Product Reviews

Cath Kidston Crochet Kit in a Book Tin - Review (not a good one)

In fairness to other bloggers and potential buyers of this product, I thought it time to write a review. It wouldn't be fair only to write positive reviews and recommend things if I didn't balance it occasionally with reviews for stuff that wasn't so good.

I received the Crochet Kit in a book tin as a Christmas present - it was something I wanted and I was very much looking forward to some hooky fun whilst watching mindless television. I'm a big Cath Kidston fan and on paper this set seemed perfect for me. It promised so much - 6 balls of yarn in CK colours and instructions to make a cushion and of course a rather lovely tin for me to use afterwards to store my crochet bits and bobs in.

It started well - yes the colour were lovely and the initial instructions were easy to follow - though as it was a classic granny square I didn't need to follow them to closely. The yarn however was proving annoying to say the least - regularly it split and I had to pull back to sort this out. I got very annoyed at the regular joins in the yarn too and in places it thinned down to one strand -like it had been wound by a beginner and with not much care - not something you'd expect from a brand like this. Normally when I crochet I use a basic acrylic yarn from my local shop and I never have the same problems with that.

The next problem was as I started on the 2nd side I realised I wasn't going to have enough yarn to complete the project - again surely someone should have checked this during the development stage? I contacted CK and they promised to send me some extra balls of yarn.

I then started looking on the net to find that I wasn't the only person who had had these problems - several mentioned the very poor quality of the yarn and the fact there wasn't enough to complete the project - I advise any of those who had these problems to contact CK direct - then they might realise that they need to test these products out before selling them on to their buyers.

Even after being supplied with extra yarn it still didn't mean I could finish the project properly - the instructions became as clear as mud and I ended up colour matching from my own supplies and finishing it off my way.

 One side

The other.

The overall verdict - a product with a premium price that promises so much but fails to deliver.

Would I recommend this set to others? - no.

Will I buy from CK again? To be honest I've become quite disillusioned with CK and their products and the quality of the recent things I've bought is noticeably poorer than the original items. I think in future it will have to be something amazing before I hand over my hard earned pennies - and yes you can quote me on that!! - Review

Another day, another email asking me if I'd like to do a product review. This time it was it was and they asked if I'd like to review something from the kitchen gadget range. Now you know me and my love of cooking/baking etc - well I had a look at the list of suggestions and something slightly different jumped out at me. Something that I've wanted for a long while and something I knew the boys would have fun with and benefit from. I thought those boys of mine deserved a treat for all their hard work and support over the past few months.

The product I choose was a Retro Popcorn Maker;

The parcel arrived yesterday and a quick read of the instructions showed it was something that even I could operate! I was prepared for its arrival and had sent Little Son to the shops at the weekend for a bag of popcorn kernels.

Right time for some piccies;

 Such a good looking piece of equipment - love the retro styling and the glossy red finish.

 The lid doubles as a measuring cap - about 90g of kernels per batch - cost less than 20p!

 Pour kernels into maker.

 Place a bowl under the chute and switch on.

 Realise a much bigger bowl is needed AND get an action shot (slightly fuzzy).

 One batch made this bowlful and 2 smaller bowlfuls for the boys for a scrummy after school snack. You can add flavouring - this time we added a tiny sprinkle of salt.

The verdict from Little Son & Big Son - fab and a thumbs up.

The verdict from me - another thumbs up. Great for making a cheap and low fat snack. The machine uses no oil and instead realises on hot air to pop the corn. It takes just a few minutes to use and its something that will be getting loads of use from the boys - from healthy snacks to movie nights. I suspect even our Christmas tree will end up with a popcorn garland on it this year!!

Thank you to for sending us this fab product to test.

I should also point out to you all this site contains 1000's of gift ideas for everyone in your family and life. 

From the big;

 What gadget freak wouldn't like an retro arcade machine to convert their I-pad into a something from their teenage years.

There's also a great choice of slightly unusual kitchen gadgets & equipment - for the cookie baker who has everything - how about some Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters

So if you're stuck for what to buy that hard to buy for person in your life or just want to find something different and avoid the crush on the High Street then give a look.

Thanks for reading. - Review

Another day - another product review. As with the others, I only review things that interest me - rather than for the sake of it. When I was asked to review and was given a shopping voucher to use to do this, I jumped at the chance.

Time to treat myself to something nice (I feel I've earned this after the past few months) and also to make a start on some festive shopping for family members. Whilst I can't show you everything I bought, I can show you what I treated myself to - this gift set from the Kate Moss Vintage Muse range

I choose this as this is a scent I've smelt before and its been on my wish list for ages. However when I compared the prices, I'm glad I didn't buy from the high street. Perfume-click's prices are considerably less than those of the high street and other online shopping sites. My set was just £10.95 whilst in other places online it was over £20! The same could be said of the other items I choose - I made a considerable saving buying this way - even the postage is cheap, just £1.95 and free if you spend over £50.

Another bonus - the bottle is so cute - one to keep;

There was such a wide choice on the site - stuff I've not seen in the high street for many years and also the latest designer names. Even gifts for the younger members of your family;
 For your Disney Princess lover there's a huge range to choose from.

 The same if you prefer Hello Kitty
Even something for the small X-Men fan.

If like me the high street is not an option this Christmas or if you want to make your money go further then I can fully recommend Perfume-click and their range and service.

Rubbersole - a very negative experience (12/10/11)

One final grump - this one is a few weeks old but deserves airing. I've done a few reviews now for stuff and have happily recommended stuff to you lovely readers. Well this times, here's one to avoid!! Look at these two pictures and see if you can spot the difference?? 

Yep one is a red converse hi-top and the other is a white converse lo-top. Well I ordered a pair of the red ones for big son from a company called Rubbersole
The first problem the parcel took 2 weeks to arrive - not great for a company promising next day delivery! When it eventually arrived it contained the wrong shoes - the white ones. I contacted the company explained the problem and they arranged to resend my order. Another 5 days passes, another parcel arrives - guess what wrong again!! I managed eventually to find a phone number and spoke to their 'Customer Services' department - useless. They couldn't grasp that it was their error - I'd 2 pairs of wrong shoes and they couldn't promise if we'd a 3rd go it would be right. I gave up - got my refund and ordered elsewhere. The only saving grace was they supplied a free returns label. My advice - don't go there - not worth the hassle :( Review 

Good evening

Another day - another review. Seems I was one of a few asked by Al @ if I'd like to receive two free tea-towels to review. Of course the answer had to be yes. The biggest dilemma was which 2 of the 100's of gorgeous designs to choose - I got it down to a short list of 10 and then closed my eyes and chose 2.  Here's they are;

I love this patriotic Union Flag design - if you look carefully, you can see the buttons in the middle - 2 of my favourite things in one.

For my 2nd one I choose this retro design - the lady sort of reminded me of Mum in her younger swinging sixties years and of the slogan sums me up rather nicely.

The UK design is 100% cotton whilst the Domestic Goddess one is a linen/cotton mix. Both are currently undergoing field trials in the kitchen and are doing a sterling job - bear in mind that my kitchen is currently being run by 3 males who don't have the gentle touch of us girls. My 13 year old son is now chief washing machine operator and these tea-towels will be at his mercy at the weekend when he does a tea-towel wash!

Thank you Al for sending these to me and my lovely readers, I recommend this website to you - a wonderful choice and quick, speedy and friendly service await.

Scooby Doo spook-a-licious snacks Review

For a while now I've been getting emails asking me to reviews various products. I've mainly said no as I've not been interested in the item or its been something thats mainly for non-UK markets. However a few weeks ago I was approached by a PR company asking if I'd be interested in reviewing and receiving samples of a new range of sweets from the company Swizzels Matlow.  I knew which company they meant and agreed to do this.

Swizzels Matlow have produced sweets for over 80 years and are responsible for some of my favourites - Lovehearts, Drumstick lollies and Parma Violets. I remember my little Grandma coming to visit us when we were small - she always had been into the village shop before hand and came with a bag of sweets for us all. Always inside were LoveHearts & Parma Violets - the smell of these takes me back to my childhood in an instant.  

Swizzels Matlow have teamed up with Warner Bros to launch a new collection of Scooby Doo inspired sweetie snacks.  Again Scooby Doo formed part of my childhood - we'd often watch the cartoons on TV and will Shaggy, Fred, Scooby, Velma and Daphne to outsmart another crook - those pesky kids ;) This show has now being running for over 40 years and is the longest running animation series on TV with over 360 episodes. I know in particular that little son loves this still - if he gets the chance he'll have an SD marathon watching session on TV.
Anyhow - the important part - the arrival of a parcel;

Inside - one of each of the 3 new products - Scooby-Doo Chew Bar, Gruesome Gums and Fiendish Fizzies - along with a rather plush beanie Scooby - I just know he'll disappear into little sons room very soon!

Before the taste testing could begin - a few photos. The Gruesome Gums along with all the products in the range are free from artificial colours and flavours. They are shaped like characters/items from the cartoon. Shaggy and Scooby were particularly tasty ;)

The Fiendish Fizzies were my favourite - like the LoveHearts each sweet is embossed with a symbol/saying from the show.

The taste testers (big son, little son & I) enjoyed all the different sweets and will be looking out for these in the shops near us. I have a feeling that I will be getting my annual visit from 3 small trick or treaters next month and these would make ideal pressies for their treat bags.

Thank you to RMSPR for sending us the samples - we've enjoyed doing our first product review.

xxx Vicki xxx