Need Your Heating On At Different Times? Hive Active Heating Can Help.

Half term seems to be one of those times bloggers all tell stories of fabulous trips they’ve had to various places, showing photos of picturesque beauty. Not us. We’ve had to work. H has been in holiday club which makes things easier, mainly as I’ve finished at the same time every day.

In addition to that H has had several trips out for the day and I’ve been instructed (by H) to come a bit later so she can play for longer. I can safely say Holiday Club has been a success.

One thing which can’t be guaranteed is the weather, nor how cold your house is when you get home – especially when you have unpredictable hours (and weather) like we’ve had all week. It’s all well and good setting your timer to come on at the same time every day so it’s warm when you get in, but getting home at different times or even just remembering to change the timer in the morning isn’t always going to happen.

This is where Hive, an offspring of British Gas comes in – a new system which links in to your heating system and can be controlled via your Smartphone or browser. So on Monday when I got to pickup nice and early around 3.15 I could have programmed the Hive Active Heating to come on by the time we got home. On Thursday when it was a 5.15pm pickup I could do the same – saving that couple of hours of heating, but not having to be home to do it.

Hive Active Heating sounds too good to be true – it does loads! It lets you monitor, alter and control your heating and hot water. You can adjust your schedules and temperatures away from home and have alerts sent to your mobile if temperatures reach a certain level.

Hive - app

I tend to do most of my personal stuff on the train to and from work, so knowing I could control Hive this way is something which works for me. Alas, our heating system at home is old and nasty (we even have an immersion switch for our hot water) so getting one installed wouldn’t be possible. A girl can still dream though! (or think about moving house)

Hive costs £199 from British Gas. The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices – and you can even control it via text. You don’t need to change your energy supplier either.

We received payment for this post, all opinions are our own.

Rug Doctor – A Review

We were given an opportunity to review a Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaner – not your average review item, but perfect for us!

Rug Doctor’s website says all carpets really should be deep cleaned every twelve months. We have just signed our third year tenancy agreement, and while all the furniture is our own, the carpets aren’t, and they’re the proper ‘landlord’ kind. They also show dust. My Dyson cleaner wasn’t doing what it should and you could still see the dust, so having an opportunity to review some Rug Doctor cleaners with a loan of a machine was something that we HAD to do.

The last time our carpet was properly cleaned would have been as we moved in, so it was long overdue. While we don’t own our house, it is our home, so I took H out for the day while Shaun stayed at home and cleaned. (lucky him!)

Rug DoctorOne really good thing about the carpets being damp after cleaning was the warm weather – most surfaces were dry enough to walk on after 2-3 hours. There was even enough of the cleaner to clean our old armchair – something which has been needed for a long time (gulp, seven years?) as the stains on the arm rests were driving us mad. Add to that the car which again was long overdue a clean, and all of a sudden I could breathe again!

The Rug Doctor cleaner did more than that – a clean settee, clean carpets with only one stain it couldn’t remove (Shaun thinks it may be pink felt tip) – our house feels clean, and really now we need to keep on top of this and do proper weekly cleans.

Rug Doctor

The Rug Doctor was very easy to use, the instructions were easy to follow, and the carpets in the house were all done in a few hours. It cleaned the carpet really well, the hand-held nozzle was useful for sides in the bathroom as well as doing the settee. We also received a Spot & Stain Removal Spray, a Heavy Foot Traffic Area Spray and an Odour Removal Spray, all of which worked really well.

Rug DoctorThe car was cleaned within an hour, and after three years of making do with the odd vacuum the car does look fresher than before. How long it will last is another matter…

In summary, our surfaces cleaned have come up much cleaner than before, and we’re really happy with the results. You can hire a Rug Doctor for 24 hours from many places – if you’ve been holding off I’d say give it a try, you could be pleased too!

Review – Cleaning Gift Vouchers

Cleaning Gift VouchersOkay, so as previously stated almost everywhere, H has chickenpox. This has effectively put our lives on hold while we look after her – she’s in good spirits though has got cranky, so we’ve been able to do little bits here and there, but generally we’re in the front room giving plenty of cuddles and watching endless episodes of Peppa Pig. Cleaning the house has taken a back seat, I’m afraid.

So when I received an approach in my inbox to try out Cleaning Gift Vouchers it really couldn’t have come at a better time.  Basically, you can buy cleaning gift vouchers (or indeed anyone else can for you) – and with that voucher select the service you require.

We chose a one-off three-hour clean of our house; this is just a general clean – dusting and hoovering, which for three hours comes in at £39 – so £13 an hour.

I cashed in our voucher yesterday and waited… but nothing arrived straight away… so I waited, then wondered if I’d missed the small print, and maybe we’d get the voucher the following day. As luck would have it, that’s exactly what happened – and within ten minutes of the voucher arriving in my inbox (which is the quickest method), I had a phone call to arrange my booking. So with it booked for today all we had to do was make sure things were accessible (surfaces, carpets) for our cleaner to work her magic.

She arrived around 2.30 and set to work straight away. I’ve never had a cleaner before, so told her what we would like doing – and she was straight on the case. It was all done in just under the three-hour mark and we’re really happy with the results – under the bread maker and microwave were clean, even the front of the oven and washing machine were cleaned – basically, it’s exactly the kind of service you’d expect from someone cleaning your house.

I think it’s a brilliant idea being able to gift someone a clean (they also do deep cleans of ovens, end of rental cleaning and many other options – we don’t have any family locally, and when I hurt my back badly last year we had almost two months without a proper clean here. Had I known about this service (if it had existed then!) we’d have definitely used it. Also, supposing you’re a new mum, again no family near – but they wanted to help. You can be sent a gift voucher to then use to have a one-off clean – and I think that’s great!

At the moment the service covers Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire – they work with several local firms in this area, so are able to arrange for a clean at short notice too (we booked for the following day). I’m impressed, and would definitely use them again in the future.

We received a credit to purchase a service of our choice – all opinions are our own.