in there. I have at times had to get a new bag and turn my bin upside into it.

        If you do succeed in getting it out of your kitchen bin you then need to worry if there are any holes around for rubbish and disgusting liquids to escape onto your floor. I try to get the bag out and run through and straight out into my wheelie in one swoop so I don't need to put it on the floor just in case of such incident but I cannot always do this. Mostly I have been ok but a few occasions the bag has ripped and you then find yourself with a trail of smelly brown liquid going through your house. Not a good thing to clear up. This also means that the bottom of your bin is probably swimming too meaning extra work.

        So for once I am going to have to say that bin bags are one thing that I will be happy to pay more for to make my life easier and happier. I prefer a thicker bag with the pull strings that are stronger. These bags just do not have the strength for my families every day rubbish. They are too thin and rip quite easy. If you live on your own and don't have too much rubbish and don't overload your bin then these would be fine.

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          18.09.2010 19:58
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          A nice gimmick to the boring money box that MAY make kids save their pennies

          My daughter was bought this for Christmas last year. I think it was bought from Avon as it was from my sister (an avon rep!) We have the pink version of the picture above.

          It is of course a money box/piggy bank/loose change jar, whatever you want to call it. It has a plastic pink see-through jar bottom similar to the sweet jars are made like and has a screw on lid that holds the mechanism underneath.

          The idea of this piggy bank is that you put your coins in the tension slot that is in the lid and it can tell what coins you are putting in and add it up for you. Simple and clever idea you may think but only if it works. If you take any money out or want to put notes in then you simply unscrew the lid, take out or put in and there are two buttons on the top with a + and a - sign on which is obvious what you need to do. It requires 2 AA batteries to power it which fit in the lid.

          So does it work?

          Well it did at first and it's such a novelty item that my daughter was eager to put coins in and see the amount on the little screen go up. After a while though it started not recognising the correct coins that were slotted in. Say for example we put a 50p in the slot, it would see it as 10p or 2p. And if, like the other day, she wants to put a note in and you need to change the amount on the lid, you need to amend the + button, sometimes it doesn't even work when you press it. No matter how hard we pressed it. I have changed the battery also. And if you are putting a £10 note in, well you could be there for ages trying to amend it. I would say this is more just for your loose change.

          Also if you have quite a few coins it could be a bit monotonous putting them in singularly and making sure that it is judging the coins correctly. It has quite a bit of tension in the slot so it can be hard to push the coins in. If you have problems with your hands then this would not be a good idea for you.

          So with all that is said above we just cannot go by what the screen says on the lid to tell us how much is in the jar. We now just use it as a gimmick and with it being pink it is quite cute sitting on her windowsill. It does have a reset button underneath which you can press with a pen or something similar but to be honest it is just as quick to just count it up now.

          It is quite a good size (16cm high by 12cm wide) for a money box so you could get a lot of coins in it. Depending on how much you class as small change (just up to 50ps) then you could possibly get about £30-£40. More if you use more higher coins of course.

          Would I recommend it?

          Well it might just be mine that isn't working properly and if it did work to its potential I would wholly recommend this item. As it is, my daughter just uses it as a normal moneybox.
          So yes in principle I would recommend it as a product idea and just hope that it works longer than a year! In reality it is just a gimmick for us and we just test it occasionally to see if it gets the coin right.

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          • Diablo Toy / Novelty Toy / 52 Readings / 51 Ratings
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            18.09.2010 19:16
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            Learn a new skill, I dare you!

            The Diablo is a toy that is the latest craze at my children's school at the moment. It started towards the end of term last year. As it wasn't very expensive to buy I decided my daughter could have one. They are available at the £1 shop or 99p store so a very cheap toy to keep your children amused for hours.

            What is it?

            Well to describe it, it's like an egg or ball shape that has been cut in half and then stuck back to back. This means that the middle bit is thin and this is where the string sits. The other part of the toy is a piece of rope/string attached to two pieces of wood/plastic which you hold to control the rope and the Diablo. It is designed so that it can be turned, spinned and thrown and caught as well as all the other tricks and skills that could be mastered along the way.

            There are many different designs of these from the cheap makes that we have to the more expensive ones for the more experienced and serious spinners. They can be made from plastic, rubber and wood. Some of the dearer ones are obviously made better and so work better but we have a plastic one which is fine for my daughter to fiddle with. They also come in many colours. There is even an LED one and a glow in the dark to name another few types.

            What do you do with it?

            Well to start my daughter would have the spool upright (with the flat end on the floor) wrap the string around the middle and pull it up so it is balancing on the string. She would then pull up one side of the string continuously to get the Diablo spinning. There are quite a few tricks that she likes to 'try' and do, the basic is to throw it up into the air and then catch it back on the string again. Obviously trying to go higher the more experienced or braver you get. There is also the throw around the leg or throw round in the air in a circular movement. Also similar to how we do yoyo tricks there are many quite similar to them. There are just absolutely hundreds of tricks you could learn. I found youtube and other video sites a great asset to show her what could be done.

            Do we like it?

            For just a pound you cannot go wrong. I know what it's like at school to try and fit in with the latest craze and it was good for my daughter to have something to focus on and learn new things. She was quite determined to learn new tricks so she could 'show them off' at school the next day in the playground. It is quite addictive when you are trying to get the hang of a new trick but very rewarding when you do. It can only enhance her hand/eye coordination.

            You can literally have hours of fun with this toy but as with most toys you can get bored if you play with it too much.

            Recommended.

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              12.09.2010 14:53
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              Why pay more?

              Tesco value scourers are always a must in my cleaning cupboard. I use them quite a lot for quite a few different jobs so I don't want to pay through the nose for them.

              The pack of 5 as shown above are 12p. That's just over 2p for each one, a proper bargain. They come in the usual red, white and clear packaging that is known as the no frills or value brand of Tesco.

              As with many of the jobs I use these for they are usually a one use job, such as cleaning the toilet, or cleaning the grill or deep fat fryer. After cleaning these the scourers are then thrown away. At 2p each I can definitely afford to do that and it's much more hygienic then using a cloth and then washing it, bleaching it and so on.

              Do they do the job?

              Yes! I use these for many things, such as washing up pans with stuck on food, cleaning the sides down and the dinner table after my young children have either done painting, drawing or just generally after eating. The rough side definitely makes it so much easier to scrub the dirt off.
              I also use it for scrubbing the floors so again this is then thrown away afterwards for hygiene reasons.

              Using them to clean the oven/grill or fryer can be a bit mucky and after a while scrubbing the sponge is quite yucky, it does rinse off easily but is certainly not to be used again. This is not a fault of the scourers as this would be the same with any brand. The only difference here is that I can afford to throw this away after use.

              The sponge is green on the top which is the rough side and the sponge under is white. This does make it look clean by the side of the sink. The soft sponge side is good for wiping over the table once the dirt has been removed. It can also be used for mopping up spilled liquids quite easily.

              Overall I am really pleased with this cheap product and I buy them in bulk to store in my cupboard. In the 99p store they sell a pack of 20. If I buy four packs of these it only costs me 48p so that's half the price for the same amount and the same quality. It's a no brainer!

              I definitely recommend these for all those dirty scrubbing jobs us cleaners (see didn't use scrubbers!) have to deal with. They are cheap enough to use for one off filthy jobs.

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                12.09.2010 14:29
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                A value product that is up there with the big guns.

                As some may know I am the queen of basics buying. Why spend three times as much when you get it cheaper and it does the same job.
                Well this is exactly the point with Tesco's No Frills Value Kitchen Towels.

                I don't need a kitchen towel that has a fancy pancy design or pictures on it. These sheets are just plain white and therefore sit nicely in anyone's kitchen. I don't want to spend a fortune on a bit of paper that is primarily just going to be used for mopping up spills and being chucked in the bin, or being used to place chips, sausages or other oily foods to soak up the oil.

                Does it do the job?

                Yes of course. The paper towel is quite thick considering it's a value range, and I have had no complaints with using it. I use it to mop up spills with no hassle whatsoever. It has never split on me. It is just quicker and easier to grab for the kitchen towel rather than a cloth which you then have to rinse through or stick in the wash. It is quite absorbent for a cheap alternative to the more expensive brands.
                As I mentioned before I also use it to put fatty food on to drain off the oils and juices before placing them on our plates and it works perfectly for this also.
                I have in the past also used it as a tissue when in the kitchen and have had no problem with that.

                It costs just 99p for a pack of two. It has the usual red and white no frills packaging and to be honest you don't need anything more than the name of the product on the front of it. I know brands add pictures and colourful designs to make you drawn to it but for me price is ALWAYS a deciding factor, not the clever package design.

                Would I recommend these?

                Most definitely. These cheap rolls do exactly what they are meant to. They are right for my budget and are just as good as many other leading brands. Why pay more for something that you are just going to use to mop up mess and chuck away? Out of the packaging you would not tell that this was a value product. One roll lasts me a couple of weeks so a pack of two would last me about a month so for 99p that is definitely a bargain.

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                11.09.2010 23:05
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                A nice enough shower cream with a smell to get you asking for more.

                Radox shower smoothies smell absolutely divine. I was sent a 50ml sample one in the post and on opening it and spreading a drop on the back of my hand I was instantly taken back to the smell of fruit smoothies and looks like a yoghurt smoothie too.

                On the back it states 100 years of radox know how has gone into this bottle.
                The bottle also does state categorically (to cover their own backs and in case some daft so and so gets their hands on it) 'Please do not drink' and on the back it states again 'Our smoothies might well smell good enough to eat but please don't' alongside the other usual bumph about not getting it in your eyes.

                So, the one I was sent is the Soul Soother flavour. An indulgent, creamy chamomile shower smoothie with Blackcurrant and real cranberry seeds. This is the middle one in the picture above. So a blend of natural herbs combined with relaxing chamomile to help you relax and unwind.

                It is used the same as any other shower gel/cream but I would say that if you use a puff that you may get all the bits stuck in it. The seeds are quick big for a shower cream but they don't necessarily exfoliate, they are more annoying as they stick on your body and don't rinse off too easily, plus you could get some stuck in the 'creases' if you use this all over your body. It is quite a thick cream and I would say that a couple of blobs lathers up really nicely and will be enough to wash you all over.

                The smell as you use it is absolutely gorgeous and just for that reason I would buy this again and again, but only if it was on offer. You can still smell it after you are dry but not as strong as others I have used which is a bit disappointing as it's the smell that makes me want to buy it. I do get the odd whiff of it when I have finally got to work but only if for instance I rub my nose, but then you wouldn't want it to be overpowering anyway, you just want to smell 'clean'
                My skin is soft after using it but as before not any different from the other creams I use so it doesn't stand out that way.

                Does the chamomile work to help you unwind? Well I am always relaxed after a shower anyway so I cannot comment as to the effects of this ingredient other than to say I did feel calm which again could be down to the smell.

                Overall this is a lovely shower cream, it could be modified slightly to make it perfect though. Make the seeds smaller and sharper to exfoliate better and make the smell linger longer.

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                  10.09.2010 19:56
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                  Definitely recommended

                  Westland Resolva 24H is a weed killer that actually works.

                  I tried to keep up with the weeds in my garden but to be honest is a never ending losing battle! I hate hate hate them and if you don't keep on top of them they then take over the garden. Taking a whole afternoon pulling and digging out weeds has its own rewards when the garden looks good again but then a week later when you see more and more have returned just makes me want to cry! I decided enough was enough and I couldn't keep carrying on weeding dishearteningly. So I took action and decided to purchase a weed killer.

                  Obviously I wanted to purchase a weed killer that was going to kill the weed and the root otherwise it would be pointless. I knew to get a decent one it was going to cost but I wanted to get something that was going to work and not a cheaper one that was a gamble and would end up you buying another brand anyway hence defeating the object.

                  I also wanted a weed killer that I didn't have to decant into another sprayer. I always found this annoying as I was always concerned that another member of the family would use the sprayer then for something else. I know that putting a label on would help but sometimes a 16 year old lad doesn't tend to read instructions and labels.

                  So my criteria was - ready to use, kills roots and works fast (and actually WORKS would be good)

                  On comparing weed killers on the shelf in my local supermarket I remembered seeing an advert for Resolva 24 hour (you know the one, the one with the annoying dandelion that kept popping up in the pathway shouting hello mate!) and as it claimed to work so quickly I decided to give it a try. I purchased a 1 litre spray bottle for £3.99 which I thought was a good price that didn't really break the bank if it didn't work.

                  The nozzle is similar to other spray cleaners where they have a stream, spray and off option on the end of the nozzle. Good for leaving it on the off position so that it cannot be sprayed by accident. Also the stream is good for precise spray action in case you are near other plants.

                  On reading the instructions and a bit of common sense, all animals need to be indoors, it doesn't need to be raining or windy for obvious reasons. Turn the spray to your selected choice. The bottle under the spray nozzle is made to fit the palm of your closed hand so it is quite comfortable to use for an hour or so at a time. Although this may be a pain for people that suffer with arthritis or pains in the hand with continuous stress action.

                  So did it do what it claims to do?
                  Well actually it claims that the weeds will be completely dead up to 28 days but that it starts to work in 24 hours. On checking with excitement the next day to see if they were all disappeared there was a slight degree of something happening. It did take a few days for them to be almost dead but still impressive.

                  A few days later and I just keep looking at the patio area that had been overridden with huge weeds and it looks 110% better with no back breaking hard work.

                  I usually am very frugal with my money and hate spending where I don't need to but for this I am making an exception and I will definitely be buying this again next year. It has saved my time and my mind from going crazy about those annoying weeds.

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                    10.09.2010 15:47
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                    Not just a baby wipe.

                    Johnsons baby skincare wipes is a must have in ANY persons home whether you have young children, older children or even no children. I have a pack of these wipes in my bathroom, my bedroom, the kitchen and the downstairs toilet as well as in the car.
                    I do have to mention that I did buy these by the truckload when they have Tesco extra points promotion last year so I do have a lot to get through but I do use them for more than just keeping the kids faces and hands clean.

                    ~~~For cleansing ourselves~~~
                    These are very good for a quick face clean or to wipe your hands if you are out and about. The amount of times I have used my emergency car stash to clean up the kids after playing in the park or eating that ice-cream.
                    I also use these as a make-up remover and to refresh my face and hands. There are some brands of wipes that I have used in the past that sting my face when removing make up. These are very sensitive to the skin; well they have to be as they are primarily for babies. The pack is opened at the top that has a small slot that is closed by a sticky tab.
                    Even though the packs I am using are about a year old they are still very moist. A trick I learnt from an online forum is to store them upside down so that when you eventually open them the top will be moister than the bottom and then when in use the bottom ones will eventually gain the moisture back.

                    On using cheaper brands I have found that once opened they soon dry out quite quickly but with these I have had no problem. You still do have to make sure that the top is closed properly with the last wipe tucked back in to keep the moisture in but even doing this with cheaper versions it doesn't help them.

                    ~~~For cleaning household items~~~
                    I also use these in the bathroom and kitchen on the odd occasions. I especially use them after the kids have left toothpaste drops in the sink or I wipe around the toilet seat with them, and a quick once around the bath (obviously not with the same wipe!)
                    If there is a mark on the kitchen or bathroom floor I will quickly get a wipe out and clean the floor. It's hygienic to use a throwaway wipe rather than a sponge or cloth. I also use them to clean my leather settee and to wipe over the furniture and TV.
                    I clean the children's toys and wipe down the windowsills. I clean out the children's lunch bags and schoolbags.

                    Basically as you can see I use these for quite a lot of things.

                    There are 64 wipes in each pack and can be bought singularly or in packs of 4 from most supermarkets and general stores. They aren't the cheapest wipes out there and so I often buy them when they are on offer or with a promotion attached.
                    As the pack states, they are as mild as pure water to skin and eyes and the 'no more tears' Johnsons logo is printed on the front.
                    The wipes are gentle, alcohol free and can be stretchy and soft. They don't have much of a fragrance which is a good thing in my opinion, some wipes smells can be too overpowering.
                    The pack has a production date on it and also an expiry date but I guess this is a legality thing they have to state. I can't see them going off or out of date.

                    Overall these are a versatile little wipe that has many many uses.

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                    31.08.2010 22:11
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                    a great toy for any guinea pig, rabbit, hamster etc

                    On having had my new guinea pigs for about a month now, we were looking for some new toys to amuse them and keep their mind working. I have then in a c&c cage (cubes and correx) in my living room which is like an open cage with a hay loft above them a quarter of the way across.

                    I wanted something to hang off the hay loft so that they had to lift up to get the goodies that they liked and make them work for it. This seemed to do to the trick.

                    There is a clasp at the end of the chain which is about 3 inches long and the metal ball at the end is about 3 inches in diameter. It is spherical and has bars all over it and one larger opening which allows you to put the veg or treat in easily. I mostly use mine for putting grass in when they cannot get outside on the lawn due the wet weather. I hook it up to the side of the hayloft so it hangs down over their first floor but not too easy that they can just eat from it. It hangs about 3 inches off the floor so they have to lift up to reach it or if they are clever they will use the cushion to stand on and get their treat that way.

                    It is very easy to use for things like grass or lettuce, basically leafy things but you need to cut things like carrots and cucumber small to fit inside as the opening, which cannot be made wider as it's made that way, is only about 3 cms at its widest. I did think that maybe it could have had a door added to it to make it easier but then your pet would probably have trouble getting the chunks out and so would be a frustrated pet or a very clever pet if they manage it.

                    As it is made from metal it is very durable and will be around for a good few years I hope. It is a great way to stimulate your pet and helps avoid boredom, but above all they love it for the food that it holds. It's also a good way of keeping the food off the ground.

                    My guinea pigs are only 3 months old at the moment but Tinka is a boisterous, cheeky rogue and always the first one out to you when you have food followed slowly by Belle. Tinka knew straight away how to get the food out of the ball and Belle eventually came out to use it as well. They both now know how good it is and are straight to it once filled. It is quite funny when one is one side and one the other and one pulls it to get food and once its released it then swings the other way, often hitting the other one on the nose!

                    Overall this cost £3.49 and has been a great buy. The piggies love it, and its great entertainment for me and the children to watch them stretching up to get their treats, it can be quite funny.

                    I would recommend this for any guinea pig or rabbit cage to give them something to work for and use their brain.

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                      31.08.2010 21:24
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                      how wit overcomes brawn

                      My son had a project at school where they had to write about the Gruffalo's child and what they thought happened next. We enjoyed it so much that when we saw The Gruffalo book in our local charity shop we decided to buy it.

                      The Gruffalo, first published in 1999, is written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Schleffler. They have worked together on many successful books.

                      The story follows a mouse on a journey through the forest and on his way he encounters all the animals that would like to have the mouse on their menu.
                      First of all a Fox, then an Owl, then a snake. All of them want to eat the wise mouse but his quick thinking is no match for them and with each encounter he describes a horrible scary gruffalo whose favourite meal is the animal he is talking to and that he is going to meet with him for lunch.
                      Each animal makes a hasty retreat and the mouse wonders on happily thinking 'Don't they know there is no such thing as a gruffalo?'

                      Until he actually comes face to face with the exact animal he has been describing and whose favourite meal is in fact 'mouse on toast'!

                      The mouse now has to think very quickly and tells the gruffalo that all the animals in the forest are scared of the mouse and so the Gruffalo rather amused at this silly statement decides to follow him back through the woods.

                      Mouse of course being followed by the Gruffalo makes the snake, the owl and the fox run and hide as soon as they see the Gruffalo as they don't want to be eaten and they see that he is in fact friends with the mouse like he said.
                      The Gruffalo sees that mouse is obviously the scariest animal in the woods and when mouse says that his favourite food is Gruffalo crumble then he makes a quick exit too.

                      Leaving mouse to his own devices with his tasty nut.


                      My opinion

                      This book is a must in any little ones house. It is aimed at 3-5 years old. The pictures are basic and clear and not too much going on so they can have a look around and take it all in. The gruffalo himself has all the things that the mouse describes, even though he is making it up, he thinks, such as tusks, claws, teeth, warts, etc. The story is written in rhyme and is repetitive in parts so the children can follow along and know what is coming next. In fact they get quite excited when they can join in.
                      The storyline is simple and easy to follow. Even youngsters who are at early reading stage can have a go at reading this story as the words are repeated often. It also has the great pictures which follow the words and make it easier for the children to follow the storyline. They love that the little mouse is overcoming all these creatures in the wood. It's all about the underdog overcoming the big guns!
                      A great story of how wit and quick thinking can overcome anyone no matter how big and strong they are.
                      It would be a great resource for children who are worried about going to 'big' school or anyone having problems with bigger kids. A case of being confident no matter how small and maybe using a bit of clever thinking to get out of a tricky situation.
                      I always state to my children that brains will almost always overcome brawn.

                      I always enjoy a story more with my children when we can discuss it at the end and maybe add a different version ourselves. There are many animals that you could add and make up what they would be called for the gruffalo's lunch. In the story there is 'roasted fox' 'owl ice-cream' and 'scrambled snake' We have also done a task of making up our own made up monster and had some great creations.

                      There are many books written and illustrated by this great pair and I would have no trouble in adding them to our shelf for the children. I am on the look out for 'The Gruffalo's child' next.

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                        15.08.2010 22:56
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                        A must have for your games cupboard.

                        Yes No is a firm favourite game in our household. My kids absolutely love it and love trying to trick me into answering incorrectly so that they can press the bell!

                        The game comes in a small box which holds a pack of question cards that are set out in a questionnaire type format in a way to try and trick you and the small silver bell. It states for players 2 to 6 and for ages 8 years and up. My son is 7 and he joins in (with a little help with questions)

                        So how do you play the game?
                        Well it's quite simple. There is one person asking the trick questions and another who has to answer them without being tricked into answering Yes or No.
                        It's not as easy as you may think. You have to ask the questions quickly in order to try and catch the person out and at times you just automatically answer yes or no to the question. The questions are quite simple like 'What's your name?' 'Did you say Paul' 'I thought you said Paul' 'Do you like the name Paul' your brain has to try and think quickly to answer without the simple yes and no. Honestly it's not easy to do under pressure.
                        It is up to the person asking the questions to realise that the person has answered yes or no. On occasions we have been so engrossed in asking the questions that we have missed that we have caught them out!
                        The winner of each game got to keep the card as a point for winning, if the person asking caught them out then they won, if the person answering didn't get caught out then they won. Simple.


                        ~~~My thoughts~~~

                        This is a game that the whole family can play although I do agree with the age limit as my son struggles to read the questions quickly. As the box is quite small it can be taken out with you, on holiday etc.
                        The concept of the game is so simple that you can actually make up your own questions. On each card there is only about 8-10 questions so we tend to add more questions from another card or two to make each game last a bit longer. Or make a limit of 20 questions.
                        On occasions we also used a timer to see how long it would take to get someone out, although with clever little so and sos we had to put this on a time limit!

                        Overall this game is one of the best games that my children love and one of the few that they will always choose to play. It never seems to fail to entertain them and on car journeys we even play it without the game items.

                        The price differs from store to store but can be bought for between £5 and £8.

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                          26.07.2010 22:04
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                          Make your own mind up as to whether you need them or not.

                          Socket covers are an essential accessory in any child's home and buying these at just £1.99- £3.99 is an absolute bargain if it means you are saving your child from sticking those inquisitive fingers into the alluring holes in the wall. You can buy them in packs of 2 up to about 15.

                          The Mothercare ones come in a pack of 12 for £5.99 at the moment which I think is expensive compared to other covers that do exactly the same job. I remember buying mine for about £3. They come in white to blend in with the sockets (unless you have brass or silver ones of course) and have three prongs on one side similar to a plugs prongs so they fit into our normal UK 13 amp socket as a plug would. They can be difficult to take out at times which I suppose is a good thing, because if an adult struggles then a child will definitely not be able to take them out. It is easier for me as I have nails and can get behind it and can pull it out bit by bit until you can grab hold of it to pull it out.

                          So why should you buy these?

                          Think about the electricity that is live beyond that socket that your child is playing by and how their curious mind wonders what that strange thing is on the wall and decides to investigate. Imagine the damage that could be done if that child was electrocuted and possibly scarred for life. All for the sake of a few quid to secure their safety.

                          As the covers are plastic they are durable and easy to clean but please be careful in making sure they are dry when putting back in. Also be careful of storing them when not in use. Standing on these in bare feet in the middle of the night because they have been put on the floor by the socket is not a good idea! Also as they are small they are appealing to young mouths so it is best to keep them up out of the way.

                          Another reason I like these is that when the socket is not in use it just looks tidier and nicer with these covers on.

                          Personally I don't think I have ever seen my children near the socket anyway but prevention is better than cure, even more so when it comes to the safety of children.

                          These are available in many baby stores, as well as toy stores and hardware stores so if you don't have a mothercare nearby there are many available although I have been told that they are not regulated, considering they are for safety I find this quite shocking. (no pun intended)


                          I thought I would add what I have found on the net as I was finishing this review:

                          There is a debate that these are not required due to the safety feature already built into our British sockets. They do have a 'shutter' in the top prong which will only be opened once a plug is fitted hence the electric will then become live. These engineers state that socket covers actually damage the socket as it makes the shutter safety feature become almost nonexistent with the constant use of it but manufacturers of some of the socket cover claim that it is a lot easier for a child to take out a plug and therefore the covers are safer to use.


                          ~~~~My final thought~~~~

                          I think I will continue to use these covers for the plugs that are not in constant use. My children are slightly older now and know not to play with sockets. It's each parent's prerogative to make their own mind up over the safety of their children. If you do decide to buy them, please make sure that the ones you buy cover the holes completely by the cover in order that nothing can be poked behind it.

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                            25.07.2010 20:36
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                            A great seat that will last your child a good few years

                            On searching for a car seat I wanted to make it a purchase that would last a good few years and grow with my child. My son was 4 at the time and so in order to do this I needed to get a car seat that was suitable for him now but would also be suitable for him when he was 8 or 9 years old.

                            I had seen a few seats where there was a back to the seat that could be used for the smaller child and then this could be detached once they were slightly bigger and so this is what I set out to look for.

                            After searching online I came across a few ideas and then went to have a look in person. I think a car seat is something you need to see and touch and your child to sit in it to see that is comfortable for them and suitable.

                            I was having a look around the store and came across this seat. The reason being that it was on offer (this always catches my eye!!) and it was perfect for what I wanted.

                            The thing that stood out with this is that it was a dark colour and so it will fade into the background of the car. It is the exact colour as above. The only difference is ours has covers on the armrests too (only these do slip off from time to time and usually end up staying on the floor!) The back can be taken off eventually to be able to just use it as a booster seat. As my son was 4 I didn't need a seat that had belts included so this not having them was a plus for me as it just needed to be placed into the car and the seat belt is attached through the top and over the child like a normal passenger. This means that it is easy to remove if needed and put back within minutes.

                            On removing it, it is not that heavy so this is not a problem and as the back comes off it can be easily stored in the boot.

                            The covers come off easily to clean, although I have only done this once.

                            The head rest can be adjusted to the height you require and there are also armrests. The other good thing I love about this seat is that it has pull out cup holders on both sides that come out of both front corners. These come out easily and fit back just as easy when not in use. My son uses it to keep sweets (or gogos) in. On asking what he likes about it, he says it's the secret compartment!

                            Overall this ticked all the boxes and now my son uses it as a booster seat as he is now 7 and I am very impressed with it. He can use it up until he is 10. It was easy to install, easy to clean, easy to use and he says it is very comfortable.

                            Definitely recommend this car seat. I purchased it for about £25 but it looks like you can get it from Amazon for about £35 which is a good price in my opinion when you get 7 years out of it. Considering we have had it for 3 years already it still looks new even though I have a boisterous boy.

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                              22.07.2010 23:57
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                              A Berenstain morale story for kids

                              Berenstain Bears in the dark, written in 1982, is quite an old book but as with all the Berenstain Bear stories there is always a moral of the story and are based on topics that every child and family will deal with at one time or another. Being afraid of the dark is one that I can relate to as my daughter will not go to sleep without some sort of light on upstairs, so on seeing this book at the charity shop I thought it would be a good idea to buy it and see what they could possibly say to try and conquer her fear.

                              The book starts off with sister bear and brother bear going to the Library to find a book each. Sister bear being the girly girl that she is wants to find a nice little book on puppies or kittens and usually takes books out about nature or poems. Brother bear is taking his time to find a book and while sister bear has already found her book he wants to find a good mystery book.

                              Once home she is happily reading her book and brother bear asks her if she wants to join him in reading with him as his book is so good. She decides that she has had enough of her book for now and joins him. Brother bear reads the scary story to her with great expression and scares her.
                              That night she cannot get to sleep as the dark is scaring her and consequently no one else gets any sleep either, this is not helped by brother bear making scary noises.
                              Papa bear decides to give sister bear a night light to help her with her fear and gives her advice about how to deal with the noises you can hear at night.
                              In the end she gets one over on her brother who thought the night light was babyish when it turns out he needs it too. As they sleep in bunk beds she scares him and there is something here that others might relate to as my children do it too, (they sleep in bunk beds too and find some parts of the story quite funny)

                              As with all of the Berenstain bear books there is always a purpose to the story and whatever problem you may have with your children, be it keeping their room tidy, telling the truth, going to bed, forgetting your manners and so on, these books are an excellent way of getting your point across.

                              The pictures are clear and the storyline is easy to understand and because the bears are about the same age as the children and do the same day to day things they can find it easy to relate to the story and their life. My daughter especially likes this story but it hasn't made her fear of the dark any better but we have spoken about it and she knows that most people are scared of the dark including adults.

                              The books are easy enough for my 7 and 8 year old to read on there own and it is only 32 pages long with a few sentences on each page. There are actually over 200 in this series but I doubt we would get through them all but if I see anymore in the series I will definitely buy it or borrow them from the library. I think my daughter is just at the age where this book is passable but may be too old next year.

                              Overall I am sure that whatever problem you have with your child there will be a book about it in this series as they seem to have covered most of it!

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