In association with Smart Home Week

Smart Home Week

Today is the first day of Smart Home Week.

It’s going to be a fun week for me as I’m teaming up with Smart Home Week to showcase some of the latest smart tech for your home. Over the last few weeks I’ve been installing various gadgets, chatting to my postman via video doorbell and even rewiring a thermostat (a bit scary but made me feel super powerful) so that I can explain how various things work, how simple (or not) they are to use, and how they can benefit your home.

I bought my first ever house last year, so the project was well timed for me. It has made me feel very grown up, like I am taking charge and creating a home that works for us as a family.

That’s not to say I didn’t have doubts at first. I am the woman who gets confused by TV remote controls remember?

This time last month my idea of running a ‘smart home’ would have been remembering to lock the front door before going to bed, so it’s fair to say I was slightly nervous at the prospect of filling my home with smart tech. Technology isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and I pictured myself sat on the floor next to my router, fist fulls of leads, lights blinking, sobbing quietly.

You’ll be pleased to hear it wasn’t quite like that, although I DID end up with a lot of leads and things plugged into my router.

Top tip: invest in one of those boxes where you can tidy away all your cables.

Most of the technology was actually incredibly easy to set up – much of it had a step by step process through its app, telling you exactly what to do ant every stage. The great thing about it being SMART technology is that it pretty much knows how to set ITSELF up. You just plug it in and off it goes. View Post

In association with Bosch

So, the Bosch Unlimited cordless vacuum cleaner.

Now here’s the deal. I do already have a different cordless vacuum, and I love it. It’s so handy to be able to just grab it from the cupboard when I need to do I quick job on the cat litter that Camille kicks all over the kitchen floor, and I know the cleaner likes being able to wheel it around the house with her without constantly plugging and unplugging.

HOWEVER.

The battery life is not great. I have to remember to add a fully charged battery before the cleaner comes on Monday, and she always uses it up before she finishes the house. The individual batteries take ages to charge, so I always feel like I’m playing a game of vacuum cleaner battery roulette.

(I don’t get out much, so I have to get my thrills where I can.)

The Bosch Unlimited vacuum is different.

Bosch Unlimited review

The new cordless Bosch Unlimited vacuum comes with interchangeable batteries. Nothing new you might think, and you’d be right. The cool thing about the Bosch Unlimited though is that the batteries charge more quickly that you can use them, effectively giving you an infinite run time. 

Oooooh! View Post

I’ve been having a bit of a general muse today about fear and the impact it has on our lives. I think it was brought on by going to London this week to go on a filmed date with a Spanish man I’d never met before called Marco, where I had to speak in Spanish after only learning it for three weeks.

(More on that another time.)

It occurred to me that it’s probably the sort of thing that a lot of people would be too afraid to do.

Would you go on a date with a stranger in another language in front of a film crew? Are there other things that you don’t do because you’re afraid to? And most importantly, what is it that you’re really afraid of?

About four years ago, when I went through that break up that made me really sad, I read a lot of books about fear. The sadness I felt at the time had this permanent edge of fear to it that I couldn’t seem to shift and the longer it went on the more scared I became because I didn’t know how to make it go away and couldn’t see how I was going to cope with it.

One of the books I read was Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway. A lot of it felt a little bit cheesy, but the essence of it is simple – we aren’t actually afraid of feeling or events, were afraid of our inability to cope with them.

The three levels of fear

Susan Jeffers writes about there being three levels of fear. The first level is the incident itself – the ‘surface story’ – and the second is how it makes us feel – the ‘generalised fear’. For instance, we might say that we’re afraid to go on a date in Spanish, which would be the top layer. Dig a bit deeper and we might say that what we are really afraid of is messing up, of people laughing or of feeling embarrassed about the fact that all we can say is ‘tengo tres gatos’. View Post

April 30th was a sad, sad day for Belle.

It was the day we had to give back the Hyundai Kona that we’d been test driving for two weeks, having covered around 800 miles in 14 days, three of which I was out of the country for. At a stage in her life, mid-GCSEs, aged 15, when not much in the world feels designed to bring joy, there is apparently one thing that does – driving around in a nice car, listening to Cardi B very loudly and switching on my seat heater every few minutes and seeing how long it takes me to notice.

As you can guess from my mileage, I made the most of it.

Hyundai Kona

Over the course of the fortnight I did test out all the important little things, like the size of the cup holders (key), and all of my finding are in this Twitter thread if you fancy looking back through.

There were loads of clever little features that I loved, like the fact that it turns the music down a bit when you’re reversing and the blind spot detector for motorway driving, and I really enjoyed the high seating position. It was very spacious and the back seats were SUPER easy to put up and down – fiddly seats are a pet hate of mine, but these worked in one movement and were easy to put down from the boot side too.

I feel at this point that I should say something authoritative about the ‘handling’ but to be honest I’ve never been entirely sure what that means. It went round corners, and no one threw up, so I consider that a win. Have a look at the website for all the techy stuff. View Post

As you may remember, I had grand plans for my garden when I bought my house last year. ‘A tropical paradise’ was how I described the picture of it I had in my head.

The reality looked like this:

garden makeover tips

Sexy garden times.

As you will have seen if you read my garden makeover post, I had the foundations put in place for the tropical garden of my dreams, and the last few months have been spent gradually adding in plants and pots and strings of solar powered vintage lights, so that now it looks more like this: View Post

Note to my Dad: this is one of those posts you’ll want to skip over.

I was out for dinner a little while ago with some friends. We’d had a small half glass of wine or so and we were talking about boys. We were discussing one boy in particular, who I had happened to say in passing that I thought was nice.

‘Ooohhh!’ said one of my so called friends, ‘I’ll message him and tell him you LOVE HIM!’

‘I don’t LOVE HIM,’ I pointed out, ‘I just said he was NICE.’

She messaged him to tell him I loved him.

God.

‘While you’re there though,’ I said, only slurring very slightly, ‘you could casually drop in my renovated vagina?’

Everyone looked at me.

‘Renovated? Like with scaffolding?’

‘Oh,’ I said, the half glass of wine clearly muddling me, (an allergic reaction maybe?), ‘not renovated. REJUVENATED. That’s it. My vaginal tissues have been rejuvenated.’

We got distracted then by talk of my vagina, and then the fried camembert arrived, so I don’t think the boy had the opportunity to be seduced by my vaginal tissues, rejuvenated or otherwise.

Probably for the best.

Geneveve treatment review

A pretty dinner and wine photo in lieu of a close up vaginal tissue shot View Post