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Although baby is not due for another couple of weeks yet, we have been super organised and the nursery has been decorated since before Christmas. We haven't found out the sex of our baby and so we needed something neutral to decorate the walls, which is why we went to Mamas and Papas, where they have a surprisingly good range of unisex stuff. We settled on this one from the Jamboree range.
Hubby wanted to go for the more beige themed range, but I preferred the brighter colours of this paper. Since I am the one who is hormonal, I won! We have painted the walls of the nursery magnolia (although you can get a matching wallpaper to go with this border if you prefer) and I thought a beige paper would be too wishy washy in what is a pretty small room. I thought it might make it look a bit drab. Plus I have read in numerous places that babies like bright colours and that it is adults that prefer calming beiges. Babies like to be engaged and this border is certainly that because it has reds, greens and oranges in it with pictures of cartoon like lions, elephants, monkeys, birds and giraffes. It is indeed very bright and it looks really good against the magnolia - not too plain, but not so overpowering that it looks gaudy.
Like I said, it is a unisex paper and we have chosen to pick out the orange to keep it that way, but you could easily make it more suited to a boy or a girl by picking out the red and the green respectively. The border also features numbers and different patterns so it is educational too!
The jamboree range has a lot of other stuff in it, so you can kit out the whole nursery in matching things - we have the cot mobile, the clock and a couple of canvas pictures. It is nice to be able to pick what you want and know that it is all designed to go together. The wallpaper border brings it all together nicely as well.
There are a couple of things that aren't so brilliant about it. Firstly is isn't cheap. It costs £12 for a five metre roll. They usually have some kind of sale on though, so it might be worth waiting for that. Even if you can't wait for a sale, it is worth the money because it is such a nice border and it is easy to match with things even if they aren't from the same range because there are so many different colours.
Secondly it is a wallpaper paste jobby. We hoped it would be one of those stick on ones because they are easier and we haven't hung wallpaper before. Having said that, it was fairly easy to do and it has stayed firmly put because, four months on, there are no signs of it going anywhere.
Overall, highly recommended.
I am thirty six weeks pregnant and suffering heart burn like you wouldn't believe, so I am pretty much an expert on all of the types of heartburn relief that are on the market - I have tried them all, believe me! My best recommendation is Gaviscon liquid, but it comes in big expensive bottles so isn't the most convenient. An alternative is to get tablets and the latest ones I have are these Boots ones.
They are priced at around three pounds for a packet of 48, although they were on offer when I got them so I got a second packet for half the price. I think this is about the standard price for own brand versions , although they are a little cheaper in the supermarkets.
The ones I have are fruit flavoured but a mint version is also available. They are nice tasting actually and you do get a lot of fruit flavour from them. They are orange, strawberry, black currant and lemon, but the black currant and strawberry are the nicest. You get a mix of flavours in each strip.
They can be chewed or sucked but I find that they work quicker and more effectively if they are chewed. I think they are ok, but to be honest the Tesco ones are better in terms of non branded versions and it is worth splashing out a little bit more for a branded version. These seem to work fairly quickly but unfortunately the effects wear off quickly too. I seem to go through them a lot quicker than I have all the other versions I have tried.
Overall I would recommend them if they are the only ones you can get hold of, but other brands are cheaper and better.
I am thirty six weeks pregnant and have been drinking this Gaviscon double action aniseed stuff like it is going out of fashion. It is the almost perfect cure for the chronic heartburn that I have been experiencing for about two months now.
What's good about it?
The absolutely best thing about it is the fact that it works. I have suffered heart burn on and off for years and am often seen crunching on those tablets that come in a variety of shapes and colours. They work, but they had nothing on pregnancy heartburn, which somehow seems infinitely worse. You are supposed to take two teaspoons of Gaviscon three times a day, but I find that I don't need anywhere near that to cure the pains. I have some in the morning before I get going and then another mouthful before I go to bed and I have found that this is enought to do the trick.
The flavour of this is quite nice. I like aniseed anyway, but if you don't like it, you'll not like it. It is quite a strong flavour and it hangs around in your mouth for a while. If you don't like aniseed, it is also available in strawberry and mint, as far as I am aware. Aniseed seems to be the most commonly available flavour though.
What's not good about it?
The only reason that this miracle cure has not received full marks is the vile texture that it has. It is like swallowing PVA glue. It is so thick (which I suppose is why it is so effective) that I have to psyche myself up to swallow it! I would strongly recommend thoroughly shaking the bottle before taking it otherwise it is just ridiculously thick!
I get mine prescribed through my doctor and so it is free whilst I am pregnant, but full price it is about £9 for a large bottle. A bottle has lasted me about six weeks. Even at this price. I would strongly recommend it. It is so effective that it is even worth it's weight in gold.
I bought myself one of these a few years ago and was quite impressed with it so have ended up buying a few since as gifts and they have all been warmly accepted. The cosmetic bags aren't perfect, but they are a great product from my favourite designer, Ted Baker.
What's good about it?
Well, first of all, they come in a number of different colours and with slight variations on designs. I actually have the one in the picture although they later did it in black, which I prefer because it makes the pattern stand out more. The bag is very pretty and quite girly - great for makeup!
Priced at £25 it is not too expensive and I have actually seen them available for around the £20 mark, which is pretty good for a designer product really. This makes it a good gift idea too. If you wanted to spend a little bit more than this, Ted Baker do a range of make up (which is available in places like Boots) so you can fill it with great treats.
It is made from a shiny plasticy type material which means that it is really easy to keep clean, both inside and out.
What's not so good about?
The only problem I can see with it is that it isn't all that big. I tend to use it as a travel makeup bag rather than my every day one because it just doesn't fit all the stuff that I seem to accumulate in it. I don't wear a lot of make up, but even so it doesn't all fit.
Overall I wouldn't recommend the product as a great designer gift idea and for a little treat for yourself. It is pretty, handy and luxurious all in one!
The natural History Museum in London is an example of just how brilliantly we can do hings in this country. It is a fabulous museum that cannot fail to grasp your attention and hold through a series of well sectioned and excellently presented displays. There wasn't a bit of it that I didn't like (apart, perhaps, from the tiger in the taxidermy section!). I can't recommend it enough if you are in the city for any length of time; it would be a real shame to miss it.
We visited on a Wednesday morning and, whilst there were lots of school groups there (seemingly enjoying themselves), it didn't seem crowded because the museum is such a big place. I understand that i can get very busy during the school holidays and at weekends, so try and avoid them if you can. Part of the reason for this is no doubt the fact that it is free to get in. There are things you do need to pay for, such as the cloakroom and the handy maps that have a recommended donation of a pound. The various cafes inside the museum aren't cheap either, but you don't mind that because you are getting so much for nothing with the museum itself.
There are four colour co-ordinated sections that cover things like the earth, animals, the sea and so on and the colouring makes it very easy to navigate the museum and see what you want to see. The map has a handy list of the big hitters and their location within the building. We particularly loved the mock up of an Asian supermarket where you can experience an earthquake after walking through and series of fascinating interactive displays about what causes an earthquake. This is in the red section.
There are lots of other things that will engage children and adults of all ages - the dinosaur exhibit is excellent and the animatronic T-Rex is nothing short of terrifying! You can be wowed by moon rocks, astonished by the giant blue whale and frightened by creepy crawlies, all the time learning from the fun fact filled placards that accompany every one of the thousands of exhibits.
We spent a morning in the museum and saw all of the main things we wanted to see (I am pregnant and so have a low capacity for walking and being on my feet at the moment, otherwise we'd have spent a lot longer there) but I think you could easily spend a couple of days there and not see everything or indeed be bored by the museum.
Absolutely, 100% recommended for everyone!
Since I have been pregnant, I have been given all kinds of lotions and potions to try to prevent all the wonderful side effects of pregnancy - swelling , stretch marks, tired smkin, dry skin - it is such a magical time indeed! one of the things I have tried is from the Clarins range and it appeared in a 'mum to be' type gift set that they do. The product is their energising emulsion for tired legs.
The bottle I have is a sample size, but I have found that it is a big enough bottle to form an opinion of the product and I definitely like it. It does seem to do the job for which it is intended and it does it well.
I particularly like that the product is the right consistency; it is thick enough that it feels nice and luxurious and that you feel like it is doing a good job but it isn't so thick that you can't get the stuff out of the bottle (which can be a challenge sometimes, especially when you have greasy hands!).
The first thing that strikes you about the product is the smell of it. It has a tea tree oil smell so I assume that is one of the ingredients. It is a very strong smell and this is actually the reason why I haven't given the product the full five stars. I am not a massive fan of the smell of tea tree so it is very strong to me, but it is nice in a way in that it makes you feel nice and fresh and clean when you have used it.
The other thing about the product that I really like is that you feel the effects of it straight away. When I followed the directions (yes it comes with directions) and applied the cream from ankle to thigh, I immediately felt a tingling sensation that made my legs feel good. I am not claiming that this is some kind of miracle cream that will repair legs that have been battered and bruised over time, but it certainly makes them feel rejuvenated as soon as you apply the cream, which is good enough for me.
The cream costs £26 for a 125ml sized bottle. This is obviously not cheap, but I think it is worth it and I will definitely be investing in the full sized product very soon. Recommended.
We recently stayed in this hotel for three nights. We've stayed here a few times in the past because it is a good budget option in a good location in the city of Paris, which is something that is pretty hard to come by.
The hotel is just behind the Moulin Rouge, so is within walking distance of the Gare de Nord train station , which is the main one connecting the city to the airports and to other countries in Europe. It is also just a few minutes walk from the Sacre Ceour, from which you get the best views of Paris (in my opinion).
The rooms are basic but good enough for a few days. The beds are firm but comfortable and all the essential amenities are there - TV, desk, small bathroom with shower and hair dryer, small wardrobe. Small is the keyword here as it is with all but the uber expensive hotels on the city, because space is at a premium.
You can get breakfast at the hotel, although it is a basic continental buffet style breakfast and, at ten euros a person, we didn't think it was particularly good value so we skipped it this time. There are plenty of places to get a good, cheap breakfast nearby.
The staff are friendly for the most part although there is some abruptness when there is more of a language issue.
There is a very small lift to all five floors and that's about it in terms of other amenities, which is pretty much what you should expect for a hotel of this size in Paris.
I would recommend it as a no frills, good budget option for if you don't want to spend much I time in your room.
I usually use the Lacura from Aldi Sparta deodorant and am a fan because it smells nice and is good value. The problem with it is that the bottle is too big for when I am travelling because it doesn't fall into the 'under 100ml' liquid restrictions when travelling through airports with just hand luggage. So imagine my delight the other day when I was in my local Aldi doing the shopping and I saw that they do the same thing in a small roll on bottle.
Generally I am not as big a fan of roll ons as spray deodorants, but this one has totally won me over for various reasons. The main reason that I don't love roll ons is that I find that they take ages to dry. That is not a problem with this one though and it dries really quickly. This also means that it has the added bonus of not leaving those annoying white marks on my clothes.
I also love the smell of it. It is really fresh and not at all overpowering. It is sort of like a fruity smell that has just enough floral tones to not make you smell like a fruit salad when you are wearing it. I also find that it lasts so long. I put it on in the morning and I can still smell it the following morning, which is really impressive I think.
The best thing about the deodorant though is the fact that it only costs 59p which is absolutely cracking value for money and very cheap, especially considering that even such a small bottle lasts absolutely ages. Definitely recommended.
I love airport and aeroplane shopping and am always tempted by things I see there. The last time I flew on holiday, I picked up this Blush BB Cream from L'Oreal's Nude Magique range. I can't say I am overly impressed with it. It isn't a bad product, but I don't think I'll be buying it again.
What's Good About It?
First of all the product, like the rest of the ones in the range that I have tried, has a really silky texture to it. This is what made me buy it in the first place actually. It is so easy to apply and blends in really well to your skin because it is nice and light and smooths in really well.
Secondly, it is a really nice colour. I would actually describe it as more of a highlighter than a blusher because it is so subtle. This is exactly what I wanted because I wanted to give my cheeks a bit of colour but I didn't want some thick and heavy blusher that looks too pink. It is supposed to react to you skin tone, which I think is a claim too far really.
What's Not So Good About It?
The main problem that I have with the blush cream is that it seems to just disappear to nothing on my skin. It starts off alright, but literally after a few seconds, it is like I don't have anything on at all, which is a shame and kind of defies the point of it for me.
Secondly it is on the expensive side. It doesn't seem it on face value, because you can get it for around the eight pound mark (less if you buy it from duty free like me), but that only gets you a tiny 1ml bottle! So not such good value after all.
No, I think would have to be my honest answer, which is a shame because it does feel nice on your skin and it is potentially a really good product.
I like to wear a powder over the top of my foundation to stop my face from looking all shiny, but I don't want one that is too heavy or thick because I can't stand it when makeup looks too powdery (I am a hard lady to please!). I do like this one from Collection 2000 for a number of reasons; namely it isn't too thick, it comes in a range of shades and it is cheap.
The powder, like I say is cheap. Collection 2000 is a pretty budget range of makeup, but that's not to say it's not good because it is. The powder doesn't look any different from the more expensive versions of the same thing; it comes in a little round tub with a clear plastic cover that allows you to see the shade of powder inside. It costs around the £2 mark, which is fantastic value as far as I am concerned!
The powder is available in seven different shades, ranging from very light to quite dark. The powders are called things like 'Translucent', 'Ivory' and 'Warm beige' and they are pretty good names because they are reflective of the colour that you get, which is much better than some of these random companies!
The powder is really nice on, it is kind of silky and goes on very well. It seems to stay on quite well which is good and means that I would absolutely definitely recommend. It is available from places like Superdrug, so it is easy to get hold of as well.
I have tried loads of fragrances over the years - I am lucky enough to be able to work in a job where I get discounted perfumes and aftershaves - but this is one that I always go back to it because I absolutely love the smell of it. It has been a stalwart on the fragrance market that has stood the test of time and for very good reason.
The perfume comes in a light blue glass bottle that is domes at the bottom and is simple in design. The bottle is representative of the fragrance and is perfect for what is an understated but classic perfume. It is not one of these glitzy in your face perfume bottles that tries to double up as a work of art, but it is suited to the fragrance itself.
The name of the fragrance gives a good clue to the scent - it is an aqua like scent that is light and fresh. It uses a good combination of fruity (blackcurrant, pineapple and honeydew melon) and floral (lotus blossom and waterlily) notes to make sure that it smells neither too fruity or too florally. You'll notice that the individual ingredients have a watery theme to them which to my, admittedly untrained, nose works really well to create a lovely summery fragrance that is long lasting but not at all over powering. I would suggest that it is a fragrance more suited to summer days.
The perfume has an RRP of £36 for a 50ml bottle and £48 for a 100ml bottle, although I have never paid anything like this for it because it is generally on offer in shops for much less. In fact, at the time of writing, the 100ml bottle is available in Boots for £24.99 which is an absolute bargain. Definitely recommended.
I have tried a lot of different deodorants in my time, mainly because I am not brand loyal and I buy whatever is on offer when I go shopping. I have to say though that this is one I do particularly look out for to see if it is on offer because it is one of my favourites.
What Is Good About It?
Well the thing that I like most about this deodorant is the smell because it is absolutely gorgeous. It is so fresh and a little bit fruity rather than being florally, which is just what I like. I would describe it as being a bit like Davidoff's Cool Water perfume or perhaps CK One, so if you like that kind of scent, it is perfect for you.
The second thing that I like about it is the fact that it lasts well both in terms of how long it keeps you smelling fresh and how long the bottle lasts. It is a decent sized 250ml bottle and so lasts a while, especially because you don't need that much each time you use it. It claims to last 24 hours and I would just about agree with that because when I wear it I can still smell the deodorant under my arms when I wake up the following morning, which is nice.
What Is Not So Good About It?
At £3.29 a bottle, it is not the cheapest deodorant on the planet, although I would still say this is just about good value for money. I would definitely recommend keeping an eye out for it when it is on offer though, which it very often is in the big supermarkets.
The other thing that is not so good about it is the dreaded white patches. having said that, I only seem to get that for the first few times I use it after starting a new bottle. Perhaps the problem naturally gets better when the stuff inside hasn't been left to settle. It is also not as bad if you hold the bottle further away when you are spraying it.
Would I Recommend It?
Yes I would because it smells nice and works well. The couple of things that aren't so good about it aren't enough to make me not recommend it - although I would, like i said, suggest keeping an eye out for it when it is on special offer.
I am fortunate enough to be able to go on holiday quite a lot and so do go through a vast amount of sun cream each year. One of my favourites is the Malibu sun lotion range. I like the fact that it smells amazing, it is cheap in comparison to others and it works well for me.
What Is Good About It?
The first thing that I love about it is the smell. It is coconut flavoured and it really is a gorgeous smell that will put you in mind of pina coladas on the beach in the Caribbean - you can't fail to start daydreaming when you smell it. It is a nice fruity smell that is not too overpowering that you can't put up with it all day. It is strong enough though that it lasts all day and covers up any smells that might have arrived as a result of sweating on the beach all day!
It is a nice thick sun cream that feels really soft and smooth on your skin. It really is a lotion rather than some of these thinner milks that you can get. This means that it doesn't dissolve within seconds so you can actually see where you have and haven't applied it, making it much easier to make sure that you get a full coverage.
The product is one of the cheaper ones on the market and I think it represents good value for money too - it costs less than £5 for a 200ml bottle, which is way cheaper than many of its competitors.
What's Not So Good About It?
Well I actually think that it offers really good protection and I have never been burnt whilst I am using it (I do follow the instructions and apply half an hour before going into the sun and reapply after going into water etc). But, having said that, I have just had a quick search for the product online and I came across a news story in the Daily Mail earlier this year that says the product was given a bad review by Which?, the consumer company. They say that their tests indicate that the SPF protection level of the lotion is not what it says on the bottle, which is obviously not a good thing. Like I said though, I use it regularly and have never had a problem with it.
Yes. Despite the bad reports from Which?, I have never had any problems with it and I really like the product. Like all sun creams and lotions, you have to exercise caution in the sun anyway.
I am a bit of a cheapskate it has to be said and so I tend to give all of the value style products in supermarkets a go, which is how I came to purchase this one from Tesco. I used to buy the Tesco standard range version (I can't bear spending the kind of money the big brands expect, for something that I essentially spit out), but I changed to this one when they had none of the usual one in stock and have never bothered to change back.
What Is Good About It?
Well the best thing about it is the fact that it is so cheap. At just 40p for a 600ml bottle, it is worth a try even if you aren't sure! It is a decent sized bottle like I said, so it does last a while which makes it pretty good value for money too. Hubby and I both use it on a daily basis and I would say that a bottle lasts maybe three or four weeks.
The second thing I like about it is the taste of it. It is a sort or peppermint flavour and is quite nice and not too overpowering. It doesn't have that horrible medical type taste that some of the more expensive mouthwashes.
What's Not So Good About It?
I do find the mouthwash a little on the sweet side and sometimes it gives me the feeling that it is perhaps too sweet to be doing any real good - shouldn't medicine type things and things that are good for you taste horrible? Also, whilst it does make my mouth taste fresh, it is quite subtle so it doesn't last all that long.
Yes, for that price, how can I not recommend it?!
i hate shaving. Literally I loathe it. I am one of those lazy folks who loves it when winter comes and I can wear long trousers and tights to cover up a multitude of sins (namely much less frequent leg shaving). This results in me begrudging spending a lot of money on shaving products and razors, which is how I came to buy the Aldi disposable razors.
What's Good About Them?
Genuinely, the only good thing that I can say about them is that they are cheap. Very cheap in fact - I should have seen this as a warning sign. You get twelve of the disposable razors in a pack for 85 measly pence, which works out at just over seven pence each. See I told you they were cheap.
What's Not So Good About Them?
Everything but the price. They are twin blade razors. I have to admit I was always scornful of these adverts where they boast that their razors have upwards of five blades for a smoother finish, but it turns out that they have a point, because two blades is not good for anything. They don't get anywhere near close enough and I find that I have to go over and over so often that my skin becomes sensitive and even sore. I also find that they don't last long at all before the blade is as blunt as a banana skin - two shaves maximum.
Absolutely not. The fact that they are cheap is not enough of a saving grace for me too recommend these and the fact that they don't last long at all means that even at seven pence each, they aren't good value for money - avoid, avoid, avoid!