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wazza115

wazza115
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Member since: 24.01.2012

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    • Stoves 600SiDOm / Cooker / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
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      28.07.2014 16:25
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Works well"
      • "Good price"
      • Freestanding

      Disadvantages

      • "Knobs to the front"

      Our freestanding oven still looks like new

      The unit is freestanding and measures approximately 55cm x 56xm x 59cm so it is a little smaller that the standard size base unit so ideal if your kitchen is on the small side. The main part of the oven is a matt silver colour and the hob is glossy black which I think looks really nice and would fit into the décor of most homes.




      The front of the cooker is split into two, the top half and the first door opens to reveal the grill and the second the oven. Both doors open downward so you do have to be a little careful when opening the oven as the handle nearly touches the floor.



      The grill came with a black grill tray which rests nicely on the wire shelf which has be adjusted to two different heights within the grill which is the reason that the grill only has one heat setting. The oven also has two stainless steel wire shelves which can be adjusted or removed as needed. The two glass doors have a slight black tint to then which is designed to reflect the heat back into the oven, however you can still see through enough to keep an eye on how your food is coming along. Along the top panel of the oven are six dials, one for each of the hobs, one for the oven and the other for the grill. To the left hand side there is a switch which ignites the gas.



      Because the oven is separate to the grill, it does mean that the capacity of the oven is a little smaller than I am used to, it serves us for just cooking small things such as pizza, oven chips etc but I would have to have to cook a Sunday roast in there as I am not sure that there would be enough room.




      The bob has four different sized rings, the bigger the ring means the higher the heat output. The pan stands can be completely removed so easy to wash (they are also dishwasher safe however when it comes to the caravan, that’s the hubbys job).



      The oven and the grill both heat up really quickly, a lot quicker than my electric oven at home and it also seems to cook food a lot faster. It is worth noting that this isn’t a fan assisted oven therefore you do need to double check your cooking times. Although this cooker is fan assisted, I have never experienced any problems with heat distribution as the heat seems to circulate around really well.



      The only negative is that the knobs are located to the front of the oven and are within easy reach for little ones, this isn’t a specific problem to this oven, many freestanding cookers have their buttons situated here.


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    • More +
      27.07.2014 22:25
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Simple design"
      • "WOrks well"
      • "Good price"

      Disadvantages

      • "Manual Microwave"

      A good value microwave

      The microwave is part of the Cookworks range which is available at Argos, both in store and online and retails for less than 40pounds which I think was quite a good deal.
      What I like about with Argos is there check and reserve facility which allows you to check stock at your local store and reserve it until close of play the following day so I don’t end up having a wasted journey.




      The microwave measures 26cm (h) x 43cm (w) x 33cm (d) which I think it is slightly smaller than the one of have at home which is ideal as there isn’t much worktop space in our caravan and the interior capacity is 17litres. The interior and exterior are both white however this is also available in silver for a slightly higher price. The interior glass plate which measures just under 25cm can be removed and is dishwasher safe, although we don’t have a dishwasher in our caravan so just hot soapy water works fine when it comes to cleaning.



      I would say this is quite simple looking, it doesn’t have any LED displays but for what we need, its perfect and works really well.





      I would say this is one of the easiest to use microwaves I have ever come across, to the front, there are two dials, the top one which operates the power (i.e. low, medium, high and defrost) and the bottom one operates the time. To be honest, I mainly use the high power setting and adjust the cooking time accordingly. The dial for the time goes up in 5minute increments and once the microwave has finished, it makes a loud beep.



      There is a downside to the microwave which is that I cant be more specific with the times, for example, if I was cooked a jacket potato, I would set to 10minutes and walk away but I couldn’t warm a small pot of pureed food for Lauren for 30seconds, I would have to set to 5minutes and then wait close by and have to stop when I think 30 seconds have passed. I don’t think this is a design fault with this microwave, it would be the case with any manual microwave and to be honest, the microwave hardly gets used now my daughter has passed the weaning stage.



      Despite the timing issue, when I do use, I find the microwave performs really well and I have never experienced any issues with it.





      For the price I paid, I think this is an excellent purchase and I would definitely recommend and give the microwave 5 out of 5 stars.


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    • More +
      22.07.2014 22:07
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Excellent quality"
      • "Excellent cover"

      Disadvantages

      • Expensive

      An excellent brush but a little on the expensive side

      I don’t spend a lot on makeup anymore, but this is one range that I always like to ask Santa for (and luckily, he normally obliges).




      The range isn’t widely available but can be found in larger department stores and online from places such as EBay, Look Fantastic and Amazon. The price ranges from 20 - 30 pounds from shops (which I do think is quite expensive and wouldn’t part with that sort of money myself but its ok as a present). I have just looked on EBay and you can get these for less than 10pounds (not sure if they are genuine though as they look a little different to mine). My brush was included in a gift set that I received.



      The brush measures around 5inches tall from tip to tip which I think is an ideal size and fits nicely in my makeup bag. The handle is black with the product name written in silver writing, the bristles are cream and actually look quite short and stumpy, a little bit like they were a lot longer and have been chopped off.



      What I love the most about the brush is how soft the bristles are, they are really soft to touch and it doesn’t scratch against my face when I use it. My powder transfers easily from the brush onto my face without any pressure and it doesn’t rub off my concealer that I have applied. Upon application, the bristles sprayed out across my face and I was amazed at how different my skin looked when I applied using this brush, it seemed to distribute my foundation evenly and give an overall better finish.



      Because of the price of these, rather than throwing away after a while, I like to give them a clean in warm water using my shampoo and I find that the bristles come up like new.



      Having used the brush for a couple of years now and it is still going strong, none of the bristles have fallen out and it still applies my foundation perfectly. I would really recommend the range, especially the brush, but because it is a little expensive, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.



      Thanks for reading.

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    • More +
      21.07.2014 22:52
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Widely available"
      • "Nice fragrance"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      A good value nice tropical fragrance

      Whenever I go shopping, I always like to have a quick sniff of any new fragrances that I see, a couple of years back, I spotted this range in Boots and proceeded to spray each one on to me. I really liked the fragrances, but I didn’t buy any. That was until this year in the Christmas sales, I saw that a gift set was reduced and decided to treat myself.




      I picked this up as part of a set which included the body lotion too and paid around 20pounds which I think was quite a good deal. You can buy the fragrance alone and it retails for 40pounds for a 75ml bottle although looking online now, it does seem to be a promotion quite a lot, for example Boots are currently selling a 75ml bottle for less than 25pounds in their fragrance sale.



      It is also available from most department store and online fragrance shops.



      The fragrance comes in a deep purple bottle which is topped with a silver lid which when removed, reveals a silver spray. To the front of the bottle is a big bold yellow number 4 which is printed on the top of an oversized polo pony.






      According to Boots, the fragrance is describes as follows:



      Top notes – Blood Orange, Cassyrane, Watermelon
      Heart notes - Magnolia Flower, Cristallon, Black Cherry
      Base notes - Cedarwood, Sylkolide, Purple Amber



      I must say, this fragrance has quite a tropical aroma to it, on first spray, I notice the watermelon and orange notes, after a short while, this subsides to leave a fragrance what I can describe as a being similar to a bowl of freshly picked berries (strawberries, raspberries and cherries) with a slightly vanilla undertone. I would definitely describe this as a summer fragrance and one that I really like.



      I don’t normally go for an EDT as I find that the staying power isn’t great but this is a little different, because it seems to have a few layers to it, by the end of the day, the fragrance is still evident, just with a slightly different format to the one is started with. The staying power is even better when I apply this on the top of the body lotion that I got with the set too.





      The Pony Collection was first launched back in 2012 and consists of four difference fragrances, No 1, 2, 3 and 4. All of which have quite tropical and oriental aromas to them. I am looking forward to trying another one of them in the future.




      I really love the fragrance and would recommend and I would give it 5 out of 5 stars.



      Thanks for reading.

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    • Ignis AKS655IX / Cooker Hood / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
      More +
      19.07.2014 21:56
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • Works
      • "Looks nice"
      • "Good price"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      A good value hood which looks stylish and does its job

      The fits perfectly over our gas hob and between our two wall units which leads me to believe it is just under 600mm wide. When it came to fitting, my hubby was able to do this himself quite quickly, although it is recommended that you get an electrician to fit.



      What I like about the hood is that the height of it can be adjusted to accommodate even the highest of ceilings as there is an extension part to it. Living in a fairly new house, we didn’t have to extend the hood too much and it was really easy to do (or so my hubby is now telling me) and the hood came with all the brackets, screws etc which allows you to fix it to your wall. I must say, the chimney part of the hood does feel a little loose to touch (however it hasn’t fallen down), but I am not sure if this is more of a fitting issue on my partners behalf rather than a manufacturing issue.



      On the underside of the hood are two switches, ones that operates the light, I find that these are quite bright and even in the darkest conditions, do an excellent job at lighting up my hob. The other switch operates the actual fan itself, there are three speed settings, the only time really that I use the highest speed setting is when I am cooking a Sunday lunch and a have a few pans on the go or if I am cooking something really spicy and I don’t want my house to smell for the next few days. Regardless of what setting I use, again, this performs well.



      When in use, the noise generated by the fan is quite loud, and the higher the speed of extraction, the louder the noise. I can find that if it is on, I wouldn’t be able to hear the phone ring or the door go which can be a little annoying, especially when I have a little one as I can’t hear what she is up to. I don’t think this problem is down to the brand though as my mum paid quite a lot for her hood and it’s exactly the same.



      The one downside of the hood is cleaning it, grimes seems to build up quite quickly, luckily for me, as my partner works as a chef, he brings home some tough degreaser with him which seems to do the trick. Its really surprising how quickly the grease and grime builds up, especially considering that there is only three of us and we probably only cook three days a week.



      The instruction manual states that the filter should be cleaned twice a month to ensure it doesn’t become saturated with fat and grease. With these, they unclip out easily and I just soak in really hot soapy water for around 20minutes, rinse and then soak and scrub again (be careful not to let the water go cold like I have before as you just have to start again). The other option is that these can just be popped in the dishwasher.



      The hood has been installed for over 10 years now and with the exception of having to replace one of the halogen bulbs, it still performs as well as it did the day we bought it. I would definitely recommend this hood and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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      • More +
        11.07.2014 21:02
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        • Quiet
        • "Free delivery"
        • "Easy to clean"
        • "Good price"

        Disadvantages

        • None

        A good value fridge freezer

        When we first move in together, my partner and I were lucky to receive a fridge and freezer from my in-laws as a gift, we had separate ones as at the time, there was nowhere in our house where we could fit a fridge freezer. Last year, my freezer started freezing on the outside and although there was nothing wrong with the fridge, we decided to invest in a freestanding fridge freezer. (What I didn''t want to do was just replace the freezer and then within a couple of months, have to replace the fridge and to be honest, I was sick of bending down every time I wanted something out of the fridge).

        I purchased this from Tesco Direct last year at a price of just under 250pounds, this included free delivery. Having a look online, I can see that this is also available in black and silver and prices can go up to as much as 300 so it is worth having a look around.

        One of the first things I noticed when I first started looking at these was the huge price range and the difference in specification; in fact, it was a bit daunting so in the end I left the decision up to my other half.

        The fridge freezer measures approximately 54cm wide, 58cm deep and 174cm tall, whilst the height and width are fine, I would say that the depth is a little on the small side. In my old fridge, I could lie a 2litre bottle of pop on she shelves easily however if I do this in this fridge, I cannot close the fridge door. Although this doesn''t cause too much of a problem, you can guarantee when I need to put a bottle in the fridge, the door is full of things that cannot be put on their sides.

        I find that the noise is almost none existent, even with the door open, I wouldn''t know that the fridge was there. Occasionally, there is a loud click that comes from the direction of the fridge freezer but my other half tells me that this is to do with the auto defrost kicking in.

        Energy rating ? A+ Annual Energy Consumption ? 268kWh Noise level ? 49dB Storage capacity of fridge ? 150litres Storage capacity of freezer ? 84litres

        The fridge has three glass shelves inside, all of which are adjustable and with the bottom one having two salad boxes underneath which are really quite deep and can hold a decent sized iceberg lettuce easily. On the inside of the door is a large tray which can comfortably hold a couple of 4pint bottles of milk (sideways) and still has a bit of room for one of two smaller bottles (mine is normally filled with wine). Above the tray are two smaller shelves which are great for holding things such as jars, butter and eggs (you do get a little removable egg holder included).

        You can set the temperature of the fridge by turning a little dial which is situated just under the light in the top right hand corner of the fridge. I still haven''t worked out what is colder, 1 or 6 so I tend to set mine at 3.

        The freezer is made up of four trays, the top three are quite deep and the bottom one is a little shallower. The drawers slide in and out easily as there is a built in auto defrost setting which means that the freezer stays frost and ice free.

        What I do like about the freezer is that should there be a power failure; the freezer will keep the food for around 13hours which I think is really good. I used to work in insurance claims and the number of claims I used to manage for food replacement due to a power failure was unreal.

        I must admit that I haven''t cleaned my freezer out much since I have had it, what I will say is that on the times I have, it was cleaned within a few minutes. Because the freezer stays ice free, I can give it a quick wipe out with a damp cloth and the insides look nice and clean. The same goes really for the fridge, a quick wipe and it''s done.

        Although I mentioned earlier that this was a little smaller than I was used to, with the exception of not being as deep as I would have liked, the fridge freezer has performed really well. My food is constantly kept fresh, cool or frozen and I haven''t experienced any problems with it. For these reasons, I would recommend and this gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.

        Thanks for reading.

        Technical information obtained from my instruction manual.

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        • More +
          09.07.2014 23:24
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Nice bottle design"
          • "Good price"
          • "Nice fragrance"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          A nice good value fragrance from Avon

          When it gets towards the end of the year, I find that I start running low on perfume but I don''t want to go out and buy some as I know Santa will always bring me some. As we always have an Avon catalogue floating around at work, I always have a peek inside to see if there are any offers on, I liked the look of this bottle so decided to give it a go.

          This is from Avon so is available from your local representative or online, if you don''t have a local rep, if you go online they can put you in touch with one. The fragrance is available in a 50ml bottle and retails for around 11pounds but if you catch this right, it can often be a lot cheaper.

          The bottle is quite an unusual shape which is what first attracted me to this, it is made from clear glass which has quite an angled shape to it (it reminds me of something from a supernatural film), when on my dressing table, the light catches the different angles and it looks lovely. I would say that it does have quite an expensive look to it. The packing it came in was quite simple, just a plain white box but to be honest, I normally throw the boxes away anyway.

          I always make a point of reading how the manufacturer describes a fragrance before I buy it although I am not sure why as 9 times out of 10, they are made up of notes I have never heard of and am non the wiser of how it will smell. This however was a little different, Avon describe it as "Essences of gardenia, plum, vanilla orchid and sandalwood laced with hi-tech pheromones. Perceive helps trigger positive emotions, increasing feelings of wellbeing, confidence and lifting your spirits. Woody, Floral" From reading this, I instantly thought I would like is as I like most of these elements.

          When it comes to fragrances, I prefer sweet and slightly fruity rather than floral and this definitely didn''t disappoint, from the first spray, there was a floral note present immediately but I would say it was quite a young fragrance (and that of a nice flower), this mingled with the sweet vanilla and fruits makes the fragrance one that I really like. As the day progresses, the fruity notes do subside a little, leaving a slightly musky undertone.

          I have learnt over the years to buy EDP rather than EDT as I find that the fragrance is stronger, this is available in both. Normally with cheaper fragrances, I find that they fade really quickly and I have to ?top up'' throughout the day however staying power of this is really quite good, I noticed that at the end of the day I could still smell on my coat and clothes.

          I quite like this perfume, especially for the price I paid. What I like about Avon is that they offer a kind of no quibble refund policy so if you are not happy with your product, you can return for a full refund.

          I would give this fragrance 5 out of 5 stars.

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        • More +
          08.07.2014 22:00
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Good price"
          • "Hours of fun"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          Hama was a hit with us

          Last year when we went to Ikea, my daughter pointed out some bead and peg boards which looked a lot like Hama so when it came to Christmas, I decided to get her some.

          We paid around 5pound for a tub of 3000 beads which I think is excellent value for money. It is available from most major toy shops for a similar price.

          The product concept is really simply yet provides hours of fun, simply place the beads onto a peg board (which is sold separately), iron over the top with a sheet of special paper which causes the beads to bond together.

          Hama beads are little cylinders of coloured plastic, in this tub, the beads are a mixture of clear, brown, green, red, yellow, blue and purple and are translucent which I think adds a nice touch.

          There are lots of different versions and set available, some are themed and there are also smaller beads available. These beads are classed as midi which means they are slightly bigger than other ones we have, (they measure approximately 5mm x 5mm) which means we have also used them for jewellery making which I another activity Lauren loves. Because these are a little bigger, we both found it easier to manipulate when first using.

          The tub which the beads come in is re-sealable which is always a bonus as it means the beads are stored safely and securely when not in use. The set is aimed at children over the age of 5 due to the small parts.

          I really like the interaction we can both have with these, we can spend one on one time together just making different designs and talking about day to day events such as school. I find this is the best time to get Lauren to talk to me about what''s happening at school etc (normally she is quite secretive and when I ask her what she has done today at school, the answer is always ?I can''t remember?).

          As well as playing together, my daughter will quite happily set and make patterns and pictures herself and then keep them to one side ready for me to iron away which I like because as much as I like spending quality time with Lauren, working full time means I have to spend time at the weekends cleaning etc.

          I would say these really to ignite Laurens imagination, she likes to make houses, castle, and animals from these, and I would also say they bring out her artist flare by creating nice colourful patterns.

          The fact that the tub contains 3000 beads means that it seems to be lasting for ages, I would say we have played with this several times since Christmas yet there is still more than 75% of the tub left.

          I would really recommend these; I have since gone on to repurchase some more sets ready for birthday and my mum has also brought some to play with when we go there visiting. These get 5 put of 5 stars from me.

          Thanks for reading.

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        • More +
          07.07.2014 22:19
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Does what it should"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          A good value and great dishwasher

          I remember when I first move in with my partner, he was obsessed with getting a dishwasher and after about 2 years of wearing me down, I finally gave in and we purchased one, ever since then, I have never looked back. Back in 2012, ours packed up so we had to get a new one and this is what we decided on.

          There are three colour choices available, white black or silver, with white being the cheapest. Prices start at around 249 pounds, I purchased mine online from Tesco''s as at the time, it was the cheapest and they also had free delivery (I hate paying delivery charges and will always look for somewhere that doesn''t charge me). What I liked about Indesit was that they offered a free recycle programme, so they took our old dishwasher away and not only did they deliver, but they installed it too. I opted for the white model, whilst I think that the silver and black do look nice, they would stand out again my fridge and washer.

          This is a free standing dishwasher with the following dimensions: 60cm x 60cm x 85cm (w x h x d) which is quite a standard size and according to the instruction manual it is 52decibels. I have no idea whether 52 decibels is good, what I can say is that it is quite quiet when it use, apart from the occasional sound of running water (which is when it fills up), I would not know when the dishwasher is on.

          According to the manual, the technical information is:

          Water consumption: 15litres Energy rating: AAA Energy consumption per cycle: 299kwh

          I would say that dishwasher looks quite basic with a plain door, to the top of which are two buttons (on/off and the other is start/pause), a dial where you select what cycle you would like. Along the same panel is the product brand and also a little key letting you know what number of the dial relates to which cycle. The dishwasher had 5 different cycles which are easily set by using the dial to the front.

          Intensive: This cycle will take around an hour and a half to complete and is designed really for pots that need an extra clean (such as stained pots and pans) Time for you: This cycle takes a little longer, just under two hours and is recommended for every day use. Soak: This last about an hour and a half and gives your pots a good blast of hot water for about 10minutes before the cleaning starts. This cycle is ideal for any dried on stains. Eco: Surprisingly, this is the longest cycle at just over two hours but I believe the reason it is called Eco is because less water is used and the temperature doesn''t get at hot. Although I find this cleans quite well, we don''t tend to use this cycle very often. Rapid 35: Just like is says, this is a quick wash and ideal when the dishwasher isn''t quite full and lasts for just over half and hour. Although there are only three of us, we seem to generate quite a lot of dirty pots so again, I haven''t used this one much. The only times I find this comes in handy is when we are about to go away and I want to just get a few bits cleaned before we go.

          Selecting which cycle you want to use is really easy, simply press the on/off button, turn the dial to the number corresponding to the wash you want and then press start. There are also three LED lights along the main panel, when you have pressed start, the first LED light comes to let you know it is on, when the cycle nears the end, the second light comes on and finally, when it is complete the last light comes on.

          I like that the dishwasher has a pause button, there have been times when I have come across a random plate and wanted to drop this into the cycle, there have also been times when the dishwasher is on, and I need a fork, only to realise that they are all in the dishwasher.

          The inside of the dishwasher is stainless steel, it comes with two trays which are designed to hold a place setting for 12 and it also comes with a blue cutlery tray. The cutlery tray can be positioned anywhere within the dishwasher which I really like, I also find this aspect useful when unloading the dishwasher as I can take it out with all the cutlery in and take it to my cutlery drawer to unload.

          The compartment for adding the dishwasher tablet is situated on the inside of the door, simply pop in and close the flap, during the cycle, the flap will open ready for when you next want to use. Also in this compartment is a little screw topped hole where you need to add the rinse aid.

          The salt compartment is in the base of the dishwasher and is opened by unscrewing a large cap, I like that Indesit actually provide a little funnel to help ensure that the salt gets in the hole only and not in the base of the dishwasher (I have made that mistake before and ended up with salt marked glasses and pots).

          I must admit that I am really impressed with the quality of the clean, I have never experienced any issues with pots coming out dirty, even the heavily soiled pans or the ones with the dried on stains. I also love that on some of the longer washes, there is a drying element which means when the cycle is complete, the pots can be put away immediately (although just a word of warning, they can be a little hot).

          I find that the ?sprinking arms'' turn easily to ensure even the pots in the furthest corner of the dishwasher are cleaned. These arms can be easily removed too when then need a clean. With the dishwasher being stainless steel, I find I don''t actually need to clean the inside however, once a week, I clean the filter by just rinsing under the hot tap, and also like to clean around the door seal as this too seems to get a little bit of a grime build up.

          After placing my order with Tesco, I was emailed to say that Indesit would contact me within 4 working days to arrange delivery. I ordered on a Sunday and by 9am Monday morning, they had contacted me and arranged a convenient time to deliver. They came when they said they would and installed the dishwasher within a matter of minutes. The delivery driver took all the packaging (as well as my old unit) away with him and he even offered to talk me through the instructions which I thought was excellent, I declined on this aspect but for the reason I mentioned earlier about the adjustable shelf, I wish I had said yes!

          I was going to tell you that the top shelf is quite shallow and that you cannot put pint glasses in the top rack however having just got the instruction manual out to write this review, I have realised that that top shelf can actually be lowered. To do this, just simply pull it out and then feed the runners onto the higher strips on the side of the shelf. I can''t believe that we have has this dishwasher for two years and never known this.

          Based on the fact that this was the only negative, I think the dishwasher is excellent.

          I would definitely recommend this dishwasher and it gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. Thanks for reading.

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        • More +
          03.07.2014 21:13
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Encourages role play"
          • Cute

          Disadvantages

          • "Topples over easy"
          • "Hard to get hold of"

          Lucy Dog was a hit with us

          One of this years best selling (and hardest to get toys) was Lucy The Dog, although Lauren is not yet at that age where she wants the ?must have'' toys, I knew this would be an instant hit with her as she loves puppies.

          Lucy retails at 30pounds, although this may seem a little expensive compared to similar interactive animals on the market, Lucy does have a lot more functionality. A couple of years ago, we paid 100pounds for Biscuit by Furreal which I know is a lot bigger, but it doesn''t interact nowhere near as much as Lucy does. Lucy is sold in most major supermarkets, toy shops although on the run up to Christmas, she was sold out in most place and the only place you could pick one up was eBay and as you can imagine, the prices were over double the RRP.

          Lucy is a toffee coloured dog which measures around 30cm in length and 10cm high (when on all four legs). She has long fluffy Spaniel like ears which have two cute bows in. Despite all the mechanics, Lucy is quite light and really easy for Lauren to carry around (as she did when we went sale shopping in the New Year).

          The facial expression of Lucy is really cute, she has really big golden eyes and a few stitched on eyelashes too. There are three sensors on Lucy which make her do other things, (slightly raised buttons which are situated on her back, tip of her nose and the bottom of her left ear), by pressing these, Lucy will give lots of different variations of barks.

          Warning, when you first open the box, you must follow the instructions, this consists of setting the option from display to on, you then press Lucy''s ear and she will bark, you must then say Lucy (or what I really like is you can call the dog anything you like), once registered, Lucy will bark, repeat this a further two times and then you are ready to go (try saying in different tones so she will easily recognise). We didn''t think to read the instructions at first and spent a good 20 minutes getting frustrated as Lucy didn''t seem to be working.

          What I really like about Lucy is that she responds to twelve different commands, making her different to similar products on the market. To make Lucy respond to a command, first, say her name, wait for her to bark once and then say the action: ?Sit? - Lucy barks once and proceeds to sit down, makes a whining noise and barks several times. I would say this is the easiest of commands she follows.

          ?Lay Down? - Lucy lies down on her tummy ?Get Up? ? Whenever we get Lucy to lie down, we follow it with this command, Lucy gets back up into a standing position ?Dance? ? Lucy lies on her tummy and her legs jiggle around a bit, her barking becomes very excited ?Give me a kiss? ? Lucy stands up on her back legs, jumps forward slightly and makes a big sloppy kiss sound. She then returns back onto four legs. I do find that unless Lucy is on a hard, flat surface, she tends to fall over, even on carpet. ?Hello? ? Lucy stays in the standing position and barks several times ?Bark? ? This delivers the same action as above, just with more barks. Lauren does tend to use bark more than she does ?Hello? ?Shake hands? ? Lucy stands on her back legs and waves her front legs in the air. Again, when Lucy has finishing this, she returns back onto all four legs, but does tend to topple forward. ?On your head? ? Lucy falls forward and does a headstand, waving her back legs in the air ?Search? ? Lucy gets down into crawler mode and makes lots of sniffing sounds ?Stand up? ? Lucy stands on her hind legs

          Some of the instructions are a bit hit and miss as stated above, Lucy definitely has a balancing issue and whenever she goes from a two legged position back to four, she topples forward every time. Like a really puppy (or maybe it just mine), Lucy makes lots of excited barking noises with every action that she does.

          Although Lucy can follow these instructions, Lauren can get a bit frustrated when she doesn''t follow them, for example, it took Lauren quite a while to remember that Lucy must bark once before you read her the instruction, if she doesn''t bark, then she hasn''t registered what you are saying.

          Lucy does perform better when there is minimal background noise too, when Lauren first started to use this, the television was on and we had family round and it was taking a while for Lucy to follow all the instructions. We have been playing with Lucy most of today with just the radio on and she has followed them all perfectly.

          If Lucy doesn''t understand what instruction you have given her, she will stand still and bark three times so you know to repeat.

          I really like that Lucy has a sleep mode so when she isn''t being used, she will bark and then lie down until she is awoken. To awake, you just need to touch one of Lucy''s three sensors. It is recommended though to turn Lucy off completely when you aren''t going to play for a long period of time, I must admit, this is a bit of a pain and we do forget to do it.

          Lucy requires 4 x AA batteries which are included when purchased, we have been playing with Lucy on a daily basis for the last month now and these are still going strong.

          My daughter really loves Lucy; she is the one toy that she likes to take with her when we go shopping or visiting people and loves giving anyone who even looks at Lucy, a demonstration of what she can do. I collected a prescription from Boots recently and whilst I was waiting, Lauren demonstrated all the commands to one of the shop assistants (good job they weren''t busy). It''s lovely to watch Lauren play with her; even outside of ?command mode'' she has set up teddy bears picnics, pushed Lucy around in her pram and dragged her round the living room with a lead on.

          I really think this toy is helping with Laurens development and understanding too, whilst initially, she became frustrated when Lucy didn''t do as she was told; Lauren is becoming more patient and understands what to do in these situations. We recently had a real puppy, I have also found Lucy useful in showing Lauren how to care for her, she does have a tendency to get a little carried away with Pip (our puppy), so I have been able to talk to Lauren about things, using Lucy as an example.

          Overall, my daughter has given Lucy 5 out of 5 stars but due to the toppling over issue, I would only give 4, we would both recommend though.

          Thanks for reading.

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          01.07.2014 22:23
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Excellent price"
          • "Nice fragrance"

          Disadvantages

          • "Not long lasting"

          A nice cheap fragrance at a decent price

          I love a good bargain so when the Next sale comes around in the summer, I always like to get there early (4am) so I can kit the family out in summer clothes for the following year. When I finally get in the shop, I have a routine in which departments I go first, normally children''s, men''s and then the women''s section. Last year, I spotted this as part of a gift set and decided I would try it.

          The fragrance is exclusive to Next and is available in store and online, you can also pick this up from EBay. Prices are around 12 pounds for a 75ml bottle and there are quite often gifts sets available with matching body lotion, all of which are prices quite reasonable too. Quite often in the sales, these set get reduced, we also have a Next Clearance near us which also sells these too.

          The fragrance comes in a nice chunky square bottle, at the top of the bottle is a pink ribbon and it is stopped with a gold lid. I feel the bottle is quite simple yet I would say it has an expensive look to it. It comes in a nice pale pink box and I would say it has quite a girly look to it.

          According to Next, the fragrance is described as ?A fresh green floral fragrance with soft fruits and pink blooms'', like most fragrance descriptions I read, I have no idea what this is meant to smell like and at the time I purchased, I wasn''t able to test so I just hoped it would be nice, lucky for me, it was quite nice. Normally I am not a fan of floral fragrances, but this has quite a sweet undertone to it, upon first spray, the flowery notes are quite dominant, these quickly subside to make way for the fresh citrus fruits. One of the best things about this fragrance is that you don''t have to spray much to notice I am wearing.

          I would describe the fragrance as one to wear in the summer due to how light and refreshing it is, the only downside of the fragrance is that it is quite sort lived, just a few hours after spraying; I feel the need to reapply. I don''t mind too much however as the cost is so cheap.

          I quite like the fragrance, but I don''t think I would purchase again as its not one of my favourites. Despite this, I would recommend and it gets 4 out of 5 stars.

          Thanks for reading.

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          29.06.2014 22:13
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Cute design"
          • "Nice fragrance"

          Disadvantages

          • "A little expensive"

          Nice as a gift but a little expensive if not

          As this was a gift, I am not sure how much is cost however I have just had a quick look online and I can see it retails for around 6pounds upwards. It is available from places such as Boots, Superdrug, Amazon and larger supermarkets.

          Kitty''s head is completely removable and when removed, it exposes a screw top lid as the bubble bath is contained in her body. When the screw top lid is removed, the liquid pours easily from the bottle as it is quite thin. Her head is really easy to remove, even for little hands which I like as Lauren now plays with this in the bath so she can fill up with water when playing.

          The product contains 300ml of bubble bath which I suppose does make the product expensive when compared to other bottles of bubble bath so it shows that you are really playing for the bottle and Kitty brand. As I mentioned earlier, the liquid has quite a runny consistency to it but on the plus side, it created lots of bubbles, even when using a small amount. Another good point is that it has a lovely strawberry aroma to it which fills the bathroom when mixed with the hot water of the bath.

          One of the reasons why I don''t really use bubble bath for my daughter is that sometimes she has quite sensitive skin however since using, she has not suffered any reactions neither had it dried her skin out since using.

          Kitty measures around 15cm tall and is made from quite thick plastic which is good as I would be worried about Kitty breaking during play if not, especially when being banged on the side of the bath. She comes dressed in a pink little cotton smock which can be removed and has her trademark big pink bow situated so the side of her head. Kitty doesn''t have any moveable arms or legs but the plus side of this is that she stands nicely on the bathroom shelf. I do like the fact that Kitty can be played with after use, Lauren will sit for ages just pouring water out of this and then filling it up again. Lauren doesn''t really have many bath toys now as over the years, the have started to go a little grubby so this is definitely one of her favourites.

          If was to pick one negative about this, it would be that the ?bottle'' cannot be squeezed so as you are getting near the end, it can be a little time consuming to get the last but of bubble bath out.

          While I quite like this, I don''t think I would repurchase for everyday use, but it is nice as a gift therefore I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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          28.06.2014 22:56
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Widely available"
          • "Funky bottle"
          • Sweet

          Disadvantages

          • "Not the longest lasting"

          A lovely fruity fragrance

          I really like Marc Jacobs and ever since this one was introduced a couple of years back I have wanted to buy but I just couldn''t justify the price tag so when I spotted this was reduced in the January sales, I decided to treat myself.

          The fragrance is widely available in most department stores and high street chemists and available in three different sizes, 30ml, 50ml and 100ml. Within the range there are also gift sets (more widely available around Christmas time), body lotion and shower gets available too.

          The first thing that struck me about the Marc Jacobs range was the design of the bottle, they are quite different so other brands on the market and actually quite eye catching, Dot is no different. The bottle is bright red (but slightly transparent) and covered in bold black spots, it has two glass butterfly shapes protruding from the sides which are in the same colour and have a big pearl in the centre. To me, the bottle looks beautiful and a little like a ladybird. The bottle is topped with a gold necked lid which has four big black ?wings'' sticking out and finally a big ball on the top.

          Although the actual bottle is quite hard to describe, I would say that the design does look rather classy yet quite a young feel to it and the bottle looks lovely on my shelf in the bedroom.

          According to Basenotes.com, the fragrance is made up as follows: Top notes ? Red berries, Dragon Fruit, Honeysuckle Middle notes ? Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Coconut water Base notes ? Musk, Driftwood, Vanilla.

          Unlike a lot of fragrances note I read, I am familiar with all of the notes so if I hadn''t smelt it in the shops before purchasing, I would have a pretty good idea that this would be quite a fruity fragrance and one that I would like.

          Upon first spraying the fragrance, the fresh berry notes are quite strong and very sweet (which I love) within a few moments, I would say that the other fruit elements start to come through which eventually subside to leave a subtle sweet vanilla tone which seems to have a hint of cucumber. I must say, I cannot detect any coconut water notes at all. A good sign to me on whether a fragrance smells good on me is when people comment on it and when I first started wearing this, several people asked me what I was wearing.

          If I was to pick one downside, it would be that it doesn''t have the greatest staying power and I do find that by mid afternoon, I feel the need to top up. This isn''t normally a problem as if I have my big handbag with me, I always carry perfume with me but when I am going anywhere special, I take a much smaller bag with me and because the bottle is quite big, I find it wont fit in. I actually purchased the fragrance as part of a gift set which contains body lotion, I do find that it I spray this on me after I have applied the lotion, the staying power is a lot better.

          In my opinion, the design of the bottle makes me feel like it is a summer fragrance and whilst I am currently wearing this, I feel it could be used all year round.I would definitely recommend this fragrance and will look to repurchase again. From me, this gets 5 out of 5 stars. Thanks for reading.

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          26.06.2014 22:26
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          1 Comment

          Advantages

          • Fun
          • Cute

          Disadvantages

          • None

          A nice additional to the Sylvanian range

          My daughter loves Sylvanians and we have a collection which is every growing, every Christmas and birthday, she gets new ones and also as rewards for doing achieving certain things at school or at swimming. These were what I gave my daughter a few months back when she progressed up a level on her reading at school.

          The twins retail for around 8 pounds and are available from most toy shops and places online such as EBay and Amazon. Luckily for me, I try to keep a look out for bargains throughout the year and I managed to pick these up for around 4 pounds. Although I do find the range expensive, quite often Sylvanians do have promotions running on them which does mean there are some bargains to be had if you have time to shop around.

          Back in the eighties, I remember my younger sister having loads of them, back then, they were just basic woodland animals, whereas there is now nearly every animal you could think of and the accessory range is really extensive.

          The babies come in a small blue box which has a clear plastic panel to the front so you can see exactly what you are getting for your money. The box contains two little chocolate Dalmatian twin babies cutely names Wendy and Tom. From a quick glance, you can tell what animals these are meant to be, the twins are white, covered in brown spots.

          Wendy is in a sitting position and is wearing a little pink babygrow which is fastened by a little bow to the back and Tom is on fours, in a crawling position and he has a little blue pair of pants on. Both items of clothing can be removed, which Lauren loves to do as she will change them round on her different animals (nine times out of ten though she ends up forgetting where she has put them so we have lots of naked Sylvanians).

          Each animal measures just a few inches in height and are part of the Henry-Lloyd Dalmatian family which consists of mummy, daddy, older brother and older sister which can be purchased for around the 15 pounds.

          I would say that Lauren likes the baby animals the most as she likes to play mother, at the childminder she goes to, there are a few younger children and I love to listen to her chatting away, telling me how its nap time, bottle time etc. It always amazes me how much she picks up from just watching what my childminder does. Playing with Sylvanians really goes encourage creative role play.

          The only downside is that the twin''s arms and legs don''t move which means that they stay in the same position all the time so it can be a bit hard when Lauren is trying to play day to day activities such as sitting at the table, going to sleep.

          I would really recommend these and they get 5 out of 5 stars from me.

          Thanks for reading.

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            24.06.2014 18:21
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • "Lovely Fragrance"

            Disadvantages

            • None

            A lovely Sweet Fragrance from Yankee

            After reading several reviews on Yankee Candles, I decided to give them a go. Since then, I have never looked back and look forward to Christmas and birthday when I know Santa will be good to me. This year, my mum and dad gave me this one. I am a huge fan of fruity aromas so I was really pleased when I unwrapped this.

            Normally, when it comes to Yankee Candles, I prefer the tarts as I feel the aroma is a lot stronger and long lasting however I was pleasantly surprised by this and I would describe it as one of the stronger fragrances I have come across. Within around 30minues of lighting, I could detect the fragrance not just in the room, but around most of the house, what I really like about this too is that the fragrance lingers quite a long time, the first time I burnt this, I could still smell it the following day in my living room. I now keep the candle in the bathroom and everytime I walk in, I can smell it, visitors have also commented on how nice it is even without it burning.

            Normally with Yankee, I read the description of the fragrance and I am none the wiser of how it will smell however Yankee describes this one simply as ?a perfect recipe of juicy apples sprinkled with sugar and vanilla?. I knew instantly that I would like this. Upon removing the lid of the candle, the sweet sugar and apple aroma hits you (even without lighting). After lighting, I find that there is a slightly musky note to this which I normally wouldn''t like however when this is mixed with the sweet vanilla, apple and sweet sugar, it works perfectly. Although this fragrance was released at Christmas and the picture to the front has quite a winter feel to it, I would say it is definitely a scent that it suitable for all year round.

            Since my love of Yankee started, I have noticed how widely these are available, a lot of department stores sell them, Clintons, smaller card shop and online from places such as EBay and Amazon. Prices range from as little as 90p up to 20 pound, depending on the shop, size of the candle and fragrance. The large jars such as this one are normally priced at around the 20 pound mark.

            When it comes to fragrances, I do prefer the fruity ones, and this definitely hits the spot.

            I would definitely recommend this fragrance and when this runs out, I will be repurchasing, I might try it in the tart format next as the fragrance of the tarts always seems to be a lot more intense. From me, this gets 5 out of 5 stars.

            Thanks for reading.

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