The Winter Olympics have really inspired me – not just to go skiing but as a reminder of the sheer determination those competitors have and how hard they’ve trained to get where they are. It’s a reminder how important it is not to take health for granted and made me appreciate how lucky I am to be going skiing in a few weeks. Those icy cold blue skies and views of the tops of mountains for miles are breathtaking. I’ll have to start digging out my serious SPF and protective creams for those conditions and as I mentioned in my last blog Alpha-H SPF50 moisturiser will definitely be making the journey, as will Dr Perricone Photo Plasma SPF30 – I’m still all about protect, protect, protect.
I’ve been doing lots of home cooking too, with early nights and exercise and I’m feeling great for it – I’m even going to be cooking a roast for 8 this weekend and I’m a bit nervous because it’s the most I’ve roasted for. Any top toasty tips for gravy potatoes and other foodie pearls of wisdom PLEASE post at the bottom of the page.
Whilst home-making is temporarily bliss, I had a bit of a domestic disaster the other day – I dropped an entire bottle of blackcurrant squash at the top of the stairs, instantly the lid popped off and I watched it bounce down every step on its way down unleashing its purple juices wherever it hit, spraying up the walls and caking the banister. It was one of those moments that you can only sit back and watch, unable to do a thing, I in fact just sat at the top of the stairs and swore out loud several times at volume! (Bad swears too!)
Thank goodness a few years back I got myself one of the Bissell upright carpet washers from QVC – it actually saved me potentially having to fork out for new carpets. I totally soaked the stains with Bissell Stain Pre-treat spray – it ended up being nearly the whole bottle because I drenched the mess in panic. After about 5 minutes I set to work with the carpet cleaner and I was so relieved to see the stain coming up. Phew. Check out the before and after above – it’s impressive and clearly Ted approves.
I’ve also got a new helper at home now, The Amazon Echo Show – yes the speaker version that the world went crazy for, but now improved with a touchscreen! It works by saying ‘Alexa’ (other command words are available) and then asking for an action like ‘what’s the weather forecast for today’ or ‘Alexa, turn on the lights’ (providing they are smart lights). She has now become one of my favourite gadgets in the house, a companion almost, seeing as Ted has barked at her a few times but he’s just jealous.
The 7.5″ screen adds an extra dimension – especially if like me your hearing lets you down from time to time, because Alexa will now show you graphics to go with it to help with the information being asked for. If you’re playing music then Alexa will display the album cover and song title etc. The speaker itself is arguably the best I’ve heard of all the versions of the Amazon Echo – better base and a deeper resonating quality.
The other main function you’ll initially buy it for is video calling which is becoming a hugely popular way to keep in touch. It makes the communication more real if you’re talking to loved ones, friends and even for business calling. The person you’re calling doesn’t need to own an Echo you can actually make calls to the Alexa Smartphone App – which is free to download. If you’re an Amazon Prime member a whole new world opens up and you can watch video content, films and YouTube. I found the set up very quick and easy but like meeting a new person you will have to become acquainted with what Alexa does and doesn’t like – much the same as most of us, she has her awkward moments but I’ve begun to love her for who she is! Hehe!
The verdict: She’s great fun, plays music and videos and is also a really helpful companion to have around, but you will have to get to know her a little first (like any
new bit of tech or gadget). Why not try her out, the Echo Show is our TSV on Thursday 1st March. Let me know if you love Alexa too!
Hopefully my next blog will have lots of photos of blue skis and mountains – fingers crossed. Until then…