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sharonmanc

sharonmanc
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Member since: 09.02.2009

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      19.06.2011 09:27
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      My tips, through trial and error, to upping your sales on Ebay

      I have been selling on Ebay for a few years on and off and over the years have, through trial and error, learned a few things on what works best, this is what works for me, it might work for you too but there are no guarantees.

      I do not list on ebay every week as I am just too busy, with work and looking after my 3 little ones, but i will list a lot of items at once, then if they dont sell re list them within a week or so, or wait for a free listing weekend to maximise my profits. Lately there have been a lot of free listing weekends, so when you get those emails from Ebay, don't just delete without reading first, as they will give you a heads up on when the next one might be so here goes

      My Tips
      ~Items in season sell well - because people will be looking for them, not super savy people like you and me, but those that leave everything to the last minute kind of people.

      ~Baby and children's items always sell well - this is anything from shoes clothes , toys nursery items, cots prams, baby gates

      ~Large bulky items - pick up only - I have sold a bed, sofa's, fridge freezer, things that people just tip - if you want to offer postage, do your research through royal mail but also courier services to offer a realistic rate of postage,otherwise you may find yourself out of pocket. Also offering postage obviously opens your sale up to a wider market too.

      ~ I have to mention this again, even if it is a small item, don't guesstimate, weight your item and put in a realistic postage price, other wise it will sell cheaply and then you will be stung by extra postage and then fees from ebay and paypal, and in some cases you end up be out of pocket. - I have learnt from experience. (Royal mail postage prices can be found here: http://sg.royalmail.com/portal/rm/PriceFinder?catId=23500532&gear=pricingcalc)

      ~ Clothes sell well if you list them in bundles not as separates unless those clothes are designer, you generally get better interest and more bids if you say have clothes from the high street like Next, Debenhams, Gap etc. Especially if you bundle them together.

      ~List clothes in bundles of between 6 and 10-12 - no more as postage cost can be a killer
      Weigh items to give you a rough idea of postage anything under 2kg is usually ok to go through royal mail anything over or of a large shape but under 2kg I send via courier usually My Hermes (www.myhermes.co.uk) - as they are very cheap some people have had problems with them but i never have. I then compare the cost with royal mail and see which would be the better option for me.

      ~If not sending an item by courier I only post second class mail and i state this in my listings, unless there is only a penny or so difference between second class and first class

      ~ When listing a smaller item always offer postage and local pick up, the majority of my items go for local pick up - which means i dont have to worry about postage etc.

      ~THINGS YOU WOULD NOT EXPECT PEOPLE TO BUY - SELL. I say this to people all the time and they think I am nuts, used makeup, 1/2 bottles of perfume, old light fittings, paving stones, nappy bins, money off coupons, the list is endless, one man's junk is another man's treasure.

      ~Always be honest with your listing and for this reason I have a no return policy

      ~ I never use a 99p starting price any more as i have often been disappointed when an item did not sell for the minimum i wanted it to, that is why I love free listing weekends, as there is not fee regardless what price you start your listing at, for this reason I always list my item with the lowest price I want for it

      ~I always leave my items running for 7 days minimum, it gets interest. If you want to be in with the best chance of having a bid, and selling well, list your item on a Thursday for 10 days, this way your item will be listed for 2 weekends, the majority of people view items at weekends, this is also recommended by Ebay themselves.

      ~ Be careful of the day and time you end a listing, I avoid saturday and thursday/Friday endings. And never end a listing at a school run time, alot of mums just like me are looking for bargains on ebay - so you loose out. I know I have not bid on something or been unable to competitivly bid as I was off on the school run or so busy I forgot

      ~ I have also bought items and got some good bargains when people have listed items at rediculous ending times because no one is around at those times to bid, so the opposite is true, if you want stuff to sell list it properly

      ~ I tend to end a listing between 6.45pm and 8.30pm and usually a sunday or monday night, most people are home at these times.

      ~ For packaging I use recycled packaging I have got from online shopping, black bags doubled up, and even the 10p bags for life they are so durable and strong they cut down on buying expensive parcel wrap - I also shop at the £1 shop for padded envelopes and also parcel bags they have multi packs of 6, 8 and 10 for you guessed it £1 and the best bit using parcel bags and bags for life means less postage as they weigh very little. I also add to my listing i use recycled packaging so the reduced cost is passed onto the buyer, and i state this in my listing.

      ~My items are usually things we no longer need, unwanted gifts, things given to me, competition wins I have no use for - the best being Beyonce concert tickets for £250.


      I hope this is help full, this list is by no means exhaustive, but just some things i have found that work over for me.

      Overall I think Ebay as an auction site, is a great way for anyone to up their income.

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      • shopandscan.com / Internet Site / 47 Readings / 46 Ratings
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        18.06.2011 08:55
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        A quick and easy way to earn some extra treats

        I have just been introduced to the joy that is shop and scan. Can you tell I like it.

        I have been doing surveys for a while now and had only heard of shop and scan, that was until last week when i got a survey that was a sign up for this site. Basically shop and scan is a website run by a research company called TNS. They are a worldwide organisation and the biggest provider of online market information in the world. This made me feel more secure in investing my, time and effort with them, especially as you know that the information you provide is helping the company find out about shopping trends . Each week the information they have received is reported to manufacturers and retailers, so they can use this information to decide which products to sell. I scan everything, even my yellow labelled reduced items.

        That's right I get to scan my shopping, with a little clicker that they send through the post, which basically is a mini bar code reader. Once your shopping is scanned you log onto their website, and attach your clicker to the computer via the USB, and through the application which you download to your computer on set up, you transmit the information to them. It sounds more complicated than it really is, the scanning part is the most time consuming, but I tend to scan each item as I pack it away so only takes an extra 5 -10 minutes depending on how big my shop is.

        The clicker comes with an information booklet, inside are bar codes, one for each member of the family, so when that member buys something you scan their bar code, then the next page which is the bar code of the shop (most high street shops are there) , then the price range you spent, then scan your shopping. You have to do this for each shop. Once this has been done you can then either transmit it, by logging into their website, connect the clicker via the USB, or simply wait until the end of the week and transmit all that you have scanned then. Personally I like to get it out of the way so I do not forget, as that way I will qualify for my rewards. However you need to make sure you transmit your codes before each Sunday at midnight to qualify for your points.

        Now this is the best part FREEBIES!! I love getting something for nothing, for your time and effort rewards are given. Each week you transmit the information via their website you are given 1100 points, when you get to 10000 points you can convert these into entertainment and leisure vouchers for places such as London Eye, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, or for high street stores such as Debenhams, Argos and Amazon. You also have the option to donate your points to charity.

        Also for each week if you upload an image of your receipts you get a bonus 500 points, this can be done very easily by scanning your receipt, and if you don,t have a scanner you can just take a picture and upload it onto their site, I did this with my Blackberry and it only took a few minutes.

        Also with your first transmit of information you get a bonus 10000 points. I was credited these points within hours and had converted them into a £10 Amazon evoucher. It really was quick, and I have heard from others that for paper vouchers they are usually with you in a matter of weeks, but I a yet to find this out for myself.


        Shop and scan is by invitation only, I was lucky to get the survey with instantly signed me up, if you are not so lucky you can register by going to the official TNS register site (http://www.volunteer4panels.com/) where you can apply to go on all their research panels. It can take up to a week for TNS to email you and to tell you if you have been accepted or not. If you have been accepted then you will get emailed a unique invitation number with instructions and a link to click on to take you to the shop and scan site to register. It really is easy and sounds more complicated than it really is.


        Another thing to note is that you can only register usingWindows: 98, 98SE, ME, XP, Vista, Windows 7, it also states on their website

        " We recommend using a PC at home (not at work) which has:

        Internet access (dial-up or broadband)

        Internet Explorer as a browser.....

        A spare USB port for the clicker cable"

        This is where I found out how fabulous their customer service is as I had problems with internet explorer, they have a free phone number which is always a plus, and I was not left waiting long to speak to someone. They must have realised that Internet explorer has been a problem for alot of their panellists, so they emailed me with instructions with "add-on's" for Google chrome and also Mozilla Firefox, these add ons basically make your browser compatible with their system which uses Internet explorer and it was all pretty painless, especially as I am not very good with technology, and with another phone call they talked me through what I needed to do, and I was up and running and transmitting my first codes within minutes of having my software issues sorted.

        This is a great way to earn some extra treats, especially if you transmit your information and upload a receipt you can potentially earn 1600 points a week, that means every 7 weeks you will get a £10 reward, it is less time consuming than surveys which can often take longer to pay out, and also more fun, in fact yesterday I put my feet up and my 8 year old scanned all the shopping don't know how long this will last until the novelty wares off with him, but I think I will enjoy it while it lasts.

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          18.06.2011 07:33
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          Great piece of play equipment, sturdy, safe, but most of all fun

          The Little Tikes Junior Activity Gym is great little piece of play equipment for children aged 1 and a half - 4 years. It is made from robust fade resistant plastic which means it keeps its colour so looks good, which is a plus especially contending with our British weather. Mine has withstood the harsh winter and still looks new.

          It comes in 2 colours, "Sunshine" which is a burst of yellow, with a little green and red, as pictured here or "Evergreen", either way both colours are unisex, and depends on whether you want something jazzy and bright or something that blends in more with your garden.


          I bought this for my little girl and for when my nephews and nieces visit, also I am in the process of becoming a childminder, so wanted something that would with stand being played with by a lot of young children, which this most certainly has been able to. Anyone with toddlers know that they can reek havoc with their toys, and the junior gym has with stood everything quite literally thrown at it, from balls, to other garden toys, and rammed into by bikes and cars, and of course having my little tykes jump all over it.

          My daughter and her cousins have had hours of fun using it, in fact they spend hours in the garden playing with it, come rain or shine, especially if it has been raining I can easily just dry it down with a towel and they are good to go.

          It is great, from climbing, crawling through the holes and peek-a-boo, but the most obvious is sliding, which my daughter loves, and the gym is such a compact size that she can navigate it quite easily on her own, which means I can have a much deserved cup of tea, or tend to my plants in the garden while I watch her play. The design is such that she can climb around without catching himself on sharp edges or get a splinter as with wooden activity toys, and the slide is very stable.


          The Little Tikes Junior Gym is a Compact size so is fantastic for smaller gardens like mine, and if you have enough space in the house, it can be used indoors, however it is a little too wide to carry through a door so you may need to decided where you want it before assembly, if you have patio doors then I don't think there will be a problem with moving it from the house to the garden.

          It was very easy to assemble and I was able to do this by myself, it requires no tools which is a bonus, it is quite weighty in the original box so you may need someone to help carry it to where you want to assemble it, but once you open the box you can quite easily put it together on your own. It comes as four lightweight panels and slide attachment which push and lock into place with moderate force and once assembled, which takes only a few minutes, is there to stay.


          My only complaint with this product is that it is hard to get my daughter to come inside when I need her too, she hides underneath which she find hilarious, she loves to play on it so much. In fact my 8 year old even tries to squeeze through the holes , and I am constantly having to tell him to get off, as the maximum weight for the gym is 23kg, I even had to weight him to shoe him he was too heavy for it.

          It may seem a little expensive to some, but I think that It pays for itself with the amount of time it gets played with, and the use it gets, it is sturdy and I have no worry of it falling apart. This is a fantastic out door or indoor toy which will be loved by any child.

          At the moment on Amazon they have the Evergreen version with 25% off, I just bought one for my nephew for his birthday for £70, and they also have the sunshine with 14% off (June 2011)

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          • sparkpeople.com / Internet Site / 37 Readings / 36 Ratings
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            17.06.2011 10:34
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            Fantastic free weight loss and healthy lifestyle resource

            I absolutely love sparkpeople.com. It such a great resource. It has eveything, online support, forums, an exercise tracker, which you can have work you out a plan, or input your own exercises you have completed which then shows you how may calories you have burned.

            It also has a food tracker, again a plan can be worked out for you or you can input your own foods, and the best part, there is huge database of foods, calorie counted that you can just search for and add, not alot of these are American, but becaseu Sparkpeople has taken off all over the world, people from other countries have doen a lot of the hard work and individually inputted the nutritional informaton from food products they eat, and then sahred them on the site so you can just search for them and input them into yoru tracker. If a food item is not there, then you can input the information and add it to the database, or into your own personal favourites, which then makes it easier each time to log a food item as you just need to click on it and add it into the relevant section of breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks.

            You can take or leave any part of the site and just tailor it to you, at the moment I used the initial goal setter, to input my weight and how much I want to loose, and it has given me a time frame to do this healthily. If you want to say input a stone in 4 weeks, it will not allow it as it advocates, sensible weight loss, which is great as it sets realistic goals that are achievable if you put in the effort. I also use the fitness tracker daily as it helps me keep track of what I do, and how many calories i have burned, but also how much effort i have had to put in to achieve that calorie burn. I personally do not track food as I can get a tad obsessive, but instead follow portion control and eating intuitivley and healthily.

            Not only this but there are tonnes of articles, not just on weight loss, but also on living a healthy lifestyle both physically and emotionally, inspirational videos, real life sucess stories which unliek the infomercials you sometimes see on TV are about real people putting in the hard work and loosing weight the good old fashioned way with diet and exercise, and they really are motivating. In fact that is what got me runngin last year, I saw a lady on there from the sates almost 300lb who had ran a 10k, I thought if she can do it, I can do, joined one of the runnign groups on there and with a lot of support and hard work, I ran my first 5K, and this is from a woman, that would not even run for a bus if her life depended on it.

            The best part - which I love, and use daily has to be the 5, 10, 15 and 20 minute fitness and exercise videos that you can fit in, really easily, into a busy day. I can even do these while my children are watching TV in the evening, which means I dont have to find time to exercise, I can fit it around my normal routine. Also if the site is down for maintenance, I can still access these videos as they are posted onto youtube.

            I love the fact that it teaches no nonsense, faddy diets or extreme exercise programmes, just good old fashioned healthy eating and exercise, no fad diets.

            And the most spectacular part is , IT IS ALL FREE!

            This is really important for me, as i do not have alot of spare cash to join clubs like slimming world or weight watchers, I am trying to clear debt so every spare penny goes to that, another reason I find this site so invaluable.

            I have lost alot of weight using the resources here in the past ( before i had my daughter ) and have just started utilising this resource again, and am already seeing losses in my wasit line and not from my pocket.

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              15.06.2011 10:37
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              Hours of fun and imaginative play

              I love this tent as it literally took two minutes to set up and it was ready to play with. It's one of those tents that just pops up and it folds back down again for easy storage. The tent comes in a 17 inch round cover, they are both made from 100% nylon.

              The tent is suitable for ages 2 and over so my son at 8, was probably a bit big for it but that didn't stop him from having fun with it with his 2 year old little sister who is was originally intended for.

              The tent is very brightly colored with a front Opening door, which can be held back with the attached Velcro straps, plus a round side opening, which can also be held open with the Velcro straps, and a back entrance, which can be used to attach the Chad Valley play tunnel (sold separately). The tent has a roll up door and windows, I however the wondows are quite low down so they are more like smaller door ways, which my 2 year old loves to crawl through.

              It's great for inside play on rainy days, especially as it does not take up too much room, being a decent 90cm x90cm x90cm and equally great for outdoor play for sunny days. My two spent hours playing with it on the day we got it in the garden, and the added bonus was that they had shelter in the garden on a sunny day. Plus with it not being too big it is ideal for any size garden, I have even taken this along to my brothers house, where he only has a yard for the children to play in.

              The other thing i love about this pay tent is that it is robust, and really does put up with alot of abuse, as my daughter is very much a tom boy,so as well as sitting in, if my back is turned she will launch herself off the sofa on top of it ( not recommended I may hasten to add) , and it simply just pops back into shape.

              Since first getting it we have also used it not only as a tent, but also as a ball pool in the back garden, although it is not advertised or designed for this purpose, it has done a pretty good job, and has made the tent versatile while at the same time preventing bordom from setting in, and it becoming another toy discarded and not played with.

              This has made this tent so worth the money, i paid £10 for mine which is a fantastic price as other more well known brands cost twice as much as this, however it can be picked up on places like ebay from £3.99.

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                15.06.2011 10:18
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                Rememberance, love, coming of age magnificently combined into this must read book.

                It's been a while since I've read fiction that absorbed me into it's pages and made me forget about the world. I love books that utterly pull you in so that all you do is lie on your bed, or curl up on the sofa and read. Water for Elephants was so good that I finished it in 24 hours, which is no mean feat with 3 children to deal with in the house.

                The story follows Jacob, of Polish Origin living in America, who experiences a huge life changing tragedy and runs away to the circus, quite by accident. (As you do!)

                The book is a snapshot of life in a travelling circus in 1930′s America, the brutality, the incestuous relationships within people, the partition between performer and worker and the camaraderie that lies along side all the darker elements of a group of people pressurised into being together all the time. Jacob experiences all of these things, fresh from the real world and able to see things with both the clarity and naivety of being a young man, yet with ideals and ethics that have yet to been corrupted.

                Water for Elephants is also a love story, a tangled tug of war and an exploration of numerous twisted characters and relationships. It is beautifully narrated by Jacob, sitting out the end of his life in a care home, which runs alongside the story of his past, is a delicately drawn picture of how life can end for even the most vital of people. People who had a youth which seemed it could never end in solitude.

                The brief and touching friendship that develops while Jacob lives is life in the care home is heartbreak yet heartwarming at the same time

                I am so thankful for this book as it has re awakened my love for good literature, i am a little afraid to watch the Movie now incase it does not do this book justice

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                • Philips Airfryer / Deep Fryer / 31 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                  09.06.2011 09:59
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                  A fantastic kitchen product for any home, that will allow you to enjoy fried food with the guilt

                  The AirFryer is a great kitchen must have if, like me, you are health conscious, and even if you not it means you can indulge in fried foods with less guilt, as it gives food a "deep fried" taste without using a lot of oil.

                  The instructions say that, if you are using convenience food, like frozen chips or chicken nuggets for frying, you don't need to add any oil to it at all. When using fresh, homemade ingredients, such as potatoes that you have prepared yourself, you need to add a very small amount of oil. For example for 500g of potatoes, you only need to add 1/2 a tablespoon of oil, which is a fraction compared to how you cook them conventionally.

                  According to the instructions that came with it, the Philips AirFryer will save you 80% of the fat in your "frying." This makes it an ideal product to cook your favourite fried food but with less fat, which fro me is fabulous as any mums knows kids love all the foods we are told to give them in moderation, with the Airfryer, it means they can eat more of those fried foods but with less fat. This got a big thumbs up from my children.

                  The machine had come with a metal divider to be used when cooking two things at once, so I decided to cook some frozen chips with chicken nuggets have "fried" the chips at the same time as the nuggets.

                  It was really easy to make them. First you set the temperature, then pop the food in and then set the timer. Halfway through the cooking, you take them out and shake them up and put them back in. It was a really easy to use, and all in just 13 minutes. And the best bit is they did have a taste very much like they had been fried, which is great, especially with my middle child being such a fussy eater, but they passed his taste test and that is not easy.

                  The Philips AirFryer also came with a recipe book which had some great recipes in it! I found out I can even make brownies in the machine, along with recipes for "fish and chips," "crispy curry potato cubes with coriander salsa," "feta triangles" and "meatballs with feta," just to name a few. All of the recipes in the recipe book contain the nutritional values of the dishes.

                  Overall the Philips AirFryer is a big winner with my family, and I am looking forward to making many more meals using it.

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                    23.05.2011 17:12
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                    A fantastic book that teaches traditional skills in cookery, gardening and looking after the home.

                    If you are a little bit of a frugaleer, like myself you will love this book, and even if you are not, it has a wealth of knowledge to help running a home, from meal planning, which I have never been able to get my head round, to supermarket shopping, and not being sucked into clever marketing while there, to budgeting for bills.

                    I am pretty good at all this already, but what was good was to find this book explain it in a way that anyone could understand, while at the same time not juts telling you what to do, but how to do it with examples. That's what makes this book that bit different, as it has examples through out. I particularly love the section on Make better and Mend. It not only shows you how to do basic things like hem, but also an array of stitch, like darning , forever hear it said on TV while watching programmes but never knew how to do it, now it makes sense, and the diagram was particularly helpful. In fact in this section there are instructions for making bags from old T-Shirts, and also skirts from old jeans, which I am definitely going to give a go , especially as this can be done with and stitching, and not just using a machine, as too many books automatically assume you have a nifty spare room dedicated to the art of craft and all things hand made.

                    The book is full of hand drawn diagrams, which I usually loath, but the kind of go along with this book, and I don't mind them as it reminds me of reading a diary, it feels that way too , like these are little secrets being passed down from one generation to the next. Particularly in the sections on cleaning the house, and also home made beauty and food recipes.

                    In fact this book is jam packed full.

                    It is split into chapters which then are split into sub chapters.

                    1. Around the house
                    Which not only includes the sections on budgeting and Make Better and Mend but also very useful information on ;
                    Household cleaners - using very few ingredients, so wont cost the earth
                    Making soap - which I am so excited about as I may make some this year for Christmas gifts at the fraction of the cost of the handmade soaps you can buy in the shops

                    2. In The Garden
                    This section has the usual information Gardening and growing herbs, fruit and vegetables, but also some great information on keeping Bees ( if that's your thing) , Keeping Hens which I am very interested in and will be reading again later this evening, and also keeping Ducks. Plus a nice little section on foraging from the wild. But more importantly once you have your free wild goodies what to do with them, how to store them , and more importantly what can be made with instructions on how to do it.

                    3. Food and cooking
                    This is the most exciting part for me, as I love good home cooked food, and there are recipes galore here from my childhood, from baking bread, pies, cakes, to making your own butter , cheese, toffees sweets, drinks, cordials, stocks, sausages, soups and preserves, and a lovely little section at the end on making wine.

                    I am yet to make anything from this section, but on reading through the recipes they are quite straight forward, so no need for expensive ingredients or equipment as they are very straight forward and simple, the way good home cooking should be.

                    The book retails for £12.99, and on Amazon , second hand for £8.99, but if like me you are a little unsure if this type of book is your cup of tea then I suggest doing like I did and pop along to your local library and borrow it before you decide if it is a book you want to add to your collection. I will definitely be adding this to my collection, but will try to source it a little cheaper .

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                      22.05.2011 14:00
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                      Fantastic no nonsense recipe book, with lots of those favourite childhood eats.

                      I remember my mum having this book when I was child, so when shopping in Morrisons, I was so pleased to see it on the shelf on the baking Isle, just above the flour.

                      I cannot recommend this little book enough, mine is falling apart through use.

                      It has every day basic, straight forward, no nonsense recipes that taste good. Good old fashioned cooking, in a handy little book, I have only seen these on sale in Morrison's in the baking section for 99p, plus you can order it from their site but for £1.50 including postage if you fancy it but cannot find it anywhere.

                      The website has tonnes of fee info, and recipes also so if you don't want to buy the book the web site will do just as good, http://www.be-ro.com/f_rem.htm however it only has selected recipes on there.

                      It has everything from how too guides, such as making pastry, coversion charts, and different sections from cakes, cookies and biscuits, pies, puddings, and there is a good mix of savoury and sweet. This is the one recipe book I go back to time and time again, and i have almost every recipe book going from Nigella, to River Cottage, yet this little handy A5 book, beats them hands down for good non nonsense, home cooked food.

                      Obviously Be-ro want you to use their products, but I don't, I just use cheap flour and ingredients as usual and still get great results.

                      I have even had to buy copies or my brothers who live at the opposite end of the country so they can try to recreate some of the recipes my mum used to make us as children, and this books helps us get pretty close.

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                        20.05.2011 13:51
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                        A disapointingly, over priced day out .

                        We converted some of our tesco clubcard points and went to the new legoland discovery land here in Manchester at the Trafford Centre. I think it is a waist of money for normal admission £13.95 for an adult and £7.95 for a child. It would have cost us just short of £38 if I would have paid as my 14 year old is classed as an adult. And I am so glad I did nto pay cash but instead used my vouchers otherwise I would have been even more disappointed.

                        My 7 year and 14 year old enjoyed parts of it too, although it is supposedly only for kids up to 12 years, she especially liked the 4 D movie experience. However there enjoyment was short lived, and it was not long before i heard those dreaded words "I'm bored".

                        It is not big at all, smaller than I expected, in fact it reminded me of a glorified whackey Warehouse, but to a small child parts of it are great fun.

                        The main Highlight for my 2 eldest children was the dragon ride at the beginning, my sons surprised face when he got off the dragon slaying ride was priceless, they got to shoot dragons with laser guns, however they were not allowed to take pictures on the ride, much to my disappointment.

                        After this it was down hill for older children, even my 7 year old was a little dissapointed in the "factory" area they show you how Lego is made, we had in our minds that it would be like a real scaled down factory experience to see the blocks being made, and disappointingly it was not, in fact we waited almost 20 minutes to watch an employee in fancy dress, pull a few leavers and watch a few lego blocks fall on the floor.

                        There was nothing there for my youngest except a mega blocks corner, that left little to be desired, it looked like the blocks could do with a good clean, in fact I did not let her play, and was glad when she decided to take a nap in her buggy.

                        The lego master class was ok, we were taught how to put the lego pieces together to make a turtle, which for children aged 5 was ok, but for younger ones they found it difficult to manipulate the pieces, and older children found it too easy and boring and soon lost interest.

                        In fact the best bit for my son was the whackey Warehouse style play area, and this is where the majority of children seemed to gravitate with parents trying to force them into playing with the lego to get there money's worth

                        I dont think you could spend more than an hour and half there at most, as after that time bordom begins to set in, the only saving grace was having the Trafford Centre right there so we could go and get something decent to eat as the food was over priced, and also have a look round the shops to make it feel more like a day out.

                        Needless to say it is not a place I will be going back to in a hurry, in fact I dont think even if I got free tickets I would want to visit again.

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                        • More +
                          28.09.2009 19:15
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                          excellent, one of the best reusable nappies on the market

                          Bum genius is a pocket nappy, pocket nappies are the nappies most similar to disposables. They consist of a PUL outer (Polyurethane laminate is a breathable waterproof fabric) and come with a newborn insert and a standard insert with each nappy.

                          I started using these with my newborn from 5 weeks, they do say from birth (7lbs) even though my little one was 7lbs at birth these were still too big so I waited a little while.


                          Even at 8 weeks old these were still large on the waist think Simon Cowell. However these have been a great nappy, the only down side being that if your little one, like mine is slender, especially around the leg, then be prepared or a few nappy explosions, as the elastic around the leg fits better when baby puts a little weight on, but I did not find this any different than with the leading disposables that we used in the weeks prior.

                          Poo explosions are more so in breast fed babies. The BGs have contained messy poo really well, which surprised me. So I'd say from 4 weeks you should be fine to use them, as long as the elastic fits snugly around the legs to keep any mess in.

                          The other negative of these nappies is that if you do not use a drier like myself the inserts can take a long time to dry, however the outer itself dries very quickly. My remedy has been to buy more inserts, especially bamboo inserts/boosters as they are very absorbent for a heavy wetter.

                          Boosters are pads of material which can be inserted into nappies to increase their absorbency. This is particularly useful if you wish your nappy to last a night. They can be made of many different materials including, cotton, hemp, bamboo, and micro fibre.

                          To Wash

                          I dry pail in a bucket, lined with a laundry mesh, which has a locking lid to keep the smells in...When there are about 12 in there (I have a stash of 20) I bung them in the wash

                          I put a few drops of tea tree oil on a sanitary towel and stick it to the bottom of the bin lid to keep any potential smells at bay.

                          I wouldn't wet pail as these nappies have the waterproofing attached, and it can shorten their useful life. If you do want to wet pail, just wet pail the pads not the outer. It's the pads that get detergent build up anyway and not the outer.

                          A cold rinse followed by either 40/60 depending on how heavily soiled they are, se a non bio powder but not tablets as you only need about 1/4 of the normal amount you would use and that's for a full load (I personally use soap flakes as my daughter has sensitive skin)
                          Some people don't bother to rinse again, but personally i re rinse as soap build up on the inserts will reduce absorbency and result in leaks.

                          DO not be tempted to use stain removers on these nappies as it will reduce absorbency, the best way to get them white again is to simply line dry in the sun and i like me you do not live in a sunny climate (who does in the UK) simply hang to dry in the window on a clothes airier as the sunlight bleaches them back to being white, takes a little longer indoors, I did not believe it myself but have been doing it this way during our rainy summer

                          You can tumble dry the inserts but on a low setting, the only thing I would not tumble dry is my PUL outer as it can ruin them

                          Price -

                          Most websites have specials on Bum genius if you buy more. If you buy more than 15 they're approximately 13.64 each.

                          Council schemes - a lot of councils run nappy schemes (but not all) if interested in using reusable nappies worth giving them a call and asking
                          Mine runs

                          One month free trial with a nappy laundry service

                          Or

                          2 week trial using home laundry kit (can then claim a £30 voucher at the end of the trial to spend on reusable nappies- £30 returnable deposit or this option)

                          Apparently you save £600 from birth to potty using cloth. This takes into account washing costs. Can't remember where I saw this. Obviously the savings are more on second and subsequent children

                          The real savings come if you don't tumble dry. Washing machines are pretty efficient (especially modern A-rated ones), but tumble dryers are really electricity-guzzling.

                          If you tumble dry all your nappies, then there is still a small cost saving, but nowhere near as much.

                          Don't forget that kids raised in cloth usually get out of nappies a bit earlier than those in disposalbles too (they don't lose the association between peeing and being wet, so potty training is usually easier). There are savings to be made there too.

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                            12.02.2009 19:27
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                            cheap, reliable, great tatsing meals, what more can I ask for!

                            I was converted to slow cooking about a year ago after reading a thread on moneysavingexpert.com, and remembering i had my mums old one in the back of a cupboard, so I dusted it off and never looked back.

                            I was heart broken when i broke the lid, and could not replace it because it was too old and the parts were no longer manufactured. I was estatic on a shopping trip to tesco I saw there own make for less than £20.

                            This is a basic no thrills, slowcooker, which in my opionion is the best. They do what they say on the box, with little fuss.

                            A slow cooker uses less than what you would pay to leave a couple of light bulbs on all day in the house, which is great considering how much it would cost in electricity to make a whole meal using the cooker. So at a time when electricity prices are at an all time high it could not be more useful.

                            And for those who worry about leaving it on while you are out, dont, you leave your fridge on all day every day, and this uses less electricity.

                            I love the fact that this is easy to clean the dish in the middle can be taken out to serve the meal at the table, or put in the oven for when making lasagnes etc and you want to give it a golden topping.

                            it has 3 heat settings, low which cooks things for 8+ hours, I use this when I go out to work so when we come back we have a lovely hot meal , and the smell is to die for when you walk in the house.
                            High, which cooks things in 3-5 hours (depending on what you are cooking, sometimes less) I use this when i am in the house and want to cook something but dont want to stsnd over it, like a nice sauce, or rice pudding, or a nice steamed choc pud for desert.
                            And then there is Auto, which brings your cooking to a certain temperature and keeps it regulated, this is great for heating something up and then keeping is warm for the evening.

                            The tesco slow cooker does everything that any other slowcooker will so dont let it fool you because it is cheap. This size of slow cooker does us (a family of 4) and often with enough left over for the next day or to freeze.

                            This slow cooker has saved my life so many times, especially after a long day at work, and walking through the door to the beautiful smell of a cooked meal, is bliss knowing i dont have to slave away in the kitchen, instead i can spend that time with the kids doing home work etc, and now I am pregnant again, I have fallen in love with it all over again as it saves me from having to stand over a hot stove, plus there is only one pot to wash afterwards, instead of numerous pans.

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                            • Revlon Colorstay Makeup / Make Up / 14 Readings / 13 Ratings
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                              12.02.2009 18:42
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                              Great all round faoundation

                              This foundation is quality as well as being affordable, it retails between £10.99 and £11.99. My tip is to buy this when it is on offer, so usually
                              I pick mine up from boots when they offer extra points or when they offer another make up product free, which right now is a revlon mascara retailing at £11.

                              The thing I love about this foundation is that it gives great coverage that lasts, it is'nt heavy, and it does not give you the dreaded shiny forhead after a few hours of wear. I have a few marks on my face from having chickenpox (which i am quite conscious of) and this foundation evens those out so they are hardly noticable.

                              I also took this on holiday to Turkey with me, as it has SPF15, so was great to wear out in the evening when the weather got cooler, to give me alittle bit of coverage.

                              Being mixed race, it is difficult to find a foundation that matches my skin tone, as the pigmentation in a lot of foundation has an orange tinge and makes you look like you have been tango'd, but this does'nt, i have found this make up to be better then those makes ups such as fashion fair, and bobby brown that are supposed to be designed for women of colour, or are supposed to compliment any skin tone. This is the only foundation I have ever worn where i get compliments on my complexion and how good my skin looks, so all in all I woudld'nt be without it.

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                            • More +
                              12.02.2009 15:08
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                              would be wary of buying, as although does the job seems to break down.

                              This is a great value for money dehumidifier, it does what it is supposed to. I bought this after having a condensation/damp problem, and could not believe how much water it sucked out of the air, needless to say the condensation problem stopped, and so did the dehumidifier.

                              After 3 months it stopped working completely. So i took it back to B&Q and was offered a no quibble refund or replacement, I opted for the replacement, however after I did the shop assistant told me that he had had 6 of them returned in the last week because of the same problem (may be a manufacturign fault) , but seeing that i had already exchanged it I took it home.

                              Now 3 months on again, it is making some worrying noises, so I am expecting another trip to B&Q in the not so distant future, only this time I will opt for a refund and buy a replacement else where.

                              Edited*****

                              I paid £75, but with the new tax cuts it is now less than £74

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                                10.02.2009 17:59
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                                Thick layer of choclate on a soft moist sponge, taste great, and ideal for packed lunches.

                                mmmmm chocolate..... I turn into a Homer Simpson wanna be when these are around. I love love love them, so much so that my kids hide them on me when i buy them as they know I will eat them all in one sitting if I get the chance.

                                These retail at £1.25 in most supermarkets, if you have a home bargains near you can get a box of 6 for 59p, but better still I got a box of 30 from approvedfood.co.uk for £1 (drools).

                                Now the best bit is they are individually wrapped which makes it an ideal sweet snack for a packed lunch, and at only 150 calories each, is not bad for a quick fix on a break at work. I am a teacher and i look forward to one of these on my first break of the day, it is my little indulgence just for me.

                                Also as a mother of two ( almost 3, one on the way) I am constantly on a mission to stay as healthy as possible, and these are a great guilt free snack, the only down side is if you have one you want another, as they are so moreish.

                                I also pack these in my kids packed lunches, with no arguements, as they are just big enough without you feeling guilty that Jamie Oliver is going to pay you a personal visit for adding to the tennage obesity problem in the UK as you hang yor head in shame and step forward and introduce yourself in the next BMA meeting (bad mothers annonomous) "my name is Sharon and I am a bad mother...."

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