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I never have enough Es for all of your excellent reviews, and for that I apologise

Reviews written

since 07/09/2016


Pop! Vinyl Alien Figure 11/10/2017

Pop! goes the Alien

Pop! Vinyl Alien Figure Pop! Two of my grandchildren collect Pop! Vinyl figures but they got the idea from my youngest son, their uncle, who has a large collection of the figures that he has built up over several years. I bought him his Alien Pop! Vinyl for Easter (that seems like a very long time ago now) as I was browsing in HMV for figures for my grandchildren but when I saw this my son immediately sprang to my mind, he sneakily watched Alien as a child after being told he was too young and terrified himself. His fear of the horrible looking Alien in this film lasted for years and even now he admits he can't watch that series of films without squirming. I knew he didn't have this Pop! Vinyl because the week before I had helped him to pack them up to take to his university accommodation. Alien My son laughed when I gave him his Easter gift and it gave the family a laugh as we remembered his willingness to break the "no scary films" rule, only to wish afterwards that he'd listened to those of us who had already been terrified by Alien and at an older age than he was! This made me think of Pop! Vinyl as more than just nice looking children's ornaments, there are hundreds of different figures available and they are a good mixture of new characters, cult characters and older more classic ones. They look very nice as a collection but as long as the person you're buying for does not want to complete a whole series of one theme then you can look for ones that will jog a memory or help to make a ...

White Knight 44AB 30/09/2017

My Knight in shining armour

White Knight 44AB An appliance that is a pleasure to use I am reviewing today an appliance that I do not own personally, I have used it extensively for my own wet washing and also washed and dried loads for my daughter whose tumble dryer this is. The reason I use it is because I often, at least weekly, housesit and look after my grandchildren at their house my son in law does our heavy gardening and I like to repay this by helping my daughter around the house when I am there with nothing else to do. She doesn't keep washing for me to do and does her own daily loads but I have found myself in the habit of emptying the wash baskets for her so it's one less thing for her to do when she gets back from work. Another advantage of this is that I don't have a tumble dryer of my own so try to time my washing machine so that I can take a bag of my freshly washed damp bedding to tumble dry! Whenever I have had a tumble dryer it has been White Knight but my daughter told me she had never noticed and the reason she bought this one was because it was the cheapest for the load capacity as that was her main consideration. This has a 6kg capacity and even when filled will dry a load quickly, it is one of the fastest tumble dryers I have ever used but there has never been any damage to the clothing I dry in it so the heat given out isn't at all harsh. Simple but efficient The White Knight 44AB tumble dryer is very easy to use as it follows the simplicity their appliances are known for. The timer dial is ...

Schleich 13743 Sheep 28/09/2017

Creating our own flock of sheep

Schleich 13743 Sheep We are going through a sheep period The last thing I reviewed was a Lalaloopsy doll based on Little Bo Peep, this doll came with a sheep but from many visits to farms my granddaughter knows that sheep come in a flock and not alone. She keeps her Lalaloopsy at home but my husband thought it would be fun if we could build her a small flock of sheep here ready to be played with when she comes to visit, we agreed that we would have a look around the local car boot sales before purchasing small sheep at full price as we are aware from when our own children were young that the most obvious brand to look at is Schleich and when you mean to purchase several items the cost can soon rocket. We were lucky in our first visit to a car boot to buy a bundle of farmyard Schleich animals that included four sheep, three of them were this sheep and there was one other that I cannot find listed to review. This was a good start but that day we were lucky to find a further three sheep so surprisingly the flock of sheep was ready for the very next morning when my granddaughter and Little Bo Peep arrived. We have named her Dolly My granddaughter thinks it is clever that we have named these three identical sheep Dolly because she plays with them with her own dolly, truthfully though we didn't only name her after the cloned sheep because there are three of them but also because this one looks very like the real Dolly the sheep. The sheep is standing up and is very stable on it's four hooves, all ...

Lalaloopsy Doll Little Bah Peep 20/09/2017

Little Bah Peep with her very own sheep

Lalaloopsy Doll Little Bah Peep Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep My little granddaughter bought a dolly with her when she came to stay in the summer, I knew I had seen it before even though she hasn't had it for very long but it took me a while to remember that it was here on Ciao that I had seen a photograph of Little Bah Peep when I was looking for another Lalaloopsy doll to review that belongs to another granddaughter. It's funny the things that lock into your memory after a very short time but I'm glad I remembered because we played a lot with this doll while she was here and it's nice to be able to review a toy that's loved. Lalaloopsy were a craze a few years ago and are still popular now but I don't think children collect them as much as they did, my younger granddaughters have the dolls that have been given to them by their older siblings or cousins as well as some of the newer released dolls. They are rag dolls that are made of plastic, with arms and legs that move in a floppy way to make them more like the fabric rag dolls that most people have had ad that even children now play with when they are young. I do not understand why a rag doll design would be used for a plastic doll and I personally do not like the dolls very much in their appearance but my granddaughter loves Little Bah Peep very much and I can see they appeal to children of all ages. Has lost her sheep This Little Bah Peep hasn't lost her sheep because one comes with the doll, it has facial features that are very similar to the ...

Aidapt Attendant Propelled Wheelchair 26/08/2017

Propelling my sister when we go out to have fun

Aidapt Attendant Propelled Wheelchair THE BASIC AIDAPT WHEELCHAIR, AS THE PROPELLING ATTENDANT My older sister has been stuck down with age related arthritis of the hips, this causes her severe pain and while she remains independent there are things she now cannot do because of her condition. She can stand unaided by a person but needs to be near something she can hold onto, something strong enough to bear her weight in case her hips weaken as can so often happen because of fatigue or pain. Her home has been adapted with supports and her furniture is arranged in such a way that there is always something for her to grab if she needs to, she uses a mobility scooter to travel locally so has no need to buy her own wheelchair but if we go out for the day we always looked in advance to see if wheelchairs or mobility scooters could be hired. Most large attractions offer this service but we did miss out on smaller places of interest if they couldn't make mobility aids available, usually though no fault of their own. My sister found out about a scheme that loaned out wheelchairs through a local support group, I don't know very much about the scheme but they charge an annual fee of £25 and for this cost you can hire out a wheelchair for a total of seven days in a month at no extra cost. Provision is made in your contract for additional days to be added at a very small cost, it is useful because they can deliver and collect wheelchairs from the persons home or you can collect and drop it back to their premises yourself. ...

Lego Minecraft 21117 The Ender Dragon 31/07/2017

It's not de-VOID of charm

Lego Minecraft 21117 The Ender Dragon LEGO AND THE ENDER DRAGON My little grandson was given this Lego set two Christmases ago, he does love Minecraft but was much too young for this large set when he was first given it so I put it away at my home until he was old enough to play with it and complete the set by himself (or with just a little bit of help from granddad). All my grandchildren come to see us regularly and now the summer holidays are here we always seem to have a child or two around, it is no chore but the weather has not been promising for the first third of the holidays and that is why we have been playing with Lego as it's a fun activity for wet days. WHAT'S IN THE BOX? There are over 600 separate pieces of Lego in this set so it's a large amount of thinking and planning to complete the set. An instruction book is included and it is necessary for this set because it is quite interactive when it is all put together and I don't think anyone could do it without the pictures and explanations in the instruction book. The pieces are in different bags but my grandson mixed them all up as soon as he started to open everything so I was glad the instructions are very clear and there are pictures to show you what piece you need to use so that stops it being too complicated, it's easier and quicker if you don't mix the pieces up but my grandson is so impatient that he can never wait to read instructions! Most of the Lego pieces are beige in colour or black because this is the Ender Dragon's dark world that ...

Disney Princess Apron 17/05/2017

Keeps small clothing free from paint stains

Disney Princess Apron PROTECTION FROM PAINT Most paints and pens that have been designed for children are now completely safe for not only their bodies but also their clothes as they will wash out far more easily than those my own children used in their childhoods. Whenever my grandchildren want to paint or do other messy activities I do not mind as I quite like to join in myself but I have always been very protective of my surfaces and furniture so they know they have to wait while Nanny puts newspaper down and we all put on our old clothes, my young granddaughter is very impatient and hates to be undressed and dressed again so one day to avoid her having a tantrum I took one of my husband's old shirts out of his wardrobe and put it over her clothes as a makeshift apron. This has quickly evolved as at home my granddaughter did not have a shirt to put on so my daughter bought her a real apron and now she brings it here whenever she comes over to stay for a sleepover with us. Because she loves the Disney Princesses I was not surprised when I saw that this was the decoration on her new apron. My granddaughter has one that is different to the one pictured above and has what I think is the classic arrangement for the three most classic princesses, Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora. They are clustered together on the front of the apron and shown only from the waist up, I like this image because the emphasis is on the faces and pretty bodices of the dresses worn by the princesses. WATERPROOF BUT ...

Lego Ninjago 70595 Ultra Stealth Raider 31/03/2017

Fun for everyone

Lego Ninjago 70595 Ultra Stealth Raider MAD MAX WITH NINJAS My grandson was eight a few weeks after Christmas, he is so much fun to buy for that when we were wrapping the Christmas presents I realised he had quite a lot more than some of his cousins and siblings. My husband and I had not realised that we had each bought him a main Christmas present consisting of a Lego set and as it would not have been fair to give him so much more than the other children I kept one of the sets and a few of his smaller presents for his birthday, including the Ultra Stealth Raider Lego set that I had bought on Black Friday where it cost £30 instead of the usual price of £84. He left it here as he does with some gifts so he can enjoy them with us, when he came to stay overnight during the recent half term holiday I had this ready on the dining room table with snacks and drinks because I know my grandson likes to start a Lego model and work for however long it takes until it has been completed. The set is larger than I had expected when I ordered it, it comes in a very large box and contains over 1000 pieces of Lego. When complete the set makes two vehicles that can both be changed and adapted to do more than they do when made into the set vehicles and also to make more smaller items for the Ninjago scene. The design of the vehicles is what I would class as dirty sci-fi as they are impressive and very futuristic but look like they have been designed to fit a Mad Max future world instead of being shiny and sculpted war ...

Garnier Nutrisse Hair Colour - 4.3 Dark Gold Brown Cappuccino 23/03/2017

Colouring away my signs of getting old

Garnier Nutrisse Hair Colour - 4.3 Dark Gold Brown Cappuccino MY ONLY VANITY I am lucky that I have reached pension age with very few grey hairs, I have good genetics as my own mum and dad reached old age keeping their dark hair and I have been told the streaks of grey in my hair are stylish and do not particularly age me. I am old enough to be past caring about what makes me look even older but some months ago I took to colouring my hair to hide the grey streaks, after having my hair cut into a style that I thought did not suit the positioning of where my grey hairs were. The first time I visited a salon and paid a surprisingly high amount of money to have my grey hairs blended into my natural hair colour, my friend's daughter is my hairdresser and she confided that my hair didn't need a salon colour and advised me that Garnier Nutrisse in Dark Golden Brown would match my darker hair colour well. Dark Golden Brown is the new name for the Nutrisse 4.3 shade that was called Dark Gold Brown Cappuccino previously, the packaging has also changed and now features Davina McCall wearing her hair in this shade. WHAT'S IN THE BOX? I have only bought Garnier Nutrisse when on offer as it is the type of product that can be purchased in advance if you should see an offer where it makes bulk buying worthwhile. This brand is almost continuously on offer in Boots but the prices still change as sometimes the offer is a simple cut in price and other times it will be 2 boxes for £8 so that is usually a better saving. My hair grows slowly so I only ...

Calvin Klein CK one RED Edition for Her Eau de Toilette 17/03/2017

CK One RED Edition is not the best from the brand

Calvin Klein CK one RED Edition for Her Eau de Toilette CK ONE IN A DIFFERENT COLOUR I have always liked CK One perfumes and share this love with my eldest daughter, who when a new one is released buys herself a bottle and always treats mum too! I don't know if CK One RED Edition is newly released or one we had missed, she saw it so close to Christmas that she wrapped up my bottle to give me as part of a hamper she had made up. Mine is a 100ml of Eau de Toilette that my daughter bought from Boots at a cost of £35 in December, if you trust perfume purchases made online you can find it significantly cheaper and I understand The Perfume Shop often stock the range of CK perfumes at lower prices than Boots. The RED edition is available as a perfume for women and a separate one is available for men, the women's version is not unisex and smells rather more feminine than other CK One perfumes but the one that is For Him is not as masculine as expected based on the bottle and I think that one is more unisex if you are a woman who likes woody and masculine perfumes. A BLEAK BOTTLE The bottle is very minimal and I can see that it has been designed to be simple, in my opinion it is too simple and the basic bottle does not do justice to the very pleasant perfume contained inside. I have had years of experience with CK One perfumes and their bottles are always very plain so this isn't an exception to their usual designs, I do think they could have been more elaborate or created a stronger design based around the bold red colouring of the ...

Doctor Who Backpack 13/03/2017

Taking the Tardis to school

Doctor Who Backpack My little grandson likes to copy his brother in all things, including saying he is a fan of Dr Who when he hasn't watched any of the episodes because he finds the villains and frightening scenes too scary. He is in reception at school and uses a book bag that school gave him most of the time but one day each week his class work outdoors and for that he needs a change of clothes, on this day his book bag is too flat and small so I offered to buy him a backpack as part of his Christmas box. His Dr Who backpack I bought in Primark where it cost £7.99. It has the same shape as the backpack Ciao have as their stock image but where the image of a dalek is printed my grandson's backpack has a blue Tardis. The backpack measures approximately 13" tall and zips around the top curve and also features a zip around the circular pocket on the front. Inside the backpack is a pocket built into the back wall, this is a large pocket but there is no fastening so if the backpack is thrown around or dropped what you have stored in there can fall out into the main section of the bag. There are two straps and a hanging loop of fabric that is located at the top of the backpack. The straps can be adjusted but they seem very short to me and though the backpack still looks quite large on my grandson's back he is at the very end of being able to take out the straps, he is an average size child with a very slender upper body so if your child carries more weight then I would recommend that you try the ...

Minecraft Foam Iron Sword Think 02/02/2017

An accurate Minecraft sword

Minecraft Foam Iron Sword Think THE BEST KIND OF SWORD IS MADE FROM FOAM For the last few weeks I've noticed three of my grandsons have been playing with soft foam swords, I have thought them to be quite babyish toys for boys of their age but now it has been explained to me that they are a Minecraft toy it all started to make sense. The boys and girls of my family all love the Minecraft computer game and they all have toys that feature characters of the game as well as clothing, I have seen a lot of Minecraft merchandise but the swords are a step further into role play. There are different coloured Minecraft foam swords, the grey one here is the iron sword but another grandson has a bright blue sword which is a special diamond sword. The swords and what they are made of have importance when you're playing the game and when I watch my the two youngest sword wielding grandsons enact a sword fight I can see there are moves and certain strikes that are only undertaken with the diamond sword. I don't know if having this Iron Sword is a disadvantage but my grandson bought it himself out of his Christmas money so it was obviously the one he wanted. ACCURACY TO THE SWORDS IN THE GAME I think the swords look good, the foam is printed with coloured squares and I say this is an exact replica of the one used in Minecraft. It is also identical in design to the smaller iron swords my grandsons have that came as part of small plastic sets of toys. The small swords are only about an inch long but this foam one is about ...

Hasbro Star Wars Rip N Go BB-8 01/02/2017

A happy little droid

Hasbro Star Wars Rip N Go BB-8 A NEW ADDITION TO STAR WARS One of my grandsons loves Star Wars but we have a very big family and his birthday was only in October so he had all the merchandise and toys he wanted then, I think all of my family had shopped in Toys R Us because when I went in there I couldn't find anything he hadn't already got when I went to buy his Christmas present. I bought him a Rip N Go BB-8 toy while I was doing my shopping in Tesco, it was part of their Christmas promotion where you could buy three toys but only pay for two (it was priced at £14 but was the cheapest so was the free one). BB-8 is a droid and this toy looks just like it does in the Star Wars film, my grandson was happy when he unwrapped it and was interested when my husband showed him how to use the rip cord. I remember my children having toys like this, you work BB-8 by pushing the plastic cord through the toy and then ripping it quickly out while the toy is on a flat surface. The floor is best for playing with this toy because it moves quite quickly and further than you think sometimes, there would be the risk of it falling off if you used BB-8 on a table or raised surface. When my grandson opened it he was here and played with it on the patio as that is a very flat wooden surface and it worked great, inside on carpet it moves slower so if he was playing it at my house I'd let him use the hallway which has wooden flooring. POWERED BY RIP CORD The little droid needs two AAA batteries, the power for movement comes ...

Fred Aldous Envelopes Square White 18/01/2017

A good basic square envelope

Fred Aldous Envelopes Square White CARD CRAFT SUPPLIES One of my hobbies is card making, I have a technique using splattered paint to create designs so my cards are flat instead of being embellished with gems and 3D effects. The envelopes I had purchased were growing slightly larger in size to accommodate the newer trends of think and very decorative greetings cards, my own cards can be cut and created to fit the envelopes I have so I do not have to look for very specific sizes of envelope but I wanted to use a more standard thickness of envelope so it didn't feel baggy and unfilled once the card was inside. A friend on the crafting Facebook group I am a member of recommended Fred Aldous envelopes, she described them as being good quality plain envelopes and told me she had been using them for several years. I am in awe of her card making skills and this was a high enough recommendation for me so I purchased a pack of 20 envelopes and have not looked back as they are ideal for my needs. I buy my envelopes and blank card from an independent stockist inside my local indoor market but they are available online at a cost of £2.99 per pack. I have used both the white and cream envelopes and both are identical in their quality, I am currently using the white version as I bought those before Christmas to use with festive stampers and glitter so the recipient had an attractive envelope to go with the card. The colours and stamps stand out best on plain white paper and did not look as effective used on the cream ...

Argos White Fibre Optic Christmas Tree 05/01/2017

A disappointing Christmas tree

Argos White Fibre Optic Christmas Tree WE NEEDED ANOTHER CHRISTMAS TREE When we put up our Christmas decorations in 2014 I realised that after remodelling our kitchen-diner we would finally have room for a second Christmas tree in our house, I have wanted a smaller tree in the kitchen since we moved into the house decades ago but it is only now the work has taken place that I have been able to realise this minor dream. The work had cost a small fortune so I looked for a Christmas tree that was in the bargain basement price range as I knew I would be in a better position financially to replace it the following year (this past Christmas). I bought my fibre optic tree from the Argos website and had it delivered to my home address. The choice of tree colours were white and black and the same tree was available in different sizes. I chose a 4ft white tree and that cost £14, as I had a free code for delivery and a £5 voucher to use on the Argos website my tree only cost £9 and I was very happy with my bargain as it had worked out cheaper even than my lowest estimate when I was looking at Christmas trees in the beginning. IN THE BOX The tree is supplied in two pieces and there are four plastic coated metal feet that have to be pressed firmly into the base of the bottom section. A power pack and lead are supplied, as this is a fibre optic tree you plug the actual tree into the mains and as you don't need separate fairy lights this is a tidier way to have a Christmas tree in my opinion, the power lead plugs into the ...
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