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My husband installed our IT (B&Q) kitchen about two years ago.
We didn't want to spend too much on units but preferred to buy labour saving devices to make the most of our kitchen space.
We chose the IT range in chestnut modern which is a basic plain style of kitchens. This is what we wanted as in terms of care it really is good.
The units are good if soft close doors and drawer units are used as we did.
On asking a kitchen planner at B&Q about installation costs we discovered that the fitting would cost as much as all the units. My husband decided to fit the kitchen himself.
The planner was informative and knew which devices would fit into specific units and really was a great help.
We placed our order and paid then a delivery date was arranged.
B&Q kept us informed of delivery times. When the order arrived there were a few wrong items and we were glad that the kitchen was stocked in a B&Q store so we could change items.
My husband began the task of fitting the kitchen. This was a lengthy process but he was pleased with how it went.
Our kitchen order included a wide range of wall and base units, corner units, two larder units, labour saving devices, sink, worktops, taps and further accessories such as wire baskets and trays. The price of everything was well under £4,000 and this was for many units.
I am especially pleased with the corner carousel unit, the swing and pull corner unit and the 800mm pan drawer unit. These make life in the kitchen much easier than before.
The kitchen is proving durable. We have not really had any problems as such with any of the units but in hindsight I would have rather chosen a different type of pull out larder trays and not chosen a black sink. The sink can only be cleaned with special cleaners and marks easily. The larder isn't easy to pull out.
But in terms of lasting well and being easy to clean I would say that I am very pleased with my B&Q kitchen. It is much better than I had expected.
I would say for anyone contemplating a B&Q kitchen , especially a basic range, to use soft close fittings, drawer reinforcements and 360 degree hinges. These make all the difference in the feel and manageability of the kitchen.
We bought this mixer tap for our downstairs cloakroom.
The cloakroom is small and so is the hand wash basin that we had installed. We thought that a small set of taps would look best and also work best in this small room and so we had a good look around at fittings and taps.
Eventually my husband and I found that a local plumbers and bathroom supplier had some good accessories and often sold at much more favourable prices than the larger DIY suppliers. You know the type I mean!
We ended up purchasing the cloakroom suite from this supplier as well as the cloakroom taps.
I cannot remember how much exactly we paid for this Roca tap set but I think (cannot be sure) it was less than £70. But we did get discounts on asking.
The tap came with the waste included and was fitted by a qualified plumber. There were no problems with the fitting of the tap.
The waste is of the pop up variety which is what I prefer.
I would say that these taps look very smart. In my opinion their appearance is modern and minimalist, which is a look that I like.
They are made of brass but have a chrome finish. The taps stay looking nice and shiny (Evershine Electrolite Coating) and they have a coating/finish which helps to keep them in great condition and helps to stop marking and scratching. They are also very easy to keep clean and, in fact, a simple and very quick wipe over is all that is needed to keep them looking at their best.
I love the way that these taps are so easy to turn on and off and also the way that it is very easy to get the water to the most suitable temperature without needing to use barely any pressure.
Our family dog is a West Highland white terrier called Joey. I think because my younger daughter loves him so much was the reason that she first noticed Radley items and went on to buy me a purse as a birthday gift.
I don't know for sure where she purchased my purse but it could have been in a department store when they were selling purses at a big discount. I certainly hope this was a bargain and that she didnt pay full price as Radley purses are quite expensive, in my opinion. She does shop on-line so I'm sure she would have shopped around before purchasing.
I love my Radley purse. It really is so cute. But although I like a purse to look good I am quite fussy. They have to be easy to open as I find some clips very difficult and I like them to feel nice to hold. I also like a separate section for notes and change.
This is a good purse. It looks good and feels good and keeps change securely inside.
I would say that it's easy to pen and close but not so easy that money spills out.
The purse zips up nicely and coins stay inside until needed. There is a section for notes, credit, debit cards and a few bits and pieces.
The purse is of a medium size being: w 14cm x H 9 cm
I love the appliqué design of the cute little Radley dog wearing his tartan scarf as he jumps around gleefully. A hedgehog can be seen and leaves which I feel are blowing about in an autumn breeze.
The stitching looks neat ad tidy.
My purse is in black with a white dog. Just like Joey!
I must have had this set of phones for a good few years now and yet I have never been overly keen on them.
I have meant to replace them for a good while now but just haven’t got around to it.
They aren't terrible or anything but I do have a few issues and I just think that they should be better.
I bought these phones after buying another brand but these didn’t have a speaker phone facility so I returned them and bought these in their place.
My set of phones has an answer phone integrated onto the base of the main phone handset. There are three other phones.
Having this type of phone set up is useful as only one phone socket is needed and extra handsets only need an electric socket close by.
We have a phone in the hallway, the main phone with answer phone in the living room, a phone in the kitchen and one upstairs.
The phones have several useful features such as:
This is very handy when wanting to communicate with members of the household without having to shout up or down stairs. Each phone is numbered and can be reached by another handset or all can be made to ring at the same time.
The phone sound on the intercom is different from the sound when an external call is being received.
Each handset can be set with a different ringtone.
HANDS FREE/SPEAKER PHONE
This is useful when the phone rings at an inconvenient time whilst performing a chore such as ironing or cooking because you can talk while working. However I don’t think the sound quality is good enough to enjoy using this feature.
The mute/ secrecy button can be quite easily pressed accidentally.
This has up to twelve minutes of recording time.
LAST NUMBER REDIAL
This is where any of the last 10 numbers called can be redialled.
The low battery warning bleep can be used to locate the phone. It’s handy because the handsets are often left out of their cradles. By pressing the find feature the phone will ring so that it can be located and replaced.
Fifty numbers can be stored.
The phones have a range of up to 300 metres outside and 50 metres inside.
The features are good but I don’t find it easy to add numbers to the phone book or to set other features. I also find that the sound quality of these phones isn't particularly good.
*Each handset uses two NiMH AAA rechargeable batteries.
Last year my husband said that he couldn't put of re-fitting our bathroom any longer. This was around last October.
We had a good look around for white glossy furniture that we could use with our existing bathroom suite. A good search made us realise that furniture from B&Q would fit best and was the type of thing we were looking for. The B&Q units would be the right size to fit the back to wall WC and the semi-recessed basin that we already had.
We wanted glossy white and plain furniture as I think plain is easiest to keep looking nice and white looks clean and is reflective; useful in a small bathroom.
We ordered the units which were:
Small double door unit
Accessories such as new taps and other fittings, vanity tray etc.
The items were paid for and a delivery date was set.
When it was almost the delivery day we were contacted by phone, text and email and a time frame was given for delivery. However, when the self assembly furniture was delivered it came earlier than expected (before 7 am) and it was so early in the morning that it was still dark and we were woken up. Because of this my husband wasn't able to examine every item of furniture and we later found that one item wasn't the one we had ordered.
We had a great deal of trouble and stress getting the right item as we were told that the item should have been checked. Well yes in theory but not that easy! Eventually someone saw sense and the item was delivered to us.
We have no problems at all with the quality and look of the furniture.
Really it's just what we had in mind and we are very pleased with the look of our 'new' bathroom now that it is finished.
Quite recently I have been purchasing many items from the Homebase store.
This is quite unusual for me as I find Homebase to often be rather expensive. However, my husband has been doing a lot of decorating and general DIY work in our home recently and at times Homebase has been the most convenient place to shop for a wide variety of wares for the home and the garden.
nd the stores are quite nicely laid out.
It isn't my favourite store but it is quite esy to push a trolley around in many Homebase high street stores.
I have bought roller blinds, bath mats, towel rails, lamps, vases, scented candles, batteries, washing up sponges and so very much more in Homebase stores and really this is what I do like about the store.
One of my fairly local stores has now the facility of an Argos shop inside which will make the store easy.
Another advantage is the Homebase stores nearest to me have large free car parks. Even at the busiest of times it is easy to park near to the store. This is very handy when buying heavy and bulky items.
I also like to visit Homebase to have a wander around their gardening centre. Here I have found some great bargains. I wouldn't say that plants are cheap here but there are often some offers to be found such as a jasmine plant and a honeysuckle plant that I purchased very cheaply last year. Both plants looked to be on their last legs but with a little tender loving care they soon picked up and they thrived.
I often buy compost from Homebase as its easy to take it from the store to the car.
Another advantage is that I believe that Nectar points can accrued when shopping here.
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: