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since 15/02/2015


Play-Doh Ice Cream Castle 22/03/2017

An ice cream dispensing castle for any prince or princess

Play-Doh Ice Cream Castle `•¸•´ Play-Doh Ice Cream Castle `•¸•´ `•¸•´ Introduction `•¸•´ This review is on the latest toy that my granddaughter bought herself with pocket and Tooth Fairy money (I used to get a threepenny bit!!), she picked it up in Asda for just over £13 -not bad as she only had £10!! The toy she chose didn’t surprise us as she LOVES Play- Doh, was the Play-Doh Ice Cream Castle and it certainly looked like it was a decent little play set for the money. `•¸•´ About the Play-Doh Ice Cream Castle `•¸•´ The set comes in a colourful cardboard box that measures 12” x 13” x 3 ½ “. In the box everything is packed in a plastic bag - there are the plastic pieces to make up the castle itself, all the tools that you will need for making and decorating different all your ice cream sundaes. There are six ice cream discs that make a different shape come out when used with the swirl extruder, there is also a whipped cream extruder, and a sprinkles-maker. Plus, there are lots of moulds all over the playset for decorating the ice cream sundaes with everything from Play-Doh ‘sweeties’ to teddy bears and dinosaurs. There is also a roller for making a textured design in the Play-Doh, five spoons, four dishes and two cones. The Play-Doh itself comes in six cans of Play-Doh: blue, orange, green, purple, white confetti, and yellow confetti. There is an illustrated instruction leaflet showing you how to assembler the castle. MANUFACTURER’S DETAILS “Take a magical trip to the Play-Doh Ice Cream ...

Little Tikes Giant Evergreen Slide 21/03/2017

Good fun for your little and not so little tikes!!

Little Tikes Giant Evergreen Slide (°o°) Little Tikes Giant Evergreen Slide (°o°) <(‘o Introduction o’)> When we bought our cottage, we were lucky enough to inherit in the land/gardens a large children’s playground with solid timber climbing frame and slide and swing. The kids loved it, although the ‘Elf & Safety’ brigade would probably have 100 dicky fits at the state of it!! When we moved in our youngest grandchild was Olivia – who was then 2 and a half, she needed a lot of supervision on the climbing frame and slide – so much that the next summer we decided to buy a plastic slide to add to the playground – especially as one of my other daughters was pregnant and so a younger grandchild was expected!! Prior to moving to Lancaster, my husband and I had helped run a Mums and Tots group in our local church hall, all the bigger play equipment there was Little Tykes, and our older children had all grown up with Little Tykes playthings as well, so we had no hesitation in choosing a slide from them; we chose one of the larger of the slides – the Little Tikes Giant Easy Store Evergreen Slide. Little Tikes is early 50 years old now – so several generations have grown up playing with their easily recognisable toys. This weekend I have made a start on getting the playground looking a little tidier after the winter (when my chickens have suddenly taken to using the ‘cubby hole’ under the slide steps as their favourite roosting spot); with the grass tidied up and all the debris that has blown into the playground ...

Best Laid Plans (DVD) 20/03/2017

"We're gonna get a little place."

Best Laid Plans (DVD) :-•- Best Laid Plans-•-: :-• DVD Review -•-: :-• Tagline -•-: Some Friendships are worth fighting for :-• Genre -•-: • Drama :-• Film-•-: 'Best Laid Plans' is a 2012 British film, not to be confused with the earlier 2000 film of the same name, starring Reese Witherspoon. The film was released to just a few select cinemas on 3 February 2012 and on DVD just 3 weeks later. Directed by David Blair, 'Best Laid Plans' is loosely based on John Steinbeck's book, 'Of Mice and Men'. Film Details Directed by David Blair Produced by Brad Moore and Stacey Murray Written by Chris Green and Jeremy Sheldon Music by Rob Lane Cinematography by Ali Asad Prod Companies MoliFilms and Made Up North Productions in association with AV Pictures :-• The Story •-: “And I get to tend the rabbits” “Best Laid Plans” is roughly inspired by John Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’. Set in Nottingham, it concentrates around the relationship between Danny (played by Stephen Graham), a small-time chancer – a typical yet endearing Scouse scoundrel that blends invisibly into his place and his unlikely friend Joseph (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) – a giant mentally disabled man, who’s colossal frame belies his naïve, childlike personality. In debt to the psychotic local gang boss Curtis (played by David O’Hara), Danny is forced to hire out his gentle giant of a friend as an illegal cage fighter to Curtis, to settle a debt. The more that Joseph is forced to fight, the more Danny ...

Around the World Snap - Pack 1 19/03/2017

Around the world in fifteen minutes

Around the World Snap - Pack 1 •:* BrainBox Around the World Snap *:• •:* Introduction *:• My games box is becoming full of these card games from BrainBox – I already had the Times Table Snap, Fraction Action Snap, Four Function Snap and Maths Snap Plus, which the children all found helped with their maths while having fun. I now am always on the lookout for more varieties at a decent price, and there do seem to be lots to choose from. My last purchase was from The Word and cost me all of £1.00, this was the BrainBox Around the World Snap game, Pack one. •:* About the Game *:• The game comes in a regular playing card size and shaped box (3” x 2 ½ “); the box is quite plain, pale blue with a dark blue ’splat’ on the front and the words Around the World Snap on the front, the top of the box states that it’s a BrainBox game with the phrase ‘Play Together. Learn Tomorrow.’ Inside the box there is a sealed pack of 52 colourful playing cards and three rules card and a self-checking guide. The countries featured in this deck are Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Israel, New Zealand, Russia and United States. There are four cards for each county – one with the countries name, one with its shape, one with its capital city and one with its flag. You can play either Snap or Doubles (or Pairs) with these cards; this is a simple but brilliant means of helping children to learn important geography questions a by playing two traditional family favourite games. Two fun games in ...

Murder Rooms - The White Knight Stratagem (DVD) 18/03/2017

A golden oldie that really shines

Murder Rooms - The White Knight Stratagem (DVD) :-•- Murder Rooms - The White Knight Stratagem-•-: :-• DVD Review -•-: :-• Introduction -•-: After looking through the list of recent offerings on Sky Cinema, and seeing nothing to grab my attention, I decided to pick an old film from our DVD collection. This film wasn’t as old as some that I watch, in fact it was virtually brand new – it was 16 years old!! I have no idea where the DVD came from. Whether it was one I had picked up at a school/church fair or charity shop or had been given by a friend; but I knew that I had never watched it – and the sub title – “The mysteries of the real Sherlock Holmes” grabbed my attention. So, I sat down for an hour and a half watch – and the following are the details of the film and my observations of it. :-• Genre -•-: • Crime • Drama • Mystery • Thriller :-• Film-•-: 'Murder Rooms – The White Knight Stratagem' was actually the last of a series of made for TV films from the BBC TV series first aired in 2000 - Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes. This episode – first aired on the 2nd October 2001, was written by Danny Boyle, not to be confused with the film director of the same name, but writer of several episodes of some much acclaimed TV crime dramas - including the first episode of "Lewis", some “Prime Suspect”, “Inspector Morse” and most of “Hamish Macbeth". Film Details Director: Paul Marcus Producers: Alison Jackson and Ian Madden Written by: Danny Boyle Music: John Lunn Cinematography: Peter ...

Gardman Wooden Cold Frame 17/03/2017

Thisa Gardman guards my seedlings well!!

Gardman Wooden Cold Frame º°”˜ Gardman Wooden Cold Frame `”°º º°”˜ Introduction `”°º Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I have vivid recollections of my father’s garden. The front garden was always immaculately set out and a blaze of colour – however, the ‘business side’ of the garden (the back garden) was less so, as it was full of contraptions that my dad had built from whatever he could lay his hands on. His huge greenhouse seemed to grow bigger every year and was a mitch match of brickwork old windows and bits of old greenhouses from my uncle’s small holding; dad had built an intricate water holding /saving system attached to the kitchen lean-to (another of his mad builds) consisting of old bits of tanks, water buts and other stuff gathered from his job as a plumber and a whole row of cold frames that he’s made from any old windows people were throwing out! So, I don’t know what he’s have to say about me going out and “spending good money” on commercially made garden equipment. Although in my defence I have just turned two old charcoal drum barbecues into planters for this year’s radishes (I WILL stop the chickens eating them!!) So, sorry dad, but three years ago, I spent £45 whole pounds on purchasing a wooden cold frame for my garden – what can I say – I had no old windows knocking about!!!! As I have just clicked PAY NOW on E Bay to purchase another identical cold frame (£10 cheaper too at £37.49 with free postage), I think it is time I reviewed the old one that has now had three years’ ...

Lego Games 3839 Race 3000 16/03/2017

Lego build and race but not at the RRP !!

Lego Games 3839 Race 3000 ( =’o’= ) Lego Games 3839 Race 3000 ( =’o’= ) Oº°‘¨ Introduction ¨‘°ºO EUREKA!! After over 40 years of buying Lego in all its varying forms, I have come across a really unusual form of the legendary toy – Lego in game form. Not only that, but I didn’t need to take out a second mortgage to buy it and it kept a 15, 13, 11 and 6-year-old happy for hours over their last stay with me! I won’t be mean and keep this little gem to myself – I shall review it here, so that all those other Lego obsessed families can share in the fun, should they wish!! This item is the Lego Games Race 3000 (model number 3839) Oº°‘¨ About the Lego Games Race 3000 ¨‘°ºO What Lego Says “Introducing LEGO® Games, the world’s first collection of games that you build, play and change.” What Sellerleygirl says This toy/game comes in a rather sturdy, cardboard box that measures around 7 ½ x 2 ½ x 10 ½ inches; it is a lovely colourful box that is obviously Lego orientated and has two Lego mini-figure racing drivers cheering on some Lego cars, driving around a Lego track. The back of the shows a couple of close-ups of making up the game, plus the normal blurb and contents list, in four languages. Inside the box there are 167 Lego pieces to build four race cars, a two-lane track, 10 oil spills, a checkered flag and a winner’s podium, one build-able Lego Die, a rules booklet and a building instructions booklet. The idea is that you build a race track, cars and a Lego die out of the Lego and then ...

Tala Retro Flour Sifter 15/03/2017

The Jumblies won't be going to sea in this sieve!

Tala Retro Flour Sifter «-•·Tala Retro Flour Sifter •-» «-•·Introduction ·•-» While I love all the new gadgets that technology has brought me in the kitchen, and wouldn’t be without my electric steamer, bread maker etc., I adore traditional and retro kitchen items. I have many that were my mum’s and grandmother’s, but I am also always on the lookout for more little items for my kitchen – for both use and decoration. As mine is an old country cottage converted from a cattle shippon, I have lots of beams and old wood etc. on the kitchen and plenty of places to hang or display my items (just dusting that is the pain!!) However, I like it even more, when I can buy a new item that has a retro look and feel, but is something that I can actually use on a daily basis – one of those items is my 50’s style Tala Retro Flour Sifter. I have owned this now for two years, and this is a review on the product. «-•·About the Tala Retro Flour Sifter ·•-» This 1950’s style flour sifter comes from the Tala Originals Collection; it is perfect for agitating and aerating flour to a light, even consistency or for sifting onto a baking board or work surface. It measures around 6 ½'' tall x 4'' wide x 5” deep and is made from stainless steel. There is a fine meshed base with two wheels or spokes above it; by pressing the trigger handles on the sieve repeatedly, the spokes work against the fine meshed base to agitate and aerate the flour. Silver and blue in colour this sifter has a very plain and retro appearance The ...

Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? 15/03/2017

My garden is all of these things - and more!!

Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? (¯`°Ciao Cafe Current Issue °´¯) ……….(¯`v´¯) ………..`•.¸.•´ Do you make a point of having a wildlife friendly garden or maybe you follow a colour scheme? So, dear Ciaoers, do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? AN ILLUSTRATED ANSWER ……….(¯`v´¯) ………..`•.¸.•´ I love my garden!! I am lucky enough to have almost 2 acres of land of different types of terrain with my cottage; all of which was pretty overgrown when I moved in. I have now got the garden more or less as I want it – with a small orchard, an area for my chicken coop (although the chickens roam free wherever they want), a vegetable garden, a fruit garden, a playground, a large pond and formal garden and lawn; we decided to keep one area as pasture land for games of football, the odd bouncy castle etc. and the grandchildren and I created our own wildlife garden at the bottom of the garden, leaving a lot of the wild plants and shrubs where they were to attract butterflies and bees, and also leaving a couple of ‘climbing trees’ for the kids to play on. (¯`°Our Wildlife Garden °´¯) The children were encouraged to build the garden after seeing the RSPB TV advert “If you build it they will come” We all love our little wildlife garden and it has taught the kids (and me) a lot about nature and ‘they’ DO come!! They come without us spending a fortune on special equipment, apart from some butterfly and bee hotels, bird boxes and bird feeders all our other ‘visitor ...

Suttons Petunia Seeds - F1 Purple Wave (Supaseeds) 14/03/2017

I'm a lonely little petunia in an onion plot!

Suttons Petunia Seeds - F1 Purple Wave (Supaseeds) »——(¯`Suttons Petunia Seeds ´¯)——» »——(¯` F1 Purple Wave (Supaseeds) ´¯)——» »——(¯` INTRODUCTION ´¯)——» It’s nice to see my garden beginning to bloom into life a little after the winter months; the snowdrops are all but finished, the crocus and daffodils are in full bloom and it won’t be long before my tulips are flowering. I do love gardening at this time of year – even though it is a busy time in the garden. As fast as my perennials start growing – so do the weeds – but quicker!! The weather can be a little iffy, we seem to have one bright sunny day and then it’s back to a cold, wet and windy day; so, a lot of my gardening work is confined to my kitchen or greenhouse as I sow some seeds ready for the summer. By the end of February, I have always had a good scour through the Suttons Seed Catalogue and have lots of little packages waiting for my attention. One of those packages, containing seeds that I sowed last week contains seeds for the lovely Purple Wave Petunia. It is those seeds that I am reviewing today. »——(¯` WHY SUTTONS? ´¯)——» I grew up in a house (and garden) with a thoroughly committed (and very green fingered) gardening father! Around Christmas time he was always very excited when the Sutton Catalogue would drop through the door – no ordering online in the 50’s and 60’s!! He would be mesmerised for days picking out what seeds he would be buying – he grew hundreds of plants – not just for our garden but for friends and neighbours and he also grew ...

Doctor Strange (Marvel) (DVD) 14/03/2017

Alas, poor Yorick, it's Elementary - he is the Sorcerer Supreme!

Doctor Strange (Marvel) (DVD) :-• Doctor Strange (Marvel)-•-: :-• Film Only Review -•-: For some reason our local Vue Cinema is currently offering half price tickets; so, when the grandchildren were here I took the rare opportunity to take them to watch a couple of films (usually the price of the tickets, popcorn, drinks, nachos etc. bankrupts me!!) Consequently, when ‘Dr Strange ‘ was showing , I took the two oldest staying with me to watch it – it is not my usual genre of film, but I do like a bit of Mr Cumberbatch! Consequently, this is a film only review – however I have checked on ‘DVD Review’, regarding extras etc. on the DVD , they say that the DVD is “Packed with bonus features, Doctor Strange also provides plenty of material to go behind the scenes of the production. Covering a wide variety of aspects, including a close look at the sets, the visual effects, the cast and characters of the film and many others. It also contains a funny blooper reel and a Thor clip called Team Thor: Part 2, among other things.” :-• Tagline -•-: Open your mind. Change your reality :-• Genre -•-: • Action • Adventure • Fantasy • Sci-Fi :-• Film-•-: 'Doctor Strange ‘is a 2016 American film based on the Marvel Comics character. Although this is Doctor Strange’s first outing in a Marvel solo film, his character has, it seems, been mentioned in earlier Marvel films. It seems that the character of Stephen Strange was first shown in the Marvel Comics in 1963, ...

Hemline Tomato Style Pin Cushion with Attached Sharpener 12/03/2017

Sew cute, sew handy, sew get one!!

Hemline Tomato Style Pin Cushion with Attached Sharpener ¤Oº°‘Hemline Tomato Style Pin Cushion with Attached Sharpener ‘°ºO¤ ¤Oº°‘Introduction ‘°ºO¤ Since I moved to my current cottage I have taken up an old hobby that I was very keen on all my life – sewing! When my three oldest daughters were born in the 70’s I made all their clothes and I made all my curtains, cushions etc. However, the children got older it was cheaper to buy their clothes from the shop and they didn’t want Mum’s homemade clothes; my sewing tended to be for fancy dress and the like. When I moved from my large house in Cheshire I gave my daughter my sewing machine, with 3 kids in primary school there seemed like endless fancy dress costumes for her to make – now that Mum lived 60 miles away! We lived in our static caravan for a while as we waited for our cottage to be ready, so I didn’t miss my sewing machine at all – and didn’t have the need for it. When though it got near to moving in to the cottage, and I needed curtains etc., I decided to buy myself a new sewing machine and start again with a bit of the old needlework. Consequently, full of vigour for returning to the old hobby, and also with a distinct lack of all the bits and pieces I needed, I hit E Bay and Amazon and ordered myself several things– a sewing box, scissors, pins, needles, thread etc. when I saw the Hemline Tomato Style Pin Cushion – this took me back to my childhood and one like this that my mum had – for the princely some of £2.40 with postage, I had to have it. ¤Oº°‘About the ...

Parasene Bulldog Garden Wheelbarrow with Pneumatic Tyre 80 Litre 10/03/2017

This bulldog is a big help in my garden!

Parasene Bulldog Garden Wheelbarrow with Pneumatic Tyre 80 Litre `•¸•´ Parasene Bulldog Garden Wheelbarrow with Pneumatic Tyre `•¸•´ `•¸•´ Introduction `•¸•´ Anyone who has read my recent review for the Current Issue “Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of?” will know that (a) I love my gardening and (b) I have a lot of garden to look after. I did bring my trusty old wheelbarrow to the cottage with me, but it had had just too much hard work over the decades that I had owned it, and the prospect of tending 2 acres of land with me was too much for it to bear!! So almost 4 years to the day I bought myself a shiny new galvanised wheelbarrow - the Parasene Bulldog Garden Wheelbarrow with Pneumatic Tyre – to help me tackle the garden; and that is what today’s review is about. But, I don’t want you to worry, an old wheelbarrow never dies, my trusty old barrow has now become a planter and feature in my garden – a great way of recycling it! "A man should never plant a garden larger than his wife can take care of." T.H. Everett `•¸•´ About the Parasene Bulldog Garden Wheelbarrow with Pneumatic Tyre `•¸•´ Parasene are a British based company that supply high quality, durable and functional greenhouse and garden products at a decent price The Bulldog model wheelbarrow comes flat-packed, features a galvanised steel rust resistant body, and the ergonomic easy grip handles. This model also comes with a pneumatic tyre and has a generous 80 litre capacity. It is very easy to assemble and store ...

Learning Resources Skeleton Floor Puzzle 10/03/2017

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones-Now shake dem skeleton bones!

Learning Resources Skeleton Floor Puzzle •)» Learning Resources Skeleton Floor Puzzle «(• “ A FUN WAY TO LEARN THE MAJOR BONES OF THE BODY “ •)» Introduction«(• My daughter is in the process of having her loft made into an extra room, meaning that the loft has had to be emptied of all the stuff that she has had stored there. The children have been loving finding stuff that they’ve not seen for years – my daughter is a shocking hoarder!! It has also resulted in the local charity shop and their younger cousins getting passed on many toys and games that have been put away for years. One of these was a slightly tatty cardboard box containing a puzzle that I bought for Harry about 8 years ago, when he was aged 6; he and his two sisters had both played with it over the years and it has been used at Halloween parties – it has now been passed on to their 6-year-old cousin, who was delighted with it. This puzzle is the Learning Resources Skeleton Floor Puzzle, I have checked if it is still available to buy and as it is I – after the use the puzzle has had in my family - think that it is well worth reviewing. •)» About the Learning Resources Skeleton Floor Puzzle «(• Learning Resources is an educational brand, known for making amazing educational toys for children; this puzzle is aimed at aged 5 – 7 and comes in a yellow box that measures around 16 x 14 ½ x 3 ½ inches; it is available from toyshops and on line for prices ranging from £15 to £30, currently (10/3/17) it is available on Amazon from £18.31, £14.99 ...

Master Class Stainless Steel Citrus Fruit Squeezer 09/03/2017

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Master Class Stainless Steel Citrus Fruit Squeezer <<..• Master Class Stainless Steel Citrus Fruit Squeezer •..>> <<..• Let me squeeze in an introduction •..>> I use a lot of lemon, orange or lime juice in my cooking and prefer to use fresh fruit rather than bottles of the juice. In my kitchen are four different implements for this purpose: the first is over 70 years old and is my Mum’s old glass lemon squeezer. The second is 66 years, 11 weeks and 2 days old and is my hand, the third is around 6 years old and is a wooden reamer and the fourth is my three-year-old Master Class stainless steel lemon squeezer – which replaced one that was about 20 years old! There are pros and cons for all four of these methods; starting with the <<..• Glass Lemon Squeezer •..>> Belonging to my mum, and possibly my Gran before that, this is at least 60 years old. It is a pretty little fluted glass dish, with a central glass reamer, a circle of small glass prongs to collects pips and a little spout. The little dish has a raised lip to hold the juice from the fruit. I can remember my mum squeezing the lemons in this each Christmas when we were making the mincemeat. Amazingly, despite having heavy use for at least 60 years it is still in perfect condition. Pros 1. Nostalgic - lots of childhood memories 2. Attractive – looks good in kitchen display cupboard 3. May end up being worth a few quid, if looked after!! Cons 1. Nostalgic – so I would be devastated if it were to be broken 2. The pips tend to fall into the dish with the ...
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