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I'm Mr B, married to Mrs B we have two Little B's. I live in Cheshire, I work in finance, I like cheese

Reviews written

since 21/07/2009


The One Plus One - Jojo Moyes 16/08/2014

Decent book!

The One Plus One - Jojo Moyes The Mrs has a Kindle which is linked to my phone and so I can access the books she downloads. It has resulted in me sometimes checking out the books and on some occasions I have ended up reading whole books which I wouldn't normally do. This is one which I read and was surprised by as I thought it was 'chick lit' but it had me interested from page one and kept me wanting to carry on reading which is not like me! The book is written by Jojo Moyes who The Mrs really raves about. She has read several of her books and has tried to encourage me to read them. I'm not really interested in reading but I think she wants to discuss them with me so I decided to check this one out to please her and I admit my opinion was that it would jsut be chick lit and be all about a love story but it was way more than that and even though I don't really read books I would be tempted to read another of Moyes' books again. The Mrs says she writes books on quite serious subjects and always puts a lot of meat on them, plenty of pages so you really get to know the characters and from having read this one novel I agree with that. This book is told in second person but from different perspectives. The main character is Jess who is a mother of one, Tanzie who is 11 and a step mother to Nicky who is 15. Jess is struggling with keeping on top of her bills. Her husband left her two years ago and seems to be a waste of space, unable to hold down a job, always quick with excuses not to see the children. Jess ...

HTI Vellutata Hello Kitty School Bus 19/07/2014

A school bus for Kitty

HTI Vellutata Hello Kitty School Bus For Christmas this year Little B had so many toys and amongst them were lots of Hello Kitty ones and amongst those was this Hello Kitty School Bus. This is a toy which is played with a lot and I think that is more down to the fact that it's on a shelf in her bedroom rather than it being that exciting. It doesn't seem the best quality in the world and there is a lack of detail but Little B still seems to enjoy playing with it albeit for just a few minutes at a time. Welcome to the school bus! Hello Kitty has quite a lot of these play collections now we have a bakery and a house they all come with little plastic bits to enhance play. This school bus is part of that collection but not all of the parts can be transferred, some of the characters are different sizes meaning that they may fit nicely on a chair in on of the toys but not in another. This is an obvious flaw. This school bus seems to follow the same theme of the others we have like this that it looks quite nice but actually it's not the best quality and is fairly lacking. It is only small, the box it comes in is so much bigger it looks like you're getting good value for money (We spent £8 on it but I've seen it for more like £12, I don't think it's worth £8 never mind £12!). The bus is really small, I know the point of these toys is that they are small but for the price you expect it to then have lots of things with it or something. It's only 13cm x 7cm so it's really not very big at all and it's made from a really ...

Early Learning Centre Baby Doll 15/07/2014

Little B's special dolly

Early Learning Centre Baby Doll I can't even remember when little B was bought this, Mrs B can probably tell you the exact date and time and exactly how we came about it but all I know is that she has had it since she was about a year old and now that she is five it is still a firm favourite of hers and has been very well loved over the years. I like The Early Learning Centre so it doesn't surprise me that one of her most loved dollies is from there and this is a lovely soft doll so ideal for a baby and very nice to care for and cuddle too. The doll Little B has a natural caring instinct, even in her school report last week her teacher wrote that she likes to spend time putting on a caring role and that is very true. We saw this in Little B when she was a baby and so this caring side shines through with how she plays with her doll. This doll is soft, no plastic face or arms or anything like that here and I think this actually makes Little B be even more caring towards her! A soft doll is the best kind of 'first doll' you can get as it's very baby friendly with no hard plastic that is likely to hurt if a baby rolls onto it or is likely to make it too heavy for a baby to carry around. This doll is about 25cm tall and is nice and squishy in the body, arms and legs. The head is slightly more stuffed so is a little firmer but this is still soft so if this is in the cot and baby rolls onto it's not going to hurt like plastic would. The doll is a really nice pale pink with a darker, raspberry pink on the ...

Early Learning Centre Racing Car Trio 09/07/2014

Fun racing cars!

Early Learning Centre Racing Car Trio We bought these for the boy when he was about 9 months old with his christening gift vouchers. We had a few cars for him but the Mrs said these looked really nice and ideal for a young child. They cost £8 for the pack of 3 from The Early Learning Centre. There were a few others you could get too such as a set of emergency vehicles and working vehicles. You get 3 racing cars in total. These are made from a chunky, firm plastic so ideal for toddlers. So many toy cars are more for the children over 3 years as they have little details which can easily be broken but these are nice and robust so we had no problems at all with giving these to our little boy to play with. Each toy is a different colour and I think they're geared towards boys as they are orange, pale blue and red, no sign of pink or purple here but this doesn't stop our little girl playing with them too! The cars have wheels which move quite smoothly so they are not a problem to be pushed along. They also have magnets on the front and back so that they can connect together and be pushed along in a chain but of course you can play with them separately too. They are pretty light so again really suitable for little children. Both of our children play with these and they do so in different ways. Sometimes they take one each and push it along the floor as hard as they can and see who's can go the furthest so really taking the 'racing' element of these cars to the point! This is fun to watch and can last a long time as ...

Early Learning Centre Fabulous Fairies 30/06/2014

Good but overpriced!

Early Learning Centre Fabulous Fairies Little B was bought this for Christmas 18 months ago. I saw it today in The Early Learning Centre and it prompted me to write this review. It costs £10 or it is also part of the 2 for £15 range. I personally don't think it's worth more than £5, it is good but it's really quite basic and definitely is not one of Little B's favourite things to play with at all. What is it? This is based on the idea of rubbing being able to create patterns. It is a plastic box with a handle. Inside the box are two drawers that open up on each side, one side has crayons in and the other has plastic plates. There is paper tucked into the bottom of the box. You get about 10 sheets which are square in size and fit the frame. There are three plates which make up a picture and you get 9 in total so you can alter the image slightly. All images are of fairies and you can vary their background or dress or hair and so forth. You choose three plates to put in to make the scene, you then put the paper on top and secure it in place with the frame clipping back down. You then select a crayon you wish to use and attach a little clip to it then simply rub it up and down. The raised detail on the plates then transfer to the paper to create an image. In use So it sounds straight forward but is it really? Can a young child do it on their own and is it fun? Well although it is well thought out in terms of how it is all nicely packaged together but is really not that great when it's in use. Little B is now ...

Pilot Be Ball Point Pen Feed GP4 26/06/2014

A good pen of various colours!

Pilot Be Ball Point Pen Feed GP4 At work I have to use different colours for coding information and it was always a bind having to keep putting pens down to pick up another, over and over again so I always looked out for the multi-coloured pens. I have had several and they are really beneficial for me but this is the best one I've had so far as it is proper ball point ink rather than a biro. The pen This pen has 4 inks inside it, blue, black, green and red. I have to use all four colours during work so it's very useful and all of the colours are easily deciphered too, it's not like the blue is very dark so it could easily be confused with the black. It is quite a wide, chunky pen which got some getting used to after using thin pens for a while but actually I now have got used to it and like it as it's pretty comfortable to hold. To select the colour you just press down the button at the top which then pushes through the nib of the ink you've chosen and you kind of press the button in slightly for it to retract. The nib is thin 1.0mm thickness so ideal for writing and underlining (and doodling too!) It's plastic and made from recycled material which I like and the barrel of it is a bit textured so great again for getting that comfortable grip. Using the pen Previously I would have to keep picking different pens up to use which may not seem like a big deal to some but when you have pages and pages of documents to work through and require a different pen for each line it can be rather tiresome so being ...

Colton Mill Harvester, Leeds 23/06/2014

An OK pub, nice area, shame the menu isn't better

Colton Mill Harvester, Leeds A few years ago The Mrs and I lived just across the road from this pub and we visited it many times. Over the course of our time living here it changed hands a couple of times and it is now a Harvester. Recently, we retuned to the area and decided to revisit our old haunts and this was one of them. Although we did enjoy our meal we thought that the menu was fairly limited and not as good as it used to be which was a shame. The pub The Colton Mill is situated in North East Leeds in a village called Colton which is a very short walk from the large house Temple Newsam House which is a tourist attraction. The pub itself has a mill which is now a house within it's grounds and this must be where it got it's name from. It has a Pizza Hut and McDonalds beside it and is across the road from a small shopping complex so it has quite a good location. It is just off the motorway junction too and on a main road between Leeds and Selby so very accessible by car and also bus. The nearest train station is Crossgates which is about 2 miles away. The pub is quite modern and is nice and bright inside. When you first arrive you are greeted by a member of staff before being taken to your table to be seated. I like this set up in a pub, I find it really friendly. The tables are well laid out and there is also a bar area too. There is a small outside area which is nice and green with about 4 tables but it is near the road so not the best beer garden you will ever come across even though it is ...

Hungry Horse 22/06/2014

A great place for the family to eat

Hungry Horse We recently ate at a Hungry Horse pub whilst staying with our friends. They said they eat here regularly as it was ideal for children so we went along and I'm so glad we did as it was great. The children could play whilst we took our time over our meals and were able to talk. The food was also really impressive too so we will definitely be looking for our local HUngry Horse to check out what it's like! The surroundings The pub we went to was called The Court Leet and was in Bromsgrove. It isn't far from the M5 and was easy enough to find. The building was a big building which was quite dark inside and I suppose this was to add 'atmosphere'. It was a typical looking family pub with lots of dark furniture but what made it really different is that there are several booths and at the end of the booth is a television which shows Cbeebies which is a good way to keep the kiddies quiet! Of course you don't have to sit at a booth though, if you actually want to talk with your children then there were loads of other tables which weren't complete with a television. The tables were set out well with several being large ones too and there was lots of room around them for highchairs or pushchairs so very family friendly. Inside there is also a play area which has several things for children to play with like some arcade type games and ride on toys. Outside there are a few tables and a little playground with climbing things and a slide. The pub surroundings were really good, this is the ...

Gullivers World - Warrington, United Kingdom 18/06/2014

Fun for kids, rather sad looking now.

Gullivers World - Warrington, United Kingdom We recently visited Gullivers World in Warrington. We have been there 3 times in the last 2 years and although the children really enjoy it, there are so many niggles with it that we think we will try a different one next time to see how that compares. Getting there/arrival Gullivers is situated in Warrington. There are two others- one in Milton Keynes and another in Matlock Bath. For us the Warrington one is closest and it is really easy to find. You come off the motorway and it is sign posted all the way, it's only about a 5 minute drive from the motorway and the roads are really straight forward. It makes a change to have good signage so The Mrs doesn't have to navigate for us! When you first arrive you drive down a short drive way which has a few welcome signs and smiling cardboard characters which is always a good way to get the children excited! When you first enter the land there is a large lodge on your right and this is the hotel where you can stay, we've never been here but I think it is quite expensive but I suppose it would make the visit really exciting. Parking-wise there are attendants that show you where to park, although the last time we went they weren't doing a very good job of it and people were just choosing to park wherever which was odd! The car park is dreadful. It's like a big field so if it's been raining be warned- it can be difficult to get your car in and out. Also they are very close together so often when reversing in and out you need to do ...

The Midland Hotel Manchester, Manchester 04/06/2014

Not impressed at all!

The Midland Hotel Manchester, Manchester This review is for the afternoon tea experience at The Midland rather than the hotel as a whole. This weekend the Mrs and I went to have afternoon tea at The Midland. We had been given a voucher to use for a champagne afternoon tea. It wasn't the best experience though and we were really rather disappointed! Pre afternoon tea We had to ring up to book and we were given the option of either attending at 1pm or 3pm. We chose 1pm and we were asked if there were any dietary requirements. I explained that I eat anything but that The Mrs doesn't eat any meat except for chicken, that she has beliefs that mean she won't eat red meat. Finding the hotel is easy enough for us as we know Manchester well but even if you don't you shouldn't struggle too much. It is about a 10 minute walk from Piccadillly station and the same from Victoria. The tram stops just a few yards from it too. When you see the building it is hard to miss it as it is a huge, grand, orange building! There are quite a lot of road works happening around the hotel so it doesn't look great around it at the moment. When we arrived the road works were the least of our concerns. What was our biggest concern was the amount of sick on the pavement and up the fire exit steps of this hotel! You would think on a Sunday morning a staff member would do a quick walk round the hotel to make sure it's not in this kind of state! Definitely not a nice start to what we hoped would be a lovely afternoon! When you arrive there ...

Lakeland Painting Pencils 03/06/2014

Quality pencils

Lakeland Painting Pencils The Mrs used to do lots of artwork with pencils, she has recently given up this line of work and now works with paints so her pencils have been left. I felt sorry for them and picked them up and had a doodle and these are fantastic! I can see why she chose these above other brands, really good quality, great to draw with and brilliant for shading. They come in a plastic wallet and are protected with a bit of cardboard. Having said this they still need to be treated with care, if you drop them be prepared for rubbish crumbling pencils which will give you nothing but frustration. Within the pack are 12 pencils which are round and quite thin. You get all colours you could need including some colours with different shades. When I was drawing with these I was just doodling really, I wasn't trying to create a masterpiece but it was really enjoyable to do, the pencils were easy to hold, no ridges on them so this meant they were comfortable against my fingers which I imagine is a good selling point if you are likely to be working with them for hours at a time. They are only thin and this meant I had good control over the drawing. They are quite soft but if you apply more pressure you get a more solid line. Soft is good for blending and making shades, it means you have more control over how deep you want the colour to be. They really went onto the paper smoothly and in a nice way, no having to keep going over and over for the colour to show through. I really quite enjoyed shading ...

Premier Travel Inn, Halifax 01/06/2014

A decent Premier Inn

Premier Travel Inn, Halifax Recently, the family and I had a night away at this Premier Inn. We didn't have to stay over night as Halifax isn't too far from our home, but when we were invited to a friend's wedding we decided it would be nice to have an overnight stay. We opted for Premier Inn as the price was good and we knew we could get a decent sized family room for us all. Although it's not the best of the Premier Inns that we've stayed in (and we have stayed in many!) it was definitely not a let down either. Booking We booked this hotel online and the Mrs quite enjoyed doing so! She likes booking Premier Inns as when you run the search for what rooms are available it shows you the other Premier Inns nearby and what rates they would be too. Very often she ends up booking a different one quite simply because of this comparrison. When looking to book this hotel we didn't have to choose a different one as the price was very reasonable- just £29 for the night! This is the cheapest a Premier Inn can be so we snapped it up. We already have a Premier Inn account and it was easy enough to book. You just put in your email address and password and it brings up your information. We opted to not include breakfast as we thought we would wait until we arrived and then chose to book it then. We always do this and this is incase we end up not being able to go and we can't get our full money back. Before you go you get a text with your booking reference in. Really good stuff! Like being able to book so quickly ...

Thomas and Friends Safety Helmet 30/05/2014

A good helmet to protect your little ones

Thomas and Friends Safety Helmet The boy has recently been busy playing on his balance bike and there is rumour that he may well be getting a 'real' bike for his birthday in October. The Mrs is very 'safety first' and so has bought him a helmet already in the hope that it will help him get used to the idea of one. This is a good helmet and seems really comfortable and easy to use. Safety first! The Mrs is very safety conscious and even though the boy doesn't even have a proper bike yet she is thinking ahead. The boy is a fussy one and likes to stand his ground, if he doesn't want to wear something, he won't and he will make as much noise and fuss about it as possible so for this reason the Mrs bought him this helmet now to help him get used to it before his bike will be bought for his birthday in October. Helmets are so important to wear, a friend of ours recently was in an accident and if it hadn't been for his helmet he would have been killed. I know children don't go around riding bikes along main roads and so forth but it's important from a young age to instil the importance of wearing a helmet and you never know when an accident could happen. Thomas helmet The boy is a big Thomas fan like so many other toddlers. His eyes light up when he sees him but his eyes cloud over when he's asked to wear something he doesn't want to so The Mrs thought by buying a Thomas helmet it would help him to wear it rather than refuse and, I have to admit, she was right! The helmet is Thomas blue with pictures of the ...

Jumbo Peppa Pig 9 in 1 Bumper Pack of Jigsaw Puzzles 18/05/2014

Excellent puzzle pack

Jumbo Peppa Pig 9 in 1 Bumper Pack of Jigsaw Puzzles The boy loves doing jigsaws and can quite happily complete them on his own with no help. We are having to keep funding his jigsaw addiction so when we saw you could buy 9 puzzles in the one box for just £10 from Smyths we couldn't resist it. The boy is delighted with it and plays with it daily, it's great quality but just takes a while to tidy up afterwards! What you get This is a big sturdy cardboard box, happily decorated with the pictures of the 9 puzzles inside. The box has a handle so a little one can carry it around and it is such a good design like this as we have another brand with 10 puzzles in the box but the lid just lifts off so so many times he has dropped it on the floor and all of the pieces have dropped out. With this it has a handle anda double fold lid so no chance of it accidentally falling out! Within the box are 9 puzzles all at different difficulties- 2 at 12 pieces, 2 at 24, 3 at 35 and 2 at 50. A good mix for a little one to develop from completing the simple ones and then moving up to the next. The back of the puzzles have a different colour on so you can work out which pieces belong to which puzzle. Playing! The boy loves this. The 9 puzzles all have different pictures on. Yo uhave Peppa and George in the car, the whole family having a picnic, Grandma and Grandad pig looking with them in rock pools and many more. Each picture is bright and colourful. The boy tends to complete the 12 piece puzzles within a matter of a minute or so and even ...

Creature Comforts Complete Series 2 (DVD) 15/05/2014

Still fun, even so many years on!

Creature Comforts Complete Series 2 (DVD) I originally bought this DVD for the Mrs for Christmas several years ago. We used to enjoy watching it but since having children we haven't really watched it as it's be relegated to in the cupboard and instead the children's DVDs have been on display. The other day, however, I found this and we decided to watch it along with our 5 year old little one and she loved it too! It bought back memories for us and also made her laugh and enjoy it. Who knew that it could appeal to such a youngster too?! What is Creature Comforts? Creature comforts is a short television show which used to be on our screens about 10 years ago. Each episode was only about 10 minutes long but just enough for you to enjoy it without getting bored. It is made by the same person who makes Wallace and Gromitt so expect animated clay characters. The programme is not filled with action, it's more amusing and it makes you sit and watch as it's all about what the creatures say so does draw your attention in. There are animated creatures- robins, mice, guinea pigs and so forth and these are dubbed over with voices of people. These people are not famous but they often have strong accents which make it really amusing, such a a Geordie mouse. The animals talk about philosophical things and it is a very simple show yet it does draw you in and always raises a smile. This DVD This DVD collection comes with 3 DVDs. There are 12 episodes in total and they each last 10 minutes long so for your money's worth you get a ...
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