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We inherited this high chair from my sister, therefore didn't pay for it. It costs around £50, which given that it has lasted for two children, and is soon to be passed to a third, is great value. Other than being minus the trough at the bottom it was in pretty good nick when we got it.
For my son this has been a great high chair. He started weaning a little early, so needed the tip back, though not much and not for long (we used it on the middle setting). Having that option there was a great comfort, as he looked at home in the chair that way and it put our mind at rest about early weaning.
The chair is a good height, round about level with our dining table at aprox 65cm to saddle, which means he can eat with us now that he's a bit older. It's also very stable. The wee man is quite the wiggler and we haven't had any accidents, be it in terms of the chair tipping or the tray moving. The tray, which also has three locking size settings, is a good size and shape, giving him plenty of room to push his food about, essential in baby led weaning. The cup holder was perhaps a tad unnecessary as the cup never stays anywhere near there and more often than not food just builds up in there instead.
It's all relatively easy to keep clean, the straps and seat cover remove and replace easy enough. The cover can be wiped down and cleans very easily, the straps not as well. They can get very messy after a while and need to be boiled with a strong cleaning agent; though you only really reach this stage every couple of months.
There is a knack to putting down this chair easily and quickly, something you need to master if you have a sticky child to tidy up as well. You need to click the two releases on the arm rests and jerk it. I've never been able to do this properly like my husband can, instead I give the seat bit a gentle head butt. It works for me, but might frustrate others.
When folded up, the chair slides away and is barely noticeable, not that you'd even object too much if it was - the bright spotty design is awesome and it's probably the best looking piece of baby furniture I have.
First up I'll explain that there is an awful lot of technical detail with an item such as this, some of it I understand and can identify, some I can't, but I'm learning. Some of the more unique aspects that you won't find on your bog standard mixers include;
* Sampler with beat-controlled loop function, real-time pitch control, sampler FX and crossfader start option
* 2 freely assignable and BPM-synchronized, high-quality FX engines (Bitcrusher, Resonator, Reverb, Flanger, etc.)
* Ultra-fast, accurate, BPM counters for automatic BPM synchronization of sampler, FX, crossfader and external drum machines, etc.
(For more in depth analysis, follow the amazon product link, or go to the Behringer website which is very, very detailed).
This may perfect sense to you, or it may be double dutch, for me it's bit of both. As mixers go this is the first one we've owned ourselves. We (my husband and I) perhaps don't use it to it's full potential just yet, in the sense that it's only been used for DJing gigs and not for any digital recording. All I can really say if you're looking to buy starting equipment to do your own home recording, my mate had an extended loan of it and thought it was a pretty nifty piece of equipment in this sense, though you may want to do some further research.
As a DJ's mixer this is great, and while the price may seem pretty high (though it has reduced significantly from when we bought it 9 months ago), if you're using it to bring in a supplementary income it is worth it, you'll make your money back in no time. It is easy to navigate, labeled well and has a four channel capacity, which may seem unnecessary if you've only two turn tables - lets face it, at most low key venues you won't have room for any more, though having said that you may be running on MP3s or laptops in addition to decks so they might come in handy. Even if you stick to two though it allows a bit of space between the upward swipes; if you work off channels 1 & 3 or 2 & 4, with those gaps giving you a bit of leg room in poor light and reducing the chances of you accidentally knocking them as you move about.
It takes a standard jack for headphones and has it's own headphone section. The quality of the internal track is excellent. Providing you're in a good position with regards to your PA system, you'll be able to distinguish perfectly between that playing out on the speakers and that being prepped. You can pretty much be the master of your own sound in many respects once you've been hooked up the sound system. I've used them on a range of speakers and the results have always been good. Volume can be adjusted to the slightest of touches, but isn't so delicate that you'll find yourself dipping drastically up and down. Some tracks that will naturally produce a heavy base or muffley sound and you've all manner of options to adjust this (more often than not the upper volume dials for specific changes, the channel up-swipes for simple louder/quieter), though you'll not get that information from the headphone.
Another quality it has though for the gigging DJ is that it's easily transportable. It's pretty light and 320 x 392 mm, won't dwarf your table. Also if you have a regular spot, where you know the sound set up, you can save and recall your previous settings, meaning you're ready to go with only a basic sound check. It's also pretty simple plug in, plug out set up, with only a few wires to it's name, so you'll not be wondering what all the useless leads to nowhere are (past experience there). You could easily set this up at a house party too, though you want to look after it as it is an investment. At the moment our hasn't met with any unpleasantness, we keep it in it's original box and dust it with a jay cloth.
Get to know your mixer plenty if you have the facilities to do so at home as there is so much going on here. In fact my one criticism may be that there is perhaps a little too much on offer for the part time/casual user. On a day to day basis you won't use half the stuff, unless you have something specific in mind. So if you're just starting out, take this into account, a cheaper, simpler option might be better unless you plan to extend your repertoire.
I'll be interested to know the views of anyone who is using it on a more advanced scale to see how it compared to the basic use review I have hear.
I think that there is sometimes a stigma attached to buying value or basic when it comes to your children, but I've always been of the opinion that it never hurts to try something once. And with Sainsbury's Basic Baby Bath I'm really glad I did.
At a mere 34p for 500ml it is substantially cheaper than leading brands and while the 'basic' packaging design isn't going to win any glamour awards, it is sturdy and the cap stays on tightly. We've had no leaks despite it being knocked over a good few times. There are a lot of ingredients listed, and not being an expect I can't really shed any light with real authority as to what they represent. Aqua is of course its main ingredient as you would expect and there are parfum and Benzyl Alcohol listed lower in the list. For more information I'd suggest you check out the Sainsbury's website which gives a comprehensive list.
In terms of how well it works, well I've few complaints. It produces lots of bubbles for only a small amount of liquid, and what's more they last for the duration of my son's bath which is quite long. When it comes to cleaning it does the job and no scummy marks around the bath tub afterward, which for me implies that it's not a greasy substance.
The bottle states that it is 'Mild and Gentle', so it doesn't make the same 'no tears' promise as other brands, but we've had no incidents so far, despite epic splashing. We switched to this about 4 months ago because we were going through the expensive stuff far too quickly, and this has certainly proved it's worth by going a long way for little cost. Would I have used this on a new born? Perhaps not, simply because you're so cautious in the early months and you do assume brand is best, but having said that I'd at give it a try if I had another baby. Certainly for children 6+, or those moving into a proper bath this should be fine.
My one real qualm? That would have to be the aroma. It's pleasant enough, not offensive by any means, but I love the Lavender scent of other baby baths, and I know that it can help children relax. This is rather nondescript, slightly fruity I suppose, but mostly just soapy.
Most of the items I buy from TU clothing are for my son or niece, so I'll review in terms of individual items:
Baby Clothes (Boy):
They have a great range of baby clothes, with sleep suits and vests packs being of particularly good value, ranging from £3-10 for a pack of 3. The designs are really nice, a little bit different from your run of the mill pastels, with lots of bold oranges and navy blue in my last purchase. They are quite long i the leg, and a slimish fit, which is great because my son is quite tall, though when he's at the beginning of the size range they can drag a bit. The thing they have going for them the most is how well they wash. They haven't shrunk, faded or lost any of there softness, key things in baby clothes.
Girls Dresses (ages 2-4)
I've bought a good few of these for my niece, the price range is normally between £10 -15, which makes them a little pricier than the likes of Dunnes (Northern Ireland) or places like Primark or BHS, but they tend to be cheaper than Marks and Spencer. They designs are always really nice, a little bit Boho, with lots of floral and bright patters. They are a good length, and are long enough, as again my niece is tall for her age, but are a little on the snug size around the chest area. They too wash well and retain their colour.
The one thing I have bought for myself is a couple of under wire T-shirt bras. My sister recommended them, and at only a fiver they are exceptional value. As they don't have a fitting department it helps to know your size; I bough two slightly different sizes, allowing for weight fluctuation post baby and they both fit well. I got one black and one white and they too have held up in the wash, loosing nothing in terms of support and strap strength, and the under wire has yet to poke through which is always a risk (I've never put them in the dryer because of this). They are very comfortanble and in my opinion as good as top of the range designer stuff like Wonderbra, though they don't have any padding inserts and being a T-shirt bra they don't have any pretty pattern or lacy finish.
It may also be worth noting that Sainsbury's tend to have once in a while weekend sales for the TU range with around 15% off, so if you can keep a look out for that, you'll get even better value.
My experience has been good in terms of what I've bought so far. If I get anything else, I'll update this review accordingly.
We bought this toaster when we moved house and it has served us very well so far.
The stainless steel is easy to keep clean and crumbs can be knocked out with relative ease. At £17.49 the price is pretty reasonable for a 4 slicer and it has been reliable, which is very important to us and we've had a few disasters in the past. It's shape is fairly compact (roughly 25cm by 20 cm), the pull down levers are on the front rather than side meaning it isn't any wider that it needs to be. It doesn't have any sort of top grate, which doesn't bother me as I never saw the point in resting toast on them anyway and other than the toast pop you don't get any funny noises.
Levels go up to 7, with spots in between, and there is a defrost option, which in all fairness we haven't made that much use of - items that we cook from frozen such as Potato Waffles will do just as well on the top setting. There is also a re-heat button, which we've yet to make use of, simply because I can't think what anyone might use it for, pizza maybe? It can also be relied upon to gently toast delicate items such as pancakes and crumpets on a setting of around 2 and a half.
Most important of all it does a nice piece of toast on about setting 4. My husband thinks this is perhaps a little too high a number for the result, but you do need to test it out to see what suits when first using. You'll also find that if you are doing a big batch of toasting, say three or more lots, you might need to drop it down a notch as it must retain a bit of heat and you start to notice each lot getting that little bit more well done.
My one complaint would be that when we steer away from our usual brand of bread, we sometimes find that some slices are a little too big for the toaster and we have to stop half way through to rotate. This is only with a few brands though and for the most part they fit fine.
Like many women I turned to Palmers Cocoa as a means of preventing pregnancy stretch marks, for which it often comes highly recommended. And like almost every product out there it fails on this account. However I'm not going to hold that against it, as I've come to terms with the fact that when it comes to stretch marks, you're either going to get them or not, no matter what you try.
Despite that, I've stuck with the Palmers because it is a great product. The smell is simple amazing, like a Kinder Egg or buttery white chocolate. The aroma stays with you for hours too, I can still sometimes smell it at night when I go to bed having put it on the morning before.
The lotion itself is fab. It's incredibly rich and thick and leaves your skin feeling soft and dewy. It's probably best applied after a shower for ultimate freshness, but I also carry it with me in case of emergencies. It makes a fantastic aftersun and if applied in time can stop peeling. Although essentially a body lotion I would say, I use it on my face and neck when it is feeling particularly dry, though overuse can leave it a bit greasy.
My main piece of advice would be to try and go for the pump action bottle, rather than the push cap. Over time the push cap can get clogged and blocked, and you don't find this as much with the pump.
It's also great value too at around 3-4 pound in most stores, and it lasts a good while too.
I was actually suprised when looking up this book how high a rating it has received so far, as for the most part it left me cold and even a little annoyed, but I guess each to their own. Here's my two cents.
The story itself of various interweaving characters in various flats in a town house is nice enough, Jewell is an okay writer, and certainly has a knack for the descriptive, in creating a mental picture, providing it is a nice glossy one. Best warned though, it is highly predictable. There are no suprises here and for the most part the characters fall into cliche.
This isn't my major issue with the book though. Quite the contrary, predictability and cliche are sometimes welcome if you're not looking for anything too harsh or mentally draining, in short, nice easy reading, which is what this book presents itself to be. It doesn't try to be more than that.
What does grinds my gears, is the authors embarrassing agenda that she can barely be bothered to hide, which in simple terms amounts to Skinny Girls = Boo, Curvy Girls = Yay! The criteria for positive female characters is that they must be curvaceous and buck the model trend. That automatically seems to make them better people, as if personality and a bit of rump are somehow intrinsically linked. Those who stick to the trend are for the most part painted as mindless bimbos or bitches. 'Men may say they want the model type, but the really good men want someone normal, someone like you less than perfect reader, someone like me', shrieks Lisa Jewell from every other page, without an ounce of tact. Me thinks Ms Jewell has quite the chip on her shoulder and is using this book to work out some issues.
For that reason I simply couldn't take Jewell seriously as an author. Yes all the greats had issues to, but their skill was in the subtly and irony in which they addressed these issues in their work. Ralph's Party is so obvious that it may just as well have contained 350 pages of defaced Vogue fashion shoots. In fact, I'd at least seen the funny side of that.
I'm not opposed to value products, in fact I'll give them a go as you often find some gems. These wipes however were not in this category.
They have a light, not unpleasant odour and the packaging is your run of the mill understated value type, without the plastic bit around the opening which for me is a bonus as I find it pointless and wasteful anyway. But the wipes themselves are poor. They weren't the easiest to get out of the pack, with several coming out at once and I found them to be soggy, rather than moist. Because of that fact they were next to useless for cleaning a baby's bum. They scrunched up, clagged together and simply didn't work. In order to clean effectively you had to use loads, which kind of defeats the object of value.
They weren't too bad as a light make-up remover, which is a popular second use, but they left a bit of a white residue under the eyes and in the same way as the baby cleaning, it took lots to have any real impact. At 50p they are cheap, but hardly cheerful.
We tried Bickiepegs when our son was in the early stages of teething, when we weren't really clued up about what best suited him. With hindsight these really weren't the best call.
It's hard to tell, but I think the taste was a bit unpleasant for him. He'd chew a little, pull a face and then abandon. He didn't seem to take to them at all, and they produced a load of sticky drool, more than anything else we've tried. We tried the ribbon provided, to keep them secure, but that didn't last long and for the most part he just kept dropping them on the floor. Sometimes we'd notice, sometimes he'd get to them before us, meaning they weren't always the most hygienic of products for himto be puttin in his mouth - they're not afterall the kind of thing you can wash, re-use or keep clean.
I think maybe these would be suited to older children teething bigger, back teeth, as they seem like something that could be given a really good chow down on, and they would be better at keeping hold of them. But for early teething they were pretty ineffective and a bit gross. They certainly didn't offer any relief to my child, who prefered soothing gels.
As I've mentioned in another review, my 15 month son sleeps for 12-14 hours uninterrupted at night. I often put this down to two things, quality nappies and his trusty Grobags.
Quite simply, a brilliant invention. For first time mothers it gets rid of the anxiety involved when worrying about covers staying on, being too tight etc and is a load of your mind. The designs we have are bright and colourful, but they come in a wide range, so something to suit everyone.
This winter, being a particularly cold one for us, I was so pleased that the 2.5 tog lived up to the promise and kept my wee man snug and warm. The handy room temperature guide included, also came with advice on what he should be wearing underneath and has been pretty accurate. When he does wake at nigth, it certainly isn't from the cold.
It's suitable for most weathers though, even in very hot nights we've been able to use it with nothing but a nappy underneath. He takes to it well and we don't have to worry about a dip in temperature during the night. In terms of size we're currently on the second size up, 6-18 months, and it is very roomy, a plus as my son is quite tall for his age.
There are of course other, cheaper brands who have adopted the idea, and we have tried them. However what the Grobag has working in it's favour is the fact that it cleans well, and after god knows how many washes it has remained incredibly soft and snug. It puts the others to shame in this respect.
A minor complaint would be that it has faded a little in colour and now that he's a bit older my son has figured out how to undo it. He only does this in a morning though, I assume so he can dander about his cot; the leg restrictions are something that you'll need to bare in mind once your child is starting to toddle, it might frustrate some.
I've had this machine for over a year now and it has been in good working order for the duration, in the sense that it hasn't broken down and was easily moved from our old house. It was also relatively easy to install - I'm no expert and was able to do it myself thanks to the easy instructions.
As a washing machine this is very good, cleans well and has plenty of setting to suit most requirements. The Baby Wash setting is perhaps a bit over long and only really needs to used when you have a really dirty wash that requires soaking, otherwise you can use the standard colour settings. The temperature gage is a little limited, the lowest you can opt for in 30 degrees, which might be okay for some, but we would like the option of a cold wash now and again (it goes up to 90, and frankly I don't know anyone these days who washes at such a high temperature).
The design is nice, big enough drum and the grey colour we opted for is subtle and blends into the kitchen background easily. We wipe it down every now and again with a cloth to keep it clean, but needs little attention, even the powder tray has remained gunk free. It's also not an offence to the ear drums. At one point we had this in an open plan kitchen/sitting room and other than the final five minutes when it does get loud and shaky, you can certainly live with it.
However, where this does fail is on it's capabilities as a dryer. It can take a long time and light load to have any real affect. In the summer this doesn't bother us so much as we can hang things out and we barely use it. In the winter we do though and more often than not we were putting most of the stuff into the airing cupboard. I did find though, that the quicker you take things out of the dryer the better. Much of the dampness is due to condensation, so if you can time it well and remove clothes asap, then you'll find them dryer than expected. As this is not always possible though, you'll find yourself relying on other drying means more often than not.
It's a big let down and greatly affects the reliability rating, as otherwise this is a good machine, and long drying cycles excluded, doesn't take up that much energy.
I visited this Hostel a few years with my sister and have nothing but praise for it, it's facilities and staff.
Firstly, the whole place was impeccably clean, the rooms, the cafe, the bathrooms, even the bar. While there was nothing on the extravagant side in terms of facilities in the dorms or bathrooms, there was plenty on offer elsewhere, with lots of free Wifi connected computers, vending machines, a canteen and the mentioned bar, which was lively and cheap. The staff all spoke excellent English and tolerated my patchy German with good humour, though it was very much an international crowd in terms of staff and visitors. There was a hostel led pub crawl, in addition to all the tourist information we could ask for.
Perhaps one of the things that distinguished this hostel from others I have stayed in was the free continental breakfast. Now don't get your hopes up, this was nothing more special than a few cold meats, breads, fruit, yogurts and cheeses, but combined with endless cups of tea and coffee this was a god send, especially the morning after the pub crawl.
In terms of location it was perhaps a little out of the city centre and quite far from the airport, but it is located right next to the tube station and most taxi drivers will know the place you're talking about if trying to get back late at night. In terms of crowd, this is definitely a hostel for the youth, but that is not to say that families wouldn't be comfortable in one of the private rooms as I remember no unsociable activity in the sleeping areas.
We got this stroller as a replacement for the starter pram we had when my son was first born because we wanted something lighter and easier to pack away. It certainly fulfills that criteria.
However we noticed that it was no where near as easy to handle as our previous pram and as a result took some time getting used to. That's not to say it's particularly difficult, though you certainly can't use it one handed and requires a lot of effort getting up hill. It is also not particularly great at getting up kerbs, even minor ones, and you need to tip and put a lot of effort into them. The wheels just don't seem that strong.
On the plus side though it is compact, meaning it fits into car boots easily and parks easily on the bus., though on the bus I've found that the break can be a bit iffy at times and has weakened in the three months or so we've had it.
I've no complaints on the design, our model is green and it wipes clean easy enough. The rain cover has served us well so far, though this has been during the spring so I'm yet to find out how it will hold up in winter. Underneath the seat there is some basket space, handy for the shopping, as are the handle bars which can take a good few carrier bags. There is also a very hand pocket space in the back cover where you can put keys and wallet if you wish.
As a cheap replacement model, or something for an older child that you won't be using for much longer this is fine and very reasonable priced, but if you're looking for something sturdier, durable and easier to manoeuvre, then I suggest you look elsewhere.
Linco Beer Shampoo and Conditioner is a wonderfully creamy hair product, designed to strengthen and revitalise hair. It comes in bottles, but more often than not you will find it in handy twin pack sachets from your local chemist.
I've used this product several times and have always found it to be incredibly rich and thick, leaving my hair in great condition afterwards. It is a 2 in 1, so this might not suit everyone, as some people prefer separates, myself included. In the case of Linco Beer, you can normally get two washes per sachet, depending on hair length and condition.
Unlike most 2 in 1s I didn't find the need to add extra conditioner. In fact I thought the opposite, that it was perhaps a little too conditioner based, lacking a little in the shampoo element. Initially, after a few washes my hair felt a little over conditioned, a little flat and greasy. This is perhaps why you get it in such small packets, with the idea being that you use it as you would an intensive conditioner, sparingly and once in a while. Once I started using the product like this, I saw vast improvements and I treat myself and my hair to this treatment every once in a while.
This was our starter pram, and had been my sisters before that. In a few weeks time it will be making it's way to a third owner, which I think speaks volumes for the durability of this model. Like many others, we got this as part of combined set with car seat and carry cot, along with a bunch of other quality accessories including footmuff and rain cover.
In all fairness we didn't use the carry cot, though my sister did, in lieu of a moses basket. The car seat was very easy to use once to got the hang of it, though patience is required at first.
As for the stroller itself, it's is pretty amazing. It's easy to push, even with one hand, which if you have another child with you is a god send. It is also phenomenal in icy or snowy weather, which we had a lot of this year, meaning I was able to take my son out for some much needed walks all year round. The breaking systems were also really good, holding strong on buses which is always a bonus.
My issues with it would mostly be to do with its size. The front wheel does stick out a bit and is difficult to get in to the boot of smaller cars. You also feel like you're taking up loads of room on public transport. Also, it would have been nice to have had somewhere to hang a couple of shopping bag from a little easier, which the handle bar doesn't really allow for.
We recently changed to a smaller, lighter buggy, which is okay, but in comparison I've noticed a dip in quality in terms of general ease and maneuverability, in which the S3 excells.