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since 24/03/2001


Hinari HB161 25/08/2002

I know how to get the jam in doughnuts

Hinari HB161 And all thanks to my breadmaker. Yes, these brilliant machines don`t just make bread they make cakes and doughnuts too. I`ve never made doughnuts before so I just had to give these a try, and they came out brilliantly too, there`s nothing better than doughnuts that are still warm with warm jam oozing everywhere. Before I turn this opinion into a rambling about my sweet tooth I suppose I`d better tell you about my breadmaker. The first thing that will surprise you is that I bought it new, now before you all have a go at me about my bargain hunting skills I do have a good excuse. You see I bought my first breadmaker from a carboot sale as is the norm with me, but it turned out to be faulty. So I thought I`d play it safe and go new this time. I still got a bargain though as the Hinari Homebaker was only £29.99 in Tescos. There is only one thing I don`t like about my breadmaker, and that is that it is quite big, and as I only have a small kitchen it takes up quite a bit of space. Apart from that though I love it. It only has two buttons so even a total idiot would have trouble doing anything wrong. The instruction booklet comes with plenty of recipes, so as long as you have all the ingredients you just throw them into the bread pan in the order they`re listed, select the right program, turn it on, and hey presto. Although most breadmakers are quite large there isn`t actually much to them. This one consists of the main body, a bread pan and a kneading blade. The bread ...

Member Advice on Hair Loss 19/07/2002

More people need to know about alopecia

Member Advice on Hair Loss Several months ago now I noticed that my 5yr old daughter who had beautiful long blonde hair, was seeming to lose quite a bit of it. I also noticed that she was scratching her head for most of the day. At first I wasn`t too concerned as it wasn`t dramatic hair loss even though it was a bit more than usual. Then, a few weeks after I first noticed a problem I was doing a routine check of her hair for nits because she had started scratching again. While I was separating her hair I realised her hair was a lot thinner than it is normally, and was really shocked when I lifted the bottom of her hair and noticed a big bald patch. As she is a healthy child and was suffering no other effects and wasn`t in the least bit ill I thought I`d leave it a week and just keep an eye on her hair. After a week though there was even more dramatic hair loss of about 1 inch thick behind her ears. I was starting to get worried now and a visit to the doctors didn`t really ease my fears. My doctor had never seen this kind of hair loss in a child this young so she was sent for blood tests. Now in the week it took to get the results of the blood tests back, the hair loss increased in speed and she`d now lost at least half her hair. Because the blood tests were clear we then had to see a specialist, and it was here that we learnt that she has a condition called Alopecia Areata. Most of you reading this will most probably have heard of alopecia but not really know what it is. Alopecia is just the ...

Wrigley's Airwaves Chewing Gum 10/07/2002

Give your tongue a tingle

Wrigley's Airwaves Chewing Gum I had to write about these as they are another one of my many freebies. Do not ask me to reveal my source as I am sworn to secrecy. The packaging of this chewing gum is a breath of fresh air in itself, with it`s bright yellow wrapper and sea green writing. Containing ten small capsules they are the perfect size to slip in your pocket. I much prefer the capsule type chewing gum to the strips, as not only are they easier to chew but they are a lot juicier also. Honey and Lemon airwaves seem a lot juicier than most and really make your mouth water. These small yellow capsules truly convey the taste of both the honey and the lemon, but the sweet honey taste overpowers the lemon just perfectly. The minute you bite into it you can smell the aroma and it is very pleasant. This gum has an extremely strong tang that not only satisfies the taste buds, but floods up your nostrils, so if you have a blocked nose you won`t have for much longer. The first time you try this it may seem a bit too strong, and will make your eyes water and give your tongue a tingle, but it doesn`t take long to get used to it and it`s not an unpleasant experience. Chewability wise it is a really soft gum and not in the least bit dry, so it takes a while before you get jaw ache as you inevitably do when eating chewing gum. Because the tang is so strong, the taste seems to last forever, even after you`ve got rid of your gum, so I don`t advise that you chew this before eating anything else because you ...

Sega Megadrive 09/07/2002

Built like a brick

Sega Megadrive You just can`t beat the old Sega Megadrive, I know it`s not state of the art in gaming and graphics, but it`s proved a firm favourite of my 7yr old son and all his mates. My son can demolish anything, shove him in an empty room and he`ll still find something to break. The Megadrive however seems to be indestructable. All the parts are just more solidly built than all other gaming platforms. Take the playstation for example, we gave in and bought him a ps1, now I have to watch it every second it`s out because my toddler has made it her mission to try and snap the flip up lid off. If I hadn`t been watching her it would`ve been history by now. Our Megadrive has been thrown across the bedroom so many times during temper tantrums, and no, not by me, but it has still never had one little chip, crack or fault. The games are much the same too, built from thick solid plastic, looking much like a house brick, but also with the durability of one. I`ve lost count of the amount of playstation games that I`ve found scratched, cracked and even snapped into several pieces, you just can`t do that with a megadrive game, well not without the aid of a hammer anyway. If it wasn`t for the fact that I refuse to pay the ridiculous prices for new playstation games, and only buy second hand at rock bottom prices, then the playstation would`ve been imprisoned to the top shelf for that reason alone. Who can say they did not get addicted to the little blue hedgehog and his furry tailed friend. ...

Avon Advanced Techniques Conditioner 28/06/2002

Creamy And White And Good For The Hair Too

Avon Advanced Techniques Conditioner I get the Avon catalogue every month, but it`s very rare for me to buy anything because I`m not keen on the prices. A few months back however I spotted the Avon Advance Techniques leave in conditioner. I love trying new leave in conditioners as they seem to have more of an effect on my hair than wash out ones. This one turned out to be a good buy as it did wonders for my split ends. This conditioner comes in a lovely gold coloured plastic container. The lid is also the type that I like, the ones where you just push down one side and the other side flips up to reveal the little hole. I find these make a lot let mess as they don`t have a tendency to drip. The conditioner itself is white and really soft and creamy. It`s not thin and runny but it`s also not thick and gloopy, I`ve founds it just the right consistency to smooth through my hair with my fingers. I also find that creamy leave in conditioners last longer than spray ones because you know exactly how much you`re putting on your head. The smell of this stuff is just divine, it`s quite a strong fragrance, and because it`s a leave in conditioner you can still smell it a few days later. This conditioner is ideal if you have dry frizzy hair like mine as it works like an anti-static spray, stopping my hair from frizzing outwards 2 feet. You don`t neccessarily have to wash your hair first because you can apply it straight to dry hair. This is brilliant for me as I`m always in a rush in a morning so I can apply a ...

10 Things That Really Annoy Me 25/06/2002

No I dont want a new kitchen at 10pm

10 Things That Really Annoy Me I`m a pretty calm sort of person and normally just get a little irritated by certain things, but on the odd occasion I do get really annoyed. Here`s the most likely list of things to get me seething. 1: I don`t think there`s anyone on this planet who will disagree with my first choice. Odd socks, not a major worry you may think, but out of a house of 5 occupants why am I the only one to put my socks in the wash in pairs. I wouldn`t mind if they went into the wash in pairs and came out odd, but they don`t even get that far. I have a basket that I chuck all the odd socks in, and at the end of every month I sort them out. I can guarantee that there will be at least 70 socks in there. 2: Computers are my next gripe. It doesn`t matter who uses the computer in our house, it will always wait for me to use it before it crashes big time. Even when the toddler jumps on it, it carries on wotking, but for me, oh no. 3: My next choice is toys, or more specifically, toys on the stairs. I know it`s dangerous, all my kids know it`s dangerous, so why do they insist on leaving them there? And why am I the one who always falls over them, lol. 4: Many parents may sympathise with the next one. Cartoon Network, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. Why, because it`s always on that`s why. I`ll be watching something and the kids will be out playing, and I can guarantee that the minute I go in the kitchen to make a cuppa, one of them will sneak back in and put cartoon network back on. 5: ...

Kooshies Nappies 21/06/2002

Wee Wee Wee All The Way Home

Kooshies Nappies In my ongoing efforts to potty train my third child I`ve decided to stop buying disposable nappies and invest in kooshies reusable nappies. Although this is more environmentally friendly, this is not my reason for using these nappies. Because my daughter is now potty trained in the house day and night I don`t need any nappies for use at home. She is not however quite ready for journeys outside the house without a nappy. Twice a day we have to travel to the school and back with my other two children so she needs to wear a nappy for those journeys, as soon as we are home though she removes them to use the potty. This has caused a great waste of disposables and cotton trainer pants aren`t absorbable enough. This is why I thought Kooshies would be a more viable option. Now I must admit these aren`t the cheapest of nappies, and I got the shakes when handing over my £9.50 for just one in Tescos, but in the long run this will save me money as she`ll most probably need to use it for short trips for at least a couple of months and maybe a bit longer for all day outings. The Kooshies Ultra which is the one I bought is only available in two sizes but this is enough as they are very adaptable. The size I bought was to fit a child fromm 22-45 lbs, I didn`t see the other size but I assume they are newborn-22 lbs. From the outside these look very similar to disposable nappies apart from the fact that they are a bit bulkier. The outer layer is made from a thick waterproof material ...

member advice on toilet training 17/06/2002

Goodbye Mrs Puddleduck

member advice on toilet training At last, I`ve now done it for the 3rd time. I`ve handled most aspects of child care reasonably well, but the one I`ve always dreaded is potty training. It doesn`t get any easier with experience either as all toddlers are different and will all go at their own pace. I was lucky with my second child, because 2 weeks before her second birthday I removed her nappies and shoved the potty in front of her, and she took to it like a duck to water. By her second birthday she was totally dry day and night. My first child was not as easy as this. From the word go the potty was a no go area. No amount of tempting, play, or bribes would get him away from his nappies. We went through this for a very long time before he was eventually potty trained just before he was 4. Potty training isn`t just one long process, it needs to be done gradually and in 4 separate stages. Stage one is just getting your toddler to wee on the potty. This can be a long and hard process on it`s own. It takes time and a lot of patience, it also invarioubly includes the mopping up of a lot of puddles. No matter how many children you have successfully potty trained, only your child will know when they are ready. It may begin with them removing their nappy, but this is not always a sure sign. A good time to begin is when your child starts telling you they have weed, or just takes a general interest in what everyone does when they use the toilet. Children aren`t born with bladder control, it`s ...

Packard Bell DSC-1 12/06/2002

I want to FLASH in my living Room

Packard Bell DSC-1 I`d wanted a digital camera for ages and kept dropping little hints to hubby. As all you women are aware, men don`t take hints so I had no option other than to wallop him over the head with my old camera to make a point of how bulky it was. Bless his smelly cotton socks if he didn`t turn up from work the following day with a lovely little package for me. Well of course I told him straight, no nookie till I get my camera, lol. Seriously though, it was a lovely little box containing the Packard Bell DSC-1. Also in the box was a usb lead to connect the camera to the pc, an instruction booklet, a wrist strap and of course the cd which contains the drivers and the software to be able to view your piccies. ***THE CAMERA*** As you can see from the picture, this camera looks quite snazzy with it`s curvy design on the front. Mainly silver, it also has two blue rubbery shapes built into the front, one of which bears the Packard Bell logo. Also on the front is the small viewfinder, and the lens which is also surrounded by blue rubber. One quite crucial feature that is missing though is a flash, and I`ll explain why later. Being only 3.5` x 3` in width and height and only 1.5` in depth, this camera is quite slimline and extremely comfortable to hold and weighs next to nothing. ***PRICE*** Hubby doesn`t really care whether something is pleasing on the eye or not(he`s with me, nuff said, lol), so he bought this camera because of the price. Now like me, he`s a bit tight ...

10 Most Useless Items 07/06/2002

Do you blow

10 Most Useless Items I`ve got a houseful of useless items, but there are some things that even I`m not gullible enough to buy. Number one I first saw when expecting my first child. This is the nappy stacker. Basically it`s just a holder made from cotton material then sewn onto a coat hanger. Nappies come in bags, what`s the point in buying another container to put them in. After all, if you`re buying nappies for a toddler like I am, then they`re all going to end up in the same place anyway, that`s all over the floor, or wherever else she plans on throwing them. Number two has got to be push up bras. You`ve either got tits or you haven`t. If you`re wearing them to go on the pull then the victim is going to be sorely disappointed, if you`re not wearing them to go on the pull then why bother. Number three is blow up furniture and toys. Let`s face it, you`re only going to buy this kind of stuff for children. What kind of children do you know that won`t put a hole in this with seconds of owning it? Number four is wine coolers in the home. What wrong with using the fridge like the rest of us commoners do, eh? Number five is ornaments. They don`t do anything but collect dust, they`re not useful in any way, shape, or form. You have to keep moving them around to clean the shelves they`re sitting on. And let`s face it, if you have kids then they`re not going to stay in one piece for long are they? Number six is salad spinners. Now I`ve never actually seen one of these beautiful pieces of ...

Harry Ramsden's, Leeds 06/06/2002

Fabulously Fantastic Fishes

Harry Ramsden's, Leeds Harry Ramsdens is the world`s most famous branch of fish and chip shops. Now, I must admit I`d never heard of them until my husband took me to the one in Guisley in Leeds. God, what a sheltered life I`d led eh! SOME FACTS Harry Ramsden`s first opened in 1928 as a small green and white hut measuring only 10 feet by 6 feet. This was in Guisley(Leeds) and is now the most famous and most impressive fish and chip restaurant. The hut was modified over the years until it now seats over 250 people as well as a take away building, but the little hut can still be seen on site. The restaurant had it`s major overhaul in 1931 and included the fitting of oak panelling, wall to wall carpets, crystal chandeliers and leaded stained glass windows. This led to it being entered into the Guiness Book of Records as the world`s largest fish and chip shop. Harry`s also have theme nights, most unusual for a fish and chip shop but have proven to be a roaring success. Two such nights were named Opera and Chips and Haddock Brass Band evening. Shops have now spread rapidly all over the world, and Gateshead opened the first Harry`s Drive-thru. Sadly, Harry didn`t get to see the full extent of his success, as he died on the 7th January 1963 at the age of 74. The Menu Harry Ramsdens has a vast menu which would just take too long to list fully. There are all manner of different fish in various sizes. Starters include such dishes as soups, traditional Yorkshire pudding, served with ...

Ocean World Rigid Wall Pool 05/05/2002

Splashingly good fun

Ocean World Rigid Wall Pool As we`ve now got sun again I thought I`d chuck this op back to the top. By a minor miracle we`ve actually got rid of the rain and got some really hot sunshine. So I thought it was time to stop the kids moaning about the heat and and went in search of a paddling pool. Now you know me, I don`t like to spend much, so I just picked up the cheapest inflatable in Tescos priced at £4.99. As soon as I got it home, my 4yr old daughter proceeded to rip the box apart and pull the paddling pool out. After ten minutes of huffing and puffing, all three rings of the pool were fully inflated, so I dug out the hosepipe and filled it up. To the great disappointment of my kids, all three rings started to deflate after only 5 minutes and the water ran away. Because my impatient 4yr old had ripped the box up into loads of tiny little pieces, I couldn`t take it back to the supermarket. So off I was again in search of a better pool. This time I decided to try my nearest Rock Bottom store. This shop is a little bit like the pound shop but has a bigger range of products. Rather than waste money on another inflatable pool, I decided to look at the rigid pools instead because we hadn`t had this type before. Here I came accross the Ocean World Rigid Wall Pool, so I paid up my £19.99 and rushed off home again. Now the picture on the box doesn`t exactly do it justice, because it makes it look a lot smaller than it actually is. So imagine my surprise when I shook the pool open and it was a ...

Anyway Up Cups 16/04/2002

Kill that spill

Anyway Up Cups This opinion is sort of in the right place, as the tesco cup can be put anyway up. This cup comes in two colours, bright green and purple. They are slightly transparent so you can see how much juice is left in it without removing the lid. They also have a colourful picture on the side of either a hippo or an elephant. The lid is easily removed and just pushes back on, but if the cup is thrown hard by your child it can sometimes come off. Unlike the anyway up cup, which has a special valve which can wear out with time and use, this cup has a small flexible straw inside. The way this works, is by the straw being pushed onto a hollow point which is positioned just inside the spout. The straw is then fixed around the edge of the inside of the lid, and the other end then pushed into place in the space next to the other end of the straw. This is quite hard to explain to someone whose never seen this type of lid as it`s pretty unusual. Any juice that is left in the cup can`t be spilled as it has to be sucked up inside the straw before it will come out of the spout. The advantage of this kind is that the rubber straw won`t wear out, and also because it has to be sucked then you don`t need to worry about different sized holes. The disadvantage is that the straw can be a bit fiddly to clean, especially when it`s had milk in it. It is made out of hard plastic and is very durable, this has been put to the test many times by being thrown across the room by my daughter. The ...

Everything that starts with R ... 12/03/2002

Will you leave a bloody message

Everything that starts with R ... R is for RANT, and here are my top ten moans. 1: First on the list has got to be people who don`t leave messages on answering machines. I don`t mean folk who hang up as soon as they hear the monotone voice, I mean people who will stand there, phone in hand, and keep holding the phone for 3 or 4 minutes once they`ve heard the message, but not say anything. Then there`s the ones who will phone back straight away and do the same thing again, and again, and again. I hate pressing the play button, hearing "you have 13 messages", only to find that 10 of them are 3 minutes of silence. 2: Second is bump fondling. Why is it that when you`re pregnant, everyone feels it is their god given right to come and fondle your bump. You wouldn`t do it any other time so why do it now. An old lady started patting my bump once when I was sat on the bus, then proceeded to ask me when the baby was due. I really felt like saying "oh I`m not pregnant, I really must start that diet soon". 3: Next is shopping trolleys. We`ve got widescreen tv, miniature tv, mobile phones the size of your litle finger, the world at our fingertips from the touch of a button, but still nobody has managed to come up with a supermarket trolley that will go in the direction that you want it go. It`s a big basket on four wheels for crying out loud, it`s not rocket science. 4: Automatic answering services. Who was the blithering idiot that came up with that one? If you would like so and so, press 1. If you would like ...

Hedstrom Brecon Play Gym 07/03/2002

Does my bum look big on this.

Hedstrom  Brecon Play Gym The Brecon range are one of the cheapest makers of childrens` outdoor toys on the market. This multi swing set only cost me £70, but you could most probably get it even cheaper if you shopped around. The set consists of a blue and white tubular frame with two swings and a two person glider. The swing rope is very durable and hasn`t frayed at all over the course of a year, also the height is easily adjustable as the rope is threaded through two loops at the top. Both swings seats are made from thick green plastic, which also have not sustained any damage over the course of the year, and believe me it`s had to endure some tough treatment from my kids. The only complaint I have is that the seats curve upwards at the sides which makes them slightly smaller, this means that I can`t play on them. The glider is designed with two poles attached to the top of the frame, and another pole going accross these two at the bottom with a green plastic seat at either end. The two poles have also got foot rests at the bottom. You`ve got to be careful with the glider as even the youngest of children can get it to go really high, really quickly, and there`s nothing to stop them going right over the top of the frame. I`ve only got a small garden separated by a path, and as the frame is pretty wide it takes up the whole of one side. There are four solid plastic spikes which are bolted to the bottom of each of the four frame legs. You are supposed to dig a hole for the spikes to go ...
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