Saturday, 25 July 2015

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums

I'd had my eye on a cordless vacuum (our current vacuum cleaner was getting a bit old and tired), I'd fancied one of those stick ones because they just look light and convenient. Having small children, I find that the convenience factor is a priority - I need to clean up quick and easily! So when an opportunity arose to review a cordless Vax from Direct Vacuums (Vax Air Cordless Lift) I was very excited - I'm already a fan of Vax - I love their steam cleaner! My new gadget arrived and although it wasn't a stick one, I have to say I couldn't love it enough and in hindsight I now realise this was actually what I needed - not a stick one! you see this is a full size vacuum but has the nifty feature of being able to lift out making a quick. easy to use and convenient instant clean up!

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums

Direct Vacuums (by AP Taylor) focus on refurbished items, I've never bought refurbished before so I wasn't sure what to expect. My Vax arrived in its box, and was immaculate, shrink wrapped, clean and nothing at all to indicate it was anything other than a brand new product. The box had a lovely sticker on the top with instructions for if you had changed your mind - Direct Vacuums will even come and collect the item from you if you have - and inside the box was the original instruction booklet, plus a note from the company wit helpline info and details on where to find the manual online if it wasn't contained. 

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums


I couldn't wait to have a go - this cordless Vax comes with 2 batteries so you don't have to worry about it running out - they last for 60 mins on a full charge which is great anyway - I popped a battery on charge straight away. 

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums

The first thing I tackled was the stairs, for some unknown reason, our stairs always look like they need a good vac!

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums

I removed the bagless cylinder from the stand to make it much easier to handle the stairs  - as they were in such a dusty state, I used the boost button - this Vax has a magical button which gives the suction a bit of a turbo boost! There's also a really cool light on the machine and its really simple to move around.

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums


The Vax Air Cordless Lift is great for both carpet and hard floors - there is a simple button to turn on/off the carpet brushes. We have wooden floors on the landing, hallway, bathroom, living room and playroom with carpet on the stairs, bedrooms, vinyl in the utility room and a stone floor in the kitchen so this function is brilliant for our mixture of flooring.

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums


As it is a full size Vax, the dust collector holds a lot which is actually much more useful that the amount you can hold in the stick vacuums which is why I'm pleased to have this one instead. 

The cordless feature makes it a lot easier to use on quick jobs and makes it much more convenient to use, especially with small people around! no need to worry about anyone playing with the cord, its reach (on my old corded vac, I often over stretched and almost pulled the plug out of the wall by accident) and there's nothing to get tangled around furniture etc.

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums


A bit more about AP Taylor, Direct Vacuums and Refurbished appliances

AP Taylor, the UK’s largest authorised online seller of manufacturer refurbished and graded products, have unveiled their brand new ecommerce website under the business brand; Direct Vacuums.
Up until now, Direct Vacuums has been trading on eBay and Amazon, and has become one of the largest and most successful eBay traders across Europe and possibly worldwide.
With the explosion in demand forDirect Vacuums refurbished products, the next natural step for the business was to create an online presence that showcased their full range of refurbished household appliances effectively, with the added advantage of the new website becoming the central hub for all multi-channel orders.
The business is the only authorised reseller of Electrolux, AEG, Zanussi, Hoover and Vax graded products, all of which will be available on the new online store along with many other appliance brands.

Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums

My first experience of a refurbished appliance has been a good one and I would definitely shop with Direct Vacuums again, the product come with a guarantee and come at a much more affordable price. I also noticed that the website sold other items such as the cleaning fluid one of my other appliances uses at a much cheaper price :-)

My Vax - Vax Air Cordless Lift U85-ACLG -B has an RRP of £349.99 and is sold on Direct Vacuums for £119.99


Emma in Bromley x







Disclaimer:
I received the Vax Air Cordless Lift from Direct Vacuums in return for my review. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Dora and Friends Toys and Sing Along Summer

I'm pleased to share with you the new Dora and Friends range of toys that is launching on July 27th.

I was sent a few of the new items to share with you:
Dora and Friends Dolls
Both Dora and Alana are ready for their Doggie Day 
8" doll dressed in outfits inspired by the television show, they have poseable arms and legs and soft hair. In true animation style, they have large heads in proportion to their bodies and removable clothing so you can swap outfits.
The dolls come with a small dog each which are also compatible with the Fisher-Price Dora charm bracelets too. 

Dora and Friends Dolls Alana and Dora Doggie Days

Dora and Friends Dolls Alana and Dora Doggie Days

Dora and Friends Dolls Alana and Dora Doggie Days

Dora and Friends Dora Talk and Play Smartphone is packed with  lots of songs and both spanish and english phrases from the show characters as well as flashing red and green lights - my only niggle is there isn't an off switch.

Dora and Friends Smartphone

Dora and Friends Smartphone

Dora and Friends Smartphone

The Dora and Friends Charm Bracelet sets by Fisher-Price are lovely - very easy to mix and match, the charms simply pop on to the proud stems on the bracelet and stand proud so you can really show them off to your friends or even share them, there's plenty to go around. 

Dore and Friends Fisher-Price Charm Bracelets
Dore and Friends Fisher-Price Charm Bracelets
Dore and Friends Fisher-Price Charm Bracelets
Dore and Friends Fisher-Price Charm Bracelets
Dore and Friends Fisher-Price Charm Bracelets

Dore and Friends Fisher-Price Charm Bracelets

There's also an exciting tour this summer - There will be a Dora sing along booth that will be touring around, in which children can sing along with Dora to her songs as well as visit the costume character for photo opportunities at some of the tour venues. 


Symths Toys
  • Waterfields Retail Park, Watford (Dora Costume Character)  -27th July
  • Westwood Cross Shopping Park, Thanet  - 28th July
  • St. David’s Retail Park, Swansea –29th July
  • Crown retail park, Leeds (Dora Costume Character) – 31st July
  • Clifton Moor Retail Park, York (Costume Character) – 3rd August
  • Ravenhead Retail park, St.Helens  -5th August
  • Halls Mill Retail Park, Bury -6th August
  • Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend –10th August
  • Glasgow fort shopping park, Glasgow (Costume Character) –12th August
  • Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen (Costume Character) – 14th August
Sky stands
·         Brent Cross, London - 18th 19th July
·         Centre MK, Milton Keynes –25th – 26th July
·         White Rose, Leeds  - 1st- 2nd August
·         Intu Eldon Square, Newcastle  -8th – 9th August
·         Bon Accord, Aberdeen – 15th – 16th August



There is going to be a Twitter Frenzy on July 27th at between 11am and 12noon with lots of prizes to be won with @UKmumsTV #DoraSingAlong 

Nick Jr between 10am and 1pm every day from 17th July will be showing on screen lyrics to all the songs and theme tunes as part of Nick Jr's Sing-Along Summer.

For more information please visit







Disclaimer
I received a box full of the New Dora and Friends toys and goodies in exchange for reviewing them and sharing info on this event.


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Little Live Pets - Lil' Mouse House Trail Review

The Little Live Pets, Lil' Mouse House Trail is great fun to put together, its a little circuit set that you clip together and can create a choice of runs with the set as well as buying additional items to clip on.

There are 2 little house domes, a see saw, a turning circle, up ramp and slide to create your pet's little circuit to play on. The little Live Pets, Lil' Mouse are sold separately and available in a choice of designs.

Little Live Pets - Lil' Mouse House Trail

What's in the box? All the parts you need to create a run and instructions too. 
Little Live Pets - Lil' Mouse House Trail

Building the track - the instructions suggest the very simple step of laying out your trail before you clip the parts together. The parts simply slide and click in place, once they are connected they are secured together so they don't come apart during play. There are stoppers and little ramps to connect to any loose track ends.
Little Live Pets - Lil' Mouse House Trail

The mouse - We received Chatter - a Lil' Mouse in blue, its flocked in soft fuzz so its has a fur feel, its little tail is rubbery as are its ears so it has lots of movements and its feet are wheels. There are 2 sensors on the mouse's back so that you can pet it to wake it (They fall asleep after about 2 mins) 
Little Live Pets - Lil' Mouse House Trail
Little Live Pets - Lil' Mouse House Trail
Little Live Pets - Lil' Mouse House Trail

Little Live Pets - Lil' Mouse House Trail


Emma in Bromley xx





Disclaimer, I received the Little Live Pets trail and a mouse for the purpose of the review, all thoughts, words, links and photos are my own.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Nothing Like a Health Scare to Kick Start Your Fitness Regime

When I was younger, I was pretty active - At school I was part of the Gymnastics, Trampolining and Athletics clubs (surprisingly I was great at High Jump - I'm 5'2"!) and I have a lovely collection of fun run medals from my teen years. I danced until I was about 24 - My feet regularly bounced the halls of Ludus, Danceworks, Pineapple and the Central School of Ballet along with being a semi professional sports dancer (aka pompomless cheerleader) where I danced on football pitches in the middle of winter wearing seasonally inappropriate clothing in front of 36,000 people - actually it was probably only the 4 people watching who didn't go to the bathroom or buy a pie during half time.

Up until having children I was fairly active and petite - I was short and a dress size 8.

Obviously I put on weight during my first baby but lost some after but then I had my second baby and somewhere, somehow I became fat without really realising. I'm not exaggerating here or looking for reassurance, its just as simple as that - I'm now fat - I fall into obese and my BMI is over 29. I weigh over 3.5 stone more now than I did before children - I actually weigh more now than I did when pregnant which is pretty scary.

Que the health scare, I get sporadic and crippling pain that suggested Gall Stones, I had an ultra sound which came back clear - it was suggested that perhaps I had passed a stone or two. My GP also suggested that perhaps its a return of IBS (something I had in the past but with different symptoms) or possibly liver issues or food intolerances. I have few things that fall into the vague category of "autoimmune diseases" likely to be lactose intolerant, possibly have gluten issues, slightly anaemic and I had a blood test to check my thyroid function - which luckily came back clear. I was asked a lot about things like tiredness - well I'm a mum of two small people so of course I'm utterly exhausted all the time - that's just motherhood!

It was suggested that some weightloss is needed - I already know that - I've already been trying (although not as hard as I could) so I'm now officially trying to shift some!

I'm a month into some dietary changes and I walk a lot, and do 2 rounds of youtube fitness a week - I'm looking into Gym memberships and figuring out a plan to actually be able to go to the gym (I think this will be easier in September when both kids will be in school) the frustrating part is that I'd have thought after a month I'd have seen some sort of improvement but that is yet to happen!

Emma in Bromley x




Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Irish Fairy Door Company

The Irish Fairy Door CompanyFor our playroom, I was sent a wonderful Irish Fairy Door Company set - I'm loving the idea of these little fairy doors and it intrigues my two small people (Blake, boy age 6 and Maegan, girl age 4) very much! Our fairy is there to help keep watch over the toys at night and to make sure the playroom rules are being followed in the daytime (basically no eating food and no fighting allowed in the playroom!)

The Irish Fairy Door Company send your door in a sweet little box, inside the box you will find a special poem all about your door, a code and details of additional online content, a tiny pot containing a special key, some stepping stones and of course the door itself.
The Irish Fairy Door Company

Our front door is red so we were happy to receive a red door to match, however the online range has a fantastic selection of colours and shapes for your door. We were tempted for a moment to keep it outside! Actually, in our back garden we intend to create a fairy garden area so I'm tempted to buy one to put against the base of a tree!

The Irish Fairy Door Company

The Irish Fairy Door Company have wonderful details on the doors - mine has a pretty flower, pearl door handle and great hinges. It's really beautifully made! 
I've mounted mine with a blob of blutac to the skirting board in the playroom.
The Irish Fairy Door Company

How amazingly magical does the door look with all the additional details? These are all things that came in the box however online there are more additional things you can order such as a little welcome doormat and a washing line complete with laundry! 
The Irish Fairy Door Company

Now let's just take a moment to thank our fairy, she has done an amazing job of looking after the toys at bedtime and the children seem to (mostly) respect the playroom rules for the fairy! 

I love a bit of magic and it's great to see children believing in fairies!





Disclaimer: We received a fairy door for the purpose of this review - all photos, words, thoughts and links are my own.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Our Little Play Shop - Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

I'm in the middle of creating a playroom and it's not far off being finished - one of the things we have is an area for play shop, cafe and kitchen - I have a boy (Blake age 6) and a girl (Maegan age 4) and they both enjoy playing in this part of the room - I'm really pleased to share with you this lovely basket set from Casdon which we were sent to review.
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

Casdon Play Shopping Baskets


One basket is full of minature boxes and cans (and one lemon!) - these are really sweet exact minature replicas of the real deal - right down to ingredients and nutritional info! 
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

They are lovely - the cans are plastic and feel like they would last, I have to be honest - I'm not sure the little cardboard boxes will last long - I imagine they will be quick to squash - however they have so far successfully survived 3 days of relentless brutle heavy handed playing from both a 4 and 6 year old!

The second basket is full of plastic fruit and veg which feel very durable and some have sweet detailing such as the nobbly bits in the potato and the perfectly formed bunch of grapes.
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

I'm glad we have two baskets so my children can both play at the same time - it's also lovely to see a little stack of baskets waiting to be filled in our little play shop!

Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

Both children have enjoyed playing and I'd say these baskets are that perfect unisex gift.
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets





Disclaimer: I was sent the 2 casdon baskets for the sole purpose of this review - all photos, thoughts and links are my own and we did genuinely enjoy this toy.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Clangers - the New 2015 Toy Collection

When I was small I watched the Clangers - that whistle sound they make sticks in your mind.

For my 18th I had a Small Clanger toy that makes the whistle sound when you squeeze it - this little Clanger toy spent many, many years in a bag in various lofts but when we moved house last year - my little Clanger amused my children (I was surprised it still worked!) 

Here is my 1999 Clanger (front) with a new 2015 Clanger!
2015 Clangers Toys


Then recently, the Clangers returned to CBeebies and now my little people enjoy watching the show (and so do I!) 

I was very pleased to be sent some of the new toys to share with you - they are starting to arrive in the shops now!

We have a lovely soft plush Major Clanger (rrp £5.99) who is part bean filled and made from super soft plush - he's brilliant for cuddles! 

2015 Clangers Toys - Major Clanger

2015 Clangers Toys

And we also received an Iron Chicken (who's really not iron) with wings, head and tail which can all move for optimum game play along with metalic gold and silver finish. The small collectable figure packs (rrp £4.99) go perfectly with the Clangers Home Planet Playset.
2015 Clangers Toys - Iron Chicken
2015 Clangers Toys - Iron Chicken
2015 Clangers Toys - Iron Chicken
2015 Clangers Toys


The new toy collection boasts some wonderful items to look out for, such as Whistle and Dance Mother Clanger who is activated by squeezing her hand and will play music and make danceing movements. Also much anticipated is Musical Starlight Tiny who plays comforting music and has a starlight projection show from her tummy.

2015 Clangers Toys

Clangers collection from Character Online, starting to arrive in toy shops from the 1st July 2015. 


Emma in Bromley xx




disclaimer - I received a Soft Plush and an Iron Chicken toy for the sole purpose of this review - all words and thoughts are my own. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2015

I wanted to share with you a lovely Father's Day gift guide from B&Q


Stains on Panes Window Cleaning in Bromley

I wanted to share Stains on Panes with my readers this month.

Scott arrived to clean my windows - he was in a company sweatshirt and showed me is ID before we even got started which I thought was a great way to start.

It didn't take long to realise that Scott is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about what he does.

For my house - a 3 bed semi, Scott used his Reach and Wash pole system - the poles can be adjusted to suit different heights and the brush heads had been adapted by Scott to maximise there performance. 


Emma in Bromley Window Cleaning with Stains on Panes
Scott has a specially adapted backpack to use with the Reach and Wash poles allowing him to easily clean properties with restricted access.

Scott uses a method which involves firstly a scrub, then rinse followed by cleaning both the frames and sills.

Emma in Bromley Window Cleaning with Stains on Panes
Scott has a water tank inside his van which has a special resin filter to ensure that the water is pure - Scott used a TDS meter to show me the quality (impurities) of my own water from my garden tap - at a surprising 306 ppm, whilst Scott's own water from his tank showed only 5ppm meaning the purer water is less likely to leave chalk residue or smears that you might get from using my garden tap water.
Emma in Bromley Window Cleaning with Stains on Panes
Besides the Reach and Wash method, Scott can also carry out a traditional wash too, where he will still take the time to clean the frames and sills.

It started to rain whilst Scott was still cleaning but he wasn't phased by it and explained that the rain didn't affect the quality of the clean.

My front windows were lovely and clean whilst my rear 2 bedrooms and patio window (a much older style of window) are a little streaky - Scott explained that at some point in the past, someone had used the wrong kind of paint on the frames which started to come off during the wash  - Scott has reassured me that future cleans will solve the problem.

Scott recommended a clean every 8 weeks for my house - a 3 bed semi - at a cost of £20. 
Emma in Bromley Window Cleaning with Stains on Panes
Scott also carries out other maintenance jobs such as gutter cleaning and is fully insured in addition to being a member of the Federation of Window Cleaners.

One of Scott's passions is improving and adapting the equipment to perform better or coming up with his own ideas and inventions - he's currently working on a portable trolly system as a back up plan should he ever find his van out of action!

Stains on Panes clean both residential and commercial properties in and around Bromley - Kent and London regions. 

Find out more here: http://www.stainsonpanes.co.uk

Emma in Bromley x



* Disclaimer - I received a window clean for the sole purpose of writing a review.