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I decided to buy a new PC desktop and with this purchase thought I might as well also buy a new monitor and printer as it was cheaper to buy all three in one go.
Also my monitor wasn't working as it should and was very blurry.
Because my husband watches football via the PC I thought I should get a decent monitor and I chose the HP 23xi Full HD 23" IPS LED Monitor.
This monitor seems quite big but it still manages to fit inside my computer hideaway so this isn’t a problem. And as it’s slim I think it looks good. I like the modern appearance of the screen and think its colours of black and silver help to make a good effect.
I would say that the colour and picture quality is very good, clear and true to life.
The screen comes on quickly once it’s switched on. This monitor makes it easy to view things from the PC and is great for editing photos and looking for on-line shopping. It would be good for gaming.
1920 x 1080p Full HD
Inputs: HDMI & VGA & DVI
Response time: 7 ms
The dimensions are: 405 H x 595 W x 130 D
The monitor weighs 5.3 kg.
It is guaranteed for one year.
When I purchased this monitor it was priced at around £140 but I paid less as I purchased a desk top PC and a printer at the same time.
It now sells for £99.99 at Curry’s/PCWorld.
I purchased from PCWorld.
My husband and I decided that we should have an electric fire in our living room rather than gas, which we had used in our last home.
We thought that an electric fire would be a good choice because our heating is run from a gas boiler and if this breaks down then we would still have some form of heating.
As we have central heating a fire isn't often needed but there are times when a glow looks nice and homely in the fireplace.
My electric stove fire has fake coals rather than logs. I would say that these do look quite real when the fire is turned on or off.
The fire itself is black and I like this colour when set against the reds and orange of the flame effect.
The stove that we purchased from B&Q serves its purpose well.
It glows nicely and independently of the heating element. We mostly use the glow facility without the heat and it does make the room feel cheerful in winter. I would say that the flame effect it very realistic.
This stove also has a cooling fan facility which is useful in summer months.
The fire is free-standing and isn't too heavy. This makes it ideal to move round for cleaning and it could even be moved to other rooms if necessary.
The only negative to this stove is the noise. When the fire glow is on there is a humming noise from the fire which can be annoying. Once you become aware of it it is distracting if watching television.
I can't remember exactly how much I paid for this fire but I think that it was around the fifty pounds mark.
The fire is proving to be a reliable purchase.
My current television is a Toshiba smart TV with 42” screen. We purchased from a Curry’s high street store because Curry’s have a large selection of televisions on display.
This TV can be wall mounted but we use a TV unit.
It has a flat screen and a slim, smart appearance.
Picture quality is very good being crisp and clear.
Colours are good and true to life.
The sound on this set can be completely muted or turned down to barely audible or turned up to a very high volume. When switched on the volume will come on at the level it was previously set on.
It can be connected to WiFi with an adaptor (not included) and then BBC iPlayer and Youtube can be viewed.
I quite often use Catch up TV.
TV on demand is available.
It has a built in Freeview tuner.
we don’t use 3D very much because it’s rarely practical to watch 3D as to do this the special purpose glasses need to be worn but I will say when viewing for short periods of time I’m impressed with 3D TV.
My elder son is the main user of 3D TV when he is watching tennis. If strawberries and cream were served then he might almost believe he was watching centre court at Wimbledon!
Our purchase included four sets of 3D glasses.
The HD feature of this television is popular with my husband and son when watching sport; televised sport lends itself well to high definition, in my opinion.
The television can be switched on and off from the remote control .as well
as from the front of the set.
Some Technical Bits:
Brightness (in cd/m2) 450
Resolution (horizontal x vertical - in pixels) 1920 x 1080
Audio Power 2 x 10 W
Speakers 1-way, 2 speakers
Connectivity 4 x HDMI
SCART 3.5mm Scart Adapter
2 x USB
Digital Audio Out
SCART connectors Yes
PC Input Yes
Audio output Headphones socket
DVB-T tuner Yes
Power consumption 163 w
Dimensions (mm) 1020 x 690 x 285mm ( W x H x D )
Weight (kg) 16.8 kg
This TV set can be purchased from:
Electronic world £329.99
When I first had this set I pushed it further back on the TV unit as it felt too close. Now I don’t have that problem and have been debating whether to purchase a larger screen television.
However, although my living room is quite large I would hate for the television to be the main feature in my home.
I am currently using the iPhone 5c but before I upgraded to this phone I had the iPhone 4.
For the iPhone 4 I owned two cases over the two years (well, give or take a couple of months) in which I was using the phone. The first one broke at the sides fairly quickly and so I had to purchase a new case;I chose the Pro-Tec iPhone 4 Case.
This is, in my opinion, a superior case to the first one although they both look very similar. This case (which I still have although I no longer need it) is in a black leather effect material. It holds the phone securely within its sides.
The case is a flip-over style. It flaps over the phone and it has a magnetic catch to keep it closed. The case is easy to quickly flip open when a call or message is received or about to be made.
During the night I keep my phone on my bedside table as I use it as an alarm. For ease of use for seeing the time when I wake during the night, I can easily fold this case back upon itself.
The Pro-Tec iPhone 4 Case has well positioned openings so that the phone can be charged, headphones used and the camera accessed while the case is used on the mobile phone. The only disadvantage to this case in my opinion, is that when I use the camera with the flash in use I think the camera lens case opening is a little too deep and my photos appear greyish and unclear. I obtain a superior photo if I remove the iPhone from the case but I would prefer not to have to do this.
In all other respects I like this case.
I purchased from an independent store and paid around seven or eight pounds.
The Pro-Tec iPhone 4 Case is available from several suppliers including:
I have lots of shrubs growing in my garden and that’s just how I like my garden. I find that shrubs are mostly very low maintenance and yet they provide interest in the garden all year round. However, during the summer before last I decided that I wanted to add more flowering plants to my garden.
Buying plants can prove expensive and so I added plants to my garden gradually. First of all I chose plants in deep pinks, reds and purples. When I had almost achieved the required look I introduced some more colours. Then I looked for some plants which had white blooms to complement the bright and deep colours of the plants that I had so far.
Among the white flowering plants that I chose were some white geraniums.
My white geraniums were bought as small bedding plants and were very cheap. I
can’t remember exactly how much I paid as most of my purchases were multi-buys but I don’t think I paid more than £3 for any geranium plants and most would have cost me around £2 to £3. The price depends on the size of the plant.
My geraniums were young.
Initially my husband planted the geraniums in troughs and planters but when they became established he transplanted some directly into the borders and a few others into larger pots, which we dotted here and there around the garden.
The white geraniums are upright.
Geraniums aren't really my favourite plant but I consider them to be very good in terms of value and easy care. I have always found geraniums grow well without needing much attention. Because of this they are excellent value. They tend to flower during late spring or summer and then remain in bloom for weeks adding beautiful colour to the garden. If the plants are dead headed then flowers will bloom abundantly throughout the summer.
White geraniums add a classy look to the garden or patio. They look good in an all-white garden although I like to plant them alongside brightly coloured blooms for the contrasting effect.
White geraniums can be planted in borders or in pots and planters. They grow well in sunny spots and can survive well when the weather is dry.
I have a lovely Kerria Japonica Pleniflora in my garden but prefer to refer to this plant less formally and call it “Bachelor’s Button.”
Kerria Japonica Pleniflora is a deciduous shrub that is a great addition to any garden. Mine was already well established when I moved into my house and I was delighted to find that this plant was part of my new garden.
If purchasing this plant then I would thoroughly recommend it. I really believe that this plant gives such excellent value. It proves such a good addition for many reasons.
It grows tall and spreads well and needs little care. In fact it needs little more than thinning out and separating during the autumn. As this shrub needs little attention it makes it ideal for me because although I like a nice garden I am not exactly a great gardener.
The shrub has pretty green veined leaves which are interesting in their shape and serrated looking edges.
When this shrub comes into bloom it flowers profusely. The blooms are pretty deep yellow flowers which look like a flower ideal for a buttonhole.
In more formal terms the Kerria Japonica Pleniflora or Bachelor’s Button is a double bloomed Japanese rose. The plant flowers in spring but mine seems to have some flowers appearing many times throughout the year.
Bachelors Button likes to be planted in shade or partial shade which makes it a handy plant to use in the less sunny parts of the garden. It grows well up against a fence or wall.
This shrub likes most well-drained soil types and it is a hardy plant.
I would recommend this plant.
Lonicera japonica Hall's Prolific Honeysuckle is a lovely climbing plant that, as well as looking lovely, is very fragrant.
Climbing honeysuckle is an ideal plant to grow up against a garden fence, wall or trellis, perhaps at the side of a shed or garden building. I think climbers such as honeysuckle add interest to corners of a garden or those perhaps forgotten plainer areas and here they can help to hide the more unsightly areas of a garden and transform them into something far more attractive.
I have two climbing Honeysuckle in my garden. Both were bought as small young plants. In fact, one was on-sale at a very cheap price the summer before last as it was looking the worst for wear. My husband didn’t think it was worth even paying the pound or two that it was on sale for as he didn’t think it would pick up, but I decided to purchase it to give it a chance. Now, I am very pleased to say that it did pick up fairly quickly and it is still growing well at the end of my garden, as it climbs and entwines itself upon a wooden trellis.
Honeysuckle Hall's Prolific Lonicera Japonica is a semi-evergreen climbing plant that will come into bloom during summer and stays in flower through until the autumn. The flowers are large and very pretty. When the flowers first appear they are white and they later turn to yellow.
The flowers on the honeysuckle are very graceful and I have always adored the scent of honeysuckle. So do the bees!
The best position for a honeysuckle is in a sunny position in moist, well-drained soil.
During the summer before last my husband and I bought many plants, bulbs and seeds for our garden. Among our purchases were some mixed Hollyhock perennials.
I chose these plants from the garden centre as I didn’t know much about these plants and so thought that they might be interesting to grow in our garden.
We bought several young plants and when home planted some of these in pots and some directly into the flower borders. Among the mix that we bought were Hollyhocks of pink, purple, yellow and white.
I wouldn't say that these were our most successful purchase for our garden but I am still hopeful. For the first year the plants grew tall but didn’t amount to very much in terms of their blooms. This year they did flower but they didn’t look as good as I had expected and hoped that they would. But hopefully they will survive and make a more spectacular show next summer.
My Hollyhock mixes are perennials. Perennials flower during the spring and summer season and then die back at the end of the season. They should return in the next flowering season.
I found that the Hollyhocks needed plenty of water. During dry times once watered they picked up very quickly.
Hollyhocks are susceptible, in damp conditions, to a fungal condition “rust” which affects the leaves, discolouring and spotting them.
Hollyhocks should grow tall, up to around 180 cm. The foliage is green and leafy. Blooms are double and colourful.
Flowers should appear from June through to September.
Perennial Hollyhocks like to be planted in fertile, well-drained soil and placed where they can grow in sunny or part shaded conditions. They can be planted in borders or planters.
I had looked at these storage canisters from Curver several times before purchasing as hubby said they were expensive for a plastic container. However, I thought they were a good and hygienic way to store my dog, Joey’s food so I eventually bought one.
I purchased in a smaller size than the product shown as I have a small kitchen cupboard to house Joey’s food and paraphernalia; the 1.5 kg canister fits perfectly into the pull out basket inside this cupboard.
The canisters come in various sizes so are useful for owners of large breeds or several dogs, as well as owners of one small dog who won’t need too large an amount of food stored.
Joey’s container is: 250 x 305 x 105 mm and weighs: 0.412 kg.
My purchase holds 1.5 kg of dried food.
Curver are well known for manufacturing of plastic household goods; I generally like their products.
Joey is fed on dry complete food (with a little meat or fish added) and the container holds a 1.5 kg bag comfortably. I usually buy 2kg bags and most of the pack fits into the container. I pour from the pack directly into the container and feed Joey with the remaining food from the pack for a day or two and then use the container.
The lift off lid of the container is easy to take on and off.
One side of the lid lifts to pour the food from. I now have no need for a scoop as I simply pour the required amount directly into joey’s food bowl.
The flap fits back on and seals the container, storing the food hygienically and keeping it fresh and out of the way. It also keeps odours from the food inside the container and not in the home. The container is white with three small dog breeds pictured upon it and its lid is silver. It looks nicer than keeping bags of food around the home.
The container is made entirely of plastic, 100% recyclable polypropylene (phtalates and BPA free) and is easy to wash.
I purchased from Pets at home but think they may now sell this in a different design. The design that I have can be found at:
Joey is a West Highland white terrier, although he isn't that often really white due to his enjoyment of walking through the mud in the garden.
Right now he is in need of a bath but this time he has an appointment booked with the dog groomer so that he looks smart for Christmas.
When Joey is bathed at home I use a variety of shampoos and these all give different promises. Some whiten his coat, some help to eradicate or prevent little crawly things and others mainly just remove grime from his coat. I have to choose which shampoo is most appropriate at any given time.
I usually have at least two shampoos available at any time, depending on what I have noticed in the shops or what is on offer.
Wilko Dog Flea Repellent Shampoo & Conditioner is a decent enough shampoo from Wilkinsons. It is a product that I have used several times on Joey.
This shampoo is intended to prevent fleas on your pooch because it supposedly repels them, therefor keeps them away. It contains Margosa extract which acts as the repellent.
In my opinion, fleas are pretty resistant and hard to eliminate or to prevent by shampoo alone. I think that a decent shampoo helps but other treatments are also needed.
But to be fair to this product it is recommended that it is used as a preventative shampoo and if the dog is already badly infested with fleas as then you should choose an insecticidal product.
I think this is a nice shampoo to use and it has a decent lather. I do also like the conditioning element as Joey has a rough terrier coat.
After being washed and rinsed with this shampoo he looks a very smart boy. Well, he does for a couple of weeks at least!
Wilko Dog Flea Repellent Shampoo & Conditioner is currently priced at £2.50 for a 250 ml bottle.
Geranium Pelargonium Candy makes a lovely plant for the garden. Geraniums, in my opinion, are a great value plant. They add beautiful splashes of colour to any garden and will flower all through the summer and into the autumn.
These are a practical plant as they cope well with hot,dry weather so are a good plant to have in the garden when there is a hose pipe ban in place. They do well in most weather conditions really and don’t require much attention, just admiration!
My garden consists of many shrubs planted in the borders. During the summer I have many planters and pots spread around the patio containing various plants, including geraniums.
I also have planters placed in the borders. For the past two summers I have been increasing the amount of flowering plants that I keep to complement the established shrubs. As geraniums are reasonably priced and grow well they seem like a good plant to have in the garden. I have found that my geranium plants grow well.
I have several of the Geranium Pelargonium Candy around the garden and I have been very pleased with them.
I really like the “Strawberry Cream” variety as it is just that little bit different with its unusual two-tone flowers of deep red against a lighter pink on the outer petal.
But these plants are available in many different colouring flowers. I think you can become quite addicted to keeping these plants in different colours.
I also love the deep purple variety and would recommend them for any garden.
Geranium Pelargonium Candy grows well in sun or partial shade.
They are an extremely versatile plant and they can even be grown indoors. However, I only grow them in the garden because I don’t have a good track record with house-plants.
I think my Westie, Joey, is an unusual dog.
He is disinterested in toys. He was the same as a pup, although when younger he did like a few toys.
Joey has lots of toys to choose from. They arrive in Christmas stockings and as gifts from dog loving friends. But really these are mostly a waste where Joey is concerned.
The only toys he seems to like is a thick silky knotted rope which he will chew sometimes, and his Nylabone, which he doesn't chew but walks around with it in his mouth. To be honest I'm not sure if he does like it!
When he was younger he liked playing with medium sized plastic balls.
Other dogs that have been my pets have enjoyed toys so I was surprised by Joey’s lack of interest. Now I have to accept that Joey’s favourite game is being chased around the garden. He decides when it’s time to play.
Previous pets favoured rubber bones especially those that are easy to grip. Some dogs like a bone with a bell in it. Make sure these are made from a reputable company and are safe.
Rope toys are usually enjoyed by dog and owner as these can be used for tug of war games.
Tennis balls can be fun but many dogs destroy these quickly and try to eat the rubber. I had a dog once that throughout her life would eat anything. Dogs need to be watched with toys in case of wear and breakages making them a danger to the dog from eating or choking.
A more modern day toy for dogs is the Kong type toy. Treats can be put inside and the dog has to figure out how to access the treat. A former pet of mine would have loved these, but Joey doesn't!
Fortunately with Joey the chewing stage regarding furniture and shoes didn’t last long, although he did manage to chew the odd shoe and slipper and was partial to a soft toy-my daughter’s not his!
Although Joey shows little interest I believe dogs should be supplied with a few well-chosen toys. Toys will help keep a dog from chewing things around the home; they will help to teach the dog, provide exercise through play and prevent boredom.
Sticks should not be used s they are dangerous.
Dog toys can be bought very cheaply. Whether toys are cheap or expensive they need to be checked often to ensure they are safe for your pet.
Choisya Ternata Sundance is a lovely plant to have in a garden. My late parents had Choisya plants in their front and back gardens. My mother was a knowledgeable gardener and passed some information on to me.
I liked the Choisya because of the nice aroma it emits and the pleasant look of this plant.
When I moved into my current address fifteen years ago I was pleased to see that there was a tall Choisya Ternata Sundance already growing in the garden, It was planted fairly near to the kitchen door which leads out into the garden. It did well for years until my husband had to move it when we extended the patio.
Unfortunately it didn’t like the move at all.
Last summer, on one of my many trips to the garden centre I purchased a new Choisya plant.
The new shrub was planted into a medium sized pot because at the time we weren't sure where we wanted to plant the Choisya. It now has its home, still in the pot, on the border and it is also fairly close to the door leading to the garden. In the spring we will probably plant it directly into the border.
I like to mainly have shrubs in the garden as then there is always something interesting to look at all year and not only in spring and summer. I like to complement the shrubs with splashes of colour her and there.
Choisya Ternata Sundance is a nice looking plant but it is fairly slow growing at first. If it doesn't need much attention and can grow tall and wide, so it’s an ideal choice to grow against fences and walls.
The Choisya likes to be placed where it will get full sun or sun and shade and likes to be placed in good and well-drained soil.
This shrub should flower twice during a season and that is in the spring (April to May) and then if pruned after the flowers have died it will flower again in late summer (August to September). Flowers are small delicate looking white flowers.
It is an evergreen shrub and its leaves look nice and green throughout the year, all year.
It is a hardy plant and should survive the winter.
Choisya can survive well in drought conditions too.
I grew up with pets and have always loved dogs. When I was nine years old my wire haired terrier died and I was heartbroken. Not long after we moved into a home without a garden and weren't allowed pets. I hated this. When I was eleven my parents bought a house with a garden and my favourite uncle offered to buy me a puppy if my parents agreed to this.
Candy was lovely, a cross breed with a lot of Shetland sheepdog in her.
I had given my first pet Vetzymes. She loved them and would beg for a Vetzyme but she was a greedy dog and would eat anything she could find. I naturally bought Vetzymes for Candy.
Candy loved Vetzymes. I believe she was given four daily. I would give these to her of an evening and this was playtime.
I would hide them or make her wait for them. Sometimes I would place one on my head and she would gently take it off and eat it. Or I would ask her to say “please” which she knew meant a single woof and then she would get her treat.
Now Candy is long gone although often thought of.
My pet Joey is a West Highland white terrier.
It was inevitable that I bought Vetzymes for Joey but, alas, Joey did surprise me by showing no interest at all. I tried hiding them in his food and coaxing him into eating them but he doesn't like them at all. He is strange when it comes to food.
I'm sorry about this as I think Vetzymes make a great treat for a dog and are far healthier than many of today's popular dog treats.
Vetzymes conditioning tablets make a good addition to a doggy diet. They are manufactured by Bob Martin.
The small tablets are made from yeast and B complex vitamins and minerals.
Candy lived to a good age and for most of her life was very healthy. She had a lovely silky coat and her eyes and ears were clear. I always felt Vetzymes helped to keep her in good condition.
Vetzyme conditioning tablets are suitable for dogs of all ages and they may prove especially beneficial to dogs that are poorly, recuperating from illness or pregnant.
Vetzymes are available from Pet shops.
*Please read dosage instructions.
I have a pretty pink patio rose growing in a planter in my garden. And, in keeping with its name, it is placed on my patio, where it can be seen easily when I sit out in my garden, although it’s been a while now since it was warm enough to sit outside in my English garden. I am going to have to place my patio rose inside my plastic greenhouse for the winter. I think that roses can stand frost quite well but seeing as its quite young and it is in a container and easy to move I think it should go in the greenhouse for that extra protection.
The patio rose has small leaves and small flowers. The blooms are very pretty and are rather delicate looking and there are many of them. I hope that my patio rose will continue to thrive along with my other varieties of roses. The rose in all its varieties is my favourite flower and I am becoming quite addicted to growing them and watching them (hopefully) flourish.
My patio rose did flower throughout the summer and continued to flower well into autumn. It proved to be a lovely addition to my garden.
Although my patio rose is planted in a container it is an ideal choice for planting into gardens borders. It looks good anywhere really and, if you aren't fortunate enough to have your own garden, then a patio rose is an ideal choice to keep in a window box.
Patio roses are generally fairly disease resistant.
I wouldn't say that my patio rose has a strong scent although my husband says that it does. But whether the scent is strong or not it certainly smells nice and sweet.