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I've taken to completing the penny per date challenge this year seeing as my favourite categories have been obliterated...26 Jan so 26p goes in the pot. Wishing you all well, Love and hugs xx

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since 12/05/2015


Wilko Kids Bed Mats 12/11/2015

Beats Rubber Sheets

Wilko Kids Bed Mats PRODUCT PURCHASING & DETAILS Price & Availability: These are a Wilko's own branded product available for £3.50 both in store or online at Other brands are available, for example: Pampers Bed Mats and Huggies Drynites but these are more expensive. What's in the box: 10 individual bed mats measuring 90cm X 60cm Description: Designed as a single use mattress protector these absorbent mats give you peace of mind weather at home or away. They are made to soak up any toilet accidents, minimising the amount of moisture surrounding your child. The plastic backing ensures that no area covered by the mat comes into contact with the urine, saving the dampness and odours getting into the mattress. Once used the mat can simply be put in the bin and the wet sheet popped in the washing machine. Packaged very plainly in a white plastic packet the front features a charming yellow monster smiling sweetly and looking up at the Wilko brand. Aside from this the front details the quantity of mats and states they are kids bed mats with their dimensions given equal precedence. The back is a very simple yellow rectangle full of the expected descriptions, returns policies and disposal information. The mats themselves are best described as a very thin, fluff filled sandwich with the top sheet a soft, cotton feel absorbent material and the bottom a thin plastic, very much like a large panty liner to be honest. Warnings & ...

The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator 09/11/2015


The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator PRODUCT PURCHASING & DETAILS Price & Availability: Priced at £11 I wouldn't describe this as a cheap exfoliator but there are certainly many more expensive products on the market. As a Body Shop product it is available both in store and online from the Body Shop but you can also pick it up currently for £9.99 plus postage and packaging from Amazon (price correct as of 8 / 11 / 15. eBay also stock these products from time to time for around the £10 mark plus postage and packaging. Suitable for: All skin types Volume: 75ml Description: Packaged in a white opaque plastic squeezable tube with a firmly fitted flip top lid the product is designed to be stored standing on its head so that the cream is always readily available for use. Sparse in terms of design the front is adorned simply with text both in a light and bold sans serif font. Not particularly inspiring but evocative of cleanliness and oddly sort of prescriptive in look, probably as the main selling point is vitamin E, known for its restorative qualities. Designed to rid the skin of daily dirt and grease build up the exfoliator contains tiny beads which act as an abrasive when rubbed over the skin, dislodging stubborn grime and dead skin, leaving your face silky soft. Warnings & Advisories: Avoid the product getting into your eyes, if it does happen to work its way there then rinse thoroughly with fresh water. I would recommend cooled boiled water just to be sure. Ethics & Values: I must say that I am not a leading ...

Wilko Expanding Ball 03/11/2015

In For 5, Out for 5

Wilko Expanding Ball PRODUCT PURCHASING & SPECIFICATION Price & Availability: Located in the toy department of our local Wilko this Expanding Ball is a good pocket money purchase at just £2.50. Being a Wilko product the one under review here is only available form Wilko, either in store or online. However this is by no means an exclusive design as multiple brands of this toy are available from many retailers and indeed in many sizes, right up to over a metre in diametre in some cases. Other retailers for the small expanding ball, sometimes referred to as a Hoberman Sphere, can be purchased from Amazon, eBay and for between £6 - £15 dependent on the build quality. Age Appropriate For: 3+, not suitable for under 3's. Dimensions: When collapsed the ball measures 17cm in diametre with it reaching 34cm in diametre once expanded. Description: Designed using the same principles as that of a geodesic dome the Hoberman Sphere is based on a series of circles which intersect to form the structure. What Chuck Hoberman achieved was to take this idea and, in his trademark way, to patent a mechanism to make the shape transform by collapsing in on itself, reducing in size by half. Echoing the scissor style movement reminiscent of those litter picking long handled grippers the simplicity of the idea is by far outweighed by the complexity of the actual engineering of applying this motion to a sphere. Made from rigid plastic components this toy is attractive and enticing to children, ...

Tesco Microfibre Duster 27/10/2015

A Finger of Fluff is Just Enough to Give Your House a Clean

Tesco Microfibre Duster PRODUCT PURCHASING & SPECIFICATION Price & Availability: Being a Tesco made product it is exclusively available from Tesco for the sum of £2.50. Dimensions: 51cm high x 2cm handle diameter x 10cm fluffy head diameter. Weight: At just 107grams it is very light weight, an advantage for me as I bought this primarily to reach those high up cobweb ridden corners. While I still lost feeling in my hands, as the blood drained from them due to the scale of the filth, I can safely say it wasn’t down to the duster being too heavy. Description: Made form a synthetic and absorbent microfibre material the duster head offers the flexibility of being used both wet or dry. The fibres are attached by way of a tightly wound metal core which can be bent into alternative positions. The thin metal core is very much like that of a bottle brush and for safety has a plastic rounded guard on the very tip to prevent any sharp ends from hurting someone or damaging your home. The 19.5cm long handle on which the head is fused is tapered in an ergonomic fashion making it easy to get a firm grip. It also has a handy little hole in the end for ease of hanging up for storage. Resembling the pre-treated fleece of a sheep although absolutely not a natural fibre the head itself is made up of multiple strands of material extruding from the core rather like a fluffy mop, less dreadlock in style, think more like wading. Designed to attract and capture dust in the fibres this duster has the added advantage of ...

Royal Blood - Royal Blood 15/10/2015

A Right Royal Mosh Up

Royal Blood - Royal Blood PRODUCT PURCHASING & DETAILS Price & Availability: Scouring the internet I see that there are digital downloads available from websites such as Amazon, HMV and iTunes. If like me though you like to actually hold the thing in your hands then I advise you to nip to your local music store, large supermarket or order from eBay. All of these outlets vary on price but if you set yourself a £12 budget I would expect you to get change. Who Are Royal Blood? Mike Kerr as singer / bassist and Ben Thatcher on Drums Where Are They From? Royal Blood were formed in Worthing in 2013. Label Signed To: Warner Bros. Producer: Tom Dalgety Warning: There is the odd explicit lyric dotted throughout this album so perhaps not one for the family jaunt to the shops or road trip sing along. Not overtly bothered about the sparse peppering of potty mouth we opt instead to develop a chesty cough at choice moments, having now pretty much memorised the whole album. INTRODUCING ROYAL BLOOD Bringing new meaning to the term drum and bass this Brighton duo have catapulted themselves into the realms of Rock Royalty with this self titled debut album Royal Blood. Hard to believe there is no guitarist from the depth of sound created by Mike Kerr (singer/bassist) and Ben Thatcher (drums) the pair have received high praise indeed from critics and their peers alike, gaining famous and influential supporters in the form of Arctic Monkeys and Jimmy Page, placing the cherry atop their cake by winning Kerrang! ...

Olbas for Children Inhalant 3+ 12/10/2015

Strike the 'X' from the door, we're Ol okay

Olbas for Children Inhalant 3+ Product Purchasing & Description Price & Availability: Widely available from all major supermarkets, high street chemists and online you should find no trouble sourcing Olbas for Children. Purchasing mine from Boots at a cost of £4.29 for a 15ml bottle you could obtain a 10ml bottle for around £3.18 plus postage and packaging from Amazon. Description: Packaged in a vibrant orange and mellow yellow cardboard box with a cosy looking teddy in bed on the front, we are immediately assured that this is designed for children. Within the box we have a straight forward set of paper directions for use and a sturdy glass bottle with dropper top and screw top lid containing the oil. Made from a concoction of various pure essential oils the vapours are designed to be inhaled, easing any nasal congestion. Directions for Use: Suitable for children from 3 months of age there are suggested guidelines on how to use the oil dependent on age. From 3 months - 2 years only 4 drops are recommended on a tissue placed close to them. Once the child is over 2 years old you can then either use the tissue method with 8-12 drops or opt to place the drops into hot water, leaving it out of reach in their room. Ingredients: Cajuput, Clove, Eucalyptus, Juniper and partly dementholised Mint Oils with the addition of Levomenthol, Methyl Salicylate, Isopropyl Myristate and Orange Fragrance. Warning: Let common sense prevail with this, it contains essential oils and can therefore irritate the skin and/or ...

Philips ActionFit SHQ1300 26/09/2015

Bangers strapped down, trainers on tight and headphones on...GO!

Philips ActionFit SHQ1300 PRODUCT PURCHASING & SPECIFICATION Price & Availability: Costing around £20 from Amazon, Curry’s/PCWorld, eBay and many other electrical outlets there is no shortage of availability. Specification (Sourced from Manufacturer) : Diaphragm: PET Frequency: 15 - 22 000  Hz Impedance: 32 Ohm Sensitivity: 107 dB Maximum power input: 10 mW Weight: 5.7g Cable Length: 1.2m Compatible with: All smartphones, laptops and players with 3.5mm jack slot. What’s in the Box: Packaged rather beautifully in a blister pack and cardboard box with a determined looking window so we can view the product this is a very attractive looking item indeed. Within the blister pack the complete kit is on show and what a plethora of items are included, very good value in my book. We have the 3 different earbud sizes (small, medium & large), the cable with clip and a neat little storage pouch in a sleek, breathable, drawstring design in a contrasting grey to the white and orange of the headphones (see image 1). Slotted in behind are the instructions and guarantee information, the product carries a one year manufacturers warranty. Please Note: The online description of this product mentions a remote control and microphone. This is not the case with my headphones, although they are definitely the correct model number. I did not want the remote option as I was not going to be using them with a smartphone. REASON FOR PURCHASE As a convert to the pleasures of jogging for a pass time to clear the head and ...

Hickies Elastic Shoe Lacing System 17/09/2015

There's No Hiding These Hickies!

Hickies Elastic Shoe Lacing System PRODUCT PURCHASING INFORMATION Price & Availability: Hickies are available online from Amazon, Ebay and other online outlets priced at around the £12 mark per pack of 14. I chose to purchase mine direct from as they are priced exactly the same and to be honest that is where the link took me when browsing one day. The Hickies own website will cleverly redirect you to the UK site for purchasing. What’s in the Box: Both minimal and monotone in its style, the packaging is a transparent plastic folded box no bigger than a deck of cards and about half the depth. Adorned simply with the very effective typographic logo and a before and after shot of a pair of trainers everything that needs to be communicated has been in a matter of seconds, most impressive. Very cleverly thought out from a design stand point the instructions also form the backdrop, inside the box, on which your chosen Hickies are presented. While simple and sensibly laid out with diagrams the instructions are more than capable of describing the fitting of the Hickies and getting the ball rolling. Made from what they call an elastomer, which to you and I is a rubbery material with the capability to stretch and regain its original shape, Hickies are short strips of rubbery feeling material with a loop and tail at one end and a reciprocal hole and button at the other (see image 1). The idea being that you thread the Hickie through your lace holes instead of laces and fasten in place by inserting the ...

Tesco Proformula Dental Floss 10/09/2015

A Mouth Full of Metal and I'm Caught on a Line

Tesco Proformula Dental Floss PURCHASING INFORMATION Proformula Dental Floss is a dentist approved brand of floss developed for Tesco, where it can be purchased in store or online. The product costs just 75p for a 50m reel of floss and comes in a handy, palm sized plastic dispenser, complete with cutter. GETTING IN A FLAP ABOUT FLOSS I'm getting to the end of my tether! I dutifully brush my teeth twice a day and floss regularly but still my teeth insist on making like a lump of Gouda. Holes appear consistently which I find really very disappointing and frustrating. [ break out the tiny violins peeps, this girl’s feeling sorry for herself ] Not flush enough to fork out for the white fillings, a fortune in comparison, I have a mouth full of metal. In an attempt to combat the latest ‘weak spot’ pointed out by the dentist I have improved the brand of toothpaste I use and now aim to floss daily. As a result I find myself quickly making my way through the last of my current roll of Aldi floss so I nipped out to get another, plumping for this Proformula Dental Floss from Tesco, for no other reason than the store is more conveniently located than Aldi. HOW AND WHY TO CAST YOUR LINE Brushing alone doesn’t tend to reach those areas between the teeth that are below the gum line, this is where flossing comes in. The waxy, minty coated strand of floss when held taught between your fingers and gently fed between your teeth in a sawing motion accesses these hard to reach crevasses, fishing out any remnants ...

Weasels - Elys Dolan 07/09/2015

Down with Weaseley Megalomaniacs

Weasels - Elys Dolan WEASELS, Written and Illustrated by Elys Dolan Price & Availability: You can acquire this book from Amazon for £5.24 for a paperback version or £10.68 for a hardback. It is also available form Waterstones for £5.99 for the paperback (prices correct as of 5 / 9 / 15). We bought our paperback copy in WH Smith in one of their 3 for 2 offers so we managed to gleam a bit of a deal from it. Published by: Nosy Crow Ltd ISBN Numbers Paperback: 978 0 85763 200 5 Hardback: 978 0 85763 199 2 Page Count: 28 of actual storytelling content. Age Appropriate For: 3+, although I have always read to my kids from birth as a bedtime routine, basically because I can't sing for toffee so lullabies were out of the question. INTRODUCTION Typography, illustrations and the conveyance of a story through pictures and words is something that stirs my soul, hence the career choice of being a Graphic Designer. Children’s books are some of our family’s most treasured items, holding an affection with the boys and us parents alike. There is something magical about watching a child go from simply pointing at pictures and attempting a word to gradually identifying words and in time reading them to you. How this process actually happens has always fascinated me but the drive to accomplish this as I have witnessed in my children is almost innate. Of course one way in which they achieve this is through repetition which brings me on to the choice of books we have in the house. Being a fan of sarcasm ...

Flair Thomas & Friends 100 Building Blocks Bucket 01/09/2015

Build me up to Knock me Down

Flair Thomas & Friends 100 Building Blocks Bucket PRODUCT PURCHASING & INFORMATION Price & Availability: This is a fairly new Thomas & Friends product so is not widely available as yet. We have a particularly good toy shop where we live which had this in stock just in time for our little train enthusiast to turn 4. Currently you can purchase it online from or from your local branch of Toytown for £20. I was pleasantly surprised at the price for these blocks as usually with anything carrying a genuine Thomas & Friends logo you can basically add a zero to the regular price of something. Dimensions: 230mm high x 220mm diametre Weight: 2kg Manufacturer: Tree Toys, importer Flair Age Appropriate For: 3+ WARNING: Not suitable for children under 3 due to a choking hazard. Although honestly I can’t see how this can be true as there are no small pieces and the smallest block is too large to be swallowed by anyone under 3. I suspect this is a mandatory health and safety statement enforced upon the manufacturer. Description: Cardboard cylindrical container with plastic shape sorting lid and carry handle, containing 100 building blocks. The blocks are various shapes, colours and sizes with some featuring characters form Thomas & Friends as well as elements you would expect to find around a train station, the building of which is the main suggested use of the product. WHY DID I CHOOSE IT? I have to admit to being a big fan of self contained toys, there is nothing more frustrating than getting a toy home and ...

Abbott & Broome Pure Soap 28/08/2015

Suds we Like

Abbott & Broome Pure Soap PRODUCT PURCHASING & INFORMATION Price & Availability: Produced especially for Aldi, Abbott & Broome Pure Soap is only available form there. Priced at 89p this four pack of traditional bar soaps is a basic staple in our house. Description: Each pack contains 4 x 125g bars of soap. Wrapped in a single sheet of cream and green striped laminated plastic, embellished with a very simple minimalist lower case font, stating the contents and its attributes in an attempt to evoke the product’s simplicity and purity. The bars are not individually wrapped so if you were wishing to transport one in a wash bag a soap dish is required (or wrap it up in the face cloth). Described as being a pure soap they are not perfumed, not coloured and formulated to be suitable for sensitive skin. Sound familiar…? Yes in true Aldi style we have a doppelganger for Simple branded soap. The bars are a pure white colour with no discernible markings on them to remind you of the brand once free from the packaging. Shaped in a fairly typical rectangular bar with rounded off edges the bar sits comfortably in the palm of your hand, allowing your fingers to reach all the way around for a good grip, even when wet. Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA and Tetrasodium Etidronate. Animal Testing Stance: Please refer to the following link for Aldi’s statement on animal testing. Abbott & Broome is an Aldi brand and should therefore ...

Fluidmaster Dual Flush Valve 20/08/2015

Feeling Flush

Fluidmaster Dual Flush Valve PRODUCT PURCHASING AND INFORMATION Price and Availability: I bought my Fluidmaster Dual Flush Valve for £11.99 from Screwfix but you could purchase this for around the same price form Wickes or a local plumber’s merchant. Amazon also sell it, but taking into account the delivery charge and wait involved it was not an option for me. What’s in the Box: *A set of very clear instructions, written in English only with diagrams *1 x Push button with half and full flush options, complete with fittings *1 x Internal Seal Washer (only required if your outlet is less that 2 inches in diameter *1 x Flush valve housing complete with adjustable overflow pipe, and locking nut for fitting to the cistern *1 x Flush valve complete with button clip to activate the flush buttons Guarantee: The product carries a one year guarantee. Description: We have here all of the components necessary to replace or repair a flush from the actual press buttons to the housing for the outlet and valve itself. The housing has the overflow pipe built in with an adjustable height feature for deeper cisterns and a sliding clip which holds your chosen height in place. For your information the overflow should be set to 25mm above the normal water level. The valve connects to the housing with a snug twist and click motion which allows for simple maintenance and replacement in the event of its failure. The amount of water used for each of the half or full flush buttons can be decided by yourself utilising ...

Sure Crystal Invisible Aqua Deodorant for Women 15/08/2015

Sure Thing

Sure Crystal Invisible Aqua Deodorant for Women PRODUCT PURCHASING & INFORMATION Price and Availability: This product is widely available from most major supermarkets and high street branches of Semi-Chem, Superdrug or Boots. Tesco currently have a 2 for £4 promotion on (Price correct as of 15 / 8 / 15). I purchased mine form Superdrug for £3.39. How much?! I know, I know but hang fire… This is a compressed aerosol, so yes the volume is only 125ml but what you get is the equivalent of a standard 250ml canister, hence the higher price. Volume: 125ml Dimensions: 160mm tall x 44mm circumference at its widest point. Duration of Protection: 48 hours, although even Bear Grylls has a spruce up in a nearby stream of a morning so I’ll just have to take Sure at their word on this claim. Description: A spray-on antiperspirant designed, with women in mind, to reduce the impact of sweat on clothing and to block any undesirable odour occurring. Distributing a refreshing, cool scent to the underarms and body by simply pressing the button located on the very top of the nozzle and drawing the metal canister across your body. Emitting a sideways spray the aerosol is cleverly designed to be held firmly with ease, due to the slimline ‘waist’ built into the hourglass shape of the canister. To ensure no accidental sprays happen in your bag there is a white opaque recyclable cap provided. WARNING: This is a pressurised aerosol so don’t leave it in direct sunlight or next to a heat source. Solvent abuse can kill. TECHNOLOGICAL ...

Twinings Relaxing Camomile & Spearmint Tea 10/08/2015


Twinings Relaxing Camomile & Spearmint Tea PURCHASING DETAILS Price and Availability: Widely available from all major supermarkets purchasing this tea should cause you no problems. If you do struggle to locate it near you it is available from Twinings themselves, via their website, at the same supermarket retail price of £1.49 for 20 bags. Ethics: Twinings pride themselves on their social responsibility, there are far too many projects underway for me to cover in one review for you,but if it interests you why not stop by their page to discover what they are up to: In brief they are members of the Ethical Tea Partnership, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance initiatives, all things you would expect from a responsible tea company. Description: Packaged in a clever flip top box, adorned with a swirling organic looking foliage pattern in cooling greens and blues, this tea comes self contained in a keep fresh box. The relaxing blend of predominantly camomile and spearmint is tailored to cleanse toxins from the body and calm the mind, leaving you feeling more chilled out. REASON FOR PURCHASE Every now and then there comes a time when you've been knocking your pan in at work, your kids are knocking ten bells out of each other and you wake one morning feeling like you may actually end someone today if you don't catch a break. Times like these tend to surface in a regular cycle in our house, a cycle Mother Nature deemed only suitable for us women to ...
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