#EverydayWins with Bosch: Bosch Athlet Range

Dust, fluff, crumbs… we all know about the problem. Everyday our home gets dirty despite our best efforts to keep it all clean and sparkly. And now add pet hairs into the mix… and it becomes a nightmare, I tell you this as a fact. Being a pet owner is wonderful and I wouldn’t have it any other way but battling pet hairs is most likely one of the biggest drawbacks to pet ownership and it is no fun at all.

Dust, fluff, crumbs… we all know about the problem. Everyday our home gets dirty despite our best efforts to keep it all clean and sparkly. And now add pet hairs into the mix… and it becomes a nightmare, I tell you this as a fact. Being a pet owner is wonderful and I wouldn’t have it any other way but battling pet hairs is most likely one of the biggest drawbacks to pet ownership and it is no fun at all. And here comes Bosch to the rescue with its new Athlet range. Cordless, powerful, lightweight and agile, the Bosch Athlet combines maximum performance and convenience on carpet, wood, laminate or any floor type. This slim, lightweight appliance is flexible and adaptable, and with a market-leading runtime of 75 minutes**, there’s nothing to stop you cleaning the whole house in a single charge. The Athlet cordless vacuum cleaner from Bosch is designed to be extremely manoeuvrable. It has superb power, combined with the innovative and highly efficient SensorBagless Technology to achieve the same cleaning result as a 2400-watt corded vacuum cleaner.*

We were given the opportunity to try Bosch Athlet ProAnimal vacuum.

The vacuum is just as stated above. Every statement Bosch made is true.

The biggest plus for me is its weight – 3kg, that’s all. A vacuum with a featherweight like this is really effortless to move around, and if you don’t want to push it you can simply pop the shoulder strap on and carry it with the strap across your body it is giving you two free hands to clean with.

Oh, and the fact that there is no cord is pretty sweet too, no more snagged cords on furniture and no more constantly moving it out of the way so you can carry on. To add to it you only need 4 hours to fully charge the battery and to make things even easier there is no need to wait until battery it totally flat to recharge… you can just “top up” as needed. Bosch Athlet is charging with a standard wall charger, which means that you don’t need a charging station fixed on the wall… just plug it in, charge, then hide it wherever your vacuum lives. Though as it is so pretty and futuristic in its design I tend to leave it out for everyone to see and just hide the accessories.

When it comes to performance, it can handle all your mess on any type of flooring, dogs and cats hairs on the woollen carpet included 🙂 No wonder it was awarded a Which? Best Buy Cordless Vacuum Cleaner of 2016.

I haven’t had it for very long so I am still familiarising myself with its true power and possibilities. I will update you on my new discoveries shortly.

Are you intrigued by this new beast on the block?

If so, watch this space as there is a giveaway brewing in the pipeline and one of you, my lovely readers, will soon be the proud owner of a Bosch Athlet ProAnimal.

* Dust pick-up in comparison to a 2400W vacuum cleaner from Bosch (BGL32400GB) on carpet and hard floor with crevice. Tested according to EN 60312/2008 [with partly filled receptacle].
**Based on our tested runtime [of 75 minutes] when compared to the advertised runtime of all competing cordless handstick vacuum cleaners.

Review: Epson EcoTank ET-4500 Printer

Long gone are the days when you had to walk to a print shop to get your printing done. These days most, if not all of us, have printers at home and use them to our hearts desire. Getting a cheap printer is easy… what isn’t easy though, is how to find a solution which will allow you to keep printing costs down… and just when you thought there wasn’t an answer along comes the Epson EcoTank ET-4500…

Review - Epson EcoTank ET-4500 Multifunction PrinterThe Epson EcoTank ET-4500 Multifunction Printer which can print, copy, scan and fax is one of Epson’s new EcoTanks printers designed to keep printing cost at bay. It uses an integrated ultra-high-capacity ink tank system, which means much more printing before it requires a refill and best of all no need for cartridges. Full tanks will allow you to print up to 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 pages in colour – that is one heck of a lot of printing!

For the last 6 weeks I have had the pleasure of testing an ET-4500 and I am finally ready to share my verdict with you.

Pluses:

Easy to set up and use. Not everyone is a techno wizard but with the EcoTank ET-4500 you really don’t have to be. The enclosed disk goes through the process on your computer screen step by step with clear pictures and even the LCD screen on the printer chips in from time to time to give helpful prompts. Both set up and usability is very user friendly and straight forward… almost fool-proof.

Nice compact size and a pleasing finish. Sometimes useful things aren’t as pretty as we might hope for but the EcoTank ET-4500 is actually really nice looking. It’s not too big and it comes in a nice matt finish which as a whole looks rather good 🙂

Good print quality. After using a laser printer for the last 4 or 5 years I was a little uneasy with going “back” to an inkjet again but I was very positively surprised. The print quality is excellent both in black & white and colour.

Wifi enable. This is a huge plus. No more moving documents between devices or mess cables… now I can print hassle free from any phone, tablet, laptop or PC in the house… this must be my favourite function to be honest! It allows me to save so much time and messing about and I just love it!

Huge amount of ink. The Eco tanks hold a huge amount of ink allowing you to significantly reduce printing costs whilst at the same time giving you piece of mind. So many times before I find I get caught out with a cartridge running dry or my toner becoming empty just when I needed to print something time sensitive. I really like the fact that I no longer have to constantly worry about my printer. I’ve put a reminder in my calendar to check ink levels monthly… just to be on the safe side and when I do eventually have to top up the ink reservoirs I am only buying the ink which makes for sizable savings over other inkjet systems.

Copy/scan function. Until we plugged in the EcoTank ET-4500 we also had a scanner but now it is no longer needed. I like the multifunctional capabilities of this printer and the fact that I can have more space on and around my desk. When it comes to the fax… well to be honest I have had no need or opportunity for testing this feature so far but I am sure it works as intended, after all who still sends faxes outside of a corporate office environment.

Minuses:

Too much packaging! I know this isn’t a big deal for most but I really dislike over packaging. I know they wanted the printer to be safe in transit and it is a high tech high spec electronic device but it took a while to unwrap it and find all the hidden little protection.

Long set up. The set up although simple and well guided did take over an hour as the jets needed some 20 minutes to initialize themselves and just when you think you’re ready to do some test printing it spent another 20 minutes downloading patches and firmware updates. It is only a once off thing and now it springs to life very quickly, but for the initial set up I strongly suggest you make a large coffee and make sure you have some spare time.

Lack of duplex, which means that if you require double sided printing you need to turn pages around manually. However, this feature is available on ET-4550 model.

Verdict:

In general I am very happy with my EcoTank ET-4500. I have a fab looking fully functional printer / copier / scanner / fax with super low maintenance costs. I can enjoy hassle free printing from any device or place in the house and I don’t have to worry about levels of my ink as I know it will last much, much longer than a standard ink cartridge would.

I think the EcoTank ET-4500 is a great choice for anyone who prints a lot and is looking for a super economical printing option with no compromise on quality or speed of the print.

Thank you Epson!

Chambers – Natural Leather Care – Review & Giveaway

Chambers – Natural Leather Care – Review & GiveawayWho doesn’t love a pair of real leather, soft, comfy shoes, leather jacket or hand bag? I bet most of us do. Leather products are still perceived as luxury and who doesn’t love a little bit of luxury? But in order to fully enjoy our beautiful posh and luxurious leather items we actually have to care of them – clothes, shoes, accessories or even your leather chair or sofa, they all need love and attention from time to time. Keeping them clean and well-conditioned will assure that they look perfect for far longer.

I personally adore leather, especially when it comes to my shoes… but hey I just love all shoes… full stop.

Anyway… I was given a bundle of Chambers leather care product to test ride. Chambers leather care range is packed with natural wholesome ingredients. They do not use silicone or other synthetic additives; the ingredients are natural and are of the highest, cosmetic grade. They may not be the cheapest ones on the block but they are for sure the most natural ones.

I was actually a little cheeky when it came to testing my Chambers leather care product; I enrolled the help of my dad… I have to admit it was a brilliant move. Dad (who exhibits mild OCD tendencies) spent almost the entire day “playing” with his new toys and cleaning all the leather items he could get his hands on… oh well I am just glad I could provide him with all that entertainment 🙂

The selection of Chambers leather care product was as follows:

  • Chambers Natural Foaming Leather Cleaner
  • Chambers Leather Balsam which can be purchase in unscented, vanilla and lavender
  • Chambers Boots Waterproofer

Chambers Natural Foaming Leather CleanerChambers Natural Foaming Leather Cleaner RRP £8.50 +P&P for 500ml

Brilliant and easy to use cleaner which according to my dad “actually works and removes stains with ease”. The results are visible immediately and it leaves any surface clean, shiny and soft. Dad used it on their sofas and noticed there was a slight problem with stickiness… evidently the sofa didn’t dry out as quick as expected (which knowing dad most likely means now, this instance) but as it ended up no one performed any test on the back of the sofa as is clearly advised on the packaging… well you live and learn every day. Despite the slight delay with the sofa being ready for use again dad was very pleased with the results and will definitely use it again… and again… and then almost certainly again.

Chambers Leather BalsamChambers Leather Balsam RRP £9.75 + P&P for 200ml

I picked my balsam in the unscented version as I wasn’t sure what would we use it for. I didn’t really want Marks bike leathers to smell of lavender (despite all the potential for lolz)… but seriously I personally wouldn’t mind it but I am not so sure Mark would be happy about this fragrant addition. So… balm… just like foaming cleaner it is easy to use and extremely effective. The formula based on beeswax and coconut oil absorbs very quickly making the whole process of application a pure pleasure. It gives a lovely sheen to your leather and plenty of additional softness.

Chambers Boots WaterprooferChambers Boots Waterproofer.Chambers Boots Waterproofer RRP £4.99 + P&P for 100ml

This is by far my Dads favourite product. He had so much fun using it that he even waterproofed his slippers and then splashed some water on them to test the effect. The waterproofer looks like an old school shoe polish and you actually apply it in exactly the same way; the only difference is you need a source of heat to make it work (a hairdryer works just fine). So you clean your shoes, then condition them and finally pop some waterproofer on them and ta-da you have 100% totally water proof shoes… the water drops bounce of them just like on a good Gore-Tex jacket for example or even our Bunks’ coat.

In all honesty I think that Chambers have created a fantastic selection of products. Not only are they 100% natural but also work just as they state on the packaging, a refreshing change imho.

And now for the best bit… If you want to test them yourself just enter our giveaway below and who knows you might be the lucky owner of the entire selection.

#win a selection of Chambers products

Good luck!

T&C:
1. Open to UK readers only.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by Chambers.
3. There will be 1 winner chosen at random from all valid entries. Winner will be chosen by Gleam.
4. The winner will receive
• 1 x Chambers Natural Foaming Leather Cleaner
• 1 x Chambers Leather Balsam in scent of their choice and
• 1 x Chambers Boots Waterproofer
The prize will only be fulfilled by Chambers.
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Wednesday 29/07/2015 at 23:59pm, any entry made after this time will not be counted.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax – Home of The Lucky Duck
SuperLucky Blog Giveaways Linky
Competition Hunter – UK Competitions Community

Thinking of Moving – Everything You Need to Know

Thinking of Moving – Everything You Need to KnowWe were gone for a while but we are back. As it ended up holidays aren’t the perfect blogging opportunity you would first imagine. I left with good intentions to keep writing but it simply didn’t work out as planned… but nothing lost we are back and… planning to do a big move 🙂

There are a lot of things to think about before you pack up your home and move out.

You have to hire the right removal company, notify your bank and change your address at the post office. But on top of all of that, moving house can be a difficult and often stressful experience for everyone involved. To make the process of packing and moving as easy as possible, it is a good idea to start early and to do enough research so that you can face moving day with enough strength, knowledge and courage to get you through it without turning your hair white in the process.

Start Packing Early

The earlier you start packing, the better. Around two weeks before the big move is probably the best time to start putting your old life into boxes. It may be a good idea to store the things that you do not want to bring with you to your new home. Get this out of the way as early as possible so that you can focus on packing up the rest of your possessions. Packing early takes the weight off your shoulders and will make the moving process go a lot smoother, especially since by the time you are ready to move, most of your house will already be neatly packed and ready to go.

Re-Direct your Mail

With all of the excitement of moving, it can be easy to forget to re-direct your mail. According to www.money.co.uk it is of the utmost importance to re-direct your mail well in advance due to the concern of identity theft and data protection becoming more apparent than ever. This is to ensure that your personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Ask the Right Questions

Before you spend your first night in your new home, make sure that you don’t shy away from asking those all important questions to the previous owner. Ask about the area, the neighbours, what day the bins will be collected, where the electricity and gas meters are in the house, etc. Learn as much as you can about your new home. Before you bombard the previous owner with these insightful questions, it may be a good idea to write out some of the more important questions on a piece of paper to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything.

Hire a Removal Company

Unless you have dozens of friends and family members who are willing to help move your furniture and possessions to your new home, you are going to need to hire a trusted removal company to do the heavy work. Some companies fail to move certain items however and may be a little picky about the ordeal, so make sure that you read the small print before agreeing to hire a company. In fact, you should compare prices online to get the best deal possible.

Notify the Right People/Organizations

There is a long line up of people and organizations that you will need to contact about your change of address prior to moving. These include your bank, insurance companies, schools and other commitments that you may have. The BBC states that the easiest and quickest way to alert the right people to your move is to make a list and send out a change of address e-card to each of them. It is also important to de-register from your doctor if you are moving further away and to cancel any subscriptions that you may have.

The thought of moving scares me, specially that we are planning to move not only from county to county but from country to country – for this moment the two front runners are Bulgaria and Poland… let’s see how our house hunt will go.

What moving tips would you add to the list?

* This is a collaborative post.

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Joseph Joseph Expandable Dishrack

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Joseph Joseph Expandable DishrackIf you are like me, you pop everything into your dishwasher… plates, pots, cups and a variety of plastic containers. All is good in our house until the wash cycle is done; then a problem begins… all the plastic pieces are still wet, soaked with water droplets and they need drying out 🙁

When we first bought a dishwasher I was hoping for more kitchen space and really wanted to get rid of my dish rack, which would give me the option to replace our kitchen-sink for a smaller one… well this wasn’t an option as I still needed space to dry my soaking wet plastic dishes.

Mess bothers me (unless it is my own mess, the so called organized mess) and a pile of plastic bits stuck one on top of the other to dry out simply drives me mad. Yes, I know that there are such inventions as tea towel or even kitchen roll and I could simply dry them out and pop into the cupboard but I truly dislike drying dishes, almost as much as ironing. When I was a child this was my chore… help with the washing up by drying the dishes… I hated it so much it left me with a not so positive feeling towards drying things.

Anyhow, a while back, Joseph Joseph got in touch asking me if I would like to try their new expandable dishrack with draining plug.

Yes, please… there was no option I would pass on this fantastic opportunity.

So I now have an expendable dishrack and my life is a lot easier and calmer. I have more than enough space to dry all plastics without creating a Mount Everest in my kitchen.

Joseph Joseph expandable dishrack with draining plug comes in a choice of two colours: white (with green) and grey (with white cutlery drainer). They are priced at £50, which might seem a little bit high for a dish rack but believe me it is worth it.

Kitchen Storage Solutions - Joseph Joseph Expandable DishrackFirst of all it looks great, which is actually very important as you will look at it every time you enter the kitchen. The rack is made to very high standards and its finish is simply perfect.

Joseph Joseph Expandable DishrackSecondly you can expand it to almost double its size; from 32 × 36.4 × 16.1 cm when closed to 52.7 × 36.4 × 16.1 cm fully extended. That is a lot of drying space.

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Joseph Joseph Expandable Dishrack.Third it has a draining plug. You can leave it closed if for some reason you should want to trap the water on your dish rack (maybe useful if you’re worried about losing very small items) or you can open it, which will allow all the water to simply drain away, leaving your dishrack looking nice and clean and fairly dry most of the time.

Kitchen Storage Solutions & Joseph Joseph Expandable DishrackFourth it is customizable to your particular needs. It has a movable cutlery drainer, which allows you to place it in any spot you desire and it also has a removable steel rack, which also can be moved if needed.

Oh, and did I mention that it can be almost doubled in size? 😉 Very useful I found after visits from friends and family where the dish volume has shot up.

Mark thinks that I am silly by getting excited about things like a dish rack but keeping the home looking nice and fairly clutter free is obviously far more important to me, so if the dish rack makes me happy why not share some love?

I am loving this expandable dishrack. It is truly a great idea to incorporate a flexible size into the design.

What do you think?

Do you like the idea of this new dishrack or are you like my Mark totally indifferent to its existence?

How do you deal with wet plastics coming from the dishwasher?