Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A cup above the rest.

I found this coffee machine a joy to use. It's easy to use and literally is "Bean to cup" making fantastic, professional standard coffee with the touch of a button. It's easy to get it perfectly in tune with your needs, as it dispenses from variable heights, meaning you can make espresso in an espresso cup, enjoy a cup of cauppuccino, or have a mug of Americano. I found it much easier to operate using whole coffee beans as opposed to ground coffee, although the machine is pretty noisy when it operates, especially when grinding the beans. I found it works well with any milk...I love soya milk as it froths up even better than dairy milk for topping a cappuccino, and this machine handled it with no problem. It also provided me with a very tasty hot chocolate. Everything about this machine is great, including the ease of cleaning it and maintaining it. Despite the initial outlay, it offers fantastic value for money when compared with purchasing even a single cup per day from one of the big name soon pays for itself!

Express Espresso.

Aesthetically, this is a very modern looking coffee machine. It doesn't look so great in my less-than-modern kitchen, but it would look great in a more modern room. That said, purple is my favourite colour so I still like the way it looks! It's easy to set up and get it working pretty much straight from the box. It produces a really lovely foam, one which could easily rival that found in your average chain of coffee shops on the high street. It's easy to clean thus far. I'd definitely recommend this machine although the price of replacement pods isn't too cheap (although not as expensive as some I've seen). For me, it's an addition, and not a replacement to my current coffee machine, which isthis one made by Delonghi; . I definitely prefer the Delonghi.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Terrific Terrabyte.

This device is much smaller than my other 1TB Seagate drives and of course lighter, which was a surprise. It's a classy looking brushed graphite colour. I will be using this mainly as a portable drive, connected to my iPhone, iPad, Wireless printer, desktop computer and laptop, so that wherever I am, home or away, I will be able to back up and retrieve information with ease. It took a matter of minutes to establish an additional home network and connect all my devices to the drive through an ethernet connection. I found it easy to drag and drop media onto it and to organise that information within the drive itself. The SATA attachment is very useful if you just want to use it as a drive - I wasn't particularly interested in its wifi capabilities, although it functions perfectly well within a wifi environment so far. I see it almost as a virtual shelf to put "stuff" on, whether that's photos, documents, or multimedia. The drive operates quietly and quickly and doesn't get too hot; it worries me when drives start to do this as it often means they are on their way out. So far, very pleased.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Got it covered.

These lads look like The Beatles and sound like The Rolling Stones...encapsulating 1964 with a modern edge. It's easy to forget they're all aged between 14 and 16. They're destined for great things - Elton John and Noel Gallagher have already been seen at their gigs. As for the single, it's a great cover of the Bo Diddley classic and a truly consummate, energetic, authentic performance. Top stuff. The video is also achingly cool and totally mod-tastic!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Up for a challenge.

I've recently discovered and signed up to the e-tailPR affiliate network for bloggers (hence the shiny new banner to your right). They're running a competition, which has been posted on their blog to win £75 to spend at Marc B and £175 to spend at ASOS. I'd been thinking it's been a while since I did a fashion post on my blog so I've accepted the challenge. First of all, I decided to browse the Marc B website as I wasn't too familiar with the brand. My favourite bag by far is the Monica Soft Tan Holdall, which is fantastic value for money at only £49. It's a roomy bag in a nice neutral colour; to be honest, the entire collection is ideal for day to day use.
Next, to build an outfit around the bag. I decided to keep the outfit within the £175 budget I would have if I won the vouchers. I absolutely LOVE the Heart Tree Printed Dress by NW3 at Hobbs, even more now it's in the sale at ASOS.
The retro shape and print are what attracted me to the dress, coupled with the amazing shade of green which is perfect for my pale skin and blonde hair, and of course, just how perfectly it goes with the Marc B bag. The dress would go perfectly with thick black tights and flat black ballerina shoes for daywear; a pair like these ones by London Rebel at ASOS. I'd finish the outfit off with this basic black cardigan and this Cath Kidston bracelet finishing with a slick of Nars lipstick in Dolce Vita

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Hix Hix Hooray!!

Naively, I had always associated baking with cakes and sweet items, so I found this book to be a great source of inspiration. It has broadened my repertoire no end, as I now consider baking to be a great method of cooking meals on a regular basis. I particularly enjoyed the crab and seashore vegetable tart (even though I did make a few basic substitutions for ingredients I couldn't get hold of easily). Generally speaking, the recipes are simple and easy to follow, realistic for day to day use by an amateur cook. The ingredients are your more normal, accessible ones; the notable exception to this rule being the seashore vegetables component of the aforementioned tart. Other particularly note-worthy and highly recommended recipes for me included the red mullet en papillote, Moroccan cigars, and baked peaches with amaretto. The book is simple, modern and elegant, with high quality pages and honest looking photographs. The writing style is approachable and easy to build a rapport with as it is straightforward without being patronising.