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Dyson Cool desk fan review

by Clare Mansell

Although summer seems like a long way away today, I am hoping my newly acquired Dyson desk fan might turn out to be extremely useful during hot summer nights this year. Dyson have been making their distinct bladeless fans since 2009, but the latest batch of models claim to be 75% quieter than the previous generation of Air Mutiplier models, making them perfect for sticky summer evenings, but are they worth the hefty price tag?

dyson cool bladeless desk fan review

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Video review of Plum Pyramid Climbing Frame / Play Centre

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You may remember that in the summer we bought Theo a Plum wooden climbing frame for the garden. It wasn’t a cheap purchase and was something which we spent a lot of time researching and considering before we finally committed to buying.

During the many hours I spent online looking for information the one thing I really hoped (and failed) to find was a video review. I really wanted someone to actually walk me through the product and tell me whether it was worth the money before I handed over the best part of £400.

So a few months down the line I thought we should fill that gap by making our own review. I’ve made a few short films before, but this is the first time I’ve done “face to camera” vlogging. The prospect was slightly terrifying to begin with, but it definitely gets easier the more you do it. Although of course I have the distinct advantage of 20 years experience talking rubbish for a living!

So, if you are at all curious, here is our in depth review of the Plum Pyramid Climbing Frame which we bought from Activity Toys Direct.

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A story about looking gift horses in the mouth…

A few weeks ago I was approached by Dormeo and asked if I’d like to review one of their mattresses. A new mattress! Who would say no?

Well dear readers, I very nearly did! This is because I suffer from some rather old-fashioned (and I now realise entirely misplaced) prejudice about foam mattresses. I read up on the mattress saw it had no springs and then dismissed their offer of a superking for us and instead said I would take a single for our spare room, more out of curiosity than anything…

On the day of delivery I loitered around the front door waiting for the two burly delivery men who would presumably arrive carrying this weighty mattress over their heads to my front door. Instead what happened is one man arrived with a parcel the size of Theo. I took a photo on my phone and sent it to Jim absolutely incredulous that this tiny box could contain a mattress worth sleeping on.

Then we unboxed it, cut the tight plastic that was wrapped round it and watched as a full size single mattress leapt out of a the tiny wrapping. We lay it on the bed frame and allowed it to come back to life for the required length of time and then very slowly and very cynically I lay down on it, ready at any moment to say “Ha! I told you so foam mattresses are rubbish!”

But then I had a horrible sinking feeling, no not that feeling you get on a memory foam mattress that’s a little too soft and swallows you up. The feeling you get when you realise you have just turned away a superking mattress for your own bed and are now lying on its incredibly comfortable smaller sibling.

I admit it, I was wrong! Completely totally damn-this-bed-is-comfortable wrong! Previously the spare room had been occupied by a sprung mattress from a well known national store which wasn’t a patch on the Dormeo one. The Memory Deluxe is both firm and soft. The memory foam top gives way just the right amount and the firm core supports it.

My father-in-law was the first to test it out this week when he stayed in the spare room and he was immensely impressed. I don’t think he liked to say it, but the one we had before was pretty uncomfortable. Not only did he spend seven very comfortable nights on it last week, but he’s coming back for Theo’s birthday at the weekend and I have just been told he’s coming a day earlier than originally planned. Either that’s to sample more of my cooking or it’s because the bed is so comfortable. I know what my money is on…

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A Homebase bank holiday bargain…

A Homebase bank holiday bargain…

by Clare Mansell

For some strange reason in the seven years we have been married, Jim and I have never bought ourselves a TV unit. Of course we’ve had lots of things that have served as TV units, like sideboards and tables, but we’ve never actually had something made for the job, so when Homebase contacted us recently and asked if there was anything we needed for our new home, a tv unit was the first thing I thought of… but could we really get anything decent for a £100 budget?

I did some research online and then yesterday first thing we went along to our local store to take advantage of the 15% off bank holiday promotion. When we arrived everything looked different in the flesh to online. Not better or worse, just different.

I wandered around the display at the front of the store getting more and more confused and then decided to go and find Jim and in doing so stumbled across another totally separate display of tv units with this little gem

This TV unit was originally selling for £239.99 and had been reduced to £119.99 and then this weekend has an extra 15% off in the Bank Holiday sale, bringing it down to £101.99. It was a smidge over our budget so we paid the extra with our nectar points!

Online it says it is “wood effect” on the box it said it was “solid and veneer.” Personally I think it feels very much like a piece of solid oak furniture and it looks like it’s worth every bit of the £240 it was originally selling for. All the parts fitted together very well and the doors have a very satisfying firm magnetic pop when you open and close them. I honestly can’t believe they are selling something of this quality for nearly £100. The sale is on in store till the end of Monday and there appear to be some codes online (here) offering the discount online till the end of Tuesday, but I bet the stock they have won’t stick around…

This is a review post in association with Homebase

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Birthday at the beach…

Birthday at the beach…

by Clare Mansell

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Yesterday we spent the day at East Wittering to celebrate my birthday. We did the same last year and its rapidly becoming a family tradition.

We took a picnic, a disposable barbecue and some fold up chairs hurriedly purchased that morning in Tesco for £4.75.  For those who know this stretch of coast, you may wonder why we opt for East Wittering rather than its more well known cousin to the west, and there are three good reasons. Firstly you don’t have to pay the £10 parking charge (we just park in a side road) secondly in the summer West Wittering is closed to dogs and thirdly this stretch of beach is far less crowded.

Dogs and children loved the outing and husbands tolerated it with a fair bit of good tempered moaning along the way.

The weather wasn’t brilliant, but it stayed dry for long enough for us to drink some beer, eat sausages, sandwiches and picnic eggs and only started to rain as we walked the last few yards to the car on the way home.

Best of all we (my sister!) managed to get some photos of Theo with us and with his cousins. So easy not to do (I think the last one with all three of us was on his second birthday) and yet so important to do every once in a while.

PS – Theo’s lovely doggy jumper was provided by the kind folks at Barbour.  It’s in the summer sale at the moment and their autumn/winter range is launching soon.

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