Last minute gifts that’ll make anyone happy this Christmas

Ran out of time this Christmas and need a quick, successful shop for presents to please the whole crowd? No matter what their hobbies are, these last-minute gifts are sure to be a hit.

Christmas can be a crazy time of year. There’s a lot to do and not much time to do it in. If you’re finding yourself stuck on what to buy someone who is particularly picky or perhaps is the person who already has everything, we’re here to help.

These picks are practical and range from low price points to high end – so there’s something for everyone!

Headphones/Earphones

Headphones and earphones are a great present pick because everyone uses them, and pretty much everyone could use a spare pair! They range from basic functionality to noise-cancelling and premium-sounding.

Convenience is key with wireless headphones being obviously tangle-free but also catering for newer models of smartphones that go without the earphone jack. Apple AirPods are a good choice for iPhone users!

Bluetooth models are a great option for travellers too, as well as foldable headphones and earphones small enough to fit in pockets for the gym junkies.

There are plenty of varieties to pick from for the business-busy, the DJ and the kids.

Powerbank

Something everyone can appreciate is a powerbank – because sooner or later comes the regret of not having one on hand! They’re small enough to slip into a briefcase or handbag and can be a lifesaver in a (tech) crisis.

Opt for a colourful one if you want to make the gift more personal!

If your gift recipient is a driver, a car charger is just as handy. Don’t forget to double check their phone charger port to find the appropriate wire!

Portable speaker

Downunder, Christmas is simultaneous with summer. So what better way to enjoy the sunshine than with some good tunes at the BBQ, beach and… anywhere! A portable speaker can prove to be handy and a whole lot of fun (with minimal effort).

They’re be pumping their favourite tunes in great quality with a Bluetooth speaker. A waterproof or splashproof speaker is a big plus if you’re gifting to a beach-lover!

If they’re a real adventurer and love the outdoors, gift them a portable speaker with a clip so that they can attach it to their bike or backpack when they’re on-the-go – like these ones from JBL.

Coffee machine

If you’re gifting a coffee-lover, this one’s a no-brainer! There’s no need to go down to the café to get a good cuppa joe when you can make one in the comfort of your home – they’ll thank you for that 😉

There’s a great selection of coffee machines from many world-renowned brands in a variety of sizes so you can pick one that won’t leave them strapped for counter space. If they already have a machine, opt for grinders, coffee beans/pods or coffee accessories.

Do they prefer tea over coffee? A KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker is the perfect gift. They’ll be able to brew tea leaves for flavoured iced tea all summer long!

Fitbit

A Fitbit is so much more than just a wristband. It’s an all-day tracking device that’s innovative and suitable for anyone of any age.

Its features will inspire a healthier lifestyle with heart rate, activity, and sleep tracking, and so much more. It can connect to a smartphone, deliver notifications, and has an incredible battery life.

It’s just as stylish, too, with interchangeable bands and a wide range of colours to choose from. It might be just what they need to pull through with those New Years resolutions!

Small kitchen appliance

They don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy a small blender. These small appliances are super easy to use and will transform the way they have breakfast and enjoy summer drinks. ‘On-the-go’ types of blenders (with a bottle to detach and drink immediately from) will be their diet game-changer.

Gift them some smoothie recipes with the blender if you know they’ll need a head start!

Are they more of an entertainer? Opt for a food processor or mixer – they’re so versatile in the kitchen that they’ll be able to make dips, soups, pastes and more. Just check out these 3 impressive dips that they’ll be able to whip up!

A juicer is another great idea and will encourage more nutritious drinks if they’re trying to cut out the fizzy sodas – perfect for a family with little ones!

Getting the best of both worlds with Samsung’s FlexWash washing machine

If you’re on the fence about whether you prefer a top loader or front loader, you don’t have to decide. Samsung’s FlexWash Washer has both so that you can take care of the laundry all at once!

Samsung’s FlexWash™ is an all-in-one washing machine that has both a 16kg front loader as well as a 2.5kg top loader – that’s a total of a whopping 18.5kg capacity!

Why have both kinds of loaders? It’s simple really. The FlexWash gives you the flexibility (as the name suggests) to handle all kinds of laundry needs simultaneously, from small to large loads, delicates to everyday items.

The FlexWash is so flexible in fact that it also has Samsung’s innovative AddDoor. It’s exactly what it sounds like – an access door on the front loader so that you can prop in any forgotten items or dropped socks. The AddDoor allows you to add more fabric softener too, without draining the drum from water or detergent.

Because FlexWash is essentially two washing machines in one, you’ll get through your laundry faster and with fewer loads. Not only does its vast capacity save time, but so can each of the cycles. The programmes come in a variety to cater for the types of clothes you’re washing.

 

You can find FlexWash’s user manual here with all the details on every programme, but we’ve selected a few of our favourites from both the top and front loaders so you can know that make this washing machine a standout among the rest.

TOP LOADER: Programmes and cycles

This upper washer is intended for relatively small loads that you want cleaned quickly. Think of the last-minute uniform wash, the use of everyday gym gear or more frequent washes of delicates.

The programmes are simple to use with the options of Normal, Rinse + Spin and (for the more specific types of clothing) Active Wear and Delicates.

If you have particular materials to care for, you can always select warm or cold temperature, or you can choose Extra Rinse to rid laundry additives more thoroughly.

The Self Clean option is to keep the tub itself clean from dirt and bacteria. No need for detergents or bleach, just make sure the tub is empty, and when it’s done, you’ll be ready to wash more loads!

LOWER WASHER: Programmes and cycles

Using Super Speed, the FlexWash can power through a load in just 30mins without sacrificing cleaning performance. If you want an even faster cycle, Quick Wash will wash up to 2kg of laundry in a mere 15mins!

If your concern is more a pile of clothes that need a thorough clean, you’ll be impressed with the BubbleWash and BubbleSoak treatments available in the front loader.

BubbleSoak™ is a pre-wash treatment which intensively soaks clothes in the bubbles before the wash starts. This process helps loosen stains or dirt that usually stick onto fabrics, even during the cycle.

Similarly, BubbleWash™ is designed to help clean heavily-soiled clothing by generating foam through an innovative method of pre-mixing detergent with air and water from the beginning of the cycle. The residue is then able to come off a lot more easily.

Alternatively, you can use the power of steam on your load instead of a pre-treatment. With the Steam option, the washer senses the weight of the load within the drum and controls the amount of steam needed accordingly. Clever, right?

Steam is a great way to sanitise, particularly whites, sheets and other bedding.

Smart Control

What is arguably one of the most incredible features of the FlexWash Washer is what Samsung calls Smart Control. Smart Control lets you use your home network and Samsung Smart Home app to have control over the washer remotely – using your smartphone!

It works for both the top and front loaders. You can start, pause and track the remaining time left on your cycle, and you’ll get alerted when it’s finished! You can even schedule cycles from your smartphone.

When you select Smart Control, the indicator blinks and the front door locks. The machine then enters ‘waiting mode’ and waits for your command! You can find out more about how it works on the Samsung Smart Home page.

Other innovative features

Smart Control isn’t the only technologically advanced feature that FlexWash has to offer. It also has Smart Check – an error-monitoring system that also is compatible with the Samsung App.

Smart Check helps detect and diagnose certain problems (should they occur) and provides you with stress-free, quick and easy troubleshooting. How’s that for peace of mind?

We want to mention here that you won’t face any fuss for a long time. The digital inverter motor comes with an 11-year parts warranty!

This motor that we speak of works ingeniously without brushes, which in turn helps to minimise the number of separate moving parts. Less friction results in lower vibration, so you’re left with a machine that’s as quiet as it is intelligent!

This is enforced by VRT Plus™ (Vibration Reduction Technology), which allows even heavy loads to stay balanced within the tub and remain discreet in sound at high speeds.

Safety and efficiency

Little hands can go wandering around the house, especially when household appliances have eye-catching buttons. Conveniently, FlexWash comes with Child Lock.

There are Child Lock options on each of the loads which prevent children from accidentally starting or setting the washer. When selected, it locks all buttons except for POWER.

In addition to safety, Samsung has ensured the FlexWash’s efficiency. Rest assured that the lower washer meets the strict standards for Energy Star® certification, making it eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

With the FlexWasher being good for the environment, your long-term savings and your clothes, what’s left is to head to your local Bing Lee store to check it out for yourself!

3 guilt-free (and super easy!) recipes to try in the Philips Airfryer XXL

Want tasty fried food without the guilt? These three recipes that you can make quickly and healthily in the Philips Airfryer XXL are sure to be a hit in your home!

Typically, favourite foods are on the fattier side. Hot chips, fried chicken, spring rolls – the list is endless. As much as we’d love to delight our taste buds with these tasty treats every day, for the sake of our waistlines, we know that we shouldn’t.

Even when we do indulge, there’s a certain amount of guilt after a heavy meal. But delicious, mouth-watering food doesn’t need to be dripping with oil or drenched in butter to be satisfying. Nor do you need to give up your favourite meals altogether in an effort to remain health conscious.

The way you cook your food can determine a healthy meal just as much as the food itself. Thanks to Philips, you can prepare your signature dishes in an alternative, fat-reducing way without sacrificing the flavour that you know and love.

The Airfryer XXL is a larger version of the Philips Airfryers that you might already be familiar with. Its innovative technology allows you to “fry” food with little to no oil at all! And yes, you will still get that tender-on-the-inside-crisp-on-the-outside result every time!

Here’s how it works

Rather than using the extreme temperatures of hot oil in a pan to fry, an Airfryer (as the name suggests) uses hot air in a cooking basket.

If you’ve never used an Airfryer, we know you might be sceptical at first about the idea of cooking with air rather than oil. But it is possible, and in fact, we’d bet that you’ll prefer it!

With the latest airfryer technology, Philips uses a Twin TurboStar system. It creates a tornado-like realm of hot air using 2225 watts of power to melt away fat.

The fat is then captured at the bottom of the Airfryer XXL for easy disposal. Plus, you’ll actually be able to see the fat you’ve prevented yourself from eating.

The capacity of the huge XXL size is convenient for family meals, and is able to cook a whole chicken or even up to 1.4kg of fries – its Philips’ largest and most powerful Airfryer to date!

Psst! Right now you can get $50 CASHBACK when you purchase a Philips Airfryer XXL from Bing Lee before 25/12/16! T&Cs apply.

What’s great is that as opposed to a deep fryer, you aren’t left with the house smelling of oil! It’s quite the multitasker too. You can grill, bake and even roast lunch, dinner or snacks for parties.

The Airfryer XXL can prepare meats, vegetables, and frozen foods without needing to defrost them! You can choose temperature control and the best-suited settings with the tip of a finger. It makes cooking an absolute cinch.

And on that note, we’re sharing three of our favourite Airfryer XXL recipes for you to try today! They’re tasty and will be ready in five steps or less! Head in-store or online at Bing Lee to get cooking 🙂

Saltimbocca (Veal rolls with Sage)

Ingredients

400 ml meat stock
200 ml dry white wine
4 veal cutlets
Freshly ground pepper
8 fresh sage leaves
4 slices cured ham
25 g butter

Directions

  1. Preheat the Airfryer to 200°C. Boil the meat stock and the wine in a wide pan over medium heat until it has reduced to one-third of the original amount.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the cutlets and cover them with the sage leaves. Firmly roll the cutlets and wrap a slice of ham around each cutlet.
  3. Thinly brush the entire cutlets with butter and place them in the basket. Slide the basket into the Airfryer and set the timer for 10 minutes. Roast the veal rolls until nicely brown.
  4. Lower the temperature to 150°C and set the timer to 5 minutes. Roast the rolls until done. Mix the remainder of the butter with the reduced stock and season the gravy with salt and pepper.
  5. Thinly slice the veal rolls and serve them with the gravy. Tasty with tagliatelle and green beans.

Puff Pastry Bites (Your Way!)

Ingredients

200 g ready-made (frozen or chilled) puff pastry
Filling as desired (select from below!)
2 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the Airfryer to 200°C.
  2. Cut the pastry into 16 squares of 5×5 cm and scoop a heaped teaspoon of filling onto each square.
  3. Fold the squares into triangles and moisten the edges with some water. Press the edges firmly together with a fork.
  4. Put eight parcels in the basket and brush them with milk. Slide the basket into the airfryer and set the timer to 10 minutes. Bake the appetizers until they are golden brown.
  5. Bake the remaining parcels in the same way. Serve the puff pastry bites in a dish.

Filling ideas:

  • – Ricotta and Ham Mix 50 g ricotta with 25 g finely-chopped ham and freshly ground pepper
  • – Ricotta and Salmon Mix 50 g ricotta with 25 g smoked salmon and 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • – Cheese and Green Onion Mix 75 g grated cheese (Gouda, Cheddar or Gruyère) with one thinly sliced green onion
  • – Shrimps and Dill Mix 75 g chopped pink shrimps with 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill and ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • – Pepper and Salami Mix 50 g salami in strips with ½ red bell pepper diced into small cubes and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh oregano
  • – Apple and Cinnamon Mix ½ apple chopped into small pieces with ½ tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon grated orange peel and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • – Apple and Ginger Mix ½ large apple, chopped into small pieces, with 1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved ginger and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint

Potato Croquettes with Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients

300 g starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 egg yolk
50 g Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flour
Freshly ground pepper
Nutmeg
50 g breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Boil the potato cubes in salted water for 15 minutes until ready. Drain the potatoes and mash them finely with a potato masher or a ricer. Allow the mashed potatoes to cool.
  2. Add the egg yolk, cheese, flour and chives to the potato puree and mix well. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Preheat the AirFryer to 200°C. Mix the oil and the bread crumbs and keep stirring until the mixture becomes loose and crumbly again.
  4. Shape the potato puree into 12 croquettes and roll them through the breadcrumbs until they are completely coated.
  5. Put six croquettes in the fryer basket and slide the basket into the AirFryer. Set the timer for 4 minutes and fry the potato croquettes until they are crispy brown. Then fry the rest of the croquettes.

All recipes are credited to The Philips Chef, where you can find even more recipes for your Philips Airfryer XXL!

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Determining which garment care is right for you based on your closet

If laundry isn’t your forte and you find yourself treating every item of clothing you own in the same manner, Philips’ range of garment care is here to help you iron out your worries.

If you’re one of the many who are guilty of neglecting laundry chores because of a busy lifestyle, this post is for you. We know what it’s like having what seems to be a mountainous pile of clothing that needs to be ironed or steamed, hung or folded, and then packed away.

The shortcut of treating all the clothes the same, with the same temperature setting on the iron, might seem like it’s saving time… until you burn your favourite shirt. We’ve all been shared that regret at one stage or another.

Contrary to how tedious it may seem, catering for the correct care requirements of the fabrics you wear can actually save you a lot of time (and despair) and make your clothes last longer.

Thanks to Philips’ range of garment care, you can get through your laundry quickly, with all your clothes looking and feeling as best as they can.

Each of the following small appliances from Philips is designed to make the chore a breeze. Intended for specific needs, you can pick a small appliance that is best suited for your household and your most common items of clothing.

To help you decide, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to select the right garment care based on what you wear most.

Psst… Right now you can get up to $100 CASHBACK when you purchase selected Philips Garment Care range products from Bing Lee! Offer ends 25/12/17.

Suits

While you may get your suits dry cleaned, that doesn’t mean that you can’t maintain them between washes to look fresher for longer.

The Philips Steam&Go 2-in-1 is perfect for suits because you can refresh them while hanging them vertically – no need for an ironing board.

It keeps your suits looking crisp and professional while ridding stale, day-to-day odours such as lingering food smells or cigarette smoke. Plus, if you go on business trips often, the Steam&Go is compact and light enough for you to take with you!

Cotton

For cotton uniforms and everyday wear, the Philips Azur Performer Plus is an all-rounder. With all the traditional settings you’re familiar with, this iron makes everyday ironing easy.

It has 2400W to heat up quickly and deliver powerful performance. It has a continuous steam output of up to 45g/min for the perfect amount of steam to remove creases. For more stubborn creases, steam can boost up to 190G for immediate results.

As convenient as it is in function, it’s also comfortable to hold and manoeuvre. It’s the optimum weight to push and its SteamGlide Plate soleplate moves smoothly over your clothes.

Denim

Because denim is such a thick material, it usually requires a more powerful iron. But there’s no need to go over denim with twice the amount of force or time as any other material.

The PerfectCare Azur is ideal for denim because it’s the fastest Philips steam iron and has a steam boost of up to 200G – meaning it can remove even the move stubborn creases (like the ones found on denim jackets!).

Despite how powerful it is, it’s still 100% safe to use on delicate materials too. All you need to do is adjust the setting. Too easy!

Silk

Silk (and satin alike) is always treated with more care than most other materials because of how delicate it is. But you shouldn’t have to be frightened about applying heat to remove creases.

You can safely revive silk with the Philips ClearTouch Air Garment Steamer. Hang and lock your garment in place and work the steamer along it for fast ironing. You can pick from three different steam levels so that you’re always in control.

The AirStretch Technology uses innovative air suction to eliminate creases and allow for deeper steam penetration for outfits that are ready to wear!

Linen & Wool

Not only can linen be burnt and wool misshaped, but velvet, lace, taffeta and any fabric can fall victim to their own types of ruin when not cared for properly. If your wardrobe has a vast variety of materials in there, it’s best to opt for a versatile ironing system.

And if versatility is what you’re after, you can’t look past Philips PerfectCare Elite Silence Steam Generator and the Philips PerfectCare Performer Steam Generator.

The Silence Steam has Safe Rest – a smart chip that sets the ideal soleplate temperature, scientifically tested on all ironable fabrics without risk of burning.

The Performer Steam, on the other hand, uses OptimalTEMP technology to set the perfect combination of temperature and continuous powerful steam.

Both products have a detachable water tank so you can fill up easily, and an increased scratch-resistant soleplate for a durable design.

 

Want more advice? Head into your local Bing Lee store and a friendly staff member can show you our incredible range of steamers and irons!

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5 pieces of entertainment that are better on a QLED TV

Is your TV providing you with less-than-premium quality? Here’s how Samsung’s QLED TV will drastically transform the way you enjoy these five forms of entertainment.

If you don’t know a whole lot about Samsung’s QLED TVs, you’ll want to read this post on why they’re picture perfect. QLED uses Quantum Dot technology and LED panelling to produce outstanding quality in the colour, clarity and detail of the picture on the screen.

 

We know that you’ll love QLED no matter what – whether you’re binge-watching shows on Netflix, playing the latest HDR video games or streaming from your favourite YouTube subscriptions.

Any content on a QLED is gratifying in its own right, but we’ve narrowed down our five favourite things to watch on Samsung’s best TV yet.

Try them out for yourself and let us know in the comments below what entertainment you love on your QLED!

Horror films

Most TVs don’t provide a cinema-like quality and disappoint people who look forward to a much-anticipated scary movie. Why? Because horror films are generally dark (literally speaking) and their frames can be hard to distinguish.

Because of the deliberate lack of lighting used by directors to create suspense, the details of the scene often get lost and fade into blackness. But that doesn’t mean your TV screen can’t show clear-cut lines or deliver impressive contrast.

With QLED, nothing gets faded into the background.  In fact, you’ll be able to easily decipher between the different shades of black in the scene. Just take a look at the cat in the example below.

The precise colour control of Quantum Dot technology makes it easy for your eyes to catch that shadow in the corner or the masked man approaching…

Cartoons

On the flip side of why you’d want to watch horror films on a QLED, you’ll also want to switch to a QLED to watch cartoons for its incredible display of bright colours.

QLED delivers 100% colour volume. As Samsung explains, “It is how bright each colour can be shown, while maintaining the same rich hue it has at lower brightness (luminance) levels.”

Rather than colours appearing dull or washed out, as on standard conventional TVs, QLED doesn’t shift colours to appear inaccurately. It means that colours reach their richness individually and evenly so that you’re left with overall dazzling colour.

It’s this technology that will give you a much more vibrant and pleasant viewing of anime, animated films or cartoon TV shows. You see animations in the same quality that they were created. To think you haven’t seen the real colours of the balloons in Up!

Wildlife documentaries

Aside from the extreme brightness you can enjoy while watching cartoons, the 100% colour volume re-creates accurate real-world palettes too.

What does this mean? Well, when directors capture beautiful scenes, you get to see it as they saw it. Tone for tone and shade for shade.

That’s why watching wildlife documentaries are even more extraordinary on a QLED. It portrays such a precise picture that you’ll feel like you’re face to face with the world’s most fascinating creatures.

Many nature-themed documentaries these days are filmed up-close and personal. With a QLED, you’ll see such magnificent detail – every slight wrinkle on an elephant, every vibrant feather on an exotic bird and all the magical movements and neon colours under the sea.

Sports

QLED has an extremely thin bezel to eliminate the look of a framed TV. It also has one clear cable that runs almost invisibly from the TV, so whether you’re hanging the TV or putting it on a stand, the screen appears boundless.

What does this have to do with sports? Well, the TV’s seamless design gives a virtually endless picture, so you don’t feel boxed in. Watching the big game? You’ll feel like you’re at the stadium!

No longer will you have to fight for the best seat on game day either. Whether it’s the middle of the couch or the bar stool on the bench, you’ll still get a good view thanks to QLED’s expanded viewing angles.

The TV appears just as bright and accurate from any seat, so you’ll love hosting at your place!

Gaming

The user experience on a QLED is unlike anything gamers have seen before. The latest High Dynamic Range content – especially games – is designed for ultimate enjoyment. But not all TVs can deliver HDR content as intended.

QLED has superb realism so that you can genuinely feel immersed when you play. Whether it’s racing, sci-fi or adventure-packed HDR games, you can bring any world to life.

The TV has an ultra-fast motion rate and delivers silky smooth movement so that you can be in control and hit even the most precise target. You can also expect action in real time thanks to QLED’s exceptionally low input lag.

Check out how cool it really is with the short snippet below.

Turning old air conditioners into smart systems with Sensibo Sky

Wish the house was already cool when you walked in on a hot summer’s day? Thanks to Sensibo, even older air conditioners can set a comfortable temperature for you before you get home!

As the smart technology sector continues to snowball, it’s becoming more and more common for many households to have voice-activated appliances, completely wireless accessories and smartphone-controlled gadgets.

And it’s simple to understand why: convenience. (Plus, who doesn’t want to live like The Jetsons?)

What makes a home home is comfort. And what’s more comfortable than turning electronics on and off with the touch of a screen? There is an answer: Controlling your appliances with the touch of a screen while you’re not even home.

We see these game-changing and innovative improvements in the way we can do ordinary, everyday things. Optimising your old air conditioner is now one of them – thanks to Sensibo.

Sensibo Sky

If you know what it’s like wanting to come to sweet, refreshing relief after a sweltering day but need to wait an unprecedented amount of time before your air conditioner kicks in, let us introduce you to Sensibo Sky.

Sensibo Sky is an external device that pairs with the remote control of your air conditioner. After downloading the Sensibo app, you can then control your air conditioner from your smartphone no matter where you are!

“Sensibo turns on the heat before you wake up in the winter. It cools your house down before you arrive in the summer. At home or on the go, it always makes sure the temperature is just right for you,” as put by Sensibo.

You might be thinking that your air conditioner is too old for this kind of technology and that you’re anticipating having to replace the whole thing. Well, great news, you don’t!

If you’ve got a split system, portable or window wall air conditioner that works with a remote control, then you have the opportunity to dwell in a home of the future.

How it works

You can find the Sensibo user manual here, but we’ll give you the rundown because it’s as easy as pie!

Firstly, you can check if your air conditioner is compatible with Sensibo Sky here.

Sensibo works globally with any voltage and any power outlet, so as long as your A/C is remote-controlled (compatible as per the guide above) and you have WiFi access, you’re ready to go.

Next, simply install the free Sensibo app, and it will guide you through the installation process.  Then it will detect your remote control, sync and voilà!

You’ll get to name your air conditioners on the app so that you can control the work A/C or home A/C simultaneously and with different settings if need be. Now that’s cool.

Features

Sensibo’s in-app automations make it easy to navigate through the controls and features available to you.

With a simple tap, you can turn the air-con on or off from anywhere. You can control the temperature (naturally), but you can also control the mode, fan level, swing and set a timer.

You’ll be able to see the live temperature measurement on your smartphone too without having to be in the same room as the air-con.

What’s even more impressive about the device is that you can schedule the settings in advance. So whether you want to wake up in a warm bedroom at 6am or come home to a cool living room at 7pm, Sensibo will have you covered. You can set it to repeat so that your space is regulated every day without you even needing to think about it!

Or if work is a little unpredictable and you get home at different times at the end of each day, Sensibo can trigger the A/C to turn on when you’re close to home – 1km, 2km, 5km or 10km away!

Another option is to grant other people access to the A/C control. You can send a unique link to our family members, flatmates or colleagues so that they can adjust the A/C settings from their smartphones too.

It also sends filter cleaning alerts so that your air is always fresh!

Climate React

One of the most impressive features of Sensibo Sky is what’s called ‘Climate React’. You can set your air-con to automatically turn on when the room reaches a certain temperature.

So if you’re napping on the couch on a warm summer’s day, you don’t need to wake up from the heat and scramble for the A/C remote – Sensibo will take care of it for you and let you rest blissfully.

It’s also a great option for when you’re busy entertaining or if you want to maintain a comfortable room temperature for the elderly.

Sensibo essentially upgrades and adds value to your current air conditioner with features such as Climate React because it enables your air conditioner to do more than it initially could.

Family friendly

If you have a full house, you won’t need to constantly remind the last person to leave to turn the air con off. (Parents who live with teenagers know exactly what we’re talking about!)

If every family member connects their smartphone to Sensibo, their location services will let the air-con know whether it needs to remain on or not.

When the last person leaves the vicinity, Sensibo automatically turns off to save energy – and lets you know with a notification sent to your phone.

With the running costs of electricity these days, accidentally leaving the A/C on can be a costly mistake. So who wouldn’t love the peace of mind?

Integrations

Don’t have your phone on you? No problem! Sensibo Sky integrates with Google Home, Google Assistant and Amazon Echo (Alexa).

Once connected in a few short steps, you can ask questions such as:

  • Hey Google, what is the living room set to?
  • Hey Google, what is the temperature in the living room?
  • Ok Google, what is the humidity in the living room?

Or make demands such as:

  • Ok Google, turn on the living room
  • Ok Google, turn on the thermostat
  • Ok Google, turn off the bedroom

And the same with Alexa.

With the option of voice control and smartphone control, Sensibo Sky transforms your existing air conditioner into an almost entirely new appliance!

You can get your hands on one online or in-store now at Bing Lee.

We tried The Perfect Press from Breville and here’s what happened

We’re giving away 4 of The Perfect Press from Breville! Find out exactly why you’ll want one and what happened when we tried one for ourselves.

If you’re aboard the toastie wagon, you know that it’s the perfect meal no matter what time of day. A toastie has endless combinations – much more than the good ol’ ham and cheese combo – and is simply satisfying whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

But if you share this kind of love for the timeless toastie, you also know how annoying it can be to have all your fillings spill out the side.

I’ve had my fair share of pineapple pieces grilling themselves outside my Hawaiin toastie, tasty cheese creating a pool of crunchiness on the press plate, and tomato slices mushed into something unrecognisable.

Not to mention, it’s pretty close to heartbreaking when you put the effort into a great ensemble of well-cut ingredients but end up with a cardboard-like, utterly flat sandwich thanks to the heavy press.

That’s why, needless to say, when Breville introduced The Perfect Press™ I knew I had to get my hands on one and try it out for myself. Breville claims that The Perfect Press™ is a sandwich maker that will prevent fillings from being squished, while still giving bread that golden, toasted finish.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, here’s what happened.

First, I went to my local Bing Lee store and grabbed one of these boxes off the shelf.

Next, it was straight to the kitchen.

The first thing I notice when I carry it is how light it is. I inspect it quickly and see that it could not be simpler – there’s an ON/OFF switch, and a lever that you can push in or out for options of LOCK, CRUSH CONTROL and OPEN MELT.

I normally make a quick toastie for lunch and avoid filling it with more than two fillings because I dread the mess. But to really put The Perfect Press™ to the test, I doubled the usual and filled my sandwich with four ingredients. The sandwich ingredients were salad leaves, tuna, sundried tomatoes and bocconcini cheese.

My ideal outcome for this sandwich is to first and foremost keep my fillings within the sandwich and not seeping out the sides. I’d also like the heat not to be too high, otherwise my lettuce leaves will start to wilt. And I’d want the cheese melted to perfection – not stringing off the plate but not remaining cold and solid either.

Sounds like I’m asking for a lot, right? Well, here goes nothing.

I switched The Perfect Press on, and within a couple of minutes, the light indicated that the plates were ready for my sandwich.

I put my sandwich in and set the lever to CRUSH CONTROL. As I put the lid down, I did notice immediately that it sat nicely and neatly on top of the toast without weighing itself down.

I was already impressed. My regular sandwich press would’ve let me down at this stage!

Within approximately three minutes, the green READY light flickered on and it was time for the great reveal.

To my surprise, the sandwich had not been morphed into the usual sad-looking pancake mess. It was intact, not even a leaf out of place. There was not even drop of oil on the metal plate as I had anticipated from the tuna or sundried tomatoes. The outside was golden, just as promised.

After my delightful peek, I was keen to cut it open and see if it had done anything at all to the insides – it looked too clean (for lack of a better word) to indicate that the cheese had melted. No melted cheese would be a huge disappointment.

I grabbed the knife and heard the crunch as I sliced it down the middle. See for yourself what happened next…

It was indeed perfect!

The sandwich still maintained its height (despite how high I stacked it!), the leaves were not hot and yucky, and the cheese melted beautifully!

As someone who is a toastie enthusiast, I’m really thoroughly impressed. The Perfect Press™ is said to provide x4 less pressure on your sandwich – and it’s evident that it works.

I’m not done with the testing just yet though! If you too are a toastie enthusiast, you know that there’s one thing left to call it a complete success… The level of cleaning required to pack it away.

The beauty of a toastie is how quickly it is to whip up. So if the cleaning required is longer than the making of the sandwich itself, it’s a thumbs down from me.

I could tell instantly that this wasn’t going to be an issue with The Perfect Press™. Its non-stick plates were a cinch to wipe up. A soapy sponge or cloth wasn’t even really needed. Literally 10 seconds later (if that!), the press looked as good as new!

Final verdict? The Perfect Press™ ticks all the boxes for me. It’s the ideal size for a quick and delicious meal for one, it’s easy to clean up, and at Bing Lee it’s really a steal for the price!

Now all that’s left to do is to create more toasties! 😉 What’s your favourite combination? Let us know in the comments below!

An honest review of the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

My hair and I have had many style adventures together. From short, black, sleek-cut bobs to waist-long locks highlighted blonde, I’ve tried everything under the rainbow – including rainbow-coloured hair (not kidding).

As someone who has chopped off bleached hair many times, I (like many people) didn’t realise that my hair dryer was badly hindering my determination to grow a healthy head of hair.

No matter the hundreds of dollars spent on products, shampoos and treatments, I feel silly for not realising that all my good intentions were being reversed by the damaging heat I put my hair through almost every single day.

I know daily drying sounds excessive and will not be the case for every person, but unfortunately, I’ve been cursed with quite fine hair that gets oily very, very quickly.

As a result, I am obliged to wash my hair too often – not leaving it for more than a maximum of three days going unwashed and even then it is “perked” heavily with dry shampoo! Told you, cursed.

My hair dryer plays a regular part of my daily/beauty regime and, in all honesty, I don’t know why I never thought of replacing it. I was so used to it that I hadn’t realised that it could and should be better.

When I found out that Dyson was putting a hair dryer on the market, I knew it was something I had to try. I own two Dyson vacuums and thought that if the hair dryer were anything like their other home appliances, I’d be in for a real treat.

What I was immediately impressed by – without even seeing the product firsthand yet – was Dyson’s research on hair. The company acknowledged that creating a product for hair, that helps hair, requires understanding hair first and foremost.

The research and development behind the Supersonic was the real deal. Dyson built a state-of-the-art hair laboratory and recruited some of the world’s best engineers (103 of them!) and award-winning hair stylists.

Countless factors played a part in each aspect of the design. From heat and sound to balance and weight, Dyson considered everything for hair health and usability for all hair types.

If you can’t tell already, I’m excited to try the Supersonic for myself. I have quite high expectations after reading about all of its high-tech features, and I don’t want to be let down!

I should also point out that the first use of the Supersonic isn’t the only time I want to be blown away (not sorry for the pun). Like applying cream to skin, I’m looking for a long-term solution and progression in my hair’s health over time.

First impressions say a lot, and my first impression of the Supersonic’s box is that it’s modern and luxe. You can immediately tell that it’s holding an upmarket product within it.

I open up the box to find the Supersonic laid out beautifully with its three attachments around it – the styling concentrator, the diffuser and the smoothing nozzle. It also comes with a non-slip mat and a storage hanger which I think is super handy considering how guilty I am of dropping my hair dryer on the bathroom floor!

Picking it up, all I can say is WOW! It’s so much lighter than my hair dryer. I had read about the Supersonic’s motor being much smaller than a typical hair dryer motor, but I didn’t expect it to be this lightweight overall.

I’m finding it so effortless and comfortable to hold, and I would say that’s thanks to the motor being in the handle of the Supersonic rather than the head.

 

The attachments are as easy to put on as souvenir magnets on a fridge. They just pop into place and twist to the desired direction without much force at all, but still have a good enough hold not to prop off if you accidentally knock it.

I also have to mention how pretty it is. I love the pop of purple on mine and the seamless buttons. The fact that the head resembles a doughnut reassures me that there’s no chance my hair will get stuck in a grill!

There are three precise speed settings (fast drying, regular drying and styling) and four precise heat settings (100˚C, 80˚C, 60˚C and a constant cold at 28˚C).

For my first use, I just want to dry my hair for an everyday look. Nothing special, but smooth enough to go to work with.

I’m going to use the regular drying speed at 80˚C. I’m also going to use the smoothing nozzle to start because I like to dry the top of my head and the crown thoroughly – it keeps my hair looking fresher for longer.

The small light indicators are so chic and stylish! I’m able to control the settings exactly as I want and the Supersonic responds instantaneously.

I slide the button to turn it on and, to my surprise, the Supersonic is much quieter than my regular hair dryer which resembles the sound of a blower vac.

It’s really quite pleasant to use. The air blown out isn’t uncomfortably hot, so I don’t need to move it as rapidly for fear of burning my scalp. The air is also smooth and constant.

Within a few short minutes, the roots of my hair are dry, and I decide to switch to the styling concentrator. Switching between them is a cinch. Off pops the smoothing nozzle.

At this stage of the drying process, I have to admit that I am not very good at coordinating my brush and my hair dryer to style it properly. So I usually opt for switching between brushing and drying. Considering how much more relaxed the Supersonic is to hold, I’ve decided to attempt to do it the proper way.

And it’s a success! The styling concentrator aims air exactly where I need it and the sheer size of the Supersonic doesn’t make me feel like my arm is about to fall off as I navigate through the sections of my hair.

I continue to blow dry the rest of my hair, and before I know it, it’s finished! A job that usually takes me 15-20 minutes to complete (25 minutes if I try to do it the proper way to avoid going over it with a straightener) has taken a total of… 7 minutes and 40 seconds.

I’m in awe. The Supersonic has halved the shortest amount of time I could possibly dry my hair with my blow dryer.

I could not be happier with how my hair looks and feels right now. I don’t have any flyaways, my hair isn’t frizzy nor do my ends feel like they’ll break off from dryness.

Here’s a before and after shot of my hair. Unruly with dry ends on the left, effortlessly smooth on the right – no fancy lighting or cameras, just less than 8 minutes of dry time.

I definitely feel that my hair is smoother and lighter, and I can tell that the regulated heat is something that will keep my hair healthy in the long run. To get this kind of result, I certainly would’ve had to follow my drying process with the use of a straightener.

The verdict?

  • Less than eight mins of drying time with the results of straightener-smooth style
  • Comfortable to hold and balance for styling without strain
  • Significantly quieter and lighter than typical hair dryers
  • Easy-to-use attachments and settings
  • Looks incredible and feels luxe
  • Dries hair without flyaways or static

I’m sold. The Dyson Supersonic is something dreams are made of.

While many headlines point to the higher price point of the Supersonic, I think that like any other item you spend a good amount of money on – it’s all about the quality of the product.

If you’re after just a drying solution, heck, a towel and time will dry your hair! If you’re looking for hair care, I’d recommend the Supersonic. It’s an investment in the same way skincare is.

It’s fantastic in that it caters for all hair types too. I can’t wait to see how the diffuser works on my sister’s curly hair.

In the spirit of festivities, Dyson has a special edition Christmas case that you can purchase with the Supersonic. I’m telling you – gift someone special (why not yourself?!) the Supersonic this Christmas and they’ll thank you for sharing the joy of hair-managing bliss.

The Dyson Supersonic is a Christmas present that will surpass expectations and you can purchase one online or in-store at Bing Lee today!

Try it out and let us know your experience in the comments below!

What is a pyrolytic oven and do I need one?

You might’ve heard the term ‘pyrolytic’ floating around, but what does it actually mean? Here’s what you need to know.

Ovens can be impossible to clean. They’re one of the most dreaded house chores because of the level of effort and time involved. And the fact that you’re never really certain you’ll achieve the tip-top result you want isn’t very encouraging either!

Over time, food residue sticks to the walls of the oven, crumbs fall into small cracks and grime can set in hard-to-reach places. It’s basically a baked disaster in there.

We are then left with no choice but to turn to harsh, chemical-filled cleaners and constant scrubbing to desperately get the oven back to its as-new state… until trusty technology came along with the pyrolytic oven.

What is a pyrolytic oven?

Of all the features an oven can possibly have – you’ll want to know about the one that cleans itself. Yes, that’s right, a pyrolytic oven is one that has a self-cleaning mode which blasts its interior with extremely high temperatures of up to about 500˚C.

It turns any food residue (and pretty much anything else) into ash! Yup, all the nasties are turned into a fine powder that you can simply wipe away with a damp cloth. No scrubbing, no oven cleaners. Just a quick wipe around and your pyrolytic oven is as sparkly as the day you bought it!

So you don’t have to worry about cooking disasters, accidental spills or general constant use. Blast your oven clean, sit back, and enjoy unlimited kitchen adventures with peace of mind.

Other innovative features

Of course, the thought of putting an oven at 500˚C would naturally cause all the red alarm bells to go off in your head. Especially in a family home. The really cool thing (pun unintended) about pyrolytic ovens is that their doors are designed to stay… well, cool.

The multilayer door of a pyrolytic oven ensures safety for the whole family and doesn’t open until it has reached a safe temperature. It’s designed to create a kitchen environment that you’re comfortable with.

Is it worth it?

Now, pyrolytic ovens aren’t this month’s breakthrough – they’ve been on the market for some time. However, many people are unaware of this cooking game changer when looking for a new oven or are scared off the price tag.

Like all good appliances, the spend is reflective of the quality. A pyrolytic oven is an investment. It will save you an incredible amount of cleaning time, and will save you from spending money on oven cleaners every few weeks for the many years that your oven is meant to last!

If you’re renovating, a pyrolytic oven will add some serious value to your kitchen. If you’re updating your appliances, you’ll definitely feel the difference in convenience and overall value.

This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get one. Pop into a Bing Lee store and ask one of our friendly staff about current offers and the best pyrolytic oven to suit your budget.

Who doesn’t want something that’s self-cleaning?! It’s every home cook’s dream!

How to beat the Christmas rush

You might be thinking, “Surely it’s way too early to be worrying about Christmas presents” – don’t be fooled! The tinsel and baubles are already making their way into the department stores and before you know it, you’ll find yourself in aisle 6 with the rest of the nation hoping to snatch the last board game on the shelf.

Christmas is a wonderful yet crazy time of year, and to truly enjoy it you should start getting organised. Especially when it comes to gift-buying.

You might think you know what your kids, family members and close friends might want for Christmas and yet most of us find ourselves panicked as the 25th creeps closer.

Here are our top tips for beating the Christmas rush.

Pace yourself

Don’t leave all your purchases for the week or two before Christmas. Make yourself a list (like Santa) and keep track of who you’re buying for. It’ll prevent you from accidentally leaving someone out or miscalculating the boxes of chocolate!

Start ticking off the gifts and make purchases slowly while you find yourself in a shopping centre over the next few weeks. It’ll also aid the amount of splurges and costly expenses that are seemingly inevitable in the short period before Christmas.

Collect catalogues

Catalogues are the paper version of Pinterest. You see something, you can circle it and add it to the “buy” list. Without putting too much thought into it, you can generally get a good gift idea by simply flipping through the pages.

So start collecting! Grab a catalogue as you walk out of a store and add it to a dedicated pile at home. Allocate some time to sort through it with a texter, highlighter or post-it notes on hand (sounds OTT but it’ll help, promise!).

Flip to a section that you know would be of interest to the person you’re buying for and the world is your oyster. This is particularly useful if you do not have the same interests as that person.

When you’re done, you’ll know exactly which stores you’re headed to when doing the Christmas shopping and voilà – no stress!

Don’t underestimate catalogues.

Browse and shop online

There’s nothing like sitting on your couch at any hour and having the entire online shopping world at your fingertips. Browsing online is great because you can add to your cart or your wishlist before purchasing.

After you’re satisfied with your selection, all you have to do is make your purchase and then try not to stare out your window for the delivery.

Here’s the most important thing to remember when making online purchases for Christmas: order your presents well before Christmas Day. Even if the estimated shipping is one or two days before Christmas, it’s not worth the risk! Don’t forget that the rest of the world is at their ordering peak at this time of year too, and it is not uncommon for there to be over-orders and delays.

Give yourself the peace of mind in knowing that your purchases will be delivered with plenty of time to spare instead. At Bing Lee, we recommend placing your order 7 days before Christmas at the latest.

Separate gifts and decorations

It can get a little crowded in the house around Christmas, and if you’re planning on putting up all the Christmas garlands and the tree AND buying all your gifts and wrapping them… well, that’s kind of festive mayhem.

Allocate days to get through your elvish tasks so that you’re not tangled up between ropes of Christmas lights and strings of ribbon. Set aside a weekend to prepare the house with the family. Get the kids in on the fun and make it an enjoyable bonding time!

Christmas wrapping is best left for when the Christmas tree is already up so that you can pop the present beneath it right away and they’re ready to go!