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Grr "Gumbo" (England)
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Comfort and Harmony Simply Mombo Pillow with Removable Slipcover (Turquoise)
Comfort and Harmony Simply Mombo Pillow with Removable Slipcover (Turquoise)
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful pillow to help support breast feeding with many other uses as baby grows!, 28 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely pillow designed to help with breast feeding, it fits snuggly round your middle and baby lies on top to lift them up to the level of the breast and provides support for both mother and baby. This cushion has been designed with extra slim sides to allow mothers to fit into small chairs as well as using it on sofas etc. The cushion itself is a great size, it is not too big or too small and has a good density. I have used pillows in the past which were filled with a softer stuffing which deflates when you lie the baby on it which makes them pretty useless. This pillow has a nice firm support which is soft enough for baby but does not compress too much.

The cover for this pillow is a in a calm unisex colour with a nice simple design, it comes off for washing and is reversible (hence the two pictures shown on Amazon). The ability for the cover to come off is pretty essential as babies are not the cleanest of eaters and quite often you end up with milk, dribble, spit up or sick all over the place. I have used a pillow previously which did not have a removable cover and trying to get the entire thing in the washing machine without damaging the shape was pretty impossible. It's also worth noting that the cover is made from a fabric which seems to be so tightly woven it has slight liquid repelling properties meaning that if you get to the mess quickly nothing will get through to the cushion below. The cushion also comes in a plastic case so you can pop it away in there when it is not needed and store it without worrying it will get dirty, keeping it nice and clean for baby.

As your child gets older this pillow doubles as a great support to put around baby to stop him falling over when learning to sit, they can also use it to help with tummy time to provide support. It can also be used during late pregnancy to help support bumps and once your little one is bigger it can be used as a back support or just a pillow for mum or dad.

Compared to other pillows on the market this is well priced, it may seem expensive for a simple pillow but it really is well worth it - especially if you are planning on breast feeding. Anything that makes this process easier is pretty essential. I really like this nursing pillow, it would make a great investment by any parents or a wonderful gift for anyone expecting.


Battat Airplane Take-Apart
Battat Airplane Take-Apart
Offered by Tumble Tots
Price: £22.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, well made, bright, chunky construction toy for small people, 28 July 2015
This review is from: Battat Airplane Take-Apart (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great little toy for small people who want to take things apart and put them back together, if they also love planes then you are onto a real winner. The plane does arrive semi assembled so if you want to give it to your child so they start from scratch you may want to dismantle it first and put all the pieces back into the box before wrapping.

The parts of the plane are brightly coloured and chunky so they can be held easily. They slot together well, though it can take a few attempts to get things in the right order as there are small details meaning bits can only be attached in one way which can confuse younger children - though an adult can make sure this is not a problem. There are a decent number of parts to the plane meaning it has a decent level of complexity for children and they are not likely to find it boring.

The drill is great, it needs batteries which are not supplied so make sure you have some to hand, but really means your child feels like they have a proper tool to use. It also comes in extremely handy when you are doing DIY around the house and someone wants to "help". As the drill actually works they can work on things after you have done your bit to finish it off.

For very small children you can give them the plane fully assembled and they have a great sturdy toy to play with and then you can introduce the drill and construction elements at a later date. This means that the toy has more longevity than many and should not get abandoned in the toy box too quickly!

All in all a really fantastic toy for boys and girls (and many mums, dads, grannies and granddads). It's not the cheapest out there but overall I don't believe it is excessive cost wise and the fun is definitely worth it.


Jawbone UP2 Sleep and Activity Tracker - Black Diamond
Jawbone UP2 Sleep and Activity Tracker - Black Diamond
Price: £89.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good First Impressions, 20 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is my first experience of an Activity Tracker and I must confess that my initial scepticism has largely been quashed by this rather nifty piece of kit.

I'm a bit of a chunky chap at the moment, about two stone over weight, and have decided that this summer is the time for the wobbly bits to be tackled, as such I was pleased to be given the opportunity to try this item but did think it would struggle to live up to all its promises.

Firstly, the product is packaged very simply. No paper instructions at all. It's a very lightweight item and is every bit as minimal as it looks in its picture. This appeals to me as wearing a garish bracelet would be off putting personally. I had no qualms about slipping this on and, aside from the very occasional comments; it has mostly gone unnoticed by my colleagues and friends. The clasp is the only obvious physical design concern. It does not feel quite as robust and solid as it could be and it does not overly surprise me to read reviews that mention it breaking. That said, mine is still in one piece so I guess you just need to be a bit careful with it.

The product runs off its app, which I found extremely simple to download and to pair with the tracker. The Jawbone App is very good, easy to use and personalise and keep as simple/complex as you wish. The calorie counter is probably the best one I’ve used, though as with all the others I have seen it depressingly maintains that Bacon is not the dieter’s friend! As someone who walks pretty much everywhere, I’ve found it to be a decent enough step counter too.

I'm not a huge fan of the sleep tracker aspect but as a parent to a teething 9 month old and a boisterous at dawn 3 year old, anything that tells me I need more sleep is always going to irritate! I do feel that I will find this more useful going forward though but it’s a bit of a nag just now.

Battery life has been exceptional. A full week on one charge, no problem. Can't grumble about that.

Overall, I think this is a really decent item which I believe will assist me in becoming a bit less of a man than I am right now!


Braun Silk Epil 5-541 Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator with Shaver Head
Braun Silk Epil 5-541 Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator with Shaver Head
Price: £53.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use and effective, 7 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used many epilators over the years and one thing I have learned is that there is no way to make them painless, however the good ones make hair removal quicker, more effective and are simple to operate and the Braun Silk Epil 5-541 offers all of the above.

This epilator feels balanced to hold, it has a nice weight and is easy to grip. As advertised it can be used in both wet and dry conditions which is great as it can be much easier to use one when your skin is wet and I have found it leaves less redness on my skin. You charge the epilator using a lead which connects to a two pin shaver socket and I have found I can get roughly 25 minutes from one charge which is certainly enough for the areas I wish to use it on.

It is best to use this epilator on hairs that are about 5 mm in length but you can use this on much shorter hairs right down to 0.5mm. At this sort of length however it is likely to be less effective and take more time to clear an area than it would if the hairs were longer.

There are 4 different heads that come with this device and can be used with it. The first of these is the standard tweezer head, the second is meant to massage the skin (something which sounds great but I have never found to be of much use), the third is a skin contact cap and finally there is a shaver head which allows you use the device as a standard shaver as well as epilator. You are also supplied with a small cleaning brush which helps to remove hairs from inside the device heads.

The instructions you are provided with for use are fairly basic and designed to cover more than just this one model which could be a little confusing. If you are using an epilator for the first time then you might want to make sure you make sure you go through them thoroughly.

Overall this is a great little epilator, one of the best I have ever used. It is simple and effective, easy to use and does what I want it to. Compared to other models on the market it is competitively priced and would be great for anyone to use.


A Companion to Michael Haneke (Wiley Blackwell Companions to Film Directors)
A Companion to Michael Haneke (Wiley Blackwell Companions to Film Directors)
by Roy Grundmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, cerebral and huge, 24 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Michael Haneke is a Seventy plus year old Austrian director who, over the twenty odd films he has made, has challenged audiences sympathies and sensibilities like few other film makers in the current era. With no sign of slowing down with age, his output has been more prolific this millennium and, arguably, more controversial and divisive.

This enormous and exhaustive critical tome covers his career up to 2009’s ‘The White Ribbon’ which won him his first Palme d’or at the Cannes film festival. Sadly, the book does not go on to cover his 2012 film ‘Amour’ – his second Cannes triumph and his finest achievement in my opinion – but it does cover his exceptional run of the late 90’s and 00’s with such films as the terrifying ‘Funny Games (1997)’ and it’s odd but effective American remake (2007) as well as the fantastic ‘The Piano Teacher’ (2001) and ‘Hidden (also known by its original title Cache)’ (2005). Certainly it’s a collection of films worthy of in depth analysis and critique.

I haven’t read this whole book from cover to cover yet. It is over 600 pages in length after all and, whilst very much a fan of his work, I can’t bring myself to do this in one sitting! Thus far I have read a few of the critical essays contained within and Haneke’s own essays and the interviews he has given. Probably about 40% of the content and with my obvious bias towards the ones that tackle the films I am most familiar with. I will certainly dip back in and read the rest over time however as he is a worthy subject of such a meticulous exploration.

The essays I have read thus far have tackled a varied range of topics from the broadly cinematic and thematic to the more specific allegories and sub-textual implications his films contain. Violence, Sex and European values against Hollywood values all feature fairly heavily as you may expect! The Essays vary in style and tone and, naturally enough, some have been more enjoyable personally that others but it’s fair to say that I’ve not read anything poor or sub-standard within this book yet and don’t expect to if the same degree of care and thought has been put in throughout. A well earned doff of my cap to the editor Roy Grundmann in respect of this.

Clearly this is not a book for a casual fan. In fact, whilst I enjoy Haneke’s work and own several of his films, this is possibly a heavier read than I would normally have tackled. That said, I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to read it and have found it very interesting. Film academics, I have no doubt, will lap this up.

If you are reading this you probably know all about Haneke’s films already. If not, please seek out ‘The White Ribbon’, ‘Amour’ and ‘Funny Games’ immediately. They are wonderful and provocative pieces of cinema and are worthy of your time, investment and interest.


Philips GC2086/30 EasySpeed Plus Cordless Steam Iron with Compact Smart Charging Base, 2400 Watt, Purple
Philips GC2086/30 EasySpeed Plus Cordless Steam Iron with Compact Smart Charging Base, 2400 Watt, Purple
Price: £59.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Any old iron........or not!, 21 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I do my weekly pile of ironing I do find I get myself into a bit of a mess with cords at times. I am not sure if this is due to the fact I am left handed (I am aware that ironing boards and irons should be suitable for both hands but I do get tangled now and again) or just the fact that I am a little bit of a clumsy fool but this cordless iron is great and stops me getting twisted up. I find this iron is light enough to move about easily but without the tether that a cord brings. I can get to different angles in clothes more easily and find it is generally a quicker job.

The iron itself has a ceramic base which means it glides well over clothes, it is light and charges quickly, though as some reviews have mentioned 6 seconds is a little bit optimistic if you run the charge down. That said if you get into the habit of replacing the iron every time you pause then you really don't notice that it needs to recharge. The iron steam function is powerful and easy to use, it is also quick and simple to refill when the water runs low. The temperature gauge is a basic dial but it works well and it is easy to set to where you need it. Being able to lock the iron to the base for storage is a very useful feature meaning that the two parts do not get separated and it is always easier to put away one item than two.

One big plus of this iron being cordless comes along with having small children (and I would imagine pets too). Although the base is corded this is extremely light and as such should a child pull on the cord while you are doing your ironing there is a much smaller chance they will end up with a hot and heavy iron falling towards them.

Overall I love this iron. It really makes the job easier and with two small people charging about all over the place I find I feel safer using it. A well designed, user friendly product!


Disney Sleeping Beauty Dryer Set
Disney Sleeping Beauty Dryer Set
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Princess Product!, 15 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great little hairdryer set which comes in a nice compact box and with a tiara and door hanger. As you would expect from a product designed around a Disney Princess it is extremely pink and has a picture of Aurora on the side.

The hairdryer itself is small and lightweight meaning smaller children will be able to use it (with adult supervision) without difficulty and as it folds in half it can be tucked away for easy storage. The airstream is produces is constant and powerful enough to get through even thick hair. There are two power settings and the nozzle has an attachment to help concentrate the flow and keep it aimed where you want it to be.

The dryer comes with a metal tiara which is of a reasonable quality - certainly better than I had expected and our toddler loves wearing this. The door hanger supplied is part of the box and needs to be cut out. It is a pretty flimsy addition to the set and given that the Amazon page boasts about this being part of what you get I would really expect something a little better.

Price wise this is a little expensive for what you get and as an other reviewer mentioned I do wonder how much of this is simply because it has the Disney brand. That said children do adore Disney and if you have a little Princess (or indeed Prince) who wants everything themed around their favourite character then this is a great idea.


Ultrasport Men's Auckland Tennis Polo Shirt - White/Red, Small
Ultrasport Men's Auckland Tennis Polo Shirt - White/Red, Small
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable quality, 5 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely polo shirt. It is a high quality piece of clothing which fits well and seems true to size. It feels soft on the skin - including the collar. It is mostly cotton but has some elastic to it as well which gives it a certain amount of stretch.

It is a pure white shirt with flashes of red on the trim, has three buttons at the neck and there are no brand markings which is a refreshing change. It seems to wash well and the few times I have put it in the machine it has come out looking brand new.

Overall if you want a nice quality shirt without any branding then this is for you. Comfortable, well made and breathable. It is quite expensive, but no more so than many named products.


Maclaren Nurturing Bath Milk
Maclaren Nurturing Bath Milk
Price: £15.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little pricey but a lovely bit of luxury, 8 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great product marketed at expectant mothers but anyone can use it - though as another review has noted you really shouldn't use it during your first trimester. It has a lovely fragrance that is not over powering and makes your whole bathroom smell like a spa! It doesn’t foam like many bath milks instead it turns the water a little cloudy but does leave my skin nice and soft. I really liked the fragrance and it doesn't linger too long on your body meaning it won't clash with and perfumes, moisturisers etc you might want to apply after bathing.

I think it's a little expensive compared to the other bath products available but it does seem to work wonders on my skin so the extra spend is worth it for the results. It also has a large number of organic ingredients which is always a positive in my book.

The product itself is well packaged and looks classy with a nice cover on the glass bottle to add a bit of safety in the bathrooom. Should the bottle get dropped into a bath or sink it is unlikely to break due to the covering and if it does the protective layer will help prevent it shattering. That said it did take some time to actually open the cardboard tube it comes in as it fitted together so tightly no air could get in. I solved the issue by puncturing the top to ensure no vacuum was created but worth noting as it really did stick!

Overall I enjoyed using the bath milk and will keep it on hand whenever I feel I need to treat myself at the end of a long day but due to the cost it won't be used more than weekly.


Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Percy Engine
Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Percy Engine
Offered by Mrtoybox Ltd (We supply official Uk goods)
Price: £7.65

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Durable, fun and robust, 5 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Take-n-Play Thomas range has long been a hit in our household. My son (rapidly approaching his third birthday) has quite a collection of these trains and adores them now as much as he did when he first starting getting them well over a year ago. Other toys have fallen in and out of favour over this time but the Thomas toys have never been allowed to rest for long. His friends too have these trains and they enjoy playing together with them.

They are not cheap and, at first, I was very reluctant to spend such sums on these small trains but have to admit that they are very well made toys that are able withstand the terrifying onslaught that is rough toddler play. we actually have a decent number of these trains which have been thrown around outdoors and in, shoved down slides, kicked and bashed and not a single one has broken, in fact aside from scratches and chips to paintwork, they still work as well as they did on day one.I cannot say this about many other ranges of toys.

The trains have magnets at the front and rear and can therefore be joined together with other trains and/or carriages - a feature my son has always enjoyed especially. As at least one other reviewer has noted, the toys can also be used in educational play - colours, numbers etc - and we have often used them for this. There is also a bit of sentiment that has to be applied - how many generations have now loved these characters? I love to see my child playing with toys that would have recognised when I was a child. Thomas is also a gentle programme, no guns, violence etc and only nominal 'bad guys' - as such its as toddler friendly as it gets for imaginative play.

As for Percy himself? Well, after Thomas he's probably the 'must-have' - being Thomas's best friend and a kindly, if timid, fellow. He features heavily in the orginal and newer books and is a central character trhoughout all incarnations of the television series. This toy's face is easily recognisable as his and his fans will be delighted by it.


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