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sanity savers

Testing out the Dyson Digital Slim DC35 Vacuum

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 19, 2011 · 30 comments

So I introduced you to the Dyson DC35, and I took you behind the scenes to see what goes into the making of a Dyson vacuum -- now you're probably wondering what it's like in action. I actually have Dyson DC25 All Floors Ball vacuum that I absolutely love, so I had some pretty high expectations going into testing the DC35. It didn't let me down one bit.

  • Maneuverability --The DC35 has the same ball feature on the head, which allows it to pivot and turn to easily pick up all of those crumbs left beneath my kitchen table after every meal. It's smooth and effortless and even my kids can push it. In fact, I've only had to vacuum with it a handful of times, because my kids bicker over who gets to sweep with it -- I'll take it!
  • Suction -- The Dyson Digital Slim really excels in the suction department. There isn't a speck of dirt or dust left behind, and the multiple attachments make it easy to get in all of the cracks and crevices that my other kitchen vacuums couldn't even touch.
  • Convenience -- I love that the Digital Slim has three different attachments that allow it to convert from a floor vac to a hand vac. It actually completely eliminated the need for my other hand vac, so we moved it upstairs for quick use. The charging station is phenomenal. Everything has a place, and it's easy to place the vacuum back on the charger after each use so it's always ready to go when I need it.

So are there any drawbacks to the DC35? Well, it is pricey at $299. However, after seeing the work that went into it, I feel like it's a good investment -- and as I mentioned, it's actually taken the place of two different vacuums I owned previously. Also, when you use the vacuum on high, it only lasts for approximately six minutes on a single charge. However, when you use it in regular mode, it goes for 15+ minutes of constant suction which I think is very reasonable.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this product to other moms. It's made cleaning up after my kids a breeze, and believe me, they really know how to make a mess!

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for the time and effort spent creating this post. However, my participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are my own -- always have been, always will be.


Behind The Scenes With The Dyson DC35

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 17, 2011 · 41 comments

I introduced you all to the Dyson DC35 a couple of weeks ago. In case you missed it, the DC35 is the newest product in the Dyson lineup, a powerful cordless vacuum with a detachable that allows it to transition easily to a handheld. Like other Dyson vacuums, the Digital Slim doesn’t lose suction, so you can tackle room after room, job after job.

A few interesting facts on the Dyson Digital Slim Vacuum:

  • Powered by the Dyson digital motor, the vacuum has anti-static carbon fiber brushes to remove fine dust particles from hard floors.
  • Dyson’s patented Root Cyclone™ technology – condensed to fit into the machine – spins dust and dirt out of the air using centrifugal force, so there’s no loses of suction.
  • A dual power mode allows up to 15 minutes of constant suction. For stubborn dirt, a button can trigger 6 minutes of higher suction.
  • A 26 inch, lightweight aluminum wand attaches directly to the machine to convert it from a handheld to a slim vacuum cleaner.

I found this behind the scenes video showing all that goes in to engineering and testing fascinating. I think the fact that Dyson tested this product for three full years before bringing it to market shows their dedication to quality. Take a look and tell me what you think -- and I'll have an opportunity for one lucky reader to win one of these soon!

What did you find most interesting about the development of the Dyson DC35 or Dyson in general?

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for the time and effort spent creating this post. However, my participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are my own -- always have been, always will be.


Introducing the Dyson Digital Slim Cordless Vacuum

by Tara Kuczykowski on April 29, 2011 · 39 comments

Several years ago I declared my love for the Swiffer Sweeper+Vac; however, as time marched on, our relationship turned a little sour. A full charge wasn't giving me enough juice to cover my enter kitchen, let alone the entire first floor once we ripped up all of our carpeting to make way for bamboo laminate. I've tried other floor vacs, but they ultimately didn't live up to my high expectations.

So when Walmart asked if I'd be interested in giving the new Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Cordless Vacuum a try, my reply was a resounding, "YES!" This thing is nothing short of amazing, but I'll let you check out this video for now. (And just maybe one of you will get to test drive one of these babies soon, too!)

So what are your thoughts on the latest technology from Dyson?

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for the time and effort spent creating this post. However, my participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are my own -- always have been, always will be.


Sanity Savers: Dyson DC25 Ball All-Floors Vacuum

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 21, 2009 · 71 comments

Dyson DC25 All Floors"Oh, Dyson, where have you been all my life?"

It sounds like something out of a soap opera, doesn't it? But I am truly, madly in love with the Dyson DC25 Ball All-Floors Upright Vacuum Cleaner I was sent to review.

So what makes the Dyson DC25 so fantastic?

Maneuverability -- I had my doubts about just how much easier the ball design would make vacuuming, but it really works! It makes it so much easier to roll the vacuum around tight corners. It's smooth and effortless, and as a bonus, even the older kids can push it!

Suction -- I knew that we were nearing the time to replace our Hoover Windtunnel Upright, but I had no idea just how much dust and dirt it was NOT picking up. This was readily apparent the first time I took the Dyson DC25 for a spin.

I was totally unprepared for the amount of dirt in the canister when I was done. I may as well have not vacuumed at all over the past five years that we've been in our house from the looks of it. I wish I had thought to take a picture before my husband dumped the canister -- it truly was the height of ickiness.

Convenience -- I simply love the Telescope Reach wand feature. If I had a nickel for every time I went to use the wand on my Hoover only to find it MIA, I could probably have paid for the Dyson in change! But that's not all -- not worrying about replacing bags and the ease of emptying the canister rank high on convenience as well.

So what don't I like?

Frankly, it's got a pretty hefty price tag. At $499, it's going to have to last quite awhile to offset the up front costs. With a five-year warranty, that shouldn't be an issue.

But what I found more compelling than the warranty was Dyson's analysis of the maintenance costs of other vacuums over a five-year period. The Dyson clocks in at $0 because there are no bags, belts or filters to replace. However, they calculate that other vacuums could cost as much as an additional $445 over a five-year period if you perform the routine maintenance recommended by the manufacturer!

So overall, yes, I am very impressed with the Dyson DC25, and I'm kicking myself for not making the investment years ago when my husband was trying to persuade me it was a good idea. Five kids and two dogs put a lot of wear and tear on our carpets, and I really think that we would not have the need to replace them so soon if we'd used a quality vacuum from the start.

Do you own a Dyson, and if so, what are your thoughts on it? Or have you found another vacuum that you feel works just as well at a lower price point?


Sanity Savers: Epson Artisan 800 All-In-One Printer

by Tara Kuczykowski on December 4, 2008 · 9 comments

epson-artisan-800Check out my current obsession and sanity-saving helpmate, the Epson Artisan 800 All-In-One printer!

Isn't it just gorgeous?!? I mean as far as printers go, I'd say it's a 10.

Seriously, this is one of the coolest gadgets I have ever owned. I don't even know where to start counting the ways I love it.

  • It has built-in WiFi! My old clunky Dell had a wireless adapter, but this sleek beauty has WiFi right out of the box.  It was a breeze to network it with all of our computers, even the ones running Vista which never could run the Dell software.

  • The paper tray is completely enclosed! From one mom to another, I'm sure you know why this is such a big deal to me.  I can't tell you how many times I've gone to print a great coupon and the paper tray is empty because one of my kids used all the paper for their latest coloring session – or even worse, I lose the coupon altogether because they've caused a paper jam.  They have no idea how to get access to the paper in this baby!

  • The photo capabilities are astounding! Forget about all those photo deals online.  You can print borderless photos just like the pros right in the comfort of your own home, and frankly, I think the quality rivals theirs any day.  Plus the Artisan 800's Smart Ink System boasts fade resistance up to four times longer than photo lab prints.

  • It prints directly on CDs! Of course you have to buy special CDs, but think of the potential for gifts this offers.  Create a special video for grandparents and print a photo and title directly on the CD.  The possibilities with this are endless.

I haven't even scratched the surface of what this printer offers.  It comes packaged with tons of cool software that I haven't even had time to play with, but I intend to very soon. Oh, and I didn't even mention the fabulous touch screen that makes navigating the features simple and easy!

If you're looking for a printer just to print a coupon here and there, this probably is not the printer for you, but if you're looking for excellent photo printing capabilities with scanning, faxing, and much more, you can't go wrong with the Artisan 800.  Retail price on the Epson Artisan 800 is currently $249.99 after rebate, but I've seen it as low as $199.99 recently which is an excellent price for a printer of this caliber, especially one with built-in WiFi!

Special thanks goes to One2One Network for giving me the opportunity to test drive this superb piece of technology!