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A very active twelve month old means less reviews from mum, but so many toys to review!

Reviews written

since 17/02/2009


Sensodyne Rapid Relief 06/11/2016

Sensodyne Rapid Relief - Aptly Named

Sensodyne Rapid Relief I have never really suffered from sensitive teeth before fortunately, but about a week ago I felt the unbelievable stabbing sensation in my teeth that makes childbirth seem like a doddle (all sixty two hours of it). I enjoyed my delicious hot chilli and, as i usually do, followed it with a lovely bowl of cold fruit with yoghurt and . . . . well, the air was blue, that's for sure. After two days of alternating between hoping that the gut wrenching pain would survive and clutching my mouth after every bite, I called the dentist. The wonderful woman on the other end of the phone pointed me in the direction of sweet relief. She called it Sensodyne. I chose the Rapid Relief version. What a miracle worker. What a wonderful ointment of wonderfulness. It worked, can you tell? ***What Is Good About It?*** It works. What more can I say? Well a lot actually, but the key point is that it does work. The toothpaste is easy to use. It may seem like a stupid thing to say and you do in fact use it in very much the same way as every other toothpaste. But in addition to this, you can use it for rapid relief by rubbing a pea sized amount into the base of the sensitive tooth or teeth. This can be done twice a day as well as the twice a day that you brush your teeth with it. When I read the packaging, I have to admit that I was skeptical, but the skepticism was unwarranted because it really does work and quickly. I felt much better after a day of using it and after three days, the pain had gone ...

Mamas & Papas Sola2 Carrycot 30/10/2016

Mamas & Papas Sola Carry Cot - OK But Probably Not Worth The ££

Mamas & Papas Sola2 Carrycot Way back when my 18 month old little man was a bump, we set foot, as all new parents do, into the mind boggling world of baby transportation. There are so many things to consider when buying a pram, not least, which accoutrements you should get with it. This was when we thankfully stumbled across the 'travel system' concept, which basically includes everything you need to transport your baby in one package and for a cheaper price. We settled on the Mamas and Papas Sola system, which included this carry cot. ***What Is It?*** It is a flat bed cot that attaches to the frame of the matching buggy. It is what I describe as the traditional looking pram set up, in that baby lies in it and looks all snuggly and cute, within an unknown amount of blankets and wraps. It is the bit that makes your travel system look like a pram. ***What Is Good About It?*** It is widely accepted that newborn babies should sleep in a completely flat position, which is what initially sold us on getting a travel system that included a carry cot. This one is a comfier and slightly more sturdy version of Mamas and Papas cheapest range (Zoom), which is what settled us on this particular model. I liked the fact that it is nice and enclosed thanks to the high sides and the retractable hood. This is good for two reasons; in winter, it keeps baby warm and protected from the wind and in summer it shields baby from the sun's rays. The latter is assisted by the fact that fabric is UPF 50 which helps protect ...

Little Tikes Gas N Go 26/09/2016

Little Tikes Gas N Go Mower

Little Tikes Gas N Go My little boy, like many other children of his age (17 months) has a bit of an obsession with things that aren't his many mountains of toys. He has a particular penchant at the moment for cleaning related things including the vacuum cleaner and the lawn mower, so we set about buying him a toy version of each. He actually has two lawn mowers - a cheapo H and M Bargains one that we have here at home and this all dancing, all singing spovvy number from Little Tykes. ***What is Good About It?*** We first saw it in Mothercare and when little man got hold of it, he was absolutely smitten at first sight. He toddled around the shop with it for ages and cried when we finally prized it out of his hands when we needed to go home. The lawn mower is better than the cheap one that we have because it has the added feature of making noise, that appeals to my noise loving, noise making toddler. The noise comes from the popping beads that are housed in a clear round casing on the base of the mower. They pop as you push the mower along which is great for helping a child to learn about cause and effect. My little boy was delighted when he first heard the popping noise and saw the multi coloured beads dancing along. I think it is because his other one doesn't do anything so he liked the novelty of them. The novelty hasn't warn off but the mower is fortunately stored at nanny and grandad's house. The other feature that makes this mower different from any others I have seen is the little 'petrol ...

Orchard Toys Orchard Toys Flashcards 21/09/2016

Orchard Toys Flashcards

Orchard Toys Orchard Toys Flashcards Our son is seventeen months old and is very clever in terms of being able to understand things such as instructions, but I was worried about his speech skills. He was an early crawler and an early walker and I believe that this has meant that he hasn't ever needed to ask for anything because he has been able to get it himself, which meant that he hasn't really developed as quickly with his speaking. When I was considering different ways to encourage him to speak, I thought about Flashcards, which I'd remembered having as a child. They aren't cheap and they aren't really a lot of choices on the market, but I decided on these ones made by Orchard Toys because they seemed the ones best suited to my son's age and preferences. ***What Are They?*** The box contains 50 cards and nothing else. The cards each feature a simple word and a picture that relates to the word. They also have the word and no picture on the reverse of the card. They are designed (according to the box) to 'develop early reading and counting skills' and 'link with early learning goals'. ***What Is Good About Them?*** The cards are nice and big, with brightly coloured pictures which I knew would appeal to my son and I was right. The other packs of cards that I looked at all seemed to be aimed and older children. These have an age of three plus on them but I think you can definitely use them at an earlier age for engaging your child in educational games. We put them all in a higgledy piggledy mess on the ...

Munchkin Corner Bath Organizer 20/07/2016

Tidy Time In The Bathroom - Munchkin Bath Organiser

Munchkin Corner Bath Organizer I saw this in asda a few months ago and, until the point that I noticed it, I hadn't realised that I wanted or needed one. As soon as I did see it however, I realised that I both wanted and needed one. Having never had a child before, I hadn't realised quite how much plastic crap they acquire, even in the bathroom. But the fact is they do and, in just the few short months that our little man had been around, he and his stuff had taken over, so I decided to buy this in a bid to get some of my bathroom back. It has worked a charm. The bath organiser is available in two colours, featuring the traditional colours for the two sexes; pink and blue. They both come with a green trim. They are quite brightly coloured and bold which is appealing to little people. The tidy comes in a small, almost flat box, which belies the decent sized organiser that you get. It is a generous size actually and holds a large number of toys quite comfortably, as you can see in the picture that I have attached below. At the moment, ours contains five little boats, about ten rubber ducks of varying sizes, a couple of bottle of baby shampoo, a couple of wind up bath toys and a toothbrush and it fits well. In fact there is room for more than that actually which is brilliant. The organiser is made of a neoprene material, which is brilliant for the bathroom because it is waterproof and effectively so. There is a small mesh window in the side of the tidy which is dual purpose. Firstly, it lets air into the ...

Thinkway Toys Despicable Me Bee-Do Fireman Minion 12/07/2016

Marvellous Minion!

Thinkway Toys Despicable Me Bee-Do Fireman Minion My husband and I are big fans of the Despicable Me movies. We thoroughly enjoyed the first one and were worried that the second wouldn't be as good. It was just as good as far as we are concerned and one of the funniest scenes in it is when Gru (the evil villain turned softy) sets fire to his room and one of the minions comes in with a fire reel making the sound of a fire engine. Which is where this toy comes from. My sister bought it for my one year old son for Christmas thinking that it was noisy so it was bound to annoy us. The jokes on her because we, my son included, love it. It is a good sized toy, standing at 29 centimetres tall and almost as wide. It will just about stand up in its own if you position the feet right, but as soon as you touch it, it will topple over. That's mainly down to the fact that it is quite a rotund toy, making it true to the original shape of the minions. It is all in proportion as well which is good because I have seen a lot of 'non branded' versions that are a really funny shape, ending up not looking like a minion at all. The toy is well made. It says that it is suitable for over threes only, but my one year old loves to play with it (under supervision of course, but mainly because my husband and I enjoy it as much as he does rather than for any safety concerns). He has played with it for some months now and has no concept yet of being gentle with things, but it has withstood all of that and nothing has fallen (or been ripped) off it, even ...

Halsall Dubble Bubble Gun 10/07/2016

Bubbly Good Fun

Halsall Dubble Bubble Gun My fifteen month old little man, like many babies and toddlers, absolutely adores bubbles and so we have already invested in many, many kinds of bubble producing machines and devices. One of our favourites and the easiest to use is this bubble gun. The bubble gun is available from what I call cheap shops - things like B and M bargains and the like and is only a couple of pounds. It's just not worth paying anymore because we bought this one for £1.99 and I can't see how anything more expensive would be any better, because this one does what it is supposed to. It is very easy to use - you just get a bottle of bubbles and screw it gently into the hole at the front of the plastic gun. It comes with a bottle of bubbles and we have been refilling this with a large bottle of solution that I bought rather than with a new smaller bottle, although it will fit any standard sized bottle of bubbles and you can get these in bulk from the pound shops. It is very easy to use, so much so that the aforementioned little man has just about worked out how to do it under supervision, without trying to drink the bubble solution. You simply press the trigger and bubbles come out quite quickly. The bubbles are a decent size, which is good for the really little ones and they come out in a steady strea. With very little effort, you can get quite a lot of bubbles swirling around relatively quickly. The trigger we have found is a little temperamental and, even with new batteries, we have found that ...

Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot 05/07/2016

Knowsley Safari Park - Fun For All The Family

Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot It’s been a while since I last went to Knowsley Safari Park, but I always remember it very fondly when I think about it, so I decided that, at 14 months old, my son was old enough to enjoy a trip there. Couple this with the fact that they had a fantastic offer on and it was a no brainer really; the little man is very intrigued and amused by animals and we like a family day out, especially at a bargain price. We went last Wednesday and had a brilliant time. ***Planning Your Trip*** The Safari Park has a really good website, found at which I found really helpful in planning our visit. It is really easy to navigate and tells you all about the safari drive, the other entertainment areas and special information about feeding times and so on. I would really recommend having a quick look to help you get the best out of your day. The park also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, which is handy because you can get details about offers and new animals (including the all-important baby news!). If you don’t get chance to have a look at the website, all is not lost because you get lots of information when you get there. It is easy to get to and is signposted from quite a distance away, if you are arriving by car. Your best bet is going on the M62 and then the M57 – the post code for the satnav is L34 4AN. You can come by public transport but it is a little on the complicated side, requiring buses and taxis. I wouldn’t recommend this because you ...

Chicco Sing Along Airplane 22/06/2016

Chicco Sing Along Plane - Noisy, Obscure Fun!

Chicco Sing Along Airplane This is possibly one of the most annoying toys that my son received for his first birthday a couple of months ago, which obviously means that it is one of his favourites. It's an all singing, all dancing brightly coloured thing that is a tad bewildering to grown up eyes and ears, but is perfect for a little person's eyes and ears. ***What Is Good About It?*** The most important thing to like about it is that my son absolutely loves it and he really enjoys interacting with it. He loves the songs that it sings because they are short and catchy and they make him smile and dance, which is just wonderful to watch. The songs are a little odd in that they involve checking that the bird and cat and dog are on the plane, but it is great because they are words and things that he understands. He loves that there are buttons to press. He is going through that stage where he likes to explore things and work out what things do. This generally involves him pressing buttons on the washing machine when it is mid cycle and the buttons on the television remote when you are waiting to see what happens next in a programme, so it makes a nice change to see him occupied by this toy and its buttons instead. It is a great toy for learning cause and effect at this exploratory stage because when he presses the button, it lights up and a noise can be heard. The noise relates to the picture of the animal that is one the button. He loves that he achieves something when he presses the button and he ...

Betterware Longlife Enamel Coated Baking Tray Large 18/05/2016

Betterware Longlife Baking Tray - It's Had A Long Life

Betterware Longlife Enamel Coated Baking Tray Large This tray was gratefully received a few years ago from my mother in law. She is one of those types of people who has everything you need a lots of things you don't I stock 'just in case'. Quite why she bought a baking tray that she had no intention of using, I'm not sure, but she did a lot of things that I'm not sure about. It is a decent sized tray at 24.5 by 36 cm which means you can fit a good amount of stuff on it - it has certainly always been big enough for the two of us and now accommodates three as well happily. It is a good size but still, just about, fits in our compact, built in oven. It is 2cm deep. Better ware claim that this means it has 'deep sides to stop food sliding off into the oven'. Personally I think it is about the standard for this type of tray and I wonder what angle you are putting your tray into the oven that things go shooting off into it! It means that it is deep enough for oven baking most things but that it doesn't enclose the heat too much. The tray has an enamel non stick coating. This means that it is smooth to touch but you can feel a slightly different texture than normal. The coating is the main advantage and selling point of this tray actually. We almost always using baking parchment or tin foil to line our trays when cooking, which is something my husband has always done to make washing up easier, but I have used the tray without any of these a number of times and it has performed magnanimously. I can confirm that it is indeed a non ...

Breville VST041 15/05/2016

Breville Toastie Maker - At Last A Good One

Breville VST041 I have a terrible habit of buying cheap and cheerful. My mindset is that every penny saved on buying things that I don't really want to spend money on is a penny towards a holiday which I do want to spend money on. My husband is of the theory that you get what you pay for and, usually, I can kind of prove him wrong. Not with sandwich toasters. I have had all the cheap ones you can think of and they have been nothing short of rubbish. I decided to bite the bullet and get a better one, but the price tag really went against my shopping beliefs, so I asked the birthday fairy (my mum) for one and this Breville VST041 model came, beautifully wrapped, my way on my birthday. I'm so glad it did, because it is a revelation of brilliance that I had hitherto not seen in the world of making toasted sandwiches. ***What Is Good About It?*** There are a number of things that are good about it, but first and foremost is the fact that the timer on it actually seems to work and is accurate. In the past I have just ignored the lights that apparently come on when the toastie is cooking and then go off when it is done because I find that they just done do them well enough for my tastes. This one is different though because it seems to go a bit longer and makes the perfect sandwich - nice and brown, with that lovely crispy golden bit in the middle, but not in any way shape or form burnt. The toastie maker is ridiculously easy to clean. My husband (who is in charge of washing up in our house, ...

BHS Soft Touch Pillows 13/05/2016

BHS Soft Touch Pillows - I was a soft touch for buying them

BHS Soft Touch Pillows When we moved from our one bedroom flat to our new three bedroom house almost ten years ago, we had to buy a lot of stuff quickly with limited funds, so we went cheap and cheerful. Sometimes this worked, other times it didn't. One of the times when it really didn't work was with these BHS Soft Touch pillows. They were cheap, but they really weren't cheerful. ***What Do You Get For Your Money?*** You get a two pack of non-allergenic cushions made of 100% polyester hollow fibre filling and 100% polyester micro fibre filling. The pillows are classed by the manufacturer of having a medium level of support and they are from the essentials range, which means they are cheap. They are machine washable at 40 degrees. ***What Is Good About Them?*** The honest answer is that there is not a whole lot that is good about them I'm afraid to report. My husband is a steadfast believer in the motto of 'you get what you pay for' and in this case we did. They cost £6.99 for a pack of two pillows which is cheap and is also the only thing that is good about them. They are still available from BHS (well for as long as the chain is still going, considering its current financial difficulties), should you still want to purchase them after reading the rest of my review. ***What Is Not Good About Them?*** The manufacturer claims that they have a medium level of support, but I have no idea where they get this claim from. The pillows offer very little support. When you lie your head on them, they ...

Breasley Flexcell Pocket 1000 Mattress 10/05/2016

Breasley Flexcell Mattress - Comfort and Value

Breasley Flexcell Pocket 1000 Mattress We were looking for a mattress for our spare bed just after we moved into our house nine years ago. we wanted a cheap one because we were moving from a one bedroom flat to a three bedroom house and we needed to buy a lot of extra stuff with a limited budget. After looking around the available shops we found that they were either insanely expensive or insanely cheap. The first category were out of the question and I have made the mistake of buying insanely cheap before and it is not a mistake I'll ever make again. A friend suggested looking on the internet. I thought it was a strange idea and was wary about buying something unseen, but I had a look on amazon and found that they did them. Trusting amazon, I browsed away and settled on the rather middle of the (price) range Breasley Flexcell Pocket 1000 Mattress. The first thing that I did was look at reviews on the internet. Not being able to see it and test it prior to to buying was worrisome to say the least. I think if it had been for our main bed I wouldn't have done it, but for the irregularly used spare bed I took a chance. It turned out not to be an issue because the level of service and what have you was great. I would recommend it. Anyway I digress. The bed arrived vacuum packed, which made it a lot easier to maoeuvre and also protected it in transit. I think this is the standard way of delivering them, which is great. The mattress is actually quite comfortable. The pocket 1000 bit means that it has 1000 ...

Shark Lift Away NV340UKV 03/05/2016

Shark Lift Away - Brilliant

Shark Lift Away NV340UKV Buying a vacuum cleaner, to me, is one of the most irritating things on the planet. I have to spend a relatively large amount of money on buying a thing that I don't even want because I don't want to have to use it. Despite this, my husband and I have found ourselves in the position of having to buy one more times than I care to think about. The most recent was a few weeks ago now after the Hoover that I bought and glowingly reviewed on this site, packed in at the most inconvenient moment, as some fellow reviewers suggested it might. This time, either dire warnings raining in my ears, I decided to go for a different brand and was swayed by the glowing retgviews and quite astonishing marketing that accompany the Shark Lift Away. I am not vacuum cleaner expert and I have to admit that I'd never heard of this brand. Something that is named after the predator of the seas must be brilliant at attacking my dusty floors, mustn't it? ***What Is It?*** Believe it or not, it is a vacuum cleaner make by Shark. It's quite a good one too, actually. There are lots of nifty little additions and functions that make cleaning floors and, indeed, other surfaces. But more about that later, here are the specifications for the cleaner, according to the manufacturer - Ideal for pet hair. Capacity of dustbin 1 litre. Crevice nozzle, combination floor nozzle. 8m power cord. Size H117, W30, D24cm. Weight 7.03kg. Manufacturer's 5 year guarantee. EAN: 0622356217507. ***What Do I Think About ...

Lacura Roll On Deodorant 29/04/2016

Lacura Roll On Deodorant - Good to go!

Lacura Roll On Deodorant I don't like paying a lot for anything. I especially don't like paying a lot for checking in luggage when I am going on a flight, so I do everything I can to avoid it. The main thing is to take hand luggage only, which means I have bought every kind of miniature toiletry known to man. This is how I came across this roll on deodorant which is made by Lacura - the beauty and healthcare brand linked to Aldi (proof again that I don't like paying a lot for anything - I bargain hunt at Aldi!). ***What Is Good About It?*** There is quite a lot that is good about this deodorant actually, I really like it as a product and have taken to using it more often than just when I go on holiday. It comes in three different varieties; clear, cotton fresh (I think, it is certainly something with the word cotton in) and aloe fresh. I favour the clear one, but they are all nice scents. They are, as the names suggest, like and fresh fragrances. The clear one has a more fruity twist that I prefer over the others, although if anyone was the only scent in stock, I would still buy it, because they are all very similar really. I like the fact that the roller ball on the deodorant is very easy to move, meaning that the deodorant inside glides on very well - smoothly and quickly. Unlike some roll ons I have had in the past, this one doesn't stretch my underarm stin as I apply it, which is very important because there's not a lot worse than catching your skin because it blooming well hurts all day. The ...
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