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Tumble Dryer Time

Posted by Shopaholic
December 19th, 2014

My favourite tumble dryer of all time was a White Knight. Known as a cheap brand but while it lasted I thought it was excellent. They also had the first A rated tumble dryer while all other brands were still D rated. Things have come along a lot since then. Most dryers are now a days C rated but it is pretty easy to find A rated ones too.

My next dryer was a HotPoint as White Knight no longer did that model or the next version up from it. Within a few weeks I had a rust stain down the front. I complained to them but they refused to do anything about it. Eventually they offered to come and check it but I had to pay their labour charges which were substantial enough to consider a new dryer. So when something else started to fail, I tried to see if they would offer me a discount in lieu of fixing it and they refused. Customer service for Hotpoint was atrocious. So I used the money that would have covered labour charges to buy a Beko. It wasn’t quite the dryer I wanted but I had 3 young children and I could not afford to stay without a dryer and made a quick decision. It was cheap enough to say that I could change it at any time. This was a good thing because 2 years and a week after I bought it, the heater failed. Do they have timers in machines to have them fail after a set period of time? Sometimes it feels like it.

This time I decided to spend some time researching it. It was a whole new ball game. Besides vented and condensers there are also heat pumps. These are what contributed to the better energy rating overall. The problem is that this introduced a whole new price range. Tumble dryers start from as little as around £100 to as much as £1500.

So where did this leave me?

I found a site that allows me to compare energy ratings (which is a bit easier than manually working each out). However a simple way is to look at the rating and the lower it is, the less it will cost to run. If like me, you run a couple of loads daily, this can be pretty substantial. If on the other hand you use it occasionally then I would aim for the lower price even if you have a worse energy rating.

My Beko worked out at around 40p a go. The range of dryers currently available seem to run from as low as 15p a load to as much 75p a load. Yet the 15p a load costs nearly a thousand pounds and the 75p a go in under a couple of hundred. So if you are only doing an odd load, then it makes sense to go with cheaper model and more expensive load rate. In my case, the opposite was true. Yet I was loathe to spend a £1000 on a dryer. So after some research and some sums I came up with 2 models, both in the £500 range.

A Bosch and a Samsung Tumble Dryer

Buy Bosch WTW863S1GB Sensor Condenser Tumble Dryer, 7kg Load, A++ Energy Rating, White Online at johnlewis.comBuy Samsung DV70F5E0HGW Condenser Tumble Dryer, 7kg Load, A++ Energy Rating, White Online at


The Bosch costs £509 and comes with a 2 year guarantee.  The Samsung costs £519 with a 5 year guarantee and £40 cashback. John Lewis also will price match with 28 days and I have seen it at £499 at Boots Appliances. The Bosch works out at 19p a load and the Samsung at 20p a load. However I thought the 5 year piece of mind was worth the extra penny per load running costs.

I did not think I would fork out £500 for a dryer but I decided that opposed to buying a dryer yearly and spending a couple of hundred a time and a higher  cost per load, I thought this works out to being £100 per year and a lower running cost. So hopefully I should be saving over all. Also the Samsung has an app, and I am hoping this will encourage my dear hubby to help out with the laundry!!!

I will review it once I receive it as I have just placed my order for it. :)

Time to catch up on laundry just in time for Christmas!

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Compeed Blister Plasters

Posted by Shopaholic
August 6th, 2014

I had the opportunity to test out some Compeed Blister Plasters very recently. My first thought was it has been a while since I had a blister, I wonder how I am going to test these. My second thought was “Oh No! I’m turning into a sensible adult!”. Needless to say I went straight out and bought myself some shoes (like I needed an excuse for shoes!). My new shoes very graciously gave me a couple of blisters. What was I doing? At least the shoes were nice.

Out came the plasters and I stuck them on. Within a few minutes I actually felt relief. I was amazed. Blisters are painful and they burn. The burning almost immediately stopped. You can see where the blister is because the area that is blister turns the plaster (or perhaps the blister) white. I found that the plaster stayed on until the blister was practically healed. I did not need to replace the plaster with another even after showering. Though after a bath it does seem to start coming unstuck. But then they can easily be replaced if you do have baths as opposed to showers. When it did finally start to come off, it was not painful to remove.

I even used them on my daughter who is 4. It immediately stopped her crying and she was able to go off and play immediately.

I liked that they come in different shapes for different areas. They are also generously sized so they cover the largest of blisters and it seems like the whole plaster will treat the blister. It does not just protect the blister from bursting or getting worse but even treats it and dries it out. Most of all, I really liked that they came in a small container which meant that they could easily slip into a handbag and be left there until needed. I had different ones, so I mixed the boxes and put one in my handbag and one in my medicine cupboard. These are a definate must have on any holiday, wedding event or party!

I might have never bought them if I had not tried them out because I would have assumed that they were some expensive gimmicky plaster. Now that I have tried them, I won’t be without them. They really make a difference and you can simply keep going. They do also say they can be used preventatively but then I suppose it will depend on how much your new shoes rub. I have not tried them as a preventative measure as it is harder to see if they work but I may consider them on my next new pair or if I have a family wedding!


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Toffee Crisp Cereal

Posted by Shopaholic
May 31st, 2014

I am sure you have heard and have tried Toffee Crisp Bars. I bet you are drooling. Well I have good news – from Nestle – the makers of Toffee Crisp Bars comes the New and utterly enticing Toffee Crisp Cereal.

I was lucky enough to be sent a complimentary box to try out and to review and so I munched away happily.

Toffee Crisp Cereal looks a bit like flattened clusters of chocolate crispies with small crispy toffee balls.

Ok, I will admit it is not as decadent as eating an actual Toffee Crisp bar but then it is a cereal and not a chocolate bar. As a cereal it is actually nutritionally comparable to other adult cereals on all levels. You can eat it every morning. You can use it as a substitute snack and not feel guilty about eating it! It is also not overly sweet as I was expecting it to be but to me that is a good point.

The children loved it and for a change ate all their cereal which gives me peace of mind as I know they are heading to school with a full tummy and having receive some decent nutrition.

The downside of this cereal is that I have only seen it in small boxes. It says that it serves 11 portions but really I found it gets eaten far quicker than on 11 occasions. I would say that if it lasts 2 breakfast sittings for 3 children, then I am lucky. I think they really need to come up with larger family size value boxes as at £2.61 for 330g, it is a bit on the pricy side.






#GotItFree to try #ToffeeCrispCereal @ToffeeCrispCereal

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Posted by Shopaholic
March 14th, 2014

Isn’t the selmer alto saxophone at guitar center a beauty? Sometimes I think I like the saxophone as a result of watching too much Simpsons a decade or two ago! I mean can’t you imagine Lisa Simpson playing on one? Lisa Simpson and Saxophones have become synonymous right?

Seriously speaking, I do enjoy listening to the Saxophone but sadly cannot play it and cannot even imagine a time where I would ever learn the instrument but still perhaps one of my little ones will take it up. Mind you, perhaps I am more partial to a Cello? Hmm!


Selmer SAS280 La Voix II Alto Saxophone Outfit (SAS280RS)

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Brand Names

Posted by Shopaholic
March 14th, 2014

Just a funny thought. Have you ever noticed how people sometimes refer to an object by a brand name. Here are some examples:-

  • Hoover instead of Vacuum Cleaner
  • Panadol instead of Paracetamol
  • Nurofen instead of Ibuprofen
  • Post It instead of Sticky Note
  • Coke instead of Cola
  • Gaffer Tape instead of Duct Tape
  • Vaseline instead of Petroleum Jelly
  • AstroTurf instead of Artificial Turf
  • Stretch & Seal instead of Cling Film (or is cling film also a brand name!! argh!!)

Enough already!!

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Posted by Shopaholic
March 14th, 2014

I thought this was interesting. I noticed that mesa boogie from musicians friend were only available as used products. I would have expected them to also be selling new products but every mesa boogie available was used. It made me wonder why but honestly I am still stumped. There are only 2 reviews and they are good reviews. However, it leads me back to the question why are they not selling new items too?

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Music Lessons

Posted by Shopaholic
March 13th, 2014

Ok perhaps Music Lessons are not the most tangible thing that you buy but none the less it is a service that you purchase. Which makes me think about the way we approach purchasing of lessons. I know my attitude to finding a harp teacher to a piano teacher differed significantly. With the harp teacher, my son took to a particular person and we wanted her. It took a wait but we were lucky and he is being taught by her. With Piano it was a recommendation and we are happy that we followed it.

However, let us say that you move somewhere and do not yet know anyone. How do you go about it? How do say music lessons in Woodland Hills at guitar center compare to Music Lessons at Juilliard or Music lessons at my son’s primary school or say compared to lessons in France, Italy or the UK?

Do you go on price? When do you ask about the cost of lessons? Or will you only go on a recommendation? And how do you know if they are the right lessons for you? Do you ask for a trial session?

So many questions!!

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Posted by Shopaholic
March 12th, 2014

I do not know if you have ever heard of Bolero Drinks. They are a powdered cordial. You purchase a packet and then mix it with water and voila – an instant flavoured drink.

So here is the low down on it.

  • Low Calorie
  • Suitable for Diabetics
  • Refreshing
  • My kids think they are getting a treat
  • Huge range of flavours from Almond to Blueberry!

And here is your chance to try some too. For a free sample, send an SAE to:-

Bolero Drinks Ltd, Unit 2, Toat Copse, Bashurst Hill, Horsham, RH13 0PA.

Use a large letter stamp and get 3 samples. Offer is subject to one per household and to UK residents only.

Don’t forget to tell them that you read about Bolero here!


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Is it Out of Stock?

Posted by Shopaholic
March 11th, 2014

When you search for an item and come up with the message below, you know you probably have found a good and popular item.

“We’re sorry, but  classic beyerdynamic dt 770 pro at wwbw Closed Studio Headphones – 250 Ohms is unable to be added to the cart at this time. This generally due to the item being out of stock and no longer available or restricted by the vendor from shipping to your destination if being shipped outside the United States. We are more than happy to assist you in finding an alternative item. For more information please contact customer service.”

Mind you, it could be because I am not based in the USA!

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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Posted by Shopaholic
March 10th, 2014

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is not a book for the faint hearted. Written by Amy Chua based on her life experiences, it gives an insight to what it means to be a Chinese mother. If you thought we had it hard as parents or as children or that our children have it hard, then you must read this book and regain everything into perspective. If you think you have what it takes to help your children succeed, then read this book because it really will bring things into perspective.


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