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tobymummy

tobymummy
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Member since: 24.10.2007

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      10.05.2009 22:24
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      Little Miss Shy no more, after being taken out of her comfort zone.

      On our mission to read all the Little Miss books again, we read one every night to Toby before he goes off to sleep, It takes about 5 minutes and is ideal to read while he's having his milk.

      The other night was the turn of Little Miss Shy, a smallblue character with wispy black hair, most of the time you would see her with pink rosy cheeks where she blushes.

      This story is all about the time Little Miss Shy received a letter in the post, to start with she was so terrified when the psotman knocked on the door, she hid under the table for most of the day as she didn't know what the noise was, she saw a letter on her mat (the first she had ever received) and opened it cautiously!

      The letter was in fact an invitation to a party, Little Miss Shy worried about going and couldn't decide whether to go or not, as she was frightened to see other people. She worried all night, the following day, night and the next day, changing her mind so many times. When it was time for the party she sat in her chair and didn't go. A little later there was a knock at her door, Mr Funny walked in and took Little Miss Shy to the party, she met loads of other Mr Men and Little Misses and actually started enjoying herself. In fact she enjoyed herself so much she invited a new friend back for tea the next day.

      This is a lovely story which can be enjoyed by either boys or girls, it could even be used for children who are shy themselves to encourage them to talk to others and have fun.

      Toby has started recognising letters and happily pointed them out while I was reading, during the story he also pointed to the clock in one picture and told me what the time was. On the party page there are many Mr Men characters, which Toby told me who every one was.

      I wasn't too sure about the story when I first read it through, but since reading it a few times now I have started to enjoy it, and I know Toby enjoys it too, as he asked for it 3 nights in a row!

      Little Miss Shy is the 10th book inthe Little Miss collection, and can be found in many books shops or internet sites. They currently retail at £2.50, but have a good search as they are often on sale at 3 for 2.

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      09.05.2009 22:49
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      When Little Miss Chatterbox finds the ideal job

      Having Toby and also working with children for many years I know that they get to a point when they just do not stop talking, you can't seem to get even a few minutes peace.

      No matter how much they talk, they could never talk as much as Little Miss Chatterbox! Just imagine what it sounded like when she got together with her brother - Mr Chatterbox, you wouldn't get a word in edgeways, sideways, or anyways!!

      This small paperback book is the 13th book in the Little Miss Collection, and is all about the time Little Miss Catterbox tried to get herself a job. She started off in a bank, and was serving Mr Happy, he said good morning to her, which was not a good move as she started talking and didn't stop until it was time for the bank to close.

      She didn't work there again, the next day she went to work in a restaurant, she went to serve Mr Greedy, when he asked what was the soup of the day, it gave Little Miss Chatterbox the cue to start talking again and didn't stop until midnight. Mr Greedy went home feeling very hungry!

      Further episodes happened at other jobs, which prevented Little Miss Splendid from buying a new hat and Mr Uppity from making any money at his office the day she worked as a secretary.

      You get the feeling that Little Miss Chatterbox will find the ideal job by the end of the story and you will feel right, when reading this for the first time I couldn't think which job would suit her best, but the speaking clock is the best job for Little Miss Chatterbox is a great job, she can talk non stop and people can put the phone down on her when they have heard enough.

      This is a lovely story which I enjoyed reading to Toby, even if some of it became a tongue twister at times. Some sentences have been written with no gaps between words and no punctuation, this is good as it allows the child/ren listening an impression of what Little Miss Chatterbox could be like.

      It is also a great story to ask questions on, for example what job do they think Little Miss Chatterbox could do? What happens in a bank? etc. they are also planty of new areas of discussion, like what the speaking clock is and what meals would you like to eat if you were Mr Greedy.

      Toby loves this story, he often laughs at me trying to read it, and he points out things that are going on in the bright and bold illustrations. This book takes about 5 minutes to read and is a great bedtime story for any little one.

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        05.05.2009 22:42
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        A lovely magical story from the classic Little Miss collection

        The other night I read a magical and funny story to Toby, It is book number 9 from the Little Miss book collection, it is a small paperback book which contains 32 pages, with writing on the left side and a bright bold picture on the right.

        This story is all about Little Miss Magic, the magic she can do and how she helped Mr Happy on a day when he was feeling not so happy.

        Little Miss Magic lives in Abracadabra Cottage and uses magic to do everyday tasks such as brush her teeth, make her breakfast and opening doors. Basically Mr Happy went to see Little Miss Magic one day to tell her all about Mr Tickle and how he was tickling every body, not just every now and then, but all the time.

        Little Miss Magic and Mr Happy went off to find Mr Tickle, observed what he was doing and then did some magic on him; she shortened his arms! Mr Tickle was not happy about this and was told to visit Little Miss Magic the next day, which he did. Little Miss Magic promised to make his arms long again if he promised to only do 1 tickle a day. He eventually promised, and his arms grew back, he wasn't happy until he realized one of the windows was open in Abracadabra Cottage, he realized that 1 tickle a day could be used for Little Miss Magic.

        I do love stories with happy endings, and I also love stories that give positive ideas and a good moral, this is definitely a good feel story. It shows how you can be taught a lesson if you upset too many people, and the consequences. This is a lovely story which Toby laughed at, he helped me to read the story, by looking at the pictures and telling me who the characters are and learnt a new word; abracadabra (which he has real trouble saying)

        Toby seemed to enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed reading it, I read it to him at bedtime as it only takes about 5 minutes which is an ideal length at this time of day. I can highly recommend this and any of the other Little Miss and Mr Men stories to any childs book collection.

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        05.05.2009 19:10
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        She should be called Little Miss Unhelpful!

        First impressions of this story would lead you into thinking that this is all about a Little Miss and how helpful she is, but you will be mistaken. Little Miss Helpful, tries to help several friends with jobs, but actually ends up making a right old mess of it and you would almost wish she hadn't tried in the first place.

        During this story Little Miss Helpful, tries to tie Mr Talls undone shoelaces, but ends up tying them together, as he falls over and hurts himself she gets a plaster and sticks it over his mouth. She followed on from that by ripping it off and hurt Mr Tall even more. when offering to help again he shouted at her to 'Go away'

        Little Miss Helpful also goes to visit Mr Happy, who she had heard had got measles, she offers to help him out; sending Mr Happy to bed she starts cleaning up. Every time Mr Happy just dropped off to sleep something happened to wake him, whether it was Little Miss Helpful asking where things were, or falling over the soap, and walking into the saucepans with a bucket on her head, she made so much noise he had to go and see what she was up to.

        Finding Little Miss Helpful with the bucket and lots of mess, he tried to get the bucket off but pulled so hard he ended up flying through the door and out into the lake, now who do you think came out to help???


        So Little Miss Helpful wasn't all that helpful in the end, she seems to create more mess and trouble, that none of her friends want her help. What I do like about this story is; there are plenty of opportunities for you to ask children what they think may happen next, or ask how they think Mr Tall and Mr Happy are feeling. There are not as many repeated words in this story, but this doesn't stop children learning basic language, recognising letters, and using the pictures to help tell the story in their own words.

        Little Miss Helpful is the 8th story in this wonderful collection, it's a small paperback book, which can easily be placed in a bag and taken out to keep children amused as and when needed. It only takes about 5 minutes to read and therefore makes a great bedtime story too.

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        04.05.2009 23:38
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        The day Little Miss Giggles lost her giggle.

        Imagine if you lost your giggle, how would you feel?? Maybe not too bad, but for Little Miss Giggles this is not a good thing at all.

        Little Miss Giggles could giggle and eat cornflakes at the same time, giggle in her sleep and even wilst brushing her teeth, that was until one morning she woke giggling as normal, but while out walking she had lost her giggle, she even started to cry as she felt so miserable.

        Mr Happy tried to help her, he even took her to see Mr Funny, but no-one could help her. Mr Topsy Turvy suggested she see the Doctor but he couldn't help her. By this time even Mr Happy was looking sad as he didn't know what to do.

        Then at lunchtime he had an idea, he went round to see Little miss Giggle with a large box, he had bought her a giggle! As she opened the box she saw it was empty, when she exclaimed that there was nothing there, Mr Happy said 'giggles are invisible' to which Little Miss Giggle thought was absolutely ridiculous and started chuckling and ............

        .........Giggling!! Hoorah Little Miss Giggles giggled!

        I love this story! every time I read it to Toby it makes me smile. It's a lovely story where children see characters helping each other out, doing what ever they can to make them happy.

        This book itself is a lovely one for boys and girls and can be enjoyed on it's own, but any fan of the Mr Men and Little Miss books would probably have the collection, if so this is number 7. When you line up all the Little miss books together in order the spines make a picture of a flower and the words My Little Miss Library, a great way to encourage children and adults to keep their books tidy and help with numbers.

        As with all Little Miss and Mr Men books, many of the words do get repeated, and they can help with early reading skills. This book in particular contains the word Giggles/giggled 41 times, everytime I got to one I pointed it out to Toby and he soon recognised the g or G letter and read it to me.

        I love the pictures which accompany these stories as they also help the children with the story, they are bright, bold and show the characters feelings well.

        Definitely one of my favourite Little Miss Books, which I love reading to Toby, bedtime is normally the time I read it, as it only takes about 5 minutes and is a suitable length for him at this time of day.

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        04.05.2009 22:48
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        A troublsome story where children learn that you should not call people names.

        You can see from her picture that Little Miss Trouble looks rather cheeky, but surely this sweet looking character can't cause any trouble, but you would be wrong.

        Little Miss Trouble only has to say something to fellow Mr Men and Little Miss people to cause trouble, in this story she meets Mr Uppity and Mr Clever, and says to them both 'Do you know what Mr Small calls you behind your back?', she then calls them a name and each one goes round to see Mr Small and gives him a black eye.

        Mr Small worked out that Little Miss Trouble was behind all this when she laughed at him when she saw him. He went round to see the doctor and explained what had happened, the Doctor whispered a plan in Mr Smalls ear.

        Mr Small then goes to visit Mr Tickle and Mr Bump, and asks them if they know what Little Miss Trouble calls them behind their backs, following on from this, Mr Tickle and Mr Bump find Little Miss Trouble and was not happy with what they had heard so started to tickle and bump her, which was not too pleasant when they continued for ten minutes.

        When Mr Small saw the Doctor later on they were pleased that the plan had worked and the Doctor saw Little Miss Trouble later on, she was looking very sorry for herself. The Doctor chuckled as he walked past saying 'cheer up - you know what you've had don't you? A taste of your own medicine!'

        This is a lovely story which has it's positives and negatives. It involves several other familiar characters which children will recognise, and a good moral to the story, which would hopefully encourage them not to upset others, or else they may get upset themselves.

        The words in these stories are often repeated so is good for children's language, but there are a few words which are used to upset and these could be repeated and get into trouble themselves.

        The pictures are always bold and bright and help to tell the story, you can use these to encourage the child/ren to tell you what is happening in the story and encourage early storytelling, especially with those who can't read yet.

        The Little Miss Trouble book is number 6 in the Little Miss collection and is a must for any Little Miss or Mr Men fan.

        All the books take about 5 minutes to read, they are small, thin paperback books and are ideal for a bedtime story. We have read them all several times over and still enjoy finding out what happens next.

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          27.04.2009 22:27
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          Lonely Little Miss Tiny makes some friends and is very happy.

          Tonights choice of book was Little Miss Tiny; a very small character who is a dark pink colour and wheres a small blue bow on her head. It is the 5th book in the Little Miss collection.

          This story is all about Little Miss Tiny and her very big adventure. She lives in a mouse hole in a farm house, but was so sad as nobody knew she was there, she was very lonely.

          One day she crept out of her hole, across the dining room floor and out into the hall, and squeezed herself through the letterbox. Little Miss Tiny went exploring, crept under a farm door and found a pig, she was cared so ran away, but then came face toface with a cat! She started shrieking at the top of her voice, just as Mr Strong was visiting the farm to collect his eggs. He introduced himself to Little Miss Tiny, and she told him all about being lonely. From then on he takes Little Miss Tiny every week out to meet a different Mr Man, from Mr Funny to Mr Greedy, but the best friend of all was Mr Small.

          I love this story, it's got a lovely end to it with some lovely pictures to encourage the child/ren to tell the story themselves before they recognise the words.

          We don't just read the story with Toby now, we often ask him what happens next or ask questions about whether Little Miss Tiny is happy, sad, scared etc, which helps his develop his thought process and express his emotions, copying what is going on.

          It's good to include some of the other Mr Men and Little Miss characters as this helps them recognise characters they may have seen before.

          All the Little Miss books are small easy to hold paper back bookswhich only take about 5 minutes to read, they sit easily in your hand and make a very good bedtime read.

          I would happily recommend any of the Little Miss and Mr Men books, this has to be one of my favourite ones though.

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            26.04.2009 22:46
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            Everyone needs some happiness in their life

            Last night we continued with the Little Miss stories for Toby at bedtime, and this recent one was about Little Miss Sunshine.

            Little Miss Sunshine goes on holiday and as she drives back home in her car she comes across a signpost 'To Miseryland' as she thought that she had never heard of that name before, she took the turning and headed down the road. She came across another sign saying 'You are now entering Miseryland' underneath it it said, Smiling, Laughing, Chuckling, Giggling Forbidden By order of the King.

            As she entered the land she got arrested for smiling and was taken to the King, The King was crying when she got there, she smiled and the King stopped, while she was trying to find out why all the happy things were not allowed she laughed and chuckled and found that no one has ever been allowed to be happy as this was Miseryland!

            The King wanted to be happy, so Little Miss Sunshine took him out to her car and drove him back to the sign, she wrote on it and changed a couple of the words; now all is 'permitted' by the Kingand Miseryland has been changed to 'Laughterland.'

            Little Miss Sunshine even taught the King how to smile and laugh!

            I love this book and I think Toby loves it too, It's a great story for helping children to express feelings. Toby points out in the pictures whether the characters corners go up or down which makes them sad or happy, today he even asked his Dad and I if our corners were up or down, even if they were going down, you can't help but smile at the way he said it.

            There is loads of repetition in the story and will help with a child's language, recognising letters and eventually words themselves. It only takes about 5 minutes to read (slightly longer if you discuss the pictures) and is an ideal length to read at bedtime.

            It's great to have the whole collection, but if you only want one or two, then this would be a lovely book to add to any child's bookshelf.

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              26.04.2009 22:18
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              Little Miss Neat goes away and comes back to not so neat!

              After reading the entire series of Little Miss and Mr Men books a while back Toby has insisted on having them read to him again at bedtime, the first one he chose was Little Miss Neat.

              A green tidy character with orange shoes, a blue hat and glasses; She lives in a cottage called 'twopin' and spends her day keeping it clean, by polishing, dusting and making sure everything is in the right place. Little Miss Neat was so obsessed, that one morning when she looked out of her window and saw a puddle on her path, she rushed outside with a duster, mopped up every drop, then washed the duster, ironed itand placed it neatly back where she found it.

              The main part of the story is about when Little Miss Neat went on holiday, and whilst away Mr Muddle came for tea, he made himself a cup of tea whilst waiting, but eventually went home.

              When Little Miss Neat came back she went to make herself a cup of tea before unpacking, and found all the things she needed in the wrong places. She called Mr Muddle to see if it was him who came to visit, and invited him round again for another tea, sat on her chair and found the teaspoons, fiorks and knifes! It was then that she decided thta she wouldn't go on holiday again the next year.

              Now although it isn't one of the best Little Miss stories I have read, you can't complain about the learning opportunities in the book, there are several repetitions with the words, which would encourage the child/ren to look at the words too and recognise letters etc. the pictures are bright and colourful, and these aid the child to look at them to tell the story.

              The story can be read in about 5 minutes, which is why we find them an ideal choice for bedtime, the size of the book is also good for little ones to hold onto.

              These books are easy to find on the net or in shops, but it's worth shopping around as you can often buy them on special offer, the one I have is priced at £1.25 but I had bought it while at college several years ago when looking after other children. They retail now at £2.50.

              Little Miss Neat is the 3rd bok in the series, and althoughit's not one of my favourites, it's a great book to have if you want the whole collection.

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                25.04.2009 23:58
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                A shopping trolley memory game, a must for any youngster.

                A while ago my husband and I went away for a few days, we decided to bring Toby back a small gift. which was this shopping list game made by Orchard Toys.

                Since we bought it, Toby has played with it so much I just had to tell you all how great it has been in more ways than one!!

                The game itself comes complete with 4 trolleys, 4 list each containing 8 items, which vary from fruit, veg, tins, packets to soaps, washing powders etc; all familar day to day type items. there are also 32 individual cards each featuring the items on the shopping lists.

                Each player takes a trolley and list and takes it in turn to turn over a small card. if that item is on their list they can place it in their trolley. the aim of the game is to find all of your shopping before the other players.

                The game is great to develop your memory skills, remembering where each piece was left on the table or floor, so you can find them when it's your go.

                When Toby first played this game he wasn't too sure about how it worked, but got the hang of it really quickly, he worked his way up to using 2 trolleys and two lists each, when there was only 2 players, and has since learned to cheat when he wasn't getting enough pieces.

                All the pieces are made of very strong cardboard, with the Orchard Toys logo printed on the back. The pictures on the front are very clear basic pictures which are easily distinguishable.

                Recently Toby was given the expansion packs which can be used with this set, one being clothes and the other fruit & veg; each of these packs contains 2 trolleys, 2 lists and 16 smaller cards just like the main shopping list game. the other day Toby insisted that we were to play the game but use 4 trolleys each. I didn't think he could manage it, but he did really well, he kept all the lists and pieces separate, and didn't even try to cheat.

                Since playing this game, it has helped Toby when we do our normal shopping at the supermarket; he likes tohave his own list to hold onto in the trolley (containing items we need of course) I write his list out using clear words and copied pictures from his game; he recognises these and tells me what he wants/needs. once we have found the item he crosses it off his list. It has helped himto be more involved whilst shopping, keeping him happy, and stopping himfrom requesting items we don't want. Recently an old couple saw what I was doing and congratulated me on being a great mother, keeping my son happy rather than allowing him to run up and down aisles. Thank you shopping list game!!

                Toby has enjoyed coming home and helping to put his shopping away too, finding where things go in the kitchen, and helping to develop his independence. Ho loves to go shopping now and it's not a chore any more.

                During the game and whilst out shopping, the lists are helping with a child's language development, recognising words and letters, and encouraging them to look at and say the words. Matching the pictures up and matching with products helps with basic maths skills, which are all important basic skills. Since playing this game and continuing to use while out shopping it has helped to increase Toby's concentration skills, he can play the game for longer now, and always stays until the game has finished.

                I can thoroughly recommend this game to any young child; although focused at children aged 3-7 years, Toby got it when he was two 1/2 and had no trouble matching the pictures and recognising what they were.

                The box it comes in is very strong and sturdy and holds the pieces well. the only downside to the game is, to ensure you put all the pieces away when finished with as it would be a shame to lose a piece, and not be able to play it again properly.

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                  25.04.2009 22:48
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                  A yummy chocolate and ice cream cone from Cadbury's

                  Whilst in Tesco the other day I fancied buying some ice cream; for several reasons eally, 1 - my husband left the freezer door slightly open when we went on holiday, losing all my supplies. 2 - The sun is shining. 3 - Toby is really into ice cream at the moment.

                  Browsing the shelves I decided on some cone style ice creams as these suit Toby well, if it starts melting too fast he doesn't get too messy, he has tried lollies but doesn't like these, probably due to the strength of flavour and also due to getting very sticky and in a huge mess. I spotted various packs of 3 cones priced at around £1.50, and then I saw these Cadbury Buttons cones; 6 cones for £2.00. The packaging looks exactly the same as the picture above, The familar Cadbury's purple is very easy to spot.

                  For review purposes I always have to try the product, after all Toby can't explain the flavours etc just yet!

                  Each cone is wrapped in a familar paper which you have to tear to get inside, the top of the cone there is a card cirle disc which protects the ice cream.

                  After removing the disc and wrapper, you are faced with a traditional cone wafer; a light brown covering, with a chocolate egde to the top, and a large helping of pure white ice cream on the top. on top of this is a generous sprinkling of small milk chocolate drops.

                  As I eat the ice cream, the chocolate tastesjust how I expected, a familiar Cadbury's chocolate; creamy, slightly sweet and melts in your mouth. The ice cream is exceptionally creamy, it's a cross between mr whippy style and a soft scoop ice cream, whipped inside it contains small pieces of chocolate, which I was very pleased to find, as they weren't visible on the outside.

                  The ice cream filled the cone almost all the way to the bottom, where they was a small teaspoon full size amount of chocolate. The cone held the ice cream and chocolate well and was crispy when I bit into it.

                  I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this dessert, I was satisfied by the end of it. The flavours complimented each other, it was creamy and delicious. I loved the chocolate mixed up with the ice cream and gave it a different texture. Toby seemed to thoroughly enjoy his too, especially as he polished off the whole lot and managed to get a fair amount around his mouth, nose and cheeks.

                  Being a dessert you are going to find a fair amount of sugar and not healthy stuff inside, so eating one as a treat is good, but those of you who are liking the sound of this but have to watch what you eat, each cone which weighs 100g is 185kcal, contains 23.1g carbs and 9.2g fat.

                  Contains Milk, Wheat, Soya, and may contain Nuts

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                    20.04.2009 23:22
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                    A child friendly place to eat that I would like to go back to soon and sample more dishes.

                    We went away for a few days over the Easter holidays, and travelled back on Sunday, rather than go home and rustle something up to eat from the freezer, we decided to pop into a Harvester on the way home.

                    Being a Sunday it was fairly busy and virtually all the tables were taken, we waited to be seated and were then shown to a table with 5 minutes. There were plenty of staff around and our service was very prompt.

                    Drinks were ordered and whilst waiting for those we browsed the various menus given to us; a full menu listing all starters, mains, sides and desserts, and a smaller menu for the early birds - this is a selection of dishes chosen from the main menu but available before 6.30pm at a lower price. Toby was given his own menu, consisting of a selection of child friendly dishes - simply chicken, fish, ribs, burger, and pasta. Each served with a choice of wedges, mash, chips and peas or beans.

                    We ordered our dishes - surf and turf for Toby's Daddy, original combo (ribs & spit roast chicken) for me, and chicken chips and beans chosen by Toby. We were then told we could help ourselves to salad.

                    Giving Toby a choice of food, we took him up with us and allowed him to choose whatever he wanted (with a little guidance from us, knowing what he does and doesn't like!!) there was a large selection of salad items including tomatoes, cucumber, coleslaw, sweetcorn, grated carrot, lettuce, beetroot, peppers, potato salad and more besides, you could even choose a variety of dressing and toppings including mayo, blue cheese, tomato type one, croutons, onion bits and raisins. Something to tempt everyone! This is unlimited so if you fancy more later on with your main meal you can.

                    Just as we were finishing our salad our main meals were bought to our table. The plates and the food were very hot, and the portion sizes were ideal. Toby's food needed to be chopped a little and blown, but this only took a short time. My dish came with a portion of barbeque sauce and a chuck of sweetcorn. The chicken was really moist and not at all fatty, the ribs contained 6 bones, the meat fell off these really well and tasted great with the sauce.

                    My husband enjoyed his surf and turf, the steak was cooked exactly to his liking, and he had a good portion of scampi on the side. After the meal we were sufficiently stuffed, we had had an enjoyable meal, but couldn't consider pudding, as we really wanted to get back home to unpack etc. (therefore I can't comment on these)

                    Although we were there during a busy Sunday lunch we were not kept waiting and were very happy with our experience. We will definitely consider going back on another occasion, to sample a few other delights on the menu and of course to try a pudding or two.

                    The interior decoration was very comfortable too, you almost felt like you were at home, just having someone else do the cooking and clearing up after you.

                    If you want to know more about the other dishes Harvester have to offer you can visit their website at www.harvester.co.uk all the dishes and offers are listed, it's a clear site and easy to navigate too.

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                    • McCoy's Cheddar & Onion / Snacks / 38 Readings / 37 Ratings
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                      16.04.2009 21:22
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                      A real McCoy ridge cut crisp that hold flavour well

                      I do occasionally find myself munching away on a bag of crisps. Recently my husband went to buy a few bits from the supermarket and came back with some bags of McCoys, in cheddar and onion flavour and Salt and vinegar. Not being a salt and vinegar fan I thought I'd give the cheddar flavour a try

                      In a green, gold and white foil bag, it seems smaller than your standard bag of crisps, but at 32g, it is 7g heavier than Walkers standard multi pack bags.

                      On opening the bag you are hit with a fairly strong cheese flavour with a hint of onion, a nice tempting flavour that doesn't blow your taste buds away, but entices you to try what is inside.

                      The crisps inside don't look like your standard potato crisp either, they are cut from potatoes, but with a ridge; these thick cut ridged crisps are designed to contain more flavour to 'deliver a really satisfying taste'. Placing one into your mouth, you find that is when the flavour really hits you; there is lots of flavour attached to each side, trapped in the ridges. This flavour is in a fine powder form and comes off easily on your tongue as you rub it down the ridges.

                      The crisps are really crunchy and I love that, (I can't bear soggy or stale crisps) they also melt pleasantly in your mouth, releasing the potato flavour, so you know they are from the real thing and not processed.

                      I am a big fan of cheese and onion flavour crisps and these do give a good cheese flavour, with a fairly mind onion tint, as you get to the bottom of the pack and pick up the smaller crumbier crisps you find a mass of flavouring and as you place this in your mouth the cheddar and onion flavours come across quite strong, especially the onion, but this is not an unlikeable taste, in fact it has actually made me want to have another pack.

                      Although McCoys contain 30% less saturated fat than last year, each pack still contains 9.8g fat, 2g of this being saturated, so having more than 1 bag may not be such a good idea!

                      My husband bought these 6 pack bags in Tesco the other day for 75p, a ½ price special offer until 21st April, normally they cost £1.51. For approximately 12.5p a bag you can't go wrong especially if you are on a budget. I'll be stocking up with these whilst I can.

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                      • More +
                        13.04.2009 22:55
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                        A white chocolate shaker egg, great for the kids and the environment too!

                        The other week Toby was given a small Easter egg at Playgroup. It was a Nestle Milkybar Shaker egg. I'm not overly keen on white chocolate, but for the purpose of this review I happily opened it up for Toby, and secretly took a small piece to sample.

                        Packaging
                        ~~~~~~~~~~
                        The outer packaging looks almost exactly like the picture above, except the one I have is a shaker egg and doesn't contain 2 milky bars. It contains all the relevant information you would need to know about the product and more besides, including why some of the ingredients are added, and where they are from i.e. 'Acacia gum' - from trees! For those who don't know what that is, it's a glazing agent - makes the drops shiny!

                        There is also child friendly pictures to explain recycling, informing us that they have replaced the plastic tray with a cardboard one to make recycling even easier.

                        As you open the outer box you see the cardboard inner tray it has a basket weave pattern around the outside and is raised along each side making it look like basket handles, inside is a gold foil wrapped egg, which as you shake it you hear the chocolate drops inside rattling around, hence why it's called a shaker egg!

                        The Egg
                        ~~~~~~~~
                        Inside the foil you find a white chocolate egg, patterned with a traditional chocolate egg pattern, which looks a bit like crazy paving. When you break this open, you find the egg about a ¼ full with small round white chocolate drops.

                        Sampling the egg and drops, they melted slowly and you can taste the creaminess and sweetness of the chocolate. I find with white chocolate you get a strange after taste; this is probably from the vanilla flavouring.

                        My thoughts
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        My first thoughts on this egg were quite positive, I don't like to buy Easter eggs as I find there is too much wasted packaging included, and you don't seem to get as much chocolate for your money compared to a chocolate bar.

                        This egg has minimal packaging, and all of it can be recycled, even the foil can be recycled just like a tin can! There is no plastic involved and this is great, maybe other companies can take this on board and ditch the plastic next year.

                        Placing the chocolate drops inside of the egg reduces on packaging, but also gives the recipient an extra bit of fun, by shaking it, and making lots of noise. Don't shake it too hard though as the egg may break.

                        I still am not keen on white chocolate, I prefer milk or plain, but white chocolate can be a great alternative for children. It doesn't seem to melt as fast as milk chocolate; Toby didn't seem to get as messy with this as he does with other chocolate.

                        When I was looking for small foil covered eggs for a hunt before Easter I saw these and similar shaker eggs available at Tesco at £1.49 and Buy one get one free, so for 75p each these are very good value for what you get.

                        Obviously Easter is over now, and shops have either stopped selling them or selling them at reduced prices, but look out for them next year, they are great value for money, and great for the environment too.

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                        • Cakes / Recipe / 46 Readings / 44 Ratings
                          More +
                          12.04.2009 21:55
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                          A delicious and semi healthy bread/cake.

                          A friend of mine passed on this wonderful recipe after I sampled some she made. Although it started off as 'Banana Tea Bread' we often refer to it as 'Banana cake.' What ever you call it I'm sure you will love it!

                          Ingredients:
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          200g - 7oz Self raising flour
                          1.25ml - ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
                          2.5ml - ½ tsp Salt
                          75g - 3oz Butter
                          175g - 6oz Sugar
                          2 Eggs beaten
                          450g - 1lb Bananas mashed
                          100g - 4oz nuts coarsely chopped (optional)

                          Method:
                          ~~~~~~~~~~
                          Heat oven to 180c and grease & line an oblong loaf tin, approx 21.5 x 11.5cms

                          Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the egg a little at a time, beating well.
                          Add bananas and mix well.
                          Sift flour, bicarb and salt, whilst adding to mixture, add nuts if wished and stir well.
                          Pour into tin and bake in oven for 1 ¼ hours until well risen and just firm.
                          Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

                          Opinions
                          ~~~~~~~~~
                          This is such a quick cake to make, the cooking time is fairly lengthy, but it means you can leave it to cook and get on with other jobs. Towards the end of cooking time you get this lovely sweet banana aroma drifting round your house.

                          The original recipe my friend had said to leave this for 24 hours before eating! Mmmm I don't think so!! After a short time (30 minutes) I couldn't resist trying some. The outside had a slight crunch, whilst inside the cake was soft, moist and really delicious.

                          I actually made this cake with my son; he loves cooking and always loves to help mix/sift/lick the bowl etc. This is a great recipe to try with any child; they can get their hands in to the bananas and squidge them up, help to measure ingredients, and learn basic cooking and science skills.

                          I like to do several different activities with Toby, but I especially love the cooking. It's an activity he looks forward to. He love eating the occasional slice of this cake after his lunch or tea, and I look forward to making it again soon.

                          You can easily leave out the nuts from the recipe, I'm actually considering substituting the nuts next time with a few chocolate chips instead, Yum yum!!

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