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Alfie bear was given as a gift for my sons 1st Christmas, when he was 9 months old. He was a big hit with my son, and then later, with his younger brother, as a result Alfie has been living with us for the past four years. Alfie is a fun little teddy bear who loves hugs, and loves to sing. He has a very enthusiastic voice and sings every word he says. Our Alfie has an English accent, but I am aware that there is also an American version too. He has a smiley friendly face and his arms are stretched out, like he wants a cuddle. Alfie has a soft beige face, arms and legs and has a red hard plastic belly. On the front of his belly there are 4 buttons which can be pushed to make him sing. The buttons are quite large and very easy for young children to press. One of these buttons is in the centre, in the shape of a heart; this is the on/off button. When pushed on, Alfie says 'How are you' followed by a little song. 'I'm a friendly light up bear, i'll teach you one, two three, a sleepy hungry, happy bear, hey come and hug me'. When you push the button again to turn Alfie off, he says 'Bye Bye'. The other buttons are each numbered 1, 2, 3. Each button can be pushed up to 4 times in a row, as Alfie has four settings for each button. On the first push Alfie will say how he is feeling. Then he will say a number, ask you a question, and finally play a nursery rhyme. For example- Button 1 - 'Mmm im a hungry bear' - - 'One' - - 'How are you?' - plays a nursery rhyme. There are several nursery rhymes played including, Skip to the loo my darling, rock a bye baby. Alfie does not actually sing the nursery rhymes, but he plays the tune of them. Each individual button lights up when pushed. And during each nursery rhyme all the buttons light up and flash. Alfie requires 2 x AAA batteries. The batteries are secured by two small screws (Philips) on his back. I can't say that we have ever had to change the batteries in the four years we have had alfie. He turns off automatically after a while, when he isn't being used. This helps to save the battery life, and also stops Alfie from continually making noises, like many other children's toys do! The speakers are also located on the back of Alfies belly. Alfie is recommended for children aged 3 months - 18 months. I would agree with this age range, although both my children played with Alfie up to the age of two. When my children were around 6 months, they used to like the nursery rhyme tunes, aswell as the visual effect of the flashing buttons. As they got older (around 1-2) they started to pay more attention to the number sounds and Alfies comments i,e 'I love you'. Alfie has a little velcro tab on his head, which makes it easy to attatch him to a bouncer or cot. When my children were little I used to attatch Alfie to the pushchair. He also used to hang from the handle on their rear facing baby car seats, which helped to keep them entertained during car journeys. The tab is a particularly handy when your child is going through the phase of throwing their toys for the fun of it! As Alfie is an electronic toy, he can only be sponge cleaned. I haven't found any problems with cleaning him in this way, using washing liquid and a damp cloth, he is still in a great condition after four years. We have the original 'Vtech Singing Alfie' that is made of primary colours, which i feel is visually attractive and makes a great unisex toy. There are also pink and blue versions available for those who prefer toys to be gender specific. Singing Alfie is widely available to buy in most toy stores i.e, mothercare, toys are us and Argos. I also spotted him in Wilkinson last week! The price is generally around the £9.99 mark, although prices vary from store to store, and I have seen him on offer for as little as £4.95 in the past. I really cannot think of anything negative to say about Alfie. He is simply a friendly looking bear, that is fun to play with, aswell as being educational. He is easy to carry around, thanks to his Velcro tab, and he can be heard clearly, without being too loud (like some childrens toys)! He even turns himself off when he is not in-use, which saves the battery life, meaning that i have never had to change his batteries. My youngest son is now 2 and a half and seems to have lost interest in Alfie, so i think it is time to take Alfie down to the charity shop, so another child can cherish him. All in all, a great toy that is well worth the money!
Tesco baby head to toe wash is exactly that! It is a shampoo and shower gel combined into one product. The first time I used this product was when my eldest son was 11 months old. I had previously used 'Johnsons Baby top to toe wash' on him, but on a shop at Tesco's, I found that they were out of stock. I had a look at the other baby washes and decided to try 'Tesco baby head to toe wash'. The bottle resembled the 'Johnson's' wash, but was a fraction of the price, costing just £1.00 for 500ml's, whereas the Johnson baby version cost £2.67 per 500ml. The product description on the front was also impressive, and I was reassured by the 'Paediatrician approved' statement. The bottle states that the wash is Suitable for newborns, as it is hypoallergenic, Paraben free and has a no tears formula. It has also been dermatologically tested and is PH balanced and soap free. The bottle also displays directions for use, along with a 'Helpful tip': Before you bath your baby make sure you have everything you need near you. At the top there is a yellow pump attached, which has been secured. To open this you simply need to apply some pressure to the pump and twist it right, to open (the same as on a liquid hand soap pump). I would recommend that you always check that the seal had not been tampered with before buying. My verdict: I am really pleased that Tesco's ran out of Johnson's Baby top to toe that day, otherwise I may have never been tempted into trying Tesco Baby Head to toe wash, which I still continue to use with both my children now aged 4 and 2. Although it is really a young baby's wash, I have found that it is really gentle on my children's skin, which it leaves clean and incredibly soft, so I have no reason to stop using it. Neither of my children have been fond of having their hair washed, as they don't appreciate the water in their face, however they have never seemed to experience stinging red eyes as a result of this product. Their hair is left shiny and soft, with a pleasant clean smell. The gel itself is relatively clear, and has quite a thick consistency. Each bottle lasts for roughly two months, with both boys having a wash every other day. I simply pump two or three squirts into running water as I am filling the bath (which creates a mass of bubbles) and then pump the gel onto the sponge, as and when, to clean my little men. The pump is very easy to use with one hand which is handy for those bathing newborns, as they only have one have free, whilst supporting the child. The bottle is great value costing £1.00 per 500ml! It is actually three products in one, as it not only cleans and washes hair, but it also works as a great bubble bath formula! It has helped make bath time a more pleasant experience for my children, and they love playing with the bubbles :-) I have been using Tesco baby head to toe wash for nearly 4 years now and I will continue to use it for a few more years, until they become sweaty teenage boys, and need a stronger powerful body-wash!
My hands are certainly not my nicest feature. I have a form of dermatitis and my hands are usually dry, split in places and often red. I have been told in the past that my hands look like 'granny hands'. My skin condition isn't helped by the fact that I have been changing nappies (constantly washing hands ) over the past 4 years, along with my job (which is very much hands on) and general cleaning of the household. I have never had long nails, as they never seem to grow and are prone to splitting. In short, my hands are rather unattractive! I have come to the come to the conclusion that I may never have nice hands or nails, but I can still try to make the most of them. I have invested in 'fake' acrylic nails in the past, but they are simply not practical with two young children and having to change barrels at work (it really hurts when you catch them on something ouch!) I also didn't like the way they damaged my nails, once taken off as my nails were left thin and flimsy and it took months for them to grow back to normal. So I decided to stick to nail varnish. Now, I'm not the best at applying nail varnish, and I could never be bothered to keep removing and reapplying every other day due to chips. So I tended to stick to light pearly colours that didn't stand out too much. Only wearing nail varnish on special occasions. However, one day I was having one of those 'I'm going to revamp my image' days and bravely decided to go for a bright bold nail varnish colour. So I popped into Superdrug and browsed their makeup ranges. As I didn't want to spend a fortune on my nail varnish I decided to choose one from the Miss Sporty Range. Miss Sporty is a funky make up range that appears to be aimed at teenagers. Although no-longer a teenager myself; I regularly use their foundation, and have tried various other products from the range, all of which I have found to be of great value at affordable prices. I had thought the Miss Sporty range was exclusive to Superdrug, but I have since found that they are also available in Boots, Amazon, and other stores. The colour that I decided to buy was Red Tango, which was available in their 'Lasting Colour' range, costing just £1.99! What does the nail varnish look like? The nail varnish is contained within round clear-glass bottle, which has a square base, to enable the varnish to stand upright. At the top there is a blue plastic screw lid, in which the brush it attached. Wrapped around the lid, there is a little sticker which displays the brand name 'Miss sporty' and provides information about the nail varnish 7ml bottle, made in Spain. It also claims that the varnish will provide 'Lasting colour - up to 7 days'. How I apply my nail varnish: In the past I have found that I am too impatient whilst waiting for the varnish to dry, and I ended up with so many smudges that I have to remove it all and start again. I have now found a solution to this: My little routine is to make a coffee, apply the nail varnish, then go on the computer, and drink my coffee as I wait for the varnish to dry. This keeps me entertained, and I sit still long enough for the nail varnish to dry. As only the bottom pads of your fingers as used whilst typing, it doesn't affect/ rub/smear/impair the varnish in any way. I also apply nail varnish before I have my shower, which is a tip I picked up from a girl from work. She always has lovely nails, but once admitted that she is also rubbish at applying. Showering after removes all the excess varnish that has found its way on the skin around your nails. I have found that it is more effective than simply washing your hands; I guess this is due to prolonged use of water, combined with the amount of shower gel used. So I am left with perfect nails (perfect in my eyes). Overall: I like the fact that the bottle is see through, and contains no writing, as you can see exactly what colour you are buying and I think it I a nice touch to be able to see the product inside. The colour once applied, matches that shown in the bottle, which is nice touch, as I have bought nail varnish in the past that looks completely different once applied. This has given me trust in their products and I would be more likely to try a different colour in their range. It claims the varnish will last up to 7 days; however the nail varnish has lasted me 3 days in good condition, by the fourth day it has started to wear off at the top and is not looking the best. This could be a result of my job, and general lifestyle. Someone that works in an office may have longer lasting results. That being said, I have tried many nail varnishes in the past that have claimed to last for a week, but have never found these claims true, with some chipping the day after application. After removing the nail varnish I have found that I am left with a slight red stain on my nails. However I am not sure if this is down to the nail varnish itself or the effectiveness of my current nail varnish remover. The nail varnish is smooth to apply and dries fairly quickly. I have also noticed that it hasn't gone clumpy/gloopy, which I have found with other nail varnishes. The colour makes me look at feel sophisticated. I feel it takes away the attention from my sore hands, as people have commented on how nice my nails are, which in turn has given me more confidence. I have been very impressed with this nail varnish. It is great value priced only £1.99 and I will certainly try other colours from this brand.
Biscuits and cakes are my Achilles heal however, having two small children under the age of 5, I often find myself buying these products and our cupboards are often stocked with these tempting little treats. I usually tend to buy biscuits for the children that I don't particularly like, such as Ginger nuts, as I know that I won't be tempted to eat them, which is better for my waistline. That being said, I do like to treat myself every now and then. My most recent purchase of Fox's Melts was four days ago during a brief trip to Iceland (I only went in to get bread :-/ ) where I ended up buying some extra little goodies, including Fox's Viennese melts. At the time they were on special offer costing just £1.50 for two packets. The company behind Fox's biscuits were established in 1853. They have many varieties of biscuits including my favourite, Fox's Viennese Biscuits. Fox's Viennese melts are part of Fox's indulgence range. This is portrayed within the packaging as well as the biscuit's themselves. Packaging: The biscuits are presented in a rectangular shaped packet, unlike that of standard round biscuits. This instantly makes the biscuits seem more unique and expensive. The packet is luxuriously coloured with velvety purple and rich gold. An inviting image of the biscuit is displayed, along with the brand name 'Fox's' and some background information 'Established since 1853'. I feel this statement provides assurance that this is a brand that can be trusted. The following description of the product is also displayed 'Luxurious buttery biscuits with real chocolate centre'. Everything about the packaging screams luxury, even down to the calorie content, for each heavenly biscuit contains 79 calories! Yes, 79 that is calories per biscuit, making this an indulgent choice that you wouldn't necessarily eat on a daily basis. Nutritional, content information is displayed on the rear of the packaging, along with storage guidelines. A brief summary is that the biscuits are Suitable for vegetarians and are also made in a nut free factory. Each biscuit contains wheat, soya, gluten, cow's milk and eggs (no good for vegans then!) and that once opened, biscuits should be placed in an air tight container to preserve freshness. The best part - the biscuits!!! The biscuits are basically two delicious Viennese fingers, moulded together by a thick layer of milk chocolate in the centre. They have a lovely light golden colouring with the milk chocolate slightly spilling out of the centre. Each biscuit has a fresh aroma, almost as though it has just been freshly baked! Heavenly! The Viennese melts certainly live up to their description, as they do literally melt in your mouth...MMMmmmmm! I cannot emphasis how yummy they are in words; you will just have to trust me and try them for yourselves! Overall: As far as I am concerned Fox's Viennese biscuit are the VIP's of the biscuit world. I love short bread and milk chocolate, so these biscuits are a perfect choice for me; and if I had to choose my favourite biscuit, these would defiantly be top of my list. In fact; I am slightly embarrassed to admit that myself and the kids consumed the two packets within three days, myself eating most of them :-/ Due to the calorie content and sheer addictiveness of these biscuits I would not buy them on a weekly basis, and only treat myself to these once in a while.
My partner and I were on a shopping trip to IKEA in the summer of 2010, we were in desperate need of some furniture for our living room which was rather bare and consisted of only a sofa, armchair and TV. This is where I first noticed the IKEA Lack side tables that were only £5.00 each! The price seemed too good to be true, were they really only £5.00!?! . They looked like they would make a great little play table for our two children aged 1 and 3 at the time. The side tables are available in a variety of 8 different colours including white, red and black. Whilst it is not the most stylish piece of furniture it is nice, plain and simple and would fit in most people's houses no matter what their style. We decided to buy the White table, as it matched the furniture in the children's playroom and wouldn't look out of place if we later changed our mind and decided to use it in the living room. The table was easy to assemble, as you simply screw the legs onto the top. My partner spent no more than 5 minutes putting it together. Once complete the table measures 45 cm high, with a length and width of 55 cm. As the table is not sold, the recommended weight it will hold is no more than 25kg. The table is very light; therefore it is very easy to move about from room to room if needed. The table was originally in the playroom for a while, but my children soon wanted to sit at the 'little table' for dinner, so we later moved it into the living room. With the children being 1 and 3 at the time, I was worried about the sharp edges, so I bought some children corner covers from IKEA which fitted perfectly onto the corners and put my mind to rest. The table has become the most 'used' piece of furniture in our home, due to its versatility. It is fundamentally used as a table for the children to have breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, as it is the perfect height for them to use with their little chairs. It is also very easy to wipe clean any spillages due to its smooth surface and simple design. The children also use this as a play table for play-doe, puzzles, and colouring in. In the evening, when the children are in bed, I usually move the table next to the sofa and use it as a coffee table. Our white Lack Table served us well for a year, after which it was in a sorry state, after being constantly wiped several times a day from the children's spilt food and drink. The material on the top of the table had started to rise in places, and there were also little marks from where the children had been using it as a play table. IKEA had a sale a few months back, and the Lack tables were on offer for only £1.75! We decided to buy a replacement table, which is when we threw the white table away. This time we chose to buy the birch effect table, as it would fit perfectly in our living room. We have had the new table for about three months now and it is still in great condition, although it gets used just as much as the white one did. The tables are currently priced at £4.99 - £9.99 depending on what colour and finish you choose (they now include high gloss finish which is at the higher price of £9.99). I believe this is a brilliant price range. You wouldn't even be able to purchase a side table from Argos for that price! Overall: This is a decent enough table for the price you are paying (especially at the sale price of £1.75). I wouldn't expect this table to last someone a lifetime. But it is a great fix for someone needing temporary furniture, people that have a low budget, or for people like myself with young children that like to draw on furniture and I expect will probably destroy our newer table sooner or later. My dad and his partner have the same Lack table, which they have used in the porch to stand pot flowers on. There table has lasted them for several years and is still looks brand new, so I expect that if you are careful with the table, it would last longer. I guess it just depends on how often the table is used. Due to the amount of use we get from our table, I would be happy if it were to last for a year as our last one did. I like the simple design and the practicality of the table, the fact that it is easy to wipe clean and can be easily moved from room to room. As I have said before, this is the most used piece of furniture in my house and only cost me £5.00, which makes it an excellent purchase in my eyes.
Tesco Value Chopped Tomatoes (in tomato juice) I have recently been trying to cut down the cost of my weekly food shop by downgrading to 'Value' products where possible. I had been planning to make spaghetti bolognaise during the week, and needed to buy some tinned tomatoes as a base for my bolognaise sauce. This is how I first came across Tesco Value Chopped Tomatoes. They were a lot cheaper than the other canned tomatoes available, so I thought they would be worth a try. They cost 33p for a 400g can. This is a great price when compared against the Napolina brand which cost £1.25 per 400g can! The packaging The chopped tomatoes are sealed within a basic tin can, with no ring pull; therefore you will need to have a can opener handy when it comes to using this product. The can does scream Tesco Value, which is why they stood out so much against the other branded cans. I am no longer put off by the Value packaging though, so I had no issues with popping a few of these cans into my trolley. The label around the can contains an image of the product inside, which isn't particularly attractive, but at least you can see what you are buying. As with most food products these days, the can also displays the calorie, sugar, fat, saturates and salt content. This informs me that there are 68 calories per 400g can. They are also suitable for vegetarians! There are also directions on how to cook the product, along with ingredients and storage guidelines. Once opened the tomatoes can be kept in the fridge for up to two days, which is handy if you are living on your own and will not need to use the whole can in one sitting. The BBE date is clearly displayed on the top of the can. I have noticed that they are always well within date; my current cans have a BBE of 09/2012, although they will be used well before then. The contents The tomatoes inside have been roughly chopped and are covered in a tomato juice, which adds to the flavour as well as keeping the tomatoes fresh. The juice is a little runny, however it does thicken up over time, i.e., when boiled with minced meat. The tomatoes have a pleasant fresh taste. I often add a few herbs, which complements the tomatoes very nicely, as it adds some more depth to the flavour. My opinion Tesco Value chopped tomatoes (in tomato sauce) have proved to be extremely versatile and can be used as a base product for many meals. I have added these tomatoes in many meals including bolognaise sauce, shepherd's pie and chilli con carnie. They also taste great mixed with fried onions, which I have used as a base for chicken pasta meals, as well as a substitute for gravy to give a modern twist to sausage and mash! You can also do your bit for the environment by recycling this can after use! After using the Tesco Value chopped tomatoes, I simply could not justify paying more money for a branded can, that tastes no different. They really do the job well. Overall these tinned tomatoes are one of the best value products I have come across. This is due to the taste, great price and versatility of the product. I always pick up a couple of cans during my weekly shop, as I know these little tins will always come in handy!
Tesco gold freeze dried coffee Having two young children and squeezing in 30 hours of work every week, I have found that coffee has almost become a necessity in helping me to wake me up and keeps me going throughout the day. My partner and I both drink quite a lot of coffee. When my brother, who also loves coffee came to live with us, I realised that we were going through a vast amount of coffee every week, and that our coffee addiction was starting to cost a lot of money. My favourite coffee had always been Nescafe gold blend, as I loved its smooth taste. However, the price seemed quite a lot as it was costing over £5.00 for a jar, and it wasn't lasting very long in our household. With this in mind on my next shopping trip, I decided to try and find a cheaper alternative. So I browsed the coffee shelve and noticed Tesco gold! The jar caught my eye as, although it is a different shape to Nescafe, it had similar colours. The jar is clear enabling you to see the coffee inside, which also looked exactly the same as the Nescafe gold blend. The price was also much cheaper costing just £2.59 for 200g! So I decided to buy this coffee and see how it compared to Nescafe gold blend. Presentation The coffee is presented well in a round glass jar, which has a gold coloured screw on lid. There is an image of a mug of coffee surrounded by fresh coffee beans, which looks rather nice. The colours used throughout the label are rich gold and brown tones, similar to that of the Nescafe gold brand. The jar is also sealed with a golden foil, which helps to keep the coffee fresh. The preparation guideline on the back states that you can add 1-2 teaspoons per cup. I personally use 1 slightly heaped teaspoon, which is perfect for me. I don't feel that 2 teaspoons are really needed, but maybe this would be suited for people that like their coffee a little stronger. Tesco coffee's have a strength guide of 1-5. 1 = mild -whereas 5 = strong strength. This particular coffee is a 3 in strength, which is classed as medium strength. The verdict! I wasn't sure what to expect of this coffee, as it was fairly cheap. I had thought that it may not live up to Nescafe standards, however I was wrong! I instantly loved this coffee as soon as I had my first taste. The coffee is lovely and smooth, it is also rich, without being too strong. The aroma is also lovely! I find that the smell of coffee can sometimes be overpowering, however this coffee has a rather sweet, homely aroma. Thanks to the caffeine, the coffee also does its job in waking me up and getting me ready for the day! When I first purchased Tesco Gold, I emptied the contents into my coffee container at home, and waited to see if my brother or partner could taste any difference with the new coffee. They drank the coffee as usual and didn't notice any difference, which just goes to show what great quality this coffee is! Tesco Gold Coffee is also available in other sizes ranging from 100g -500g! They also have a de-cafe version, which I cannot comment on as I haven't tried that particular version (I need the caffeine!) It is worth mentioning that the coffee is suitable for vegetarians, and is also widely recyclable, which is a bonus! This is now my preferred coffee choice, due to the great price combined with the fabulous taste.
Baby Einstein - See and Spy Counting Baby Einstein is a company that specialise in educational and entertaining products for young children to enjoy, discover and learn. They specialise in books designed to help baby's development from a young age. Baby Einstein See and Spy Counting is a board book designed for young children aged 9 months and upwards. It is retailed at £3.99 and can be purchased from many book shops. Our book was given as a gift for my eldest son's first birthday (three years ago). The aim of the book is to introduce children to numbers and counting - with a playful game on every spread. This book concentrates on the numbers 1-5. The book is a nice little size for baby to hold comfortably and the hard-board pages allow little people to easily turn the pages (I do feel that some children's books are rather too large and heavy but this book is just the right size). The back of the book contains the following information and idea's to help parents make the most of this book. I found this information rather useful, especially when I first introduced this book to my child: 'As you pose and answer each counting question, reinforce the connection between the numeral and the number of objects in the picture. For instance, point to the number 4, then count four objects. Touch your child's finger to each object that you count.' 'Once your child can identify and count the objects named in the questions, try counting other objects in each illustration' 'Use this book as a way to teach the parts of the body. Identify the body parts that seem common to all animals, such as eyes and others that only appear on some, such as horns. It's a great way to expand vocabulary!' There are 7 pages in total. Each page is brightly coloured, with detailed illustrations of different sceneries. For example there is a jungle themed page, as well as a wintery theme which has images of penguins and snowmen. There are also different animals on each page. Each animal in the book is happy and smiling, which adds some friendly fun to the book. There are also 5 questions about each page, For example; the second page displays an image of a goat in a sunflower field, painting a picture of the scenery. This page contains the following questions. How many paintbrushes are in the goat's mouth? How many horns does the goat have? How many legs does the easel have? How many sunflowers are painted on the canvas? How many paint colours can you count on the goat's palette? Beside each question you will find the answer within a bright coloured circle. The answers to each question are also in order of 1-5 on each page. This encourages the child to answer correctly as they will learn the repetitiveness of the answers, which will also help them learn how to count from 1-5. I do feel that some of these words, such as easel, palette, canvas, are too complex for young children, whilst it is helpful at expanding their vocabulary, your child would actually have to be 'Baby Einstein' to know these words aged 9 months. However, as the back of the book points out, the learning is set out in different stages, so at first, you would be concentrating on teaching your child the numbers, and how to count, rather than learning the actual words and images, this will come later. My family's interaction with the book: I first read this book with my eldest son, when he was 12 months old. I hadn't read the advice for parents on the back page, so at first I felt quite panicked. Was my child really expected to be able to answer all these questions, and know all these words? Baring in mind he was also 3 months older than the age recommendation on the book. Was he falling behind? After reading the back of the book, I realised that of course my child wasn't expected to know these things; the book was merely a learning tool that I could use to introduce my child to numbers and counting different objects. My eldest son is now four and can quite easily answer the questions in the book. I am very proud that he has learnt the more complex words, as this really has helped to extend his vocabulary. My two year old, still has trouble with the counting aspect, however he has learnt his basic numbers through this book. He has also learnt many basic words from this book, such as goat, duck and pond. He is quite taken with this book at the moment and will often wander off to a little corner and look through the book by himself, as well as looking through it with me. My overall view of the book: At first I felt that the age recommendation of 9 months was far too young, but I can now see that this is simply an age where you can start to introduce your child to numbers and counting. I really like the fact that there are instructions on the back for the parents, as how to make the most of the book. This was a very helpful guideline for me to follow and helped me to teach my children. We have regularly made use of this book over the past three years. The spine has become a little tatty, but other than that, the book is still in an excellent condition, which just goes to show what a great quality book this is. This is a book that will last for years, as you can dip in and out of it. Once you have taught your child the basics, they can then go on to learn the more complex words. Although I was dubious at first, this has turned out to be a great book that has helped both of my children. I expect I will keep this book for a few more years, until my youngest child is around 4, and has learnt everything he can from this book.
Tesco value Tortilla chips -'Crispy maize tortilla chips. Lightly sprinkled with salt' 50p for 200g pack With two young children, and a mortgage to pay, alongside rising gas prices, in-fact rising everything, we have all had to become smarter when it comes to spending our hard earned money. I used to feel embarrassed about value products and felt they were just for the extremely poor, however I have now found that they have become a welcome addition to my weekly shop, as they help to keep costs down. I actually feel quite satisfied when I come home with lots of food, having spent little money. This is the reason why I first purchased these Tesco Value Tortilla Chips. Packaging- The packs can be found down the crisp aisle, alongside other tortilla brands, such as Doritos's. The packaging is standard of the Tesco value range, however the bag is clear, which is nice as you can see exactly what you are buying, and the quality of the product. The packaging is basic looking, but contains all the relevant information that is expected from most food products these days, including the calorie, sugar, fat, saturates and salt content. It also informs us that there are 'No artificial flavours, colours or MSG', which is something that I pay more attention to now that I have children to feed. They are also, Nut free, Suitable for vegetarians and contain High Oleic sunflower oil which is high in Monounsatutates. The calorie content is quite shocking. 970 calories in the whole pack, so be careful not to eat them all in one go, as they are rather Moorish! The Tortilla chips- The tortilla chips are triangular shaped, as expected. I thought they may be quite thin due to their cheap price, but I have found that they are surprisingly thick. They are extremely crunchy in texture and as described, are only slightly salted. Versatility- I originally purchased these tortilla chips purely as a snack item; however I have since realised how versatile they can be. They work very well alongside dips, which can be a great way to keep costs down when you have a gathering with friends. You could also add melted cheese for a more substantial snack, or go the whole hulk and add guacamole, salsa, jalapeno's with a mix of sour cream, and create your own 'Wetherspoon nacho's'. Another suggestion would be to top them with chilli, or 5-bean chilli (for the vegetarians) as an after work snack. Or you could simply add some to the side of a main meal such as chilli con carnie and rice, which adds something special to the meal, and is also more filling. I am sure there are many other ways in which these tortillas could be used. I have just not thought of them yet! Summary- These Tortilla chips are a cheap, handy little addition to my kitchen cupboard. They have no artificial flavours, colours or MSG, which is a bonus. They are also extremely versatile, as mentioned above. They may be cheap, but they are not of cheap quality, and they are an excellent price compared to other similar products on the market.
This is a Film only review. No spoilers contained! After reading two separate reviews on this film I became quite intrigued and put this on my little list of films to watch. I couldn't imagine how it would be possible to create a whole film based in just one location, let alone a coffin, and with only one character? I wanted to see the film for myself. Would I find the film captivating? Would Ryan Reynolds, as the only actor, be a good enough actor to pull off such a film? How did the producers manage to make this low budget film a success? Would I find the film believable? I was also happy that it was a short film, only 95 minutes long, as sometimes I can be put off watching films that are too long, especially after a long day at work. A brief summary of the plot- Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is a U.S. citizen who has been working as a truck driver in Iraq. One day he is attacked by Iraqis, who then leave him buried alive in the desert, in a coffin like box. (This information is revealed throughout the film via phone conversations) Paul only has access to a number of items to help him survive, including a mobile phone, lighter and a pen. With lack of air and limited resources, Will he be able to escape this living nightmare? My thoughts on the film- I had recently gone through a phase of watching lots of Rom-Com's so it was quite refreshing to watch a film from a different genre. I would class this as a thriller/horror film. I watched this film with my partner. It took us about 10-15 minutes to get into the film, mainly due to the fact that my two year old was still awake, and making noises, so there was lots of pausing and rewinding at the beginning, but he soon had a little nap, and we were able to view the rest of the film uninterrupted. As the film is based in one setting, with one character, there is a very personal vibe to the film. I felt great empathy for the character and I found myself willing him to escape, but how could he? Would it be possible? There were highs and lows throughout the film. Moments where you feel there is hope that 'Paul' will escape, followed by crushing blows and the realisation that maybe he wouldn't escape. It was so sad near the end of the film when 'Paul' went through a stage where he thought he was going to die. He used his phone to make a 'goodbye' video message for his wife and young son. Can you imagine how hard it would be to make a leaving message to your loved ones? At this point I literally had tears in my eyes and a huge lump in my throat! During the ending of the film my partner and I were literally sitting on the edge of the sofa! We were so engrossed in the film, it almost felt like we were viewing the fate of a friend or loved one. I had actually made a little joke about the ending early on in the film, and I was very shocked to find that was how the film actually ended. Some people may find the ending a little disappointing, but for me it was very thought-evoking. I feel a great film, is one that can leave an impact on you after you have watched it, whether that be a happy, warm feeling inside, or a sad reflective feeling. Rom-com's leave me with a very happy and optimistic vibe. 'Buried' is a film that left me feeling both reflective and shell shocked. Other people have commented on Ryan Reynolds brilliant acting, keeping you gripped though out. Whilst watching the film I found myself emphasising for his character 'Paul'. Imagining how I would feel if I were in that situation. Scared, trapped, alone and quite powerless whilst still being determined to try and escape. He is certainly a great actor, and was perfect for the role of 'Paul'. Overall- This certainly isn't a film that you can watch casually as you plod around the living room tiding up. The film requires your full focus and attention throughout; every phone conversation reveals information that you need to hear, in order for you to understand 'Pauls' situation. The film will not appeal to everyone. Those that love action films may not like the film, due to the very limited amount of movement/action involved in the film. I was concerned that I may find the film a little tedious, as there are no scene changes, however I found myself fully engaged throughout the film. However, as much as I loved watching this film, it is the kind of film that you would only watch once. I have seen the film, enjoyed watching it, but now I know the ending, I wouldn't really feel any need to watch the film again. That being said, the film was defiantly a worthwhile watch. It certainly lived up to my expectations, and I have full admiration for everyone involved in making the film. I love the fact that I was able to feel such empathy for 'Paul'. The producers have managed to make a low-budget film into a huge success. Since watching this film I have recommended it to my brother (who also enjoyed the film) and some friends. I would also recommend this to you!
This review does not contain any gory details about wisdom tooth extraction! My Wisdom teeth: The top and bottom wisdom teeth on the right side of my mouth became infected and started to cause me lots of pain around Christmas 2010. My dentist noticed that my wisdom teeth were growing in the wrong direction (horizontal rather than vertical) my gums were also inflamed around the wisdom teeth. She gave me a prescription for antibiotics to clear the infection and also referred me to Whipps Cross Hospital, to have the two wisdom teeth extracted. I waited 10 weeks for my letter from Whipps Cross, only to call up and find that they couldn't see my referral on their system. They were very unhelpful and asked me to call back in two weeks time, when the head of department would be back from holiday! My bottom wisdom tooth was infected again at the time and I was in extreme pain. I had already completed three courses of antibiotics, several packs of strong pain killers, and had a Sunday trip to the emergency dentist in Whitechapel. I needed these teeth out soon! Why I went to Whalebone Lane Anaesthetic Centre: My work colleague could see how much pain I was in and when I explained the trouble I was having with Whipps Cross, she suggested I try calling Whalebone Lane Anaesthetic Centre. She had previously had her wisdom teeth removed at the centre, and didn't have to wait too long for an appointment. I called the centre to check that they were part of the NHS (they are), and to see if I could just book an appointment myself. They explained that they would need a referral from my dentist and gave me their fax details to pass on. They were extremely helpful on the phone and also gave me a rough idea of how long I would have to wait for my appointment (which is another detail that Whipps Cross couldn't tell me). They also explained that I may be able to get an earlier appointment if I called them every day to see if there were any cancelations. A week later I received an appointment letter from the clinic. I would have a two month wait, but at least I had an appointment date set, and I had time to arrange childcare arrangements for my two young children (you are not allowed to take children to the clinic with you) and my partner also had enough notice to book the day off work (you will also need an escort to get you home safely). Along with my appointment letter, I was sent information about the sedation procedure, along with relevant information of tooth extraction, and after effects. There were also forms for me fill in and sign, which I would have to take along to my appointment. My first impressions of the Centre: The centre looked well presented from the outside, and was very easy for us to find. There is a drive to the left of the building, which leads to a small car-park located at the back of the building. The parking was very tight and some cars were just dumped in any space they could find, blocking other parked cars. Luckily for us there was one proper car-park space free when we arrived. The main entrance was round at the front of the building. There were no steps, and the doorways were fairly large, so there was plenty of room for disabled access. There appeared to be an upstairs area, although we had no need to venture up there. The downstairs area was very well layed out, and we had no trouble finding the reception, which was through the first door on the left. The waiting room was a fair size with plenty of seating. There were also toilets next to the waiting are, which were very clean and well presented. The staff: All the staff I met were very cheery, friendly and welcoming, which helped to calm my nerves a little and made me feel more comfortable there. I only had to wait a few minutes before I was taken into the next room for a scan of my mouth. I then had to wait several minutes before i was called into the surgens room. The surgen was very informative, he explained exactly what would be happening and checked that i had read my information leaflet on the procedure. He had the scan of my wisdom tooth on the wall and explained that due to the position of the tooth he would need to cut my gums 'open' in-order to remove the bottom tooth. He then asked if I would be happy for him to do this. My reply was that i was more scared of the sedation needle, to which he replied that it wouldn't hurt, and praised me as he put the needle in, which again, calmed my nerves! After the prodcedure I was helped into a wheelchair by an assistant, who then wheeled me into a little resting room, where patients wait for the sedation to wear off a little. The assistant was lovely! She kept checking whether I was ok and had a little chat with me. She even, gave me two stickers, one for each of my children, which I thought was very nice of her. I was then given extra wads of cotton wall to take home, to help with the bleeding. She waited with me whilst my partner went to collect out car, and then helped him assist me to the car. The exit is on the side of the building, which is nice, as you have easy access to your car, with the added bonus that people walking down the main road will not see you dossed up and walking funny! My overall opinion: My experience of Whalebone Lane Anaesthetic clinic was a positive one. Although having a tooth extraction is never going to be pleasant or enjoyable, the staff managed to put me at ease and made my experience better than I had anticipated. Everything was timed well and seemed to run smoothly. My appointment was on time, and the surgeon was well prepared, having already analysed my scan, which was pinned onto the wall before I entered the room. The general layout of the centre also seemed well prepared, with patients coming through the front entrance and leaving through the side door. The clinic also had good communication with their letters. A week beforehand I received a letter reminding me of the appointment date and time. It also informed me that building work was commencing on the day of my appointment, and they apologised in advance for any noise or disruptions. I felt this was a nice thing to do. Although I personally wasn't aware of any building work on the day of my appointment. General details: I paid the standard NHS price for wisdom tooth extraction of two teeth which was £47.50. I was able to pay with this on my debit card. My Summary: I have decided to knock a star off, purely because of the limited parking situation. The parking was very tight, and people were getting blocked in, although this didn't happen to our car. I also had a brief view at their website and found that they do not have disabled parking, although they do have disabled access and toilets inside. I understand that they have a small parking space to work with, but I thought that it was a legal requirement to have a disabled space these days? My granddad has recently had his leg amputated, and I can imagine that I would have trouble parking if I ever needed to take him there. That being said, I was extremely happy with every other aspect of my visit and will be recommending Whalebone Lane Anaesthetic Centre to my friends and family. When I need to have my other two teeth out, I will certainly be going there again. Contact Details: Whalebone Lane Anaesthetic Centre 474 Whalebone lane North Chadwell Heath Romford Essex RM6 6RL Contact number: 0208 599 4283 Opening times - 09:00-17:00 Monday-Friday.
Billy's Bucket is a children's book written by Kes Gray and illustrated by Garry Parsons. It tells the story of a little boy called Billy, and his wild imagination. I bought this book last November in a little 'Bits and bob's' shop that were selling children's books for a mere £1. The book is however retailed at £5.99. Each page is beautifully illustrated in bright bold colours, the whole page covered with images, and the words (story) printed on top of the pictures. Not a space is wasted. The book is a paperback style. The pages are not numbered, but there are 13 pages of the actual story to turn over. I think this is a nice size for young children that cannot sit still for too long. I would say this book is suitable for children aged 3-7. The front of the book informs me that Billy's Bucket is 'Winner of the children's book award'. I think this is rather reassuring as to the quality of the book. The story- The book tells the story of a little boy 'Billy', who tells his parents that he would like a bucket for his birthday. He dismisses his parents suggestions of other, bigger presents such as a computer game or a bike, and sticks firmly to his desire for a bucket! His parents cave in and decide to buy him his much desired bucket. They take him on a shopping trip to 'Buckets R Us' and let him choose his perfect bucket. Billy isn't sure exactly what bucket he would like, but says he will know when he sees it. He finally finds the perfect yellow bucket at the very top of the shelves. He claims that it is a very special bucket, unlike the other ones. Once home Billy fills his bucket with water and excitedly peers inside. Billy claims to be able to see many things inside his bucket, including a shark, two submarines and seven sea lions. His parents smile at each-other and jeer Billy along, asking 'Billy, what can you see in your bucket now?' They then ask if they can borrow his bucket to water the plants, or wash the car, to which Billy firmly replies 'NO! You must NEVER EVER borrow my bucket'. I will stop there, as I don't want to ruin the end of the story! All I will say is that there is a rather unexpected twist at the end of the book. Was Billy really just imagining the sea creatures? Or were they real all along? My children's reaction to the book- The book proved to be too long for my two year old who would only sit through the first few pages, before wandering off to play with his toys. My 4 year old son however really enjoyed this book, and sat and listened patiently throughout. He became quite involved in the story. When Billy was choosing his bucket, my son was pointing out his favourite bucket, aswell as showing me which bucket I liked. He was also able to point at the pictures and 'name' some of the animals to me, such as shark and whale. He also learned some new words, such as pilchard and string ray. My son added his thoughts to the book, when the shop assistant was climbing the ladder, he said that she needed to be careful. And when Billy filled his bucket with water, my son said 'don't spill it'! My son wasn't the only one that enjoyed this book! I found myself intrigued by the story, and found myself laughing alongside Billy's parents, as Billy kept telling them what he could see inside his bucket. I really like the style of the writing, which contains lots of narrative speech. This enables me to be more expressive with my reading, which is more interesting for my child to listen to. I also like the creative way the writing is presented on some pages, with swirly circles and spirals of words. It is not only visually interesting but also more exciting to read. Kes Gray has created a wonderful imaginative story, in a nice simple format that both children and parents will love! This book has by far become the favourite book in our household. I would be quite happy to read this book again and again!
EUCRYL TOOTHPOWDER Being a smoker and coffee drinker for the past few years, my teeth had as expected become a little stained and were certainly not sparking white. I had purchased many teeth whitening products in the past, each time with the hope that they would make a difference in the colour of my teeth, but none of them seemed to work. The toothpastes with teeth whitening qualities were only helpful in cleaning my teeth, as would any regular toothpaste. The tooth whitening gel that I had bought online, was messy to use, time consuming, and didn't leave any noticeable effects either. The idea of getting my teeth professionally whitened was just a dream, have you seen how much it costs!?! Anyway, I continued purchasing these worthless products with little hope, and I am now happy to say that my search of affordable teeth whitening (that actually works) ended three weeks ago in the most unlikely place..Poundland! I was originally going to buy some more 'Pearl drops' when I noticed that there was a product on the next shelf called EURCYL TOOTHPOWDER! I was tempted into buying this due to the statement on the front 'Powerful stain removal'. I thought it was worth trying as it only cost a pound. The powder itself is contained in a small white 50g tub which is rather clinical looking. There is a little tab on the lid that sticks out for ease of opening the product. The directions are displayed on the lid, which I think is rather useful, as it is easy accessible for referral whilst using the product. The Tooth powder: The tooth powder is pale pink in colour. It has fine consistency similar to that of talcum powder. The powder has quite a strong refreshing smell of aniseed, and a slight 'dentist' smell to it. However, I don't find the smell offensive in any way. It has certainly not put me off using this product. Using the toothpowder: The toothpowder is to be used one to two times a week in addition to your normal toothpaste. I simply followed the instructions and wet my toothbrush, shook off the surplus water and pressed my toothbrush into the powder. I then brushed my teeth for around 4 minutes (the same as I would with regular toothpaste). Whilst brushing, the powder forms into a light, bubbly pasty texture, that tastes just as it smells. The powdery taste does not stay in your mouth for long after use, but I must admit that I am especially thorough in rinsing my mouth after using this product. The instructions state to 'Avoid use on damaged teeth'. However, I have a silver crown, and several (ok, a lot) of fillings and have had no adverse side effects from using this product on those particular teeth. After use, you simply replace the lid and press firmly to preserve freshness. My personal experience: Immediately after the first use I noticed a considerable difference in the brightness of my teeth. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this product had actually worked! I have now used this product six times over the past three weeks and can see a huge change in the colour of my teeth. My teeth not only look whiter and brighter, but they also feel extremely smooth and clean after using the powder. I often have a little smile at myself in the mirror purely to admire my new white teeth. They are certainly not as white as Simon Cowells, but they are getting there. I like the fact that the product is quick and easy to use, unlike other tooth whitening products such as gels that can be messy and time consuming. The only downside of this product is that when you close the lid a little amount of fine powder puffs out which can make a little mess. It would be so tempting to use this product every day, but I am sticking firmly to the guidelines and only using it twice a week. My only trouble now is that when I see people with stained teeth, I have to restrain myself from advising them to buy this product, as it might be seen as a little offensive. As previously stated, I have used the powder six times over the past three weeks. Due to the fact that only a little powder is used each time, I would guess that this tub will last at least six months, making it excellent value for money! I highly recommend this product to anyone that would like a brighter smile. I will certainly continue to buy this product!
Amazing baby - Clap and sing is a sing-along nursery rhyme book complete with a CD. The book was bought for my eldest child's first birthday, three years ago. On the back I can see that it is priced at £9.99. Amazing baby is an award winning company, their books are created for you and baby to share, play explore, learn and have fun. There is no age range displayed on the book, but the Amazing Baby website recommends that the sing-along books are ideal for children aged 12-24 months. At this age they are more alert and will enjoy trying to sing along with you. The book- The book is colourful, eye-catching and very well presented. It contains the lyrics of 15 well known nursery rhymes. These include old favourites, that you will surely recognise, such as 'Baa, Baa Black Sheep', ' Incy Wincy Spider' and 'Pat- a- Cake'. However there were two songs that I had never heard of before - 'I had a little nut tree' and 'Bobby Shafto's gone to sea'. The book is a generous sized board book, about an inch in thickness. There are five pages in total, with roughly three nursery rhymes on each page. I like the fact that each page has a chunky tab which sticks out (rather like a filing system) making it easier for little people to independently turn the pages themselves. Each page is bursting with bold, vibrant, colourful drawings that are relevant to the particular nursery rhyme displayed. A lot of effort has been made to ensure that the book is attractive and inviting for both the parent and the child. Looking at the back of the book you will find the following quote: 'Amazing-Baby is proud to support Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and Bookstart'. I think the company's link well together and it shows that 'Amazing Baby' care about children. The sing-along CD- The sing-along CD is over 30 minutes long. It plays the 15 nursery rhymes that are all displayed within the book. It is enclosed within the front cover of the book, where it is cleverly concealed in a little sleeve behind a picture flap. The CD is produced by 'Sound Education' and the nursery rhymes are performed by a group called FUNtastic! FUNtastic's aim is to promote life values and offer fresh and exciting musical choice for our youngest generation. The CD starts with a rather catchy song- 'Rhyme time baby, sign with me, clap your hands one two three', which is repeated several times. It then plays through the list of nursery rhymes in the same order as the book. The nursery rhymes are sung in a rather unconventional way. They are very up-beat and there is a strong Jazz/pop feel throughout. The singers put a lot of effort and emotion into singing the nursery rhymes, which I actually found quite humorous. I was defiantly shocked the first time I heard the CD as I had never heard these songs sung in such a way before. I believe the style of music and the way the songs are sung are a result of FUNtastic's aim of offering something new and fresh to our children - they certainly deliver just that! Our experience - I have experienced immense pleasure in reading and singing along to this book with both of my children. When my eldest was younger, I used the pictures in the book to teach him the name of different objects. Even though he could not speak I used to ask him 'where's the spider?' And he would look through the book and point it out when he found it. This was very rewarding for me, and helped my son with his learning and co-ordination. The CD was entertaining for my children as they enjoyed dancing to the upbeat music accompanied by the songs. My experience with the CD was somewhat different to my children's. Although I enjoyed listening to the catchy 'new' versions of the nursery rhymes at first, they soon became rather irritating, until it came to the point where they REALLY got on my nerves, even though I never played the CD that often. If you are considering buying this book, I would strongly recommend that you visit the amazing baby website where you can click on the 'Listen up' icon. Here you will be able to listen to a short preview of the songs from the book, and you can decide for yourself whether or not you like the singing style. Having had the book for three years, I can certainly say that if is of great quality, as ours is still in great condition. We have however misplaced the CD, which I am sure will be floating around the house somewhere, but I cannot say that I am in a particular rush to find it as I have heard the CD too many times, and it does quite frankly get on your nerves after a while. I really like the fact that 'Amazing Baby' supports Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity as-well as Bookstart. They all have children's best interests at heart, and it is nice to know that this particular book-brand is really committed to helping children. Overall I would give this book 4stars. The reason for knocking a star off is due to the CD, as it really did become rather annoying for me after a while (although my children loved it). I would recommend this book to other parents, but would suggest that you only play the CD once in a while.
Weight Watchers Cheese Flavour Puffs 18g First and foremost I would like to point out that I am not on a diet or participating in the Weight Watchers programme. However, I am not the healthiest person I know and tend to snack throughout the day. My main vice being crisps! With two young children, I never seem to have much time on my hands, which makes crisps seem incredibly convenient for me when I am in a rush. I am not a huge calorie counter, but I am aware that there are a lot of calories contained in most crisps. Anyway, I have been on a little health kick recently and have decided to try and cut down my snacking, and to eat healthier choices when I do snack. Whilst having a little browse in Pound-land last week, I noticed they had a variety of Weight Watchers products available. I found myself drawn to the Weight Watchers Cheese Flavour Puffs, as they were only 80 calories per pack, and decided that I would like to try them. I have seen other varieties of Weight Watchers crisps and in the past I have tried their version of hula hoops and wasn't very impressed, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the Cheesy Flavour Puffs. The packet consists of five 18g bags of Cheesy Flavoured puffs. Obviously, being in the pound shop, I paid a pound for them! For anyone that may be on the Weight Watchers diet, each pack has a pro-point value of 2 points per pack. This is based on the new Pro-points system. The packaging is fairly standard, With the Weight Watchers logo clearly displayed in large font at the top. A description and image of the contents (cheese puffs) are displayed, and there are also snippets of healthy information of the product - 'baked not fried'- 'Reduced fat' ect... On the back you will find a brief description of the new Weight Watchers points system, and are provided with the Weight Watchers website in-case you would like to know more. You will also find nutritional information and a list of ingredients. There is a quote at the bottom of the packet that states 'Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Cheese Flavour Puffs contain at least 30% less fat than standard cheese puffs. The inside of the packet is foiled to help keep the cheese puffs fresh. I found the description on the front 'deliciously cheesy melt in the mouth maize snack' was a little deceiving as I later found that they are in-fact not that cheesy! However, I actually quite like the taste of them. The cheese taste is very faint, certainly not over powerful, but I only eat mild cheese anyway, so for me the mild taste of cheese is ideal. The pack, unlike most crisps, is actually filled completely with crisps therefore a packet of Cheesy Puffs are quite filling, which is rather satisfying. They are quite dry tasting, so I tend to eat them accompanied by a glass of water, which is also good for me. There are no artificial flavourings, colours, MSG or preservatives contained, which is an added bonus. The Cheesy Puffs are also suitable for vegetarians, for all those interested. However, they are not suitable for vegans as they contain milk. Summary: I have found Weight Watchers Cheese Flavour Puffs to be quite satisfying. The flavour is not over powering, which suits me very well. I can eat these without feeling guilty, as there are only 80 calories in a packet. They are an ideal sized snack that I am also happy to feed to my young children. I am in no way recommending that children should be fed weightwatchers food in general, but it is nice to know that I can give them treats that are a little healthier for them. I feel that these particular cheesy puffs are better for them as they contain no artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives. I am very pleased with the quality of the product. Purchased from Pound-land, they cost just 20p per pack. They are also available in supermarkets, costing around twice the price. Weight Watchers Cheese Flavour Puffs have been a welcome addition to my kitchen cupboard, for all my family. I would happily purchase them again!