Monday, 30 May 2011

Gtech Germguard Power Sweeper Review

I was recently sent a Gtech Germguard Power Sweeper to review and I have to honestly say - 


It's a fantastic product and is really helping me keep my home clean.  Why do I love it so much?

Firstly, it's great for cleaning the stairs.  It's cordless so you don't have to stop halfway and unplug it from the landing and plug it in in the hall.  Also, the long handle is detachable so it can easily be used handheld - sooo much easier than lugging your vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs.

Secondly, it's powerful!  I've had a handheld cleaner before and it was rubbish.  It didn't pick up anything.  With the Gtech, it picked up pretty much everything, as much as my regular vacuum cleaner, and I was shocked by the state of the tray and how much it had actually picked up.  I mean I had only vacuumed the day before but when I used the Gtech Floor Sweeper on my tiny living room this was the result:

The ultimate test for it was when my son got hold of some glitter which he spread all over my bedroom carpet.  The Gtech picked up all of the glitter very quickly, which I was really surprised at.  I didn't even have to go over it with my regular vacuum.

I also love the fact that with the Germguard sweeper not only am I picking up dirt off the floor, it is also cleaning with an antibacterial additive - very important for me as my 6 month old baby is now crawling.

The Gtech is rechargeable and one recharge will give you enough power to do living room, hall, stairs and landing and a bedroom.  It's lightweight, so brilliant for people who can't manage a regular vacuum cleaner.  The collecting tray is really easy to empty - you just slide it out, empty it, then slide it back in again.

It's never going to replace your regular vacuum cleaner because you will always need your crevice tools and the collection tray isn't very big so you are emptying it quite frequently.  However I keep mine upstairs to save me lugging my normal cleaner up and down the stairs every time.  It's also great for having a quick clean up during the week when you don't have time to get your big vacuum cleaner out.

The blurb for the product says:

Peace of mind cleaning with the SW18 Germguard our exclusive antibacterial material on machine touch points.
Germguard is a ‘silver ion’ antibacterial additive blended into the plastic during manufacture and exclusive to Gtech.
It kills over 99% of bacteria including MRSA, E.Coli, Salmonella, and Listeria.
Effective across all floor types including pet hair removal and larger debris.
Additional features include patented edge cleaning wheel. Removable handle/visor for effective stair cleaning. Dynamic steering joint for ease of use and a low profile long reach for awkward under furniture cleaning. Easy to empty 0.5 litre bin.

The Germguard sweeper retails for about £45 but I think it is well worth the money as it is a high quality product.

I was sent the Gtech Germguard Power Sweeper for the purpose of this review but the opinions expressed within are my own.  

Saturday, 28 May 2011

I'm a Foodaholic

Hello, my name is Jodie, and I'm a foodaholic...

I've had this post brewing for a while but then I read this wonderful post by Mummy from the Heart - I want to say goodbye and it inspired me to write about my own experiences.

As readers of my blog will know, I've recently joined Slimming World.  I've actually lost count of the number of times I've joined Slimming World or started a diet programme.  Every time I start a diet I can't wait until its over so I can go back to eating 'normally'.  But this time it's finally clicked that I can never go back to eating 'normally'.  Because what is 'normal' for me is unhealthy and not normal at all.  And if I want to be slim and healthy, I can never go back to that.  More importantly, it sets a really bad example for my kids.

I don't have a healthy relationship with food.  I hide what I eat from those I love, I eat to 'treat' myself, I eat to comfort myself, I eat to reward myself.  I binge eat.  I've been known to buy food from the supermarket and because for instance it comes in a pack of 12, I will eat all 12 rather than just the 1 or 2 I actually want because I don't want anybody else to find the evidence, and its easier to eat the 12 and hide the packaging in the bin than to hide the remaining 10.  This is not a healthy way to live!!

Somehow, somewhere, my brain seems to have made the connection this time that this way of eating is not normal, I will always be fat if I eat this way.  When I've lost the weight it will be ok to have the occasional chocolate bar or cake, but I will never, and should never, sit there in the evening and eat 2 cakes (because they came in a multipack of 2) and a 200g bar of Fruit & Nut.

Fortunately, thanks to still breastfeeding, I currently can get away with the odd treat, but when that slows down, to continue losing weight, I will have to cut out the synful snacks and concentrate on losing weight.  Yes it will be hard, and yes, I wish in someways it was an addiction like alcohol, because then I could give up cold turkey.  But I can't give up all food, I need it to live, so I have to learn to be moderate and not use food as my crutch.

For the first time since I lost weight for my wedding, I've lost a stone without having a week of maintaining or gaining  weight, so I'm hopeful that I might finally have got the hang of it - watch this space!

I have now added this blog post to the Mumentums linky!!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Should I Interfere?

I have a parenting dilemma and am not entirely sure what to do!

Girl is 4 and a half, Boy is nearly 3 and although they love each other dearly and love to play together, their play is still punctuated by yelling, screaming and fighting!

Quite often they will be playing together in Girl's bedroom and all of a sudden there will be squeals or yells from Boy as his big sister either tries to make him do something, sits on him, or just takes something off him!  My natural instinct is to interefere but if I leave them he doesn't come running to me telling tales, unless she's really hurt him, and soon the squeals stop and he's laughing at her again.  He's a stocky lad so I doubt she could hurt him.

My dilemma is this: should I interfere as sometimes what she is doing is tantamount to bullying, or, as he doesn't feel the need to get me to interfere and will be playing again quite happily a few moments later, should I leave them to get on with it and accept that this is something they have to learn to work out and will be better people for it?

Any comments would be gratefully received!

PS:  To date there has been no actual damage to either child!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Seriously Good Sauces - Butter Chicken Review

Curry is one of the staple dishes in our house.  The kids have been eating it from when they were babies and there is nothing me and himself like more than a good Indian!  I don't like anything too hot but I love a rich sauce.  So when I was offered the chance to review Seriously Good Indian Range of sauces I jumped at the chance!

The new Seriously Good Indian range comprises of four mouth-watering sauces based on authentic recipes inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s culinary trip to India in 2009.  As with the Seriously Good Italian range, the Indian sauces will be available all year round with at least 10p from the sale of every jar going to Comic Relief. Gordon does not get a penny from the range.  The sauces available include Royal Korma, Aromatic Masala, Butter Chicken and Spicy Red Curry.  I was sent the Butter Chicken to try.

I cooked it up very simply - fried off some onion, added some chicken and mushrooms and then poured in the Seriously Good Butter Chicken sauce and left it to cook for a while and then served it on a bed of rice.  I would have taken a picture but we scoffed the lot before I had a chance to!

I was impressed with the fact that it didn't stick to the pan or evaporate whilst cooking as some other brands of curry sauces I've tried have done.  Even when the dish had been simmering for 15 minutes or so it didn't seem to have reduced by much.  It also kept a glossy appearance, even after I had dished it up.

I thought it tasted really nice - spicy but not hot.  Himself didn't think it had much flavour, but he does like a hotter curry.  The children ate all of theirs which I think is review enough!

It was a really nice sauce to use and it's a great idea to be able to contribute to charity while cooking your dinner, but as the rrp is £1.99 I find it almost twice the price of my usual curry sauces so I probably wouldn't buy it unless it was on offer.  However if you regularly buy a branded curry sauce at a similar price it would definitely be worth paying a little extra as, to be fair, the quality does show.

I was sent a jar of Seriously Good Sauces Butter Chicken for the purposes of this review but the opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

TOMA Nails Tutti Frutti Collection Review

I love nail polish.  I've just sorted out my collection and although I was too scared to count all the bottles I have lots.  And I'm always looking for new brands to try.  Being a mother my ideal nail polish would dry quickly, last for ages and not smell (himself can't stand the smell of nail polish so I can only apply it when he's not in!).  Well 2 out of 3 ain't bad (I can feel a song coming on...)

There are 6 shades in the TOMA Tutti Frutti range: Blueberry Sorbet, Strawberries and Cream, Grape Sorbet, Mango Sorbet, Pistachio Cream and Tutti Frutti.  I was sent Mango Sorbet and Blueberry Sorbet to review.  The above picture is the press release picture but I found the colours to be alot darker than depicted.  Blueberry Sorbet is Blue and Mango Sorbet is Orange!

I tried the Blueberry Sorbet first.
Blueberry Sorbet
It applied easily and if I had applied it a bit thicker I could have gotten away with one coat but I didn't so applied two.  It dried very quickly but what I was really impressed with was how it lasted!  I didn't apply any top coat but it didn't really start to chip or wear until I'd been wearing it 5 days!  Which for me is excellent!  I find most polishes chip within the 2nd day of wear as I'm constantly getting my hands wet cleaning, wiping, washing up etc!  However, if you do go for this colour remember to put a base coat on!  I forgot and when I removed the nail polish I looked like a corpse as my nails were stained blue!  Ooops!

I then tried the Mango Sorbet, although I have to admit that personally, this is not my favourite colour of the collection.

Mango Sorbet

Please excuse my terrible application - I think it was late that night!  Again I used 2 coats but as you can see this colour is a little more transparent.  Like I said, not my favourite colour but I funked it up with a cracked effect nail polish and voila:

Giraffe Nails!!
I do apologise for the terrible photography - must do better Smith!

The nail polishes can be bought for £7.25 from which is a little more than I would usually spend on a nail polish.  However, considering how long it lasts without chipping I would say this is a fair investment as you won't need to apply it quite so often!

I was sent the nail polishes for the purpose of this review but the opinions expressed within are my own.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Counting the Pennies

I’m trying to win an iPad 2 in the iSave, iWrite, iPad competition from!

We're all trying to save money somewhere aren't we?  Times are tough, fuel prices are going through the roof, and with it the cost of day to day living.  So how do we claw back a few pennies from the ever rising costs?

Of course we could go mad - make clothes out of bin bags (do you remember Blue Peter showing us how to make fancy dress clothes out of bin bags?!), eating every other day, going to bed when it gets dark - but honestly, most of the more extreme money saving ideas are impractical, especially if you have a family.  So I started thinking about the ways that I try to save money and maybe where I could improve.

The new fashion in impoverished times?

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about money saving is laundry.  I have a tumble dryer.  I use it.  But every time I do I think about all the money being used up in electricity when I could dry it on the line for free!  So mostly I do try and line dry my clothes.  But sometimes I have one of those weeks where to get outside with the laundry basket just seems an impossible task.  Or I get fed up of having wet clothes hanging everywhere.  So I compromise.  For every load I dry in the tumble dryer, I dry a load on the line.  It helps ease the guilt!  And at least I'm trying to save money.  It's not like I'm using the tumble dryer for every wash load.

Another place where I can easily waste money is food!  So often I go round the shops thinking 'ooh I'll have that, it looks tasty' and never get to cook with it.  One way round this I've found is not to be too ambitious.  I have 3 small children.  I am unlikely to find the time to prepare and cook salsify (let alone get them to eat it!) so is it really worth buying it because I've seen them cook it on Masterchef just to have it go limp in the fridge (or whatever salsify does when it gets old - I'm basing the limp on carrots.  And parsnips!).  Also meal plans are a great way of making sure you only buy the food you will need and cook for the week.  I'm hoping this way to throw away less food and therefore save myself some pennies.

Salsify - for those of you who thought I'd gone mad!

My third suggestion is to shop savvy.  I don't mean go around all the different supermarkets, though if you can, then do it.  But trailing 2 toddlers and a baby round Tesco's is bad enough let alone going to Aldi and Farmfoods and Lidl and Iceland...

Sorry, I digress!  Yes, shop savvy.  For instance, buy the cheap shop's own cereal - my kids can't tell the difference between Kelloggs Coco Pops and Tescos Chocolate Rice.  However to my mind it is a complete waste of money to buy cheap washing powder - it doesn't work as well and often I find myself washing things twice.  So I buy the more expensive brand, usually when it's on offer, which it is pretty often.  Yes, it is a bit more expensive, but better to have a product that works than one which doesn't work well.

I'm also trying to walk to school more.  When Boy starts nursery in September I will be going up there 3 times a day and at least one of those times I will have to walk, else we will be skint just getting the kids to school!  The way I see it is if I just walk to school twice a week at the minute to start off with, that's 2 trips saved, costing fuel and the environment.  Plus hopefully it will wear the kids out a bit more hee hee!!

So there you go - my money saving tips!  They aren't big but you know what the say: 'Count the pennies and the pounds will follow'!