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shopping_jem

shopping_jem
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Member since: 25.11.2012

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    • More +
      22.04.2014 17:42
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      • " variety of colours"
      • " relatively sleek"
      • " durable"
      • Strong

      Disadvantages

      • "Looks functional rather than fashionable."

      Overall, a great quality and versatile case that will last years and look good. Recommended!

      I bought two of these suitcases about 5 years ago in a dark purple colourway. They seemed well-made and I particularly liked the way that you could buy co-ordinating bags etc. I have a matching 26l cabin size, but the 41l is great for all-round travel. I can fit loads in it (1 weeks worth of clothes for a non-beach holiday)and because it is so strong it is easier to squeeze in those extra items without damaging the seams or the zip. I have a similar but flimsier / cheaper case from elsewhere, and with the same treatment (filling to the max!) the other one has started to come away at the seams and also lose its shape. The Tripp case, however, is still going strong after 5 years of family use.
      One feature which I like is the outside large pocket - because it stands away from the case you can easily fit extras such as books, magazines or accessories inside, even when the main compartment is very full.
      The zip has a double zipper so you can open at either end making it versatile. It is strong and flows easily. The edges of the case are well-designed so that the zip doesn''t catch on the case fabric or contents.
      The handle on the case is sturdy and easy to lengthen / shorten in order to pull it along or carry down stairs etc. It is relatively easy to manouver for a 2-wheel case, but not too easy to turn corners without tipping it over so if optimum manouverability is important to you there might be a better option (e.g. the 4-wheel versions).

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      14.11.2013 14:56
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      A good quality brush that does the job but has a chunky, short handle

      I have always used these toothbrushes on my kids up to the age of about 2.5, because they are readily available in the shops.

      The design:
      The toothbrush has an unusual rounded handle, which is very easy to grip. When I first bought it this seemed like a great feature, but with experience I have decided it is unnecessary because I am the one who holds it, not the baby.
      The toothbrush handle is gently curved plastic which is gentle on my little girl's mouth.
      The size of the head is just right for little teeth, and the bristles are soft and seem comfortable on her gums. I would prefer it if the handle were longer, as it is quite hard to reach the back of her mouth while gripping it (I suppose the rounded shape doesn't help with this either)
      The worst thing about the shape is that we have a toothbrush holder with little holes in, and of course this doesn't fit in it so has to be left on the shelf. Even in a cup it isn;t ideal as it is shorter than my older kids' brushes.

      The quality:
      It seems to clean effectively, and lasts a long time before having to be replaced, despite the fact that my daughter is a chewer if she gets the chance! The handle feels very sturdy and feels good quality.

      Overall, I would recommend this brush but am not fully convinced on the shape of the handle.

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    • Adidas Topten Hi K / Shoes / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      14.11.2013 14:13
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      A fab little pair of trainers with great features for comfort and style at a reasonable price

      The Adidas Top Ten Hi-tops for kids come in several colours for boys and girls - the ones I bought for my daughter are white with pink and giraffe-print trims in a size 6kids. They are a classic style, and basically a mini version of the adult Top Ten hi-tops.

      The trainers feature the usual adidas stripes and logo, as well as a woven label on the tongue which says "adidas Top Ten". They look very good quality and are a versatile and fashionable style that works well with lots of outfits.

      The best feature of the trainers, for me, is the removable insole which you can take out and get your child to stand on to see if they fit (there is a line to indicate where the foot should be between). This is fab! We tried the size I thought my daughter would be, and was happy with the fit from the usual prodding tests, but to see that her toes were just over the line on the insole was reassuring. The insole just pops back in and stays firmly inside as part of the trainer until you need to check again.

      I was also impressed by the quality of the cushioning and lining - according to Adidas there is moisture-wick technology and breathable mesh lining. All I know is, my daughter's feet are comfy and never come out of them sweaty or irritated.

      The outer of the trainers is PU-coated leather, and they have a toe bumper and rubber sole. They are very practical, although I would say they are a fashion / play trainer as the sole is good but not chunky enough for sports like football in my opinion.

      The hi-top style is perfect for little ones, as it gives the ankles lots of support and I am able to get a really snug and comfy fit. It is also more practical in bad weather.

      Overall, I think these trainers are great! Adidas surprised me with their attention to detail and quality fabric and fit features. I would highly recommend them.

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    • Mattel Barbie Mariposa Doll / Doll / 5 Readings / 4 Ratings
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      14.11.2013 13:27
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      Not the best Barbie for quality or playability - good idea but doesn't deliver for me

      I bought this doll for my daughter's birthday along with the matching DVD. I had seen it advertised, and as she enjoys other Barbie dolls and DVDs, I thought it would be a winner.

      The doll is advertised as having wings that can be wound down to look like a dress, or popped up into "flying" position. With no opportunity to test this mechanism out before buying, I assumed it would be fairly simple.

      On opening the present, my daughter was delighted - it is very appealing to little girls. It requires some assembly - you have to attach the wings before first use by clipping them into place (instructions are provided). This was slightly tricky - I originally had them upside down so they wouldn't click in - oops. Once in place, they SHOULD stay put an not need detaching again. The instructions also state that the arms have to be raised in the air before popping the wings up. I thought this was a bit of a pain, as kids usually like to play their own way rather than having to pose it exactly right before opening the wings. Also, the release button for the wings to pop up is on her shoulder, and could very easily be pressed by accident.

      To fold the wings down into a dress, you have to wind up a winder on her back. It is not easy to do for younger girls - my 3 year old can't manage it, and even my 7 year old finds it tricky. Much of her birthday was spent with me winding it and my daughter popping it - not exactly what I had in mind.

      One of the advantages it that if you have the DVD and this toy, it is appealing for the child to fly the doll as the fairy on the film flies. The novelty of this does wear off though.

      Two months on, it has not had much play - the doll seems to be less appealing than normal Barbies, and you can do less with it. The wing mechanism is bulky and not easy to use. In fact, the other day we discovered that it has actually broken - the wings no longer stay put when you try to wind them down into a dress, but pop straight back. This means it is basically ruined.

      Overall, the idea is lovely and it does appeal to kids, but the quality is poor and the playability limited in my experience. I would choose a different Barbie. I bought it half price at £12.50, and I don't feel like it was good value even at that price.

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      13.11.2013 19:35
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      A premium yarn for special projects that is luxurious to knit and wear

      I started knitting with cashmerino aran when i was a beginner knitter, and was hooked! It is an extremely soft blend of 55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, and 12% cashmere. It is lovely to knit with - it glides through your fingers effortlessly and doesn't split very easily when using. It is strong and durable, and doesn't snap or have knots in the balls. It is also very soft and non-itchy to wear - the merino in Bliss' yarns is super-soft and non-scratchy.

      The colour range of cashmerino aran is very versatile - there are pastels, neutrals and darks aplenty. (I think there are over 30 shades). My favourite one so far is the teal. The yarn is great for kids' garments and blankets, but look equally good for adult clothing or home furnishings.

      The yarn gives excellent stitch definition - it is great for anything from simple carter / sticking stitch right up to complex cables. It is a neat knit - all my stitches were evenly sized and tidy. I found the gauge to be true to the ball band - a typical aran - so it could be used for any aran patterns.

      The only disadvantage for me is the price - it is too expensive for me to use for larger items, even if I buy it discounted.

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    • More +
      13.11.2013 19:20

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      A fantastic all-round hiking boot at the cheaper end of the market

      I bought these hiking boots while on holiday in the Lake District, because they were the most comfortable and supportive of any I tried on. They support my ankles so well and seem to hit a pressure point on my ankles which feels really comfortable.

      As well as being waterproof, the boots feature nubuck and suede leather uppers, a bumper on the toe (great for rocky trails) and a really comfy contoured insole. They are a classic style, without the frills of some other modern boots, but really deliver great comfort and performance. The grey colourway means they look good and co-ordinate with other outdoor-wear without showing the dirt too much.

      Having tested the boots on moderate hikes, I can confirm that they are comfortable, fully waterproof and have excellent grip and performance. They look the part, although they do look slightly cheaper than some of the more expensive Hi-tec boots. (mainly because they are slightly bulkier). They retail at around £70, but you can generally, as I did , get them in a sale. I paid £30 and at this price they are amazing value for money.

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      13.11.2013 18:36
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      A snazzy pair of girls trainers that are stylish and appealing with good quality but watch the fit

      My daughter was lusting after skechers for a while before I bought these on off at Brantano. I actually preferred the ones with the jewels on the toes, but the fit seemed to vary a great deal between styles and the others were either too tight or massive (she is a size 12kids) whereas this twirl and swirl style fitted perfectly.

      The trainers feature a spinning disc on the sole, which activates the flashing lights. It actually activates with natural movements of the foot e.g. while walking. After about six months of light use, thelights and trainers are still going strong.

      They are purely fashion trainers - they are not practical for sport at all. That said, they are good for playing outside e.g. in the park, as they are flat, have reasonable grip and are secure on the foot.

      They have a fixed tongue underneath the laces, which is attached at the sides (with some give). This means that the tongue never gets pushed into the shoe when putting them on, avoiding the finger-squashing activity of trying to retrieve it while the shoe is on (ouch!). I love this feature!

      The trainers are well-made and stylish, but very expensive at RRP. I am not sure if I would call them good value. Also, I found that the fit was difficult to get right, so I would definitely recommend trying several Skechers styles on instore before buying. There is not much "give" on this particular style, for example, but it fitted my daughter the best (typical, since it was the most expensive one she tried!)

      Recommended, as long as you check the fit and preferably get them on offer.

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    • More +
      13.11.2013 17:25

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      A pretty, comfortable and great quality pair of girls shoes - fab!

      I bought these shoes for my daughter in the sale in a size 6f. The fit is fab, in line with what I expect from start-rite. I had measured her instore, but bought online and was not disappointed.

      They are great quality, and last really well. Although they are called first walking shoes they are ideal for any little girl whose size they come in - my daughter is 3 and has been walking for 2 years so they are certainly not her first walking shoes! She can take them off and put them on herself, which is great for starting nursery.

      The colour is very pink, but because of the different panels it is interesting and co-ordinates well with a variety of outfits. The sole is practical yet still girly - not too chunky. The back of the shoe comes up the ankle nicely to provide support and comfort.

      Overall, these shoes are great - especially at the sale price of £20 - recommended!

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      13.11.2013 17:12
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      The perfect school shoe for girls - tough and pretty - highly recommended!

      My daughter is currently on her second pair of scissors shoes - she did have the black leather ones and when she outgrew them we bought the patent version of the same style. I think these shoes are great - exactly the quality and style that I have come to expect from Start-rite.

      The shoes are a great fit - my daughter is a 12E and they fit like a glove and yet with a bit of growing room. The adjustable velcro strap is easy to fasten, and the velcro has not lost its grip with wear and tear. The leather version do scuff lightly with my daughter's version of wear and tear, but they always covered well with scuff cover and the leather didn't get any chunks ripped out of it like cheaper shoes might have done, nor did the scuffs ever turn into holes. The patent version so not seem to scuff so far (since September) so I would recommend them above the leather.

      The grips on the shoes are good for everyday wear - practical without being too chunky. The detailing on the shoe is simple and classy which looks great. The leather lining is soft, comfortable and top quality.

      The first pair of scissors lasted a whole school year, so although they seem expensive, I would say that represents great value at £40. Highly recommended! Oh, and the best thing for my daughter - they come with an animal toy that you can attach to the strap or elsewhere.

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    • More +
      13.11.2013 16:17

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      An amazing "saviour" product for oily / combo skin that does all it says and more!

      I absolutely love this product. I am a fan of lots of the seaweed range, as I have oily/combination skin which is usually difficult to cater for - products typically either over moisturise me or dry me out. This product does neither!

      It goes on as a gel - it is easy to dispense just the right amount and it spreads easily although has a slight stickiness to it. It doesn't tighten the skin but feels quite refreshing and nice.

      After starting to use this product, I found that my oiliness and blemishes were significantly reduced. My husband even had a spot one day and I told him to put this on and it started to reduce the spot straigntaway although this isn't supposed to be one of its skills!

      If I forget to put it on at night, I simply substitute it for the seaweed moisturiser and use it in the morning instead. It works best when used regularly. If you have oily/ combination skin it will reduce the oiliness without drying your skin out. It seems to condition too, and even helps with blemishes. Fab!

      A little goes a long way - these pots last ages and I think they are great value as they outperform more expensive products.

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    • Reiss Ona V-neck Tank / Clothing / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      13.11.2013 16:01

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      A nice design for a basic that is versatile and pretty

      Bought in summer as I am a magpie for pale blue clothes! It is a good fit, slightly loose (I am size 6, bought xs) but that can be an advantage. It is a simple wardrobe staple with chiffony trim to neckline at back and front, and v-necks back and front. The fabric is good quality jersey with slight sheen but it does crease very easily and also mine has stained easily too.

      The ways I wear this top:

      As a vest top in warm weather (distant memory!)
      Over a longsleeved tee as a tank top
      Under cardis
      Peeking out from under jumpers (it is long enough to see the bottom of it under most of my jumpers so good for colourblocking
      As a PJ top (it's a bit good for that, but sometimes I'm worth it, lol ;-)

      I would definitely buy more of these in different colours. It is pretty good value as the quality is good (I paid £29). A good inVESTment buy, perhaps (sorry!)

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    • Zara Trousers with Zips / Clothing / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      13.11.2013 15:53

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      A great value pair of trousers that are comfortable and fit great

      I bought these trousers as they were so comfy and a great fit. I have the dark blue pair, and the colour is strong and versatile, making a change from denim. It goes with lots of tops.

      The trousers have lasted reasonably well - I paid £29.99 and they have had about 6 months regular wear. The colour has faded quite a bit so perhaps I should have washed them more gently or something (I use 30degree with bio powder). However, the fit is still good - they have not stretched out or lost their shape.

      The trousers feel very comfy - they are very soft and not at all itchy as some stretchy Zara trousers are. They are almost ankle length on me, and look good with ankle boots, sandals or ballet pumps.

      The zips are a nice feature, and make it easier to get on/off. The zipped pockets are secure for my key / money which is a bonus. The zips at the ankles mean they are slightly less versatile as I would sometime like to roll them up a bit for a different look but I can't do this.

      Overall, I would recommend these trousers for their comfort and style at a great price.

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    • Ugg Joslyn Wedge Sheepskin Boots / Shoes / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      13.11.2013 15:45

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      A fantastic quality boot form UGG which should last years and looks fab with a wedge!

      I bought these boots over two years ago and they are fab! I bought a size 4, which is my normal shoe size, and they are slightly tight but just about OK with normal socks - if in doubt I would go up a size if you intend to wear them with socks. To be honest, I tend to throw them on regularly without socks as it is a shame to waste that sheepskin lining ;-) They did give a bit with the first few weeks of wear.

      Compared to classic UGGs, these are tighter and more structured on the foot, and there is less sheepskin "padding" around the foot. The wedge is much more flattering for me than flat UGGs though. They are slightly shorter than I expected - they are best worn like in the photo with the top rolled over and they come up to low-mid calf. This looks great over jeans / leggings or with short skirts. They do not work very well with bootcut / straight cuts, as they are too short to cover the wide part of the trouser. With longer skirts I feel they accentuate the widest part of the calf and are not flattering.

      The boots are excellent quality - they are on their third autumn / winter and still look fab. I don't use stain protectors etc and I find they hold their colour and don't look dirty at all.

      I highly recommend these boots if you like UGGs but want a wedge rather than flats.

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      13.11.2013 15:36
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      Pretty and versatile but not the best quality ballet pumps - good value though

      I bought these ballet pumps from ASOS thinking they were leather lined (as the website stated) but when they arrived they were leather outer but textile lining. As they were on a good offer (£11) I decided to keep anyway.
      I really like the look of the outer leather fabric - mine are silver metallic with grey trims. The leather has a sllght crackle effect and looks really good even with a bit of wear and tear.

      The fit of the pumps is pretty good - I am a UK 4 and the 4s fit fine. They are slightly wide for me (a bit gapey at the sides) but still look OK.

      The soles are man-made and they have worn really well for the price of the shoes - I have had them for over a year.

      The problem I have with these is that the textile lining makes my feet sweaty (sorry, but have to be honest!) and I find that I have to wash my feet when I take them off. They would be better with leather lining for a bit more money, as they would have had much more wear by me if they had this.

      Overall, they are the nicest looking cheap ballet pump I found, so I would recommend them for the quality of the outer finish, but not for the lining.

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    • Kidorable Butterfly Rain Boots / Shoes / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      13.11.2013 15:25

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      A very nice design, reliable welly but overpriced at RRP

      I bought these wellies for my daughter when she was 2, in a kids size 5. The fit has been great, they are comfortable and do not slip on and off when she walks. They are quite short, which is great for comfort although it does mean that her legs get wet when she splashes in puddles. They are made of the typical rubber material, and the soles feature great chunky grips so they are safe and practical.

      The main reason why I bought these wellies was the design - there are butterflies and flowers around the boot, and larger butterflies on the front with 3D antennae. This puts them ahead of other similar styles of wellies in my opinion, and adds to their appeal to kids, which cannot be underestimated when you are trying to coax an unwilling toddler to put them on in a hurry!

      The wellies have lasted six months and there is plenty of wear left in them, they have simply been outgrown. Therefore I would rate them as very durable. Another advantage is that they are part of a whole range of matching products - you can buy a raincoat, umbrella, hat, scarf etc in the same style.

      At their RRP of £17.50 I would say they are overpriced and not good value - they are the same quality as typical high street ones which are generally cheaper than this. If you get them on offer they are a good buy.

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