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claribella

claribella

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Reviews written

since 14/06/2009

125

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack 25/11/2009

Rock your child's world with this!

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack This toy came to us in a bin liner form a friend. It's a bit tired looking but who knows how long it's been around and how many children's hands it has passed through. The toy is made of plastic and consists of a pole with five coloured hoops on it. Each hoop is made of plastic and each one is a different colour and size. If you didn't have one of these as a child then you were severely deprived! The toy is obviously very hardy and although the white pole has a gone a little yellow, there is still plenty of play left in it yet. The hoops are still shiny and polished and they have retained their vibrant colour. I love this toy because it's such a simple concept but promotes so many things. It's great for fine motor skills as the child needs to beable to place the hoops over the pole. It is also great as they work out which size needs to go onto the pole next for the puzzle to work; if they get it wrong then all of the poles won't fit. You can explore colours with them and also shape aswell. I have also found that these are great for bath time and my boys love looking through the centre of each hoop. A game that we like to play now that Noah is older is to try and throw the hoops over the pole. My boys liked to use the hoops as teething rings but because the plastic is so hard and sturdy, they were able to gnaw as hard as they could without squashing them and running there shape. This is a toy that has stood the test of time and Noah who is nearly three, ...

Annie (DVD) 16/11/2009

The sun'll come out tomorrow....

Annie (DVD) Annie is an orphan who tries to escape from the orphanage time and time again due to the horrid orphanage owner. One day Annie get's chosen to live with a millionaire 'Daddy Warbuck'. She is treated like a Princess but Annie has this dream of finding her mother and father so escapes from his home too. Daddy Warbucks decides to place a ad on the local radio for Annie's sake encouraging anyone who knows the whereabouts of her parents to come forward and in doing this they get a number of people pretending that she is there's. Will Annie find her real parents? If you aren't a fan of musicals then this one is definitely not for you. At every whip stick the cast burst into song and sing their little hearts out. I'm not really into musicals as such but the songs featured in the film are so well known that I can't help but sing along and tap my foot as if I'm enjoying myself. The main character Annie is very sweet but has an adventurous edge to her which makes her not one of these sickly characters that make you want to vomit. Don't get me wrong there are scenes like that but over all she isn't your typical Dakota Flemming. The other members of the cast do a good job of the singing and throwing themselves around too and I especially enjoy watching them all come together in sync. This is an old film and the script is rather old and corny but that's what I think is classic about it. The ending is rather predictable and there are the good and evil characters that you ...

Time Traveller's Wife , The(DVD) 14/11/2009

Give it a miss if you've read the book!

Time Traveller's Wife , The(DVD) I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch this film or not because firstly, I have read the book and it's one of the best novels I have ever read. Secondly I am more into action films than a romance/love story but the chance came a long so I thought why not? The film is based on the book 'The Time Travellers wife' which is written by Audrey Niffenegger. It tells the story of Henry who learns at a very early age that he can time travel but he has no control over it and never knows when or where he going to disappear to. He goes backwards and forwards over time where he meets his young wife at different points in her life. I felt the film was pretty slow and I felt myself wanting to give it a kick up the backside to get it moving a bit quicker having said that the second half was slightly better than the first. I found myself on the edge of my seat at one particular point and I was willing Henry not to disappear at that very second. I really felt that the film lacked any detail that the book seem to give and I found myself wondering why they didn't expand on certain areas. As a love story this film excels itself and really hits the nail on the head in a very different way to any other film you would have seen. I noticed that everyone around me was 'ooooing' and 'ahing' and there were several people with tissues to hand but I didn't think for me that it cut that deep. The special effects are quite clever and this really worked well within the film. It was fun to ...

Bolt (DVD) 13/11/2009

A bolt, a penny, a hamster ball and a pussy save the day!

Bolt (DVD) The weather was so bad yesterday that I didn't want fancy braving it with the boys and anyway I didn't have anywhere to go. I felt that a duvet day was in order and let Noah pick a film for us to watch. He chose Bolt. Bolt is a dog with special powers who helps Penny defeat the green eyed man or so he thinks he is........He's really a film star who doesn't actually know that he is. As far as he knows, he's protecting Penny and using his 'special powers' to fight evil. One day during filming Penny is captured by the green eyed man and he goes on a mission to save her. He ends up escaping from the film set and finds himself in the big bad city where reality soon hits home and he finds out who he really is. The film has a really sad element over hanging it from start to finish which is a bit depressing and annoying. I hate the way that pretty much every animation I have seen has a really sad part to it. It's uncalled for. The ending is really cool and gets the blood pumping with some really good action that made me will Bolt on to succeed in what he was doing. The characters that tag along with Bolt on his little journey are really lovely and I particularly like Rhino, the hamster. He throws a really humorous part into the film and I think he would be a great character to use in a 'spin off' show. I found that the soundtrack really stood out for me. Noah hasn't watched this one many times but I knew the words to a few of the songs as they were so catchy. When ...

Bee Movie (DVD) 12/11/2009

You'll bee buzzing after you've watched this!

Bee Movie (DVD) This is one of my favourite animations and I never tire of watching it which is good because neither does Noah! The story tells of Barry the Bee who is just not satisfied at the thought of having to work one job in the bee hive for the rest of his life so he goes out of the hive before he commits to anything. During his little 'explore' he almost gets squatted by a guy but a very nice woman saves him. Now being the kind cap that he is, he doesn't want to leave without saying thank you. This is the start of a strange but sweet relationship between Barry the bee and Melanie the human whereby Barry realises that humans are stealing the honey the bees make and with the help of Melanie they set out to sue the human race. The thing about this animation is there is a lot of funny lines sprouting out every second which really gets you laughing. It does tend to go over Noah's head and he catches the more obvious funny bits but there are definitely a lot of parts thrown in there purely for the adults who get dragged along to see it with their brood. I love the fact that the drawings are so friendly and bold and the every scene is extremely colourful and eye catching. Even when it's raining outside and I put this film on, it never fails to brighten my mood with the vibrant yellows and greens. No one gets killed in this one like they seem to in all of the other cartoon type films so thats a real plus for me. I don't know why at least one of the characters has to die ...

Julie And Julia (DVD) 11/11/2009

Two Ju's and a cookbook!

Julie And Julia (DVD) Julia is a older woman who needs a challenge so sets out to become a cook and write a cookbook. Julie is a young woman who is unsatisfied with her life so decides to cook every recipe from a cookbook whilst recording a blog on the internet. Whilst the viewers are watching Julie in the present day, Julia is filmed some years ago although the two stories tie together very well. The storyline sounds rather boring and I’m sure if Andrew had told me what it was all about I would have preferred not to watch it but he didn’t and we did. The acting is nothing to write home about apart from Meryl Streep who plays the very quirky and eccentric character, Julia. In my opinion this role is quite intense and you have to keep up her way to the full extent or it would shine through at the lack of ability in the acting. Thankfully Meryl is a pro and does it so intensely and well that she sustains the whole film. The actress who plays Julie is unfortunately not in the same league. Her acting ability is rather weak and there are a few scenes where I might possibly have played the part better my self. The film is rather strange and I would say that it’s interesting as a character study but not much else. Julia is such a strange but endearing person that can’t help to get a chuckle or smile out of the viewer and although on the surface she appears to be outgoing and fun, there are a few occasions through the film where you see cracks in her armour. Having said all of the above, I’m not ...

My Sister's Keeper (DVD) 08/11/2009

I challenge you to keep your tears under control!

My Sister's Keeper (DVD) Anna Fitgerald was born for the sole purpose of being a donor for her older sister who has leukemia. She was genetically conceived so she would be a 100% match and from the moment she was born she was donoting blood, cells and body parts to her. At eleven years old Anna has had enough of her parents taking what is rightfully hers and sets out to sue her parents so they can't take another thing from her. I usually love films that are full of action and blood and gore so I really didn't think this would be for me at all but it did something to me that I haven't done for a long time; I cried in fact I bawled. I cried so much throughtout this film that I was left with one of those crying headaches that you get when you are trying to hold back the tears. Now this is a huge accomplishment for a film because I don't cry very much and I can't remember the last time I cried uncontrollably to the point where my lip was quivering. The main reason that this film bought me to this place is because the storyline is extremely depressing, not only is the eldest child struggling with cancer but Anna has her demons, the eldest son is left out and goes unnoticed most of the time, the mother can't come to terms with the fact that her daughter is going to die at some point or another and spends each and every day battling for her and the dad is trying hard to hold the family together but is as drained as everyone else. Even the end of the film is sad and you don't go away with a 'there's ...

Six Feet Under - Series 1 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) 07/11/2009

A promising start!

Six Feet Under - Series 1 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) Since we have been re-watching this series from start to finish, I thought I'd write a review after we finished each season. When I first start watching a programme and everything is new, I find that I have to be gripped by around the third episode or I don't really want to carry on with it. The producers and director have to get my attention quickly and with this one they really did. I watched the whole of this season within a couple of days and was greatful that there were other seasons awaiting so I didn't have to go through the pain of watching it week by week. The programme is based on The Fischers who live in a funeral home. We start out by watching The Fischers dad dying. His son, David takes over the business and he is joined by Nate, the eldest son who returns home after living away. The whole show is based around their funeral home and the goings on within the home and the dysfunctional family that are 'The Fischers'. As with all first series, the producers spend a lot of time developing the characters and I can tell you that these particular characters need a lot of work! Each one appears to have a multitude of problems and it's clear that the family are locked up emotionally. I found that for me the main thing that kept me watching this series was not only the fact that the acting was totally outstanding and believable but the whole concept. It is almost like autopsy but with a whole lot more on top of that. I think the deaths that we see at the ...

McVitie's Jamaica Ginger Cake 06/11/2009

A bit of Jamaica in a wrapper

McVitie's Jamaica Ginger Cake I read a review of this last week and 'lo and behold' when I went into Sainsburys, it was on offer for just 54p. Now this isn't normally something I'd go for but I've been getting bored with the same old things lately so I went for it. I love ginger and considering this was Mcvities, I was expecting it to be good. The cake came inside a wrapper but on top of this I had to peel back the paper that was around the bottom of the whole thing. I lost a small amount of cake in this process but that gave me a reason to get a knife out and secretly scrape the bits and consume these whilst no one was looking. The cake had a lovely smell to it which filled the air as I was cutting off a few pieces; a nice fresh ginger aroma that got my taste buds going. I don't like butter or marg so ate my cake all by itself which I thought might make it a bit dry but it wasn't at all. The cake was really moist and chewy and put me in the mind of the 'Soreen'. The taste was really good because it was sweet and although the ginger was apparent, it wasn't too strong and leaving me reaching for a glass of water. There was just enough in each slice to make my tongue tingle. If you haven't tried this then you really should! My next plan is to buy it again but get some dark chocolate so I can melt it and pour some over the top. Per 100g the cake contains 360 calories, 36.6g of sugar and 10.8g of fat!

Sensodyne Original Tooth Paste 05/11/2009

Does what it says on the tube!

Sensodyne Original Tooth Paste When I was small I always remember my mum using this toothpaste to brush her teeth. It was hers and we weren't aloud to use it. She called it her 'special' toothpaste. As I got older I realised she used it because she had tonnes of problems with her teeth and apparently it helped. When I became an adult, moved out and got married the familiar forbidden tube became part of my life again. My husband complained of having a really bad toothache one day so I mentioned he should try a tube of Sensodyne. After he had mocked me and decided it wasn't worth paying out for, I nipped out and got him some. It comes in a blue and white box which isn't too helpful because most toothpastes are blue and white but it's the one with 'Sensodyne' written across it! He! He! I went for the original because it was the cheapest (Not like me at all!) There are different varieties on the shelf these days. I looked at the mint one and I know there is a 'pro enamel' one too. He reluctantly started brushing with it morning and evening and his toothache disappeared within days. Now it is like history repeating itself because the tube that is in the toothbrush holder is his and his alone. I have become much riskier in my old age and if I have had a bit of a sesitive tooth then I've dared to remove the tube from the pot and actually use it. As we have already established the toothpaste does actually work. I only have to brush for a couple of days and my tooth is fine, no more sensitivity and ...

Six Feet Under 04/11/2009

This is six feet over and above anything I've seen!

Six Feet Under Andrew and I have just started watching this from start to finish and although I have seen it all before, I am blown away by how amazing this series is. The series follows a family who live and work in a funeral home. One day the dad tragically dies and the rest of the family are left behind to deal with the strange and wonderful happenings that go on there. At the start of each episode you see a random person die and the that particular hour is based very loosely on that dead person. Without sounding too morbid, I love this part. I find that I always look forward to seeing who it is and how they die. Some of the ways that the people do go are a little strange but they are never unbelievable to the point where you think 'Well that's never going to happen'. The programme is a strange combination because although it revolves around a funeral home and death, it's not morbid. It is however very deep so I wouldn't recommend it as a light hearted laugh although it is hilarious in places. The characters are so complex and the more you watch, the more this becomes apparent. I remember when I first started watching, I just thought the characters were really weird and I wasn't sure if I liked them or not but the more I've watched the more I've realsied that they aren't your conventional 'Friends' cast; These guys are totally different with each one having plenty of issues to deal with. The show has this amazing way of making me totally reevaluate my life and I find ...

Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre, Buckfastleigh 03/11/2009

This place went down well with us!

Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre, Buckfastleigh Pennywell farm is about a fifteen minute drive from where I live so I have been to place quite a few times. It's basically a big farm where there are lots of animals to touch and spend time with but there are also tonnes of other things going on around this. It will cost an adult just under a tenner and a child around eight pounds and under three's go free which I think is great value for money if you make the most of everything that goes on. When you pay at the desk you will be given a sheet with a map and a list of all the activities that are going on around the farm throughout the day. There is something from the moment the place opens at 10am to until closing time at 5pm so there's plenty to keep the young ones entertained. You can par take in pond dipping, egg collecting, milking the sheep and there are live shows where you will be told anything and everything about a particular animal. My boys are aged one and two and have so much fun here. Unfortunately we aren't a loud to have pets in our home so it's a great opportunity for them to have some one on one time with lots of different animals so they don't start to become scared. They love getting into the various runs and stroking the animals and most of them are happy for the boys to do this. I know that my boys don't actually get the full benefit of all the activities yet due to them being so young but it certainly won't be long before I am trying to keep up with them and fishing them out of the pond when ...

Bob the Builder Magazine 02/11/2009

Bob the daylight robber!

Bob the Builder Magazine This magazine is certainly one for the boys! Noah gets so excited when he see's it in the shop and nine times out of ten he will choose this one over the many others that catch his eye. The magazine features all of the characters that you will find in the actual programme. They are all dotted throughout the magazine and introduce an activity or feature in one of the double paged spread stories. As with most children's magazine these days, you do get a free gift which is usually pretty rubbish. In the last one that Noah had, he got a replica vehicle of two of the main characters but they were so poorly made that they broke within a few hours and there were little bits of plastic dotted around for my youngest to pop in his mouth. In my opinion the cost of the magazine (£2) is far too much for what it is. It's flimsy and get's broken and ripped very easily when in the hands of a two year old. There isn't a lot of activities inside and there is less of the stories which is the main thing that Noah enjoys, having said that Noah does find ways to keep himself entertained with the magazine. He's not old enough to understand how to participate in the activities so he tends to draw and colour on each page. This is another magazine that is over priced and of a poor quality but Noah loves it. I just dread the day when Elijah becomes old enough to want one too because that's going to get a tad expensive!

Dolland & Aitchison 01/11/2009

Good but over priced

Dolland & Aitchison Just lately my eyes have been hurting and things have been a tad bit blurry so I thought I'd book myself an eye test. I was very blessed to receive a leaflet through the door for a free eye test (normally £27) from Dolland and Aitchison so decided to go ahead with it. I used their website to book my test which was really easy to do. I gave some details including who I was, where I lived and when I would prefer my appointment to be and the site informed me that I would receive a call the end of the phone was polite and made sure I knew where they were. At the start of the test I had to put on some strange looking goggles and the guy kept changing the lenses before I could finally see the letters that were on a screen in front of me. At the end of the test the man informed me that I did need glasses and that I had a stigmatism and I was handed my prescription. I was then handed over to another member of staff who took my voucher for the eye test and asked if I wanted help choosing some glasses. I have to say that I was really impressed with the whole experience. The décor was very professional and so were the staff. They were very friendly and willing to help and the optician who took me for my test was very through and explained everything in a basic and step by step process having said that I did feel that the whole thing was a little robotic and not very personal. I didn't actually purchase ab pair of glasses from the range because I was really put off by ...

Cadbury Clusters 30/10/2009

Make your own instead

Cadbury Clusters I really don't know why I wanted a bag of these. It was one of those situations where your heart is telling you that they look great but my head is telling me that I could make them myself for half the price. Anyway my heart won over in the end and a bag came home with me along with the raisins and peanuts in this range. The clusters consist of cornflakes coated in Cadburys chocolate but with a few raisins thrown in for good measure. Now you see what I mean when I say I could make these very easily. They come in smaller bags which after feeling one, barely contain anything and 200g family sized bags. I got them on offer at 2 for £2.50 but apparently another dooyooer informed me that Asda have them for just a pound a bag. The packaging is very eye catching on this product and I'm convinced this is the reason why I picked up a bag. It's very red and smooth to the touch with pictures of the clusters floating around. The clusters were irregular in size. Some were bigger than others and they tasted pretty much how you would expect a chocolate cornflake covered in Cadbury's chocolate to taste. However the raisins gave it that extra edge and really spiced them. I really love Cadburys it's so creamy and milky and I love cornflakes so this was the perfect combination for me (apart from the peanuts which I reviewed earlier). I loved the way the cornflakes got stuck in my teeth and every now and again I got a nice plump raisin which exploded it's juices into the mix. ...
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