Why I Love My Cordless 2-in-1 Vacuum – And Which to Buy!

Why I Love My Cordless 2-in-1 Vacuum – And Which to Buy!

As any parent knows, it doesn’t matter how often you hoover your home, there are always more crumbs, spillages and who-knows-what-else that need to be sucked up. And, like many parents, I was sick and tired of needing to carry my bulky Dyson around just to clean up the latest bag of burst crisps. After speaking with a friend, it became clear that cordless vacuums are the way forward. So after much research I ended up buying the Hoover Freedom cordless vacuum and honestly couldn’t be more pleased with it. Here’s why.

Advantages of a Cordless Vacuum

I want to give an overview of why the Hoover 2-in-1 cordless has been such a revelation for me. Here are just a few of the advantages to using it:

  1. No more damn power cords! If there’s one thing that annoys me when I’m vacuuming, it’s constantly tripping over the power cord. It’s always in the way, and there’s also the (high) chance of one my kids running through the lounge and yanking it out the wall. Vacuuming with a cordless feels so freeing!
  2. It’s a 2-in-1 vacuum. The model I chose has a detachable handheld section. I LOVE this when I need to clean furniture or stairs. It’s so much easier than carrying the cordless around and trying to stretch the hose. I haven’t had a chance to use it in the car yet, but I’m sure it’ll be useful to have this feature for that.
  3. It’s not as expensive as I thought. Reading online reviews, I thought the only cordless vacuum available was a Dyson. Those bad boys are meant to be very good – but they cost £450! There’s no way I was paying that much. That’s when I found the Hoover, which does pretty much the same things but for a third of the price. OK, so it’s probably not as powerful but it does the job.
  4. It reclines to the floor. This isn’t something I really thought about when I bought it, but the Hoover reclines almost to the floor. This makes it really easy to get under my sofas – something that the Dyson struggled with.

Disadvantages (In My Opinion)

I’m not a Hoover fan-girl though – and there are definitely some problems with the vacuum. Here’s what I think could be improved.

  1. Not that powerful. This might just be my vacuum, but I don’t feel that cordless vacuums have the same suction. My Dyson literally lifts the carpet up when I use it. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations, but I was a little disappointed with the Hoover in this regard.
  2. Not enough battery to do the whole house. Apparently there is a “cleaning revolution” going on at the moment, which basically boils down to cleaning little and often instead of “full house” cleans. This is a convenient thing for vacuum brands, because most cordless models only last 20 minutes. My Hoover lasts around 25 minutes on a single charge, which isn’t enough to do the full house. Instead, I just do the downstairs one day and upstairs the next.
  3. Struggles with my dog’s hair. As you know, I have two dogs. The Cavapoo doesn’t shed very much, but Disney (a lab) sheds a LOT. I’ve noticed that the Hoover can get most of the surface hair up, but I still need to go over carpets with the Dyson to get the remaining hair.

Conclusion

I love the Hoover. It’s quickly become an essential part of my daily routine and I’m a true cordless vacuum convert. Yes, they have their problems and I don’t think I’ll be throwing out the Dyson just yet. There’s nothing better for quickly cleaning up the latest spillage though!

Why I Bake My Own Bread

Why I Bake My Own Bread

Over the last year or so I’ve moved away from buying store bought bread. I still buy it occasionally if I’m feeling lazy! But most of the time I much prefer to bake my own bread using my trusty Russell Hobbs Breadmaker 18036. A loaf from this machine tastes almost as good as bakery bread and doesn’t take long either.

Why the change though?

Before I began baking bread, I never really got the point of it. It takes longer, is often more expensive and there’s always the risk that it won’t taste nice! After stumbling across some articles, however, I realised there are actually a number of benefits. Some of the most important (in my mind) are:

  1. Lower cost for quality bread. It’s true that a home-baked loaf is probably going to cost more than a £1.20 loaf from Asda. But if you compare it to loaves of similar quality, such as from a bakers, it’s actually very cheap.
  2. Taste. Eating freshly baked bread is one of life’s little joys. My family all love the taste – the only problem is that they expect a loaf most days now!
  3. Health. I’m not sure eating bread is every truly healthy. Home baking allows you to control exactly what goes into your bread though, which is far from the truth with store bought bread. The more I learn about nutrition, the more I want to avoid anything with too many processed ingredients.
  4. “Me Time.” It sounds strange, but I really enjoy the process of breadmaking. The machine does it for me, of course, so I’m fooling myself a little bit! I still enjoy it though – and the resting time is great for having a relaxing bath.
  5. Bread Types. Most breadmakers can make a variety of different types of bread. When you buy from stores, it’s easy to get into a rut of buying the same bread. I find myself looking forward to trying different types of loaf from my breadmaker though.

There is also a feeling of “grounding” that comes with bread making – even with a breadmaker. You’re in control of selecting the type of flour, baking cycle and other ingredients – and at the end you’ve produced something your whole family will enjoy.

And it’s good news that I enjoy baking bread – because my family demands a daily fresh loaf now!

 

 

How to Stop Yelling at Your Child – Even When They Drive You Crazy!

How to Stop Yelling at Your Child – Even When They Drive You Crazy!

Do you try your best to keep calm with your children…but sometimes just can’t help it? Does shouting make you feel guilty…but you don’t know how to stop? This is a common problem – but it is possible to stop yelling at your child. Here’s how to do it.

As a nation, we’re – in general – much more compassionate than previous generations. Smacking is less acceptable and we try to care for our children’s emotions. But even if we don’t hit, many of us can’t help yelling as a form of punishment.

This might not seem as bad as physical punishment. But, unfortunately, yelling has been shown to have a similar detrimental effect to smacking or hitting.

I like to think of myself as a positive parent, but I was honestly shocked to read this, as there have been occasions when I’ve resorted to yelling. It was at that point that I decided I needed to change before it could negatively impact my children’s life.

Here’s what worked for me…

It Begins with Your Feelings about YOU

The first step is to stop punishing yourself or feeling that you’re a terrible parent. Shouting at your child because you’re stressed isn’t OK and it needs to be addressed…but it’s also understandable. It’s even harder to control your emotions if you’re tired, frustrated or just fed up with constant battles.

I would always feel terrible after shouting at my kids – but I justified it by saying that it was sometimes the only way. It didn’t make me feel less guilty, but it allowed me to push the problem to the back of my mind.

Of course, the next time I felt angry I would start yelling again – because I hadn’t solved the underlying problem.

But what can you do about it? It’s easy to make a promise to yourself not to shout when everything is calm and serene. But the next time you get frustrated it’s hard not to slip back into old habits.

To break this habit, the key is to notice when you’re about to start shouting before it happens…and have a plan of how to handle it.

When you feel that anger start to rise in your body, consider this a warning that you’re about to explode. It’s not the anger itself that’s the problem. It’s your reaction to it. And you can control it if you know how.

How to Handle Anger Without Yelling

Next time you notice anger starting to build, here’s what to do:

  • Acknowledge that you feel angry. Don’t try to suppress it, but instead use it as an “early warning” system. This is a technique that’s taught in meditation, because trying to force feelings to change can actually make them stronger.
  • Put the situation into context. Is this really a disaster? Will I still be angry about this in a months time? Will I even remember it? Even if the answer to all these questions is “yes,” giving yourself a few breaths to take stock of the situation allows you to respond more appropriately. If the situation requires immediate action then do so without trying to discipline – this will be more effective later when both you and the child are calm.
  • Try to think compassionately about your child AND you. Sometimes we get so frustrated at “bad” behaviour that we forget to ask why our child is behaving like that. Often children haven’t been taught an alternative. Other times they know something is wrong, but can’t think of another way to express their feelings. It’s important not to validate bad behaviour – but you need to be compassionate. You also need to compassionately remember that you are a human too – and anger is a natural emotion. At the same time, it’s something that needs to be moderated and controlled.
  • Sit down and explain to your child what they did wrong. When you’ve given yourself time to calm down, it’s time to decide how best to teach your child the lesson. Being calm is essential, because children can’t be expected to truly learn when they are upset.
  • Try to be a role model. A good rule to follow as a parent is to always try to behave as you would like your child to act. Would you want them to shout every time they felt angry? Or do you want to teach them to take a deep breath and control their emotions? How you behave is likely to be how your child learns what is acceptable.

The good news is that this process gets easier over time. Every time you react positively to your anger, your brain begins to rewire itself. It’s a self-reinforcing process that can make a big difference to your mood in the long-term.

What if You Slip Up and Yell Again?

Firstly, forgive yourself. Parenting is hard – and sometimes our emotions get the better of us. You can forgive yourself without justifying what you did.

Secondly, give your child a hug. Apologise for shouting, but also ask them to be kinder to you too. Explain calmly why what they did upset you and how they can help you out in the future. This takes more effort, but will be worth it in the long run.

Summary

Trying to stop yelling at your child isn’t easy – as I’ve found with my own children. It’s especially hard if it seems yelling is the only way to get your children to respond.

If you follow these tips and, most importantly, try to act with compassion for both you and your child, you’ll find yelling becomes much less frequent. You’ll also likely notice a positive change in your children’s behaviour.

Just remember that this takes time and effort. But I promise you it’s worth it.