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Lindam Adjustable Back Seat Mirror
Until I became a mother over five years ago, I had no idea just how many useful child-related products are available to make parents’ lives easier.
We received this mirror second hand prior to the birth of our daughter. I knew straight away that this would be useful, as I wanted to keep an eye on our newborn whilst I drove around. We used it until our daughter switched to forward facing sometime after her second birthday.
I can still, although barely, recall the days that young children were not compelled to travel in a car seat. Nowadays, the general recommendation is that children remain rear-facing for as long as possible and certainly ideally until their fourth birthday. I heard one country (possibly in Scandinavia) was considering extending this until the seventh birthday.
This means that a mirror like this one is a Godsend. This large mirror fits onto the backrest of the rear passenger seat, in a harness-like fashion. The mirror is in a type of frame, the backing of which is attached to a small unit that means that the mirror can pivot upwards or sideways, ensuring that the driver gets the best view possible of the child.
The mirror surface seems to be of quality. It is not made of the usual glass, but instead of some kind of reflective material which provides a good image. However, it does scratch more easily than I would like.
I particularly like the fact that this unit has a grown up appearance, rather than being styled in baby-friendly colors and/or patterns.
Finally, the mirror is easy to wipe clean.
Lindam Harness and Reins
I never realised how controversial toddler reins could be until I became the parent of a toddler. My previous experience with such reins and harness was approximately 40 years ago, when my younger sister was around two years old. The little contraption she wore certainly did keep her safe in crowded situations.
By the time my own daughter was ready for a harness and reins, I discovered that none of my friends or acquaintances used or “believed in them”. That is, they felt that the child would be too restricted, unable to explore at will.
I suppose this is somewhat true, however one must consider the need for safety first. Our little girl, as she was at the time, was a complete tear-away. So quick and nimble-footed, it was imperative that we used whatever resources we could to keep her safe in crowded places like the zoo.
This Lindam Harness and Rein set can be used when a child is walking out and about, as well as to help secure them in a high chair. We used ours in the former situation for approximately several months from when our daughter was a little under two years old. The company states that this product is suitable for ages six months to four years old. However, this product has very small sizing. Our daughter was able to use it when wearing a tee shirt, but it was too small on her for her to wear a jumper and definitely not a coat.
The product does seem to be well made and it is obviously designed to fit snuggly on a child. The buckles are difficult to do up, which is annoying when one is toddler wrangling!
I think that a wrist rein is a better choice.
This Sunshine Kids Cool Shade is actually the third that we bought as the first two failed to stay attached to the car window. One was a "sucker style" shade and the other was a similar shade to this one that I am reviewing today.
We have two children and spend most of the year in a sunny climate, so having a form of car shade is very important for our family.
This shade is made from black, translucent plastic. As expected from such a product, it is designed to reduce the glare and direct sunlight on car passengers - usually young children.
This shade is very easy to use. It attaches itself to the inside of the car window via static. For this to work best, the window needs to be cleaned thoroughly prior to applying the shade in a wiping manner. This ensures that the majority of air bubbles are removed, and thereby improving the fix to the window.
This shade material is so thin that the window can be moved/wound down. That said, I would not and do not do this as our previous, different branded shade came off while the window was down and was irretrievable.
This sunshade works fine. However, it seems to be available only in black - the colour that attracts the sun and heat the most.
Available from several places including Amazon for £3 - £6 for a two pack, this cool shade comes recommended from me if you are after a simple, inexpensive shade.
Hello Kitty Booster Seat
Our five year old daughter has several different car seats and booster seats in a total of three cars that are used regularly: mine, my husband’s and our nanny/babysitter.
Many countries have rules and regulations surrounding child restraints. The latest evidence is that child booster seats (as opposed to those for short adults) are not much safer than only wearing a seat belt.
That said, these booster seats are great for transporting an extra child to or from school or local activity. That is, for short journeys. It is aimed at children aged 4- 1 years, with the weight limits being 15 - 36 kilograms.
Our daughter is a huge fan of Sanrio’s Hello Kitty character, so this booster seat (made in China) was an easy pick for her. It is fabricated from a lightweight, plastic and is very pink - what I describe as “Hello Kitty” pink. This plastic seating is then covered with Hello Kitty fabric.To be perfectly honest, it feels a little hard to touch and definitely has a cheap, hard plastic feel to it. However I am not the person sitting on it, and neither our daughter nor any of her friends have made any negative comments about it.
Booster seats such as these are designed to be held in place by the user’s weight and by the user’s lap belt which goes through the hook-styled support arches at either side of the back corners. If these were designed a little differently they would be arm rests.
Being lightweight, this booster seat is easy to carry and to transfer between vehicles when necessary. It is easy enough to wipe clean, although that said our daughter hasn’t really ever spilt much more than a few crumbs on this so it’s not like it has been drenched in juice or milk. If this were to happen then I’d pop the removable fabric cover in the washing machine on a cold, gentle cycle.
Our daughter loves showing this booster seat off to her friends. She doesn’t use it every day, nor even each week, so when she does it feels like a special treat for her.
As booster seats go, this could be improved with the addition of cupholders and ideally a back.
Recommended for occasional, short-journey use.
I was a latecomer to Soap and Glory products and I admit that I first tried this brand when I heard others say good things and when I realised just how cute and eye-catching this brand’s packaging can be.
This “No Clogs Allowed” product from Soap and Glory is an at home deep pore detox mask for use on areas prone to blackhead buildup. Currently (May 2015) retailing for £11.50 at Boots, this weekly use face treatment aims to do just what you think it should.
The company states that this product is suitable for oily/combination skin types and “it deep cleans, melts away pore-plugging sebum and softens keratinised skin cells to prevent breakouts and blemishes.” This is a powerful statement in my opinion, and one which I will address shortly.
The information and use directions on the packaging are simple and clear to understand.
Firstly, shake the tube to ensure the ingredients are well combined. Then massage a grape-sized amount of the product onto your face (and/or a similar amount to other areas you may be treating such as your chest or upper back). Wet your hands then scrub the product until you feel it heating and notice that the scrub is turning blue. Wait five minutes and then remove the scrub with a warm wet face cloth.
I really like the feeling of warm face products on my skin. This one warms up very quickly but sadly, although typically for this type of product, it does not stay warm for a long time. I like the quirkiness of this mask’s colour change, although having my face turn blue is a little strange.
This mask does leave my skin feeling soft and clean, and it does seem to clear out the pores around my nose - the area of my face most prone to blackheads. I suppose it might reduce breakouts and blemishes in some people however as these are few and far between now that I am in my forties I am unable to comment on this.
This is a great mask that is both fun to use and that works well. Recommended!
NB I may choose to publish this review elsewhere.
Soap and Glory Hand Food
My poor hands were subjected to a lot of hand washing, alcohol gel and gloves throughout the five years I was studying to be a medical doctor followed by four years working the wards. I used numerous different hand creams over this time as a preventative measure against dry skin.
This review is for Soap and Glory Hand Food. Sold in the now iconic pink retro look packaging, this product is available in several sizes: 250ml, 125ml and 50ml. My preference is for the 125ml flip top option which is currently available for £5.50.
The white cream itself is exactly as one would expect. That is, it is quite viscous. ie fairly thick and not at all “runny”. The cream soaks into the skin well and fairly quickly without leaving a greasy feeling.
The scent of this “hand food” is pleasant, in my opinion. It smells of a combination of strawberries, mandarin or orange, musk and vanilla. The smell stays on my hands for at least thirty minutes on a non-work day.
This hand care item treats my nails and hands well. That said (or rather, written), I haven’t had any cracked skin on my hands or fingers since I gave up gymnastics thirty years ago. This means that this hand food may or may not prevent my hands from becoming dry, but I certainly cannot judge its ability to repair cracked or dried skin and nails.
A nice, inexpensive product to have. Recommended for hands in fair condition.
We regularly have four or five bottles of liquid hand wash on the go. One in the kitchen and two in each of the bathrooms. Why two? In the main bathroom one bottle is for our young daughter and one is for guests, and then my husband and I each use a different bottle in our en suite bathroom.
This lovely Molten Brown hand wash was part of a gift package I received several years ago. And what a luxurious version of a simple daily-use product this hand wash is. It no longer appears on the Molten Brown website, however similar versions of this 300ml product retail for £16.00.
The soap-free hand wash comes in a clear plastic bottle with a pump action top that dispenses a small, pea-sized amount of the solution. This really is all that is needed for each wash, provided it is applied to hands that are already wet.
This light green coloured hand wash lathers up nicely, in a way that reminds me of soft creamy bubbles. In my opinion, the scent is slightly fruity and with a hint of citrus. The scent is pleasant and long-lasting.
The product, which the manufacturers claim is paraben-free, contains a whole host of ingredients, with the most noticeable being orange oil and grapefruit seed.
I really like the way this wash feels on my hands and the remaining scent is lovely. Thankfully it is not at all overpowering despite being noticeable a few hours after use.
Recommended - for luxury hands.
A child of the 70s, I grew up in a household where bars of hand and body soap were the norm. This household situation did not change when Softsoap and other liquid hand washes became available in the late 1980s.
I believed this to be a normal situation, until I started supporting myself at university by working in the food & catering industry. It was here that I discovered that bar soap was much feared due to the potential for contamination of bacteria and general dirt.
Thereafter, liquid hand soap became the norm in my world, at work and at home. I am not at all loyal to any specific brands, preferring to buy what is on offer.
This Radox Protect Handwash costs around £1 for a 300ml bottle. This product aims to preserve the hands' natural pH level whilst gently cleaning. This in turn reduces the chances of the hands being cracked and dry, which further decreases the chances of local infection. Hence the word "protect" in the name of this product.
The handwash is easily dispensed from the supplied pump-top. A small amount is dispensed. This volume is enough for the hands to be clean correctly. The product has a light scent of tea tree, and when in the bottle, a hint of light green.
The wash lathers nicely and does not irritate or dry out my hands. It rinses off easily. All in all, this Radox washes well.
It's hard to go wrong with a product from the Radox family.
The current term for placing a baby in a wrap, sling, soft structured carrier or hard structured carrier is “babywearing”.
I am a member of the non-profit organisation Babywearing International. I adore wearing my five-month old son in several different baby wearing items I own, and I write this review of the Moby wrap from the perspective of a parent and not an expert.
Readers should note that there is very specific safety guidance surrounding baby wearing young infants and sadly deaths due to misuse are not unheard of. Guidance includes ensuring the baby’s head is easily kissable by the wearer, the baby’s face can be seen at all times by the wearer, and there is a two finger wide space between the baby’s chin and chest. All these pieces of advice reduce the chances of the infant’s airway being compromised.
The Moby wrap is a long and wide piece of stretchy, soft, breathable,100% cotton that is available in a number of different colors and is suitable for infants 8-35 pounds. It is also very suitable as a first wrap, as the stretchiness of the fabric means that the wrap can be wrapped around the adult and a knot tied prior to the baby being placed amongst the various passes/folds/areas of the fabric.
This manufacturers of this wrap recommend inward-facing front carrying and hip carrying. Moby has withdrawn its suggestions of forward facing carries.
The nature of this item means that it evenly distributes the baby's weight across the wearer’s body. Moby markets this wrap as being “plus size friendly”.
As a hand-me-down, I was not provided with any instructions for use. However there is a downloadable PDF from the Moby website. More importantly, there are dozens of youtube videos demonstrating different ways of putting this wrap on, known as “wrapping”. This makes wrapping VERY easy.
This wrap is very durable. Potential users should note that the wrap needs to be tied much tighter than you might think necessary, as it stretches a lot within a few minutes of the baby being worn and it can become very loose.
It is possible to nurse while wearing the wrap.
My son loves being in this wrap and often falls asleep with minutes of being placed in it. The only drawback is that I can get too hot while wearing him in it.
This wrap is very easy to care for as it is machine washable and can be tumble dried.
Note. I may choose to publish this review elsewhere.
Throughout my twenties and early thirties, there was one skincare brand that I really trusted. I regularly bought and used Clarins products…most often when I visited France where I found these items to be markedly cheaper. This was a time when I was more vain than I am now, and very concerned about preserving my looks. It was also a phase in my life where I was swayed by a lot of marketing material and believed that products such as these really could preserve my youthfulness.
Clarins Purifying Toning Lotion
I have a combined skin type, i.e. an oily “T” zone and dry cheeks. I no longer use this product as, to be honest, I find that a simple skincare regime works best for me.
This toner is the second step in a typical three stage home skincare regime. That is one which commences with a cleanser, followed by a toner and then finally a moisturiser.
The aim of a toner is supposedly to remove any excess oil remaining from cleaning and also to stimulate and therefore refreshes the skin while maintaining the skin’s natural pH level. This toner also acts as a preparation for application of a moisturiser.
So how do I feel about this product? To be honest, I am not a fan of any toners that I have tried. Like so many others, this toner does remove traces of dirt and oil that I haven’t cleaned off properly. However my skin always felt a little taught and tingly in a “not so nice” way when I used this. This sensation quickly subsided once I applied my moisturiser.
The toner itself is easy enough to apply. I use a ball of cotton wool to apply a small amount of the product to my face in a linear or circular motion. The scent of the toner is inoffensive; it has a hint of citrus fruit to it.
The current price for this, as at May 2015, is £18 for 200ml. The 400ml bottle is better value at £30.00.
It should be no surprise that I am indifferent to this product, as demonstrated by the fact that I no longer use it. I don’t believe that it - or any toner - works. Therefore I cannot personally recommend this toner.
NB This review also appears on Ciao
As summertime approaches, I have been sorting through my cupboards and taking stock of what summer-related beauty and sun-protection items I might need over the next couple of months.
I have been using this Nivea aftersun lotion for many years, having first discovered it one summer when I was less generous with sunscreen than I am now.
Sold in a typical-looking plastic bottle that is slightly different to that depicted here, this lotion is designed to soothe sun-exposed skin and to prolong the user’s suntan. This lotion has aloe vera as one of its ingredients, and it is this that is supposed to soothe the skin. The typical ingredients such as paraffinum and glycerin provide the moisturizing components of this product.
In my opinion this is an aftersun skin care product that is easy to use and generally does what is aims to do. I tend to use it after my evening shower on days that I have spent either at the beach or by our pool. The product is easily dispensed; a little too easily at times as it is quite runny, so I have to be careful not to waste it.
The lotion does feel soothing to me whilst I am applying it, however this sensation does soon disappear. The skin on my legs feel well hydrated. The lotion soaks in well and there is no apparent bright sheen to my skin on the evenings that I use this lotion. It smells pleasant enough.
In terms of enhancing or prolonging a suntan, well I feel that I simply cannot comment on this as I have not attempted to obtain a tan for years. That said, presumably moisturizing agent slows down or reduces skin dryness and peeling.
I certainly recommended this inexpensive aftersun lotion. Just make sure that you store it in a cool place - try the fridge for an extra soothing sensation on application.
Last Autumn my husband returned to the UK for a conference, leaving me at home heavily pregnant and sole parent of our recalcitrant then four year old.
As a “thanks for letting me escape” gift he purchased a variety of beauty and skin products which he then placed in a gift basket. He knows full well that I think such products are often over-priced luxuries and that I prefer inexpensive products if they do a good job.
This Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash was one of the items he bought me. I adore the smell of lavender. So much so that I once grew 136 lavender plants from seed. But that’s another story.
A German company, Weleda operates the largest biodynamic medicinal plant garden in Europe, according to its website. It claims to be the world-leading manufacturer of holistic natural cosmetics and pharmaceuticals for anthroposophical therapy. I understand that for this body wash, Weleda uses organic lavender grown from Moldova in a fair trade agreement.
The packaging is fairly understated, in my opinion. It is a purple tube with a white twist-top lid. The tube contains 200 ml of product.
This organic body wash smells very lavender-y. It’s a pleasant and soothing smell, yet not at all overpowering. I use it in the shower, where I find it to be rich and creamy rather than thin and foamy.
The body wash cleans my skin as well as gently moisturising it. The body was comes off in the shower quite easily and leaves behind a subtle scent of lavender.
Looking online, it seems that this body wash can be obtained quite easily for a reasonable price, given the excellent ethical stance of the Weleda company. This wash is currently available for around £7.55 including postage.
I have two children aged 5.5 years and 5.5 months at time of writing this review. Both children have been primarily breastfed with additional artificial supplementation.
The Dr Brown's anti-colic bottle system is the preferred choice for both my husband and myself.
There are two different shaped bottles available in the range: wide-necked and narrow-necked which are more "old-style" in my opinion. Both neck styles have their own range of teats, with the wide-neck range comprising of a wide teat and the narrow with, obviously, narrow.
There are four different teat flow rates, each is labelled as one of 1,2,3 or Y. Infants start with the slowest flow - number one, and after approximately three months move to number two. Flow rate three is appropriate for children aged six months and over. Flow rate "Y" is the fastest and I believe to be most suitable for child who are at least one year old.
The wide-necked teat is our preferred style as it is most similar to the breast shape. The silicon teats seem to become a little discoloured over time. I should point out that this is what has happened to the teats that are for the narrow-neck bottles which were bought and used five years ago.
These Dr Brown's teats are very easy to wash. We let them air dry.
In our experience, these teats work well and are only rejected by our second child when he is unwell and wants to be as close as possible to me. ie obtain food straight from the source.
These teats are widely available, locally and internationally.
Many moons ago - about seven years ago, to be more precise - I began working in a full-time job after being a student for six years. That was actually my second stint as a student, and boy was I ready to lead a “proper” adult life once more.
This life included purchasing several branded product when, to be perfectly honest, a cheap or no-name item would have sufficed.
I’d always thought the Brabantia name was quite exclusive so as soon as I could afford to buy a kitchen bin from their range, I did so.
The Brabantia 50L touch bin is a work of beauty. Of course it should be for the price. It’s currently available on Amazon for a smidgen under one hundred pounds.
This bin comes in several finishes: matt steel, brilliant steel, matt black, metallic grey, platinum and finally matt steel fingerprint proof. I have the brilliant steel version.
It’s amazing how much thought can go into the design of a bin. This one has a ‘Soft-Touch' closure, so there is no irritating closing sound like those made by other bins.
The opening is large, and is apparently designed so that a dustpan can be emptied without spilling. Finally, this bin has a sturdy carrying handle and a large flat base for stability.
The company states that the bin is made from corrosion-resistant materials making it both durable and easy to clean. I agree with both these claims.
I used this bin for approximately two years, until I moved away from the area. This was during a time that I had two fellow lodgers, so the bin was subjected to quite a workout.
The bin is stylish to look at which is a good thing as it is too big for a cupboard and therefore always on display. It is easy to wipe clean, and the soft-closing lid function seems to be very durable.
The truth is that this bin looks lovely and is very functional, and I am pleased that I have at one stage in my life been the proud owner of a Brabant product. However I cannot overlook the obvious: it is a bin for waste. Therefore, it is very overpriced and I cannot really recommend paying anywhere near the asking price of around one hundred pounds.
My younger sister and I live in different parts of the world, have different personalities and a completely different set of priorities. I came to be the owner of a small pot of possibly the world’s most expensive face cream when she bought it for me as a birthday present. Of course she knew me well enough to know that I would never spend such and amount - around 100 pounds for a 30 milliliter container.
Creme De La Mer, a product of the De La Mer company, has apparently been around for a year however I was unaware of this luxury product. In my opinion, this is an old-style face cream that is a slightly greasy moisturiser. My skin is naturally slightly oily, although my cheeks can get dry, so I found that if I avoided applying this cream to my t-zone I could get away with using it.
I simply applied a very small amount to my face using my forefinger to dab first and then blend it in. The cream does leave a slight shine to my skin, which I do not like.
The scent is one that I describe as a non-scent. That is, it smells of something yet nothing. i.e. a typical face moisturiser smell.
Because this cream is so rich I only used it several times a week. Of course this meant that the small pot lasted longer than expected.
Does it work? Well, it did moisturise my cheeks. But my regular cheap moisturisers do this just as well.
Not recommended at even 10% the usual price.