These glass tumblers are made by a company called Ozeri. You may have seen Ozeri feature on lots of UK blogs over the last few weeks as, while they are already established in th USA, they are currently expanding into the UK. They are actually a supplier to the hotel industry, but also design contemporary products for the home which they say have the same durability as their hotel products.
I love functional and clean design and think these glasses look great. The double wall makes them quite unusual to look at – especially with liquid in. The genius is that thanks to the double wall made of durable heat-resistant mouth-blown borosilicate glass, you can put hot or cold drinks in these glasses and still hold the tumbler with your hand – no burnt fingers, shattered glass or even condensation when drinking very cold drinks. Here – tea (which always looks strange through a glass) on the left, cold pink grapefruit barley cordial on the right; totally clear glasses.
The glass itself is surprisingly thin, much thinner than I was expecting from heat-resistant glasses, but the double layer does mean you are drinking from quite a thick edge, a bit like a mug. They still seem quite dainty though but I have knocked mine against other things already (yes, I am that clumsy) and thankfully no chips or cracks. I love the contour created in the glass on the outside layer – it makes the glass easy to hold and makes it look great when there’s something colourful inside.
I mentioned these were functional; you can put them in the dishwasher, microwave and freezer so you can use them for all sorts – I’m thinking individual ice cream desserts perhaps, although I haven’t tried that yet.
They are available in various sizes – these ones hold 12oz which is a can of coke; although bear in mind that they are not as big as they might seem as the inside is smaller than the outside.
I am impressed with these unusual looking glasses, they look great on my table and are nice to drink from.
Ozeri products are available at Amazon.
It goes without saying that I will not be receiving any gifts for Mother’s Day (which is this Sunday coming – 10th March – just in case you’re not organised yet)… the fact that I am not a mother explains that completely. So when Twinings sent me one of their Mother’s Day gifts I was totally honoured, how lovely.
The gift was a lovely globe teapot from The London Pottery Company Limited along with a tin of Twinings Summer Fruits Infusion Black Tea to go with it. Very girly and pink; the two things together would make a lovely mother’s day tea gift.
The tea pot, apart from being a very delicate baby pink colour – I prefer my colours, well, less pink – is really lovely. I adore the ball shape; it’s perfectly formed. And it has a proper long spout and so, most importantly for a teapot, pours really well with no dripping or leakage. This is the 1.1litre version and so it is big enough for four big cups of tea.
The tea is… well interesting. It is a black tea infused with summer fruits – not a fruit tea – and so when brewed it’s black not red. It is infused with pieces of strawberry and orange along with a sprinkling of rose and marigold petals. It is delicate but vibrant at the same time. It has a lovely aroma to it but is nowhere near as strong as green or fruit teas. Don’t be fooled though, it should never ever be taken without milk – believe me (please believe me) when I say adding milk to this tea only ruins it!
To be fair this isn’t really my thing. I do enjoy a fragrant black tea – I love Earl Grey and very much enjoy Cardamom tea. And while I am getting used to this after a few cups, it’s not going to be one I reach for regularly. It all depends on what you like; I’ve already found a couple of colleagues who thoroughly enjoy this tea. It’s one to try – make sure you brew it for a good three or four minutes, and drink it as it’s cooling down. It is definitely refreshing.
These lovely tins of individually wrapped black teas, which make a great gift on their own, are available in a couple of other flavours too. I quite fancy the Delicate Early Grey.
I used to see personalised gifts in two ways. They were either very high priced items – I’m thinking silver and gold – that were engraved with someone’s name to mark a very special occasion. Or they were tacky things like poor quality pens and magnets and seaside rock that we would bring home from holiday when we were kids.
But now they are much more main stream – there is a middle ground – good quality nice products that give us an opportunity to be really personal in our gift giving, to offer friends and family something unique to them. The idea of giving personalised gifts brings the phrase “it’s the thought that counts” and makes it really obvious when giving… you really did think about that person when you bought it.
Gifts Online 4U offers personalised gifts and engraved gifts of all sorts of varieties. They are actually based quite close to me, in Spalding, Lincolnshire, and have a shop in that town. On their website they offer all sorts including mugs, glassware, phone cases, money boxes, teddies, chocolate and balloons. I had a bit of a browse and found a few bits and bobs I wouldn’t mind giving (or receiving)…
I keep thinking I should create a set of coasters from some of my iPhone snaps. Maybe a set of them using the images I showed at the Instachimps Hip 2B Square exhibition last year. These are £2.99 each.
For something a little more lasting perhaps a personalised Piggy Bank. Cute. A traditional and classic money box – the website says that apparently the design of a pig is due to folklore in which a pig is associated with good luck, and hence why it is known to us today as a piggy bank. These are £18.99 and can take up to 25 characters which are engraved onto the silver plated money box.
If you’re trying to find something for Mother’s Day then how about this little compact mirror, which you can have engraved with up to 50 characters. It has a silver finish, a curved pebble style and two mirrors inside. Costing £18.99 it’s not bad value either.
Finally, if you do want something that could be just a bit of fun, then what about a personalised mug? Costing £10.99 the design tool on the website allows you to add a photograph and some text of your choice onto the mug.
There are some lovely things on the Gifts Online 4U website – it’s worth a look if you want something a little different.
I may have mentioned the difficulty LincsGeek and I had choosing pillows for our new bed… here’s some advice from Bedstar Direct I could have done with back in November!
Did you know that the average adult head weighs approximately ten pounds? That’s rather a lot of weight, which needs supporting during the night while we are asleep.
Much like the mattress on a bed, a pillow is not just for comfort, it is a valuable support piece to help keep our bodies comfortable and in a healthy position while we sleep.
Tempting, as it may be to buy the cut-price hollow fibre pillows that are on offer in the department store, a better idea is to try out an array of different pillows before deciding on the one to buy. Visit Bedstar direct to view a variety of pillow types to suit every taste.
A good quality pillow should keep the head aligned with the back and spine when sleeping on the back. However, not many people do fall asleep flat on their back, so a pillow needs to be chosen that works best for the position an individual sleeps in.
Sleeping on the side requires a firm pillow, which supports both the head and neck whilst those who sleep on their stomach will need a softer pillow that eases any strain on the neck.
There are various filling for pillows. Hollow fibre are the most common, as they help a pillow bounce back into shape after they have been slept on and they are also inexpensive.
Down is a luxurious and more expensive pillow filling, these pillows are long lasting and hardwearing and make for a lighter firmness.
Feathers are stiffer than down and so are used to make a firmer pillow. Look out for a pillows description as feather-down or down-feather. Feather down means there are more feathers than down in the pillow, and down-feather means the exact opposite.
Cotton fibre fillings are mostly hypoallergenic which make them the smart choice for allergy sufferers. The filling can become compacted over time as do polyester filled pillows.
Finally memory foam pillows offer firm support, these can be a little too hard for some, so as with all pillows, testing the many different types available will be the sure fire way to ensure the correct pillow is purchased.
Did you see my review of business cards from Instant Print I posted yesterday?
They have very kindly offered four sets of 1,000 business cards like mine for me to give away to readers of Splodz Blogz.
These would be ideal for anyone needing business cards from bloggers to Avon ladies to music teachers and everyone in between.
To enter this competition all you need to do is comment on this post with the answer to this question:
If you could do any job/career/profession, what would you do?
It’s really unusual for me to have two giveaways running at the same time, but I’ll stick with my usual routine of leaving it open for entries for two weeks. So you have until Saturday 26th January at 8pm to comment. I will pick the winners and publish their names here on Splodz Blogz about a week later.
With four chances to win it has got to be worth a try! Good luck!
- This competition is open to UK residents only.
- You must be aged 18 years old or over at the time of entry.
- The competition closes at 8pm on Saturday 26th January 2013.
- Entry is by making a relevant comment on this post on the subject suggested.
- Entrants must include a valid email address in the box provided (will not be published). This is so I can contact you if you win.
- You can only enter once. If you post more than one comment only your first will count as entry into the competition.
- Members of my immediate family cannot enter (sorry!).
- The winners will be picked at random from all eligible entries and be announced on Splodz Blogz soon after the closing date.
- The prize is 4 x 1,000 business cards from Instant Print. The four winners will need to use the provided templates (Photoshop, Illustrator or Publisher) to design their business card and submit it directly to Instant Print.
- The winners must respond to their email from Splodz Blogz within two days or I reserve the right to re-draw.
- Your details will only be used for the purpose of this competition. The prize will be sent directly by Instant Print.
- You don’t get any extra entries for tweeting or posting about this competition anywhere, but I don’t mind if you do (go on… you know you want to!).
- Oh… and my decision is final (I like saying that!).
The best way to find out first who won this competition is to subscribe to Splodz Blogz by email or in a reader. Use the links over on the right to do this. You can also connect with Splodz Blogz on facebook and twitter if you fancy it!
Instant Print are an online printing company that specialises in 24-hour printing and design services. I was offered the opportunity to try out their service by designing and printing some business cards for Splodz Blogz.
As someone who has a lot of experience managing design and print work in my day job, I was very interested in trying this service out. And having some business cards for Splodz Blogz will be very useful for all those blogger events I’m going to be invited to this year… (awaits invitations!).
All I had to do was submit a hi-res PDF of my design (to a template I was sent in various formats including a Photoshop PSD file, there were other options), and they would print 1,000 (single sided) and send them to me the next day. I didn’t want anything complicated, just a dark green background with some bold white text showing my blog name and contact details. I hummed and harred about whether to include my name and telephone number – I chose against it in the end as my name is in my email address although to be honest I’m still undecided on the telephone number now even though I’ve had these printed for over a week! Anyway, I sent off my design (I went through a blogging PR company rather than uploading my design to the site) and received my cards very quickly.
Delivery, which costs a flat rate of £4.99, was within 24 hours. It takes Instant Print one working day to produce the product and one working day to deliver – so basically you get your stuff within a couple of working days.
When I unpacked them the first thing I noticed through the translucent plastic boxes was how thick the cards were. Obviously normally I would know exactly what stock was to be used for printing but this was a bit different, and now I realise they are on a lovely matte heavy weight white card. The green is nice and dark – almost black but not quite (I didn’t want just black, this very dark colour has more interest) – and the white text really stands out. I’m very impressed with the product, the little cards are rigid and give a good professional impression far greater than I could have achieved on my own printer (there is no way that stock would go through a household inkjet printer!).
A couple of the plastic containers, which hold about 150 or so of the cards each, are pretty broken. They are still fine for storing the cards in at home but I wouldn’t be able to use them to “display” the cards at an event or to carry around. I suspect this is a combination of low quality plastic and a less-than-careful delivery driver. It’s just a little niggle – you don’t buy business cards for the little plastic boxes!
Also, some of the cards have not printed correctly – they have white spots on them. As a result about 50 are not really usable. I know printing flat block colour can be a pain at times and I am not surprised that some are not perfect – it is not unusual when printing 1,000 copies of something to find the ones from the corners of the large sheet are a bit wonky, or that one or two are not cut correctly; companies might send overs in the first place which compensates for a small loss, but a handful like 50 is not normal. I am a little disappointed that they weren’t spotted in quality control – the offending cards were actually on the top of one of the plastic boxes so would have been easily noticed when packing.
Having said that, the quality of a product is often found in the customer service you receive when there is a problem. I contacted Instant Print through the PR lady I’ve been working with and I was very impressed with not only the speedy response from the company but also that they very generously set 250 more cards printing and said they’d be with me very shortly. A very quick and more than satisfactory way to rectify the situation, and one that matched the customer service statement on their website. Thank you.
It’s a shame when everything’s not quite perfect, but I neither of these two things make Instant Print a poor company by any means, and in fact their way of dealing with the problem cards shows they have excellent customer service.
One of the things I noticed after I got mine printed was that Instant Print offer a free artwork check service which they turn around in a couple of hours. Basically, you email them your artwork before uploading it to the site and they will have a look and let you know if it is ok to print, highlighting any potential problems with resolution, bleed or sizes. I would definitely use this – another set of eyes can be invaluable – and if they can turn it around in a couple of office hours as advertised it wouldn’t add much to the lead time of the product.
Would I use Instant Print and pay? Yes, I would. I found that they offer a good service with good quality stock and printing (even with those bad ones!). Obviously I would compare their prices like for like at the time (paper and printing prices fluctuate all the time), but if they came out as reasonable then they would get my business.