Thursday, 19 December 2013

Blue Microphones - Tiki USB Microphone Review

Tiki is the first USB microphone to combine proprietary noise-cancelling technology, voice isolation and intelligent mute. Combined, these features deliver exceptional clarity for online conversations by focusing on desired sounds and reducing background noise to dramatically improve the intelligibility of the conversations in any situation. Tiki even allows users to switch between two modes: Intelligent Speech Mode for communication and Natural Recording Mode for CD-quality recording of podcasts, vocals or instruments. Ideal for conference calls and chats, Tiki’s voice isolation brings the speaker’s voice to the fore-front while noise-cancelling technology simultaneously reduces unwanted sound.

This mic doesn't look much at first glance, but as I took it out of its packaging I really liked its slick retro design. It is quite small, not much bigger than a regular USB memory stick but don't let its size fool you into thinking its not that good, because its actually a great little mic. It is really simple to use, you just plug and play, no set up needed and no no drivers required to get started which is something I really like. No messing.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this mic, in fact it gets a big thumbs up from The Syders. The sound quality is much better than the built in mic on my laptop and we think it is worth the £49.99 price ticket.

  • Intelligent ultra-compact USB microphone
  • Improves vocal clarity for online communication (such as iChat and Skype) and voice-recognition software
  • Brings your voice to the forefront using voice isolation and noise-canceling technology
  • Eliminates computer fan and typing noise by intelligently auto-muting
  • Recording mode optimized for podcasts and music recording
  • Multi-colored LED indicates muting status and mode
  • Two custom condenser capsules with advanced DSP
  • Plug-n-play Mac and PC with no drivers needed
  • Similar in size to a standard USB flash drive 

Available From Apple Online priced at £49.99

*We were sent a Tiki USB microphone free of charge for the purpose of this review. We have received no financial reward and our opinions are our own.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Rum Christmas Cocktails With #Cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Finding inspiration for Christmas cocktails was relatively easy. I checked my search engine first, and decided that I'd like to make berry coloured cocktails so I knew I wanted a cocktail that combined rum and cranberry. I found lots of yummy inspiration on Pinterest too.

The Bacardi was easy to find in the drinks aisle of my local supermarket, Asda. There were lots of different Bacardi products on the aisles to choose from like Bacardi Breezers, Bacardi Oakheart - a spiced rum and some ready mixed Bacardi cocktails,  I went for a bottle of the regular white rum. I also found some sparkly cocktail umbrella's in the supermarket party section, just to add a touch of glamour.

Santa's Helper Rum Cocktail - Each Cocktail contains...
  • 1 x capful of Bacardi Rum
  • 2 x capfuls of Coconut liqueur (or Malibu)
  • 2 x capfuls of peach schnapps
  • Pineapple juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • 1 x Candy Cane
  • 1 x fresh lime
  • 1 x small bag of white sherbet
  • Decorations - I used parcel wrap ribbon and sparkly cocktail umbrella's.

How I made the Cocktails...

1. Tie some ribbon to the stem of a wine glass
2. Cut a lime and squeeze the juice on to a saucer
3. Tip your sherbet on to a separate saucer.
4. First twist the rim of your glass into the saucer of lime juice, then straight away twist it into the saucer of sherbet.
5. Add ice.
6. Carefully add your capfuls of of alcohol, then add the juice.
7. Add your decorations and a candy cane as a stirring stick.

We were on our large family holiday when I made these cocktails, a pre Christmas celebration, filled with lots of Family & Friends enjoying the build up to Christmas.  Everyone really enjoyed this cocktail and were pleasantly surprised by how well the combination of ingredients worked together, even the mint of the Candy Cane gave a nice hint of extra flavour. 

Making the extra effort with presentation was such a big hit and I received lots of positive feedback on how fab the cocktails looked. They really were Yummy, I'll be making these again very soon.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

What To Consider When Buying Winter Tyres

As the chill of winter begins to set in, we are beginning to think ahead to ice, snow and sleet. While snow is great fun for the children, allowing them to build snowmen, go to bogging and fling snow all other each other with shrieks of joy, it is not so pleasant for us adults, especially when we have to keep using our vehicles for work, shopping and generally getting around. Driving in adverse weather conditions is nerve-racking and dangerous, so reduce your risk of getting into trouble by switching to winter tyres as soon as the first frosts are forecast.

What are Winter Tyres ?

Winter tyres, more properly called ‘cold weather tyres’, are made differently to summer tyres, featuring a lot more grooves which work to increase the surface area of the tyre, providing a good deal more ‘grip’ on the road. Some winter tyres are designed to have the grooves and crevices fill with snow which can then grip onto lying snow, providing good traction. The composition of winter tyres, too, is different, making the tyres softer and more pliable, which means that they grip the road better.

How Do I Know a Winter Tyre From a Regular One?

When looking for winter tyres, be sure to look for the snowflake on a snow-capped mountain symbol on the sidewall of the tyre. Winter tyres perform well from temperatures as high as 7 degrees C, so you can start thinking about putting on your winter tyres in October or November, and leave them on until March – perhaps diarise it along with changing the clocks?

Where Can I Look for Winter Tyres?

Finding your winter tyres does not have to be a major chore. There are online sites that can help you find the right tyres for your vehicle with just the click of a mouse button. For example, have a look at the Point S website and you will quickly see how easily you choose winter tyres for your model of car!

What Else Do I Need?

Along with your winter tyres, make sure that you pack a winter car kit and keep it in your car throughout the winter. Once the weather turns very cold do not let your fuel tank fall below half, and ensure that your mobile is always charged before driving anywhere. For the car kit itself you should include a shovel and ice-scraper, a small but comprehensive first-aid kit (include a small selection of any medications that family members rely on, such as heart tablets and asthma inhalers, just in case you break down for a considerable period of time) and a thick warm blanket. Add a torch and batteries, but do not put the batteries into the torch until you want to use it, and do not forget warning signs, an emergency flare and booster cables too. Sand, salt or cat litter can help your vehicle grip the road after a skid. Some matches and candles cannot do any harm, but do make sure that you wrap them in waterproof fabric as matches readily absorb dampness from the air. Finally, stock up on high-calorie snack bars and packs of nuts and raisins; all small foodstuffs that will sustain and nourish you in cold weather.

Hopefully, with your new winter tyres you will have no need to ever use your winter car kit, but it is always better to have something that you never need than to need something you do not have! With your new tyres fitted and your emergency pack safely in the boot, you are sure to be ready for everything that winter throws your way!

Author Bio: My name is James Smith. I love to write about automotive industry, travelling, family & lifestyle.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Huggler Photobook Review Plus #Win a Weekend Break for 4 To Jersey!

I was eleven the first time that I visited Jersey. Mum & Dad had recently divorced so Mum took me and my three younger Brothers off on an adventure camping. Boarding the ferry we were excited, rucksacks on our backs, sugar barley's in our pockets, we made our way across the channel. It was a brave thing for Mum to do, to take four kids under 12 and a tiny 4 man tent to spend two weeks on the beach. We had a fabulous time, so fabulous that twenty years later I took my own four kids to stay on the same campsite with my Hubby.

Jersey is a very special place and my Family have wonderful memories from time we have spent there. Recording memories is an important part of life for me, it is the main reason why I blog and take so many photo's. Nowadays we have digital photography, which makes collecting snap shots of our memories so much easier. Recently I created a photobook, a memory book for my eight year old Granddaughter.

The Huggler site is really easy to use, no special software download and you can design your own page layouts. 

All you need for a large hardcover book like mine is a minimum of 26 photos to get started. You can add pages as you go from 26 to 100 pages with each extra page costing just £0.95.
  • Dimensions: 29cm x 22cm (Approx A4)
  • Pages: 26 - 100 pages
  • Price per extra page: £0.95
  • Style: Perfect bound gloss-finish hardcover
  • Photos: Minimum of 26 photos
  • Paper: 200gsm gloss paper
  • Page Layout: 1 - 25 photos per page
  • Book Themes: Choice of themes and 6 different colour covers
  • Creation Time: 30 - 60 minutes
Other sizes and covers available.

Bottom Line - What Do we Think? Huggler photobooks are gorgeous quality and a lovely way to store your favourite memories. Really easy to upload your photo's and create a fab photo book. Big thumbs up from The Syders.

Win A Short Break To Jersey For Four!

All you need to do is upload your memories of Jersey to the Jersey Travel Service Facebook page Here and you could Win a Weekend Break for 4!

Select a photo using the simple upload options, then in no more than 100 words, tell them why you love Jersey and what special memories it holds for you.

Maybe it’s a particular place or view?  Maybe the smell of the sea or wonderful seafood cooking in your favourite restaurant - or treasured memories of childhood holidays.

Once you’ve completed the short form and clicked ‘enter’, you’ll be in the draw. Then you can browse, read and vote for other people’s stories using the “View memories” button.

The winner will be picked at random from all entries submitted, and will win a fantastic short break to the island, to share with close friends or family. There are ten great runner’s-up prizes too. 

*We were sent a Huggler photobook for the purpose of this review. Our opinions are our own.


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