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since 12/05/2015


Morphy Richards 100002 Aspect 12/09/2017

Perfect for an occasional cup of tea.

Morphy Richards 100002 Aspect I made my purchase of this Morphy Richards Aspect kettle during a sale that occurred over the Christmas period last year. I recall that I paid £18 for the kettle where the usual price is approximately £35. My Aspect kettle is black but the white version as shown was available, the specifications of the two kettles are identical and the only difference between them is the colour. The appearance of the kettle is contemporary without appearing too modern. In my view the simple alteration to the usual design of a kettle lid is good, the looped lid handle is unusual and it took several uses to train my finger how to grip and lift it properly but this is now second nature to me and whilst the lid still feels slightly strange to me it does work very well. The kettle holds 1.5 litres of water so is slightly smaller than the average kettle capacity of 1.7 litres. We are not heavy users of our kettle in light of the fact my husband and I do not drink many hot drinks but it would be restrictive if we were a larger family or entertained friends with coffee and tea. The 1.5 litre capacity has never been restrictive or even noticeable for me. Even when filled to maximum capacity the kettle boils quickly and quietly, it has a pleasing hum that does not become overpowering even in a quiet room. My previous kettle was very loud but I had grown so used to it that I hadn't realised until I purchased this Morphy Richards one. I boil only the water I require and this is often just one cup, ...

The Country Candle Company Orchard Range Reed Diffuser 10/08/2017

Reeds for fragrance?

The Country Candle Company Orchard Range Reed Diffuser My small business has gone from strength to strength recently, I design and create bespoke wooden decor for the home and whilst I have only an offline business model I have recently been asked to offer some of my products for sale in a small nearby gift shop. This has been two fold both good and bad in light of the fact I have sold several of my higher priced items but there are so many beautiful products available that I spend most of the profit I make in the same shop! There are several different red diffusers available in the Orchard range that is made by The Country Candle Company, I have the one called Baked Apple and I paid £12.99 for it. A reed diffuser is a small pot of fragranced liquid with reeds sticking out of the top. There are nine reeds in this diffuser, they sit soaking up the liquid and you are required to turn them to allow the fragrance to evaporate from the reeds and into the air of your room. The design of the Baked Apple reed diffuser is beautiful in my view. It is bright but features tones that are slightly muted, the bottle is labelled with the name of the scent and decorated with autumnal designs of apples and leaves. When I originally made my purchase I had intended to place the reed diffuser in our main bathroom but after seeing it in place I decided to move it into the kitchen in light of the fact both the appearance and scent are more suited to this room. The fragrance of this reed diffuser is beautiful and of the delicate nature that I ...

Wickes Slotted Screwdriver 06/08/2017

A strong and versatile tool.

Wickes Slotted Screwdriver My husband and I have been undertaking repairs in our holiday home so my toolkit has been in constant use for the past few months. Whilst my husband does much of the heavy work I am more confident than he with hand tools so often do some of the DIY jobs that traditionally would be done by the man of the house. The screwdriver I have used most regularly in recent weeks is a Wickes Slotted 3mm Screwdriver. The cost of this screwdriver is £1.49 and other sizes are available. The steel shaft measures 7.5cm and in my view that is an appropriate length for a screwdriver of this type. The plastic handle adds a further 6cm to the length and as a whole it is very comfortable to hold and use, the short length of the screwdriver in comparison to longer ones I own makes it stable for use with the small screws for which it is designed. I have used this screwdriver most of all to assemble flat pack furniture and again the short length has assisted me as the screwdriver will fit into smaller spaces with ease. The straight head of the screwdriver is easily inserted into the recess of most screws, very small screws require an even smaller screwdriver than this but it will be obvious by sight whether this 3mm screwdriver will fit or not. 3mm is a very small size tip for a screwdriver so should your screws be slightly larger than average - or should you be using any size screw that has an oversize head - you would require a larger one. In my view this is a comfortable screwdriver to use ...

Brio Classic Figure 8 set 04/08/2017

A train set for small people.

Brio Classic Figure 8 set My youngest daughter has always enjoyed playing with wheeled toys, be they vehicles or characters with wheels attached. For this reason she is often gifted cars and trains for her birthday and at Christmas, she received Brio's classic Figure of 8 set for her third birthday. This set costs approximately £25 and in my view that is good value in spite of this being a small train set when compared to others. The set has 16 curved pieces of wooden train track for you to build your Figure of 8. Each piece fits easily with the others and it is very simple to build the 8 shape that the toy has been designed for. The track can be put together in other small loop shapes or used with other wooden track for larger designs. A train and two carriages are supplied and also a small station and trees for background. The trees and station building do not connect to the track so can be moved around at will and used in any type of imaginative game, my daughter plays with the whole set but on occasion will choose not to use the station or trees so as to build a simple track and play with the trains, and other similar trains she has that also fit this Brio track. This small train set is all wooden except for the wheels on the train and carriages where they have used plastic for ease of rotation whilst the train is in use on the track. The train can be used alone or with the carriages in light of the fact each has magnets on the end so can be added or taken away as your child would like. ...

Clippasafe Classic Fireguard 31/07/2017

Safety around the fire.

Clippasafe Classic Fireguard When my daughters were very young one of the first things I bought was a fire guard in light of the fact we had an open fire at that time and I was afraid not only of them falling into the fire but also their clothing getting too close to the flames and catching fire. I made my purchase of the Clippasafe Classic Fire Guard after doing research and finding this was the most suited to our needs. The fire guard cost £35 and that is the current price online where still available. The fire guard does not extend and has a length of 144cm, it measures 65cm at the tallest point. The fire guard has a curved top and that was the final reason why I purchased this in light of the fact the shape mirrored the shape of our fire so it was more visually pleasing than the rectangular fire guards I had looked at. The fire guard requires fitting but that is very simple. It is only the clips that have to be screwed into the wall on either side of the fire, this is accomplished using only a screwdriver and your fire guard will be ready for use immediately afterwards. This has proved to be a very stable and secure fire guard. I used it for both of my children and we kept it in front of the fire until recently in spite of the fact our youngest daughter is now of school age. It did not wobble and even if one of my children stumbled against it whilst they were toddlers I was never afraid that it would fall or collapse into itself. The fire guard sits flat against the floor and does not have ...

Bahco Hedge Shears 540mm 30/07/2017

Brilliant Bahco.

Bahco Hedge Shears 540mm I have owned my Bahco hedge shears for a number of years, whilst my husband wanted to purchase cheap shears and replace them each year I was not happy to do that and instead bought these that cost approximately £35 in 2013 when I made my purchase. The blades are 54cm in length to enable me to reach higher than my height will allow and trim the taller hedge, they also offer good reach to ensure an even and regular cut along and across the top and sides of our hedges. The blade is sharp and has retained the sharp edge in spite of regular use through the year, it has a shallow serration for the ease of shearing thicker branches and areas of the hedge. I have sharpened the blades of my shears only twice since I have owned them and have found they do not easily blunt. The handles of the shears are made of heavily varnished wood and are comfortable to hold in light of their smooth shaping and thoughtful design that ensures both hands are comfortable whilst using the shears. I regularly oil both the handles and blades and in my view that has helped them to retain their smooth finish and kept the shears in perfect condition. They are stored away from damp in my shed to be always at hand when they are required for some gardening. I have used these shears on privet hedges and also to prune the large bushes my husband has filled part of our garden with. They make very light work of privet and I am able to cut the hedge right back when this is required as they can cut through even ...

Stanley Anti Vibe Lumper 12/06/2017

No problems with vibration here.

Stanley Anti Vibe Lumper I required a lump hammer to complete some work I had undertaken in our garden recently and this Anti Vibration hammer was recommended to me by a gentleman in the garden centre whilst I was browsing the tools they had available for purchase. The hammer is made by Stanley and weighs 3lbs. The name Anti Vibe is in reference to the fact that it has a special design along the handle and neck of the hammer to avoid vibration, when using a heavy hammer that requires a deep swinging action like this one the vibration can cause pain in the elbows, wrists and shoulders. I knew I would be using my hammer regularly over the course of a fortnight and in light of the fact I work with my hands wished to avoid the risk of injury whilst working in the garden. This hammer cost me £15 and that is the price online also. The hammer is comfortable in use in light of the rubber handle, the handle is also slim so I can hold and heft it with ease. I like the short handle as I was working in an area of the garden where I could not swing the hammer in a full arc, the design of this lump hammer is such that I was able to attain full and smooth contact with the materials I was using in the garden. The hammer head is of an adequate size for all the jobs I was required to do. The jobs included hammering fence posts into the holes my husband had dug for them and also the lighter work of using the lump hammer to hit the end of a chisel when I realised some of the wood I was using for other jobs required ...

Monopoly Chelsea FC 12/05/2017

A good Monopoly option for Chelsea fans.

Monopoly Chelsea FC My husband's father has been taken ill so we have spent much of our time since Christmas staying at his home near Leeds, it has been a pleasure in light of the fact my husband's side of the family are very good people who we are very close to. His mother and father however are very traditional, they own a computer but have not had internet access for a number of months after closing their overpriced contract and not understanding the complexities of choosing another provider. We have now arranged for this to happen but work had to be undertaken on their phone line so there was a delay of several weeks whilst we were staying, 4G and 3G coverage is also very patchy in the area where they live so as a family we were forced to entertain ourselves in ways that didn't include the internet. My children play board games a lot and my father in law directed me to a cupboard where he had stored almost 100 board games, both very old games and modern ones that have been gifts to him. We have played the Chelsea FC Monopoly game in spite of none of us being fans of Chelsea, my father in law claims not to know why he has this game but as we all wanted to play Monopoly - and my father in law did not have any other version of the game - we took it out one evening. The game is played in the same manner as the original Monopoly with the difference being in the board design. It has a bold blue design to portray the colour of Chelsea's football strip and where you would as a rule find landmarks ...

Lego Duplo LegoVille 5645: Farm Bike 02/02/2017

Riding around the farm.

Lego Duplo LegoVille 5645: Farm Bike This was one of my youngest daughter's Christmas presents the year before last, she had not opened it in spite of it being a gift but when she received more Duplo this Christmas she remembered it and has now played with it. It is a small set that has been designed for children who are aged from 18 months to five years. The pieces are large and comfortable for a small child to hold, the large size helps the pieces to be put together firmly too. The farm bike is a four wheeled quad bike so is very stable, there are no complicated pieces to fit together and even without the instructions it is a very easy vehicle to make. The set costs approximately £14 and in my view that is expensive for the small and simple nature of the toy. There's a crate on the back of the quad bike and also a plant to build using the same large size pieces, the accessories are a spade, a beige Duplo block with an image of strawberries printed on it and the farmer. All the pieces are in scale to each other and the farmer can hold and use the spade, the box of strawberries can be fitted into the crate or carried at an angle to make it appear as though the bike is more piled up than it is. Other Duplo bricks can be used to make something different for the quad bike to transport. The wheels rotate so the quad bike can be used in any room of our home, in my view Duplo are good for outdoors play when the weather allows in light of the fact it can be so easily cleaned. I believe the farm bike would look ...

Ravensburger Roll Your Jigsaw Puzzle 20/01/2017

A useful and thoughtful gift.

Ravensburger Roll Your Jigsaw Puzzle I used to do jigsaw puzzles but after having the children my own toys and games had to take a back seat, when my youngest daughter was two I purchased a beautiful puzzle with an image of bustling and vibrant African market. I had almost completed the puzzle when I walked in on my daughter who had pulled it to pieces and was using the puzzle pieces as confetti. I have not attempted a jigsaw puzzle since, my friend proves she listens whilst we are chatting and gifted me a Ravensburger Roll Your Jigsaw with a 500 piece puzzle to see if my interest was still there. Whilst mine was a gift, I understand the price to be approximately £12 for a box containing the felt, tube and elastics required for securing the roll. It was still there and whilst I do not have the hours now that I used to spend working on puzzles I have enjoyed completing this one in between running my business, working and looking after the home. The jigsaw roll makes it far easier to fit in working on the puzzle in a family household in light of the fact that when I have to move away from the table where I am completing my puzzle I can roll the completed portion of my jigsaw up to keep it safe. The Roll Your Jigsaw is a large sheet of felt that is rectangular in shape and suited for jigsaw puzzles of an average physical size up to 1500 pieces. I completed the 500 piece jigsaw and noted how little space it took up in relation to the size of the felt but have now completed two sides of a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle ...

Flair Sylvanian Families Polar Bear Family 19/01/2017

Sweet Polar Bears.

Flair Sylvanian Families Polar Bear Family My daughter likes to play with Sylvanian Families toys and one of the family sets she plays with regularly are the Polar Bears. This is a set of two adults and two children, additional Polar Bear characters can be purchased separately for example baby bears. The cost for the family of four is approximately £16 and they can be purchased online or in a toy shop that stocks a wide range of Sylvanian Families, I have noted the Polar Bears are not offered for sale in Toys R Us. The Polar Bears are dressed in a fashion that is in keeping with the other Sylvanian Families sets with the males wearing britches and a shirt whilst the female bears wear feminine summer dresses. The mother figure wears an apron over her dress to the delight of my daughter in light of the fact she has Sylvanian Families buildings and this character is dressed in the correct manner to do the cooking. All clothing can be removed for washing and most Sylvanian Families figures are of a very similar size so the clothes can be swapped between the characters. The bears are white but in my view the fur is of the highest quality as it does not get dirty any quicker than those figures with darker or brighter fur. On occasion my daughter has played with her figures when her hands are not as clean as they could be and I have had to wash them, I use a fine spray bottle and slightly dampen the fur with a very dilute mixture of washing liquid and water. Then using a clean damp cloth I am able to wipe the whole surface ...

Barbie - A Perfect Christmas (DVD) 18/01/2017

A perfect Christmas for Barbie and her sisters.

Barbie - A Perfect Christmas (DVD) In spite of my daughters being raised to not see much difference between the genders I have noted of late that they are both settling in to a more feminine personality than expected. This has been stoked by their love of Barbie films in light of the fact the characters are all exceptionally feminine but the girls - Barbie's sisters - also retain a tomboyish love of adventure and having fun. The film should not be as engaging or fun if the characters had the personality one would expect if you look at a typical Barbie doll, whilst I enjoy the Barbie films myself I wish my daughters would not play with the dolls as much as they do. That is my opinion alone and I do not wish to be judgemental, I find the dolls to be too thin, too busty and too skimpily dressed to be healthy for the developing sense of gender and rolemodels in a young child. I made my purchase at a car boot sale in the summer with other Barbie DVDs so it was very cheap, the same DVD is available online at a cost of approximately £3. In A Perfect Christmas Barbie and her three younger sisters are travelling to New York to spend Christmas with their friends and family. All are very excited so are disappointed when bad weather forces their plane to land elsewhere, they find themselves booked into a small inn in a tiny American town with no hope of spending the holidays in the city as planned. Skipper, Chelsea and Stacey are so disappointed that they end up taking it out on each other but big sister Barbie takes ...

Thomas Glover ABC Powder Extinguisher 12/01/2017

An important safety feature in my workroom.

Thomas Glover ABC Powder Extinguisher I have my own small business making wooden decor and as my business has flourished over the past year I have enlarged my workroom, I work from home and have no employees so do not have to follow the same health and safety regulations as larger businesses but because my workroom is very close in distance to my home I take all necessary and important precautions. I do not only paint my creations but also design and cut them out or build them, this means there is often sawdust and shavings on the floor and surfaces of my work room as well as off cuts of dry wood. All these things work together to become a fire hazard and whilst I am very careful I know that a stray spark from my power tools could set the dust or shavings alight, that is the worst case scenario but I have always ensured that I have a fire extinguisher to hand in spite of the fact that I have never been victim of a fire. The fire extinguisher cost £16 and is supplied with a small metal plaque attached giving the date of manufacture, an EU safety certificate is also supplied and this should be filed away as it may be required should you ever need to make a fire related insurance claim. The Thomas Glover fire extinguisher I have at present is a 2kg powder extinguisher, it is suitable for A, B and C classes of fire. It is the Class A type of fire that is of most concern to me in light of the fact this covers fire with a wood or paper basis. Class A also includes fabric fires and some that involve plastic. Class B ...

Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Stir-Fry Pan 05/01/2017

The best stir fry pan I have ever used.

Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Stir-Fry Pan I am a keen cook and over several years have built up a collection of Le Crueset cookware, the 26cm stir fry pan I am reviewing today was gifted to me two Christmases ago and has been used very regularly since then. It was a very well received and surprisingly generous gift but in spite of the fact I adored it on sight I have been surprised by how useful I have found the pan. The pan is of a high quality construct using toughened aluminium that has been given a non stick coating. The coating is free of PFOA, a chemical previously used in non stick coating materials that has recently had doubts raised about its toxicity at a high temperature. The pan can be used on any type of hob and I have used it to good effect on both gas and induction hobs. I have used this stir fry pan at least twice weekly since I received it and often more regularly than that. The 26cm size is at present perfect for my needs as it enables me to cook a stir fry to feed my family of four - two adults and two young children - but it is not so large as to prevent me using the pan only when myself or my children only are eating stir fry. The cast handle does not transmit heat in spite of the fact many people are afraid to use cookware with metal handles. It does not get warm whilst being used on the hob but will obviously become hot should you use the stir fry pan in the oven, as is also possible with the shallow pan being a good cookware choice for an oven baked frittata or crustless flan. In my view ...

Mattel Barbie Ballet Wishes Doll 23/11/2016

Barbie, the ballet dancing star.

Mattel Barbie Ballet Wishes Doll My daughters both started ballet dancing lessons after their third birthday in light of my decision for them to both partake in a regular evening activity, my eldest daughter is now six years old and has been enrolled in her ballet school since 2013. For her fourth birthday she was gifted a Barbie Ballet Wishes doll by a relative and whilst this is not a doll she plays with, it does look very beautiful on one of her shelves with other ballet related items. The Ballet Wishes dolls are discontinued each year and a new and updated one is made available, in spite of being gifted the doll in 2014 my daughter's is the one pictured by Ciao which is the 2013 edition. I have researched and whilst the Ballet Wishes dolls are all available from online stores such as Ebay only the most recent is for sale at present in new condition and at the reasonable price of £15, the 2013 doll we have here can be purchased from Gameseek at a much higher cost of £27. The doll is an average Barbie height and very slender as a ballerina must be. She wears a short tutu and lace up ballet shoes, her blonde hair is curly and has been pulled back into a hanging bun at the back of her head and neck. Barbie wears a tiara on her head to enhance her appearance as a star ballerina but has no other adornments or accessories provided. The clothing is attractive and in my view the doll has been styled to closely represent a prima ballerina. My daughter likes the variety of lilacs and pinks used to create the ...
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