#EverydayWins with Bosch – My Month with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimal

For the last month I have been sharing with you my journey with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimal vacuum. Any pet owner knows that pet hairs are a nightmare but as it ended up there is a way to make life easier.

#EverydayWins with Bosch – My Month with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimalAthlet ProAnimal was designed especially with pet owners in mind. This light and powerful vacuum can really make a huge difference in everyday life. It’s perfect for anyone who isn’t crazy about household chores yet still wants to keep their house in picture perfect order; anyone who doesn’t have hours to spare for every day cleaning; anyone who simply needs just one tool to do it all!

So what were my highlights during this month with the Athlet?

Well, let’s see….

Performance must be on the top of my list. The Athlet works perfectly on any surface and it is extremely easy to interchange between upright and handheld machine.

#EverydayWins with Bosch – My Month with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimalWeight is also right up there at the top. I still can’t get over the fact that it is only 3kg. Have you ever attempted to vacuum stairs with an upright machine? If you did, you know that it is almost impossible and definitely super uncomfortable… well doing stairs with the Athlet in an upright position is not only possible but it is easy. The vacuum is so light that you have totally no problems to vacuum stairs with it… yet the job might be even easier if you swap it into a handheld mode, but you don’t have to, the choice is yours.

Storage also ended up being quite important. The Athlet is small and narrow, yet it has no problem with supporting its own weight and it will stand upright in any place you chose. The fact that it doesn’t require any specialist charging station makes life even easier, you can simply plug it to any electrical socket of your choosing.

The accessory kit that is provided with the animal version of the vacuum also proved to be a very valuable addition too. The choice of different brushes which came with the ProAnimal is spot on and they really allow you to clean even in the trickiest places. The pet hair brush works perfectly picking both pets and human hairs from all over the place.

SensorBagless technology proved to be a great feature too. There is no longer any need for remembering when your filter was last cleaned, the vacuum will remind you when it is time to take care of it.

Battery life is pretty impressive as well. When used on setting one, which one would normally use for daily vacuuming, there is no other cordless vacuum on the market which can beat 75 minutes of running time. That’s five 15 minutes sessions from one charge, handy isn’t it?

#EverydayWins with Bosch - My Month with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimalI really like my new vacuum. If I had to pick just one reason for someone to buy it, it would be portability. The Athlet can be used everywhere; any place you can think of you will be able to take it there. For me the moment of truth was cleaning the loft. We just had our house insulated and the loft was left in a mess. Can you imagine cleaning it with a standard upright? It wouldn’t be a lot of fun, would it? Well, the Athlet totally aced that challenge – swapped to handheld with no cord to suck up all the dust and so I was able to clean all the corners with ease. Bosch can really make your life easier, it is that simple!

Pet Wearables – Tabcat & Whistle

Pet Wearables – Tabcat & WhistleThese days wearable tech isn’t only for us humans, pets have their share of the market too. GPS or activity trackers are actually super useful and can make our everyday life so much easier! Easier for us and more secure for our beloved pets. To date we have tried two different types of pet tech, Tabcat for cats and Whistle for dogs, they both work in a different ways and serve a different purpose.

Tabcat RRP: £69.99

Tabcat is a tracking device which works on RF technology for accurate, energy efficient tracking (one battery will last up to 12 months). It comes as a standalone unit; one transceiver plus two homing tags with plastic protectors, which you can attach to just about anything you want, your cat included 🙂 There is an option to purchase additional tags as the device can track up to four subjects on one unit. The homing tags are super lightweight (only 6 grams) so your cat shouldn’t even notice it.

Pet Wearables – TabcatIn general I really like the idea of Tabcat but its 122 meter distance isn’t far enough for us. I know cats are territorial creatures but as it ended up ours wonder much further so I am still losing track of them. I think Tabcat would be ideal if you cats like to hide and you struggle with finding them around the house or nearby garden.

Whistle RRP: $79.95

Whistle offers two options, GPS tracker or an activity monitor. We tested the activity monitor version and I have to admit, I totally love it.

Whistle’s Activity Monitor is a health tracker for your dog. It attaches to any collar and measures your dog’s activities, giving you a new perspective on the day-to-day behaviour and long-term trends.

Pet Wearables – WhistleThe device is app based and it can be highly personalised. In addition to tracking the activities or sleep duration of your dog, you can also track food or medication; all the data comes in the form of graphs so it’s super easy to track the progress and if you want there is a Whistle community you can join too.

The Whistle itself is a round disk 1.5” in diameter, it might be a bit big for very small dogs but for Bunk is just perfect. It comes with a collar attachment and a USB charger. The battery last around 7 days, which isn’t bad. It takes about 1 hour to fully recharge it and the device provides a clear green light indicator when it is fully charged.

I am not able to fault it in any way. Even in the UK climate with all its tons of rain it still works well and is still performing as intended so its waterproof feature is spot on. If you fancy a kind of Fitbit for your pet, I think Whistle might just be just the way to go.

Have you ever used any wearable tech for your pet?

Can you recommend something new we haven’t tried so far?

Can vaping change your life?

* by Mark

I am a vaping person, I have been for a couple of years now and have found it to be an invaluable tool for helping wean myself off of those evil killer fags. Yet, as time goes by, I am constantly bombarded with news that it is dangerous to my health and some have even gone as far as to claim it is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. So I have decided to make a quick blog of my thoughts on the subject.

Can vaping change your lifeAs a smoker of some 30 years who can wade through a pack of 20 in a day without any thought I would not maybe accused of heavy smoking but I am a serious participant. Now as a vaping person I can draw my own conclusions with a degree of authority as to how it has impacted me.

The main differences I have personally found involve my 5 senses.

Taste: The most noticeable and quickest change you will encounter. After years of smoking I have grown used to having a tongue that tastes rancid, let’s face it proper smoking will leave your mouth feeling like the bottom of an unattended parrot cage. Vaping leaves your mouth tasting cleaner and because of the lack of bad taste you will notice food tastes different, richer, deeper and more intense like someone has turned up the volume on your taste buds. Though I do confess to a downside to this that is truly bizarre. You will actually miss the “parrot cage” taste, your old “norm” which will lead you to try the odd cigarette which in turn will taste dreadful with your new taste buds all tuned up. A catch 22 that won’t go away.

Smell: Like your taste this also becomes clearer, you will notice flowers as you pass them by in someone’s garden that before you would have barely registered. After 30 years of impaired smell I am loving the sometimes overwhelming sea of smells out there in the world. Though again this has a drawback, the bad smells are also now much more potent. I can recall situations in my past where I have survived in environments where everyone has been complaining about “that awful smell” like the blocked sewer pipe running under our old offices. Some people had to leave as they couldn’t cope and yet I have been able to soldiered on with only a vague awareness of the problem. Now, well I probably would have to leave the office as well.

Touch: Well this sense is not altered perceptibly but there are some benefits such as no more yellow fingers from holding the cigarette at the wrong angle. Some of my 30 years of smoking have involved hand rolled cigarettes due to budget constraints and so I have noticed that vaping comes with zero paper cuts on my tongue from licking the gum and fingers from careless handling.

Sight: No real change to be honest unless you think about what you’re doing from a visual angle. The mod industry has made some truly gorgeous vaping tools with engraved tanks encased in elegantly crafted metal covers and battery packs milled from solid blocks of a variety of metals and even wood. There is a mod pack out there that will make you go “wow that’s cool”, just don’t be guided by the high street shops and do some hunting on the web. So I would conclude what looks better, someone with a “wow” mod exhaling strawberry flavoured smoke or someone with a regular cigarette.

Sound: Ok you got me, I can’t think of anything apart from the fact that you will hear far less complaining about where your smoking and snide comments about how your killing everyone with your evil habit.

The net result of all the above has impacted me in other ways such as the ability now to run 100 meters and not need medical attention at the end. A feeling of being lighter in my body and clearer in my thoughts. Healthier as I catch far fewer colds now a days as I am saved from having to stand in the rain or worse, the snow to have a smoke.

Vapemateinfographic - LIFE'S BETTER AFTER TOBACCOThis post is a personal observation and not a scientific claim and just catches the nature of my response when asked the question is vaping safe. These are the direct benefits I have felt or experienced from vaping. I mention that because once you let the scientists in to the discussion then the waters become very muddy. It would seem that the scientific community cant or won’t come to a general consensus. Many agree that it is safer in general to vape over smoking traditional cigarettes yet counter that with the fact that there are chemicals in vaping smoke that are also harmful to the human body. My take away from my research has been for a while and still stands at the front of my thoughts is that a traditional cigarette contains over 4000 chemicals some of which are radioactive and vaping juice contains around a dozen depending on the manufacturer. So even if the dozen present in vaping juice are all harmful (they are not by the way) you are still saving your body from 1000’s of other chemicals that are proven to be very harmful, conclusion it has to be safer.

To close, I would suggest some following points if you are deliberating about entering the world of vaping.

  1. Stay informed and read up on the subject through the numerous papers released on the subject and read blogs such as “The safety of Vaping” to get your information and draw your own conclusions. Remember though when reading that smoking as a whole is a very divisive subject and more importantly a multibillion pound industry and as such has a much invested interest in getting the conclusion the producers want. Remember back to the huge controversy over the 7 heads of the tobacco giants all proclaiming that cigarettes are not addictive or harmful on record to a senate hearing in the USA. Vested interest that affected their personal pockets so take with a pinch of salt.
  2. If you do smoke, try it.
  3. If you don’t smoke but want to look cool with your friends then zero nicotine options are widely available and let you be that social smoker that society used to tolerate. Though don’t let it become a regular thing as at the end of the day there are enough poisons and chemicals in the air we breathe anyway without adding any more. The safest way forwards has to be the one that introduces no extra harmful chemicals into your body.

Have you ever smoked and tried vaping to help quit and if so did it help?

Have you tried vaping and gone back to smoking cigarettes and if so why?

Are you part of the 24% of the population convinced that vaping is bad for you?

* This is a collaborative post.

No-Bake Coconut Squares

This super easy, totally fool-proof dessert will be perfect for any coconut lover. Sweet, chewy coconut goodness set over a crunchy chocolate flavoured base… simple perfection!

This super easy, totally fool-proof dessert will be perfect for any coconut lover. Sweet, chewy coconut goodness set over a crunchy chocolate flavoured base… simple perfection!

Ingredients:

  • 397g / 1 tin condensed milk
  • 350g digestive biscuits
  • 200g desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

In a medium size bowl mix together the coconut and condensed milk. Use a silicone spatula to mix it well. Put it aside to allow the coconut to soak up some of the milk.

Place your biscuits into a strong zip lock plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them down until you are left with fine crumbs.

In a medium size saucepan melt the butter and then add the biscuits, cocoa powder and mix until well combined.

Place your buttery biscuit mixture into a square 20cm tin (the ones with a loose bottom would be ideal but not necessary).  Use something heavy and flat to press it down evenly.

Once the bottom layer is nicely flat, spread your coconut mixture over the top. At this time your coconut goodness should be very thick and not very pliable as the coconut will have soaked in a lot of moisture from the milk. Use plastic bag to make a glove or simply use food grade plastic gloves if you own any and press it down using the palm of your hand.

When you are pleased with the final effect pop it into the fridge and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before digging in.

Cut into your desired size of squares and enjoy!

This super easy, totally fool-proof dessert will be perfect for any coconut lover. Sweet, chewy coconut goodness set over a crunchy chocolate flavoured base… simple perfection!

So easy yet so delicious!

Normally we keep these coconut squares in the fridge at all-times but once they are properly chilled they don’t have to be kept refrigerated; they will still keep theirs shape and form.

Do you like coconut?

This super easy, totally fool-proof dessert will be perfect for any coconut lover. Sweet, chewy coconut goodness set over a crunchy chocolate flavoured base… simple perfection!

#EverydayWins with Bosch – It’s all about convenience

Till date I have had quite a bit of time to fully test my Bosch Athlet ProAnimal and if I had to describe it in just one word it would be convenience. My Athlet has it all and it allows me to clean without any difficulties even in the most hidden and small spaces.

#EverydayWins with Bosch – It’s all about convenienceBosch Athlet ProAnimal in Tornado Red comes with an entire accessory pack, which contains all you need to be able to perform your vacuuming task with ease. It comes with all of the following:

  • Long handle#EverydayWins with Bosch It’s all about convenience
  • Short handle
  • Main floor brush
  • Carry Strap
  • Brush roll
  • Spare pet brush roll
  • Flexible long hose
  • Upholstery nozzle
  • Crevice nozzle
  • Upholstery crevice nozzle

So depending on what task you need to perform you can use it either as an upright vacuum or a handheld one… with one huge bonus, the shoulder strap, which means that you don’t have to actually keep it in your hand. At first I wasn’t sure about wearing the vacuum on my back but it actually works very well. It is leaving me with two hands to operate, one to vacuum and the other to move any obstructions I might meet on my vacuuming journey.  It does makes things super easy. One thing to remember Athlet is super light, at only 3kg it will not put any strain on your back or shoulders. Once you get used to it you will be reluctant to go back to the more traditional way of vacuuming.

#EverydayWins with Bosch - It’s all about convenience#EverydayWins with Bosch -- It’s all about convenienceBoth handles, a long one for upright operation and a short one for the handheld version, have 3 levels of cleaning power. I’ve noticed that I hardly ever use level three when the vacuum is in the upright mode as it is simply too powerful (it can lift up small carpets or even lino flooring, so yes, that powerful in case you were wondering) but I do use level 3 when in handheld mode.

#EverydayWins with Bosch - It’s all about convenienceI would like to focus for a moment on the main floor tool as it is quite an interesting one. The main tool has a space for a brush roll. The brush roll includes a lot of coarse fibres whose job is to capture all the hairs belonging to both pets and humans. So far so good but it doesn’t sound any different really to any other floor tool out there, does it? But there is a twist! The roll is removable! Simply unclip the lock button and it will slide out from the main tool ready to be cleaned. The roll has a small groove in the middle helping to you guide your scissors for ease of cleaning. It might not sound like much but trust me, it makes the world of difference when you try to clean it.

With all those accessories at your fingertips you are ready for any vacuuming job around the house, pet hairs, spider webs lurking in the far up corners of the room or small grains of sand stuck by the skirting boards… Athlet will take care of it all. There are no more safe places for the dirt to hide.

Which places cause you the most trouble whilst cleaning your house?