Hive kit

It’s been a couple of weeks now that we have had our Hive Active Heating System set installed and we like it. It has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for us. Like turning the heating on without moving from the sofa.

We can decide what time our heating comes on and goes off and what time our hot water comes on and off. We can run both separately. This means I don’t have to heat up an entire tank of water just because I have the heating on.


It was so simple to organise, a couple of emails, I chose a date, mentioned I had the school run so the engineer would be aware I was momentarily out at certain times and then received an email confirming day and time.

There was no mess at all and I was able to carry on all my normal housekeeping activities, like washing machines, dishwashers and so on whilst the British Gas engineer installed our Hive.

He removed the old clock in the airing cupboard which had the tiny teeth which you clicked in and out to show what time you wanted the heating and hot water to come on. He replaced it with the Hive Receiver, he did lots of tests with a laptop and I made him a nice cup of tea.

He left me with a Thermostat Kit, currently sitting on the mantelpiece waiting for a fixed position, and a hub attached to the router. His job was done in less than an hour and he left having explained very thoroughly what to do, which was simple to understand and didn’t take long at all.


I had to login to Hive and create my account and then go into My Account where I could slide markers to show what time I wanted the heating to come on. I could alter the temperature that I wanted the room to be and I could see clearly what temperature my home was indicating at that moment.

Hive heating schedule

There are two sections, first for the heating and secondly for the hot water, both can be controlled separately. This is great as I am no longer heating up a huge tank of water just because the heating has come on.

Hive hot water schedule

You can also find your temperature history which is really interesting for an overall idea of how you are heating your home and indicates where you may be able to cut back a bit and therefore save money.

All the pros

Hive info

Firstly to have Hive installed I did not need to change my supplier which is a headache in itself. There were also no extra or hidden costs for me as I am not a British Gas customer.

I read on the website that I can save up to £150 a year and we are hoping to achieve this by being more selective with our usage.

Control your heating from your mobile

Possibly the most exciting innovation that is part of Hive is an app which downloaded onto your phone (iPhone or android) allows you to control your heating wherever you may be via your router. Amazing!

The app offers exactly the same controls of deciding the temperature, times and periods for both your hot water and your heating. This will come in very handy on our return from holidays or weekends away when we want to warm the house up or maybe we’ve forgotten to turn off the heating and can do so whilst on our journey.

It also allows me to turn the heating on a bit if I am feeling chilly of an evening without arguing with the husband, actually he doesn’t even realise I have done it.

Hive temperature history


One last thing to mention is if the house does get cold there is a control called Frost Protection set at 5C. If your home goes below that temperature the heating will come on to prevent any iced pipes.


We love it, it’s been very simple to use; on cold days I have changed times on my laptop to raise the temperature in my home on a recent warm day I have delayed the heating coming on. Come the Spring this will be very useful indeed as the weather is all over the place.

Disclosure: Legal & General provided me with a complimentary installation of the Hive system for the purpose of this post. If you are interested it costs £199 including the installation, please find more details on Hive website

Marie Kondo The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

OMG. I am a changed woman, well maybe not quite but I am on the way to being one.

I had seen some noise around the internets about tidying up and magical methods. Pfft! I said, what a load of rubbish, then I saw the words Life Changing method. I delved a bit deeper, read some reviews and articles and bought Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I read it cover to cover in 2/3 evenings and I folded back pages on bits I wanted to return to.

William Morris quote


This lady from Japan started her research at the tender age of 5 and hasn’t stopped tidying since. Anyway, I’ll let you discover her words in her book as it really is a pleasure to read and I was itching to start before I was half way through but waited until the weekend as step 1 is clothes and I have way too much stuff.

Step 1 – Clothes

Marie Kondo The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

She advises you to get every garment you own and put it in a pile in the middle of the room. EVERYTHING. This is to make you realise just how much crap you own and see that you really do not need it all.

She has a breakdown list too but as I had just cleared everything out onto the bed I had to start at the top of the pile and work my way through it.

‘Take each garment in your hands and ask yourself “Does it give me joy?” If it doesn’t eliminate it.’

This was so surprisingly easy, some items I needn’t even ask myself but just threw them on my ever growing discard pile. Others I held on to, reluctant to let go.

Some of the more difficult items made their way back into my wardrobe, including one dress I haven’t worn for over 15 years but still can’t bear to part with.

Marie Kondo The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie says to ‘thank’ items that have served you well but is time to let them go. I DID find myself doing this. A part of me wanted to hold on to the beloved piece but the Marie Kondo in me knew better and I said my goodbye. That may sound really weird but try it and you’ll see for yourself.

Marie Kondo The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie does warn that you may make mistakes, throw something you later regret, only time will tell. I have got rid of dresses, jumpers and other bits that I later regretted but the regret doesn’t last that long and it’s certainly not so bad I can’t forgive myself. After all everyone likes shopping right?

Marie Kondo The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I am so excited about my newly found method that I have stopped everything to sit down and tell you about it.

I have SIX bin liners of clothes and shoes to give to charity and I still need to tackle underwear, hats, scarves, belts and gloves.

Marie Kondo The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Step 2 is books and that is making me sweat just thinking about them


We may not be living like The Jetsons just yet, but our homes are becoming increasingly dependent on new technology.

However, while the ability to control almost everything from your mobile phone and 3D mega televisions is all great, first and foremost, a home should be somewhere warm, safe and comforting, which is why Everest Triple Glazing is a great addition to the modern home.



I am really excited to give you the chance to win £150 worth of high street vouchers all you need to do is answer this question:

“What one gadget would you love to have in your home that hasn’t been invented yet?”

Every answer will automatically be entered for a chance to win this great prize!  But you must answer via the Rafflecopter below to be eligible.

For me I need a robot that can sort out all my tech computer stuff, right now my laptop is full to the max and because of that I can’t make videos or do other things I need to do for work. Because I am lost when it comes to understanding computers and making available space on them I want a robot who will sort it all out for me, if he can also do my accounts that would be a bonus too!

Hey Ronnie the Robot – can you help me out?

Your turn, answer the question above to be in with a chance of winning £150 and don’t forget the extra entries too for Facebook and Twitter (answering the question is the only mandatory form of entry)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions

There is 1 prize of £150 John Lewis vouchers. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered
Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Mari’s World and Everest Home Improvements
Closing date for entries is 10.12.2014 midday
One entry per person.
Entrants must log into rafflecopter and leave a comment.
Optional entry methods are to follow on Twitter and Facebook
The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen.
The winner’s name will be available on request.
Everest Home Improvements is responsible for prize fulfilment. The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address



This competition is brought to you by Everest Home Improvements. Visit their website now to find out more about Everest Triple Glazing and many other products. 


Talliston houe room of dreams

How can you make your home feel fresh and current, and how can you achieve this with fairly minimal fuss. It’s important to remember that having a contemporary interior doesn’t just mean following the latest trends in colour and accessories, but is also about using everything from space to personality. Below are some handy tips on how you can modernise your home.

Outdoor Living

With the indoors becoming almost one with outdoor living, there is no better way to modernise your whole home than by sprucing up the exterior. Furniture and homewares retailers like Super Amart are perfectly primed to help you modernise your home using outdoor furniture and accessories, and can provide some much needed inspiration if you don’t know where to start. Make sure to include a link between the two areas though. For example, have a couple of pot plants inside, and include colours outdoors that are also present in the interior.

Clean and Crisp

Clean sharp lines have a very contemporary or modern appeal, and could be the direction you need when trying to modernise your home. The best way to achieve this is to remove all unnecessary elements in the room and keep each surface to the bare minimum. Boxing in trinkets, frames and books with shelving is an ideal tip, as it will help to define and tidy the space. Try to keep large furniture dressings to a minimum too, such as cushions and blankets, and don’t clutter your walls with too many pictures. Metals and glass surfaces also provide a very clean finish.

HomeSense owl cushion

Colour it Up

Nothing says modern like a new colour palette. The great thing about design trends at the moment is that it’s all about showing off splashes of colour or neon brights against a blank backdrop. If your walls are already neutral then you’ve taken the first step! If not, a coat of white paint will instantly freshen up the interior and bring your home into the current century. This will make it much simpler to pick some colours and features you love, and then tie them in through a range of accessories.

Feature Looks

Create a feature or focal area of the home to draw in people’s attention, and then keep the rest of the space minimal. You can have a lot of fun with this approach as you have the opportunity to really showcase your personality. A quirky lamp or statement rug will catch the eye, and for the art lovers, try dedicating a single wall to a colourful, dynamic piece that shows a lot of edge. Lighting is also another easy way to create modern appeal in your home. Change the bulbs to bright/natural whites rather than the yellow glow, and replace the fittings with a glass drop light or an oversized sculptural covering.

Modern can have a variety of meanings depending on the person applying them, so not every tip out there works for every person. The best thing to do is gather pictures you love and colours that define you, then apply them using the basic guidelines of minimal, fresh and clean.

Where is the least modern area in your home, and what do you feel are the elements that make it so outdated? Discuss your answers below.


Vileda hot spray

Cleaning floors – another of life’s tasks classed as Not fun But Necessary. Fact is they need doing and quite frequently too especially in the winter when the roads and pavements outside are wet as no matter how hard you try some of the muck reaches indoors.

We have a porch so that tends to be really mucky at the best of times which is good on one hand as the hallway is relatively clear but on the other hand it’s where a visitor sees first and gets an impression of me and my housekeeping skills.

Vileda 100C Hot Spray

I have always been a mop and bucket person and in my hot water I’d add a splash of fragranced detergent and off I’d go wiping back and forth across the dirty tiles until I was convinced it was clean. Hard work, a workout maybe? Both of those and depending on the weather I’d have to change the bucket of water too.

I was interested to review the Vileda 100C Hot Spray to see if it could do the job for me. If it worked it would be the ideal solution, quick, clean and compact enough to tidy away into a cupboard until next use.

Vileda hot spray

Light-weight and cordless

I took the Vileda Hot Spray out of it’s box and it clicked together in three simple movements requiring no screwdrivers or strength to do so. It is amazingly light even with the tank on the body full.

As you fill the tank with a jug of water you know it’s full when a little plastic sign pops up to tell you so. The tank is closed with a twist of the top to lock position and then you plug the cleaner in to charge.

Vileda hot spray

90 seconds to heat up

It only takes 90 seconds to heat the water and a green light shows up to show you’re ready to go. You unplug the cable and clip the cover in place so no water or steam can reach the electrical point and off you go, with no trailing cable.

There is a button on the handle and on pressing that water is squirted out of the bottom of the Vileda Hot Spray onto the cloth which attaches to the bottom in a velcro like manner. Running the Vileda Hot spray back and forth cleans the floor and picks up any hairs or bits on the floor too. It will keep going for 30 minutes cleaning time.

No more chemicals

Due to the high temperature used the Vileda Hot Spray will remove 99.9% of bacteria with its microfibre pad which is machine washable.

Can be used for different hard flooring all over the house including laminate.

RRP £59.99

Vileda hot spray


I like it, it’s light and easy to use plus it cleans well too. The product comes with one microfibre pad but I would like to have some extras handy. I would like to throw my old mop and bucket out but I won’t yet as should there ever be a leak I’ll need it to mop up the water but as far as cleaning floors is concerned the Vileda 100C Hot Spray will be my main man from here on.

Disclosure: I was sent a Vileda 100C Hot Spray for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own.