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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Wishing you all the best in the future, sad to see an end to ciao . been here 15 years now it will seem strange not to rate and review here

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since 23/09/2002


Home Made Christmas Decorations 18/12/2017

Pine cones for hanging on the Christmas tree

Home Made Christmas Decorations Pine cone, I have collected many pine cones this autumn in fact I have done most years. A pine cone is the female seed of conifer trees. I am not sure which species of tree my cones come from in fact I have several different cones. When I collected my cones from under the trees the weather had been damp and the scales were mostly shut quite tight when the cones dried out in my house the scales opened which is I think more attractive and I found a lot of small tear drop shaped pine seeds on the floor, I suppose I could eat these but they are very small and require the outer shell removing, I think it would take a long time to collect enough to make it worth my while. Some species of conifer have bigger seeds which might make it worth while collecting for eating. Thinking about how long it takes to collect these little seeds it's hardly surprising they are so expensive in the shops. See about extracting the seeds from the cone. Having just read about the value of pine seeds on I might we try eating some sometime. So why do I collect pine cones? I collect them for several reasons. One reason is to burn on my open fire, pine cones make great tinder, fire starters. The dry pine cones ignite easily and burn very quickly much more quickly than seasoned hardwood. When my fire is not in use for the summer I like to lay a big ...

Do you have any coping strategies for the cold, dark mornings and long winter evenings? 13/12/2017

This is how I cope with the cold dark winter?

Do you have any coping strategies for the cold, dark mornings and long winter evenings? I know the "competition" date is well over but thought I would spend a while this snow day writing my review. I don't like dark evenings and the shorter daylight hours my favourite times of year are late spring. Coping with the cold long dark winter mornings and evenings is easier for me now than when I was at work. (I retired last year :-)) No longer do I need to get up in the dark, but since I naturallyy early maybe half an hour later than in the summer I do get up. This early time is where I miss ciao being as active as it was as I used to spend at least an hour reading, rating and writing reviews here. So what do I do instead now? It has to be noiseless as hubby is not likely to get up for at least an hour after me. Well it's not too cold first thing as our heating comes on at 6 am. I make myself a cup of tea and do some craft work , just recently I have been using dogwood to make wreath's and star's I have been putting a hanging hook on fir cone's. I might also make these in the evenings too. I help out at a local group for elderly with dementia and shall be taking these for them to decorate. I like my garden but it's much too dark and cold to go out early in the morning as I might do in the spring and summer and much too dark and cold once it gets to 4 or even 3pm. I find the day long if I don't manage to get out at all so I make the effort to get out most days perhaps for a walk or shopping. When we settle in for the evening we light a wood fire its warm and ...

Master Class Deluxe Nut Cracker 30/11/2017

Is this review off Topic ?

Master Class Deluxe Nut Cracker Master Class Deluxe Nut Cracker This really will be my last paid for review here on ciao. Mostly this review will be off topic but I shall add a short review about the master class nut cracker. I decided I would write a farewell review about what ciao has meant to me. I began my career here in October 2002 with a review about a chocolate orange. I was a dooyoo member and realised ciao very similar an outlet for me to copy my reviews over. I joined to make a few extra pennies soon caught the ciao bug and was addicted. It's good to have a few extra pennies to spoil the gkids with. That nutcracker costs around £8 on Amazon and other sites. That's about a weeks worth of my reviewing cash. Also one of the reasons I write and read and rate here mostly in morning is that I wake early an hour or so before hubby and working on computer a quiet occupation which does not disturb him . I have retired recently and although I do have several out of house things to do its good especially on the winter to sit and occupy myself reading rating and reviewing . I have written reviews about the things that I have bought and use in my house. Like the master class deluxe nutcracker and my dishwasher , the nutcracker is dishwasher safe . I have mostly written reviews on toys. Why ? .I have played with many toys good and bad alongside children in my career working with children for over 40 years now. I wanted to pass on my suggestions for good toys and to pass on the message to parents ...

Brio 33253 Stacking Track Supports 30/11/2017

Brio trains need support

Brio 33253 Stacking Track Supports Come on lets play trains I recently wrote a review on some Big jigs track they will be compatible with this. Come on lets play on the floor, yes we could use a table but we can not build a very big train track there' This set contains 2 supports, made from a length of beech wood track and plastic interlocking legs. We had more than just one pack of these at school. So come on get down on the floor and let's make a fantastic track layout. Yes you could play with these on the table but there's not so much space there.. ###Age suitability Suitable for children aged over 3 years old. I would suggest a 4 ,5 or 6 year old would be more able to make a layout using these. ####Description These track supports are 2 green plastic arched supports with a short piece of wooden Brio train track. These pieces will stack on top of each other ####Play setting up a layout These track support scan be used to make a bride with a long piece of track fitted to each of the track ends of the support piece, You will need some slopes or ramps fitted to allow you to continue building the brio layout brio make some ascending track, You can also run train track under the track supports and make a layout that will go over and under a bridge. Brio train track is fairly easy to put together These brio tracks are good educationally . Your child will be practicing their motor skills , perfecting hand eye coordination ,being creative. Using their brains to work out the logics and planning a layout ...

Lego Duplo 10816 My First Cars and Trucks 30/11/2017

My first cars and trucks are Duplo

Lego Duplo 10816 My First Cars and Trucks • Lego Duplo 10816 My First Cars and Truck Today I am reviewing the Lego Duplo 10816 . My first Cars and Trucks I was not going to post another review but since I am only 90p short of £5 thought I would try to get a few more pennies. I am sorry I have no personal pictures of this as it is a school toy I have just retired so not able to take its photo. This set of bricks like other Duplo toys is suitable for children aged 18 months and over. Probably up to the developmental age of 5. This box of Duplo cars and trucks was well received by the class of special needs 6 year olds . It soon was constructed , deconstructed and put in the large plastic storage box we keep the Duplo toys in. #### Included in this set There is an instruction card in this set with easy to follow building guide. There are 36 bricks which make up the 3 vehicles and a traffic light and a pump for water refilling also a crane. . There are bricks to make a car, a fire engine, a dumper truck. The car is over 6cm tall high, 9cm long and 5cm wide. , Simple to construct from a blue wheelbase 2 standard Duplo bricks one with 4 studs one with 6. Then there is a curved piece with a picture of a boy driver and a dog in the rear. The fire engine is 13cm tall 9cm long and 1" 5cm wide. This has a wheelbase, a red cab with a driver. Then there are a couple of Duplo bricks for the rest of the fire engine and a grey ladder which can be raised or lowered. The dumper truck has a 4 wheel base and a couple of ...

BigJigs Long Straights 30/11/2017

Keeping on these straight rails.

BigJigs Long Straights I have spent many hours playing alongside children with wooden train sets some Brio some other compatible wooden trains and track such as the Bigjigs long straight track pieces I am reviewing today. These straight pieces of rail are sometimes included in large bigjigs train sets or in a pack of 4 straight rails. ####Suitable for These rails suitable for children aged over 3 years old. #####Size Big jigs straight tracks are available in short , medium and long. The long ones are 21.5 cm long by 4cm wide. #####Made from These pieces of rail are made of responsibly sourced wood. The wood is good quality smooth does not splinter or break. ####Style These track pieces are long and straight they have grooves for the train wheels along the edges and they conjoin to another piece of rail with a male or female jigsaw like connection cut out of the wood not added on. The pieces fit together with another track piece well. ####Play We usually play with these [pieces of train track with other wooden track and many wooden trains, usually on the floor to set out a large layout, we add these straight pieces to curved pieces to make an interesting layout, The children find them fairly easy to connect The wooden trains run well on them. While constructing the railway and playing the children practicing their fine and gross motor control, practicing eye hand coordination , using their imagination I have helped many children build the train track to London or to the seaside or maybe ...

Medisure Arm Sling 29/11/2017

This sling rested my arm

Medisure Arm Sling Medisure Arm Sling with Velcro Fastening A couple of years ago I fell off my bicycle (ouch) and I dislocated my shoulder (double ouch). Luckily I was near the hospital and after a lot of waiting and more waitimg then treatment in A&E When my arm nearly better and did not need a full supportive sling I felt I needed just a little support and borrowed a friends medisure sling. This sling is really just a 5=cm wide strip of foam, about 112cm long The strip of foam goes through a plastic loop this is adjustable you can leave a loop of foam as big as is comfortable for your arm, the foam covered by a thin stockinet fabric The loose end of foam goes around behind your neck and can be fastened by the piece of Velcro to the other end of the strip at a comfortable length. I found this sling easy to put on and adjust. I found this sling gave good support and was comfortable behind my neck. The only problem with this sling was that I found it a little short. I found this a handy sling useful and convenient. When my arm very nearly better, I was still a bit precious with it and I did not want the children to knock and bump into me and I found wearing this gave a signal to the children and they did not bump into me or grab my arm Would I recommend well if you need a sling and do not mind it being a tad short then yes I note at Amazon you can buy this sling for £4.75 ...

Judge Bead Cutlery Set 29/11/2017

Judge, my beaded cutlery

Judge Bead Cutlery Set Thanks for reading this possibly my last review for CIAO Let me tell you about some of my cutlery. When perusing ciao for a category in which to write a last few reviews I noticed this one for Judge Bead cutlery. I recognised a cutlery set I have had for ages , I cant remember where I got it from I suspect it was some of my parents cutlery which I "inherited I do not actually own a full 4 or 6 place settings of this cutlery just a few pieces probably enough for 2 place setting The cutlery is made of polished stainless steel. Mine certainly still looks shiny after many years use. As you would expect there are a selection of cutlery pieces available in this design. There are teaspoons, desert spoons and soup spoons. There are desert forks and table forks; there are desert knives and table knives, These items of cutlery are a traditional design does not look very modern, The edges of the handles have a row of patterning running around it looking like little beads close together The rest of the cutlery piece is smooth and shiny. Cutlery is well designed, although not sleek. I find them easy and comfortable to hold. The forks and spoons slightly narrower at the cutting /bowl end than the tip of the handle The forks both table and dessert are 4 pronged The bowls of both the spoon designs are good to hold just enough food. The knives are good for cutting your dinner not super sharp but sharp enough to cut through cooked foods, These pieces of cutlery are well balanced they ...

Judge Traditional Winged Can Opener 28/11/2017

A can opener with wing's

Judge Traditional Winged Can Opener Judge Traditional Winged Can Opener Judge cookware is made in Bristol. They have been making kitchen essentials since 1896. For my last or penultimate review (you never know I might write another review tomorrow you lucky people) I shall be reviewing the Judge Traditional Winged Can Opener. O~~~ my history with this tin opener (I shall call it a tin opener now as that's what I have always called it) I not sure how long ago my relationship with this tin opener started but it's a long time ago now. While on a camping holiday I forgot (yes I put my hands up it was me I was in charge of packing cooking essentials) to pack a tin opener. I went into a shop where we were staying and was lucky, I saw in front of me a cheap silver shine it was this stainless steel tin opener. So I paid for it and made my way back to the campsite and the camping gaz and the tin which contained our supper. The tin of tomato soup not one with a ring pull(I think this event before ring pull cans were common ) had not wielded to my husbands attempts at opening with the tools in his car so I opened the mouth of the judge butterfly can opener places its blade on the rim of the can . Then I squeezed the handles together and the blades bit through the lid of the tin. I then turned the wings of the can opener and the blades held the tin tight and the serrated wheel cut round the tin neatly. I then poured the soup into a pan heated it and we ate relieved I found a tin opener. This tin opener also has a ...

Playmobil Country 6133 Farm Animal Pen 27/11/2017

Lets put the animals in the pen

Playmobil Country 6133 Farm Animal Pen We had many farm and animal toys at the special needs school where I worked till last year when I retired. We had many Playmobil toys too. We found Playmobil toys very durable and well designed. We had a delivery of some new toys and the Playmobil Farm Animal Pen was amongst them. ~~~~~Suitable for This toy suitable for children aged over 4. We had this toy in a class of 6-7 year olds ~~~~~Included in this set This Playmobil farm \animal pan consists of 6 fence pieces 1 goat, 1 kid , 1 sheep , 2 lambs 1 donkeys, donkey foal, 1 farmer Playmobil figure, headscarf, buckets, pitchfork, hay bales. These pieces are all made of plastic and need very little construction the bucket handles need fitting and the 2 hay bale parts clicking into place The colours are appropiate, grey donkey, and white sheep .etc ~~~~Play, Education I have watched many children playing with this toy it's enough for a standalone toy or can be used with other Playmobil farm figures. The fences are not too difficult to put together. I have watched children get into their imaginary world herding tie animals into the field that they have made. Taking the farmer into the field and feeding the animals. We also have a truck from a different set the animals get loaded onto that. While we are playing with this Playmobil farm animal pen the children using their gross and fine motor control strengthening their fingers and arm muscles, also practicing eye hand coordination... I will help the children develop some ...

The Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead 26/11/2017

Indoors Shopping centre in Hemel Hempstead

The Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead Hemel Hempstead Located 24 miles (39 km) northwest of London, only 12 miles away from my home 15 minutes by car is not somewhere I often visit The train station is about one mile from the town centre, with Buses and Taxis are available. from here. . The bus stops for the Marlowes centres are not far only 5 minutes away local buses and the bus from Alylesbury to watford . for info about buses see or Hemel Hempstead on its present site is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. 70 years ago in 1947 Hemel Hempstead was designated as a new town. The town has developed and is not in my opinion an attractive place. Last week I decided to go shopping there and visited The Marlowes shopping centre. This single story indoor shopping centre is in the centre of Hemel Hempstead. There is a car park for this centre just of Woolsey road. I entered The Marlowes from the pedestrian precinct from the high street/ Marlowes, a pedestrian street. There are two entries on this road the south Mall entry and the north mall entry. You can also enter the shopping centre from the car park ~~The Marlowes is made up of South Mall, South Court, Centre Court, North Court, North Mall The pedestrian walkways are quite wide and airy tall and light not dull and dismal. When I was there it appeared quite clean and tidy. I also think the shops the other side of the now pesestrianised high street are also classed as The ...

HG Grout Cleaner 23/11/2017

Cleans between those cracks

HG Grout Cleaner Write your own review I have used HG grout cleaner and whitener products fore several years now. I have always found them reliably good. Today I am reviewing the HG grout cleaner. ~~~About HG In the beginning, the early 60's a Swedish business man had cleaning products which were developed by a Swedish university for swimming pool cleaning. The Company is now an international company based in the Neverlands. ~~~~~Price £4.00 at also £4.00 at . The RRP is £6.16 ~~~~Packaging. This grout cleaner comes in a white bottle with a screw cap lid. This contains 500mls The front has a picture of a yellow tiled area being cleaned with a scrubbing brush. ~~~Product This cleaner is a clear thin runny liquid. ~~~~Use This cleaner suitable for use on grout around tiles and grout around the sink or shower unit. Also for use on floor tiles. This is a concentrate cleaner the recommended dilution is 1 part cleaner 4 parts warm water. ~~~~Smell There is a chemical smell but I did not find it too string and unpleasant, I was not using in a closed room ~~~~~My Use I often get discoloured tile grout by mould and other grime in certain areas in my bathroom. The area that is discoloured not huge. I tend not to dilute the HG grout cleaner and not to use a huge scrubbing brush. I pour a tiny bit of grout cleaner into the lid and use an old toothbrush to ... 21/11/2017

Was I dazzled by I was perusing the many recipe sites on the internet just looking for inspiration. Sometimes I just get stuck in the same routine of recipes just cooking the same meals is an American recipe site for celebration and seasonal recipes. It is part of Just my home the main recipe site. The navigation, and search facilities good The layout and content good too. The Home page well laid out with a little about the website and an index link to recipe topic pages, When you go to any of the front pages of each topic it is laid out attractively the recipe page on a topical coloured /patterned surround .Each page has an attractive picture at the top for example the page listing Easter recipes has a few rabbits at a gate with some Easter baskets. The Christmas recipe list page has a traditional fire scene with a Christmas tree and Santa So let's have a look of the recipes. Now this is where I will be honest I have not tried to make any of these recipes. Why? Well that's because the measurements in cups and ounces since these are not on my scales I couldn't be bothered to work out the quantities. There is quite a good selection of recipes for every occasion. There are sweet recipes savoury recipes meal recipes, snack recipes. The recipes well laid out and easy to follow. The ingredients may include some unknown items like Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese and the flour is all purpose not plain flour as we know ...

Lego Duplo 10554 Toddler Build and Pull Along 20/11/2017

Go on build it and pull it along, you know you want to.

Lego Duplo 10554 Toddler Build and Pull Along ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~# This set now like me has now been retired but I remember it from my work days. I worked for many years in a special school and this was one of the Duplo sets of toys which we had. ~~Age suitability This toy suitable for those over 18 months old. If you have ordinary lego bricks too it is possible to fit both together, as a guide 1 4s stud standard lego piece will fit over 1 Duplo stud. So 4, 4 stud or 2, 8 stud standard lego would fit on a 4 stud Duplo brick, ~Pieces This set is small only 15 pieces. It would make a good starter or add on set. One of the pieces is a flat piece on wheels, a 6 by 10 pip/stud with a string attached. There are an assortment of 8 pip/stud, and 4 pip stud pieces. Some double standard height some curved some bricks are shaped so they can be used as legs. The colours are pink, red, orange, purple blue green and yellow. Some bricks have eyes on them some stripes, some stars. These are good bright attractive coloured bricks. ~~Play, Education These bricks are popular with my students they enjoy building with them. These bricks will make basic towers or with a bit of creativity and imagination an animal or two animals with long necks animals with tails , multi coloured fantastic animals but my pupils quite happy to call the purple and pink animal they have made a cat or a dog. Bricks get built onto the base plate and my pupils pull their "dog" across the table. The string to this bas ...

Poundland Flexi Straws 18/11/2017

If you really need to use a straw

Poundland Flexi Straws Poundland drinking straws Recently I attended a children's party where the children were given drinks with a straw. These straws were a 250 packet of Poundland flexible straws. =Availability /Price Pound land straws are available at, yes you've guessed it Poundland either in the high street shop or at These cost, yes you've guessed right a packet of 250 for £1. Now this is a good price I note other supermarkets are selling packs of 100 similar straws for £1 or more Description. These straws are packaged in a thin plastic type bag, once opened the straws will spill out. The straws were decanted into a tall glass for easy dispensing and to stop them rolling on the floor. These straws are made out of plastic they have a small bendy flexible section part of the way down the straw. The straws bend easily at this point. The plastic is very thin, does not withstand much biting or chewing, (no straw does really) The straw itself is quite thin. The length, (sorry did not think to measure ) is about the standard length for a drinking straw tall enough to stand in a glass and allow you to bend the top and drink out of it. Colours The straw in this packet are a variety of colours red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange. Good so you can identify your drink easily. Use. Children and adults too like to use a straw to drink from at a party they are fun. These drinking straws make the glasses ...
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