Thursday, 17 April 2014

Reducing your heating bills with evohome

I dread the gas bill coming every quarter. We try as best we can to reduce the times we use the central heating and hot water but every time we have still underestimated our usage. The bill arrived last week and even after having the wood burner installed and feeling as though we were really strict with the gas central heating, we obviously weren't for it was higher than expected. 

This is really frustrating and has prompted a fresh look at our whole heating system in the house and what we can do to make it work better for us and save us money. Firstly, we absolutely must replace our 25 year old boiler! It has been fixed and fixed again. Most notably after deciding to break one Christmas Eve. However, although a new boiler will be more efficient and save us money there are additional ways we can make our home heating system better and for us to have more control over it.

Honeywell has launched evohome, which is a Smart Zoning System where you can heat individual rooms (zones) and control heating and hot water centrally from a wireless control pad and from a mobile device too. For the initial investment this economical system would certainly save you money by reducing your energy consumption.

At the moment when we put our heating on, it heats the whole house! So rooms we are not even using are getting toasty warm along with our money just being wasted. In the daytime, myself and Little Bird tend to stay downstairs so really upstairs being heating too is so wasteful. From when we moved in, the radiators in the whole house have been a random assortment of some that can be individually altered by a thermostat, to ones with broken thermostats and ones that seem so old you cannot adjust at all. That is a lot of money that we must be paying to our energy provider when we could be saving on heating all those other rooms. Evohome would enable us to heat each room according to our requirements. 

Today is a bit chilly and I have put the heating on to warm us up a little, just a blast I say to myself whilst we are sat at the dining room table playing animals but every room upstairs is now getting warm and we are not even going upstairs. All that money! Plus by the time we do go upstairs later this evening, the rooms will have lost all that heat and it will feel cold. However, with evohome, the touch screen display would show us each room and we could adjust accordingly to which rooms we wanted heating. That would really save on our bills. 

Sometimes when we go out for the day to my parents house, we will be back home later than expected - time slips away when you are having a nice time.The hot water will have come on at the usual time around 6pm and then started to cool again. We have missed our usual routine and if it's straight to bed and no bath that night for Little Bird (quick wash of course) then we have heated all that water for nothing. With the evohome app on my smartphone, I would be able to turn the heating off whilst sat nattering with my mum 20 miles away. That would be fantastic. Also if LB and I have gone out for the day on a forest home education meet up and it has been a bit cold or muddy and we would really like to have hot baths as soon as we get home, we could use the app to turn on both the hot water and the heating upstairs to soothe our shivering.

For us as a busy household the ability and flexibility to turn heating on or off from a phone app would be such a great help. Every hour that is saved in unnecessary heating would add up and as somebody who is very keen on reducing those bills I would get great satisfaction from this.

Evohome by Honeywell is installed easily, no mess, no wires and the system costs from £249 plus £77 for each radiator zone kit. Something to consider when we look to upgrading the boiler this year and bringing our home into the modern era. The smart system would enable us to have so much more control over our energy usage. You can set up to 12 zones and a handy systems planner can help you work out what is best for your home.

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post with evohome by Honeywell. Words are my own.

Great Nana's garden by Little Bird

in the garden Great nana pink lantern I'm in the garden sign flower pots red tulips gone over dodging the hose shrubs Mum's garden garden ornaments toadstool lights flower beds pink bird feeders garden play yellow rose
My Great Nana's garden.
Full of roses in every colour, some are starting to appear from their buds.
Lots of trinkets, fun characters that make me laugh from sailors to snails. 
My Great Nana is fun.
Pretending to squirt me with the garden hose!
So much fun to trot your toy horse around, galloping around the flower beds, up the garden path and nibbling at plants.
Lots of pots and lots of pink. Her favourite colour.
Those birds must really like pink too.
The garden is pretty as a picture, just like my Great Nana.

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Snapshots of my Spring so far

spring collage
 It has been a busy few weeks with birthdays - mine and my mum's either side of Mother's Day, so plenty of cake and treats. I've had some lovely bunches of flowers brightening the house and my favourite had to be the purple hues of the Cape Flora bouquet from M&S with the exquisite Protea in it.  They are still going strong now and make a nice change from my usual roses. I do still love roses though and received another bouquet with yellow roses, chrysanthemums and what I think is Bishop's flower (Ammi majus), a beautiful cow parsley-like white umbellifer. I need to grow this! Such a great filler in a posy.pring happy thingsSome of my birthday treats were the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, a kitsch unicorn that you fill with cake sprinkles, tea-towels, a frame for my book map, an owl mug cosy and a cute stripy plant pot. Mustn't forget my Graham Turner Battle of Bosworth cards too. Being a Richard III enthusiast shall we say, well I joined my local group (more on that here) I therefore always receive something related to my favourite king.march mosaicThrilled to have my book map finally up on the wall. Highly recommend this poster for any book enthusiasts. I can spend ages looking at it, searching for my favourites. Run past Jurassic Park, peer in Tom's Midnight Garden, cross the estuary to Treasure Island and around the corner to the Enchanted mapOf course there have been a few rainy days where we have cuddled up, dogs included and played or watched Cbeebies. Plenty of cups of tea and some plans put together for the rest of the year. Despite the cake, I have started to eat healthier and clean up my diet. I've reached the stage where I am annoyed with myself for being so unhealthy so changes are happening......dogHappy Monday to you all.This will be a busy week for me. Lots of blog posts to write, allotments to tend to, Easter to sort for Little Bird - a sensory tub with Easter Grass and some Easter games to help him understand more about this time of year xxCape Flora bouquet M&S

Friday, 11 April 2014

Pretty in pink watches

pink-watches from The Watch Hut

I love watches and have a collection of them from over the years. Different watches for different occasions. Ones to wear every day and ones for special occasions. 

I would like a girly pink watch for my collection and there is no better selection that at The Watch Hut where you will be spoilt for choice.

Perhaps the classy Michael Kors Lexington Watch with the striking bright pink against the gold or the quirky charm style of the Lulu Guinness Irresistible Watch?

Or maybe the sporty Breo Digital Watch with contrasting yellow or the unique and minimalist look Verb Usb Watch?

The Ice-Watch always lures me in though, I have one in white and it is my absolute favourite. I love their chunkiness and they suit my style so I think I would opt for Pantone Universe Ice-Watch.

Which watch do you like? Have you got a collection of watches too?

Sponsored post. Words are my own.