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Wednesday 29 December 2010

Anyone For An iPhone? Duracell Toy Report 2010

Following on from my last post when I confirmed what you all knew already:  that I am a miserable cow and that I deprive my children of the latest 'must have' toys I was really interested to receive the 2010 toy report from Duracell (1000 kids and parents were polled in September 2010 for the survey).

Any idea what the top 5 must have toys were for Christmas 2010?  Let me enlighten you -
  1. iPhone 4
  2. iPod Touch
  3. iPad  (can you see an emerging theme here?)
  4. Kinect for Xbox
  5. Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters
Hooray for number 5.  A completely naff toy in my opinion but a toy, a real toy.  One that a kid can use their imagination with and make up a game rather than just sitting and interacting with technology.  Also, hooray for something that just costs a tenner rather than serious amounts of money.

I was completely shocked to read that traditional toys take just 3 spaces in the top 10 must have toys for this Xmas. It confirmed what I already knew, that many parents are suffering anxieties about how to pay for these high priced items and that about 70% of children find out about these must-haves from TV advertising.  of course part of the report focused on batteries, it was commissioned by Duracell after all and would you believe that the average household buys 15 batteries over the Christmas period?  I thought that was quite interesting, but then I might just be harbouring a geeky side! lol

There was a short survey where children had been asked about their favourite part of Christmas Day and the majority of children (67%) said opening presents was the best part.  This saddened me a little as it stunk of short-lived thrills and no substance. I asked JJ the questions and I was more pleased to hear his best part of the day is actually playing with the toys, this felt a bit better to me.

You may be wondering why I got sent this report? Well, I was asked to review some Duracell batteries and lets be honest, it is Christmas and they are always needed, so I said yes.  Also I like the PR lady who is working the account, you know there are just some people you get a good vibe from?

So I got sent 8 Duracell Ultra batteries (the ones with the cool little power checker on each battery) and I sort of wondered how you review batteries as you hope they will last a little longer than the week or so you normally test things for.  Luckily for me my alarm clock needed its batteries changing a few days ago and I realised that I had been road testing these Duracell Ultra batteries for a good couple of years as they were in my clock.  I can not even remember the last time I had to replace them, so there is my testimony that they last an age!  I think we all know really that Duracell are the best anyway and if you can get them for 'buy 1 get 1 free' in the supermarkets (which I always seem able to do) then they do not cost anymore than own brand batteries.

I think I got sold on the Duracell batteries years ago when I was a kid and all those pink bunnies used to play their drum for ages - what was it I was saying about TV adverts again?  I am living proof that they scarily do work.

You may have guessed!  This is a review post.  I received 8 free batteries from Duracell and also a boom box speaker which I could have used the batteries in.  We decided it was not for our family and it has made it's way to a local charity shop. I was not told what to write for this review and the opinions expressed are my honest own.

Sunday 26 December 2010

Our Family Recommends: Waitrose Profiteroles

Being Boxing day we had my family over and they are great lovers of creamy desserts, so I thought I would get soem profiteroles in.  No, I do not do the domestic goddess bake everything from scratch here, sorry!

I normally buy M&S profiteroles and the fresh ones but they were costing about £10 this Christmas so I left them and I am so glad I did.  For at Waitrose I bought 2 boxes of 18 profiteroles for £5.00 for the two. They were frozen but having had frozen desserts from Waitrose I knew we were likely to be talking a quality product rather than an Iceland bargain!

They were excellent.  You got separate chocolate sauce and plenty of it and the 36 profiteroles fed 8 of us in total.  So that was £5.00 for 8 desserts, you can not say fairer value than that!

I'll let you judge for yourself whether my twins liked them!
This is a family recommendation and that means we are sharing with you things that our family like and will use again. We received nothing for free and Waitrose have no idea I am posting this!

Thursday 23 December 2010

Clifford James Men's Leather Slippers - Review

I was given the opportunity to review some slippers and being the giving kind of girl that I am, I thought I would offer them to to my hubbie (dh).  So I had a look through the slipper web pages on Clifford James and I knew for sure that the ones he would love were these leather and suede mules.  Years ago dh had a pair like this and he was gutted when they wore out. Since then I have not really been able to find a pair that were similar, real leather and a reasonable price.  These ones retail at £19.99 and I think that is fabulous value for them.

I ordered the slippers and they arrived very well packaged and in great condition.  I was immediately pleased.  There was just one snag, when they arrived they were a size 7 and not an 11.  I mentioned this to the friendly people at Clifford James and they were apologetic and offered me an exchange immediately......  but do you know what?  7 is my size and I had already slipped my feet into them. It must be over a week now since they arrived and I have not taken them off.

Beautifully packaged in their own individual bags

I am a complete girlie girl and never did I think I would be wearing men's slippers but they are ultra comfortable with a beautiful suede interior.  They also have a thick and sturdy sole so I have been able to nip down to the shed in them (in the snow!).  I am completely happy with these slippers and can see no downside to them.  Dh has even hinted that a pair for him would not go a miss.  Now how twee will we be with Mr and Ms slippers?

I checked out the Clifford James web today and I can see they are having a sale, so go and look for yourself.  What bargains can you find?

Friday 17 December 2010

Review & Fab Giveaway: Earth Friendly Baby

Fancy winning a super hamper of Earth Friendly Baby pampering products?  Yes, then read on... A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive some gorgeous pampering products for my children to try out.  We have been using them on a daily basis since so that I can report back to you having thoroughly put the products through their paces.
First up we tried the Camomile shampoo and bodywash and I have to say that I am loving this product.  It smells divine and very natural but is thick and soaps up well.  Considering the bottle is being used daily by all 3 of my kids it is lasting really well. At £3.99 for 250ml I would definitely buy this again.

As someone whose husband is very into natural, organic and ethical products this range really suits our family as the products are organic, are not tested on animals and do not contain any artificial colouring or fragrances.

Another product that I liked was the chamomile bubblebath. I even admit to using this myself on a couple of occasions as I love the smell.  I wrongly assumed that being an eco-friendly and natural product that this would not foam very well but how wrong I was.  This gives a god bath of bubbles, even using a sparing amount. At £5.99 for 370ml this is a little out of my personal budget but if you have the money available then I would definitely say buy this.

After the girls baths each night they have been trying out the Red Clover Diaper Care Cream.  Miss E still wears at nappy at night and even thought Miss M has been dry for a long time she is still prone to soreness in her private area so a soothing cream is still an essential here. I have tried most of the big brand creams over time and I have to say that I like this one from Earth Friendly Baby, it is soothing and helps to heal any soreness but goes on nicely and feels really smooth to the touch.  It is not thick and sticky like Sudocream. I even used it on some winter dry skin soreness behind Miss E's knees and it worked wonders there too. It costs £2.99 for 43g but you do not need much at a time, so it would go a long way.

The last product that we tried was the Earth Friendly Baby Eco Wipes and I have to be honest and say that I would not leave my regular brand and make a move to these.  It is definitely a big plus that they are 100% biodegradable but the fragrance was not to my liking and they felt more watery than others wipes I have used. They retail at £2.99 for a pack of 72 wipes.

In all, I think the range is good and if you are particularly interested in having eco-friendly products then these would 100% suit you. Take a look at http://www.healthqueststore.com/ to see other items in the same range and to place an order.  You can also purchase the products from Waitrose.

But hang on, didn't I mention a giveaway earlier? 

Yes I did, You could be the lucky winner of 5 great products from the Earth Friendly Baby Range - 1 bubblebath, 1 shampoo and bodywash, 1 diaper cream, 1 packet of wipes and 1 bottle of massage oil worth about £20 in total.

To enter -
  • visit Earth Friendly Baby's Facebook page and press like and while you are there check out my facebook page and like that too.
  • Once you have done that, leave me a comment below to let me know
  • If you want an extra entry tweet the giveaway with @michelletwinmum in the tweet so I know.
Terms and Conditions
  • Giveaway ends 12 noon Thursday 30 December 2010
  • Open to all UK and Ireland residents.
  • The prize is not transferable or refundable and there is not a cash alternative.
  • I will use a random number generator to pick the winner.
  • I will contact the winner within 3 days of the giveaway closing.
  • Please leave an email or twitter ID so I can contact you if you win

Good Luck!

This is a review post. I confirm that I received 4 products free of charge to use and honestly review. I was not instructed what to write by the company and I remain honest at all times. I am also publicising this giveaway on my regular blog.