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Protected: School Holiday Fortnight 2013/04/07

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Birthday, Days Out, Family, Friends, Kids, real life, shopping.
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New Dripper 2013/01/25

Posted by Daddy Dave in Reviews, shopping, Tips and Tricks.
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[ photograph of coffee dripper]I am thrilled with my new dripper.

This one arrived yesterday from Amazon. What’s different about this dripper is that it has a valve, so the grounds are steeped for a while, rather than simply passing through. (more…)

Protected: Shops and Chocs 2012/03/03

Posted by Daddy Dave in Days Out, Family, fun, real life, shopping.
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Flatware 2010/12/20

Posted by Daddy Dave in Musings, shopping.
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I was slightly conned when I bought cutlery years ago, and so we are looking for new cutlery/ flatware now and hope this is of some help to others. (more…)

Titanium! 2010/07/25

Posted by Daddy Dave in Cooking, Reviews, shopping, Tips and Tricks.
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I have a client who raves about the Woll (pron. “v-aw-l” )Titanium pan his wife bought at an Ideal Home Exhibition.  Fat-free frying and delicious food too. I was intrigued enough to track down the following videoclip on youTube: (more…)

Christmas Dinner Goosed! 2009/12/23

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Cooking, Family, shopping.
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O yeah I had a plan. We’re doing Christmas, it’s the new oven, new kitchen, new dining scenario and all that.  I pre-ordered an ASDA grocery shop on-line on the 12th.  That is to say, AGES AGO. What could possibly go wrong? (more…)

Hawley Good Time 2009/10/12

Posted by Daddy Dave in fun, Music, Reviews, shopping.
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[Picture of Our Hawley tickets]I was buying tickets at the O2ABC a few weeks back, and while they sometimes sell tickets for gigs at The Old Fruitmarket, they didn’t have any for Richard Hawley.

Well, as often happens, life got in the way — and by the time we went on-line to get tickets, it was Sold Out. We were pretty disappointed.

Anyhoo — the gig was tonight, so we got papa and Charlie to babysit, and Ruthie and I nipped along to Candleriggs and got tickets at the door — brilliant tickets, and a pop at just £39 for two. (more…)

The Pink Princess Bike 2009/06/14

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Family, Reviews, shopping.
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Oli has been using her old size 12 Barbie bike to get to nursery school all week, and while she loves bike riding, I’d noticed that she’s really outgrown this one.

She needed (more…)

Little Shield Davos Stroller 2009/05/22

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, Family, Reviews, shopping.
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DP has never had a brand new pram of his own, as both have been Olivia’s “hand me downs”. We still have the main pram, but I have found that I have been using the stroller more these days as he’s not a baby any more. DP walks now, so the stroller is just for him when he’s too tired, and he naps in it a lot, we need a new one that reclines.

So I had been looking for a while on the internet, (more…)

Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2008/09/10

Posted by Daddy Dave in Reviews, shopping.
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For years, even as a “single man”,  I have “set the table” for my evening meal.  I simply prefer to have my dinner at a table, complete with a table cloth, napkin, candle and a glass of red wine.  It’s that “bella figura” thing, I guess. Ruth adopted this habit, and now we have our family meals in this way as a matter of course, and we think it’s a “good thing” (see UK Dining Etiquette Survey).

However, lately we have grown tired of the same old wines, so we began exploring when we saw a sale at Tesco at the beginning of “summer”.  One of the ones we came across that we liked a lot was the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo.

I thought I would write here about this wine simply because it seems to be surprisingly (a) available everywhere and (b) cheap considering the facts we discovered about it. (more…)

Tesco is Metres Better! 2006/09/24

Posted by Daddy Dave in hacks, shopping, Tips and Tricks.

I ‘lost’ my measuring tape on my last project, so I needed to replace it. One might be forgiven for thinking that measuring tapes of all makes are pretty easy to obtain — they are cheap and cheerful and in plentiful supply. The trouble is that I HATE those measuring tapes because they use two illegal measurement systems, the old and long-dead British Imperial system of inches and feet along the top edge, and the equally old and equally dead French Metric system of centimetres and metres along the bottom! (more…)

Too Much Variety in Laptops 2006/07/30

Posted by Dave in hacks, Reviews, shopping, Tips and Tricks, Whinge.

This is a call to laptop manufacturers to get their act together and come up with a standard arrangement of sockets, slots, drawers and even keys! There must be a lot of people like me — who have to use a variety of hardware and software under pressure to be productive amidst strange company procedures, networks, and whatnot.

From the point of view of software, I have developed a way to cope with relentless new versions and revisions to essential software packages, and my keyboard shortcuts also serve me well in using all sorts of unfamiliar software applications. As such, though, I worry when the keyboard layouts stay standard on desktops and vary wildly on laptops! (more…)

Teething Times 2006/07/11

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, Health, shopping.
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We put baby Olivia to bed at the normal time of 19:30, bath, story etc. — and all seemed well; there was no problem with her getting off to sleep.

David and I drank beer and watched the World Cup Final on TV before going to bed (at a reasonable hour for once!).

Then — around about 01:00, in her nursery, Olivia started to cry out, and it took me a while to realise she wasn’t settling back to sleep. Eventually I dragged myself from my deep slumbers and tried to settle her. She was not at all happy! I changed her nappy, and gave her a drink of water, but she continued to scream. This is very unusual for Olivia, who has always been a great sleeper. But the night had just begun… (more…)

Xscaped 2006/07/09

Posted by Dave in Family, Reviews, shopping.
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Everyone seemed to be going to ‘T-in-the-Park’ this weekend… but we were glad we weren’t (more…)

Lightweight Stroller 2006/06/19

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, shopping.

It’s over a year now since we bought our ‘travel system’.  It’s been great, but recently we’ve been looking for a cheap and really  lightweight stroller now that Olivia’s walking with reins. Today I received delivery of a lightweight stroller in red for Olivia ordered at the fabby Kiddicare website!

[Picture of our Red cadet Buggy]

It cost £24.99 (rrp £29.99) and also included postage and packing and free stuff (2 sunshades for the car). I bought a few other thing too, a red travel harness by Baboz for babies from 6months and up. It’s hard to describe but have a look at the website and a pink click-clip parasol for the buggy by ‘Clair de Lune’.

Baboz web site

I only ordered them late Thursday 15th and received them today at lunchtime, wow! We immediately took the buggy for a stoll and were amazed at how light it was to push and carry up and down the stairs, looks like a good buy. We have not tried the harness yet but looking forward to using that; it can fold into a bag because it’s all material, so it’s easy to take out and about with us in case there is no highchair available. Great for taking on holiday?

Zen Nano 2006/02/11

Posted by Dave in Reviews, shopping.

I saw Michael Graham’s Zen Nano at work. He used a small lead to connect it to the USB on his PC and uploaded some documents he had been working on at home. I must say it looked (more…)

Aurora Highchair 2005/08/22

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, shopping.

We received delivery of Olivia’s highchair today, it’s a Cosatto Aurora Plus Highchair in Grey Leatherette. We ordered it through Kiddicare.com and it cost £59.99 (RRP £89.99), which is not a bad deal.

Our Highchair!

The highchair features:

  • Fully adjustable seat height… slides up and down the front part of the A frame.
  • The seat reclines at 3 positions, but we find that clicking them can be a bit hit’n’miss – she can be sucking away at her bottle and suddenly the seat will pop her back to the lower setting!  We have learned to do a quick security test after clicking to a position.  The recline is great; after a solids meal, she reclines and we laugh as her feet find their way up and into view past the trays!
  • A five-point harness keeps her safe and secure (but are hard to clean and they make removing and refitting the padded cover a bit of a drag).
  • The removable trays clip together, the top white one has a cup-holder.  We let Olivia use the white tray as a dinner plate and the grey clipped-on one for play.  The trays have 3 click-positions to allow for growth, and you can unclick them (2 handed job) for better access (removing Olivia without waking, for example).
  • We LOVE the luxurious super-soft leatherette padded seat cover — just like a top-range car! Wish they did an adult version!
  • Olivia and I love the handy storage basket for all the toys and other bits and pieces. She’s always in at this, so it is just as well that the seat is so stable and chunky — she swings about and all sorts!

All-in-all, Olivia seems very comfy in her new chair, I think she likes it. What I like about it is the fact that her favourite toys can be stored in the basket underneath the chair so she can play whilst I potter about in the kitchen.  The chair as a whole is quite bulky and might not be suitable for smaller kitchens, but it does fold down into a smaller size when not in use, have a look at the features on Cosatto’s website… be wary though, there is also a cossato manufacturer of children’s stuff — it’s just a spelling difference, I don’t know how they can get away with THAT!!!

The Cot Bed 2005/05/09

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, shopping.

We couldn’t see a good cot or cot bed in the shops or at the Mother and baby show, so I searched around on-line and found a real bargain on eBay.

It was actually from a great company in Birmingham, called ‘Just Kidding’ (just-kidding.com). I went for the Victoria cot bed (a name used by well-known brands) — the instructions say ‘Victoria/ Elizabeth cot bed’, but I reckon that just means the instructions are for both the Elizabeth and the Victoria, rather than the cot bed being known as Victoria/ Elizabeth!

I paid just £139.99 in total — and that included delivery and packing as well as the mattress (most cots and cot beds exclude the mattress). That’s a real bargain, and I am very pleased indeed… (thanks to “The_pro_trader” and eBay).

Once again the couriers delivered it without fuss (and within a few days of ordering), and Dave said it only needed the supplied zig-zag Allan key to put it together.

Having said that, Dave already had a correct size of Allan key — but he had sawn off the L-shaped end to leave a straight hex bar. This is what he used to assemble the cot bed in minutes — he simply attached this hex bar into his cordless drill (instead of a drill bit or screw-driver attachment), and pressed the trigger to speed up the whole process! saves all the hand-turning nonsense! Brilliant!

We set the bed base and mattress at the highest position, and it’s great not to have to bend down far. Olivia took to it immediately. Her wee room is now a ‘proper’ nursery at last!

I will take the old pram we got from Dave’s sister Peg to the Charity shop tomorrow.

Baby Einstein Language Nursery 2005/05/02

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, shopping.
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Today we received delivery of our Baby Einstein (Walt Disney) DVDs all the way from China!

[Picture of Our Chinese Baby Einstein Santa Boxed Set]

The boxed set contained 15 DVDs and only cost a total of £15.00 — including postage and packaging all the way from from China! At the Baby Einstein website each individual DVD retails at $19.99 — which is more or less £10.00 per DVD —  meaning we would have paid at least £150, not to mention postage and packing from the USA! We think a 90% discount is a very good deal, so thanks China — and eBay again!  Here's the list of discs:

  • Baby Noah (Animal Expedition)
  • Baby Neptune (Discovering Water)
  • Baby Newton (Discovering Shapes)
  • Baby Van Gogh (World of Colour)
  • Baby da Vinci (From Head to Toe)
  • Baby Beethoven (Symphony of Fun)
  • Baby Bach (Musical Adventure)
  • Baby Mozart (Music Festival)
  • Baby Shakespeare (World of Poetry)
  • Baby McDonald (A day on the Farm)
  • Baby Galileo (Discovering the Sky)
  • Numbers Nursery
  • Neighborhood Animal
  • World Animals
  • Language Nursery

The important thing is that Olivia loves the DVDs, her favourite at the moment seems to be the Beethoven one, although we haven't worked our way through them all yet.  She really does seem mesmerised by them — we find that it keeps her concentrating and interested for the length of the DVD… giving us time to get on with other things!

It's kind-of Sesame-Streety, but (thankfully) not very US American… it defeats the educational purpose if we have to correct the spelling and pronounciations! 

Baby Sling 2005/04/07

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, shopping.
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Well, we eventually got the baby sling we wanted, on-line of course! We got it last week from a fabulous seller on eBay called ‘Kids_are_cheaper_by_the_dozen’. (more…)

The Pram 2005/03/07

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, shopping.
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I am beginning to panic; we still have nothing. We need a pram and we need it badly. However, it turns out you don’t get mere prams any more; it’s a ‘travel system!’! (more…)

Mother & Baby Show 2005 2005/03/05

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Baby, shopping.
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Well, it had to happen sometime I suppose. Not that we had to actually like it, but we do have to get on with the inevitables. Yes, we parents had to leave our baby for a few hours in the hands of a babysitter. Ugh!

Mum and daughter are home a couple of days… but we need everything! So there was no avoiding it; we had to get to the Mother and Baby Expo at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC), and we just felt it was the lesser evil to leave her with a babysitter as opposed to catching some dreadful bug from the teeming hoards.

Not for one minute (more…)