- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Breville are a popular UK brand which make household appliances and are stocked in most of the major retail outlets in the UK. Breville was also among the first to produce the sandwich toaster, and I remember having one in our house as a child.
For anyone not familiar with the product, this is a toaster which basically uses two slices of bread (can use larger slices too in this model), preferably with straightish sides, which you butter (or margarine) top and bottom (so sticking to the plates) and fill with your choice of filling - most commonly cheddar cheese.
You then push the lid down and lock for a few minutes (you can keep lifting the lid to check) until browned to your taste. It will almost slice them for you too - you just have to pull the two sandwiches apart slightly, and hey presto, your toasted sarnie!
This model of sandwich maker has removable non-stick plates which is a fantastic idea, as it allows you to remove all the grease and grime with a soapy wash, or to place them in the dishwasher.
The body is made of stainless steel and looks really sturdy and is again easy to wipe over to clean. It has a stay-shut clip at the front to clip the lid down when toasting, which doesn't get hot, and an indicator on top to let you know when it's heating up (red) and when it's ready to put your sandwich in (green).
This model has the capacity for two round of toasted sandwiches so I can make one round for my toddlers and one for myself! (hubby not keen on toasted sarnies!). My children really love these at the moment for their tea (good old toasted cheese sandwiches) and it takes me back to my childhood too! For my children I don't leave the sandwich in the toaster too long so that it is quite soft for them.
You also get a handy little booklet with recipe ideas for your sandwiches, and how to look after your little machine, which is a useful inclusion in the box.
I got mine in Comet for £25 but they have an online promotion at the moment for around £19.95.
In my opinion, I have to say that this is a good, sturdy toaster which is easy to clean, heats up and toasts really quickly, and above all, produces tasty little sandwiches which my kids and I love! This is also a very versatile machine, allowing for many different fillings. Five stars!
The only thing I would say is to be careful when filling the sandwhich beforehand, as I have had cheese spilling over and sticking around hinges - but this is also easily wipeable.
I had been a bit of a Croc-unknown when I first saw these type of shoes/sandals last year in Spain. We needed something for the hot weather and hubby bought a black pair of Croc-type shoes.
When he said they were extremely comfortable I was surprised as he only ever wears Clarks shoes, so went and got a white pair with little flowers on the front (only colour they had!!!). I too thought they were lightweight and comfortable.
A few weeks ago we were visiting a sports shop when we saw Crocs on sale and reminded ourselves to come back and have a proper look as we were due to go on holiday in a month's time. Well, we popped back to have a look, and found a variety of Crocs - the Cayman, and other styles - flip-flop style and pump-style shoes. We realised that this must have been the original brand that all the other cheap versions were based upon. Crocs are an American company based in Colorado, although the shoes are made in other countries such as China or Italy.
Although the Crocs Cayman were very comfortable, they were only in the most ridiculous colours so we left, disappointed. I then decided to have a look on the internet to see if I could find any other suitable colours. We found that Amazon had the best prices and range of colours and sizes. Also, they do free delivery of course!
We ordered the Cayman in black and navy, and when they arrived we were pleasantly surprised with their lightweight material made of rubbery plastic, their sturdiness, and impressed by their "anti-fungal and antibacterial sole" pledge. Oh, and they were comfortable andy airy too! I expect that they will last quite a long time, given that they seem to be constructed of a tough material.
Although the autumn seems to be well and truly here, my husband is currently wearing these out and about, and I will be wearing mine when on my hols!
I bought this concealer as a cheaper version to YSL's Touche Eclat primarily for concealing the dark circles under my eyes which have crept up on me over the past year. I tried every natural product to get rid of the bags, but these didn't help much, so gave in and opted to cover them up instead.
I bought this at Sainsbury's as an impulse buy for about £6.50, and began applying it the next day. As they say you should go for a shade lighter than your natural skin tone in a concealer I went for Ivory Beige. They also do another two tones - Natural Beige and Warm Beige, both darker than Ivory Beige.
After cleansing and moisturising I twisted the top of the pen to make the product flow into the softish brush. A good amount of product was released - not too much and not too little. I then dotted it under my eyes, and patted around to blend - was slightly dry but blended OK. I then put my mineral face powder over it. It gave a wonderful appearance - I didn't look so tired anymore.
I must admit that I didn't realise that it wasn't meant for cover-ups, and used it to cover a few blemishes too. It gave slightly better coverage than if I hadn't used it, but may go for another product for this purpose!
At £6.50 it is not a bad price for covering up my tired eyes, and making my face shine again, and it seems that it will last a long time too, so would recommend it to others, definitely.
Having suffered a bit as a teenager with spots, I was enjoying not having to try every product under the sun to cover up all the time, that is until about 3 months ago. I don't know what has prompted this sudden bout of spots, but i'm sure that I don't like it.
While shopping in Lloyds pharmacy I was waiting for a prescription and wandering around the shop, as you do, when I spotted the Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Oil which was on sale at £2. I thought I would try it out to see if it cured me of my recurring spot problem, and eagerly paid for it and took it home.
I immediately washed my face and put some on. I repeated applications about 3 times per day for about 2 days, and I found that it reduced the redness and the size of the spot almost immediately. I was amazed!
The ingredients are as follows:
Aqua, Alcohol denat., Meleleuca alternifola (10%), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor oil, Polysorbate 60, Camelia sinensis, Ceteareth-25, Triticum vulgare, Limonene, Silica, Linalool.
The instruction of use on the bottle state to use it 4-5 times per day on problem areas. It claims to "kill spot-causing bacteria", and to be "natural and effective" on the bottle.
I used this about 3 times per day to get rid of the spot, and would advise to apply it after cleansing the face to maximise the effectiveness. I should imagine it is quite effective when applied at night as it gives it a long period to work against the spot.
It usually costs about £4.50 for 10ml when not in a sale, which is more than what I paid for it, but it is worth it in my opinion for getting rid of spots quickly and naturally.
I struggled with a single buggy since my daughter was born last year, thinking that my son (21 months at the time) would walk with me (was I wrong!) and kept thinking that it was too late to get a double buggy since my son had just turned 3. However, my mother-in-law persuaded my husband that it was a good idea, so yippee I went in search of my double buggy!
Basically, I wanted a buggy which was light, easy to manouvere, set up and take down, not too expensive, and of course comfortable for the children. Also, another important point was that it had to fit through shop doors, as we often go down to the village shop to get milk etc, and there was no point if we could not get through the door!
Finally I settled on the Maclaren Twin Triumph, in Turkish Blue, fantastic! I bought mine from the Glasgow Pram Company, which was offering it at £15 less than other retailers, and with free delivery (this was in May). I couldn't wait to receive it and try it out; it was going to make my life so much easier. I wouldn't have to worry about outings anymore!
It arrived very quickly, and well-packaged in a cardboard box and paper. The hoods were separate, so had to fix them on myself, and there was an additional set of seats and harnesses in another pattern (same colours but stripy). I'm sure when I want to wash the current seats I will change these over. There was also a raincover that was included in the price. This attaches via a series of buttons and keeps the rain off well.
The hoods have a see-through plastic viewing area in the back which i can use to check if the children are alright, and two big pockets for storing a multitude of things like snacks and drinks, and also phones, keys etc.
The seats themselves recline, and each have a strap so that one can be upright and one can be sleeping, or both the same, if you wish! There is a safe five-point harness which sometimes I cannot undo without pressing both thumbs on the middle part to open.
There are two shopping baskets which are fairly big and I am happy with as it fits my shopping essentials in. The pushchair has swivel wheels and it is such a delight to push, and easier to manouvere forwards and backwards and around corners, and even up curbs than the single pushchair I previously owned.
The price at the moment is around £165 but I got mine for about £150 including a raincover.
All in all I am very impressed with this twin pushchair - it does everything I wanted; comfortable for the children, reclinable seats, easy to manouvere, light and easy to set up and take down, and lots of storage space.
Doublebase gel (or cream) is a special highly moisturising and protective hydrating gel that is used mainly for individuals who have dry or chapped skin conditions, such as eczema/dermatitis which may be also itchy or inflamed/infected.
It is manufactured by Dermal Labs in the UK, and contains the following active ingredients: Isopropyl Myristate 15% w/w and Liquid Paraffin 15% w/w. The inactive ingredients are Glycerol, Carbomer, Sorbitan Laurate, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, and Purified Water.
I have the 500g bottle with a pump dispenser, which is very useful for when you are on the go, and just want a little bit of moisture on your hands. However, I think there is a 100g tube, also. Although I have it on presciption, it costs around £10 for 500g, quite expensive.
I have had mild eczema since I was little, and it just seemed to come and go, and never really be too much of a problem. All of a sudden, over the past 3-4 years since having children (I don't know if it's connected!) I have had extremely dry hands intertwined with bouts of bad eczema which have a few times got so bad that I had to take antibiotics as they had got infected.
I started wearing washing up gloves to do washing up, as the washing up liquid made them very sore, dry and cracked, but I still kept getting dry hands. I then realised that it was the handwash giving me dry hands, which I suspect was down to the sulphates and parabens in the handwash making them too dry.
I switched to soap but that still dried my hands out, so finally gave in and went to the GP who gave me Doublebase to moisturise the hands, and another product to wash my hands with (another review!). I seem to have been a lot better since then, and it is a fantastic cream for moisturising, and keeping the skin moisturised without it drying up, as other creams do. It is not greasy either, which is good.
A very useful cream for giving instant moisture and a calming effect to dry, itchy skin, and keeping it moisturised without being too greasy. The only downside is that once the cream gets low in the bottle, it wont go up the pump dispenser, so I have had to cut the bottle (plastic) to get at the rest of the cream, which then dries out a bit. I recommend to put the rest of the cream in an old, clean tub to avoid drying out.
I have always liked cereals since my childhood rather than toast etc, and have tried practically all of them. For about five or six years I seem to have had an obssession with milk, and cannot get enough of it, and am known to eat cereal in the middle of the night!!!
I wanted to lose weight last year after the birth of my third child, and had tried many ways, but the best way I found was to cut down the portion size but eat more often during the day (about 5 times). I had tried Kelloggs Special K but had to fill the bowl right up to be able to keep up with the children!
I found that Alpen did a cereal with no added sugar, and the back of the packet confirmed that the sugar content was not as high as other cereals which I had previously consumed, and was lower in sugar than Special K, so I bought a small pack of 500g for around £2.50 from Tesco's which I thought was a bit pricey, but what the heck!
Alpen No Added Sugar is made by Weetabix Ltd in England, which is a well-respected company who make other cereals too. It is a Swiss recipe made of wholewheat flakes, rolled oats, raisins and roasted sliced hazelnuts and almonds.
Full list of ingredients and nutritional information:
Wholegrain Wheat (42%), Wholegrain Rolled Oats (36%), Raisins (15%), Dried Skimmed Milk, Dried Milk Whey Powder, Roasted Sliced Nuts (2.5%) (Hazelnuts & Almonds), Malted Barley Extract, Salt
Typical Values Per 40g serving Per 100g
Energy 597kJ/ 1493kJ/
Protein 4.3g 10.7g
Carbohydrate 25.7g 64.3g
(of which sugars 6.3g 15.9g)
Fat 2.4g 5.9g
(of which saturates 0.3g 0.7g)
Fibre 3.1g 7.7g
(of which soluble 0.9g 2.2g)
(of which insoluble 2.2g 5.5g)
Sodium* 0.07g 0.17g
*Equivalent as Salt 0.17g 0.43g
You can purchase a 500g box or a 1.3kg plastic packet (around £3.50) which lasts longer and is better value than the 500g box.
The taste is excellent, and does not become too mushy in the milk while you are eating it. It is neither bland or too sweet, and certainly fills you up and keeps you going until lunchtime - I like to top mine with sliced banana for a feast of a breakfast.
There are some cereals which are too sweet that gives you a blood sugar dip after about 1 hour so you have to eat something to recover. This is just right. The raisins are lovely and chewy too which I personally like (some may not!). It also helped me to lose weight too (although i'm not sure now because it's so mooreish if I wake in the night I must have a bowl!)
All-in-all a tasty, relatively low sugar cereal that can be eaten anytime!
Bepanthen is a nappy care ointment by manufacturer Bayer. I had previously used Sudocrem for my son who rarely gets nappy rash/red bottom any more, but when my daughter came along I thought I would try Bepanthen after seeing it advertised on TV. The advert advocated to have a dual effect: ease soreness of nappy rash, while healing by using provitamin B5, and protect the area from further bouts of nappy rash. I just had to try it!
The cream comes in 30g or 100g tubes (rather like a tube of tomato puree), and I bought the 30g tube to try, which cost around £1.99, which I thought a fair price if it performed as advertised. The 100g tube costs around £6.50. I bought mine from Tesco, but is probably available in most large supermarkets.
The cream is beige in colour and is thick and a bit sticky. You only have to use a thin layer on the skin, rather than liberally with Sudocrem, so it lasts for quite a long time. This creates a long-lasting, "breathable" barrier for baby's skin against irritants.
The ingredients are as follows:
Aqua, Lanolin, Paraffinum Liquidum, Petrolatum, Panthenol (Dexpanthenol), Prunus Dulcis, Cera Alba, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Ozokerite, Glyceryl Oleate, Lanolin Alcohol.
Another plus point to this product is that it doesn't contain colours, fragrance, preservatives or antiseptics, so is kind to your baby's delicate skin. It is also approved by the British Skin Foundation, another good piece of news.
After a few days of applying the cream at every nappy change there was a noticable difference to the appearance of the nappy area - no redness!
Also, the fact that a very thin layer is used, is more comfortable to your baby than a thick layer of cream, in my opinion.
All in all, a very effective (and cost-effective) product for healing and preventing nappy rash - full marks!
Fig rolls were around big time in our house when I was growing up, and I had a fondness for them then - the other biscuit/fig roll addict in our house was my dad! Apart from chocolate digestives, these were the other biscuit I navigated the kitchen worktops to get to the top cupboard for!
Fig rolls can be described as thick, rectangular shape cakes/biscuits made of golden pastry, which have either a thick or think layer of sweet fig paste filling in the middle. Jacobs fig rolls, in my opinion, have a medium-sized layer of fig filling, lower compared to some other brands (e.g. Tesco) that is very sweet. In fact it is too sweet for my liking, and when you take a bite, there seems to be more pastry in your mouth than fig, which I personally do not like (others may!).
Here are the ingredients and nutritional information for Jacobs fig rolls:
Wheat Flour, Fig Paste (30%), Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Water, Salt, Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarbonate), Wheat Starch, Citric Acid
Typical Values Per 100g Per Biscuit
Energy (kJ) 1606 268
(kcal) 380 63
Protein 4.0g 0.7g
Carbohydrate 71.4g 11.9g
of which sugars 32.4g 5.4g
Fat 8.8g 1.5g
of which saturates 3.9g 0.7g
Fibre 3.3g 0.6g
Sodium 0.2g <0.1g
Other information: Produced on a line handling milk, nuts, egg and soya, but suitable for vegetarians. Keep these in an airtight container once opened.
At around 92p for 200g, more than twice the price of Tesco's own version of the fig roll (41p for 200g), I am going to stick to my favourite brand of these traditional sweet treats (Tesco!).
p.s. The Co-operative brand of fig rolls are delicious too!
We have used Pampers for both my son and daughter until recently when shopping in Tescos I remembered that I had read a review praising the quality of Tesco's own brand nappies. I picked them up and had a look, packaging being of the same type as pampers (plastic), OK so far, then compared the price with Pampers, and I found that I got 4 extra nappies for £2 less! OK not a big deal, but with two kids in nappies, there was a saving to be made!
I got two packs of 26 (size 5 junior) for £7, and went home to try them eagerly (on the babies of course!). Once I opened them they seemed to larger than a size 5 in Pampers, and not as soft or pliable as Pampers. They had great sticky tabs to seal and reseal; so sticky you find you have to tug hard to pull them off!
So putting one on my son first (3) he seemed to be fine, same comfort and hold as Pampers, as did my daughter. When wet and/or dirty, they hold the mess in fine, although do tend to bulge a bit. Also, with a wet nappy, their bottoms seem to be a bit damp and clammy, and a bit red some of the time. The night-time nappy also is a winner, with no leaks at all!
In conclusion, I would say that these are a good, cheaper alternative to Pampers, but may have to switch back to Pampers due to the red and clammy bottoms.
...I see a big colourful book looking at me!
This is a lovely brightly coloured, A4-sized paperback book with interesting illustrations of lots of different animals on each page for your child to explore. The book starts with a rainbow of colours on the very first two pages, which my son loved to name each time.
The book starts with "brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?" To which he replies; "I see a red bird looking at me". This rhyming continues with each animal on every page, giving the book some repetitiveness, which apparently helps children to learn language, and lets them know what might be coming (familiarity). This is why it is a good book for reading at bedtime as well as during the day.
When we get to the end of the animals, the monkey sees children looking at him, who in turn see all of the animals looking at them. This begins; "We see a brown bear, a red bird, a yellow duck..." and is a very nice touch to the book, because it consolidates what the child has seen already, and also encourages them to point out and name (using descriptions, such as the colour of the animal) the animal, which in turn helps reading and language development.
The rainbow of colours in the front and back pages of the book is in the same sequence as the colour of the animals too, which probably helps the child as they learn the colours of the animals in the same order too.
This is selling on Amazon (new) for £4.79, which is roughly the same price as I bought it for about 1 year ago.
A favourite of my children's, it is a cleverly written and illustrated book (illustrated by Eric Carle of the Hungry Caterpillar fame) which captures the child's attention and holds it as they learn the different colours and animals. It is very good for developing language and reading skills, and I would probably recommend it for 1-3 year-olds.
The only downsides to this book are that firstly it is a paperback, which has been ripped a couple of times and stuck back together, so a board version for this age is probably better (is available), and also the text could have been bigger in order for the child to be encouraged to look at the text as well as the pictures. Overall, an excellent book I would definitely recommend.
Pingu Platinum Collection is the second Pingu DVD I bought for my son, as he loved the first DVD (Pingu Forever) I bought him so much; I wanted to give him something new to look at from time to time.
When we first put it in the DVD player I was disappointed because it seemed to be a newer version of Pingu, created by computer animation rather than plasticine. Where had Pingu gone??? His familiar little noises had also changed too, and both my son and myself took time to adjust to this new little Pingu with his polished appearance and different voice! However, before long we soon began to enjoy the new episodes.
*Robby the Snowboarder
*Pingu's Ice Sculptures
*Pingu and the Band
*Pingu's Bedtime Shadows
*Pingu and the Doorbell
*Pingu and the Snowball
*Pingu at the Sledge Academy
*Pinga in a Box
*Pingu and the Paper Mache
*Pingu and the Toyshop
*Pingu and the School Pet
*Pingu and the Braces
*Pingu and the Abominable Snowman
My personal favourites are Stinky Pingu, where he tries to get rid of some stinky fish soup his mother has made him, but ends up being covered in it along with other gunk - very funny episode; Pingu and the Doorbell, in which Pingu and his friend damage the doorbell with their ball, and harass his parents with a very noisy doorbell; and Pingu's Bedtime Shadows, where Pingu and his sister Pinga make shadows on their bedroom wall (Pinga is much better at this) and of course get into trouble.
The DVD features extras such as the excellent and funky Eskimo song (7 11), which you will find yourself boogying to, and games plus a picture gallery. The DVD was released in 2007, is 90 minutes long, and is priced at £8.98 (new) from Amazon at the moment.
Pingu is a lovable and naughty penguin that will keep you and your children entertained; don't be put off by the new-style Pingu, he is lots of fun too! Value for money, and generally good fun!
I got this DVD for my son when he was a toddler as I was expecting my second child and he was really hard work sometimes, so I needed a break every now and then. He had seen Pingu on the television a few times and was really interested in him, so when I saw this in a supermarket, I thought it was a good idea. My DVD only cost me about £7 so not bad, especially as I thought he would be interested in watching it.
Well I was right, he absolutely loved it, and was happy to sit down for a while and be amazed by this little penguin who would run around and do funny things, playing jokes on other penguins and generally having a good time. To me, I had seen Pingu when I was younger so I knew what it was all about, but when I saw it again, it still made me laugh sometimes, and seeing my son watch it was so funny too. He was making sense of all Pingu's actions and laughing at his behaviour too. This is the DVD with all the first episodes of Pingu, animated with plasticine.
Pingu Forever! features:
Pingu Helps With Incubating
Pinga is Born
Pingu Goes Fishing
Pingu Helps to Deliver Mail
Pingu is Jealous
Pingu and the Snowball Fight
Pingu Plays Fish Tennis
Pingu Runs Away
Pingu Builds an Igloo
Pingu Has Music Lessons From His Grandfather
Pingu in the Ice Cave
Pingu's Lavatory Story
Pingu and the Seagull
Pingu's First Kiss
Pingu's Family Celebrate Christmas
Pingu at the Fairground
Pingu the Babysitter
Pingu and the Gift
Pingu's Visit to the Hospital
Pingu at the Nursery
Pingu the Painter
Pingu and the Ghost
Personally, I like Pingu is Jealous, Pingu the Babysitter, Pingu helps with Incubating, and Pingu and the Seagull, as they stories are good fun and very humorous too!
The DVD is over 2 hours long, and can be purchased at the moment on Amazon for £4.28.
I love Shaun the Sheep. My son loves Shaun the Sheep. This is the second DVD of Shaun the Sheep I purchased (for my son!) as he loves it so much! The first series was Shape up with Shaun which was excellent, so prompted me to buy another of this high quality production.
Off the Baa, the second series, features the following:
-Off the Baa
-Timmy in a Tizzy
-Buzz off Bees
-Who's the Mummy
-Shaun Shoots the Sheep
-Mountains out of Molehills
Also includes the "Making of Shuan the Sheep"
This is a British animated series by Nick Park with Shaun the Sheep who appeared in the animated Wallace & Gromit (also by Nick Park), and now has his own spin-off series. I bought mine from Woolworths for about £8 which was very good value for a series of this standard of entertainment and quality, but it is retailing now on Amazon for £7.98. The running time is 55 minutes.
This is a very high quality animated series for children and adults alike, which is very entertaining and good storylines. My son was fascinated by it, as I was too. I especially like Buzz off Bees (so clever) and Mower Mouth (so funny). Buy it. Now!
In the Night Garden was a favourite of my son's up until he was about 2. It has magical music which transports you and your child to another world for 20 mins or so, to follow the happy friendly characters in this sunny garden. My daughter (13 months) is now becoming a BIG fan of Upsy Daisy who sings and dances around the garden, so I think I know where my Amazon voucher will be going!
There is Iggle Piggle, a blue doll with a red blanket, Upsy Daisy, his best friend who is a rag doll that sings and dances, Makka Pakka, a friendly-looking creature that washes peoples faces, the Tombliboos, three dolls that play musical instruments, the Pontipines, little people who go on walks with their 8 children! and the Ninky Nonk train which goes very fast and makes everyone fall about inside, and lastly the Pinky Ponk which is a noisy airship which takes people on rides and provides refreshments!
All these characters live in the sunny night garden together. The DVD consists of:
Makka Pakka Washes Faces
Tombliboos Waving Game
Everybody all aboard the Ninky Nonk
The Prettiest Flower
Makka Pakka's Trumpet Makes a Funny Noise.
Extras: Interactive menus, Bonus footage, Parents' guide.
My favourites are The Prettiest Flower and Makka Pakkas trumpet makes a funny noise!
Great for under two's for watching with your child, or your child to entertain themselves for a while as you get on with cleaning! or good for winding down before bed!