Avon poor delivery service

For years I have been a loyal customer to Avon, some products that they offer are cheaper and better than other brands. They also continuously come up with new ideas and products that appeal to everyone. Whether you are a teenager, middle aged or older you will surely find products to suit both your skin type and budget.

The one thing I don’t like about Avon is no matter how much you spend you still need to pay delivery, most places nowadays offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount but Avon doesn’t no matter how much you spend. Free delivery is always an incentive for buying but with Avon their standard delivery charge is £3.50 no matter how much you spend. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot but if you only need a few items and it comes up to a mere £20 then adding £3.50 to that doesn’t really seem worth it.

Avon free delivery
Of course you can always contact your local representative and have them deliver it for you free of charge but I find that they are not always reliable and delivery can take weeks in some cases. Also I have had problems with free gifts that are also supposed to come with certain products, they are not always guaranteed through your local Avon representative. Ordering online is easier and also stock is guaranteed.

Avon poor delivery service

On the last few occasions that I have ordered Avon products I have found that the box that it all arrives in is damaged completely, not a squashed box but ripped open. When I called them and complained they said that there was nothing they can do! The call centre is in India so beware, then customer service said to check the box and if anything was missing they would replace it free of charge. I had ordered £200 worth of Avon products, I was very tempted to call and say half of the items were missing but then I was afraid that Karma would come and bite me in the bum so I didn’t. Looking back if I had the time I would have tried my luck but I am very disappointed in Avon for not taking action.

Also Avon does not let you order more than £200 worth of goods at a time if you go over you need to call customer service. I know it seems like a lot of money but I order for my mum and other family members so we don’t all have to pay the delivery charge, plus I am A-List member and get many products cheaper than those who are not. One of the Avon moisturisers that my mum uses is £25 so buying a day cream plus a night cream already costs £50 it’s very easy to spend £100 without realising especially when you are tempted with so many offers.

Summer Infant Baby Touch Video Monitor review

I knew that at some point I would need a baby monitor, if I’m downstairs and my baby is upstairs it’s really hard to hear if she is awake or crying. Having a baby monitor also provides us with reassurance that our baby is fine. They range in greatly in price; they can be bought for as little as £20 and as much as £300+, they also have different features such as movement monitoring, night light, lullaby’s etc. When my baby started sleeping through the night at 9 weeks we used to keep her in her travel cot downstairs with us but as time went on we found that we couldn’t talk, laugh or make any noise as it would wake her up. Eventually we decided to get a monitor, I was originally going to get a sound monitor that had a sensor mat so I would be sure that she was ok but my husband insisted what we had a video one instead. The sound monitor would’ve cost around £60-£80 and a video monitor anywhere between £90-£350!

After much research we decided to purchase Summer Infant Baby Touch touch-screen Digital Video Monitor, it didn’t come cheap we paid around £170 for it but there were other places charging as much as £250 for the same thing. Some of the features it has are: zoom and pan, temperature indicator, a large LCD colour screen, two way talk back, wireless and the ability to add additional cameras.

We have found the picture quality to be amazing! My daughter usually has a dummy when she goes to bed and when it falls out she can get upset sometimes with the monitor you can clearly see when it has fallen out, the sound control is good too, can be turned up or down to suit or you can see the lights indicator on the unit when movement is detected.

Now that we have a video monitor I don’t think we could ever settle on a sound one instead, of course features vary depending on the make and model so it’s good to know what you want beforehand as some also have the ability to take pictures but I don’t the quality would be any good. Summer Infant also have fantastic customer service as I had a problem with another product of theirs and they sent me a replacement free of charge!

In my opinion this monitor is fantastic if you can afford it otherwise you can get it second and cheaper on eBay, it is definitely a must for all parents.

Marks and Spencer’s personalised cake food order

It was recently my husband’s 30th birthday and I realised that I needed a special cake at the last minute. I’ve had so much to do that I forgot that to order a custom made cake it needs to be ordered months if not weeks in advance. Luckily for me Marks and Spencer’s now do catering for parties and special occasions. It was a life saver being able to order a cake one week before the party, there are a few cakes to choose from though there isn’t that much choice when it comes to colour and themes etc. I originally wanted a number 30 cake but it was too expensive, in the in end I settled for a triple layer chocolate cake as my husband and I are both chocoholics.

I placed the order on a Friday evening and it was ready for pick up the following Saturday, I even got to choose a time slot which was practical for me. The cake was very pricey at the cost of £50 but I really didn’t have much choice and it was very big, large enough for 40 people. I got an email the day before to tell me my cake was ready for the time slot I had chosen, all I needed to bring was my printed invoice or order number with proof of identity.

When I went to pick up my cake all I was asked for was my name so I’m glad I didn’t bother digging out the printer to print out my order. I wasn’t even asked for identity confirmation either, the cake was very big and heavy so I’m glad my sister was there to carry it for me. As it was a very hot weekend I put the cake in the fridge as you do with most cakes, it was for the party the next day so I wanted it to be as fresh as possible, it’s also good for up to 7 days.

24 hours later I took the cake out of the fridge so that the party could start but when my husband came to cut it, it was rock hard! I didn’t realise that it should’ve been left out, we had to leave it out overnight to thaw out! There was nothing on the box to advise of storage such as the ideal temperature, whether it should be in the fridge etc. When we finally got to taste the cake it was ok but nothing special! I did feel a little ripped off, a cheaper £10 cake off the shelve would’ve been better. My husband didn’t really complain as he loved it but I was the one that paid £50 for a rock hard cake!

I don’t really advise buying a Marks and Spencer’s personalised birthday cake it was nothing special and they are all really expensive. You can get shop bought ones and personalise them yourself for a fraction of the price.

Cosatto Easi Peasi changer review

I’ve never been a fan of baby baths they take up too much room and look very dangerous. In the last stages of pregnancy I have found that I am not as strong as I thought I was, so to have a baby bath that I would need to fill and move from room to room was just not an option for me. Also when I moved into my house years ago my partner and I made the decision to take out the bath as we didn’t really use it, we never really took into account that we may have a child so buying support to put into the bath was also not an option.

Luckily I came across changing units that have both a changing mat and a hidden bath underneath, I thought they were a fantastic idea combing the two, thus saving on room and expense. A changing unit that is both portable and has many storage compartments are a must for any family whether it’s your first or last. The changing unit is a good height so you don’t have to worry about bending down too much and there is more than enough room to store nappies, wipes, toiletries and more. As there are a few on the market it’s worth checking them all out before making a decision.

Cosatto Easi Peasi changer Zuton
To be honest I was set on getting the ‘I love my bear’ changing station from Babies r us for £100 but after waiting 3 months it’s still out of stock and isn’t due for delivery until at least July! My little one is due any day now and I really need a changing unit before baby is born, the Easi Peasi changer by Cosatto was my next option. The price range varied a lot which was ridiculous I found it for as little as £75 or as silly as £130, I paid £90 for mine including delivery as it’s not really available in high street stores.

There are three colours available pink, blue and a neutral one, as I don’t know the sex of my baby and intend on using it for my future babies I went for the neutral one called Zuton. What is so great about Cosatto’s Easi Peasi changer, well it already tells you in the name, it does it all. There is a padded mattress for changing the baby that also has raised sides, a bath that is concealed underneath with a drainage tube, wheels that are lockable, a net bag for dirty clothes and plenty of storage trays for everything baby will need. I have so far put in all my essential baby toiletries such as powder, shower gel, creams, shampoo, baby oil, grooming tools and also nappies, wipes and cotton wool and I still have room for more stuff!

I am not sure how long I will be able to use the bath for as babies do grow quick but I know I will get my monies worth from it, it’s also easy to clean and move from room to room so there’s no need to lift the bath fill and bring it back to the unit. Cosatto also offer a free 4 year guarantee so that helps! Another reason why I chose this changer was because although I want a natural birth you never know what can happen so if I was to have a caesarean I know I will be able to cope as there is no need to keep bending.

It was well worth the money for me and although it is plastic it is very sturdy and blends into the room well, if it being an eye sore is the reason you are hesitating then throw a sheet over it but trust me when I say it is a life and back saver!

Baby powder puffs and poms

Back when I was a child I remember that my mother always used to put powder on me and my siblings, we all had our own pots with a powder puff. Nowadays it’s extremely difficult to find fluffy powder puffs let alone the container of talc it comes with.

15 years ago all mothers used baby powder on their children but now it seems that talcum powder is not safe to use on young children. The argument is that there are similar components in talc that are linked to asbestos. If this is so why do they continue to sell baby powder in the Johnsons baby range? Talcum powder is said to affect the lungs and lead to asthma and eczema, me and my siblings had powder put on everyday and we are all fine.

It’s funny how scientists keep finding out more and more things that are bad for us when they did little or no harm 10 years ago. So going back to powder puffs there seems to be a very small amount of suppliers that still sell powder puffs and containers. It sounds silly but when did they suddenly go out of fashion?

Years ago women also used to apply powder using a fluffy powder puff, you’ll be lucky if you can spot one  on the high street as they are not so much stocked anymore. There are a few premium brand beauty manufacturers that do such as Prada, Estee Lauder and a less expensive alternative is Benefit. With Benefit you get a small container and a fluffy powder puff that is full of small glitter particles. It is expensive at £20 a pot but you can refill it using powder or glitter for special occasions or days out.

Powder puff for babies
I am expecting my first child and could not imagine not putting powder on my baby so my hunt for the old fashioned powder puffs began; I was disappointed when I could not find them on the high street so I was forced into searching on the internet. Unfortunately they all come from China now and finding a store in the UK that sells them are very difficult. I didn’t want to risk it by ordering online from some dodgy site so I went on to eBay. I was delighted to find what I was looking for and with the peace of mind that I have buyer protection I purchased one, the delivery is slow from 11-15 days but when it came it was well worth it. Plus it cost me less than £10 including shipping!

I know it sounds silly to go to such lengths to buy a baby powder puff but I was really determined to get one. I think its personal choice whether or not you listen to doctors as they are always advising against this and that but at the end of the day only you know what’s best for your child.

Graco Travel Cot Contour Electra review

As I live in a fairly big house I wanted a secure area that I can keep my child safe and entertained, so when I came across Graco’s travel cot range I was very impressed. They are much better than the previous travel cots as they are ‘multifunctional’. I say this because I recently purchased the Graco Travel Cot Contour Electra and as well as being a travel cot it has a raised bassinet for babies and also a changing table that is detachable.

This is the reason I chose this particular travel cot as I could have a changing station both upstairs and downstairs saving me the trouble of going up and down all day. The raised bassinet is also a clever idea as the baby can use it for nap times during the day while helping you not bend so much as it is raised. When the baby can sit up then it’s time to take out the raised bassinet and use a play area. Due to having mesh sides it is very safe so baby can be seen at all times and will not suffocate.

I loved the idea of having a changing table though it will only be used for a short time as babies grow up quickly and the table will not support the weight. It will also be dangerous as babies get older and start to move around more. Unfortunately there isn’t much choice when it comes to choosing a colour as they tend to be very dull and grey. I managed to get the Hedgerow colour scheme as my house is very neutral and I don’t know the sex of the baby yet. If you are looking for more colour schemes then take the time to search the internet as there seems to be exclusive colours for certain retailers.

The cot also has a vibrating mattress to soothe little ones in the bassinet, music, night light and soft toy bar. So hopefully when its nap time or I need to cook and clean there is plenty to keep baby entertained. I also loved how easy it is to close and move around, I can take it when I visit family and friends as it comes in a handy carry case. Going on holiday is also no longer a problem as baby can use it up to the age of three so if you go to a place that doesn’t supply a cot or extra bed for a child you can bring your own.

Setting up the travel cot was a very hard task as the instructions are useless and not very informative, just pictures of what to do next. It took me and my partner 30 minutes to assemble but once we did it, it looked amazing. Also it looks much bigger when you have it assembled, just waiting for baby to get here so we can use it. We might also get the Graco Travel Cot Petite Bassinet for when baby is at grandparents house, it can stay there permanently as we already have the larger version.

Babies r us car seat fitting Stevenage

I recently had to go to Roaring Meg retail park in Stevenage as they also have a Babies r us there I decided that if it wasn’t too busy then I would have my chosen car seat fitted to see that it is compatible with my car and that I would be able to use it with ease. I had decided to go for a Maxi Cosi Cabriofix car seat and the Easyfix base that has Isofix points so it could stay in the car and I could just get the car seat in and out without fiddling with the seat belt. As I also have a small car (Nissan Micra) with only 3 doors it made sense and I found that it was justified spending a little extra on the base.

On average the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix car seat costs £125 and the base £120 but there are places where you can get it cheaper such as Halfords and other online retailers. When I went to Babies r us the car seat was priced at £125 and the base £120. After checking the range they had in-store I found that it was very limited if I wanted to purchase there and then. They only had two colours available black or red.

I found a lady who was happy to help and she carried the car seat and base to the car so I could see if it fitted, she explained what she was doing and the different ways to make sure it was installed correctly. As I am using the base with the car seat it simply clicks into place but if I wanted to use the car seat in a car using the seat belt system it was demonstrated and I was confident I would be able to manage should I need to do it myself. The assistant who showed me how to fit it was very knowledgeable and didn’t once try and push me into buying it there and then; I was then free to decide what I wanted to do.

I also couldn’t decide between the Cabriofix car seat and the Pebble but I found two assistants who were willing to explain the difference. I was glad that despite all the stories I heard about retail assistants not knowing much about the shop that they work in I was able to find knowledgeable and friendly staff that were only too happy to help.

I did feel a little bad that after the car seat had been fitted I didn’t actually go on to purchase it but I found it £50 cheaper elsewhere and didn’t want to mess around with ‘price matching’. I recommend having your car seat fitted at Babies r us as I found them to be very good and also know what they are talking about; it made my decision so much easier.

Mothercare review

A recent article in the newspaper the other day highlighted the 50th year of trading for Mothercare. If you are a parent then the chances are you already know that Mothercare has been around for some time, offering competitive price and exclusive offers and products both in-store and online. A lot has changed over the years as 50 years ago mothers stayed home with their children until they started going to secondary school whereas nowadays mothers are forced to go back to work within a year as financially most cannot afford to stay out of work for too long.

I remember the days when I used to go to Mothercare to buy presents for friends and family members that were expecting, now 5 years later I am expecting my very first baby so like many women turned to Mothercare to buy all my baby essentials. I prefer to do all my shopping online and pop into the store only if I need to check things such as quality and appearance other than that I happily purchase everything from the comfort of my own home.

As my due date approaches (5 weeks to go) I have left the car seat, and other small essential items for the last shop. When I went online I was very surprised to see how many items are very expensive even the car seat was £50 more than other places I have seen but they had the muslin cloths and swaddle blankets that I so desperately wanted.

I arranged a day to go to my closest store in Stevenage to have the car seat fitted and check out some of the other items I needed such as a cardigan for the baby as I had seen a unisex one online. The Mothercare store in Stevenage is fairly big with a large selection of baby clothes, maternity clothes, prams and car seats but what I wanted couldn’t be found. The swaddle blankets I had seen online were not in the store and the same went for the cardigan. I found an alternative cardigan but for a baby 0-3 months it cost £18! I didn’t want to pay so much for something that was ‘own brand’ and not designer. I ended up buying a beautiful knitted cardigan from eBay for £3!

There wasn’t much staff in-store so I’m glad I had my car seat fitted elsewhere! I wanted to purchase the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix car seat and the Isofix base but found it was very expensive; it would’ve cost me £250 if I bought it with Mothercare. Luckily I waited and bought it elsewhere and saved myself £50.

Mothercare price promise guarantee
When I found the car seat I wanted on Mothercare’s website I was horrified to find it cheaper on at least 10 other websites so was undecided on what to do. I wanted to purchase it from a reputable company but I also didn’t want to pay over the odds for it. I found that Mothercare have a price promise guarantee and that they would match the price of any product I found. I called up customer services to check and it was explained to me by a very friendly customer service assistant.

I was told that I could print out the cheaper price from the online website and bring it into the store and purchase the item or I could do it over the phone. I could phone and tell them which website I had seen the product cheaper and they would match it, plus if the difference was more that £20 I would get a £10 Mothercare voucher. I found it was too much hassle for me as I ended up saving less with the products I needed at Boots but if ever you were in the same situation its worth a try.

Morph baby carrier Mama’s and Papa’s

As the countdown begins I only have 6 weeks left until my estimated due date, from the very beginning of my pregnancy I was unsure whether or not I should buy a pram, costs vary but I couldn’t decide between Quinny, Bugaboo and Stokke. All three cost in excess of £600 with Stokke coming in at over £900. Seems like an awful lot to pay for a young child to be pushed around in, we also have a small car (Nissan Micra) with only 3 doors and are very reluctant to buy a new one for the sake of a child. We only use the car once a week to do our weekly shopping so to upgrade to a bigger car would seem silly.

When I was 5 months pregnant I decided that it wasn’t really necessary to purchase a pram and decided to start looking into baby carriers instead. Baby carriers can start from as little as £25 and go up to £150 so we would save a lot by opting for this as our baby’s mode of transportation instead. The first problem I encountered when looking for a baby carrier was finding one that wasn’t too feminine as I wanted my husband to also be able to share the load. There are too many ‘close’ baby carriers that use the method that women in India and Africa use to carry their baby, a little like a baby sling. I couldn’t imagine my husband wearing one of these.

I also needed something that was easy to put on by myself without the help of others as there may be a time when I need to go out with baby alone without dragging my husband along. I did look at the Babybjorn carriers but there are too many to choose from and I am unsure how much I will actually use it. Then I came across Morph baby carrier by Mama’s and Papa’s.

Morph baby carrier
I like Mama’s and Papa’s but find that their products are very expensive compared to other baby shops, their stores are even worse. They have too much staff that stand around gossiping rather than helping out customers and their maternity range is the worst on the market. When I came across Morph I was intrigued as their method made much more sense than other carriers on the market. After doing some research I was satisfied that it would be worth the cost of £90, the downside is they don’t have much choice of trendy colours. The colours available are, Lime yellow, Khaki green, Grey and Plum, this is my interpretation of their colours and not what they are actually called.

When I went to order off the website the two yucky ones yellow and khaki were on offer of the week for £30 less at £60 so we decided to save £30 and went for the very unfashionable khaki. I originally wanted to get the grey one as it was better in my opinion but for the sake of saving £30 I went for khaki. To my surprise when my order came a few days later I received the grey one, but as it was still priced as £90 on the website I decided to keep it as I was only charged £60.

There are two different sized harnesses S/M and M/L luckily me and hubby both fall into the M/L measurements so it meant that we didn’t need to spend a further £35 for a different harness. It is a little fiddly to adjust it and the instructions are very useless! After 10 minutes I managed to put it on myself and attach the pod, I practiced with a teddy and it seems doable for one person to do without any help. I then got my husband to try it and he too managed to get it on with minimal help.

It is a good idea but I find that it can be improved, the harness straps stick out too much and there is no way of tucking it in and the pod looks badly designed. I may be wrong so I’ll have to wait at least 6 more weeks to find out. Overall I am happy with the Morph carrier and the baby can be put in the pod and then in the car seat so you don’t need to worry about that when going out.

Hopefully the Morph carrier will be as expected and I won’t need a pram, but if I do need to buy a pram I have got the maxi cosi car seat so have many different options to convert into a pram should I need to.

babytimelondon review

As I approach my due date I have saved all my large and expensive purchases towards the end. Items that may need returning such as travel cot, baby swing, crib and car seat. I am quite a savvy shopper and have ordered pretty much everything you can think of over the internet, diamonds, clothes electrical goods and even furniture from Germany. But I always shop with trusted retailers or do some research before ordering from a website that is new to me.

So having a baby is expensive, we all know that but all pregnant women love to shop for their little one, if it’s possible and affordable then most will buy everything new whilst some may struggle and have to opt for borrowed or second-hand goods. Those who are expecting their first child usually go and buy everything new, like me, but after some experience and then expecting a second child most people realise what they actually need and what isn’t considered and essential item. So with so many online websites offering good deals how do you know which ones to trust?

I recently found a Graco travel cot priced at £100 at well known high street retailers but priced just £69.50 on one website named babytimelondon.com. I was intrigued by the possibility that I could potentially be saving over £30 as delivery was also included. I saved the website in my bookmarks and continued looking, I then found the next cheapest to be on eBay at £81.95 including delivery. I decided to go with babytime as I would save the most money but as I decided to add it to my basket I found that there was no such option.

I then did a little research to find that babytimelondon.com had gone to administration in 2008 but we are now in 2011! The website still hasn’t been taken down but in March 2011 it stopped taking online orders after so many complaints and trading standards getting involved. It would seem that over the last few years babytimelondon have continued to accept orders with no intention of honouring them. Customers who placed orders were not able to contact the company after no emails were replied to and the phone number listed just continued to ring. If you were wise enough to pay by credit card then you can take it up with the credit card company and get your money back but if you paid by debit card then it would be much harder to recover the money.

I wouldn’t have been able to place an order if I wanted to but I’m glad that I did a little research because if it was a few weeks ago I would have been left out of pocket. In general I only use a credit card for payment for orders over £100 just like much of the nation but after I ran into problems with Kiddicare last month for an order worth nearly £250 I have learnt my lesson.

If you come across babytimelondon.com and wonder why it’s so cheap it’s because it went into administration years ago. Although you can no longer order items online they still have a shop and you can get a refund if you have been one their online victims. Beware of dodgy websites that look too good to be true and do some research first if you really want to purchase something from them.