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My son WIlliam is now 8yrs old and my daughter Aimee is 10yrs old. I am currently writing a book on my life based on my 'All About Me' review.

Reviews written

since 01/01/2005


Early Learning Centre First Shape Sorter 26/03/2010


Early Learning Centre First Shape Sorter This shape sorter has to be one of the most used toys my daughter played with. I brought this from the early learning centre when she was just 6 months and although it says this is for a 6-18mth old she enjoyed using this until she was 2yrs old and my son who is 2 and a half also enjoys playing the music on this and dancing to the songs and telling me the colours he can see. Initially at 6 months a child loves just to look at this and just randomly touch the animals and hear the different sounds they make. Then if you turn the little wheel under the animal shapes you can adjust it so that when they press an animal it plays a tune (a different tune for each animal). Once a child gets older they start to become interested in taking the shapes out and then realise that each different shape will only fit into that same shape hole. This is where this toy starts to become quite addictive as they try and try again to get the shapes correct. Once the child reaches 12-18mths you can then get them saying the animal names, making the animal noises and get them to recognise the different colours. There are so many learning opportunities to this toy that is it well worth investing in this. This is currently being sold in the early learning centre for £10.

Little Tikes Picnic Table 26/03/2010

Don't fall backwards!

Little Tikes Picnic Table I have now had this Little Tikes Picnic Table for 2 years and couldn't recommend it more. According to the guidelines it is for a child age 3+ but both my son and daughter used this from the age of 2 and although there was initially the occassional falling backwards off the seat (which caused a great deal of laughter)when they got used to it they were both fine. I brought this for £50 and at first I thought this was expensive, but then when I had seen the enjoyment my two have had out of it I realised it was worth every penny. The seats are red, the framework is blue and the table is yellow. We also brought a Little Tikes Slide which was red and blue so they contrast well together in the garden. It is so light that I can easily lift it inside the house if they want to use it to do some creative work on, or can lift it outside so they can have a snack on there. It gets moved about quite abit as sometimes they want it at one end of the garden, then they want to move to the other end of the garden and it gets moved again. We kept our table out all winter and it was very easy just to clean over and get it back to the condition it was in prior to the winter weather. This table can easily seat 4 young children and I think they feel quite important to have there very own table in the garden. Early learning are currently selling this very same table at the same price, however the colours are different - the seats are turquoise, the framework is green and the table top is ...

My Best Friend's Girl - Dorothy Koomson 29/07/2007

I was Crying and Laughing from the First Page

My Best Friend's Girl - Dorothy Koomson MY BEST FRIENDS GIRL This is a fiction book wrote by a very talented woman called Dorothy Koomson. In its first few weeks it sold 90,000 copies and six weeks later it was selected for the ‘Richard and Judy Summer Reads Book Club’ and the book went on to sell over 500,000 copies. This is the 3rd book of Dorothy’s 4 books that she has published. The story is about a woman in her early 30’s called Kamryn. She is devoted to her career and has no other responsibilities and likes it that way. She has her best friend called Adele who she was friends with for many years until Adele decided to sleep with Kamryn’s boyfriend Nate. From this point on Kamryn insists she will never see Adele again or Nate for that matter, until one day Adele writes a letter to Kamryn and tells her she is dying. Adele has a child called Tegan and asks Adele to adopt her, but Kamryn never wanted children and feels she is being put on the spot. What does she do: Will this ruin her life? If she did take on the child would she be able to cope? Would she get adoption rights if she did adopt Tegan? How would this affect her career? How would she cope financially? There are so many questions you will find need answering and best of all - wait till she finds out who the father of Tegan is!!! HOW DOROTHY KOOMSON APPROACHED WRITING THIS BOOK The plot for this book is very well thought out. At times as you are reading through it you think you can see how the book will pan out, but it is not as predictable as ...

Out of the Dark - Robin Royston, Linda Cain 17/07/2007

The Most Shocking Story Of Self-Discovery

Out of the Dark - Robin Royston, Linda Cain OUT OF THE DARK This autobiography was so popular when it was first published in paper back format in 2004 that it stayed on the list of best sellers for most of that year. It has sold almost a quarter of a million books in the UK alone! Linda Caine was born in Zimbabwe, Africa and lived there for most of her childhood, before moving onto Los Angeles and then England. She was happily married with a wonderful husband and two lovely children, living in a big house with no financial worries, and yet Linda was increasingly becoming more depressed by the day. She had what many people would describe as the perfect life and yet there was something that she hadn’t a clue what it was that made her dreadfully unhappy. This prompted her to start seeing a psychotherapist to discuss her feelings and to see if they could discover what lied at the heart of Linda’s depression, but it seemed that her feelings were buried so deep that to reveal them may destroy her completely. This is a real story of suspense that really makes you wonder how she will survive and get through her tragic life. It is also a really inspirational story of courage and strength of character. HOW LINDA CAINE APPROACHED WRITING THIS BOOK The story of Linda is told both by herself and her Psychotherapist (Robin) from January 1988 and ends in December 1991. The main focus is on Linda and Robin’s sessions together and going through Linda’s childhood to see if they can uncover any deep buried secrets that lie in ...

Guernsey (Channel Islands) 08/04/2007

Meeting Helen Mirren and adventurous times galore!

Guernsey (Channel Islands) Isn't it annoying when you go on holiday to a place you have never been before for 1 week and by the time you are approaching the end of that week you feel you are just starting to really get into the spirit of things, you've found out so much more that you feel you could do with another week. Well this was what it felt like when I went to Guernsey in August 2005. I have written the majority of this review from my own experiences, rather than giving you lots of facts about Guernsey that you could read about in any travel guide. INTRODUCTION The Channel Islands consists of a group of 5 small islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Herm and Alderney. Guernsey is the second largest of these islands and is 24sq miles in size. St Peters Port is the main part of Guernsey and has a harbour there. It is at St Peters Port where me and my husband stayed. DAY 1 From Stansted Airport it was a 1hr flight to Guernsey. We went on the airline Algriny which is a company this specifically does flights to and from the Channel Islands. It was a small jet plane holding just 60 passengers. On the flight we were handed a newspaper called the 'Guernsey Press'. So I shot straight to the weather page to find out the weather forecast. It said August 19th (today) Fair, August 20th Overcast with showers, some heavy at times, August 21st Heavy Showers. Oh no, I thought. We are going to Guernsey at a bad time. As we approached Guernsey I could see across the island lots of bright white lights glaring ...

reveals yourself in 100 questions... 26/03/2007

Autobiograpy, Published Article and more...

reveals yourself in 100 questions... 1. Full name: Sarah Ashton 2. Nicknames: don't have one I'm afraid and that's the way I like it! 3. Height: 5ft 7ins 4. Hair: Long Dark Brown Hair 5. Siblings: A 10 month old daughter called Aimee 6. Do you like to sing in the shower? Yes definately!! 7. Birthday: 23rd August 8. Shoe size: 7 9. Location: Hertfordshire 10. Sex: Female 11. Right or left handed: Right Handed, but I can also write with my left hand but it looks like the writing of a 5yr old. 12. What do you want in a relationship most: Someone I feel safe with and who truely loves me for me. 13. Status: Married 14. Do you have a car? Yes - A Peugeot 306. 15. What kind of car do you want? I would love to own a Porche! 16. Fave Movie: The Titanic 17. Fave song: 'My Heart will go on' by Celine Dion 18. Band/singer/rapper: Justin Timberlake is one of many of my favourite singers I have 19. TV Show: Baywatch 20. Fave Actor: Tom Cruise 21. Worst food: An indian sweet I tried once. I have never tasted anything so horrible in my whole life and just thinking about it now makes me feel sick. 22. Fave Food: Sweets of any kind - I love them all! 23. Number house no: 39 24. Have you ever been to a festival? No 25. Disney Character: Mickey Mouse 26. Do you have a secret no one knows about? I have a secret that no one knows about. It will be revealed in tomorrows Daily Mirror Newspaper (27th March) as I have an article going in there on My Life ...

Member Advice on Torticollis 15/11/2006

Can't look to the right

Member Advice on Torticollis Firstly I suppose you are all wondering what Torticollis means. Well 'Torti' means 'twisted' and 'Collis' means neck so it basically means twisted neck. There is a wide range of different types of Torticollis and so I am going to let you know about the one I have had first hand experience of in recent months. I gave birth to a beautiful little daughter called Aimee 6 months ago via an assisted delivery. Everything seemed perfectly normal until she was about 2 months old when I noticed a lump on the side of Aimee's neck. Thinking the worst I rushed her straight up to the doctors surgery and was given an instant diagnosis of Congenital Torticollis. The lump on the side of Aimee's neck was apparently there as a result of the muscles on that side of her neck having to work harder so therefore they were tight and swollen. I had noticed that Aimee had always slept with her head held to the left hand side and that when she wasn't sleeping she would sometimes look straight ahead but most of the time to her left. I thought perhaps this was just due to the way she had been in the womb and that it was one of those things that would sort themselves out naturally. I had been told that she held her legs up in the fetal position as that was due to how she had been in the womb and that this would sort itself out naturally, so put it down to just one of those things having never had a child of my own before. Anyway it became apparent when the doctor examined her that she couldn't ...

Members Advice on Labour And Birth 16/08/2006

When things don't go as planned

Members Advice on Labour And Birth Well my first child was due on the 18th May 2006 and I was very excited. I had been counting down the days to the big day. I wouldn't say I was ever really nervous about going into labour, even although I had been made aware in the antenatal classes that labour and giving birth is very painful. I think all the time as it got closer I just knew that I had to stay calm, focus on the end result of finally getting to see my baby and if there was pain then I would try and use my imagination to try and focus on something else to try and block the pain out. I had my birth plan all ready and I wanted to just have gas and air if I could and would only consider another form of pain relief if the pain really got too much. My birth plan was quite detailed and quite specific about certain things, although I was open minded about what positions in labour would be most comfortable as you never really know until you are in labour what is the best position for you. Anyway, the 18th May arrived and there was no sign of me going into labour at all. It was strange as I had always imagined in my mind that I would go into labour early. Nine days later and still no sign of my baby arriving so the midwife gave me an option to have a membrane sweep and because I couldn't wait any longer I said yes to it. When she came round to examine me it turned out I was already 3cms dilated, but funnily enough I had over the last couple of days been getting strange sensations every now and then, but not ...

A Child Called It (Audio Book) - Dave Pelzer 23/05/2006

A Shocking and Inspirational True Story

A Child Called It (Audio Book) - Dave Pelzer A CHILD CALLED 'IT' This is a book that is set in the 1970's in California. It is written by a man called Dave Pelzer, and this book is all about Dave Pelzer's life as he grew up between the ages of 4yrs and 12yrs old. It's about a young boy who starts off in a very warm and happy family. He has at the beginning a very caring mother, a father and 2 brothers. His mother sounds wonderful to all her children and takes them on lots of trips and holidays and gives them all lots of treats. Several years on however and things take a dramatic turn. David's mother starts to drink heavily, David's father often works 24hr shifts and David gradually becomes the victim of his mothers rapidly changing attitudes. She treats her other two children with respect, but for David he becomes her slave. He is constantly given chores to do around the house with unreasonable deadlines to complete them in, he is rarely allowed to eat a decent meal - often only being allowed to eat any leftovers if he is lucky. He is made to sleep in what he called his army cot in there cold garage, and is beaten and made to feel like an animal. There are many incidents where things gradually get worse and life threatening things happen to him caused only by his mother. David's family are aware of his suffering but are too scared to say anything in case they also become there mothers victim. HOW DAVE PELZER APPROACHED WRITING THIS BOOK There are 7 main chapters to this book and the first chapter actually gives ...

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon 12/05/2006

Two Mysteries to Solve

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon A CHARACTER WITH ASPERGERS SYNDROME I was in two minds when I first found out about this book whether to read it or not. This is because the author of this book has a character in it who has Aspergers Syndrome which is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder myself and knowing the complexities of it, I was in doubt as to how someone writing this book could possibly give an accurate account of this disorder if they hadn't got it themselves. I am glad though having read this book that I gave the author the benefit of the doubt because I can say from first hand experience that he has really put across in this book not only what Aspergers Syndrome is, but more importantly what it really feels like. THE BOOK When I first brought this book I was unaware that there were two versions of it. A book with a blue cover that contains quite a bit of swearing, and a book with a beige cover that eliminates the swearing. I got the blue book but I have to say I didn't find there was an incredible amount of swearing in it, but if I had of known about the other beige cover book I would have probably opted to read that one instead. This book is particularly aimed at the young adult reader, but would also appeal to adults who are interested in finding out more about Autistic Spectrum Disorders. THE STORY This is a book that is quite entertaining to read at times, but also has quite a sad and touching side to the story in places. The book starts off with a ...

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl 06/05/2006

Anything in Life is Possible

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY This book is really aimed at children between the ages of 7yrs-12yrs of age, although I have read it again recently and I still really enjoy it and I am 33yrs old so I think anyone could enjoy this at any age as it is a real classic story. I think this is a book every child should read and preferably read before they see the film. The reason I say this is because I think this is a book that would really stimulate a child's imagination. You can conjure up as you read this book some marvellous images, really getting the child to think and see this magical world that Roald Dahl has created in this book. If a child has already seen the film the images they will create in there head will be of those watched in the film so they would not be really using there imagination skills to the full and wouldn't benefit in the same way. The true talent of Roald Dahl and how well he relates to things from a child's point of view really show in this book. He starts off by listing all the main characters in the book and includes pictures of each one. This way it is made easier for the child to remember each ones name by just visualising the way each character looks from the illustrations. Also Charlie's grandparents are named in such a way to make it easy to remember: Grandpa Jo and his wife Grandma Josephine. Also Grandpa George and his wife Grandma Georgina. The way he names these characters is a typical instance of Roald Dahl constantly thinking of ...

Dyson DC15 THE BALL Allergy 28/01/2006

How to make your carpets look new again

Dyson DC15 THE BALL Allergy I only got the Dyson DC15 Allergy by chance. I originally set out to buy the Dyson DC14 Allergy priced at £278.95. What happened was a couple of weeks ago I was looking on the Argos website and noticed that most of the Dyson hoovers had big discounts and the DC14 Allergy was in the sale for £180. The only trouble was they were completely out of stock. As I wasn't to sure how long this sale would last and didn't want to pay full price for a Dyson I looked at the next option up - the Dyson DC15 Allergy which I found was reduced from £339.95 down to £240 and it was in stock. Well seeing as this was cheaper than the other version at full price I decided to go for it. FIRST IMPRESSIONS Well I got the Dyson home and took it out of its box together with its set of instructions and its 2 year guarantee and I have to admit it did look pretty impressive considering it's just a hoover after all! Its colour is silver and white with yellow on the carry handle, on/off switch and the ball. Now you are probably wondering what association a ball can have with a hoover. Well this is the main difference between the DC14 and DC15 in that it has a ball joint - this enables the hoover to steer smoothly with the turn of a wrist, great for going around tight corners and so you can clean with less effort involved. I got the impression from looking at this hoover though that it would be quite complicated to work out how to use - however looking at it more closely there weren't lots of buttons to ...

Remington WDF 1200 Smooth + Silky 02/01/2006

A Lovely Smooth & Silky Finish

Remington WDF 1200 Smooth + Silky For Christmas I decided one of the presents I wanted to receive was a lady shaver. So I had a look in the latest Argos catalogue at the ones they were selling and found that each one offers very similar features. But it didn't take me long to decide which one to go for. The Remington WDF 1200 stood out a mile for me against any of the others, and the reason for that was the look and style of it and the little carry case it came in. Also at just £19.99 it wasn't one of the cheapest or the most expensive, but to me it was a good sensible price to pay. APPEARANCE Well this was what won me over. Being a great fan of anything that is pink, yes you guessed - this shaver is a lovely shade of pale pink with light grey for the on/off button and light grey hand grips around the sides. The carry case comes in a pinky/red colour with Remington written on the side in grey. HOLDING THE SHAVER This shaver is battery operated and so even when I inserted the two AA size batteries the shaver still felt really light. It is very comfortable to hold in my hand and easy to grip. It doesn't slip at all due to the grey grip edges. The on/off button is very easy to use with the on and off being functioned through the one single button. PROTECTIVE CAP The shaver comes with a clear plastic protective cover which fits snugly over the area where the cutters are. It is very easy to pull off and place back. It just took me a couple of goes to remember which way round it goes as to not place it ...

My Resolutions 29/12/2005

My 2006 New Year Resolutions

My Resolutions Every year I always make a point of making New Year Resolutions. I think its very important to do this as it sets myself goals to achieve for the year and gives me something to aim for which I often find a good challenge. I don't like just going into a New Year with nothing in mind to achieve as I feel I would just drift by, day by day and not achieve as much as I would of otherwise. I find resolutions motivate me to improve my life in whatever way I choose and also its a great feeling to actually achieve some of the goals I set for the year. So here are my resolutions for 2006: TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE For most of my life up until the last few years I had little confidence in myself and so I got used to people I know telling me what to do and feeling that they always knew best and it never really bothered me that I never really had much of a say in things as I didn't have much confidence in my own opinions. But now I have got my confidence back I am at the stage where I want to stick up for myself and have a say in things - I feel that my opinions are just as valid. I also find myself saying 'maybe' or 'yes' alot when really what I want to say is 'no'. It sounds so easy just to say 'no' to something I don't want to do and it should be. So I am going to make a real effort to stop worrying so much and just go for it. I think I will be treated more like an adult rather than a child if I can conquer this one this year so on a gradual basis over the next year I am going to make a ...

Patch Adams (DVD) 10/09/2005

Treat the Patient, Not just the Disease

Patch Adams (DVD) Isn't it an amazing feeling to come away from a film where you feel so inspired, and it leaves you thinking about things for a long while afterwards. A film that can even change you as a person for the better, just through learning more about the little things that most people take for granted. Well that's what this film did for me and I am sure it would have a similar effect on others that watch this film as well. ABOUT THE FILM This film was made in 1999, but the film is based around life in the late 60's, early 70's. The film is about a man called Patch Adams who is struggling to find his place in life. After suffering many bouts of depression he tries to commit suicide and is sent to a mental hospital. His stay in the mental hospital however turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to him. But it wasn't the doctors that helped him to feel better. It was the patients that helped him. By him helping them he found that he could forget about his own problems. This is when he decides that what he wants to do with his life is become a doctor. So 2yrs later he starts medical school to do just that. However he quickly finds himself making not just friends, but enemies. You see Patch also wanted to be a clown and so he knows how to make people laugh. Patch believes that laughter is a form of medicine, and realises that he can be a clown and a doctor at the same time. Patch isn't supposed to have any contact with his patients until Year 3 - but breaks those ...
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