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S. Wilson (UK)
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Pure Evoke D2 Mio Portable DAB Digital/FM Radio with Bluetooth - Cerulean
Pure Evoke D2 Mio Portable DAB Digital/FM Radio with Bluetooth - Cerulean
Price: £119.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Kitchen Radio and Bluetooth Speaker, 19 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a brilliant little DAB radio which also doubles as a Bluetooth Speaker. The sound is crisp and clear and the volume gets to a reasonable level and is more than enough for if using at home maybe in the kitchen when cooking or just general home use. We did trial the radio/speaker at a recent Birthday party of my Godson's and whilst the volume is more than enough for at home use it wasn't enough to cut over the normal talking din etc of the party but it was very nice as a background speaker. That being said the radio/speaker is not meant for that purpose and I have therefore not deducted any stars from it's marking but I did want to let any potential purchaser know it's volume strength in case they were considering the radio/speaker for that sort of purpose.

The radio has 4 pre-set channels which are easy to set but do clear and have to be re-set once you turn the radio's power off. The radio has a digital display detailing what radio station etc you are on and the time along with the track title being played. The radio/speaker also has timer and alarm functions on it. You can either let the radio autotune to the station of your choice or you can tune manually which is a little bit more tricky but becomes easier once done a few times and not having to refer back the instructions each time like I did! The bluetooth connectivity is very simple and you don't have to do any searching via the radio/speaker itself as it just automatically searches once you turn your bluetooth on on your phone or laptop.

I personally love the design of the radio/speaker as it looks like an old fashioned radio to me and is in my opinion very stylish. The colour trim around the edges can also be changed if desired and is available in several different colours including; Almond, Aloe, Cerulean, Charcoal, Pewter, Raspberry and Scarlet at just under £20 each via Pure's own shop online but hopefully Amazon may start to sell these too as I quite fancy being able to swap the trim around especially to the Aloe colour. Anyway sorry I digress onto colours instead of the radio/speaker itself. The radio/speaker is really good and whilst not having as loud a volume output as another speaker I own it is actually perfect for the kitchen which is where I use it most and it hands down beats our old kitchen CD player which had DAB radio on it but we could never get a decent signal on it whereas we are having no issues with the signal for this. A really good radio speaker with a beautiful design.


Babies Firsts Quilted Foam Moses Basket/ Pram Mattress (74 x 28 x 3.5 cm)
Babies Firsts Quilted Foam Moses Basket/ Pram Mattress (74 x 28 x 3.5 cm)
Price: £9.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Babies Firsts Foam Moses Basket Mattress (74x28x3.5cm), 19 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A really good value moses basket mattress which should fit a standard size moses basket however please note that some manufacturers do different moses basket dimensions (Babies Firsts does a couple of sizes of mattress I believe too) however this fits our Mothercare moses basket perfectly. The mattress is of a standard depth/thickness. When compared with our old higher priced moses mattress from our last baby the thickness isn't that much different (albeit the higher priced one is marginally thicker) but our old mattress is more than double the price of this one at the time of me writing this review. So a really good value moses basket mattress which is very well priced at the time of writing this review when comparing it to similar mattresses.

Please note that as per the latest guidance it is recommended that you use a new mattress with your baby and not a secondhand mattress or one you used with any previous children and as such we have used new mattresses with both of our children so far.


Babies Firsts Moses Basket Stand
Babies Firsts Moses Basket Stand
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Babies Firsts Moses Basket Stand, 15 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A really good value moses stand which is also very lightweight too. The stand folds for storage and has the normal plastic retaining hoops that moses basket stands have to keep the basket from slipping off when on the stand. There is some minor assembly required as the stand is flat packed for delivery purposes but this was very simple and easy to do. A good value moses stand which is very well priced at the time of writing this review when comparing it to similar stands.


Sublime
Sublime
by Christina Lauren
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Beautiful (No Spoilers), 12 Dec 2014
This review is from: Sublime (Paperback)
Lucy doesn't know much about herself when she first pops up in the middle of the school grounds on a dirt path but what she does soon discover is that she is dead. She doesn't know why she is back, what exactly happened to her and can't remember what her Mum and Dad's faces looked like but what she does know is that she is inexplicably drawn to a boy, a boy who is most definitely alive and his name is Colin. Colin doesn't know who the mysterious girl is or why her hair looks a different colour to him than to everyone else but he likes her and like a moth to a flame he too is drawn to her. When Colin discovers Lucy is a ghost and that she was murdered on the school grounds several years ago he is initially thrown but still can't keep himself away from her. Lucy makes him feel like no other girl has made him feel and it is almost like he is addicted to her presence but how can there be any hope for an alive boy and a dead girl as surely there isn't any way for them to be together?......or is there?

I really enjoyed the story and the developing romance between Lucy and Colin which whilst strange was also believable. A hauntingly beautiful story which has been very well written by the authors and which kept me hooked right up until the end (which I won't give away). I was left feeling very spooked though and despite the age of me (which I also won't give away!) I was actually double checking my reflection in the mirror when turning off the light in the bathroom along with ensuring the wardrobe doors were closed in mine and my children's rooms at night for a couple of days after! I wish it had had an ending I would have wanted but the way it has been written is actually right for the story. The story was a bit slow to start and I did struggle with interest near the very beginning but I was then very much invested in the story and as I have said above the ending is spooky but the story is very well written and worth a read if you like YA paranormal/fantasy like I do. I received this review copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Belzhar
Belzhar
by Meg Wolitzer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Belzhar (No Spoilers), 12 Dec 2014
This review is from: Belzhar (Paperback)
This is not the normal type of book I would read as I normally would read YA fantasy or YA romance but I was pleasantly surprised by this book in that I quite liked it. I must admit that I thought it was going to be a YA fantasy book, with it advising of the students being transported to another world called Belzhar each time they wrote in their diaries. I didn't realise Belzhar was another world the students traveled to in their minds and not in person but the reason for them doing so was I thought very well thought out, realistic and very well written. I didn't like the main character Jamaica aka Jam all that much if I am being honest and at times she just annoyed me but I did like the writing from the author and the whole concept and story has been very well thought out. I actually preferred and was more interested in the character Sierra and her missing brother and found myself wanting to find out more about them. I won't give the ending of the book away but it does have a nice and surprising end.

The concept of the story is that Jam loses the boy she loves and is sent off to boarding school where she becomes part of a class of "emotionally fragile, highly intelligent teenagers" who are part of a special topics in English class. They are assigned the task of writing in their journals which is to help them all deal with their individual losses and conflicts however when they write in their journals they are able to transport themselves to another world which they call Belzhar and here they can meet with those they have lost as if they had never lost them in the first place. An interesting take on how to deal with bereavement and very believable too. A very well written book which is not normally my cup of tea but I did like reading it and had to see what happened in the end. I would have preferred the book to have focused on Sierra more as I personally liked her more than Jam and her whole story but that is my personal view. Please note this is not a YA fantasy book featuring other dimensions, worlds, creatures etc like I originally thought it was going to be. The author is a brilliant writer and the story was very believable. I received this review copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Guilty Gadgets ® - In Car Bluetooth Hands Free Kit For Samsung Galaxy S I9000, Plus I9001, i9100 S2, i9300 S3, LTE, S3 Mini, i9500 S4, S5, S4 Mini, Ace, Tab, 10.1, 2 10.1, 2 7.0, 7 Plus, 7.7, 8 9, Galaxy Note, 10.1, 2, 8.0, 8000, 4, 5 LG Phone, Apple iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s, 5s, 5c, LG Nexus 4, 5, 6, Sony Xperia, S, Z, Z1, HTC, one, S, V, X, M7, M8, Nokia Lumia, 520, 925, 950, 1020, 800
Guilty Gadgets ® - In Car Bluetooth Hands Free Kit For Samsung Galaxy S I9000, Plus I9001, i9100 S2, i9300 S3, LTE, S3 Mini, i9500 S4, S5, S4 Mini, Ace, Tab, 10.1, 2 10.1, 2 7.0, 7 Plus, 7.7, 8 9, Galaxy Note, 10.1, 2, 8.0, 8000, 4, 5 LG Phone, Apple iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s, 5s, 5c, LG Nexus 4, 5, 6, Sony Xperia, S, Z, Z1, HTC, one, S, V, X, M7, M8, Nokia Lumia, 520, 925, 950, 1020, 800
Offered by Guilty Gadgets
Price: £10.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay hands free kit but slightly tinny sound, 11 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a good value hands free speaker kit which my husband has been using with his Sony Xperia Z1 phone. It connects quickly and easily to his phone as you would with any Bluetooth device and it verbally advises connection. It clips securely to the sun visor and comes with both a USB lead and in car charger for re-charging the unit. So why only 3 stars? Well the sound quality is okay but just okay and in fact sounds slightly tinny on both ends of the call along with at my end making calls to my husband the volume doesn't sound loud enough either and he was having to speak directly into the unit for me to hear him properly. We think it is an okay hands free kit and as 3 stars on Amazon means okay that is therefore why I have marked it as such however even bearing in mind the tinny sound and lowish volume (at the non hands free speaker end) at the current price of under ten pounds I would still say it is a good unit.


Babies Firsts Jersey Cotton Mattress Protector (120 x 60 cm)
Babies Firsts Jersey Cotton Mattress Protector (120 x 60 cm)
Price: £8.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Mattress Protector, 9 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We already have a couple of mattress protectors for our children's cot's from a different brand and so I was keen to see what the mattress protector for this brand would be like as at the time of writing this review it is priced lower than the ones we already have. The mattress protector is pretty much the same design as the others we have which just goes to show you can still get quality products at a lower price.

The mattress protector has a PU backing which protects your mattress from getting wet but the top part is in a soft cotton feel so you could use this without a fitted sheet on top. We still use a further fitted sheet over the top of our mattress protectors as we have matching bedding sets for the children. I can't recommend getting a mattress protector enough as they do really save precious time whenever there is an accident along with saving the mattress itself from getting stained or ruined and you then spending countless hours trying to get the wet out of the mattress. Whenever one of our children has an accident (and especially in the middle of the night) it is so easy to strip off the protector (and sheet for us) and just pop a new one back on and then your little one can go straight back to sleep once they have been changed etc themselves too. We also have a mattress protector on our bed and it has saved our mattress from countless accidents when our two have had an accident when they have been in our bed with us.

A really good quality mattress protector from Babies Firsts which has elasticated sides for ease of fitting too and I would definitely recommend it.


LeapFrog LeapReader Junior Violet Book Pal
LeapFrog LeapReader Junior Violet Book Pal
Price: £14.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant introduction to reading for your little one, 8 Dec 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a brilliant introduction to reading for your little one and will help encourage them to get excited about reading too. I bought the Violet book pal for my daughter and I bought the Scout book pal for my 2 year old son as he has been struggling with his speech and I thought that this reading system would help him along with more words. I'm pleased to say that I do think the junior book pal has actually helped him although I do still need to encourage him to use the book pal as he loves sitting there just looking at the books without it too. The book pals are identical apart from the colours and one being called Violet and the other Scout. I love that you can personalise Violet and Scout so that when you turn them on and off they say your childs name as this makes it feel like they are actually talking to your little one and immediately you can see it encourages them to use Violet and Scout.

I'll get my negative 'niggles' out of the way straight away and the first is the memory storage on the book pal is absolutely awful as it only has 8MB of on-board memory however you only actually have 5.3MB of that free as the book pal has already used the difference of 2.7MB for it's normal programming. This has been mentioned countless times by other reviewers on here and I would have thought Leapfrog would have increased the memory by now especially as the book pal has been released for over three years now according to the release information on the product page (October 2011). Unfortunately this means you can only pre-load Scout or Violet with 4 or 5 books at a time (depending on which books you are loading and their size) and this means having to unload and reload the different books all the time which whilst reasonably quick to do is a nuisance and would be so much better if the memory was upgraded to at least 32MB like the tag reading system as then you could have pretty much all the junior books loaded onto them at the same time. It is for this reason that I have deducted a star from my marking for the book pal as really it should be sorted out by now.
Two of my other niggles are that the product description page is incorrect as it states you get the book "Scout & Friends" with the junior book pal and you do not and again this has been mentioned bu countless reviewers and still not corrected. The book you get is "Lets Read Together" which is basically just an advert book for all of the other books available so if you are buying this book pal for your little one you might want to consider purchasing a book to go along with it so that they can start reading properly with the book pal straight away. The other niggle is that the product description page advises the book pal comes with the 2 AAA batteries it needs to work and it doesn't so please bear this is mind too. Also I used a cheaper brand batteries in the book pal at first and they didn't even last to upload all of the books onto it and so it's worth getting a well known quality brand of battery to use too as these last much longer.

Anyway onto the normal points about the book pal now I have got the negatives out of the way. The books are very easy to load and unload once you download the Leapfrog Connect to your computer and I have done this several times now (because of the small memory) with none of the issues some of the other reviewers report and so it would seem any initial bugs in the system have been completely rectified by Leapfrog now. Both Scout and Violet come with a USB lead and to connect them to your computer you remove the battery cover which is where both the batteries are stored and the USB connection is. You don't need a screwdriver to open them either as you can open them with a 1p coin just as well.

The books themselves are brilliant and we have quite a few of them now with Leapfrog Tag Junior Jake And The Neverland Pirates Book and LeapFrog LeapReader/Tag Junior Book: Dora the Explorer 1, 2, 3 Dora! being two of our favourites at the moment. Not only does the book pal read the main words but when you put them on other parts such as drums or coconuts etc it either does music and sound effects or says "coconuts" etc and so there are lots of other interactive points in the books than just the main wordings.

Scout and Violet are very easy to hold for little hands and along with their main power button they also have a volume button too. Scout and Violet are the same size and both measure approx 10cm high by 6cm wide and 6cm deep at their tummy which is their widest point and they have been very cleverly designed to fit into your little ones hand. Your little one doesn't need to swipe them across any writing for them to read it and they just need to tap or touch the writing and both will read the whole paragraph or sentence. For most of the books they speaks in a British accent but for the LeapFrog LeapReader/Tag Junior Book Set: Toddler Milestones set for example it is all spoken in very American accented tones. The individual characters in the books such as Dora, Jake, Izzy, Hook, Rory etc are all in their 'real' voices which I thought was very good and which my son especially enjoys. Scout and Violet both come in a lovely presentation box with the advert book "Lets Read Together" and some other websites show this packaging in their product pictures if it is important for you to see what it looks like. I have actually also bought the LeapFrog LeapReader Junior Scout Book Pal for my son as mentioned above along with Violet for my daughter and as a Christmas present for a niece as I am very impressed with the book pals except for the lack of storage.

If you are considering getting one of these for your little one then I can recommend them but do bear in mind the potential frustration at times when your little one picks up a book and it's not one of the ones programmed at the time and you have to load up the computer, delete a book off the book pal and load that book on as it can be a bit annoying. I wouldn't say it was annoying enough to put me off the book pals but Leapfrog do need to listen to their customers and fix the storage issue. A brilliant little introduction toy to reading for your little one and very good and interactive.


LeapFrog LeapReader Junior Scout Book Pal
LeapFrog LeapReader Junior Scout Book Pal
Price: £14.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant introduction to reading for your little one, 8 Dec 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a brilliant introduction to reading for your little one and will help encourage them to get excited about reading too. I bought the Scout book pal for my 2 year old son as he has been struggling with his speech and I thought that this reading system would help him along with more words. I'm pleased to say that I do think the junior book pal has actually helped him although I do still need to encourage him to use the book pal as he loves sitting there just looking at the books without it too. I love that you can personalise Scout so that when you turn him on and off he says your childs name as this makes it feel like Scout is actually talking to your little one and immediately we (hubby and I) can see it encourages our son to use Scout.

I'll get my negative 'niggles' out of the way straight away and the first is the memory storage on the book pal is absolutely awful as it only has 8MB of on-board memory however you only actually have 5.3MB of that free as the book pal has already used the difference of 2.7MB for it's normal programming. This has been mentioned countless times by other reviewers on here and I would have thought Leapfrog would have increased the memory by now especially as the book pal has been released for over three years now according to the release information on the product page (October 2011). Unfortunately this means you can only pre-load Scout with 4 or 5 books at a time (depending on which books you are loading and their size) and this means having to unload and reload the different books all the time which whilst reasonably quick to do is a nuisance and would be so much better if the memory was upgraded to at least 32MB like the tag reading system as then you could have pretty much all the junior books loaded onto Scout at the same time. It is for this reason that I have deducted a star from my marking for the book pal as really it should be sorted out by now.
Two of my other niggles are that the product description page is incorrect as it states you get the book "Scout & Friends" with the junior book pal and you do not and again this has been mentioned bu countless reviewers and still not corrected. The book you get is "Lets Read Together" which is basically just an advert book for all of the other books available so if you are buying this book pal for your little one you might want to consider purchasing a book to go along with it so that they can start reading properly with the book pal straight away. The other niggle is that the product description page advises the book pal comes with the 2 AAA batteries it needs to work and it doesn't so please bear this is mind too. Also I used a cheaper brand batteries in the book pal at first and they didn't even last to upload all of the books onto it and so it's worth getting a well known quality brand of battery to use too as these last much longer.

Anyway onto the normal points about the book pal now I have got the negatives out of the way. The books are very easy to load and unload once you download the Leapfrog Connect to your computer and I have done this several times now (because of the small memory) with none of the issues some of the other reviewers report and so it would seem any initial bugs in the system have been completely rectified by Leapfrog now. Scout comes with a USB lead and to connect him to your computer you remove the battery cover which is where both the batteries are stored and the USB connection is. You don't need a screwdriver to open him either as you can open him with a 1p coin just as well.

The books themselves are brilliant and we have quite a few of them now with Leapfrog Tag Junior Jake And The Neverland Pirates Book and LeapFrog LeapReader/Tag Junior Book: Dora the Explorer 1, 2, 3 Dora! being two of my sons and my favourites at the moment. Not only does the book pal read the main words but when you put him on other parts such as drums or coconuts etc it either does music and sound effects or says "coconuts" etc and so there are lots of other interactive points in the books than just the main wordings.

Scout is very easy to hold for little hands and along with his main power button he also has a volume button too. Scout measures approx 10cm high by 6cm wide and 6cm deep at his tummy which is his widest point and he has been very cleverly designed to fit into your little ones hand. Your little one doesn't need to swipe him across any writing for him to read it and they just need to tap or touch the writing and he will read the whole paragraph or sentence. For most of the books he speaks in a British accent but for the LeapFrog LeapReader/Tag Junior Book Set: Toddler Milestones set for example it is all spoken in very American accented tones. The individual characters in the books such as Dora, Jake, Izzy, Hook, Rory etc are all in their 'real' voices which I thought was very good and which my son especially enjoys. Scout comes in a lovely presentation box with the advert book "Lets Read Together" and some other websites show this packaging in their product pictures if it is important for you to see what it looks like. I have actually also bought the LeapFrog LeapReader Junior Violet Book Pal for a present for a niece for Christmas and also bought one for my daughter to use when she is a bit older as I am very impressed with the book pals except for the lack of storage.

If you are considering getting one of these for your little one then I can recommend them but do bear in mind the potential frustration at times when your little one picks up a book and it's not one of the ones programmed at the time and you have to load up the computer, delete a book off the book pal and load that book on as it can be a bit annoying. I wouldn't say it was annoying enough to put me off the book pal but Leapfrog do need to listen to their customers and fix the storage issue. A brilliant little introduction toy to reading for your little one and very good and interactive.


VTech Baby Toot-Toot Drivers Helicopter
VTech Baby Toot-Toot Drivers Helicopter
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Vtech Toot Toot Drivers Helicopter, 7 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We actually bought this helicopter for our son a couple of years ago but I hadn't reviewed it back then for some reason but I've just bought another one to go with the VTech Baby Toot-Toot Drivers Garage that I've just bought for my Godson for his birthday and so thought I'd pop my review up now.

The helicopter that came through has the newer style smart point technology on the bottom and so it would appear that the old style stock has finally been exhausted. This probably won't mean anything to anyone new to the Toot Toot range but as one of the parents who bought the garage when it first came out and had the old style smart point technology it does make a little bit of difference for me. The helicopter works with the smart point technology on the helipad on the garage and the other smart point's throughout the range. I still can't understand why Vtech doesn't provide the helicopter with the garage and the tow truck though and why this has to be a separate purchase.

The helicopter sings three different tunes and does helicopter sound effects and also says a few different phrases and compliments the garage and the rest of the Toot Toot range really well. Vtech still hasn't developed a volume button although you can just turn the vehicles off as they can become a bit overwhelming and annoying especially if you have all the vehicles playing at the same time!

A really good addition to the range but I do wish it had been provided with the garage to begin with especially with the garage having the helipad and then Vtech taking so long to actually bring out the helicopter to match.


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