Wednesday 16 December 2015

Vileda Windomatic

Image result for Vileda WindomaticI don't know anyone who likes cleaning windows and as for mirrored wardrobes - aargh! Those of us who do have to tackle this chore realise that the hard part is polishing the glass to smear-free perfection. Then there is that sinking feeling when, having spent ages doing the windows, the sun shines and all the streaks are suddenly visible. No wonder everyone hates this task! Finally I have found a product that not only saves time and effort but also ensures that the windows are sparkling and streak-free in no time at all.The Vileda Windomatic is a cordless, handheld vacuum, easy to use and compact. It's lightweight with a flexible head and once charged the you can use the device for 20 minutes. 
After charging the product for an initial six hours, I tried it out on a glass door, sticky with children's fingerprints and the dog's nose! I favour the water spray and micro cloth method of cleaning. Instead of reaching for a dry cloth and spending ages polishing the glass, I switched on the Vileda Windomatic, pulled the rubber blade over the glass and, hey presto, the job was done, unbelievably quickly. The Windomatic literally sucked up the residue of water.
I tried it out too on our mirrored wardrobe doors similarly marked with the sticky fingerprints and the result was the same - sparkling mirrors. Condensation, particularly on the bedroom windows, was also no problem for the Windomatic. The water tank, capacity 100ml, was easy to empty and since the product is compact I had no trouble finding storage space for it in the kitchen. To be honest, I was initially concerned that the twenty minutes before the Windomatic would need recharged would be too short but that wasn't the case.

Image result for Vileda Windomatic
The main plus points for me are the time saved - I'm too busy to spend hours cleaning glass - and the superb result,  perfectly gleaming windows. If there is a downside to the Vileda Windomatic it's simply that you have to remember to charge it in advance. Not much of a drawback to what is overall a great product.

The Vileda Windomatic retails for approximately £40/45 and is available in most DIY Stores, as well as supermarkets and online. 
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Sunday 13 December 2015

Glasgow Loves Christmas

If you've been in the city centre of Glasgow recently you've probably noticed the transformation of George Square into a winter wonderland, complete with christmas lights, a ferris wheel, the Winter Lodge bar and of course the ice rink around the statue of Sir Walter Scott.

Ice Skating George Square Wheel Glasgow

Blondie Boy has been quite a regular visitor to an indoor ice rink this year so he was incredibly excited to try skating outdoors on George Square. The day we visited was a fairly typical Glaswegian December day, with plenty of rain, but this didn't dampen our spirits at all. The sessions at Glasgow on Ice are half an hour long, so be sure to be there in plenty of time for your session starting to maximise your time on the ice. Since Blondie Boy is only five we chose an Under 8s session, which meant that the ice rink runs at reduced capacity, for only younger kids and accompanying adults so that little skaters can enjoy their time on the ice. There are also skating aids available for little ones who need a little help.

Child's skating aid Glasgow

 Remember that you are skating outdoors in a Glaswegian winter! Warm/ waterproof clothes aa must. Before visiting check the Glasgow Loves Christmas website in case the weather isn't suitable, in which case the box office can rearrange your tickets.

The weather wasn't great when we visited, so there was some water sitting on the rink and we did end up a little wet but we still had a great time on the ice. After our skate we went upstairs to the Winter Lodge for a warm drink to dry off. There is a full bar for adults and there are craft and storytelling sessions for kids. When we visited Blondie Boy took advantage of a storytelling session, which he loved.
Story telling sessions Glasgow

After our skate round the square we took a wander round to Princes Square for some lunch. As usual the decorations inside are exquisite: well worth wander round just for a wee look at them!

Christmas tree made out of baubles ornaments

We rounded off our afternoon with a wander round the Christmas market at St Enoch Square. There's the usual mix of craft stalls, if you're looking for a present for that someone who has everything, and stalls with all kinds of delicious and unusual food and drinks.

With six weeks of events running right up until December 31st it's easy to see that Glasgow really does love Christmas! Even if iceskating isn't your thing, there's bound to be something that's more up your street, whether that's shopping in one of the many participating malls to the Style Mile  or a night out at one of the many restaurants running Christmas dining offers. The hardest part is finding time between now and the end of December to squeeze it all in!

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Transatlantic Blonde were invited to experience Glasgow Love Christmas free or charge but all warm, Christmasy sentiments, and bruises from falling skating, are our own.

Santa at Hamleys, St Enoch Centre

In case you hadn't noticed, it's that time of the year again! Christmas songs are playing in supermarkets and every ad on TV seems to be for the latest toy craze. I'd like to say the streets are blanketed in a covering of crisp white snow but we all know it's been grey and rainy for weeks but hey, isn't that  the true Christmas weather of the West of Scotland?

Like most families with small kids one of the important dates in the festive calendar is the visit to Santa. This year we visited the big guy at Hamleys in the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow. With the weather as miserable as it could possibly be the first real benefit was the attached car park. It's so much easier shepherding a five year old and a one year old in a pushchair from an indoor car park than trying to organise them in the street and march them through the rain. We even left our heavy jackets at home so we looked our best for Mr Claus.

Children going to see Santa

'I met Father Christmas at Hamleys!' is an hour long experience, which begins when two of Santa's elves pick up the children and take them to Santa's living room. Blondie Boy was so impressed that he not only got to meet the real Santa but also got to meet real elves too! The children sang songs with the elves and then had some dinner together.

Boy and Christmas ElfBoy's Rudolph Reindeer Jumper

After dinner the children finally met the main man! Santa read them the poem 'Twas the night before Christmas', they played a game of 'Musical Snowmen' and then the elves helped them prepare the all important lists.
Children meet Santa Claus Father Christmas

Santa met them all individually, talked through their lists and posed for pictures.

Santa reading little boy's letterSmall boy and baby girl meet Santa

Each child received a goodie bag as a gift from Santa, the contents of which got played with immediately!

Baby Girl cuddling teddy bear

After meeting Santa the elves took the children out into the St Enoch Centre, where they used their magic to make it snow indoors!

Snowing indoors Glasgow Scotland

The whole evening at Hamlets in the St Enoch Centre was magical and the children loved it. The 'I met Father Christmas at Hamleys' experience costs £25 a child, includes everything listed above and must be booked in advance. You can find more information about festive events at the St Enoch centre here.

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Transatlantic Blonde was invited to visit with Santa free of charge but all magical experiences are our own.