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since 08/08/2008


Moulinex DDH2 Faciclick 08/12/2008

Blended not stirred

Moulinex DDH2 Faciclick ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~ I bought the Moulinex hand blender when I started weaning my son. I was determined to make all his meals from scratch to ensure I knew what went in them. I started using a large freestanding food blender, but soon got fed up of taking it apart to clean after each use. Cooking lots of different meals to freeze is a big enough job as it is, without the added annoyance of washing up lots of bits. ~*~*~FEATURES~*~*~ -2 speeds. -Detachable foot-makes cleaning extremely easy, it is also dishwasher safe. -Shaped to fit perfectly in your hand-making it safe. -Comes with wall holder to save cupboard space. -700ml spouted jug. ~*~*~PRICE~*~*~ I bought it for £20 on sale in Tesco, however I haven't seen it in my local store for a while. You can buy it on Amazon for £24.99. ~*~*~CONCLUSION~*~*~ I no longer use the hand blender for making pureés as my son is now eating proper food. I do however use it a couple of times a week to make smoothies. It literally takes seconds to blend things to a smooth texture and after a quick rinse its clean and ready to put away. I would definitely recommend this product to any parent starting on the road of weaning. Batch cooking can be a tedious job, but having a blender that is so easy to clean makes it a whole lot easier. I have used it at least twice a week for the last 5 months and it is still going strong, so at the price I bought it at, it was an absolute bargain.

Mamas & Papas Aria Single Pushchair 08/12/2008

Java Aria PUshchair

Mamas & Papas Aria Single Pushchair ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~ My husband and I had been married a month when we found out I was expecting. We were over the moon but realised it didn't really give us chance to save. We decided early that we would opt for a travel system as it would save buying a car seat and a pram. We looked around Mothercare and Babies'r'us at all the different options, the prices still seemed quite high so we looked at the old faithful, the Argos catalogue. We saw the Mamas and Papas Aria, it came as a pushchair on its own for £99.99, or along with the Primo Viaggio and Mamas and Papas accessories for £129.99. We decided to go for it as a package, again saving money. ~*~*~FEATURES~*~*~ -Suitable from birth to 3 years. -Floating 5 point harness, allowing the child to move around. This is fine for a toddler, but not so much for a baby. -Multi position backrest, adjusted by a toggle at the rear of the backrest. -Lockable swivel wheels, although I never used them. -Large shopping basket. I proved its strength when carrying most of our shopping back from the supermarket inside the basket, even tins. -Rain cover included, the rain cover will fit over the pushchair and car seat if using it as a travel system. -Bumper bar tray with cup holder. -Free standing when folded. - Surefix one click system that fastens the Primo Viaggio Group 0+ car seat. It took me a few times to get used to this but after a while I could do it first time. -Folded dimensions ...

Mamas & Papas Eloise Cot Bed - Natural 12/09/2008

Sweet dreams baby

Mamas & Papas Eloise Cot Bed - Natural ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~ We decided to go for a cot bed instead of just a cot for the longevity. We looked around for a cot bed that would match the other furniture we had bought for the nursery. We were also on a budget, so although we loved the £300-£400 cots with the cot top changers and the under bed storage, we just simply couldn't afford them. We found this particular cot bed on the Argos website for £119.99 . It didn't actually state its wood colour, only that it was a natural finish so we were a bit worried that it wouldn't match. We decided to go for it and when it arrived it was a perfect fit with the light pine nursery furniture we had. ~*~*~FEATURES~*~*~ - Flat packed for home assembly. - Suitable from birth to 5 years. - Solid wood cot bed with slatted rails. - Clear plastic teething rails. - 3 height adjustable base, great for backs! No leaning down to the bottom with a newborn 5 times a night. - Comes with an extra food end to convert it into a junior bed. ~*~**~DIMENSIONS~*~*~ - Size (W)77, (L)144, (H)100cm. - Weight 38kg. ~*~*~CONCLUSION~*~*~ We found it relatively easy to put together and although it states 1 person to assemble, my husband definitely needed an extra pair of hands at times. The instructions are easy to follow, which is always a bonus. I like the wide slatted sides; I think they look a lot sturdier than the round rails. We moved my son into the cot bed at 9 weeks as he had outgrown ...

Graco Travel Cot 12/09/2008

Travelling compactly

Graco Travel Cot ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~ My mother in law wanted to buy a travel cot when my son was born as she will be looking after him when I go back to work. We looked around on the internet and when she saw the Graco compact she decided that was the one, she loved that it was nice and bright and thought my son would enjoy playing in there as well as sleeping. We ordered it from Kiddicare but unfortunately they have stopped selling it. I have since seen it on Amazon, Halfords and Ebay though for roughly the same prices. ~*~*~FEATURES~*~*~ -Suitable from birth to around 3 years. -It comes in a handy carry case, making it easy for travel. -The travel cot unfolds easily and I actually put it up in a couple of minutes on my first attempt. -The sides are mesh which is nice and soft for wriggly babies banging their heads, also comforting to parents being able to see through the sides to the baby. -The mattress base is quite thin and has a cardboard base, this doubles up as the boxing in which the travel cot folds up in. ~*~*~DIMENSIONS~*~*~ Open: 78cm (H) x 73cm (W) x 104cm (L) Folded: 81cm x 25cm x 25cm Weight: 9.22kg ~*~*~CONCLUSION~*~*~ Well, my mother in law hasn't actually used it yet but I have. My husband and I borrowed it when we went to visit family and it was great. It unfolded quickly and easily and was just as easy to pack away again. My son slept soundly in it, except annoyingly as we were in the same room, he enjoyed ...

TLH Leisure Resort, Torquay 12/09/2008

Torquay's best hotels on one site

TLH Leisure Resort, Torquay ~*~*~TLH LEISURE RESORT~*~*~ The business was originally established in 1947 by Joyce and Cifford Murell. Still owned by the family, there are now 4 hotels spread across 7 acres. The hotel complex offers 440 en suite rooms and 29 self catering units. Each hotel specialises in something different, from functions to conferences and family breaks to dancing holidays. ~*~*~LOCATION~*~*~ The hotels are located on a triangular site in the middle of Belgrave road, Chestnut Avenue and Falkland road. The site is set behind Torre Abbey and a 5 minute walk to Torquay's sandy beach. ~*~*~HOTELS~*~*~ -Toorak; The 3 star hotel has 92 en-suite bedrooms. It has an award winning resturant with 2 RAC Dining Awards, the Conway Bar and Terrace and the Chatsworth Suite. There is also Buckingham lounge with comfortable sofas to relax in. The rooms are relatively large (the 3 I have been in were anyway) with a few leading onto a veranda, they are clean and well decorated. The service is second to none and the staff are very friendly and helpful. -Carlton; The 3 star hotel has 83 en-suite bedrooms and 16 self catering apartments. It has a restaurant, the Riviera Ballroom and the Madison Function suite. The lobby in this hotel is stunning, it is a circular shape with (I think) marble flooring. -Derwent; The 2 star hotel has 175 en-suite bedrooms. It has the '400 cover restaurant', Mediterrania Bar which overlooks the Aztec pool, the Starlight bar and ...

Nationwide Building Society 12/09/2008

Proud to be different

Nationwide Building Society I have had an account with Nationwide since I was around 5 years old. I suppose I feel a loyalty to them as I have never had any problems with them. The staff have always been helpful and friendly and I like the fact they are a building society, not a bank. They offer a wide range of products but here are ones I have used. Smart Account; I had a smart account when I was younger, the smart account is tax free and has competitive interest rates on every pound, so it doesn't matter how much you have in there like other accounts. You have o move to a normal current account at 16. I have now recently opened a smart account for my son; both my husband and I are named on this account so we can access any money in it for him. Child Trust Fund; I have also opened a Child Trust fund for my son as they offer good deals here too. We put the £250 voucher given to us by the government but we aren't adding more to it as we prefer to put it in an account he can access if he wants something when he's a little older, rather than waiting until he's 18. They offer 2 types of Child Trust Funds, an 'Equity Stakeholder Child Trust Fund' which is invested in the stock market. To us it was a bit of a risk so we decided to opt for their 'Cash Child Trust Fund', which is basically an inaccessible savings account. Flexaccount; Once I turned 16 I moved on to a flexaccount, it is a current account and offers pretty good interest rates. I like the fact they never charge you ...

Hauck Babycenter - h-cross Blue 06/09/2008

Travel in style

Hauck Babycenter - h-cross Blue ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~ My mum bought the Hauck travel cot just before my son was born, she wanted something my son would be safe from her 2 adorable yet boisterous Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They bought it from Argos for £79.99. My parents managed to put it up in their lounge after a few arguments about what goes where etc in around 5 minutes (I just stood there watching and laughing, as I was still heavily pregnant). ~*~*~FEATURES~*~*~ -The travel cot comes in a handy storage bag, making it easy for travel. Although as the travel cot is on the larger side, it's not very lightweight. -There are mesh side panels allowing you to see through to your child and vice-versa. -It has a thin mattress with cardboard back. -There is a bassinette level for young babies, this is sol handy as you don't need to reach right down into the cot. I would also rock it when my son was crying and he would calm quickly. -It has a cot top changer which is a fantastic addition. It means I don't have to take a seperate changing mat over when we visit, it also has straps to stop the wriggly little one falling off. -It has a detachable mobile featuring 3 teddy bears. -It plays soft music which to be honest we've never used, the travel cot hasn't yet been used for overnight sleeping. -There is a night light, which is very dim. If I'm honest it's not particularly worth it. -There is a handy storage bag; we tend to keep toys, nappies etc in there. ...

UK Gold - 2 Point 4 Children 05/09/2008

A successful 90's sitcom

UK Gold - 2 Point 4 Children ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~ 2 point 4 children was created by Andrew Marshall in 1991. There were 57 episodes in its 8 series when it finally came to an end in 1999. Shown on BBC1, it was a typical 90's comedy sitcom which always achieving high ratings. ~*~*~MAIN CAST~*~*~ -Ben Porter (Dad) - Gary Olsen Ran a plumbing business, loud, childish and basically not very bright. -Bill Porter (Mum) - Belinda Lang The glue that held the family together. She was the cook and cleaner, also ended up running a catering business with friend Rona. -Jenny Porter (Daughter) - Claire Buckfield, (played by Clare Woodgate for the first 2 series) Typical teenage girl interested in hair, make-up, boys and gets quite embarrassed of her parents. Has a love hate relationship with her younger brother David. -David Porter (Son) - John Pickard Typical teenage boy enjoys playing pranks on his family, winding his older sister up. Very much like his dad. -Rona (friend/neighbour) - Julia Hills Fiery red (or was it purple) headed man eater. Co-owner of a catering business with Bill. ~*~*~PLOT~*~*~ The show was set in Chiswick in west London. They seem a normal family from the outside but they are actually far from it. They have the worst luck or occasionally it would be seen as the best luck, like when they accidentally stumble across Shirley Bassey's warehouse where she keeps her clothes. They make poor decisions, leading to hilarious ...

Recipes for Cakes and Biscuits 29/08/2008

Choc chip cookies

Recipes for Cakes and Biscuits I have been a big fan of cookies since I was a small child. I used to visit my nan in the summer holidays for a couple of weeks and we would do alot of baking, cookies and fairy cakes mainly. My nan is a fantastic cook and used to come up with all sorts of recipes, she would then write them down once she felt she had perfected the recipe. This is one we made, she kindly gave me the recipe so I could share it with you lovely people. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Ingredients; 300g plain flour 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 teaspoon salt 170g butter, softened 215g light brown sugar 120g granulated white sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 300g chocolate chips Method; -Stir together softened butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla. Add egg and the yolk. Beat well to ensure that egg is evenly distributed. Sift together flour, bicaronate of soda and salt, then add, fold in chocolate chips. Cover with clingfilm and chill dough until firm (about 30 minutes). -Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. -Drop tablespoon mounds of dough onto a greased baking tray and bake in preheated oven for approximately 12-15 minutes. They normally feel slightly soft once cooked but will get clightly harder when cooled.

McVitie's Jaffa Cakes 27/08/2008

Best snack in the world

McVitie's Jaffa Cakes There truly is nothing better than a McVitie's Jaffa cake when I get the late night munchies, or the mid-morning munchies or even the mid-afternoon munchies infact. The tangy taste of the orange, the soft sweet sponge base and the crunchy plain chocolate topping is just irresistable. The only problem is that they are slightly too irresistable and a packet just doesn't last long enough... Other variations of this already perfect snack have been made, including Zingy Blackcurrant, Lemon and Lime, Apple and Blackberry and Cranberry and Orange variants. The original is definitely the best. They have also made takes on the original recipe, which include Jaffa Cake bars, Jaffa Corners, Jaffa Mini Roll and Jaffa Cake Muffins. The cake itself; Getting their name from the Israeli Jaffa orange, the regular Jaffa Cakes are approximately 54 mm in diameter. They are made of 3 layers, a sponge bread base, a layer of orange flavoured jelly and a layer of plain chocolate covering the jam. The Cake vs Biscuit debate; I'm not sure what I would class these tasty little snacks as myself and in 1991 neither did Her Majesty's Customs and Excise. They claimed that they were merely a chocolate covered biscuit and VAT should be added In a court case McVitie's produced a giant Jaffa Cake proving that in actual fact, they are simply mini cakes. Needless to say McVities won and they are still classed as a cake. Nutritional Info; Per cake: Energy kCal- 46 kCal ...

Dartmoor (England) 27/08/2008


Dartmoor (England) Devon has two moorlands, Exmoor and Dartmoor. Dartmoor is in the centre of Devon and is 368 square miles. It is rich in history and Archaeologists have found remains of Neolithic and early Bronze Age, Hound Tor also has a deserted Medieval Village on its slopes. Although over half of Dartmoor is private land it is designated 'access land' and walkers are free to roam pretty much anywhere. The military uses parts of Dartmoor to train and also firing ranges, they have since the Napoleonic wars. Red flags fly in these areas when firing is taking place. It is perfect for a relaxing walk with the dog, or you can take it seriously and make your way up the many granite tors. There are lots of places to stop whilst driving and take in the breath-taking views with roadside car parks. In the bigger car parks by popular Tors there is usually a van selling ice cream, tea/coffee and snacks. Driving carefully is a must on Dartmoor, with its winding roads which are sometimes single traffic you are likely to come across a walker, a horse rider, a tractor or a Dartmoor pony wandering across the road. The ponies are friendly and are not particularly bothered by you being there. It's great for taking the kids, not only is climbing the tors great fun and exercise, there also isn't much to spend cash on so it's quite a cheap day out. It's also brilliant for sledging in the winter, I will let you in on a little secret and the best sledging is done at Haytor, followed closely by Hound ...

Coca-Cola 27/08/2008

Coca Cola

Coca-Cola I remember trying Coca Cola as a small child, I was never allowed it as I was quite hyper and the high caffeine content wouldn't exactly help. My older sister however would drink it in its gallons, being 11 years older than me she was allowed much to my annoyance. I would beg her for a sip when Mum was out of the room and she would always say no, on this one particular day to my amazement,she said yes. The ice cold fizzy liquid was like heaven entering my mouth, its sweet taste is truly addictive. I don't buy it as much as I used to because of its high sugar and caffeine content. It is however a perfect accompaniment to a glass of Malibu or Vodka. When I was pregnant with my son I had terrible morning sickness, I couldn't keep much down and felt constantly nauseous. I tried a glass of Coca Cola as it had always eased hangovers in the past, it was like an instant cure. I would definitely reccommend it for easing nausea. History; Created in 1886 by John Pemberton as a medicine, he claimed it cured impotence and headaches. It was sold as a drink in the early 1900's. Coke concentrate, or Coke syrup, was and is sold separately at pharmacies in small quantities, as an over the counter remedy for nausea or mildly upset stomach. It became a major icon in the USA, originally sold in bottles it was first sold in cans from the 1950's. Modern History; Coca Cola is well known for their television commercials, especially their Christmas ones. My husband has ...

Torquay (England) 21/08/2008


Torquay (England) Torquay also known as 'The English Riviera' got its name from the ancient Saxon hamlet of Torre and the Quay it sits on. Well known for its mild climate, there are many palm trees growing all around the area. Torquay was made popular in Victorian times, I'm sure many people reading this review will have visited Torquay on holiday as a child. Torquay is made up of many regions, which have been added to over the years. The Willows, Watcombe, Saint Marychurch, Babbacombe, Wellswood, The Warberries, Ellacombe, Plainmoor, Tormohun (although this is known locally as just Torquay town centre), Torre, Livermead, Shiphay, Barton, Cockington, Chelston, Upton and Hele village. There are many beaches in Torquay, obviously some busier than others. While some are easy to get to, others are hidden away or quite steep to get to. 2 examples are; Oddicombe Beach- Situated on the Babbacombe Downs, it is nested below the cliff. There are two ways of getting down there, walking down a steep walkway or on the Ciff Railway. Mainly a shingle beach, there is the choice of water sports or relaxing on a deck chair. The cliff railway opened in 1926, stopping for a few years during World War II. Torre Abbey Sands- Is the main beach in Torquay, situated along the promenade and close to the main road getting in to Torquay. It is a sandy beach which is very popular with residents of the many surrounding hotels, as well as the locals. On the other side of the road is Torre Abbey Meadows, ...

Paignton 21/08/2008

Family holiday spot

Paignton Paignton (pronounce Pain-tun) got its name from Paega's Town , the original Celtic settlement. There were a couple of spellings (Peynton, Paington) before the finally settled on the name we know today. History; A village believed to be dated back to 700AD and is mentioned in the Doomsday book in 1086. Paington remained a small fishing village until the 19th Century, when in 1837 a harbour was built for the town. The original harbour still exists today, although exteneded over the years. It is now a thriving tourist spot, with its many hotels and long sandy beach. Places to Visit; -The railway line was opened in 1859, linking Paignton and Torquay with London. Now operated as a heritage railway. Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway operates from Paignton to Kingswear, passing the sea and the River Dart. -The beautiful Oldway Mansion was built in the 1870s for Isaac Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine. Rebuilt in the early 1900's by his son in the style of Palace of Versailles. During World war I, it became an American Women's War Relief Hospital. Tennis courts and a bowling green were then added. During World war II it was used to house RAF cadets. It is now open to the public for free, there is a small museum and a cafe. The 17 acres of gardens are kept immaculate, including a maze. The inside of the building is just breathtaking, the art and architecture is definitely something to see. It is now home to Torbay council, also is very popular for ...

Exeter City 19/08/2008

The Grecians

Exeter City Exeter City F.C, known to its supporters as the 'grecians' were founded in 1904. Originally called St Sidwell's Old Boys FC, they changed their name just before leasing their new ground, St James Park. The site had previously been the home to pigs. On their first home game on 10th September 1904, there were 600 spectators, most of which were said to be in protest at the expulsion of the pigs. St James park is still their home today, now having a capacity of 8,830. The Doble Stand- Capacity 2,116 seated. Big Bank- Capacity 3,971 standing. Stagecoach Family Stand- Capacity 1,690 seated. St James Road (away end)- Capacity 1,053 standing. The club were elected into the football league in 1920 and were able to buy St James Park when they sold goalkeeper Dick Pim for £5,000 in 1921. The club has had a very up and down time, in recent years. Once in the bottom division, the club struggled for several seasons, Chairman Ivor Doble took the club into administration and had to sell the club's ground. Now owned by Exeter City Council, who they lease it from. In 2003 City were relegated to the nationwide conference, after a disasterous season, which later saw the 2 directors for that season in court and convicted of fraudulent trading at the club, resulting in John russell recieving a prison sentence and Mike Lewis a community service sentence. The Exeter City Supporters Trust now runs the club, after a lack of interest from a big investor, the only way to keep the club ...
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