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since 23/04/2005


Hippy Chick Child Hipseat 06/02/2006

It's official.....I'm a Hip Chick!!!!!!

Hippy Chick Child Hipseat I first became aware of this wonderful item when I was taking my daughter around a National Trust property and wasn't allowed to take my buggy in the house. Being anxious about lugging a wriggling 7 month old around I accepted the guides offer of a Hippy Chick hip seat and was immediately converted to Hip Chick status. WHAT THE BLURB SAYS..... Strong, hardwearing Cordura© fabric Light weight Simple, practical and easy to use Inward facing pockets for safe keeping valuables Machine washable Suitable for children aged 6 months - 3 years When sitting astride the hip seat, the child is very comfortable and his or her head is level with the adult's shoulders or chest. The child is automatically drawn to the adult's body by the angle of the seat and he or she is positioned so that they can see what is going on around them as well as being close to the adult's voice and body warmth. FROM A MOTHERS POINT OF VIEW. In basic terms, what the blurb means is that the Hippy Chick is similar in shape to a bum bag. It incorporates a seat for the child and a wide belt that goes around the wearers waist. It secures by means of a clip (similar to those found in buggies) and velcro for added confidence. I'm quite a large Mummy and can still get the strap around my tummy so that's a bonus!!! The child then sits on the seat and is basically held in place by the wearer putting their arm around babys waist (similar to if you were carrying baby on your hip). ...

My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult 04/02/2006

A heart-breaking decision.

My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult "If you use one of your children to save the life of another are you being a good mother or a very bad one?" Anna is thirteen years of age but is far from your average, carefree thirteen year old. For as long as she can remember she has undergone numerous medical investigations, blood tests, surgeries and injections. But Anna is not ill. All her life Anna has known why she was put on this Earth. Why her parents wanted her so much and why her life has purpose. Anna was born to save her sister's life. Kate is Anna's older sister. She has leukaemia and her only chance of survival is if a suitable bone marrow donor is found. Her parents, Sara and Brian, and her brother, Jesse, are not a close enough genetic match and Kate does not have time to wait for a donor to become available through the National Register. So her parents take what some may consider extreme measures and visit a geneticist to help them conceive a child with the right chromosomes to make it a genetic match for Kate. Anna can't help but think about how her life might be if it had not been created solely to save Kate's life so she makes the impossible decision to sue her parents for the rights to her own body. This book is the best, most heart-breaking book I have ever read. I decided to buy it having seen the author interviewed on GMTV and with my professional head on (I deal with a lot of families) in addition to my maternal head. It's written in a very clear easy to follow way and the story is ...

Does true love really exist? 30/05/2005

Unconditional Love!!

Does true love really exist? Does true love exist? ABSO-BLOODY.LUTELY!!! I admit to being in love on 3 occasions. Firstly there was my first serious boyfriend, Daniel with whom I was infatuated as only a 16 year old can be. My second true love started when I was 12 (so I suppose was my 1st love) but I didn't see him again until my 19th birthday. We met on holiday (he was 17!!), wrote for 6 years and then met up just after my 19th birthday. Got engaged and split up 3 months before the wedding. Then there was the third time I fell in love (and continue so to be) my now husband. But that's not the love I'm describing here. I'm talking about the true love a 30 year old woman feels for her baby daughter. The love that started way before anyone else could even know she was there and progressed through 9 months of vomit, nausea, heart burn and various blood tests. From the first glimpse of her shooting across the scan screen I knew we would get on famously. This child had MY personality and was going to be another version of me. Perhaps even better than I am. On 18th December last year the child I would already have died for came into this world. I never knew that I could feel such overwhelming love for another person. But there she was. The person who could make me laugh and cry just by looking at me. The one who brightened my day by pooing a fountain of poo all over me. The one I fight my husband every day to get the first glimpse of. And the one who is going to cause me more heartache than any of my ...

Fisher Price Healthy Care High Chair 30/05/2005

Fisher Price-not just for toys!

Fisher Price Healthy Care High Chair I've been desperate for this to appear on ciao so I could write a review. This highchair has saved my sanity and allowed me to eat with my husband for the first time in 3 1/2 months. Basically, my daughter is the type who has to be involved in everything and insists on being the centre of attention at all times. As a result, hubby and I were unable to eat together without Elizabeth crying at being left on the floor (husband dislikes bouncy chairs so the choice was lie on floor or sit on Mummys knee). We were at breaking point! She enjoyed the Bumbo we'd bought her but was at the point where she was leaning out of it so wouldn't stay in it for very long. The decision was simple. Buy a highchair. The only problem was that all of the highchairs I'd seen had been for age 6 months+ because the child had to be able to sit unsupported. The Fisher Price highchair, however, is unique in that it can be used from 3 months due to the reclining backrest which means that the child doesn't have to have progressed as far as unsupported sitting. The chair comes in only one colour (white and blue) with a blue gingham plasticy seat. It has a 3 point harness and also a solid plastic bit for between babys legs to stop them sliding out. In addition there is a teething toy cunningly attached to the removeable table bit which prevents the "throwing the toy on the floor" game!! On the table bit there is a removable tray which means you can clean the underneath bit and then put the cover on to ...

Dinnerladies (Box Set) (DVD) 07/05/2005

Vicky Wood in a Tabard!!

Dinnerladies (Box Set) (DVD) I'm a huge fan of Victoria Wood and was delighted when she wrote and starred in this likeable comedy series set in a factory canteen. Only 2 series of Dinnerladies were ever recorded and this, to my mind, is a shame! Victoria Wood really is one of the jewels in the British comedy crown and Dinnerladies is testament to her many talents. ABOUT THE SHOW. As I've mentioned, it's set in a fictitious factory canteen up North and follows the highs and lows of the 5 ladies who work there, the canteen manager, the handyman (who's always popping in for a post-toaster emergency cuppa) and the Human Resources manager. WHO STARS IN IT? Victoria Wood Julie Walters Celia Imrie Duncan Preston Thelma Barlow THE MAIN CHARACTERS. BRENDA (Bren) Loyal and hard working dinnerlady (sort of second in command). In love with Tony (Canteen Manager) but can't tell him. Everyone's best friend. Plagued by her mad mother!! TONY Canteen Manager. In love with Bren but can't tell her! Recovering from cancer. JEAN Likeable character who is constantly being put down by her friend Dolly. Tells it like it is. DOLLY Ideas above her station "I used to work in the Cafe Bon Bon". Constantly putting down her friend Jean but loves her really. Always on a diet! TWINKLE Your average teenager. Bored at work. Sarky but heart of gold. ANITA Thick as 2 short planks but fantastically funny. STAN Handyman. Obsessed with his work. Military precision is his hallmark PHILLIPPA Human ...

Tesco Value Diet Lemonade 05/05/2005

Lemonade for those who dislike lemons!!!

Tesco Value Diet Lemonade OK. Here is a little insight into life in the Ruthiella household. My husband gets to drink Diet Pepsi (and we're talking cans that he half drinks and then leaves the rest) and my soft drink tipple is Tesco Value Sugar Free Lemonade!!! I'm currently sat here with a glass of said product so I can best provide the information which, I hope you will find helpful!. I should like to point out here and now that I very rarely drink this stuff "neat" as it were! On opening the bottle (which I originally opened about 4 days ago) I heard an extremely satisfying hiss indicating to me that the liquid inside was still fizzy and had not gone flat as many soft drinks do once opened. When I poured it into my glass, it fizzed up nicely and I had to stop half way to allow it to settle before continuing to fill the glass. Very impressive. However, by the time I'd walked up the stairs to write this review the majority of the bubbles had disappeared leaving me with a glass of what looks like water that's been left in a glass overnight. There is no obvious aroma of lemons coming from my glass. Nor was there any distinguishable aroma on opening the bottle (except for a smell which can only be described as "fizzy" which has now died away). The taste of the lemonade is extremely bland and does infact taste of slightly flat fizzy water. I can not recognise a lemony taste at all. Having now drank the majority of a large glass of this I'm reminded of why I never drink this stuff on it's own. I ...

Blossom Farm Dillon Teether 05/05/2005

String Up a Donkey!!!

Blossom Farm Dillon Teether I was bought this teether/rattle as a gift for my daughter and was, initially, delighted. DESCRIPTION It's a wonderful cheery colour which is attractive to babies. The toy is basically a clear ball containing 5 coloured flowers which acts as the rattle. Surrounding the ball is a circle of blue fleece which, I assume, is meant to pad the hard plastic of the rattle slightly and hold the 4 sections of rubber on which the child can chomp to ease their sore gums.The rubber sections have 2 types of texture on them to assist them in their job. The rattle/teether is completed by a soft blue/green fleece donkeys head. Attached to this head (by a green plastic ring around its neck) is a strap approx 15cms long which can be attached to pram/high chair/cot/child etc. MY DAUGHTERS IMPRESSION OF THE TOY. (please note, she is 4 months old so I am reviewing based on my impression of what she thinks!!) She doesn't seem overly bothered with it!!! Hates having it attached to her, can't grab it, can't get it in her mouth. Would rather chew the strap!!! MY IMPRESSIONS. The strap is an excellent idea as it saves constant retrieval from the floor. The teethers seem too big. I first tried this with her when she was about 2 months old and she simply couldn't fit the teethers in her mouth at all and actually prefferred shoving her hands in her mouth or chomping on me!! Even now she finds it diificult. The only part of the toy that is easily accessiblefor grabbing is the donkeys ears ...

Supercook Mini Marshmallows 04/05/2005

Frothy chocolate anyone!!

Supercook Mini Marshmallows As a fan of hot chocolate I bought these mini marshmallows to add a bit of something to the blandness that is my instant hot chocolate drink. They can be bought in the cookery section of any good supermarket and come in 2 types (either multi-coloured or plain white) and are priced at @ 88p for a 200g bag. I opted for the plain white ones being a) a boring chocoholic and b) anal about the fact that froth on any hot drink should NOT be multi-coloured. Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil so I could make the drink I nibbled absent-mindedly on the marshmallows. I wasn't disappointed in their flavour but wasn't blown away either. They are quite powdery and bland tasting eaten "neat" as it were. However, I wouldn't describe them as disgusting. I could have eaten the whole packet if I was bored and just looking to nibble on something (if you know what I mean). However, once my chocolate drink was made and I'd added the marshmallows to the top they transformed the drink into something I'd be proud to pay £2 for in any cafe. The froth was sweet tasting and thick and creamy. I almost had to look to make sure I'd put the right marshmallows in the mug!! The downside, however, could be clearly seen when I came to wash up and found that a hard, sticky residue was left round the rim of my mug which required me to leave my mug soaking for a while. A further downside is that the packaging doesn't have a self-sealing mechanism so you either need to find a way to seal it yourself or ...

Thorntons Almond Marzipan Bars 03/05/2005

I've died and gone to Marzipan heaven!!!

Thorntons Almond Marzipan Bars As someone addicted to all things marzipan related you can only begin to imagine my delight at finding these at my wonderful local Tescos store. ARE THEY ANY GOOD???? Any good? They're blooming marvellous. They are described as "Pure Indulgence" and rightfully so. A generous slab of almond marzipan encased within a wonderful thick shell of Thorntons chocolate which cracks enticingly as you bite into it filling your nostrils with the aroma of the wonderful confection beneath (excuse me whilst I wipe the saliva off my keyboard) The chocolate is of a wonderfully high standard (as you would expect from Thorntons). And the marzipan is incredible!! The taste lingers long enough after you've finished the bar to keep any marzipan addict happy and the taste is entirely natural. You could almost swear this sweet was good for you!!! BUT, SURELY, THEY MUST BE EXPENSIVE IF THEY ARE AS YUMMY AS YOU DESCRIBE RUTHIELLA??? Indeed not! For the sum of £1.48 (at Tescos) you can purchase a pack of three 46g bars of heaven for your own pleasure or to share if you're feeling generous. In my experience though 1 bar is not enough and once I've eaten one I have to be restrained from going to the fridge and gorging myself. And I certainly don't share! Thank goodness my hubby isn't bothered about marzipan. I knew I married him for a reason LOL If you were to ask if I'd buy another bar (stupid question) I'd respond with a resounding YES and pray to goodness that one day Thorntons will ...

Friends - Series 8 - Episodes 21-23 (DVD) 03/05/2005


Friends - Series 8 - Episodes 21-23 (DVD) It's the end of series 8. We know that Rachel is pregnant and that Ross is the father. They're living together and getting on really well. SURELY they'll finally get it together and realise what all avid "Friends" fans having been shouting at the TV screen since they were "on a break" in series 3. THESE TWO ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!! (and in my opinion the way the whole programme worked out should have been Chandler & Monica, Ross & Rachel and Joey & Phoebe all living in domestic bliss and happily coupled!!) This set of episodes is one of my favourite sets (along with the whole of series 10!) and I must confess to watching these episodes (and the rest of the series) a lot whilst I was pregnant. I can confirm the "not reassuring to pregnant women" claim above! THE ONE WITH THE COOKERY CLASS. Monica has received a terrible review from a snooty newspaper critic. She's tries to win him round but he's having none of it so she enrols herself and Joey in a beginners cookery class (purely by accident) and soon finds herself top of the class and feeling a hellava lot better about herself. Let's face it girls, we've all been there. Rachel and Ross are buying furniture for the nursery (to be honest, they're buying up most of the shop. It IS Rachel after all!!) and the salesgirl starts flirting with Ross. What a hussy!! How dare she get in the way of fate!!! Chandler has a job interview. Phoebes words of wisdom?? "You don't make a very good first impression." You just know ...

Persona Monitor 29/04/2005

Contraception & Ovulation Prediction in one!!

Persona Monitor I first started using this method of contraception 8 years ago when other methods for women were not working for me. The Pill gave me migraines and weakness down my left side and Depo injections caused weight gain and severe mood swings. I decided the best way to go was a more natural approach and this method also, I feel, allows for spontanaeity (when you have to have it and you have to have it NOW! lol). WHAT THE BLURB SAYS... "A unique method of contraception that works in harmony with your body. On most days of the month you do not need to use a contraceptive. By monitoring changes in your personal hormone levels, PERSONA® can tell you when these are. Based on independent trials, PERSONA® is 94% reliable when used according to instructions and as the only method of contraception. This means that if 100 women use PERSONA® for one year, 6 are expected to become pregnant as a result of PERSONA® incorrectly identifying their fertile days." BASIC INFORMATION... The monitor is powered by 2 AAA batteries and, basically, tells you when you need to use a barrier method of contraception and when you can, if you like, go without his raincoat! In order to advise you of this information the monitor uses urine tests and monitors the levels of hormone in your urine. On the first day of your period you nned to press the "m" button on the machine to advise the monitor that this is the first day of your cycle. Pick the time of day for pressing the button wisely as you need ...

Do you believe in life after death? 28/04/2005

This CAN'T be all there is!

Do you believe in life after death? As a christian I HAVE to believe that there is an afterlife and that, eventually, I'm going to get to meet the great JC and the omnipresent being that is God! On a lighter note, however, it is going to be so excellent to dance and act with Audrey Hepburn, sing with Buddy Holly, laugh with Spike Milligan and play with all the children I've nursed who have moved on. I could ask the cheeky lad, I once cared for, if the glass door I walked into a few days after he died was him playing one of his practical jokes on me. I could hug my grandad again and tell him how sorry I am he never got to read to my daughter (or steal her teddy bears) I'd be lying if I said that death holds no fear for me. I'm terrified. What if I never get to see my daughter grow up, get married, have children of her own? What if my husband dies before me and I'm left alone? What if everything I've done here is judged negatively and St Peter rejects me so I never get to see the people I've loved and lost again. When it comes to it, I think you just have to live everyday as if it's your last, do unto others as you have be done unto and hope that, when the time comes, your life has had meaning

Virgin Vie Cooling Foot Fizz 27/04/2005


Virgin Vie Cooling Foot Fizz This stuff is absolutely fantastic!! The can states that "It's just like dipping your feet into a cool pool of water." A statement that really is not an exaggeration!! I first tried it at a Virgin Vie spa party a couple of years ago and bought it, mainly, because the crackling tickled my feet (and also my fancy LOL). As a nurse I found it partically refreshing after a long shift on the ward. Just squirt it on and you find that your feet are instantly cooler and more comfortable. I would also sometimes use it mid-shift and found it was equally as refreshing applied through thin tights and had the added bonus of making the tights more bearable. I'm no longer nursing in a ward setting but find that the Foot Fizz is an important part of my work bag as it is small enough to fit in my handbag and is quick and effective at making the working day more comfortable. The fizzing action is absolutely divine.The smell is nice and not too overpowering. Also, the scent is distinctly unisex allowing men to use it without feeling a cissy (you know how sensitive the little dears are!!). In fact, I often force my husband to use it because his feet are particularly repellent when he comes home from work. Also, on a lighter note, I reckon that fizzing action could come in handy elsewhere (obviously only externally though!!) but, hasten to add, this theory has not been tested by myself LOL

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - Tracy Hogg, Melinda Blau 26/04/2005

I've come to the conclusion......

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - Tracy Hogg, Melinda Blau I bought this book just after my daughter was born because I felt like we really needed some sort of routine to guide us and I really didn't know where to begin. The routine recommended is something called EASY which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep and You Time. The basic premise is that the babys day runs on a 3 hour rolling routine (until 4 months when it's 4 hourly) and, as long as you ensure each part is done correctly baby will know exactly whats happening and life will be fab. It asks you to look for visiual clues and respond to them. The book also gives really useful tips on what to do for most issues (ie if baby suddenly starts waking in the night having slept through then it's probably a growth spurt and you need to get more feed in during the day and NOT feed at night!) Whilst I love the simplicity of this routine (it's common sense that you feed, let them play and then they go to sleep) I found that I was becoming a real clockwatcher (ie "It's 2pm. She must be tired etc etc) and I became very stressed out about the fact that my daughter wasn't doing what the book said she should be doing and I was beating myself up about the fact that I must be useless if everyone else had succeeded where I had failed. Through this experience I've come to the conclusion that, as far as these information books go, you need to adapt them to your circumstances. This is just one experts approach which has worked excellently for her. There are many other approaches on the market ...

Member Advice on Head Lice 25/04/2005

"Bring back the Nit Nurse!!!"

Member Advice on Head Lice As a school nurse I can't tell you how often I hear/read the statement "Bring back the Nit Nurse!!!" But to make it quite clear to one and all bringing back the Nit Nurse will NOT help erradicate head lice!! Basically head lice is a community problem NOT merely a problem associated with school. The reason we see so many head lice in schools/nurseries is because of the extremely close proximity of other children (hugging their friends, leaning over one another etc etc) Basically what used to happen about school nurses checking for head lice was that, about once a month, the school nurse would check the heads of an entire school of children. Letters etc would then be sent home if any of the beasties were found (or whatever was the school policy) and the nurse would skip off again happy that her work was completed (after all school nurses ONLY check for head lice don't they???). The problem with the old way of doing it was that a) if the school nurse checked an entire school one day and declared them "clear" there was no guarantee that the next day there wouldn't be an outbreak, and b) by the time the school nurse had checked an entire schools children for head lice she (or he) wouldn't be able to recognise a head lice if it was holding a neon flashing sign saying "Hello! I'm a head lice!!" An additional problem with the school nurse checking heads is that nowadays, in our culture where we sue at the drop of a hat, checking a childs head could be viewed as assault!! Therefore, ...
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