Still here….anyone else out there?

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Is there anybody still out there?

To my absolute horror, I realised this week that it was nearly two months since I blogged – that is totally unheard of for me, I’ve been blogging on and off for years, and normally several times I week, however I’ve just totally lost my mojo recently. Of course, we can all agree that the middle of a heatwave is not exactly the ideal time to try and refind it but I  do need to get myself back into gear.

I have SO much to blog about so content is not the problem, it’s just been a basic lack of time and a distinct lack of energy at the end of a long working day – which is normally followed by an abundance of children’s activities, housework, personal admin etc. I used to have so much more spare time.  I miss my spare time. I miss watching TV!

That’s not to say I am not having any fun at the moment – we’ve been doing lots of fun stuff – it’s just that doesn’t leave a lot of time to sit in front of the computer, which I guess is the way it should be.  Life is for living.

“Work hard, play hard” pretty much sums up my life right now.

Truth is, recently I have also felt a little anxious about all sorts of stuff and my thoughts have been consumed by the bigger things like Brexit, terrorist attacks, the economy, the state of politics – all hugely important stuff but not stuff I want to start blogging about! It’s kind of felt like there were more important things out there to be worried about, which of course, there is.  Though I’ll be completely honest, and in recent days my attentions have switched to Pokemon GO and the #taylorswiftisover hashtag. (I never said I didn’t enjoy procrastination!).

I do need to regain my ‘release’ though, which is what blogging was/is for me.

If you’re still out there, reading, please do leave me a comment below, leave me a link to your latest blog post so I can go have a read, let me know what’s been going on with you so I can catch up. I’m so totally out of the loop!

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Review: Vax Air Cordless Lift Duo

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I know, a vacuum isn’t exactly the most exciting of household appliances however I think everyone would agree that if you have carpet, it’s an absolute necessity, especially when you have pets and children, so when my 12 year old vacuum died a slow, agonising death it seemed like some sort of divine intervention* that Vax chose that moment to get in touch to see if I’d like to review one of their products.

*Yes, I am pretty sure the Gods don’t have anything more important to be dealing with right now than my cleaning needs.

I was sent the Vax Air Cordless Lift Duo. I admit, I was a little more excited about this than I should have been because ERM hello – cordless! My only experience with cordless cleaners so far had been with the handheld variety, of which they always seem to be a bit lacklustre on the vroomph (technical term) so I was keen to see how this new product stacked up.

A few facts about the Vax Air Cordless Lift Duo first.

  • It has a lift out cylinder which detaches from the main body.
  • The battery delivers up to 60 minutes of long lasting cleaning power.
  • It has WindTunnel3TM technology
  • LED headlights
  • Ultra-lightweight (just 5.1kg)
  • Boost mode

(I don’t pretend to know what WindTunnel technology is but it’s to do with providing three channels of suction across the width of the floor.)

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What is in the box? The Vax Air Cordless Lift comes with 2x Lithium Life Batteries and a charger and a 2-in-1 dusting brush/crevice tool.

I like that you get two batteries in the box, it’s the kind of thing I expect companies to persuade you into buying so it’s good that there are two supplied – it means I can have one on charge while I am using the other one, though in fairness the battery lasts a really long time so it’s not strictly necessary!

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And the battery already comes with some life in it, meaning you can get going straightaway!

Let me just tell you, I love this vacuum. LOVE IT. It has changed my life, not least because it’s so light and easy to use that my 9 year old son has decided that he likes doing the vacuuming!  But seriously, it’s so light and nimble.  My mother-in-law who is nearly 70 struggles with her vacuum so I am thinking one of these would be perfect for her – no wires to trip over either.

The fact that you can detach the cylinder means that it is a dream to use on the stairs. If I thought it was light before, when you’re just carrying the cylinder it’s a breeze! Again, my children now help with this as they can easily manage this on the stairs – of course, I don’t advocate child labour – they’re doing it for a pocket money top-up!

Having previously used another brand (known for it’s suction) I did wonder how it would fare in this department. I have to say I can’t notice the difference – this has a decent amount of suction and if you employ the boost function, it’s really powerful – I tend to use that on the high traffic areas only as the normal setting is perfectly fine.

The LED headlights though? Who knew you’d even care if your vacuum had LED headlights but I tell you what, I flipping well love them!

All in all I can hand on heart say that I love this product and it’s become my new best friend. I actually find I hoover more now because it’s so much easier to whizz around with than my old heavy, cabled contraption. I doubt I will ever go back to a corded vacuum again!

Before I go…I’ll leave you with this beautiful image. I had to take a photo of the bottom brushes purely because I knew it was a view I would never see again. Long hair problems.

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You can buy the Vax Air Cordless Lift direct from Vax where it is currently retailing at £229.99 with free delivery and a 6 year guarantee!
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My accidental blogging hiatus…

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Is there anybody still out there?

You may, or may not have, noticed that I have been on somewhat of a hiatus recently. It wasn’t planned, I was just busy and lost my mojo. In fact, I have been losing my blogging mojo for quite some time now and during May, just got to the point where I would rather play pointless games on my iPad then fire up WordPress and write a blog post.  So I have decided a few changes need to be made.

I am no longer going to be running Meal Planning Monday. This was the hardest decision to make as I’ve been doing it for so long but it’s really become a bit of a chore to squeeze in over the past 6 months when I’ve been busy with other things. I used to have more time during the week but I now work 5 days a week and the pressure of keeping to a blogging schedule is just more than I want to take on so something has to give and I feel I’ve been letting people down. So, does anyone want to take over Meal Planning Monday?

Blogging is going to go back to being more about ME and what I want to post, without too many other commitments. I might still do reviews and sponsored posts from time to time but only when it is something I will get personal value out of or it’s worth my while.

I’m taking blogging back to the start. You know, word vomit about what’s going on around me or in my head. Pictures of nice things I see, covet, dream of. Recipes I’ve made and other cool stuff.

I’m not going to worry about being a crap blogger. I am shit at photography, I doubt my food photos inspire anyone to cook but it’s real life, real food. I cook it, I eat it. I am not going to be fannying around with photography equipment to get the best shot of a cottage pie. You’ll get a quick snap on my iPhone before it goes cold and that’s about it. I’m not a professional photographer, cook or food stylist. I am me, busy working mum of two trying to feed her family.

I’ll blog when the feeling takes hold and not because I have to. That might be once a day, once a week or sometimes once a month but I have to stop letting it consume and control me. It doesn’t pay my bills or take care of my children. I need to focus my energies on the important stuff and see blogging for what it is – a hobby.

I’ve joined too many commenting rings and the like, and not got around to completing them which lets others down. This was driven by the desire to have more comments, likes, shares as I was feeling that validated me more, but while I have found several other blogs I read often and I enjoy reading the comments, it’s fake isn’t it? Which means it’s quite meaningless.

As well as letting people down, I too have been let down by PR companies and brands, most recently when I had been approached directly to attend Camp Bestival again but this was pulled – annoyingly I had spent my free time writing posts promoting the event on here and social media, and of course had told my children and got them excited about it (my own fault, lesson learned) but I am not going to get into that situation again.

So there you have it – hopefully living by these ‘rules’ will help me find my way back to blogging, because I really do want to, and I do miss it. I’m going to kick start myself with thinking about a 40 before 40 list (cliche I know, but I have a lot I want to achieve and need some motivation – three years to go!) and maybe a small blog redesign as that always gets my blogging juices going again.

I just hope there is still someone out there reading!

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3 Steps to Follow if You Have a Flood

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3 Steps to Follow if You Have a Flood

Step 1: Safety

After protection potential safety issues happen to be taken care off, check out the building and all the property inside. Have pics as well as video recording showing discarded property. Re-entering a home: Usually do not return to a household until regulators have well-advised that must be risk-free to do it. Rivers: Plenty streams will be heavily toxified with sewage or other toxins.

Watch out for symptoms of stress. It might lead to ailment and even diseases. Home appliances that will happen to be flooded represent a liability of shock as well as flame if in use.

Clean by low-pressure flushing as well as wiping with cleansing water. An individual could have recently been through a terrible misfortune in addition to the rehab period of time will be very long, really hard, and even difficult. Make certain that individuals are receiving adequate slumber.

Step 2: Removing Dangers

Extract standing dirty water with a pump motor as well as a wet vacuum device from slabs, basements, crawlspaces, heating products and even at anyplace dirty water may very well be seated. This move supports reduce lingering as well as added allergens. Whenever you must take a walk as well as drive in regions that were influxed : Stay in the unflooded areas.

Use soap to eliminate added dirt. This helps to keep debris, spores or other materials from being suspended in air and even getting back on clean walls. In the end walls should be cleansed, therefore scrub walls with a sanitiser including an alternative of approximately ¼ beaker of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water. An individual could facilitate the work of disaster recovery professionals by staying off the highway and off the beaten track.

Moving streams a half-dozen inches deep could sweep individuals off their feet. Watch out for holes in the area, defective glass or other dangerous waste. It can be more suitable to employ a HEPA vacuum device, still a regular wet/dry vacuum device could work. Shovel as well as eradicate lingering, silt and even fine sand with water. Hoover just about all lingering water working with a wet/dry device. 

Step 3: Return Home

Dependent on the geographical area, a municipal as well as the provincial inspection experts for the giving task are obligated for the permitting process required before a utility will link electric power to a home. Apply tremendous careful attention if getting back to your a home after a flood.

The key electrical utility panel will have to be wiped clean, dry, and even tried by a professional electrician to make certain it truly is risk-free. Contact Blue Water Plumbers for help. Steer clear of going for a walk and driving by flooded areas. Building supplies and even stuffs above the water line really should be checked for yellowing, scent and even damage. Listen to the car radio in regards to learn what to do, where individuals should go as well as spaces to keep away from.

Barricades may have long set up for a proper protection. After a house is influxed from a watercourse, stream, river, hurricane as well as rainstorm, scouting out and even documenting destruction is important for a lot of purposes, which includes insurance plans and even tax functions. Highways could also be already closed as they quite simply happen to be damaged or are covered with water. Most of all, you need to perpetually remain careful after a flood as you do not know what dangers may be lurking around the corner.

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Disclosure: This is a guest posting for which I received compensation.

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My camping essentials!

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As the weather is warming up (well okay, it’s at least sunny today which is a vast improvement) I’m starting to get excited as camping season once again approaches. We’ve got our first trip booked for three weeks time which means that the checklists are getting printed off and all the gear will be getting dusted down next weekend.

I love camping but I have to say, I’m not really a back-to-basics kind of girl. I’m not saying that means I am too high maintenance – I mean I do prefer to have electric hook-up but it’s more to charge my mobile phone or boil a kettle rather than plug my hair straighteners in – but I do like to have a few ‘luxuries’ with me and I am a serious over-packer (aren’t we all?).

So aside from taking everything – including a camping kitchen sink – there are a few things that get packed which I consider absolute essentials.  Of course, I am not going to include things like snuggly warm sleeping backs and comfy chairs, those go without saying, this is just about the little extras that make my life a little more pleasant when braving the great outdoors during the glorious British summertime.

Hair ties

I have them in every bag and every pocket. For some reason when camping hair in my face just gets really annoying, especially when you’re all hot and flustered and having a row with your husband about pitching the tent. Also, camping hair does tend to take on a life of it’s own.

Cleansing facial wipes

I avoid taking a myriad of potions and lotions – some cleansing facial wipes are perfect for a quick freshen up.

Extra blankets

I hate to be cold, have I ever mentioned that? I’m sure I have. I fear the cold. That is the reason I make sure we all have a woolly blanket each plus some to spare.

Ear plugs

The other thing I hate is other people’s noise and it’s never more magnified than when you are on a campsite in school holidays. Ear plugs are a necessity – don’t get those foam ones though, they’re rubbish. You need those clear moldable ones. I’m sure they have a fancy name.

Top Trumps

Never underestimate the power of a Top Trump when it’s raining outside and you’re stuck in your tent – especially without the luxury of EHU.

Dry shampoo

Showers are campsites aren’t often all that.  Dry shampoo is a must.

Torches – plenty of them!

I know taking a torch camping is common sense and probably doesn’t need to be listed here but believe me when I say you can never have too many. Ever. Because guaranteed when you get there one won’t work, the other will have flat batteries and they’ll no doubt be some ultra-rare type.  When it’s dark, you’ll thank me that you have a torch within at all times. A head torch is a great investment.

Warm socks

This harks back to not liking the cold. Especially essential if you’re a nighttime pee-er.

Glowsticks

Not only useful for settling my nervy children in the dark sleeping compartment of our Vango but also useful for attaching to your guy ropes so you don’t trip over when going for your nighttime pee.

Wine

Duh.

That’s my brief list of essentials – what do you consider your camping must-haves?

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