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Reviews Written by
Clare "clare030182" (Plymouth, Devon, UK)

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Breville Halo Plus Health Fryer, White
Breville Halo Plus Health Fryer, White
Price: 159.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to cook but fairly large., 31 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an easy to put together machine but it is fairly big and the colours do not match my kitchen that's for sure! Although it is called 'white' there is quite a lot of bright green on it.

I have used my fryer to cook chips. The first time I made super slim potato slices (like hot pot potatoes) and used the recommend times for the smallest amount since I'd only done a single portion for me. My chips were burnt to a crisp - oops! The bowl rotates as it cooks the chips and I think with these slimmer chips they weren't big/heavy enough to move around as they should. Take two I made normal chips from one potato and used the same timings. The oil was a little tricky to gauge as it said I should use a 1/4 of the scoop provided however it doesn't have markings on it so I had to judge where a quarter was an since it's got a rounded bottom this was tricky. I set the timing and left it to go, I checked part way and could see the chips were looking white so I used the buttons to adjust the time by 3 additional minutes. When the time was up the machine turned the heat off and the potato was cooked nicely inside but the chips weren't an appetising colour - they looked like they were underdone even though the potato was cooked. I think it does take a bit of experimenting to find the right timings for your preference in how chips look.

I also used the fryer to cook my quorn burgers. You sit a grill pan inside the fryer and tilt the fryer back so that it is flat and doesn't rotate. This means that you do have to check and flip your burgers mid way through. It is very easy to check through the lid what your food looks like and when you open the lid the timer pauses and then restarts when you close it. The burgers were cooked well but I also added a couple of minutes onto the cooking time for these too. I'm not sure the fryer is any quicker than a grill however since it does turn the heating element off on it's own as long as you haven't set it for too long it does prevent you from burning your food!

The inside pan is easy to remove and can be dishwasher'd making it easy enough to clean.

The beeper on this fryer isn't amazing - it's very short and not overly loud. I didn't hear it when I was in a different room with the TV on - normally I hear the microwave.

Weirdly there is no on/off switch on this fryer. Plugging it in turns it off and you have to use the mains to switch it off. It only has 4 buttons to change timings/heating elements and one dial to let you tip the machine for making chips which makes it easy to navigate.

My main issue with is fryer was the space you need to be able to open the lid. I have wall cupboards around my kitchen and this didn't allow me enough room to properly open the lid meaning I had to hold the lid with one hand and try to clip on the handle with the other which was a little tricky. Or even just trying to check food was a one handed job.

Melissa & Doug English Alphabet Dinosaur Colouring Pad
Melissa & Doug English Alphabet Dinosaur Colouring Pad
Price: 4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Super sized Dinosaurs!, 31 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This colouring pad is much bigger than I was expecting! It's not quite A2 sized - apparently this fits standard easels but it's bigger than the ELC easel I have. Each letter of the alphabet has a page with the name of a dinosaur and an uppercase and lowercase representation of the alphabet letter. You can colour in these 2 letters but not the dinosaur name. The name is written in line guides to show children the size/spacing of letter formations. The letters are in a nice font but are not pre-cursive (The lowercase t, l, i, y aren't formed the way I would teach children to write them - I'm a Reception teacher but this is a minor niggle.)

The paper is a nice thickness and the size of the paper would easily allow children to work together colouring in these pictures. There is only 1 picture per page so you can use pens without worrying about colours leaching through.

Whilst this book won't store easily on any shelf any dinosaur fan will love it. The pictures of the dinosaurs are clear with a nice level of detail for younger children (not as detailed as an older dinosaur fan might want.)

I've never heard of some of the dinosaurs in this colouring book but that could be a nice research start point for a fun dino project.

If you're not worried about the size of this book I would definitely recommend it.

Galt Toys First Rattle Set
Galt Toys First Rattle Set
Price: 10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Fun, 31 July 2014
This review is from: Galt Toys First Rattle Set (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are very colourful, soft and baby friendly rattles. Two of them are strapped on with Velcro and are intended for babys wrists, 2 are socks for their feet however you could put them on the hands if you want to. Each rattle has a bright face - elephant, zebra, lion (which looks like a sun) and what I think is a bear. These rattles allow your baby to interact with their surroundings and entertain themself without having to hold/grasp the rattle.

The main problem we found with these rattles is that the socks are very easily kicked off. The Velcro straps hold the wrist rattles well but the socks aren't foot shaped and have a tendency to slip down and end up on the floor.

The rattles aren't overly loud, all make the same sound and are definitely aimed at young babies. They are machine washable which is a plus.

I like these rattles and use the wrist ones more than the socks. If you're only going to use the wrist ones you definitely want to be looking for these at a reasonable price.

NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Oblo by KRUPS Coffee Capsule Machine - White
NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Oblo by KRUPS Coffee Capsule Machine - White
Price: 89.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Quick and Easy, 31 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This comes packaged in a pretty neat box with a Velcro handle for easy maneuverability. When you take the coffee machine out it is already assembled, you just have to add the drip tray. The size is fairly compact, it's smaller than my one cup kettle. The white and dark grey colours are complementary and I was pleased with the design.

The instructions were easy to follow and I did the first rinse through as recommended. The coffee machine was very loud on this rinse and the water came out of the spout at diagonal angles causing a little splashing. Luckily this was resolved when I added the capsules to make coffee and whilst the machine wasn't silent it was a lot less noisy.

The capsules were exceedingly easy to insert and remove and whilst you have to wait for the light to turn green before making your coffee it was only a few seconds (less than the 40 seconds the manual suggested) before it was ready. As soon as I flipped the switch to hot the cappuccino started to pour into the cup and I could see the steam coming off the surface. The coffee was made much quicker than if I'd used the kettle/cafetiere.

The machine was very easy to clean and reassemble. The tank holds about a litre and a half so you can make a few coffees before refilling. The tank stands up on it's own on the side whilst refilling making it easy and quick and then slots into position without too much effort.

The machine has a slider to allow you to choose if you are making a hot or cold drink. This is not an automatic machine so you do have to watch your drink being made and judge when to flipped the lever to off.

The machine comes with a 10 discount code for the Dolce Gusto website when you register it and the website also does free UK delivery which was a pleasant surprise. The machine comes with a box of 6 capsules - 2 to make Cappuccino, 2 to make a skinny Latte Machiatto and a Lungo and an Americano capsule. The website offers a range of options for both hot and cold drinks including coffees, hot chocolates, iced cappuccinos, teas and Nestea fruit teas.

There are a couple of reasons I didn't give this machine 5 stars.
- It is a little noisier than I expected/like.
- The range of coffees available in decaf is extremely limited which I think is a shame.
- The flip switch to stop the milk/coffee is down to your judgement and it takes a bit of getting used to. Whilst the coffee is nice it resulted in watery cappuccino my first few tries, also possibly my fault as I was using a fairly large mug which didn't help my judgement of when to stop but equally this is a pitfall others could fall into.

If those things don't bother you then this could be the machine for you. I definitely do like the look of it on my kitchen side, it's sleek and modern.

Zoggs Women's Zena - Mirror/Clear
Zoggs Women's Zena - Mirror/Clear
Price: 9.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty and functional, 22 Jun 2014
This review is from: Zoggs Women's Zena (Sports)
I love the look of these goggles. They fit well and are easy to adjust (as long as you pull in the right direction - d'oh!)
They form a good suction around my eyes and have only ever leaked one or two drops and that has only been twice. They do leave some marks on my face but they're not that big and quickly fade. I would buy these again in future.

500g(approx 115) Silver/Purple Mix Glass Pebbles
500g(approx 115) Silver/Purple Mix Glass Pebbles
Offered by Petals&Buds
Price: 6.29

2.0 out of 5 stars Look tacky, 22 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was disappointed in these. They are a nice size and the colours are nice. However when you hold them they are slightly rough instead of smooth and I'm not sure but it looks and feels like the lilac/silver colour is just painted on the outside. Whilst from a distance they look okay in the vase I got them for up close they just look tacky.

Galt Toys Folding Trampoline
Galt Toys Folding Trampoline
Offered by Buy-For-Less-Online
Price: 44.41

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun but not really folding, 22 Jun 2014
This review is from: Galt Toys Folding Trampoline (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fun and sturdy small trampoline.

It comes in pieces and requires some assembly but it's an allen key job so it's not particularly hard. I was concerned after reading a few of the other reviews that I wouldn't be able to make it alone but I did!

The legs/poles are easy to assemble. The trickiest bit is threading the cord tight enough. I used someone else's tip and tied the 4 corners with string before I started but even then I didn't realise how tight I needed to pull it and ran out of cord before I got back to the start. Take 2 I pulled really hard on each hole and held it tight as I threaded the next part and the cord more than reached the beginning and was easy to tie off alone even though the instructions do say you'd need 2 people. The instructions are written with a separate sheet with the diagrams (this was hidden further in with different languages so initially I was a little confused about which piece was which.) They're okay to follow and it didn't take me to long to assemble (30-40 mins.)

Two things made me give this 4 starts instead of 5.
The first is that within the packaging there was brown dirt on lots of the poles which made a mess all over the floor and my hands and the cord was covered in what looked like either clay dust or white mold and although this wiped off it wasn't pleasant to have to touch it and I don't think it would have taken them much on the packaging end to make sure it was clean before packing.
The second, to my mind more important, reason is that this is labelled as foldable. It isn't really foldable. The legs are sprung to let you easily attach but I looked once it was assembled and the cord is in the way of unspringing them so they can't be folded back down - or at least I was willing to attempt this. The handle should be easy to remove but I tightened the black cap screw (which is a good size to grab onto) to make sure it was secure and can now only unscrew one side. I would not call this a foldable trampoline.

That said if you're just looking for a trampoline you can leave up it's a nice size - not too big or small, sturdy enough that I jumped on it to test it out and it bounced me just fine. It has bright, fun colours and patterns on the safety padding over the cords and a lot of fun to bounce on.

Bibetta Swim Bag/ Large Wet Bag (Blue)
Bibetta Swim Bag/ Large Wet Bag (Blue)
Price: 14.95

2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to be able it give it more..., 15 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product has lots of good reviews and initially I would have given it 4 stars but within a month of use (twice a week) 2 of the seams were broken/coming undone.

There are lots of positives about this bag -
- The outside materials is soft and absorbent. It got wet on the floor at the pool but the outer material held/soaked up the water so that when I picked up the bag it didn't get me wet.
- The bigger pocket is waterproof and easily dry-able
- Both pockets have zips so you can keep your valuables in the smaller zip pocket
- The strap is adjustable and can be easily clipped in different ways to allow you to carry the bag in the way which is most comfortable for you
- The bag is comfortable to carry and easy/small for storage

The things I wasn't so keen on for this bag that would have made it a 4 star for me -
-The strap buckle for adjusting has a tendency to slide too easily so I had to resize the length quite a few times
- This bag is called large but I didn't find it was big enough for me when I was wanting to store my clothes in it during swimming (it was just about big enough for everything on the trip to the swimming pool)
- The small pocket has a separate zip on the outside of the bag but the actual pocket takes up space inside the big pocket so when mine was full with big bunch of keys, fat wallet (unfortunately not with money!), phone and e reader it was taking up a significant amount of space in the big bag making packing the big pocket awkward (not impossible)

Last week my 4 star review I was writing in my head dropped to 2 stars because of the sewing. The sewing holding the end of the zip together on the big pocket broke as I was doing it up. This one may be partly my fault as I was putting my clothes in and had a particularly thick cardigan however whilst the bag was full it wasn't like I was having to sit on it and squash it to make it fit. I gave it the benefit of the doubt that maybe that was my doing but then when I was switching the strap from one position to another I noticed that the sewing on the triangle where the clip is held onto the bag was broken and coming undone too. In so short an amount of time I don't think 2 different seams should be broken when I wasn't using it roughly or carelessly.

I may have just been unlucky as lots of other reviews are very positive and as I said I did like this bag although I would want a bigger version of it and for the sewing to be more robust. Check out the other reviews before deciding either way on this bag. If you don't have lots to fill it with you may fare better.

Babies Firsts 120x60cm Luxury Spring Interior Cot Mattress with an Edge Bound Cover and Extra Comfort Layer
Babies Firsts 120x60cm Luxury Spring Interior Cot Mattress with an Edge Bound Cover and Extra Comfort Layer
Price: 36.11

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable mattress but if you are looking for luxury this isnt it, 15 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's a bit awkward reviewing a mattress that you haven’t used yourself to sleep on. Our 9 month old’s sleep doesn't seem any better or worse having changed mattresses so I guess it can't be too awful or amazing. It has a layer of foam surrounding the springs, which when pressed individually don't feel too great but altogether seem ok. Its described as ‘dense nursery foam’ but looks and feels like normal foam to me. The ‘luxury soft polyester fibre layer’ is a very thin layer of wadding that doesn't really add much. Its also a little confusing as the description says the mattress should be turned over on a regular basis but the luxury padding is only on one side. The amazon description suggests that it offers a spare cover, but it doesn't. It has a removable/washable cover that is a combination of plastic and cotton material (non expert talking). The inner waterproof liner bit is about a quarter of the mattress and our son wriggles around or we place him at both ends of the cot so this liner doesn’t make any difference as he is rarely over it. A reasonable mattress but if you are looking for luxury this isn't it.

Pampers S4 Giga BD - Pack of 120
Pampers S4 Giga BD - Pack of 120

4.0 out of 5 stars Trustworthy brand and very reliable, 15 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The brand name pretty much says it all. Pampers is the epitome of reliable nappies. We use other nappies during the day as they are cheaper and seem to work as well but for reliability overnight we always seem to fall back upon pampers, as lets face it with a new baby every minute of sleep is priceless and you don't want to waste any time changing leaked nappies and wet bed clothes as a result.

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