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since 10/05/2006


Barclays Bank 11/11/2010

Dumb or Dumber??

Barclays Bank I have done all my banking with a different High Street bank for years. However, recently my life has changed a lot and I am finding managing all the bills and the bills of my partner hard work. I decided that a joint current account with a different bank would fix the problem so we could just tranfer in our dosh each month and then all our direct debits could come from one place. Leaving us with our own seperate "spending" money. Being with a different bank would ensure we can't just dip in quickly to transfer money instantly that we could "borrow" for ourselves. We chose Barclays as they have a local branch. We went in, showed all our ID and the geezer set us up an account. Hey Presto! All ready to pay money into and they will even get all our DDs automatically transferred to come out of our new account. We declined cash cards as not necessary for our needs. And if we did need to get to our money there is online and telephone banking. First hitch was the direct debits could not be automatically transferred. But that's not really a big deal. In the process of a house move so need to contact all our energy providers etc anyway. My online banking details arrived very quickly and I used these to log on with no problem. I was very surprised by my membership number which Barclays advise that you don't keep written down? It's a 16 digit number so of course I had to keep this somewhere safe as I could not remember it. Also received a 5 digit passcode but that can be ...

Dobwalls Adventure Park, Cornwall 14/08/2009

Must visit if near Liskeard!

Dobwalls Adventure Park, Cornwall SADLY DOBWALLS IS GONE! IT'S NOW A CARAVAN PARK. MY KIDS ARE DEVASTATED!! Dobwalls Adventure Park is an adventure park at Dobwalls, near Liskeard in Cornwall. If you like model trains its a must! Reasons to go to Dobwalls Adventure Park = Unlimited free rides on model trains Big adventure playground with bits to suit all ages Art Gallery Go-Karts Indoor soft play areas Restaurant Ice creams Toys of Yesteryear Good disabled access Model Trains There are quite a few model trains to look at. There are two running at the same time, a diesal and a steam train. You can visit the engine sheds and the turntable. The train tracks go all round the park and you can get off near the entrance or at the top end of the park. The train goes all round the park so you get a good look at everything on the trip. It has a couple of long tunnels as well which are good fun. Also there is plenty of room to leave pushchairs etc at the stations. Adventure playground This is such a cool adventure playground. It is in a wooded area which really adds to the atmosphere. My eldest daughter (2.5 years) had a great time on all the slides and climbing over everything but most of it was old for her. It is split into sections: under 6s and 6-12s. I am 29 (don't tell anyone!!) and had great fun on the aerial slides just like the Krypton Factor!! Art Gallery This isn't really of much interest to me but there was lots of picture of birds and wildlife and a shop to buy pictures ... 14/08/2009

trash? treasure? beggars? The freecycle mission statement "Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community." I am an avid freecycler! I don't even remember how I found out about it but I first only used it to try to empty my house of clutter. Freecycle is a place to advertise goods offered or wanted. So if you have something that is not quite ready for the local dump you can advertise it and chances are someone else fairly local to you will want it. If there is something you want but don't want to have to spend a fortune when second hand goods will do the trick there is usually someoneout there who has a spare. I found it by going to google and typing "freecycle" which goes to a site in the states but from there I found my way to good old Hertford. There are loads of different sites all around the UK so find your local site. You can subscribe to more than one site as well. There are 3 very local to me but I have only needed Hertford so far and have not bothered with any others... nice to know I could go a bit wider though. You need to have a Yahoo account as it's run via Yahoo Groups. This is very easy to set up, you can do it all from the freecycle website. When you register with a group you have several options the most important on how to receive the posts. I initially used to receive an email for every single post that ...

Levonelle Morning After Pill 17/03/2009

Oh my god!

Levonelle Morning After Pill Ok ......well....... I'm pregnant. So just a quick one to point out that it's not always reliable and I am kind of shocked! Took Levonelle within 24 hours of having unprotected sex. Got it from my local chemist at a cost of about £25. It is supposed to work up to three days after having sex, although the packaging does point out it's more reliable the sooner you take it. I didn't have any side effects and I don't think it is common to have any. My GP confirmed to me today that my baby could not have been harmed because of Levonelle. Luckily it's not a big deal to me but I would hate to think of people getting this in advance as their main contraception. JUST PLEASE BEAR IN MIND IT'S NOT 100% EFFECTIVE

Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne 18/07/2006

Who needs a passport? a passepartout please!

Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne Someone gave me this book so I felt compelled to read it even though I wasn't particularly bothered about it. Phileas Fogg is the main character; an eccentric, well composed English gentleman from London and his newly employed valet, Passepartout. Basically Phileas Fogg makes a bet with his mates in his local that he can go around the world in 80 days and he leaves the next morning! The journey across the continents is well described and although the obstacles he meets on his way are seem obvious the solutions around them are not! I was gripped by the story and my poor children 13 months and 32 months have been forced to watch Postman Pat a bit more than they would have liked!! I did manage to get to the end in two days and I thought the ending was perfect. A lovestory in disguise? I was almost disappointed when the story ended. I found the book very easy to read even though we have been suffering from sleepless nights with a teething baby! It is very well written and contains a surprising amount of detail for such a short book. I would think it would be easily read by anyone over 10 . Some of it would probably be more understood by adults (a bit like the simpsons!!!!) I loved the character of Phileas Fogg, the old fashioned English Gentleman to a tea! I will not say if he wins the bet or not , it is worth reading to find out! ...

Adventure Castle - Hertford 04/07/2006

A real adventure (if you're 2!!)

Adventure Castle - Hertford Adventure castle is a themed indoor playcentre for children (under 4 feet 10 inches). It was the first indoor playcentre I went to and it is my favourite one. I would say that it is more suitable for younger children as it is smaller than other playcentres that I have been to. But I have seen 10 year olds have a great time as well! (Not to mention all the mums and dads 'helping' their kids climb around!) It really is ideal place to go for the children to run around and get some exercise and you can sit and drink coffee and just watch or join in if you want to. The Castle Ball pit Slide Obstacles to climb over and under tunnels mirrors Toddler's only play area Plus more! My 30 month old loves it and so does my 12 month old. There is so much for them to learn about their physical ability but they can't hurt themselves. Older children seem to love it just as much having their own adventures. Mum and dad are allowed on too! Shoes must be taken off and you have to wear socks. Prices £3 off peak (during school time) £4 peak Free for under 1s. When it's busy you do get a time limit. Refreshments Sandwiches, cakes, crisps, hot and cold drinks. They don't do any fruit but they are very understanding if you bring your own although it is stated that only food and drink purchase there may be consumed on the premises. There are a quite a few tables and chairs and highchairs available. The staff are very friendly and even didn't moan when my ...

Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Stick 30 SPF 16/06/2006

No mess sunscreen for kids

Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Stick 30 SPF While I was struggling with a stroppy 18 month old trying to apply the green spray on suncream without getting all her clothes, my clothes and my furniture green my friend casually got the sunscreen stick out of her bag and said haven't you got one of these? No, I didn't have one of those but now I do! You still need cream for large areas of skin to cover over i.e. arms legs etc. But this is fantastic for faces, ears, nose, neck, toes. Its looks just like a pritt stick glue stick! you apply it in the same way and it is blue so you can see where you have applied it. You do have to rub it in a bit or you get blue blobs left. It is the same size as a pritt stick so it's very easy to take out with you, it slips in my handbag very easily (even my ultra small compact handbag!!) It is a bit greasy compared with other sunscreens but i don't mind as I can get the cream on my daughter's face without a fight. she actually puts it on herself now at the grand old age of 2 and a half! It is very water resistant. The blue does get on the clothes quite easily if you are clumsy like me but it always washes out no problem. And doesn;t make anywhere near as much mess as the green cream sunscreens you get. It is so handy and easy to put on that I actually use it on my own face most of the time. I actually have very sensitive and dry skin but this has not caused me any problems at all. Because of the ease of application there is very little wastage so my stick has ...

Renault Scenic II 1.9 dCi 15/06/2006

Taking the scenic route?

Renault Scenic II 1.9 dCi The decision? I made the final decision to go for this car after developing back problems in pregnancy and then having trouble lifting the children in and out of our Mondeo (which I loved!). Thus making a higher up car seem like a good idea. At first I wasn't convinced when my husband suggest the Scenic. His other suggestions were Zafira and C8. So when I saw them I instantly chose the Scenic! I am not really into 7 seaters and school runs yet as my babies are still under 3! I preferred the Scenic as it looked much less boxlike than the others and is actually only 5 seats but still has the same flexibility as other MPVs. Child Safety = I was pleased to see that the front airbag can be easily turned on and off so that a child seat can go in the front and it even has an ISOFIX fitting in the front as well as two in the back. Three child seats can fit in the back which is a huge bonus when going out with any friends. The zafira etc are all supposed to be 7 seaters but I tried to sit in the middle seat of the second row and was very squashed!! The Scenic really has tons of room in the back and it is a very comfortable ride in the back even with 3 people. I have often sat in the back between my two enormous child seats and I am not squashed at all. There is a 'childminder' mirror so that you can check the kids in the back without turning round or having to move the rearview mirror. My children love the car as they get a good view out of the large rear ... 24/05/2006

Kiddicare Kids! When I was first pregnant I was very practical and bought all my things second hand e.g. cot, pram etc. However, over time things get worn out or just not suitable for one reason or another. So over the years we have replaced most of our essentials and most of them we have got from Kiddicare. They sell a huge range of everything! An example is pushchairs and car seats. They sell most brands and delivery is free! What do they sell? --------------- --------------- ---- > Pushchairs - twins, tandem, doubles, 3 wheelers etc > Car seats > Cots, cotbeds, starter beds, travel cots, cribs, moses baskets > Baby Carriers > Bedding > Highchairs > Furniture > Stairgates, playpens > Nappies > + lots more! My latest purchase was a new cotbed for my second daughter as the old one had had it! This huge item was despatched by next day delivery and they even sent me a text message to say it would be arriving the next day! It arrived yesterday in perfect condition. I find the website very easy to use. There are links on the front page to main items or you can just type in the product in the search box. All items have good photos and you can resize or look from a different angle. Some items have several photos to give you a better idea. All accessories are known as Xtras and these can be purchased with main items but if you purchase them separately a £4.99 delivery charge will apply. If the total of Xtras comes to more than £50 then delivery will be ...

Phil & Teds Pannier Bags 19/05/2006

Pannier Bags - backache solution!

Phil & Teds Pannier Bags The Phil and Teds pannier bags are fantastic! What are they? You get two bags, 25 litres each, which strap onto either side of the stroller. They strap on with velcro strips which are really easy to do. The front one can be a bit fiddly at first before you get used to it. Do I really need one? If you have two children in the pushchair then you can't fit much in the shopping basket so these bags are essential. My handbag will fit in the basket by my daughters feet and maybe a drink but not much else. When used in the newborn position i.e. the seat is folded flat you can still use the shopping basket but it is difficult to get to! The pannier bags are 25 litres each so all nappies, spare clothes, lunch, drink and room for plenty of shopping aswell. The bags have a big main compartment and also the "lid" of the bag has a zipped pocket which has ample room in itself. There is also a small mesh pocket on the outside of the bag which nicely holds a drink bottle. If you are going out for more than a few hours so you need to carry everything with you then these are a godsend. Saves on backache from carrying heavy bags around. Ease of use Very easy to attach and detach. You have to be a bit careful in doorways especially if you have a bag on each side. They do add a bit more to the width of the pushchair. ...

Motorpoint of Derby Car Importer 18/05/2006

There is no better place to buy a car from.

Motorpoint of Derby Car Importer When I fell pregnant in 2003 we decided we better get a bigger car. We eventually decided on a Mondeo or Vectra and were looking at second hand with around 12,000 on the clock. We found a few we liked in local dealerships but had a lot of trouble getting a good price for a part exchange on our current car. My husband starting surfing the internet and found Motorpoint. A car we liked in the colour we wanted was in stock at the time and we were amazed as the price was less than we had been looking at for a second hand car. In fact I believe it was almost £5000 less than list price for a brand new car! We thought it was too good to be true and assumed that the good price would mean they would offer us next to nothing for our current car. Wrong! They offered 1000 more than Vauxhall! They broke down the costs for us and the final price includes a year's road tax, registration and number plates. The final price was about £200 more than the price on the internet (nothing compared to the saving we made!). They even give you a tax disc holder! All staff we dealt with were very informative, they gave us all the information we needed without us having to prompt them (another plus over the local dealerships) for example interior colour of the car, what's included with the model (GHIA), how we would have to pay, what documents we needed to take with us, the remaining warranty etc So when our car was ready for collection we arranged a pick up time. I must admit when I ...

Tomy Safari Baby Sling 13/05/2006

Have baby in sling... will travel!

Tomy Safari Baby Sling There are lots of times you just don't want to take out the pram or buggy so this is for those times. My first daughter absolutely hated the sling she would scream and kick and resist going in it until she was in and I had to run around to keep her happy. So I didn;t use it much for her. I found it hard to do up and got stressed and she got stressed and it became a big nightmare! When baby number two arrived the sling has been in constant use from day one. I had mastered doing the thing up this time round so didn't get stressed and so neither did baby! Anywhere that I walk a short distance I use my sling. It is great on the bus as no pram to get on or get in people's way, it's great in the shops as you can still hold a shoping basket, millions of reasons for using it! There are a few disadvantages too.... I am only 5 foot 2 and under 8 stones (sorry!) and I can't quite adjust it to be 100% comfy. But it is adequate and I can wear it for about an hour before baby's weight becomes just too much. Can't keep the baby dry when it starts raining unexpectedly. Although I am prepared for this now and I always carry my showerproof coat and I can do it up around the baby too! My baby is only tiny 16lb at 11 months old so I can still carry her in it. If you are considering buying this I would highly recommend practising getting all the straps done up with a teddy bear or something before attempting a real child as it is quite fiddly until you get used to it. It ...

Avent Disposible Breast Pads 13/05/2006

Breast pads that stay put!

Avent Disposible Breast Pads I have tried all the disposable breast pads I think and some washable ones as well! The avent ones are the best in my opinion for two main reasons. 1. There is a sticky tape on them so they stay in place, this is especially useful at night. Al my other wet soggy breastpads just ended up not inside my bra but leaving horrible wet patches in the bed as well as the two round circles on my expensive feed bra and nighty. When baby first went through the night a lot of milk leaked! 2. They are more absorbant than most. They have a coating on the back which stops them leaking so much. Although when they do leak it goes around the sides rather than soaking straight though like others. I started buying supermarkets' own brand disposables because they were so much cheaper but I got through three times the amount. After the first three months when feeds were settled down more I did go onto washables as not much milk leaking. I did not find the washables any good for the first three months though as they are not as aborbant. ...

Boots Silicone Nipple Shields 13/05/2006

Take the "eeeeeeee" out of breastfeeding.

Boots Silicone Nipple Shields When I had my first daughter I was so determined that I wanted to breastfeed. I did really great in the hospital but when I was at home on my own it all seemed to go horribly wrong! (If you are pregnant and considering breastfeeding please don't be put off by these stories! The pain etc only last for a short time I promise!) I basically couldn;t get Rachael latched on very well and I ended up with cracked nipples which were agony and bleeding a bit and getting quite scabby. Feeding was agony, the midwives always said to me count backwards from three and then the pain goes away but I couldn;t always get that far without wanting to scream. After a few days they suggested breast shields and nipple cream. The breast shields are little silicon covers with a hole in the top that goes over the nipple. It stops the baby's mouth actually contacting the sore damaged skin and it sucks the nipple into a teat shape which makes it easier for baby to latch on properly and get a good mouth full. Basically it gives the nipple chance to heal and after a few days breastfeeding feels more natural and then you can carry on without them. The midwives and health visitors do have concerns that the baby may get used to the "teat" shape and then have trouble when you want to go back to not using the shields and they recommend that you don't use them for very long. Within a week I was back to breastfeeding properly and I managed to breastfeed Rachael for seven months in the end ...

Babydan Baby Den 12/05/2006

Read the paper for the first time in months!

Babydan Baby Den The Babydan Babyden is a big playpen/fireguard/room divider. It comprises of six panels with fix together in various ways to suit the situation. I use it at home as a playpen, I am taking it on holiday for a fire guard and I got one for our toddler group as a room divider to keep babies away from their siblings in cars! The panels fix together at any angle you choose, they just get held in place with a pole. It is very easy to put together, no tools at all. I can put it up in under five minutes (with babies and toddlers crawling around my ankles!!). It has wall mountings as well. The playpen is free standing, its obvious use is as a hexagon but I used mine as a rectangle to fit it in a narrower space. I got the babyden for my first baby to play in before our house was protected from little fingers! But in the end I used to sit in it to read or do any paperwork that I didn't want her to get. I recently got it out for our second baby but my older child likes to go in it to hide her toys from her baby sister and they are both happy with that so I am too. Also, you can get two to fix together if necessary to make a bigger playpen which I have considered for our toddler group. When the kids grow out of it there is a tent attachment you can get to give it a much longer life! They then love to play in it again. It turns it into a wendy house. When my baby was tiny at Christmas we actually put the christmas tree inside it to stop the baby getting to the tree ...
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