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.

885191 Decor Microsafe Containerdécor Value Pack

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Aug 16, 2019
Another of the items I saw at the Homewares show in June. This time a set of five – three of one size and two of a smaller size – that are sold as a value pack and since they arrived have been put into service both in my fridge and my microwave.

884959 Ring Video Doorbell Pro KiRing Video Doorbell Pro

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Jul 22, 2019
If like me the place where your door bell lives is quite a thin door surround then this latest offering from Ring may just solve the problem as it is that much thinner than earlier versions of their doorbell with the camera to allow you to see who is calling so if it is someone you don’t want to see just stay in your seat and ignore the ring.

884979 Salter Loud Digital Kitchen Timer  355 BKXCDSalter Loud Timer

Published in Homes and Gardens by adrianmorant on Jul 19, 2019
The Salter Loud Electronic Timer model 355BKKR will suit those who work in noisy kitchens or are hard of hearing and so have difficulty in hearing other timers.

885039 vizio soundbaAmerican Sound Bar

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Jul 16, 2019
Vizio dips its toe into the UK marketplace with the launch of one of its sound bar systems.

884908 GTech Hylite cleaneModular Cleaning

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Jul 11, 2019
With its full page adverts in National Daily Newspapers and television adverts, Gtech is known for pushing the boundaries associated with various product offerings.

884891 snips microwave rice cookeSnips Food Boxes

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Jul 10, 2019
This is one supplier who kept their promise to send samples of their items for me to review from my visit to the annual Housewares show in London. So here a microwave rice steamer and a larger than normal storage box with or without inset basket.
The Salter electric knife sharpener is easy to use and provides an effective way of putting a good edge on one’s straight-edge kitchen knives.

884585 cookwarKOCHblume Cook line

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on June 24, 2019
A visit to annual Exclusively Housewares show had me given four assorted silicon kitchen tools to scrape and whisk with - at least that’s what I assume I was given them for – they come in a range of colours and one thing they all had in common is their ability not to melt at temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius and for those like me of the older generation that close to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

884403 hive outdoor security camerHive View Outdoor

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on June 17, 2019
I do not watch much live TV on commercial channels but two adverts stick in the mind, the first one for a remote doorbell and the second where a lady has a range of garden ornaments and once one was stolen she installed one of these Hive cameras and now tells the thief – when he returns – to get out of her garden.

883814 iRobot Roomba 980 Wi Fi Connected Vacuuming RoboA Cleaning Robot

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Apr 30, 2019
Not to be confused with the I-Robot book of Isaac Asimov short stories or the I-Robot film staring Will Smith, the iRobot (note the slight difference in the spelling) Roomba is a vacuuming robot. I have been looking at the 980 model of this product which has been cleaning my maisonette.
True wire free connection as this kit is Wi-Fi and uses rechargeable batteries that should last months between charges. This means you just need to find somewhere to fix an external camera, this kit also includes a second camera and a motion detector even for total darkness so while other kits say they are wireless often you still need something going through an external wall.
Being able to make a coffee shop coffee at home or in the office needs a machine that can grind beans and dispense the coffee and if a Latte is your choice then a device that can froth with steam from fresh milk this offering from Melitta does both.

882352 Neos SmartCaNEOS Internal Camera

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Feb 11, 2019
The first thing that encouraged me to test out this security device is that it only costs £19.99 yes the decimal point is in the correct place. So while it is on sale from a company that make their money from Insurance but at that price for a retail purchase it must be a no brainer. If you then go on to get discounted home insurance that’s another win.

882351 google home huGoogle Home Hub

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Feb 8, 2019
If you know what Amazon Alexa can do then this Hub from Google goes one stage further. It is a 7inch Landscape touch Tablet with the extended back being the speaker to give excellent sound and it sits like a triangular object.
Recently a range of small home security cameras have been received to review. The trend is for them to be Wi-Fi operated so requiring where you place them just needs to be within the reach of a power point, this is one such device.

881901 Philips SpeedPro Max Cordless Stick Vacuum CleanePhilips SpeedPro Max

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Jan 23, 2019
In relation to another vacuum – many years ago – its founder said ‘so easy even a man can use it’ he was a man, so am I, his statement is also true of this offering from Philips. Literally you clip the base to the tube and the tube to the motor and storage container and switch on and use it. No screws and because each section fits only one way it’s that easy.

881767 RevoNext QT3 Quad Driver In Ear HiFi EarphoneQuad Drive Ear Piece

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Jan 8, 2019
Swedish by design and Chinese by manufacture deliver a set of earphones.

881522 Wahl Aqua Blade TrimmeWAHL Hair Trimmer

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Jan 2, 2019
A visit to a barber between Liverpool Street and Old Street for a totally new brand to me had a presentation for a 99 year old company found me leaving after a very pleasant haircut from a barber at a shop called Ruffians and with a sample of the WAHL hair trimmer to try out in my own home, and before you ask the barber did use one for part of the haircut.

881466 Soundcore Life 2 Over Ear Headphones Active Noise CancellatioSoundcore Life 2

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Jan 1, 2019
This next headset combines Bluetooth, Noise Cancelling and Hi-Res delivery at a sub £80 price point.

881006 Optoma LV130 300 Lumens LED ProjectoOptoma LV130

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Dec 10, 2018
I am a projector virgin or rather I was until this solid battery offering arrived a few weeks ago. It came with no instructions, it had a power adapter and an HDMI lead so I plugged it into my PC and pressed the power button and after a few seconds I was looking at my Windows desktop. To be fair I had seen lots of other projectors but only as a recipient of another person’s presentation.

881041 Xiaomi MI lpn4013gl body composition scaleChecking your Weight

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Dec 6, 2018
We love our food but does it love us as the issue of body weight needs to be considered.
While vegetarianism and veganism and both becoming more popular I am of an age when a Sunday Roast is still my meal of choice. However everyone is more safety conscious and while eating pork pink is acceptable meat does need proper cooking and the larger the joint the more important it is that it is properly heated through hence a meat thermometer is required, even in the home, especially if the meat has previously been frozen.
The Ring Stick Up Cam Wired is the latest addition to Ring’s portfolio. It is a security camera, with two-way talk, that can be viewed remotely and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications

880701 Vax VBT3ASV1 Blade 2 Max Cordless Vacuum CleaneVax Blade2 Max

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Nov 7, 2018
It’s been a while since a new VAX vacuum has come my way. Here an offering that the demonstrator held up with two fingers of one hand and as far as I know he was not a weightlifter so it is quite a light unit that can be used on floors, upholstery or ever picture rails.
A handheld stain and odour removal so if your pet misbehaves it need not be a disaster. So this is not a carpet vacuum or carpet room cleaner this is a handheld battery operated spot cleaner so ideal for an accidental spill or pet misbehaving.
While I have a Nespresso machine I like the taste of Cappuccinos and Dolce Gusto machines do one as good as a decent Barista can make but of course there are two great advantages, you make them at Home and they are a quarter of coffee shop price.
I am sure we all get spiders in the bath and I am told that autumn is the peak time. While some things freak me out, spiders are not at the top of my hate list but really large ones can be challenging especially those that do not want to be put in a glass to be disposed of.
The Hitachi 460W 2.1 soundbar model AXS460BTU offers a convenient way of providing reasonable quality sound – something that slim-line TVs often lack.

880512 Philips HR2332 Viva Collection Pasta and Noodle MakePhilips Pasta Maker

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Oct 17, 2018
Not something to stick onto your table to roll out the pasta to very thin slices or ribbons but a tool that allows you to put the ingredients into and, out of the unit comes the pasta – and noodles – ready to be cooked and eaten.
The Vax Blade 2 Max is a very efficient lightweight A-rated handstick cordless vacuum cleaner with a longer than average runtime. It could well be the only vacuum that a family will need