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My husband has decided to be more healthy so one of his recent purchases was the Philips Juicer. We enjoy fruit juice and this provided us with an easy way to make our own. Since we have a little boy we obviously want to make sure that he gets all the vitamins he needs and juice is a useful way to top up the 5 a day fruit and vegetables.
It is quite bulky and takes up valuable preparation space in our little kitchen so luckily it fits on top of the fridge freezer although this means that it is difficult for me to reach but not my husband. This comes in handy as if he makes the juice he has to clean up afterwards! It is easy to put together and to take apart for cleaning. There are some good design features in particular the hug the juice ends up in can separate the froth from the juice so you get lovely clear juice to drink. My husband isn't too fussy so he will quite happily drink it all but I prefer the froth removed.
On the plus side this does make some very nice juice and is a good way to add to your five a day. It has a powerful motor and makes light work of juicing. To be fair I much prefer the fruit juices which will be higher in sugar and therefore shouldn't be drunk in too a high quantity. The vegetables juices were a bit hit and miss in my opinion but the fruit juices were lovely. To make the vegetable juice more palatable my husband adds root ginger which does help improve the taste ie add so much ginger you cant taste the beetroot! The feeder tube is pretty wide so you do save time by not having to chop up your fruit or vegetables into small bits.
On the downside although this juicer has no problem juicing lots of different fruit and vegetable the downside is the cleaning of the machine afterwards. As it is so good at providing you with nice clear juice it also means there is a lot of pulp left over. This does seem to get everywhere and does make the cleaning of the machine awkward. Although it is I am therefore quite reluctant to use it and even my husband's use has tapered off . There is time saving in making the juice but the clean up operation afterwards takes a lot longer. The pieces are dishwasher safe but as we don't have a dish washer that doesn't help us much.
I think it is worthwhile to consider how much you will use a juicer before making this purchase. If you are sure that you will use it and not mind the time it takes to clean up afterwards then I can certainly recommend this juicer for the ease of use and quality of the juice it produces. It costs around £120 so it is not a cheap purchase. For the amount of times we are currently using it I am not sure if we are getting value for money for it. It is a good juicer so I cant fault it there although cleaning is a pain and therefore give it 4 stars - if we had a dishwasher would be higher.
My husband convinced me we needed a small hand held cleaner but to be honest I thought it was a bit of a fad and wouldn't get that much use. How wrong I was! This little chap is ideal for our home with its steep stairs and messy toddler.
With the traditional grey and yellow features it is pretty obviously a Dyson. With no bags it is easy to see when it needs emptying and is super simple to empty into the bin. It is quite compact and is just a bit longer than a shoe box although the charger does make it bigger. We find that it sits nicely behind our speakers. I find it a comfortable weight to use and I am not body builder and it is easy to press the button on the handle to switch it on.
I find it difficult to clean all our stairs with our upright Dyson but this cleaner is ideal for reaching the places other cleaners can't and makes light work of the stairs. It is also quite handy for cleaning the entrance when I can't be bothered to carry the big Dyson down all the stairs. This is very handy when someone comes in with muddy boots as you can quickly hoover up the dirt before it is trampled all over the house.
The hand held Dyson is great when my toddler decides to throw cereal over the floor and tackles most types of mess well. Heavens knows it gets a good workout from my son! Being quite compact it gets easily around table and chair legs which is very convenient. It copes very well on all of our surfaces including tiles, carpet and laminate. (Yes our son is that messy!)
The other place it is a star cleaner is in the car. We like to get out and about at the weekend so mud, twigs and small stones all seem to find their way into the car. Add to this mess my son creates with rice cakes and biscuits and you can understand why I would buy the Dyson for the car alone. Again it is great for getting dirt off the carpets and the car seats.
The only drawback is that although it charges quick fast there is no indicator to show how much charge it has remaining. This sometimes means that it loses power in the middle of a clean up. The solution is to charge it after use but we don't always remember to do this.
I am very happy with our purchase. It takes a lot of hard work out of cleaning the stairs and car. For quick clean up of spills it is faster to grab that than to get the big Dyson out so it really does suit us. At around £170 it is not cheap but we find it works well for us and I consider it value for money as it does a lot of work and I expect it will last for a long time.
I need to print a lot at home and need good quality plain black and white copies and also colour. I saw this printer several years ago on sale in Staples and thought it would be ideal for my purposes.
This is quite a bulky printer and also pretty heavy. Fortunately I have a very deep window ledge so I can hide it away in there. Compared to my father's photo printer which is comparatively light I struggle to lift this on my own so I am glad I don't have to move it around much. The paper tray is located at the bottom of the printer and has two small handle which you squeeze in to pull the tray out to refill. Unfortunately in a rush one morning I managed to snap one of my handles off so my tray is slightly harder to use now. You should therefore take care to fill the tray properly. The paper tray does hold quite a lot of paper which is good if you have to print a lot at once.
I have been very happy with the quality of printing that this printer deliveries. My only gripe is that when one of the colour cartridges needs replaced the printer will not print at all not even in black which can be a nuisance. The quality of print is good and I find having a colour printer very useful. Unlike some printers I have used this printer only very occasional has a paper mis-feed. When this has happened it has been very easy to clear the paper out of the machine. The beauty of this printer is that it does print out work quickly so it is good if you are in a hurry.
Although it is good for bulk printing the cost of the cartridges is expensive especially if you fail to order them online and end up at a major pc retailer such as pc world where you will be forced to pay full price for them. This amounts to around £60 per cartridge! it is cheaper to buy HP compatible cartridges rather than HP ones.
My printer is still working well despite being used a lot over several years. I paid just over £100 for the printer but the downside is the cost of replacement cartridges. The cartridges do last for a reasonable amount of time but are expensive to replace.
In my work I use pcs a lot so I like to be comfortable with the equipment I am using. If like me you have suffered the frustration of a mouse that just doesn't want to go where you want it you will appreciate the value of having a reliable one such as the Dell Optical Mouse.
The dell optical mouse looks as it does it the image. It is smooth curved black plastic with right and left click at the top of the mouse and a wheel in the top centre. I find it fits nicely into my hand and is very comfortable to use. I never feel I am straining my hand and in general I can forgot it is there as it is so comfortable I don't consciously think about it. I like the ability to scroll quickly so I appreciate the wheel.
Having a reliable mouse is something you probably don't think about unless you have had the misfortune of using an unreliable one which can make completing the simplest of tasks a major headache. This mouse is optical so don't have to periodically take it apart to clean out fluff that has been caught in it nor resort to the shaking of the mouse to get it working.
I find that this mouse works well. It is easy to install as it uses a USB so you can plug in and go. It comes with a fairly long lead which is useful but it has on occasion become tangled which has affected the mouse's capabilities. I am pleased to say that once the lead was unknotted the problems resolved themselves. It is easy to click to get left and right buttons menus. The mouse also takes well to some rough treatment and therefore is quite durable.
At a price bracket of around £10 it is hard to beat for value for money. There are more expensive mouse but this does what I want for a good budget conscious price so I am very happy with the purchase.
When our last vacuum cleaner died my husband persuaded me to buy a Dyson. Two years on I am very happy that I did.
We live in a flat which also has a small entrance and steep stairs. We have carpet in most rooms apart from the kitchen and bathroom which are tiled and the nursery which is laminate. The Dyson copes well with all of these flooring. This is really important as we need to have a clean environment for our son. The Dyson seems to suck the dust up easily which you can plainly see in the cylinder. It is also great for when my son spills cereal all over the kitchen tiles!
My husband being a large chap had no problem pushing the Dyson around with ease and although at first it did feel heavier thn our old cleaner I quickly adapted to it. It is fairly easy to push around the rooms and the handle comes free of the main body of the Dyson and gives you the ability to get under sofas and cupboards which I find very useful. This ability is great when I am cleaning our bedroom as we have an ottoman and small unit which means the gap between them and the bed precludes the Dyson being pushed through. For a quick hoover I can therefore detach the handle and do a quick sweep without the bothr of lifting the Dyson over the bed. This is doable but it is quite heavy to lift. I use the same feature for cleaner the stairs but although the stretch is good I couldn't do more than the first few steps as the Dyson starts to roll backwards and I wouldn't want it falling on me on the stairs! Fortunately we have a small hand held Dyson too so I tend to use it on the stairs.
This is very simple and it is very easy to see when you need to empty the Dyson thanks to the see-through cylinder. I love not having to fiddle around with changing bags.
I really like my Dyson and the only criticism in it isn't great on our stairs but I think that would be the case for any upright cleaner. It isn't cheap but for reliability I think it is worth the money. I cant recall the exact figure but believe it was around £250 although I did a quick check on Amazon and see they are selling there for £299 mark.
My husband is a keen photographer I treated him to this lens as he needed a new lens and this was within my price range.
In my opinion the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MK2 is by far the best value lens in the Canon portfolio. If you need a fast lens for shooting in low light conditions you will not do better than this lens for the price (under £100). I bought the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MK2 as my husband I needed a fast lens to photograph our infant son indoors. My husband uses it on his 7d and the results are very pleasing. He tells me the bokeh is beautiful and to those of you who arent familar with camera speak I can confirm that with this lens you get a sharp picture of the subject with a beautiful hazy background. The shots of my son playing are just great. You could look at different lens but I would struggle to justify the upgrade to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens which is more than three times the price or the L Series equivalent for which you need to invest £1-2k+.
If in doubt, buy this lens. For the price it's a no-brainer!
Alas my old laptop is almost dead and not quite at blue screen error but very soon it will cease to function so time to look for a new one. I got this laptop as a refurbished one and have been fairly happy with it.
The screen is a great size for me as I have come to prefer a sightly larger screen as I have got older as I hate trying to read lots of small text on a little screen. The only drawback for me personally is that it doesnt fit into my existing laptop bag so if I am travelling with it it has to go into my big Mary Poppins handbag!The keyboard is pleasant to use and the keys seem sturdy. The rather cool James Bond part of the la[top is the finger print scan which you can use to log onto not only to your pc but also instead of typing your password into other sites which require a log in. This is rather nifty however sometimes if you scan your finger print too quickly it doesnt work and it takes a few attempts which can be frustrating. Of course you always have the option of just typing your password a usual. The Envy is a bit heavier than my old laptop but I tend to use it in the house and so I am only moving it from room to room so that doesnt really bother me.
The memory size ensures that the laptop does respond quickly and much better than my old pc which would often slow down considerably. Even when I have several windows open the Envy works quickly. I have the Envy with Windows 8 which I am not a massive fan of but am getting used to it. I use Microsoft Office a lot and like the newest additions although I sometimes prefer Prezzi for presentations. The battery life is so much better than my old pc that I at first thought I had misread how much battery life I had left when I first started using it. The drawback for me with my particular model is that I failed to check everything worked when I first bought it. As I use this for work I didnt try out the movie and video aspects and have now found that these are not working. I dare say I will be able to resolve the issue but so far havent had time to fix it. This is a pity as the screen is a nice size for watching movies and it also comes with beatsaudio. Moral: Check everything works when you first get it!
Despite the issue with movies I have been happy with my purchase as the laptop does everything I bought it to do and the speed ad ease of use suit me. Although I dont particular like having to work at night or the weekends this laptop has made it less painful.
Recently I have had to move files from my pc to my laptop and have wanted to have a back up copy. My old external drive was rather bulky and very heavy and needed its own charger so my husband suggest My Passport.
I find using a USB frustrating as because I had a lot of video and audio files it filled up all too quickly so I ordered My Passport with 1 TB. I have to confess that I backed up all the files on my pc and I still have used only a fraction of the available space. I do like the comfort of knowing that I don't really have to worry about transfering files onto my Passport and running out of space. The 1TB does cost a bit more than the smaller My Passports but the convenience is worth it in my opinion.
Apart from the fantastic size the other thing I love is the weight and size of My Passport compared to my old external hard drive. It fits neatly into my handbag and is lighter than my purse. It weighs 195g which is a fraction of my old drive. It is so easy to use as you just have to plug it into the USB port on your PC. I have used it on several pcs now and have not encountered any problems and it downloads files very quickly.
I did purchase a carry case to protect My Passport when I am travelling but have forgotten it a few times and it has survived being bounced around in my handbag and even being dropped once so it does appear to be quite hardy. Although I wouldnt recommend dropping it to test it! I got my passport from amazon for around the £60 mark so it wasn't cheap but I do find the easy of use, size and reliability well worth the money. I am not sure what I would do if I lost all my files so this is my passport to an organised life.
I recently caught one of the worse bugs I have had in a while and spent days being sick. As a result I was feeling very weak and also had a major headache which my husband sad was probably because I was dehydrated. He returned from a shopping trip with these powders and suggested I have one.
I was a bit dubious about whether or not my stomach would tolerate these but I am pleased to say that I managed to drink the whole glass even although I had to just take small sips. In the instructions it does say you should use the correct amount of water ie 200 ml to dilute the powder into. The taste is pleasant and just has a small hint of blackcurrant. The powders dissolve well and there were no "bits" at the bottom of the glass. The effect was very fast and my headache quickly disappeared and I felt more my usual self. As a result these are now a firm fixture in our medicine cabinet. The restorative effect is much greater with these powders than just drinking a glass of water. Obviously you do need to measure out the correct amount of water to dilute the powders into which can be a bit of a pain however I have now seen cartons of ready made up dioralyte which could be useful if you are travelling and don't want to carry water to mix the powders into. Once you make up the solution you should drink it quickly to get the best benefit. The powders do contain glucose so if you have to restrict your intake of sugars this may not be the ideal solution for you.
I have found having a supply of these powders useful for when one of our family is struck down by a tummy bug and even in the summer went after a long commute I could feel the start of a bad headache due to dehydration. They refresh you and help replace your lost minerals salts. Prices vary but 6 sachets should not cost more than £4.00.
After Christmas our son's room is once again overflowing with toys. Some of which are seldom played with but others are firm favourites already. The Bob the Builder construction toy is one of these.
The tower pulls up into several levels and be collapsed again which is handy if you want to fit it onto a smaller shelf in a cupboard. You should use the brown button on the base of the unit to do this. A problem we have had however is my son can just use brute strength to collapse the tower. At two he doesn't yet understand why this is not a good thing to do. To be fair the toy does say minimum age is 3 so it would probably last longer with an older child. Due to my son's young age we don't yet let him play with the small parts associated with the crane but he can wind the crane up and down. Again he does sometime pull the crane off too as it does come away quite easily. The drawing of the tools on the fold down tables on the lower level are good and useful for vocabulary.
Despite some small problems with him collapsing the tower he does love playing with Bob and the construction tower. He even has his pirates join Bob and will happily play away by himself. It is therefore a good toy for role play and imaginative play. He enjoys moving the crane from side to side and pulling it down. Bob is quite small and has gone missing a few times but we have always managed to find him again.
I would recommend this toy but would say it does suit a slightly older child than two. Despite this is is currently standing up well to the mistreatment by my son. At £7.50 it doesn't break the bank and it a good investment for Bob fans.
As your bump grows it becomes harder to find clothes that are comfortable and stylish too. This was a particular problem for me when I had to attend a wedding 8 months pregnant. Thankfully I found the Isabella Oliver website.
A wrap dress is just ideal for when you are pregnant as it flows over the bump and it is also very flattering over your bust. As I had lovely pink shoes which I could still fit into I choose this dress inn a bright pink colour. I was very pleased when the dress arrived as the colour on the website was very true to real life. I felt stylish and know that I looked good because the wedding photographer was very keen to take shots of me.
Comfort and Fit
Style is one thing but when pregnant comfort plays a big part too. The material of this dress was beautifully soft against my skin and the fit was ideal. I felt comfortable all day in it. I actually took advice from the website and ordered the dress in my usual size which I am glad I did as if I had ordered a size up it would have been too big for me. I was very impressed by my dress and had I continued to work in my later stages of pregnancy would have ordered one in navy for work.
Delivery and Packaging
If you order from the website you do feel quite special as it was packaged very well and didn't crease. The delivery time was very reasonable although if you have a special event to attend you might prefer to order well in advance in case you need to order a different size.
These dresses are a little more expensive than others but do come under the £100 mark and are even cheaper during the sales the quality, fit and colour do make them worthwhile and it is great to have a stylish dress to wear.
I am normally very fortunately and never bothered by heartburn. When friends and family complained about the discomfort they felt I am sad to say that I did not empathised that much. All of that changed however when I was pregnant. Gaviscon became my best friend!
Taste and Effect
After suffering from terrible morning sickness I was concerned that the cure might be worse than the discomfort of heartburn as I was not convinced these tablets would taste nice nor stay down for long. I was pleasantly surprised as the taste to me was fairly bland which is what I needed. They are slightly "chalky" but it is not too unpleasant.
As I said earlier these became my best friend because they did appear to work quickly and my heartburn soon disappeared. I would certainly recommend them. They are a very useful addition to your medicine cabinet if you are thinking of trying for a baby as it is better to have them and not need them than to send your husband out in the middle of the night to get some because you can't sleep.
There is no issue with availability as I managed ot pick these up everywhere from the biggest Boots to the small local chemist. This is the advantage of using one of the most popular brands. Of course the downside is that being one of the brand leaders it is a bit more expensive than some of the less well known brands. A pack of 16 tablets costs around £4.50.
Before having my son I had seen babies in cellular blankets and didn't really understand why they should be on my must buy list. These are however the best blankets for your new born baby and you will notice that they are the same blankets that hospitals use.
The reason for this is that new born babies aren't very good at controlling their body temperature so these blankets are great as they help to keep your baby's temperature regular. Ideally the temperature in the baby's room should be 18. Mothercare have a range of bedding for babies so I purchased mine there.
The blankets were ideal when my son was a newborn and in his moses basket. The blankets didn't feel too heavy and stayed on well. He didn't like being swaddled much but we could tuck these under the mattress and he slept well then. The hospital used a cellular blanket to wrap him up in on his first night in hospital so I could see how to use them and get some tips from the nurses. As you will quickly become a sleep deprived mum anything that helps your baby sleep is a great thing. Of course babies being babies there will always be little accidents to deal with! Fortunately I found that these blankets were also easy to clean and also dried fairly quickly. My only criticism is that I would have preferred them to be a little softer but my son didn't seem to mind this. I did think they might become softer over time but unfortunately this hasn't happened. Once he was older he became a real wriggler so we used growbags but the blankets were still used as an additional layer if we were out with the buggy. They are therefore a very handy item to have.
I would recommend these blankets as they have been well used and despite frequent washing have lasted well although there is some fraying at the edges now. They do come in a range of colours but I bought the cream ones so this review is based on them. The smaller moses basket ones cost £7.99 and the large cot ones are £11.99. I would say that you need at least two blankets as they will be washed a lot if my experience is anything to go by! Overall I am going to give these blankets 4 stars as I would like a little more softness in my blankets.
Bedding is very important when you have a baby or toddler as you want to make sure you do everything in your power to make sure they and in turn you get a good night's sleep. I have a mattress for my son from John Lewis and find these sheets fit well with it. They are not too small and fit nice and snug to the mattress. This is a good thing as my soon is a real little wriggler at night so these have had a good strong testing by him and have managed to stay on all night.
Despite the number of washings they have had there has been no shrinkage and they still feel soft. They also don't feel as cold as they are made from a soft jersey fabric. I think this helps not to wake my son up when he has fallen asleep on me and I am trying to conduct the tricky task of moving him to his bed without waking him up. Rule No 1 Don't Wake A Sleeping Baby! So far so good but how have they managed to cope with my son's illnesses? Well they have stood up well to being treated as a tissue at night when he had a bad cold. They also did well in the tougher test of the night-time vomiting. They managed to soak up the mess well so the mattress was relatively unaffected.
The sheets are frequently washed in my washing machine's fast cycle but when there are tougher stains I put them in a hotter wash and there has been no shrinkage. Being fitted means they are very quick and easy to put back on the mattress.
The sheets come in a pack of two which is very useful and also in different colours although I only use the white sheets so this review is based on them. I would recommend them to parents or to anyone looking to buy a practical and very useful gift to parents of babies or infants. The sheets do come in different sizes so you can also use them in a moses basket. The cot size currently costs £11.99 which is reasonable in my opinion.
My poor son recently got conjunctivitis at nursery and unfortunately my husband also caught it too. Not ideal as he began expiring the symptoms as we were on a 7 hour drive to visit family. As my husband woke up looking rather demon like with very red eyes we immediately went to a local chemist to see if they could help. Fortunately the pharmacist took one look at diagnosed conjunctivitis and suggested Optrex Infected Eyes.
The instructions say to put a drop into each eye every 2 hours for the first 48 hours and then every 4 hours after that. They also warn against driving if your sight becomes blurry. My husband isn't very good at putting in the drops and refused my help so sometimes more than one drop was used as he didn't know if the drop had gone in or not. The best way to apply seems to be to tip your head back and look up whilst dropping the drop into the lower part of your eye. He first drops did seem to help my husband and fortunately he was still able to drive. Our problem however came the next day when his eyes looked worse and his vision was affected. At this point we discovered that the drops should be kept in a fridge so headed out again to another chemist for a fresh bottle. The pharmacist was very helpful as we did think at this point we might have to try to get a doctor's appointment but he advised us that this treatment was as effective as any thing the doctor might prescribe.
The good news was that the drops seemed to work fairly quickly from then on. My husband's eyes were still red but less so he doesn't look too bad in the family photos! Apart from the one day when his eyesight was affected he could function as normal. Unfortunately his work place didn't quite agree and he was sent home for a day as they were worried how contagious conjunctivitis is.
Overall these drops worked well to clear up the infection and my husband felt his eyes were a lot less irritated by using them. I cannot remember the exact price we pad but is was around £5.50 both times which is reasonable and we would pay more to keep my husband feel normal again. Both times we went into small independent chemists as they were the nearest ones so the drops certainly appear to be readily available. The only downside was the lack of a fridge in our car which seems to have made the original bottle less effective. The second pharmacist did say that you could keep the bottle out for 4 hours but this is something you should bear in mind if you are on a long journey or just don't have access to a fridge. My other tip to avoid catching it if your partner or child has conjunctivitis is to wash your hands a lot and pillows too and also avoid sharing towels. To avoid having to explain you have an eye infection rather than a particularly wild lifestyle I would also recommend you invest in a nice pair of sunglasses.