Monday, 29 August 2016

Anki OVERDRIVE Review

We were sent a selection of the fabulous Anki OVERDRIVE products to share our thoughts on here.

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on

The boys have had Scalextric sets before but its always been a bit hit and miss as they tended to get extremely frustrated when the cars repeatedly came off the tracks and they would soon tire of racing.  Not to forget how much of a challenge it was getting the car to sit nicely in its lane, it was such a temperamental toy to own – I was secretly pleased when I got to chuck it in the bin!

Anki OVERDRIVE on the other hand is in another league completely, its so sophisticated, the cars only very rarely leave the tracks and when they do you simply pause the race, return the car and continue as normal!  You do not have to worry that the other player is progressing whilst you attempt to re-join the race.  On top of that you get to benefit from advancements to your speed, defences and weapons when you race (after visiting the garage on the app) and you definitely get caught up in all the excitement of the race with the music and sound effect effects.


The tracks were easy to connect, we had the ones included in the starter pack (£149.99) and also additional collision (£29.99), speed (£19.99) and corner (£19.99) sets.  I would recommend buying as many as you can afford as they make the tracks you build much more interesting.  We are looking forward to buying the launch kit, as the boys are eager to add some jumps to the battlefield - ideally the more taxing the better!  I am surprised by how long Anki OVERDRIVE has kept them occupied; they have been singing its praises to everyone too!  Eldest insisted his best friend came round immediately to have a go and he left on a high (and with an extensive Christmas list for his mum no doubt!).

Before you race the cars cleverly go round to map the track, I think that in part helps them stay on course!


Two cars are included in the starter pack but we would recommend buying two more if your budget allows, its something else seeing four cars line up ready to race!  It might seem like expensive kit but I promise you this is the most advanced racing set you will find.  The whole set seems a quality product that really does perform well.


The app is free and available to download on both iOS and Android devices, we have it on a couple of mobile phones and an Ipad Mini, and as a result we haven’t had a problem having too few controllers so all four of us can get involved.  


I like that you can also race against the AI – perfect if you have one child at home and they can still have a proper race if your busy doing other things.

Eldest has made a little video below to show you more, but suffice to say we are all very impressed with Anki OVERDRIVE.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Finding My Interiors Inspiration

I think soon we will be able to tackle our dining room; it’s currently a bit of an eyesore, which explains why I rarely take pictures in there.  We have a gorgeous family sized table now with a bench but we desperately need to have the walls skimmed and new flooring added.  I have been getting some interiors inspiration in preparation; I want quite a classic look.  I would really like to purchase a dresser similar to the one pictured, it’s perfect to showcase a few belongings without making the room appear cluttered.  I love the quirky details too like a teacup lamp.


Our dining room is a decent sized but it has some flaws, it’s very dark in there perfect for an intimate meal for two but not practical for the majority of the time.  Although as of yet I am not sure what type of lights to have fitted, I would rather have lots of natural light, but the window in our room is quite small compared to every other room in the house.


I want a bright cheerful countryside dining room, with our existing big table, lots of character, fresh flowers from the garden and a serving of afternoon tea.  It’s interesting to read that the colour magnolia is quite clinical, we are guilty of it being our go to paint choice… perhaps we should learn to experiment and try pastel colours for a change!  Otherwise I think every room in our house will be magnolia and it probably does get a bit repetitive after a while.  Although its grey that interests me at the moment, I have noticed more and more people using it effectively.  I think its time I thought about adding more character through the choice of colour, furniture and lighting.  A lot of the original features have gone from our old house, but we could look at making the best of what is left.  We have high ceilings and spacious rooms to work with.

Baytree Interiors are all about creating a home you love.  We have bought the forever house but are still in the process of filling it with furniture and accessories.  Each room is probably almost double the size of that in our precious home, so our scarce belongings look quite lost.  With one credit card gone and another with a big dent made in what we owe, we really can think about renovating the house again and after reading that article about interiors I am excited to get cracking again.  Our previous house had a kitchen diner, not a separate dining room like we can have here, so its time to get some ideas and move forward!

My parents like showing visiting friends our house, but I do get embarrassed with the state of some of the rooms.  We needed so much building work done to the outside the interior is sadly lacking.  Although each year sees us achieve something new so hopefully 2017 will see more progress, I just will take it slowly and try not to feel overwhelmed with how much still needs to be finished.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Saving Money with LPG

I am always a fan of trying to save a bit of money when I can so was very interested in the following infographic produced by Calor Gas.  We have an oil burner and it does seem to have its own set of problems, if we ever run out of oil and then have a re-delivery its often hard to get it started again, it ends up having an air lock which requires the boiler to be re-primed each time!  As we always tend to leave it last minute ordering more oil it happens quite regularly and it can get expensive calling out someone to get it going again (unless of course you know what your doing yourself!).  So I do think we need to look at other options, researching lpg suppliers UK to see what is available instead, as its not always easy to get someone out quickly when your in desperate need for a nice hot bath you want everything to run smoothly.

So I am all for a boiler requiring less maintenance – life can be hard enough when you have two boys that keep you on your toes, you do not need the boiler giving you a hard time too!  I want life as simple and uncomplicated as possible and that includes the ability to get hot water and warmth when I want it.

According to the infographic below domestic oil is the third most stolen item in the countryside, that is quite an alarming statistic and another reason I won’t be too distraught when our current boiler gives up the ghost.


LPG boilers also emit less carbon dioxide than heating oil so by making the change you are doing your bit for world something that interests my youngest as every night he wants to have a chat about the O-Zone layer, he seems to have a bee in his bonnet and is really concerned bless him!  I think he would be delighted to hear something so simple could make a difference.  Our boiler is hanging on (just!) so I won’t put off the change forever.