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Have worked in the Travel Industry for over 10 years, now a stay at home mum looking after my hardworking hubby and son.

Reviews written

since 21/07/2005


About Time (DVD) 16/07/2014

An unmemorable chick flick

About Time (DVD) Whilst I was a way for the weekend, my husband came across this film on Sky and decided to download it for me to watch when I returned, so last night with an evening to ourselves we settled down to watch the film. The film is a British Romantic Comedy and to be honest is not normally the type of film that I choose to watch but decided to go with it as it is not often my hubby expresses interest in such a film. The film features is written by Richard Curtis of Four Weddings and Funeral Fame which still in my opinion is a good film! As it began I was a little apprehensive with the rather unfamiliar actors that popped up until we saw popular British Actor Bill Nighy. The film is told by Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) a young boy hailing from Cornwall, he is set up to be one of the stereotypical boys who is unlucky in love lives with his sister Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson) Father (Bill Nighy), Mother and Uncle who appears a little absent minded and adds to the comedy value. Tim appears to be unlucky in love and this is clear from the opening scenes and its not until his 21st birthday that his father lets him in on a secret that is set to change his life forever. With this secret Tim thinks he has the power to get anything he likes, yet his Dad persuades him to use this power carefully and to make his decisions wisely. As the film develops there are some stale parts in the film and I found myself losing interest but then it became interesting as we found Tim having to make very ...

De Vere Venues St. Davids Park Hotel, Ewloe 16/07/2014

A great break away

De Vere Venues St. Davids Park Hotel, Ewloe Living within a close proximity of this hotel I have visited on several occasions for Weddings and other functions however this is my first time as an overnight guest. I was in charge of arranging my best friend's hen party and when she decided that she wanted to go to Chester Races I started looking for hotels to book our party of 14. Starting in the City Centre the prices were very high if available so I started looking on the outskirts and decided upon this venue. De Vere St David's Park despite being named as a Chester Hotel is actually located in North Wales just a 15-20 minute journey away from Chester City Centre so is actually well located for a cheaper alternative when wanting to visit the races and stay over. ****Location**** The hotel is located just off the A494 Expressway in a small village called Ewloe. It is close to Broughton and Chester City Centre so ideally situated for Chester Racecourse and Chester City Centre. Despite its name it is located in North Wales which when travelling further afield has caused confusion when the sat nav takes you into Wales and you believe the hotel to be in Chester! ****The Booking**** I didn't actually make the booking with the hotel using a company called Spa Breaks as they actually offered a lower price and option of a deposit. The booking was straight forward with the deposit being paid over the phone with a debit card and the balance being paid a few weeks prior to the stay. We booked 7 twin rooms which included an ...

T-REX, Lake Buena Vista 10/02/2014

Nothing prehistoric here...apart from the Dinosaurs that is!

T-REX, Lake Buena Vista My husband really did a lot of research for our visit to Florida, mainly taking in the considerations of our 3 Year old, who has recently become with Dinosaurs. If you want to visit here then reserve a table before you even arrive into the Country as it is really busy here and we struggled to get a table before we even left the UK. *~*Location*~* Located in the Downtown Disney Area it is difficult to miss this restaurant as the restaurant logo is illuminated red and there is a huge T-REX across the entrance. However if you head towards the large boat on the water known as Fulton's it is directly opposite. Honestly though you will see it as soon as you enter Disney's Marketplace. *~*What's Different about T-REX?*~* If you have ever visited the Rainforest Cafe then you will know how superb the decor and atmosphere is within this style of dining but if noise is not for you then maybe think twice about visiting. A great themed restaurant with animated Dinosaurs and every 20 minutes there is a show and the animals come to life every 10 minutes, ideal for keeping your children from getting bored. *~*My reservation*~* We reserved our table several weeks before arriving in Orlando from the UK and when the day came for us to eat there there were huge queues outside the restaurant and a very long wait time.You can book I think at least 180 days prior to your trip so if you want to go book as early as you can. As we had booked online we arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes ...

Wyndham Resort, Lake Buena Vista 08/02/2014

Wyndham wins my business

Wyndham Resort, Lake Buena Vista For those of you that have been on Ciao! for a long time then you may have seen my first reviews when I visited Orlando back in 2006! A new house, wedding and a baby later it was time to go back and visit. As I no longer work in travel there were no discounts to avail of and it was looking for the best deal online. We knew we were going to travel with Virgin Atlantic and we knew we wanted to stay in Lake Buena Vista again as Disney was going to be our main location and we wanted to be close to Downtown Disney and also Crossroads which had a small shopping area and also a lot of lower priced restaurants. We booked with Virgin Holidays in February 2013 to visit on the 21st January 2014 and the countdown began. I took a look at the hotels and believed that this would be the better choice with us traveling with a 3 year old. *~Location~* As I briefly mentioned this hotel is located in the Downtown Disney Area of Lake Buena Vista which is conveniently located for a 5 minute stroll to the Downtown Disney Area which is packed with Disney Stores and fun places to eat like T-Rex, Planet Hollywood and The Rainforest Cafe. It is also just a 15 minute walk from an area called Crossroads, this is great for lower priced restaurants such as Red Lobster, TGI Fridays, Flippers Pizza and McDonalds among many more. A local supermarket Goodings is also in this area to get supplies much cheaper than those sold in the hotel lobby. The hotel is located approximately 30 minutes drive from ...

E45 Nourish & Restore Body Lotion Lightly Fragranced 08/05/2013

Softly, softly

E45 Nourish & Restore Body Lotion Lightly Fragranced As I work in a large supermarket there are so many products on the market it is really hard to know which one really works. I work on the shop floor and as a result suffer from really dry, chapped hands which almost nothing seems to work and have tried numerous hand creams to no avail. Last month I was fortunate enough as a BZZ Agent to receive a sample of the E45 cream and the E45 Nourish and Restore lotion, which was the cream I mainly used as it was recommended for maturer skin. Within the pack I received numerous samples which I passed onto my friends and family to sample. From as long as I can remember whenever I have had a skin complaint E45 has always been recommended to me but funnily enough I never tried E45 with my dry skin patches. I decided to look into E45 a bit more and learned a lot about the skin and how important it actually is to have a good skincare regime. Something I have never had on any part of my body. I received a full size sample of the E45 Nourish & Restore Lotion suitable for maturer skin, I am 31 so I suppose I must be a little late at introducing a skin care regime but the fact that the product claimed to be a 24 hour moisturiser certainly appealed to me. I began using the product immediately, concentrating on my dry hands and I was suprised to see results straight away and that the dry skin patches reduced in size. I decided to also use it on my elbows, knees and my feet which also suffered with severe dry skin. I decided to use the lotion ...

Smoby My First Kitchen 04/01/2013

My flimsy first kitchen

Smoby My First Kitchen After purchasing a play house for our son I spotted this item in my local B&M Store for £7.99. Having seen play kitchens sell second hand for more than this I decided to purchase it as an additional christmas present for him. The kitchen comes flat packed in a small box but I was not actually prepared for how small the item was until it came to assembling. The kitchen comes in several pieces and was relatively easy to assemble by just clicking parts together. There are 2 side panels, a base, the door, the worktop, two posts and the canopy a cardboard insert and some stickers and 17 accessories. The base simply clicked inside the two side panels, the cardboard insert slotted on top of the base and slid inbetween the two side panels. the door then clicked onto the front and the worktop clicked ontop. The two posts simply slot into the provided holes and the canopy sits on top. The stickers are applied to finish There are no screws so this means that it can just be taken apart really easy, even by a child! The kitchen is a nice compact size and my son of 2 years is happy to use it supervised. The kitchen comes with 17 accessories which are cutlery, mugs, beakers, plates, pan, ladel, food. Not a great deal when you actually open it up but it is enough to keep your llittle one's occupied and our son is already happy making us a cup of tea or coffee. I was a little disappointed that the kitchen doesn't have an opening oven door or rear opening fridge door but then again I ...

Krups KP 2100/YY 1448 Melody II Black 28/01/2012

I love Coffee

Krups KP 2100/YY 1448 Melody II Black Since becoming a stay at home mum I have got used to popping into coffee shops to feed my son or meeting up with other friends but £3-£4 a go for a coffee soon saw me spending quite a lot so I mentioned ot my husband that I should look at getting a coffee machine to have latte's, cappucino etc and he agreed it would be a good idea and in the end of November last year we saw an advert for a Cream Dolce Gusto for £49.99 in Currys so we reserved one for me to collect later that day and I have never looked back! The box is pretty large and houses instructions, the machine, 2 boxes of pods, the drinks tray and that is about all. It was easy to set up so I designated a space on my worktop for it to have pride of place and after a small amount of assembly which was to attach the tray and we added water and ran it though the machine before making a drink. The machine has long appealed to me for its style and it just looks so cool on your worktop and the fact that there are various colours available makes it even more appealing. *~*Machine features*~* 1500 watts. 15 bar pressure pump. Pressure automatically adjusts depending on the drink being made. Thermo block technology which heats water as required. Wide variety of pods available. For me ease of use was very important as with a 1 year old running around I wanted to be able to make a drink quickly and enjoy it. The machine does look somewhat daunting with its levers but it is so very simple to use. The water is added to the rear of ...

Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone 09/12/2011

My little chatty man

Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone When we had our son's 1st Birthday Party this was one of the gifts that he received. I remember having one of these many, many years ago when I was a child the only difference was mine was made from wood. This toy is from the Fisher Price Brilliant Basics range which over traditional themed toys at reasonable prices. As this was a gift I cannot be sure how much it was purchased for but I have seen them in my local B&M store for £4.99. This toy must have the least amount of packaging for a child's toys, the phone was simply covered by tissue paper and was placed in small box so an ideal gift to get out and play with straight away. The main body of the toy is a white square mounted onto a bright blue base with red wheels and a red telephone received with the words Fisher Price embossed on. The top of the phone has a yellow dial that when it is turned clockwise it generates a ringing bell sound familiar of an old fashioned telephone. Underneath the dial are bright colours. There are numbers on the telephone and these are printed onto a bright coloured background which encourages our son to look through the circles on the dialler to view the numbers and the different colours. To the front of the phone are two eyes that when the phone is pulled along using the red thread they roll around and make a funny little noise. My little one loves it when we pull the phone around him in a circular motion as he tries to chase it and he giggles along. The front of the telephone has a ...

Vtech Animal Fun Bounce Time Turtle 09/12/2011

Bounce, bounce all day long....if your feet will touch the floor

Vtech Animal Fun Bounce Time Turtle Having a nephew that is 3 months older than my son, I tend to see what my son enjoys playng with and when he turned 1 my son took an interest in one of his toys the Bounce and Spin Zebra by Fisher Price. My son however really likes turtles, I have no idea where this has come from but when I saw this advertised on Amazon for £19.99 I decided to invest in one for his forthcoming birthday. As we live in a relatively small and cosy house I was a bit nervous about how much space this toy would take up as most children's items are bulky and take up a lot of room but with this toy I needn't of worried. The turtle introduces a bounce and colours theme offering 2 modes of play (music and learning) and teaches shapes, numbers 1-3 and colours. When our son was given this he was just 1 year old so he could not really reach the floor to bounce properly and activate the motion sensor, activated by bouncing, however we did find that it build his confidence and encouraged movement as he was able to swing his leg to get off the turtle and tried to bounce with the turtle even though his little legs were too short. The turtle has 2 sing-along songs which include my son's favourite if you are happy and you know it and the bounce song which also got him very excited along with the 7 melodies. The toy operates on 2 x AA batteries which are included with the item. To operate the toy the power button can be found on the handle, it is on the reverse to allow your child, as they get older to ...

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Latte Macciato 09/12/2011

My yummy stained milk.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Latte Macciato Since becoming a mum I have spent many a weekday morning meeting up with my friends for coffee and have developed a slight addiction to coffee, mainly lattes and for the last few years I have asked my husband if we could invest in a coffee machine so that I could have them at home. Recently for my 30th Birthday I received the Krups Dolce Gusto machine and in hte box were a pack of sample pods and out of them all my very favourite was the Latte Maccihato. The pods are manufactured by Nescafe and I purchase mine from Asda for £3.68, the average price in most supermarkets is £3.77 for 16 pods so if you see them above this price wait and buy elsewhere. *~*What is a Latte Macchiato*~* Known as Stained milk, a Latte Macchiato is basically an upside down Cafe Latte. When I first sampled this drink I assumed it was a latte but I have now discovered that it differs very much from a cafe latte which is milk added to espresso, the latte machiatto is half an espresso shot added to milk so you get a more foamy, layered coffee with a spot of coffee dotted on the top to establish it is a Latte Macchiato. *~*How to use the pods*~* If you have a Dolce Gusto Machine then you will be familiar in how it operates but if not and to understand how the pods work I will briefly explain. The Dolce Gusto holds water to the rear of the machine in the clear display unit and to operate there is a large circular button that when turned on will flash red as it prepared. To the very front of the ...

Leapfrog Peek a Shoe Octopus 08/12/2011

Not such a great product

Leapfrog Peek a Shoe Octopus When it comes to purchasing toys for big occasions I leave it up to my son to choose his birthday and christmas presents and I just get the little stocking fillers. My husband has always preferred to purchase the Leapfrog toys as they tend to use British voices which we thought it would be better when our son begins to learn 1-2-3 and A-B-C. After browsing the internet to see what my son would prefer for his First birthday my husband came across this toy and thought it would be ideal for him to use as it teaches colours, sea animals and numbers. The toy itself does take some assembling so the night before our son's birthday we took it out of the packaging, as let's face it we all know how ridiculous the packaging is when it comes to children's toys and we wanted to capture him playing as soon as he unwrapped it. The shoes simply needed to be clipped onto the purple body of the octopus and batteries also need to be purchased before hand as they are not provided in this toy. So stock up on AA batteries as this toy will need 2. The fairly large purple octopus has a centre hole which is hidden in his hat, simply drop one of the 5 colourful balls down his hat and dependent on which mode you have selected it will ask your child to state which shoe the ball is hidden under. The main purpose of the toy is for your child to lift the shoes of the octopus until they locate the coloured ball. It will state "not under the xxxx shoe" or if baby finds the ball it will state " Peek ...

Leapfrog My First Book Goodnight Scout 08/12/2011

Where is my blanket

Leapfrog My First Book Goodnight Scout When Alex was a very young baby my husband bought him Twinkle Twinkle Little Scout and my brother the larger my Pal Scout so when we discovered there were more items in the range I kept my eyes open for alternative products on offer. In Tesco last week they appeared to be having a toy sale offering 20% discount off baby toys and there was just one of these left on the shelf for the bargain price of £5.19 considering I had seen it in Asda the week before at £11.99 this was half of the price so I was not leaving it there. The book is stored in fairly large cardboard packaging considering its size, it is left on for all and sundry to try before they buy so that is exactly what I did and ended up walking around the shop with lullabys playing! The book was easy enough to remove from the packaging I simply slid out and then removed the 3 large plastic tags that had held the book in place. On the reverse is a slider which will turn the volume up and down and also switch it off. The reverse is also where the batteries can be replaced it takes 3 x aaa batteries. The book is mainly white plastic with green detail which can be recognised with the other leapfrog green that is used on the Scout items. It has a carry handle and there is also a small button that can be pushed in to activate lullabies and it also provides a soothing small nightlight. The pages contain images of Scout the dog and is nice and bright and also easy enough to keep clean from mucky fingers. The book tells the ...

Fisher-Price Crawl & Cruise Jungle Playset 08/12/2011

Down in the Jungle

Fisher-Price Crawl & Cruise Jungle Playset When it comes to baby toys, my son does not have too many and we try just to purchase enough toys for him to play with and when my mum called me one evening to tell me she had seen the Fisher-Price Crawl and Cruise Jungle Set in my local charity shop I shot down there to take a look. I have to admit I made this purchase without actually knowing what it was. My mum had no idea what this toy did and neither did I but I bought it as it was only £6.99 and it was very big for the price and the charity shop advised me that I could return it should the item not work or not be satisfactory. I took the item home and as it was a little grubby from being stored in a shed or garage I set about cleaning it. Fortunately I did not have to assemble the product, it was already assembled but if you are purchasing from new then you will have to put the product together, as I did not have to do this I cannot comment on how easy it would be to put together. The toy consists of a curved structure which has an elephant on one end and on the other a hippo. To the centre of the toy is a monkey and is the main focus of attention when my son plays with this toy. The hands on the monkey move up and down and if you place one of the provided balls into the hand of the monkey and tip the other hand up then the ball will roll down the slide and either roll to the elephant or roll to the hippo so baby has to work out which side the ball will go. The structure of this toy is very sturdy and it is very ...

Ribby Hall Village, Wrea Green 01/12/2011

Relax at Ribby??

Ribby Hall Village, Wrea Green As a regular visitor to Center Parcs we enjoy self catering breaks of a certain standard and we have never really thought about going elsewhere but when I decided to leave my full time job in travel I had my incentive to use up which meant booking some kind of travel related product before I left last month. As Center Parcs are a consumer only product I could not book a break there so we looked at Hoseasons which have stock for Ribby Hall Village and as we have a 1 year old to consider we wanted somewhere family friendly with things to do but also to allow us a stressful and relaxing break..... *~*About Ribby Hall*~* Ribby Hall Village is located in Wrea Green which is on the Fylde Coast, North West England, just a 10 minute drive from Blackpool. It is a 5* self catering holiday provider offering various types of acommodation including cottages, lodges, overnight motel rooms, the White House, The Coach House and the new multi million pound adult only Spa Hotel. There are many choice of cottages ranging from 1 bedroom up to 3 bedrooms. The lodges sleep between 4-6 guests. The Coach House is set in its own grounds and can accomodate up to 12 guests and the White House up to 14 people. So the accomodation pretty much caters for most party sizes. *~*Our Accomodation - Ribby Lavender*~* Our break was a midweek break and cost us £185 for the 4 nights and 5 days.Which is pretty reasonable compared to double that for the same break in Center Parcs but is that really a fair ...

LeapFrog Alphabet Pal 20/10/2011

As easy as 1-2-3!

LeapFrog Alphabet Pal As my son grows so do his learning needs and trying to decide which toys he will like and will also help him to learn can be quite difficult. My husband tends to do most of the research into the products and then sets about looking for the lowest price. When we were discussing gifts for our son's first birthday and this years christmas gifts and he thought the Leapfrog Alphabet Pal Pull toy would be something we should look to get. By pure chance someone happened to be selling one that I knew and so we picked one up 2nd hand for just £5. The Alphabet Pal is a pull along caterpillar that can be purchased in purple or green for around £14.99 and is suitable from 12 months but our son was happy enough playing with it from 10 months of age. The caterpillar is quite heavy but not heavy enough that your little one cannot drag it along the floor or lift it up. The letters of the alphabet can be seen running along the caterpillar's legs and each time one is pressed it will state the alphabet letter. By moving the little yellow butterfly on the caterpillars collar you can change the caterpillar to sound out the letter which helps baby to pronounce letters. The Caterpillar has a yellow string to its collar so each time it is pulled the ABC song will begin and my son happily bops away to this song time and time again mouthing the words that the caterpillar is singing although we have no idea what our son is actually trying to say but it is lovely seeing him recognise the tune. There ...
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