Homes and Gardens

From the latest lawn mower to hedge trimmer to that great new way to BBQ, or inside that wizzy vacuum, cool fridge. A big topic this one, with new gadgets appearing daily! Come and read other members experiences or opinions, or share your own with the rest of the community.

877986 Melitta Barista TS SMART F8Melitta Barista Smart

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 9 Mar 2018
My two favourite things are ‘food and drink’ and ‘music’ both recorded and even better when live. Here I get a chance to try good quality coffee in my home and even listen to my music while relaxing with a great cup of coffee.

877796 nCube Home smart home huSmart Home Linking

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on 24 Feb 2018
Over time descriptive terms can come to have different meanings. I am thinking in particular of “smart home”. While my parents would have taken “smart home” to mean a place that was neat and tidy without needing any decorating, you and I, as member of the current generation, would use the term when describing the plethora of interlinked devices within the modern home.
While the sound quality of the two previous Cello units have been good there is little any normal TV speaker can do about the terrible sound quality on recent films even those made by people like the BBC are now falling into the choice of hearing speech and being deafened by the music or hearing music at the normal level and lip reading speech, however help is available with a quality sound bar.

877587 Smarter Coffee 2nd Generation bean to cup coffee machinSmarter Coffee Machine

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 12 Feb 2018
Coffee machines are always a hit especially ones which you can approach and know your coffee is ready to pour. Of course that often means the coffee may not be freshly ground unless of course you live in your local coffee shop.

877586 ring video doorbell Ring Door Bell 2

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 7 Feb 2018
In the weather that prevailed just before Christmas fixing a new door bell was not the most pressing thing on my mind, or course once fitted the various groups of carol singers that seem to materialise can safely be ignored from your indoor comfort.
An alternative to a standard light fitment fitted with a bulb for special effects like colours or moods is to have something like this offering from ‘jedi lighting’ which provides the whole gamut of colours, shades and effects in a single clip on fitment.

876928 Nespresso Inissia Coffee Capsule MachinNespresso from Amazon

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 15 Dec 2017
Prime membership from Amazon brings certain benefits including guaranteed one day delivery and extra substantial reductions on certain items; this coffee machine from Nespresso was £30 cheaper as a Prime member than for everyone else.

876940 Supra C500 Key Safe Secure Outdoor Storage DevicSupra KeySafe C500

Published in Homes and Gardens by adrianmorant on 30 Nov 2017
The Supra KeySafe C500 is a secure key box that, when installed outside a house, provides a safe and secure means of holding keys and yet making them accessible to authorised people.

876808 reichelt elektronik HQ SLEDTLAMChange the Mood

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on 21 Nov 2017
Moods can come and go, often influenced by outside conditions such as lighting.

876518 Funky Veg Kit by Plant TheatrFunky Veg Kit

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 9 Nov 2017
One of the stranger items that was in the bag from Amazon at their Christmas In July event - and checking round this is the last item yet to be reviewed - or those received. While it is rather late to start planting for cropping this year everything apart from gloves are supplied in this kit.
This is much smaller than the original version I reviewed some years ago. The basic shape is the same but the heating element inside is humped which should mean the heat is better distributed amongst whatever is being cooked.
A Nespresso coffee machine called ‘Expert’ & milk. So if you like black coffee there are cheaper options, but even if you only like a frothy coffee once in a while then this offering from Magimix could well be just the thing.

875819 Hoover Hurricane Evo vacuum cleaneHoover Hurricane Evo

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 11 Oct 2017
Just occasionally I get an email from Hoover about new offerings, one such arrived last week and I selected what seemed an interesting offering asking if one was available for delivery four days later just in time for my weekend cleaning blitz.

875630 Fridgemaster MTZ55160 Upright FreezeFridgemaster Freezer

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 2 Oct 2017
While the most popular buy is a fridge/freezer combo, a lot of people still prefer a stand along freezer especially if this is going to live somewhere other than in the kitchen. This offering from Fridgemaster seems to be an excellent buy.

875577 VisiCook AirChef Air FryeVisiCook Air Chef

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 25 Sep 2017
The Air Chef is the second of my three choices from the Birmingham based company that I came across by accident during a visit to the Exclusively Housewares show in London early in the summer, the first was the Home Baker already reviewed.
Certainly not my favourite job and one that only gets done when things get really bad or as in this case when I am sent a tool to take the hard work out of cleaning windows and best of all remove the mess so all you see is clean windows.
Unlike the recent pod machine I reviewed from Lavazza this unit requires a single power lead as the creamer unit takes power from the coffee machine as is integral on its right side. The last two months have taught me one thing my top of the range instant coffee is not a match for quality coffee pods.

875445 Bosch Smart Eyes Outdoor CamerBosch Eyes FD 720

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 11 Sep 2017
This is an external light and a camera and it runs on a standard power lead so if you already have an external light – with or without a sensor – you can just replace it and this will come on when something is sensed and it also records automatically.

875237 Nest Cam IQ indoor security camerNest Cam IQ

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 3 Sep 2017
This is the latest – and certainly the best – Nest indoor security camera that I have seen, the information about when and what was seen along with the video quality makes this a wow product for any internal security purpose you may have.
As my trips to various venues around London for Xmas in July comes to an end I smell the inviting coffee from Lavazza and here in the form of a tiny machine for your Expresso or other black offering as well as a separate machine for those who prefer their coffee white with a coffee shop head.
Often things arrive at totally the wrong time of year, sometimes however they arrive exactly when you can get the best from an item, here one of the latter category a column fan during the hottest part of the year and over the next few weeks it got lots of use in both my office, lounge and bedroom, in the case of the last mentioned because it was nearly silent.

875044 Bosch EasyCut 12 LI Cordless Multi SaBosch Mini Chain Saw

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 16 Aug 2017
When I went to a recent Bosch event that featured items like fridges that were connected the one item that seemed out of place was a tiny chain saw, ideal for use in the home or even the garden but it works in the same way as it would on a tree branch but for smaller items.
In hot weather a cool bag is very useful either to keep your lunch, shopping or even picnic cool or maybe allow frozen food to stay frozen. Most are insulated bags with a cool brick or two inserted but those bricks take up valuable space.
An electric drill is something that has been around for years, I have an old Black and Decker one that was my father’s and I think it still works. However in recent years the technology has improved not just in gearing but also in other ways.
While a hedge trimmer is useful in all gardens that have hedges and small trees, having a professional unit such as this cordless offering from EGO might be a luxury, but for a gardener or landscape technician it is a tool that is an essential not a luxury.

874761 visicook home bakeHome Baker

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 2 Aug 2017
Walking around a recent show in London found several interesting stands, one of the most interesting was one from a firm based in Birmingham that had a range of interesting electrical items, here is the first of three that I selected from their wide range.
I think of Bosch for power tools but they also do a whole other range, shortly I have been promised an external camera a small circular chain saw and an electric drill, but they are in a lot of other sectors both in the home (consumer) and business fields.
A recent visit to a show in London found me with time on my hands before an arranged meeting and wandering round the other stands found several interesting products not least the AnySharp stand who have scizzors that can cut bone and a sharpener that can give anything metal an edge.
These look in dimension terms identical, the coffee in them is manufactured in the UK so they should taste almost the same. The difference is that both the base of the container and the lid are compostable and therefore unlike the pods made by Nespresso especially their foil lids are not recyclable.

874099 Tefal SV6040 Fasteo Steam Generator IroTefal Fasteo

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on 11 June 2017
To dust off my ironing board twice in a year is unusual and certain things like trousers and my non drip dry shirts think it’s their birthday as they get sharp creases – that’s the trousers – and no visible creases – that’s the shirts and for good measure other items see an iron for the first time in a while.