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I have to be honest I bought this purely because of the aesthetic looks rather than as a practical product so I have been very pleasantly surprised at how good a piece of design it actually is when it comes to juicing citrus fruit. Resembling a spider with the body perched on three spindly legs this is not a cheap product, I paid £40 for mine which just shows that it is not exactly a cheap product for what is a manual juicer which just happens to look pretty cool.
It stands 29cm high with a 14cm diameter and is made from aluminium. To use you simply halve the fruit, stand a glass below the center point of the body of the juicer and then grind the fruit down onto the rather sharp point of the juicer, the juice then flows down the grooves of the body of the juicer to the lower point and then into the glass. It is very effective and does a good job of extracting all of the juice from the fruit and delivering it into the glass below.
It is not suitable for the dish washer so cleaning is best down in the sink with warm water and then leave it to dry naturally or use a tea towel which is what I do to ensure it stays in the best condition possible as it is an attractive item in my opinion. if you are going to buy this then primarily it is more about the design rather than the actual performance, don't get me wrong it is an excellent juicer and very efficient but given the cost it is all about the quality of both the design and the quality of the build for me. An indulgence? Well yes it is but a coll indulgence that I really like.
My other half bought this DAB radio alarm clock so I have no idea how much he paid for it which was over a year ago. He said he paid £39.99 for it as it was half price in the shop however he may have been hiding the real cost or at least trying to make sure that I thought he had got a bargain to off set the fact that I really do dislike this product because it completely lacks any style in the way that it is made, it is chunky and cheap looking.
The case of this device is white and made from plastic, in my opinion it has a very cheap look to it. The speaker is black and the display is also black with white numbers as a display. The controls are set on the top of the radio. I do like the fact that the mains lead is quite long which means it can be located on our bedside cabinet so within easy reach of the snooze button.
Set up was easy and pretty intuitive via a menu button that allows you to scroll through the various functions. Setting the time and alarm is nice and easy. There are some stations already loaded however you need to carry out a full scan in order to get all of the available stations and it is best to do this first so that you can then set 10 of them up as favourites each with its own number to allow quick switching between stations.
Rather than wake up to an annoying alarm I prefer to wake up to the radio and this is easy to set up and choose one of your preset stations as the alarm setting. The big down point for me alongside the poor looks is that the sound quality is not very good. The speaker is not that powerful which in itself is to be expected given the cost however there is a slightly tinny, strained sound to it when music is playing. The positioning of the aerial does help with reception but again it is rather unsightly with it draped over the side of the bedside table
In terms of accuracy it certainly keeps good time, i can never remember having to adjust it once it has been set and it automatically changes when the clocks change which is very useful as this is something I have forgotten about in the past.
If it did not look so cheap and unappealing I would probably give it 4 stars but I'm afraid the lokks drag it down to a three star rating in my opinion.
This 100 dernier fleece from Berghaus is a brilliant product, ideal for hiking, running or cycling it also looks nice and stylish on a cold autumnal day and provides good protection from the cold as part of a layering process but without the bulk or weight that other pullover tops can come with.
I paid £30 for mine and it is a very bright and in your face Geranium / Dubarry colouring, not sure what the Dubarry bit is however I assume it refers to the fact there are two tones to this top, the brighter and more shocking geranium colour and then at the sides and on the trim around the bottom and cuffs of the top there is a lighter pink colour that provides a nice subtle contrast and also gives some shape to the top as well as the trim curves inwards on the sides to reflect the shape of my body, or at least my pre-pregnancy body shape.
It has a round high colour to keep the back of the neck covered if you want and a white half length venting zip at the front for when you want some air circulation to get around your body. This is great when you are getting warm but not so warm that you are ready to remove the top completely. The cuffs have a lycra binding so they are nice and snug to prevent wind shooting up your arms.
The fleece material is excellent for wicking away sweat and it provides good protection against the wind however the 100 rating does mean that it provides only limited protection. The real benefit is the fact that it is very light and can be easily stuffed into a backpack when not required and it does not take up much space.
What I also like about this top is that the colour has not faded after numerous washes and the vivid colours have been retained so it looks good. Certainly a product I would recommend and there are a range of colours to choose from just in case the idea of geranium does not appeal to you and you want something a bit more subtle.
This is one of the most comfortable travel shirts that i own which has been on a number of trekking holidays with me, or at least this brand has as I have owned three shirts that are pretty much identical from the silver ridge range that Columbia offer. I have worn this shirt whole hiking in mountain ranges and also while hiking in the jungle and it has been great in both conditions.
The shirt has an excellent wicking quality to it, wicking is the ability to draw sweat away from the body and to effectively release it into the atmosphere, it is essential when hiking in warm climates to prevent the body over heating and also to try and keep strong sweaty smells from permeating your clothing. The current shirt that I own is a green and white plaid shirt that looks good due to the tailored fit however it is more about comfort and style with these shirts rather than the look however I still want to wear something that is well tailored and fitted when travelling.
The colour provides some protection for the back of the neck and the whole shirt provides an spf 30 rating in terms of sun block. Many people do not realise that with intense sun levels you can still get some sun damage to your skin so wearing a shirt like this helps to provide some extra protection on top of the sun cream that I use.
This shirt is great for travelling, the small zipped chest pocket is very useful however more importantly is the fact that it dries quickly and if hung to dry it does not hold any creases meaning you can wear it straight away once dry.
They are not cheap, I paid £44 for my shirt however occasionally you do see them on sale in some outdoor retailers or even on Amazon.
In our recent house move some items did not make the switch and one example was our microwave which was on its last legs and starting to look a bit tatty so when we moved I went out and bought this Samsung microwave from Argos for £119.00 which was a lot less than the product was available for on Amazon.
It is a nice matt black colour and looks very stylish indeed. It is a combination microwave and it came well packed and it was very easy to set up. The turning plate is nice and large and the microwave has a pretty standard 900 watt output and a 28 litre capacity. The interior is ceramic and is supposed to be scratch proof. It has a digital control panel that is fairly intuitive to operate however for those bits that I could not work out for myself the instruction manual is well written and easy to follow with nice clear instructions.
Cooking wise it is very efficient when operating as a microwave, it is a little noisier than I expected it to be and the timer end alarm is a rather large and persistent beeping noise which for some reason I find annoying, rather like a too loud persistent child I always feel like it is demanding my attention immediately. The nine settings that are available cover all of the options that you could want and there is a handy 30 second booster option when something is not quite cooked enough.
It is very easy to clean after use and the interior has an anti bacterial protection as well to help keep everything nice and hygienic which is so very important when it comes to food preparation. I tend to find that I clean it after each use unless I have just heated up some milk but after any sort of cooking I make sure that it is kept nice and clean.
Being a combi it can also operate as a cooker and a grill, I have yet to use it as a grill just because the cooker has a larger and better grill installed. The grill has a 1250 watt output and the oven can go up to 220 degrees centigrade. I have used this only once when entertaining as the oven was already at full capacity and it worked well. If you do entertain a lot then the extra capacity this can provide can be very useful.
So far so good, it looks cool with regards to the design and works efficiently, now if I can just work out how to disable or turn down that annoying beep I will be very happy.
When we moved into our new house the key to the padlock we had on our old shed got lost in the move so we needed a replacement for the shed at our new house and so I bought this weather proof padlock from Tesco for £4.49 which seemed a reasonable price as it looked very sturdy and with the added benefit that it would not rust unlike the old Yale lock we had been using.
In terms of size it is a 4cm lock which is ideal for the relatively small loop of a shed door, it is black in colour with a sealed outer layer of PVC to ensure that it does not allow water to reach the metal inner hence it is effectively rust proof as long as the PVC does not get damaged. It is a nice solid lock and very robust and while no lock can guarantee that the contents are safe after all any determined robber with time on their hands will attach the hinges on the door it does make access more difficult and time consuming for any scum bag thief and that is the whole point of having one of these fitted.
It comes with two keys so you always have a spare just in case the original gets lost. The key action is nice and smooth and it takes minimal effort to lock and unlock the padlock. The key socket has a cover as well to prevent water getting into the mechanism to ensure that the whole device is completely waterproof.
I certainly cannot find any fault with this simple device and given the relatively cheap price it is a good purchase and a product I would recommend for outdoor use.
I paid £5.99 for this simple hand blender from Tesco about a year ago and it has proven to be an absolute bargain given how useful it has proven to be. In terms of power it has a 150w motor and can handle a capacity of half a liter. It is a simple hand blender with only one speed setting and is really well designed. The handle is easy to grip with a curved tapered design and it is white in colour and made from plastic primarily. There are two silver blades within the round inner head. This makes it really easy to clean as the parts are easily removed to clean the blades and the head itself. The only real drawback with this product is the fact that the power cord is not very long so you do need to be relatively close to a plug socket when using this.
You only need one hand to operate this as the power button is close to the natural point at which my fingers rest when gripping the device. In terms of its blending qualities as long as you recognise that a device like this will have its limitations then the performance is good, it is not overly loud when in operation. It copes comfortably when making milkshakes or soup. I have also used it on soft fruits as well to make a puree.
It is nice and light so holding this is not an issue, it works effectively and given the price if I get another year of use out of it I will be impressed.
I never thought that I would move away from the iphone however I made the switch to an android phone when my contract was up for renewal earlier this year mainly because of price and the overall package on offer with O2 and opted for the Samsung S III and it has proven to be a great decision.
The call quality is great with this phone and it is easy to switch between calls, putting a call on hold and then switching back to the original call, all of this can be done pretty much with one hand. The speaker quality is very good indeed and is my preferred method of handling calls unless I'm in a public place. The call volume has a good range and the audio sound is very clear and crisp.
The phone is amazingly easy to operate and navigate, it is probably the most intuitive menu system that I have come across however there was one exception when it came to setting an alarm which initially had me stumped but once I found it then everything was nice and easy, to be honest it was not that hard to find if I had engaged my brain in the first place.
The phone is quite power hungry, a full charge probably lasts a couple of days for me on normal use however some times when I'm on it a lot . Charge time is a couple of hours generally, a bit longer if the phone is switched on while charging.
It comes with an 8MP camera which takes some decent shots and is also easy to operate. It is easy to switch the camera on accidentally which really does drain the battery and this is annoying as it has happened a couple of times to me. I regularly check what apps are open on my phone to prevent this happening now, this is easy to do by just double clicking the silver button at the bottom of the screen and then swiping the open apps across to close them.
The phone has a large screen which is 4.8" which makes it ideal for watching videos and the resolution is 720 hd. The image quality is very crisp and clear and is certainly a big improvement on previous phones that I have owned.
I really do love this phone and have very little negative to say about it. The range of apps available is great and there is plenty to hunt out and use. A real winner as far as I'm concerned.
Having a young daughter who seems to be constantly changing her clothes and is becoming a bit of a fashionista this does tend to create a lot of washing for me and with that comes drying needs as well.
This airer is a very handy device to allow clothes to dry naturally without the need for a dryer and when the weather is not good for drying outdoors which is my preferred method however with winter approaching those good drying days become fewer and fewer. There are five rails in all, it is made from metal with a white plastic coating, it is easy to carry and lightweight. Due to the fact that this is hanging on a radiator I tend to use it for only small articles of clothing like socks, underwear and tops, I would not put anything too heavy on it.
The five rails are quite thin and then there is a thicker outer frame from which you can also hand items, the whole thing clips onto your radiator using the two hooks. I find that it does not cause any damage to the radiator at all. These can be adjusted and there are caps at the end of the frame,e to ensure that the radiator does not get scratched.
It certainly does provide some extra drying space and certainly the clothes do dry at a reasonable rate. It is worth turning the clothes after a while to ensure that both sides dry fully. The heat still reaches the rest of the room and the clothes do not really deflect from this happening unlike hanging something directly on the radiator would do.
If you need extra space then this is well worth getting. Pretty sure it cost less than a fiver when I bought it.
A new house means that no matter how many light bulbs we may own you can guarantee that the new house will have totally different types of fittings or size of bulbs and that was the case with our new house with the sole exception that I had three of these Philips E Saver 11 watt bulbs that produce the equivalent of a 60w standard bulb and they were the baton type and were perfect for my new living room lights one of which needed replacing straight away.
We got these from when we were with nPower as our energy supplier and they had an environmental deal running that provided you with a selection of energy efficient bulbs for free in order to try and reduce peoples usage and also bills and the fact that they are supposed to last for 10 years which is significantly longer than a traditional light bulb so these are also more environmentally kind as in the long term there is a saving of raw materials.
The bulb consists of a fairly standard connection body however the light source itself is made up of three loops that are a white colour made from what looks like a white plastic material. The energy saving bulbs used to have a reputation for taking time to get going and emit light however I fuind that once these have been on if the light is switched off and then later it is put back on then the room is illuminated perfectly adequately. For me these bulbs work very effectively.
The only issue that I really have is that they do not look very attractive when compared alongside some of the curved designs that you have with some light fittings, not a problem when the bulb is not visible to the human eye but with some of the current fittings that we have they are and this means that these rather unappealing bulbs are on show. On the plus side at least I can say that I'm doing something for the environment.
Whether they do last for the 10 years is hard to say as in the last property they had been in for about three years with no problems and no need to replace a bulb. Checking the websites they retail at about £3 each which given the longevity is a good price and they provide decent enough illumination.
We paid £220 for this Bose soundlink air speaker system, we paid what is effectively £80 below the normal retail price because our model is one that was returned by a previous buyer with the normal 28 day return policy that Bose offer and then they are reconditioned to make them as good as new and you get the discounted price. We bought ours at the Bicester Village Outlet Park where Bose have a store and Bose is a brand that I trust as we have owned a docking station for a couple of years as well.
Set up is relatively easy, you just attach the speaker to a PC and run the set up programme using the app that you download from the Bose website and then it is ready to go as a standard wireless speaker system. Design wise it looks functional rather than amazing, it is an understated curved rectangle which is black in colour. It plugs into the mains however you can buy a separate rechargeable battery if you want something that is portable. We did not realise this when we bought it which was not a major issue but if you want one then you are looking at an additional cost. It does not take up a lot of space as it is 30cm wide and about 10cm deep with a heights of about 17cm. It comes with a small credit card sized remote to control the volume and there are also volume buttons on the device itself.
Sound quality is very clear and precise, Bose is known for its sound quality and this speaker delivers a decent amount of volume when required, the bass sounds are solid and rich and the vocals are wonderfully clear and deep. You get a lot of quality for your money and while there are better systems out there you will certainly have to pay big money to get the top level quality and while I have a pretty good musical ear it is not that highly refined. The bass is probably the best quality on this device, it has a nice deep resonance.
There is a limit to the amount of power this speaker can deliver but that is not an issue for use and the sound carries well into connecting rooms and as long as there is a plug socket then the speaker can be moved around if we need to have it upstairs.
Overall I'm pleased with this purchase, it takes up little space and the sound is great.
When I decided to trade in my old vacuum Tesco were very competitive on price plus they had a trade in offer running which was more generous than the one on the Dyson website and I ended up paying around the £200 mark for this great vacuum cleaner. I wanted something that was relatively light weight and very maneuverable so I opted for the DC47 multi floor ball model as it met all of the criteria I was looking for.
Dyson's are very effective at removing dirt and this cleaner is great on both carpets, wood floors and also stone tiled floor surfaces which is another reason why I bought it as our new property has all of these as did our old one. You can see the dirt and dust accumulating in the clear container as it gathers beneath the mustard yellow coloured dual cylinders that suction for this little bad boy.
Assembly is very easy as the Dyson has a click and press system to put the various parts together and the instructions are easy to follow however I found it very simple and intuitive. It is a little more fiddly when it comes to cleaning the components. You are recommended to clean it one a month and it needs to be left to dry naturally which will take a few hours when it is effectively out of action. However if you use it a lot and the dirt builds up then it makes sense to clean it every time you empty the cylinder.
The main arm can be extended to give you lots of reach and it is easy to adjust to your preferred length. It comes with four different attachments for variety of tasks. On the back there is the on off switch and the chord has an automatic retract button to ensure that it is stored away nice and tidy.
It is light enough to carry up the stairs while cleaning them and it has really good mobility however it is possible to tip it quite easily which is the only negative that I have. On the plus side it is well designed and the suction is very powerful. There is a release trigger that vents and reduces the suction which is useful on some carpets especially if the carpet is old and worn.
Overall I have little to complain about other than the stability issues and this only really occurs when I'm stretching it too far and too lazy to switch plug sockets.
The Swissgear Saturn by Wenger has been my laptop case for the past five years and it has proven to have been extremely hard wearing and reliable. After 5 years of use it is beginning to show some wear and tear, the rubber shoulder guard has come apart and one of the plastic clips has broken after I accidentally stepped on it so you cannot really blame the case for my clumsiness. I think I paid about £35 for it from Amazon but cannot be certain on the price.
It is large enough to cope with a 17 inch laptop and the accessories such as cables and mains adapter. it is black and grey in colour with black handles and a red Swiss flag detail on the front. What I love about this laptop case is the amount of storage options it provides. On the outside the back has a zip compartment which I use to store a brolly and any items I want easy access to but do not need to be that secure. On the front flap there is a small zipped area in which I store pens and other small stationary items. The flap itself is sealed by two plastic clips and on the outside of the main body under the flap there is a Velcro sealed double pouch with space for a mouse and memory stick to be stored. Either side of this there is a Velcro sealed pouch and an address pouch and on the other side is a zipped compartment where I store memory devices. There is also a webbed pocket on the outside of this.
On the inside there are two zipped compartments, the rear one is the larger of the two as the front one has a divider in it. Both are very spacious and there is plenty of padding on the case to protect your device.
There is a shoulder strap and a carry handle and both are very comfortable to use. I have lugged this around London for most of a day and found it very comfortable to carry. It is very hard wearing with rubber reinforcement on the corners and base. The zips never snag and are very good quality indeed. When this does eventually expire I will be replacing it with an identical model I have been so impressed with it.
Having recently gone through the hell that is a house move, hence my absence from the review sites, and having been settled in for three weeks we have just started to entertain guests who generally come laden with either a house warming gift or a bottle of wine and one of my best friends came laden with both, this Vacuvin prestige wine cooler and a bottle of white to go in it which was a really nice touch. She gave us the black matt version and there is also a stainless steel version as well. Looking on Amazon the matt black version is under a tenner which is a great price regarding how useful this device is.
The great thing about it is that you do not need an energy source to use it. It is perfectly sized to handle a bottle of wine, standing at about 20cm in height and 14cm wide. Made from metal it looks nice and stylish without demanding to be the center of attention. The matt black one that I have is easy to wipe clean with a cloth after use. The cooling properties come from a cooling pack that you put in your freezer prior to use. This then slots back into the cooler and chills a bottle of wine while you are preparing the food if you are entertaining. The freezing time on the ice pack is supposed to be very quick according to the instructions, this will depend on the freezer that you have but ours has a fast freeze compartment and so it can freeze in about 20 minutes when in there. It is supposed to keep the wine chilled for up to three hours but I have never know a bottle to be open that long and not be empty, I do know that it coped with three bottles in all during our last dinner party and the wine stayed chilled from out of the fridge in the case of the 2nd and 3rd bottles.
You do not get the water drips that you do when using an ice bucket and that is one of the benefits of this system. Overall a great product and one that will not break the bank.
The only downside with this gift for me is the fact that I cannot drink at the moment as I'm pregnant but it has come in really useful on the couple of occasions we have had guests over since our move.
I hate the sight of weeds growing up between the patio slabs we have in part of the back garden and we also have a sort of moss or clover type plant that grows along the gaps between the slabs, it grows very fast and gives the slab a green border in no time at all so it is a constant battle of spraying and weeding for us to keep the patio looking good. The other great benefit of this product is that it is very cheap, you can get it for under £3 on Amazon.
This little device from Yeoman is an absolute godsend. It is a simple little device that basically hooks the weeds out from between the patio slabs as it is basically a L shaped device that is very thin and perfectly designed to get between the gaps in the slabs and remove the weeds. It is great with the moss like growth that we get as it hooks out a whole strip of it and the roots are removed as well, not just the top of the weed. It is about 20cm in length so you do have to get down on your knees to use this.
The handle has a comfortable grip (although I always wear gloves with it to ensure my knuckles do not rub on the stone) and it is an easy device to use as it disturbs the soil in which the weed has taken root and then you can either pull up the weed or in the case of the moss it just levers it out with a nice smooth movement almost like you are hooking out the weeds. The edge of the blade provides a nice cutting action when required and for such a low cost product I have been impressed with how effective it has been.